Why is My Dog Peeing in the House? (Vet Tips)

Question: Why does my domestic dog still urinate in my house?

I have a 5 and a half month old Cavoodle. We trained her in a cage for the first few months. Then we put a paddock fence around his crate but gave him access to the dog door to get out. She learned how to clean herself well. We got to the point where we could make his enclosure bigger and bigger with minimal accidents. Finally, we had no accidents. We removed the enclosure and she was allowed into the house, but only when she was under supervision. About a month passed without any accidents. Our office and bedroom are the only rooms with carpet. She then randomly peed in the office. We considered it an accident. But two days later, she peed in the room. Why does she continue to see the office as a place to go to the bathroom?


To respond:

Dear Christopher,

Thank you very much for submitting your question! Puppy toilet training is probably one of the most frustrating endeavors for a pet owner. It looks like you’re doing all the right things: cage training, slow transitions, and constant supervision. I wanted to go over some behavioral and medical causes for puppies urinating in the house, and I’m going to offer some suggestions on what to do next.

Why do puppies have accidents at home?

1. Urinary tract infections and other medical reasons

If a puppy has done well with potty training and suddenly starts having accidents in the house, I first consider the medical reasons why a puppy would have difficulty potty training. cleanliness. Urinary tract infections can cause accidents in puppies and may be more common in female puppies.

2. Incomplete potty training

If your puppy still has accidents around the house, it’s possible that he hasn’t been fully potty trained yet. Potty training can take 4-6 months and sometimes even longer for small breed dogs like Cavoodles. Potty training is complete when your pup knows exactly where he can and can’t go potty. I think in your case, your pup probably doesn’t know that the carpet is not an acceptable place to pee and just assumes that any place outside of his enclosure is acceptable. Carpet’s substrate is different from other floor coverings she’s used to, so she probably hasn’t fully understood that carpet is not an acceptable place to pee.

3. Too much freedom too soon

If you give your puppy too much freedom too soon, he might start having accidents. Constant supervision is especially important during transition times to ensure your pup doesn’t have any accidents.

Solutions to Puppy Potty Training Problems

1. Visit your veterinarian

First, I would suggest consulting your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical causes for potty training regression. They may check a urine sample to make sure your puppy has no urinary tract infection.

2. Containment and constant surveillance

Confine your puppy to a crate or small playpen for now. When your puppy is not in its confined area, watch it carefully. You may be able to detect subtle signs that she is about to have an accident. If you notice these signs, you can get her out to the bathroom before she has an accident.

3. Get out on a leash frequently and reward yourself

Take your puppy out on a leash every 30 minutes to 1 hour. By taking puppies outside on a leash, they will quickly understand where it is okay to pee. Give your puppy a treat every time he goes to pee in the right place, which will reinforce that good behavior.

4. Clean up accidents well

Be sure to clean up any accidents thoroughly. You might want to consider using a enzymatic cleaner so your pup can’t smell where the accident happened. This will make it less likely that they will have an accident in the same place.

5. Avoid punishment and be patient

It’s best to use positive rewards instead of negative punishments when potty training a puppy. Scolding can just scare your pup and increase the risk of him having accidents because he’s anxious. Potty training takes patience and sometimes you can have a setback. If you experience a setback, I always recommend going back to basics and slowly working your way back up over a few weeks.

Some Final Thoughts

Puppy potty training can be extremely frustrating and is usually filled with many setbacks along the way. Most of the time, these setbacks are caused by too much freedom too soon or incomplete potty training, which forces you to go back to the basics for a few weeks. Sometimes potty training problems can be caused by a medical problem such as a urinary tract infection. I would recommend seeing your vet if this seems like a persistent problem as they will be able to rule out medical issues and give you further recommendations on how to help your pup.

Good luck with your sweet Cavoodle, and thanks again for submitting your question!


Addie Reinhard, DVM

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