48 responses

  1. Deborah Taylor-French
    April 21, 2013

    Thanks for this solid resource list for dog lovers to check off before they pull their hair out, due to their trained dog marking or doing no-nos inside.

    Once we moved with our two keeshond dogs. The male dog we raised but was co-owned by his breeder. We moved. Guess which dog, male or female started inside the house?

    • Kevin Myers
      April 21, 2013

      It’s a toss up. I’ve had more problems with females going inside the house, but visiting males have felt the need from time to time.

      We got Tosha from a rescue who took her in after she was taken from a hording situation. She still goes through mini bouts of going inside the house from time to time. Especially if her routine is upset.

  2. Jessica Sala
    April 23, 2013

    We have a visiting female that always does, but I’m so convinced it was poor training!

  3. Amanda
    August 6, 2013

    Thanks for the tips. Any tips on how to re-train them not to do it if it is an environmental trigger?

    Also, you spelled lose wrong. “Loose” is like, my tooth is loose. Lose is like, to lose your keys.

    • Kevin Myers
      August 6, 2013

      Actually, Amanda, I misspelled lose intentionally (hence the [sic] immediately after it as both words can apply in this case.

      When it’s an environmental factor, simply start the training as if you were training them in the first place. When you are home the dog should always be at your side so you can intervene should they start to go inside. If you can’t be in the room observing them then they should be crated or confined to an area where they are least likely to go.

      The more often they get to break the rules the harder it will be to establish the correct habit. Never yell when they have an accident and always praise and reward them for going outside and hopefully they will be back on track very soon.

  4. Nancy
    October 30, 2013

    In the last few months, my 2 year old dog will begin to lick herself and starting peeing. On the couch and my bed. It’s only about once in awhile.
    She is spayed. This has not happened before.

    • Kevin Myers
      October 30, 2013

      Has she been checked out by a vet? Dogs can get UTIs just like we can. There are also other medical reasons that can cause this behavior, so I would suggest a trip to the vet as your first stop.

      Hope this helps.

  5. Jen
    November 4, 2013

    Hi,

    We have recently renovated our bathroom & extended our home. Our house trained 2 year old border collie has now taken to toileting in the new areas if the doors are left open. I can rule out any medical conditions etc as he only does in in the new areas and if the doors are kept closed over night he goes weeks without incident. He doesn’t toilet inside during the day only over night when we are asleep so I’m finding it very difficult to. Manage. If you have any advice I would be very grateful

    Jen

    • Kevin Myers
      November 4, 2013

      Jen,

      I know that this can be a very frustrating problem, but not an uncommon one. First of all I would not rule out a medical condition because he only does it in the new areas. It may be there is a small underlying problem and he feels more comfortable toileting in those areas because he does not consider them part of his home yet. I would use a gate to confine him to a room where he has shown a reluctance to toilet; preferably in the same room with you- if you allow it. If he is having a problem holding things in overnight you will know it and you can address it with your vet as well as letting him out to do his business overnight. His morning bathroom break, especially ones where no accidents happen should be happily celebrated with whatever is highly reinforcing to your dog. In fact all correct toileting habits should be reinforced at this point while denying him access to the new areas unless he is supervised.

      The good thing is that as he becomes more and more accustomed to the new areas of your home he should be less likely to toilet in them and by denying him access to those areas without supervision you are not giving him the chance to reinforce that behavior to the point of a habit.

      I hope this helps and please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.

  6. Evelyn Taylor
    November 29, 2013

    Thank you, I have recently moved into a new house, the dogs dislike the backyard it’s all gravel no grass. Their old house was all grass and flowers. there sleeping habits have changed. I think you hit it all right on the head, I’m armed with vinegar and kind thoughts, we are in for a change. You can never tell when it’s right in front of you what the problem is.

    Thank you,
    Evelyn

  7. Janice Bailey
    January 2, 2014

    We have a lovely Blue Merl Colli who is 2 years old. She was very good at going outside to the toilet,but over the last few months has taken it upon herself to Poo and pee in the living room,not every day this is not like her at all. She has regular exercise as my partner works from home and I take her on long walks which she loves. Should I take her to the vet? She is a very timid dog, hates traffic and fireworks. Do you have any ideas.

