How can I stop my dog from urinating in the house?
After over twenty years cleaning people’s carpets and Floors have been asked this question hundreds of times.
What people really mean is how can I magically stop my dog from peeing on my carpet with no work at all. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is no magic formula to teach your dog that your home is not it’s personal toilet. However, it’s not a lost cause it is possible to teach your dog that there is a proper place to relieve itself. I have to warn you however this typically is not an easy task it’s going to take some time and much effort on your part. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort then you can succeed in teaching your dog where it should go when it needs to answer Nature’s call.
First of all, let’s cover why it is that your dog is going inside rather than outside. This may not be an easy question to answer, there could be many answers that are correct. Let’s cover some obvious ones first.
Can your dog get outside on its own?
Trust me I understand we don’t always want to cut a hole in our door so our dog can get outside on his own. However, it’s going to be a problem if your dog can’t get outside when it needs to go. Just think about if you couldn’t use the bathroom unless someone came and unlocked the door for you and then left you alone to go Shopping. What would you do if you needed to go you can only wait so long and then you’re going to have to find a place to do your business. That’s effectively the same situation that we put our dogs in when we don’t give them a way to get outside on their own.
So we come back from shopping and noticed that the dog has gone on the carpet then, of course, we’re upset and we try to punish the dog. For what? for needing to go to the bathroom. So this is a first step your dog has to be able to get out on its own without your help or any training will only be partially effective.
Now back to the ugly hole cut in your door. That doesn’t have to be the case you have other options. There are many ways to install a dog door, in fact, it doesn’t even need to go in a door, of course, that’s a logical place to put it but not everybody wants to put a hole in any of their doors. So let’s take a look at a couple of other options. One simple one is if you have a sliding glass door you can get a dog door that fits and locks to the existing sliding glass door. Another option is to have the door actually installed into a wall. this can be done yourself if you’re fairly handy or any handyman would be able to do this type of job. Plus not only are they functional they look very nice when done properly.
There can be drawbacks to having a dog door of course. One of the complaints that I’ve received over the years is other animals such as cats, raccoons, possums, etc. can get into my home. Now if that’s one of your concerns you can still do this type of door. Take a look at this door it is a powered door that will only open for your particular pet. Your dog will wear a collar with a sensor on it and when it comes close to the door the door will automatically open and then close after it is in the house again not allowing any other animals to enter your home. Pretty cool right. They also have one for sliding glass doors too.
Another drawback that a dog door can have is of course security especially if you have a larger dog door. If this is your case for you may consider having your dog door allow your dog into the garage area when you are not home and setting up a small section of synthetic grass that they may use instead of the backyard. That way there’s no large door that a thief could crawl through to access your home. By the way, this is also a good solution for a dog that doesn’t like to go outside when it’s cold or rainy.
Have you attempted to train your dog to go outside?
What is the tried-and-true method for training your dog not to pee on the carpet? We have all heard it, you take your dog make it smell the spot spank it and then throw it outside. I think we all understand that this never has really worked to train a dog. Let’s put yourself in the dog shoes. Your owner goes to the store and you have to go to the bathroom. You can’t get outside so you hold it as long as you can and when you can hold it no longer you go ahead and go in the dining room. Now your owner comes home you’re happy to see him only he’s not happy to see you. Instead, he yells at you shoves your face into the carpet yells at you some more and then throws you outside. What was that all about? All this type of training does is instill a sense of fear in your dog when you get home. So please let’s all agree not to do it anymore.
Does your dog sleep in a crate?
This is a sore subject for about half the people that I’ve spoken to about this method. Many people don’t want to Crate their dog. Trust me I understand our dogs become like our children and I’m not going to crate my child. However, there is one large distinction. Dogs aren’t people. I’m not saying that dogs aren’t amazing and that they don’t have emotion or feelings that is not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that a dog no matter how much we love them a dod is still a dog. And being a dog Should be treated like a dog. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, what I mean is how and where does a wolf in the wild make its home. Now I know our dogs are far from wolves, but they still have many of the same traits and features and emotional needs as there wolf ancestors.
