There are few pet behaviors as frustrating as peeing in the house. Once a dog begins peeing in the house it can be a very hard habit to break, but it can be done with consistency and persistence. It all begins with determining why the dog has started to pee in the house.
Identify the Cause of the Behavior
There are multiple reasons a dog could be inclined to pee in the house:
- Training. Some dogs have never been housebroken properly. If the dog in question has been consistently peeing in the house, they will need to be trained again. There are some dog breeds that don’t lend themselves easily to housebreaking, such as Chihuahuas.
- Fear. Dogs frequently urinate on themselves when they are afraid. This fear can be triggered by anything from thunderstorms to fast movements. When dogs are frequently punished for urinating in a home, they may actually begin to have more accidents.
- Smell. When a dog can smell another animal in the house, they may feel the need to mark their territory. This helps them feel safer. Dogs may also persist in urinating in areas in which they smell urine already. They can often smell trace amounts of urine, making it important to thoroughly clean accidents.
Training a Dog to Pee Outside
Training a puppy generally begins by taking the puppy outside until it has gone to the bathroom. The puppy is brought inside again afterwards and taken out frequently. For older dogs, a leash can be used to keep the dog close to the house. If the dog appears to need to use the bathroom, it can be taken immediately outside. When not being watched, the dog can be crated. When peeing or defecating outside, the dog should be thoroughly rewarded and praised. Dogs innately want to pee outside. In order to be scolded, the dog needs to be caught in the act. A firm no and moving the dog outside should be enough.
Preventing a Dog From Feeling Afraid
Some dogs are very sensitive to their environment. Music is a great way to create a soothing environment. Otherwise dogs may become agitated at the sounds of cars driving by or neighbors walking down the sidewalk. Some dogs become particularly stressed when they are alone. Using specially designed music like Music for Dogs can aid in making dogs feel less lonely while their owners are out. Thunder shirts and other pressure garments for dog can also help in soothing them.
Removing Scents Around the Home
Though you may not smell anything around your home, there’s no guarantee that your dog doesn’t. Not only can accidents around your home persist through multiple cleanings, but some of the cleaning solutions commonly used could also have a negative impact. Particularly stringent cleaning products could be irritating enough to a pet that it could actually promote accidents.
To begin removing scents, the accident should be blotted up as much as possible. When an accident occurs on carpet, it can penetrate down to the padding. In this situation, a carpet cleaning machine may be required. Carpet cleaning machine wet down the entire area and then extract the water.
The right cleaning solution also needs to be used. Nature’s Miracle and other enzymatic cleaners can be used to fully break down the chemicals in the urine. The cleaner needs to be fully saturated into the stain in order to work. If you see your pet repeatedly smelling a certain area, it’s likely that the scent has not been entirely removed.
The Most Common Mistakes When Housebreaking
It’s easy to see the principle goal as “stop the dog from peeing on the carpet,” but the truth is that the goal is to teach the dog that the outside is the preferred place — the dog needs positive reinforcement rather than negative.
Yelling and scolding a dog generally just frightens and confuses them, because it usually takes place long after the accident has already occurred. Physical punishment such as rubbing a dog’s nose in it also has the opposite impact. It desensitizes a dog to the idea of avoiding its own waste, making it more likely to urinate around where it lives and sleeps.
If a dog truly cannot be housebroken using the above method, it should see a veterinarian. It’s possible that the dog has a physical issue such as a urinary tract infection. Failing to find any medical issues, a behaviorist may also be in order. But for most dogs, the above tips should be enough.