    Thanks
    Jan

    • Kevin Myers
      January 4, 2014

      Janice,

      If it were my dog, I would take her to the vet and rule out any underlying medical reasons for this. They may also help with some medication for calming her a bit if she is a fearful dog. I myself have a fearful dog that has urination problems and having her on medication does help somewhat.

      I hope this helps and that everything works out fine.

  8. Mike
    January 5, 2014

    Hi we have a a little mixed terrier rescue dog who’s sometimes a bit nervous (mostly around boisterous dogs) but pretty confident most of the time. She never ate her own food so we changed it recently & at the same time put her bed at the top of the stairs as before she would creep into our bed and disrupt our sleep. Since then I’ve got up to 1 or 2 poos in the lounge which is open plan near the back door. I realise these changes have caused this but I’m taking her out & watching her go just before bedtime it’s still happening. Any advice would be great.

    Thanks, Mike.

    • Kevin Myers
      January 5, 2014

      Mike,

      You mentioned that you changed her food at the same time that you changed her sleeping arrangements, this can certainly cause her to have to go more frequently for a while. If the back door is where she normally exits to go outside then it sounds like she is making an effort to go out to do her business.

      The only things I can think of are that you may need to let her have a middle of the night jaunt and see if she needs to go again. Be sure to keep it a business trip though. No playing or other activities or it could become and expected habit; it’s just a bathroom break.

      Have you taught her a cue to go to the bathroom? With my dogs, I pared the word hurry up with them doing their business to the point that when I use the words “hurry up” with two of them, they will actually try to go even if they don’t have to.

      Another idea may be to kennel train her and confine her when you can’t be sure you will wake up to let her have that early morning break. Hopefully this will sort itself out with just these few things. If not, then you might wan’t rule out any underlying medical problems with a trip to the vets.

      Hope this helps.

  9. Louise
    January 9, 2014

    Hi there
    I am now having problems with my rescue Rottie (he’s about 7 years old). He recently started peeing in the house, but not everyday and at totally different times, there is no pattern whatsoever.
    I have had him to the vets and he has not got a UTI nor diabetes. He had full urine and blood tests and nothing showed up.
    This is a big dog with a lake of pee, any help would be appreciated.
    P.s. I came home today and all of his bedding was just about floating! He had just had a really good 3/4 mile walk before I left.
    Thanks

    • Kevin Myers
      January 11, 2014

      Louise,

      In cases like yours, it can be hard to come up with a specific reason why this is happening without seeing the dog and getting really complete histories. It may help to find a trainer in your area that utilizes positive reinforcement training methods.

      One method you might try if you are home with the dog is to tether the dog to you or in a place where he can be observed. If you think he is showing any interest in peeing then you can dash out with him carrying some really nice treats to reward him with should he have to pee. I would also couple a cue with this behavior (go pee, hurry up, e.g.) so that you can take him out specifically for a pee break.

      The trick here is to train them just as if they were a puppy. If they can’t be directly observed so you can redirect any attempt at peeing indoors to the outdoors, they need to be confined to a small crate or indoor pen where the are extremely unlikely to pee. When you let them out of the crate, you should take them directly outside for a pee break. Give them their cue to pee and if they do, give them praise and reward and let them play a little if you have the time. When you go back inside they can stay out of the crate for a while. If they don’t pee outside, then place them back in the crate for a while and continue doing this until they do pee.

      Good luck,

      Kevin

  10. Deborah Moore
    January 11, 2014

    The only other thing I might mention is if/when your dog has an “”accident” be sure to clean it up with something like Nature’s Miracle that has an enzyme odor eliminator. Even though if may not have any odor your nose can smell, your dog can still smell it if not cleaned with a product specifically for urine/fecal messes. Once your dog smells where he’s gone, it’s a green light to go there again. And again. And again.
    ~Deb

    • Kevin Myers
      January 11, 2014

      Excellent point, Deborah! Getting that accident cleaned up as quickly and as thoroughly as possible is a must, especially with urine.

