I have a problem with my 2 yr old dog. I take him for a long walk in the morning making sure there is nothing left in his body for him to pee anywhere in my house. I will come home after work and he will have peed on the same corner he pees on daily, its very little pee but no matter how much I clean this spot he will always go back and pee there. How can I get him to stop peeing in my house??
Thx for your help,
Hi Stephanie! Thanks for writing in with a great question! It’s also a very popular one, and you aren’t the only person I’ve known who has had to
What we have to realize is that this behavior of marking is normal and is a very important form of canine communication. It is just not acceptable to be done in the house. A dog’s sense of smell is his most sensitive sense, and the one that he uses most when navigating his world. Their sense of smell is thousands of times more sensitive than ours. When a dog smells the marking of another dog, they can detect the dog’s age, size, sexual receptiveness, sex of the dog, and health. This is the way that they communicate this information to other dogs, as well as letting other dogs know that this is claimed territory.
While this behavior is very much a part of their canine makeup, dogs can learn where they can, and where they cannot mark their territory. It’s usually much easier to train a dog what you want him to do, rather than training him what you don’t want him to do. To do so, we have to control his environment, prevent him from being able to mark in unwanted places, and teach him where he is allowed to mark.
The first thing I would ask you is if your dog is neutered. Un neutered males have a much deeper innate need to mark anything vertical within their environment. The need is that much stronger in an intact male, so if your dog is not neutered, that would be the first thing that I would suggest. That would seriously limit his need to mark in your home, as well as having many other positive benefits to his health, behavior, and would also help curb unwanted roaming and possible accidental pregnancies. Neutering your male dog is one of the best things you can do for your furry friend.
I believe you when you say that he only tinkles just a little bit on the corner…but those tiny drops are all he needs to want to keep marking that same spot. I do not know what you are using to clean the area, but if you are using a household product that may contain ammonia, then you might be actually attracting him back to the very same spot. Even if we can’t smell the odor anymore, I can assure you that your dog can. This is why we have to take special care to use a cleaning product that is meant for this purpose, and one that breaks down the enzymes of the urine, so that no trace scents are left for the dog to pick up on. (I love Out Pet Spot Remover and Nature’s Miracle.) If he detects just one tiny iota of urine, then he will feel the need to mark over the same area.
Cleaning the area properly is one way that we can control his environment, to help eliminate the need to keep marking. We can also spray the area with a pet repellent, such as Bitter Apple, to deter the dog from marking there again. Another thing we can do is to try and make sure that the dog isn’t given a chance to do the unwanted behavior. This is another way to control his environment, and a great way to set him up to succeed.
The long morning walks that you describe sound perfect! And they may empty his bladder while you do walk, but that will not keep his bladder empty for very long. While you are home with your dog, you will be able to watch him and the telltale signs that he’s looking to lift his leg. I don’t imagine that he lifts his leg to pee on the corner while you are home, nor do I think that he does it right in front of you. But while you are home, it might be a good idea to keep him on a leash and to control where he goes he in the house. You can either hold it at first, and if you feel things are progressing, you can just let him drag it around. This way, if you notice him getting interested in a certain spot, and he starts sniffing a lot, and tries to lift a leg, you can first distract him, and once you get his attention, ask him for a certain behavior, such as come. You can then bring him outside, and he can then mark or urinate outdoors, which is where you want him to go. Don’t forget to praise him once he’s done (not during), for being such a good boy!
The big problem comes when you are out of the home, and he has free run of the house, to be able to pee on ‘his’ corner as many times as he likes. If he has free run of the house, then you cannot control him, and he knows this. So what you need to do, is to control him even while you are not there with him. A great way to do this is to crate train him. Dogs are natural den animals, so crate training actually appeals to his need to den. You just need to make sure that he is in the proper sized crate. This is usually the same size as the dog, plus another half of the dogs size. He should have room to stand and turn around in his crate, but he shouldn’t have enough room to be able to eliminate in one end of it, then have enough room to lie down in the other end, away from his mess.
Another example of controlling him while you’re not there is to pen him, or keep him in just one room of the house. If he has other areas in the home that he has never marked in, then this might be a good place for him to stay while he is home alone. This also sets him up to succeed as he never gets the chance to lift his leg onto the wall, or another piece of furniture.
The biggest key in all of this will be diligence and consistency on your part, but I know that you have it in you and that you are determined!
Good luck and happy training!
Perfect Pet Training
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