  11. Sarah Smith
    January 18, 2014

    Hi I have 3 dogs a 5 6 and 2 years old the older ones have been house trained for years the youngest one was just about there maybe the odd accident if left too long during the day recently though he started weeing and pooing in my daughter’s bedroom I live in a flat and have 2 children but its always the same room now in the last week or so the 2
    Older dogs have started to do it even if we are in I haven’t moved recently nor has there diet changed ive had to keep them in the kitchen most the time they are fed and let out regularly I ruled out physical reasons as it’s all of them please any advice would be great

    • Kevin Myers
      January 18, 2014

      Sarah,

      This sounds to me like a case where the odors are not being completely removed and the dogs are choosing to mark and toilet the same area. You need to do a really through cleaning with a biologic agent that breaks down the odors. Also, I would restrict that room so that none of the dogs can go in it for quite some time. The younger one may need to be restricted so that he can be observed when free and re-directed to the proper place should they start to go in the wrong one. The smell in that bedroom is your biggest enemy right now as all the dogs see it as a place to toilet.

      Hope this helps.

  12. Katie Fitzgerald
    January 21, 2014

    We are moving in to a new house this weekend. One of my 2 dogs, Adrienne, is very prone to anxiety in new situations, so I worry about her marking or not communicating when she needs to go out. She has been known to become very nervous and do this when we are in different situations, like at my parents’ house or when friends come over. I’ve read about the Dog Appeasing Pheromone and how it can calm a nervous dog. Do you have any advise for this? Would it be worth it for me to get a Dog Appeasing Pheromone diffuser for the transition into our new house?

    • Kevin Myers
      January 25, 2014

      Katie,

      I myself have never used DAP, but I have heard good things about it from people whose opinions I trust. Why not give it a try and see if it helps?

      Good luck in your new home.

  13. amber
    January 23, 2014

    Hi, my dog is about three yrs old. I woke up dismorning and she had pooped in my bed and peed on my bedroom floor. She. Is now hiding under the bed and won’t come out as if she knew it was wrong. The only thing new in her life is I’ve been dog watching my sisters dog going on two months she hasn’t been able to come get him due to the weather we have been having. She lives 5 hrs away. I just don’t know what to do with her please help

    • Kevin Myers
      January 25, 2014

      Amber,

      Our dogs don’t have guilt and anxiety in the way that people do. They are reacting to our body language (both conscious and unconscious,) verbal patterns, and environmental cues that end up as predictors to trouble. You sister’s dog could very well be a trigger to this new behavior. Accidents will happen but if this behavior starts to become habit, then you need to go back to the beginning. Confine when they can’t be watched or supervised directly. Only give free roam of the house directly after successful toilet breaks outside and then be ready to observe them after a few hours so that you can interrupt any potential accidents so that they can successfully go outside. Reward them for the good behavior of toileting outside. If they do have an accident inside, never punish them. We have to be the ones that take the blame for not confining or watching them while they are having this problem.

      Good luck.

  14. Maria Taylor
    January 24, 2014

    Hi there! Our previously house trained 18 month Springer Spaniel has recently started to poo in the house and we have no idea why? It is in different places and is always cleaned up immediately to eliminate the smell. It happens both when we are in with the dog and sometimes when he is alone. Up until recently he was fully house trained and has had no change in diet or routine so we are pretty mystified. Why would he do this and how should you act when you find one of his little accidents – shout/ignore and how can we help him? Any help gratefully received! The Taylor Family

    • Kevin Myers
      January 25, 2014

      Maria,

      Sometimes, it’s very difficult to figure out why these things are happening. If it were me, I would start his training all over again. He needs to be confined when you are not able to directly supervise him and when you do have him out you need to be alert so that you can interrupt any attempt to toilet and take him outside so he can do his business in the right place. Never, yell or shout at your dog after the fact. They have no idea what you are yelling about. You should only let him have run of the house right after he has successfully toileted outside. After a few hours, you need to either be able to watch him or confine him so an accident doesn’t occur. If after a while, this does not seem to be helping, you may want to consult a behaviorist in your area that might be able to narrow down the reasons and triggers for his behavior.

      Hope this helps.

  15. karen
    January 26, 2014

    Hi: My English Setter is now 15 months old & he has been perfectly house trained since he was 4 months old. We could leave him alone in the house & he would not pee or poop & he would not chew anything. A little joy!! But, for the past couple of days he has been peeing in the house!! He was just breed in this past week with a female Setter that was brought to our property & then she was carried back home!! I’m thinking this is the reason!! What can be done? Every time he goes outside now, he is smelling around for her!! Thanks!!

    • Kevin Myers
      January 26, 2014

      Karen,

      An intact male can definitely have a propensity to mark in the house, especially after his first coupling. This is something many people with breeding males have to deal with. You have to be extra careful to make sure that all accidents are cleaned up indoors and the smells removed as completely as possible. In addition the presence of other smells he doesn’t like may cause him to mark. The only thing I can offer you is to make sure that he is supervised if he is inside the house so you can interrupt and redirect his behavior to the outdoors. Hopefully he’s behavior will only be temporary but if you are going to continue breeding him, this could be an ongoing problem.

      Good luck.

  16. Merrett
    January 29, 2014

    Hi, I have a 10 month old Aussie/blue heeler mix who is spayed. She has been house trained since she was about 3 months old. Once she could make it through the night in her large kennel with no accidents, we decided to move her bed(large dog pillow) into our bedroom and she slept through the night no problem. She is fed in the morning and about 5/6 pm, and I take her outside in the morning, numerous times throughout the day and before I lay down for bed.
    After 4 1/2 months of no accidents, while we were sleeping, she pooped in our bedroom floor. The horrible smell woke me up in the middle of the night and I was so irritated because she has never done this, I’m not sure what to do. Any advice?

    • Kevin Myers
      January 30, 2014

      Merrett,

      Our dogs can have accidents from time to time that really portend nothing more than an upset tummy. We have to be willing to accept the fact that accidents do and will happen. If it starts becoming a habit, then we need to look into medical reasons and perhaps place her back in the crate again for some retraining on good toileting habits.

      Hopefully you will awake to this no more.

  17. nicole
    February 4, 2014

    I have a 3year old female lab. For the last month she has been pooping in the living room when everyone is asleep we have had no change in environment and she has been on the same food for about 3months now…her poop is solid so feel as though she can hold it she sometimes pees too… I have also noticed her licking herself a lot lately too..we had her anal glands suppressed a year ago but that was because her poop was so soft now that her poop is solid I don’t think it needs to be done again…I don’t know I just need some advice thanks

    • Kevin Myers
      February 4, 2014

      Nicole,

      A few things I would look into here. First, some dogs need their anal sacs expressed more than once a year. If possible I would schedule a visit with your vet to rule out any medical condition. Second, I would make sure that the room she is choosing to toilet in is completely cleaned as thoroughly as possible to remove and vestiges of odors that remind her that this is the place to pee and poo. And finally, I would confine her to a crate or a small pen during the night time hours so that she doesn’t have the chance to practice her new toileting habits. If you get up in the middle of the night, then let her out for a strict business trip. If she goes then great, you should be able to leave her out of the pen or crate when you come back. If she does not, then it’s back into the enclosure until morning.

      Hope this helps.

  18. nicole
    February 4, 2014

    I ment expressed not suppressed

  19. Emma
    February 18, 2014

    Hi there,
    My 6yr old bischon-shitszu has recently taken to poopoing in the house. It started only at night but now will go if we are gone as well. Only ever in the same in the living room. Because of this we sleep with the bedroom door closed, and no accidents. But if we get up throughout the night and leave the door open… He goes into the living room, poops and returns to bed!! During the day we’ve taken to putting him the spare room (its lino flooring) and on occasion he still goes in there! He’s fed at the same time every day, let out before we leave for work, several times throughout the evening plus walks, and always before bed! He’s been to the vet and Jo medical concerns, so I don’t understand :( Its been explained to me if this doesn’t stop (we’ve been battling this for seversl months now) we will have to get rid of him, any suggestions would be great!

    • Kevin Myers
      February 19, 2014

      Emma,

      If someone is telling you that the dog will have to be given up then I would try and find a good behaviorist or trainer in your area. You can e-mail me off list with your city and state and I will see if I can recommend someone for you. My initial thought is that area may not have been cleaned well enough to get rid of all the smell and he still things of it as a place to toilet. This might be one of those situations where you have to observe him and give him the opportunity to go in the wrong place but be ready to intervene in a second. Redirecting him outdoors and praising and rewarding him like crazy when he goes in the right place. As I mentioned, I will see if I can locate a good trainer for you if you email me your info. Just use the contact form here on the website.

      Kevin

  20. Ivor Kennedy
    February 25, 2014

    I have a Shia Tsu/ Bijon cross bitch who is 6 years old. Recently she has started to poo and pee at night in the house.
    Her last feed is at 5.30pm and I take her for last walk at 10.pm.
    There have been no other changes to her way of life, yet I cannot understand why she poos and pees.
    Has anyone got any suggestions?

    Ivor

  21. tina brown
    March 14, 2014

    My 1 year old dog is potty trained & goes outside. He is kept in our breakfast room/kitchen area most of the day with gates up. He never pees or poos in this area. However, if we “free” him and allow him to roam around the house, he sneaks off and uses the bathroom. We rarely catch him so we can’t correct it. My question is: does he go to the bathroom throughout the house because he considers the breakfast room/kitchen area his “den” & is marking his territory elsewhere? And, are we better off just letting him be “free” all day, and the problem will then correct itself?
    Thank you !

    • Kevin Myers
      March 17, 2014

      Tina,

      That does sound like a possibility, but it is one I think can be solved. Once you release him from “his” area, immediately take him outside and encourage him to do his business. If he does his business outside, the give him a great reward (food wise) with lots of celebration and praise. If he does not do his business then when you bring him back in the house and either watch him to the point that he can’t have an accident without your being able to redirect him outdoors, or, place him back in his area and try letting him out again in 30 minutes or so. Keep repeating this until you are successful at getting him to go outside. Only let him roam the house right after a successful session.

      The crux of house training is confinement or observation until you have the trained the proper toileting behavior.

      Hope this helps.

  22. Ronetta
    March 24, 2014

    I have two dogs that have been house trained for years,suddenly the female started pee in house I took her to vet she did have UTI I treated that but in the meantime the male started peeing in the house! they both just seem to think my home is the great out doors,I can not continue this! will I be able to get them back on track or is it a lost cause? I did change dog food and a new dog moved in next door …also when I let them out she goes to pee and he almost pees on her as he is a sharpie lab mix and she is puggle

    • Kevin Myers
      March 26, 2014

      Ronetta,

      I would not give up hope. I know that these problems can be frustrating; I myself have a couple of dogs that have incontinence problems. It sound to me like the male may be marking over where the female previously peed? You really need to use a good cleaning product that has enzymes that can break down the odor of previous pee stains because dogs can smell so much better than we. (Not trying to be funny there, but we is proper grammar:-) As for the one dog peeing on the other that is nothing new under the sun either. I have two dogs that wait in line to pee over top of one of my females when she pees. Sometimes they get a little trigger happy and if I can catch it, I use the leave it or wait command and that works just fine.

      The best thing to do is treat them as if they were puppies again. If you can’t directly supervise them, confine them in an area where they are less likely to have an accident and where having an accident doesn’t ruin your couch or your bed. When you come back to check on them, if they’ve had an accident, clean it up immediately and ignore it. If they haven’t take them outside so that they can eliminate properly and give them a really great treat and lots of praise. Not giving them a chance to have meaningful accidents and setting them up for success is key to getting them back on track.

      Kevin

  23. Shelby
    March 26, 2014

    Hi,
    I have two house trained dogs, one is 6 this year, and one is 3 this year.
    Ever since I brought the younger one home, the older peed everywhere (marking territory right?)
    We decided to install a dog flap so they could go out when they wanted which worked.

    But, a few months ago, I brought a new cat home, and both dogs are peeing everywhere, on our beds, on the sofa, the curtains, on anything left on the floor such as blankets and plastic bags. Oh we have given up on giving them dog beds after forking out 60 pounds on two soft plush dog beds only to have them pee all over them.

    Reading the stories on here, crating comes up. However my older dog refuses to be crated. He cries and fights to get out. One time his paws were bleeding after trying so hard to get out, so that’s not really an option.

    Should I just lock them in the kitchen while I am out so they have just the kitchen, with nothing on the floor and then the back door with the dog flap.

    Help would be AMAZING because my parents are frustrated and are talking about getting rid of the dogs.

    Thanks

    • Kevin Myers
      March 26, 2014

      Shelby,

      Often, when routines change then we have to start all over again from ground zero when it comes to house training our dogs. You need to treat them as if they are puppies and supervise or manage their every moment so they don’t get the chance to make a mistake. Management is an essential part of this process so locking them in the kitchen when they can’t be directly supervised is a good idea. Once you come back, immediately check the kitchen out and if no accidents are present, grab a super yummy treat that they like and take them outside. If they go outside, praise them lavishly and give them the super yummy reward.

      As for crate training, it takes time and patience to get them used to the crate. Start by just setting their food bowl as close to the crate as you can get it and still have them eat. Each day creep it a little closer into the crate. The first times they are in the crate eating, don’t close the door. Then gradually close the door bit by bit until that doesn’t bother them. Then you can latch the door. Just make it so that you don’t push it so far that the dog starts balking at the crate. Step by step and inch by inch.

      I hope this helps and let us know if there is anything else we can do.

  24. Amber
    May 6, 2014

    Our 2 yr old dog recently starting going pee and poo in the house. It seems like a cross between anxiety, jealousy (she goes even if she has just been out if we go the shared-wall neighbors without her or to work in the un-fenced yard or garage) and an inconsistent routine that is hard to manage. I work 3 12 hr days so just when she gets used to me being home I’m gone again for long periods. My husband comes home before me so she isn’t kept without a bathroom for more than 8 hrs, I think it is actually the days that I am home that throw her off. We also had renters in the house for a year and they had a puppy so I think she can smell where the pup went now that it is warm and humid for the first time since we moved in. She definitely goes on the only carpet in the house, where we found stains when we moved back, and a place where I believe they set out pee-pads (my frustrations about these things are plentiful but meant for a different forum!)

    So it is a perfect storm. The big problem we have is that she ONLY goes inside when we are gone. I’ve started giving her treats for going outside etc. but then we will leave and she makes messes. I will start crating her again, hate to, though she likes her crate. It just seems bad for her energy usage to be cooped up all day. I guess my question is: Will I need to crate her long term or is a month or two refresher likely to do the trick?

  25. Ivor Kennedy
    May 10, 2014

    Hi

    My Shia-Tzu/Bijon cross has been peeing and pooing in our conservatory for about a year.
    She is 6 years old and has been spayed. we only recently changed her food because the vet told us it was better for her. However, she now will only eat one bowl a day of the new food instead of two and still does her business at night. I have always taken her out for the last walk about 10.15-10.30pm.
    She has been checked by the vet for infections and this has come back as negative so my wife and I are at a loss as to why she still poos and pees in the night.

    Can you please suggest anything that will help. Many thanks.

  26. Rg
    May 11, 2014

    Hello.

    My dog is 6 months. Recently we moved from one country to another and brought our dog with us. We are in a new house. And since it is a new country I expected the dog to be uneasy getting used to new places, smells, things, people. He’s been going in the house. I find sometimes he’s nervous and holds it in until he can’t anymore and goes in the house. He’s been anxious and nervous since the move. Is there anything I can do to make him more comfortable and relaxed?

  27. Erica
    May 13, 2014

    Must be a Shitzu thing. Our 3 year old male has been using our bathroom for. He gets let out at night but I will be making some changes. No food after 6, several more times out & back to crating…grrr

  28. Emily
    May 18, 2014

    My 3 year old Papillon was pity trained Erin a week of getting her at 9 weeks, and has been super good ever since until recently. She has a strong cue for both potty and poop and will usually go on command, but lately she’s been having trouble. She was sick a couple weeks ago, had bad diarrhea from some bad canned food. Being that she’s long haired, diarrhea requires cleaning her off after she’s pooped which she dislikes. Now she acts reluctant to poop with me watching, and even though I know her schedule and that she should have to go, she won’t go right before bedtime even with a walk. She’s now waiting until I fall asleep and pooping on the bedroom rug. I try not to get mad at her but I know she can tell I’m frustrated because now she hides under the bed after. I’ve never yelled at her or anything for it because I know it doesn’t help but how do I get her back on track to going on command?

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

Back to top
mobile desktop