So pick your favorite wild dog it could be the dingoes of Australia, coyotes, wolves, or even the wild dogs of Africa. Where do these animals make their homes? The correct answer is a den. Now we all know what a Den looks like it’s a small hole in the ground. From the time these dogs are born till the day they die they sleep in small cramped holes in the dirt. I Haven’t heard anybody expressed outrage about the cramped living conditions of wild dogs.
so why do wild dogs sleep in such cramped conditions? One simple reason they feel safe in their small enclosed space. Predators can’t sneak up on them. They can sleep soundly because they know that their den is safe and they don’t need to worry about predators or even other dogs.
So when you have your dog sleep in a crate it’s not cruel or unkind it is, in fact, it is normal and will give them a sense of security. Now I know that a dog will feel plenty secure sleeping in your bed with you if that’s all it has ever known. And yes it is in fact also normal behavior because dogs sleep in groups together with other dogs.
This may very well be the part of the training that you are not willing to do and if that’s the case you can still use this method. However, you need to know that many times a dog goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night if it is free to do so. So if your dog sleeps in your bed with you or on the floor next to you just know that he may get up in the middle of the night and go to the bathroom. This won’t be a huge problem if your dog is already potty trained. However, if your dog is in the middle of this process it can be a problem because your dog is free to roam the house and go wherever he likes. If this is the case I will give you some tips on how to avoid some pitfalls if your dog doesn’t sleep in a crate.
So as we covered the one thing that is imperative before we start training is that we have a dog door or some sort of access to the outside when you’re not available. Once that is in place we can start training or dog to use the appropriate place to relieve itself. To use this method that I’m going to teach, you will need to get a few items.
- A six-foot dog leash.
- A supply of your dog’s favorite treat.
- A good dog crate. (and your dog’s favorite toys)
- A good supply of your time.
Okay, here we go time to train your dog not to pee on your carpet.
First of all, I don’t want you to get your hopes up that this is going to be a quick fix it is not. This is going to take some time typically one to two weeks of time. Now when I say 2 weeks I don’t mean an hour here an hour there for one to two weeks I mean if you are home with your dog you are training 100% of the time for 1 to 2 weeks. It’s not going to be horrible grueling work or anything like that but you will be working with your dog all of the time.
the first step of this process is to leash your dog to you. This is just what it sounds like take your leash wrap it around your belt loop on your pants or hold the leash whatever you need to do take the other end and clip it to your dog’s collar. Now get used to this because this is your life for the next two weeks. Your dog must be by your side unable to leave till the training process is finished. You may be asking or thinking I can’t do that how am I supposed to do what I need to do if my dog’s attached to my hip. Trust me you’ll get used to it it’s not that bad if you’re sitting eating lunch your dog is typically by you anyway if you’re sitting on the couch watching TV your dog’s by you anyway if you’re washing the dishes your dogs laying behind you anyway. Your dog wants to be by your side already all this does is keep him from leaving your side when he needs to go to the bathroom.
the second step is to take your dog outside about every 20 minutes longer for larger dogs. Then let them off the leash to use the bathroom. After they do you pet them and give them a treat. Now, of course, they’re not going to go to the bathroom every time you take them out if they don’t go they don’t get a treat and they don’t get any extra attention. before long they will start to associate the outside as the bathroom. If this is a puppy that you’re dealing with this process will go pretty quickly. However, if this is an older dog that has a habit of going in the house then this is going to take some time. this is because your dog associates a part of your house with going to the bathroom. During this process, your dog will be learning that the bathroom is exclusively outside. Also if you are training a small dog such as a Chihuahua or Shih Tzu you will probably have a more difficult time with training. Small dogs usually take a little more time so you will need to be patient.
This is the part of the process that most people fail to finish. They will do it for a couple days and then start to slack off, if you’re not going to finish this process it’s not going to work and your dog will continue to go to the bathroom in your home. so just keep at it don’t give up.
the key to this process is repetition and reward every time your dog goes to the bathroom outside he gets attention and a treat. Now if your dog does happen to get away from you and go in the house it gets nothing no punishment no being yelled at no attention whatsoever. So remember every 20 minutes longer for a large dog you take them outside to give them a chance to go to the bathroom. And if they do attention and reward every time.
Now when you’re not home the dog must either be outside, in the garage where you set up a place for them to go, or in their crate. Now for those of you that aren’t going to use a crate, this is going to be a little different. If it’s too hot or too cold to keep your dog outside or if your neighbors just won’t stand for the barking. Then you were going to have to find a place for the dog to be contained inside your home. Now, this area of your home needs to be small it can’t be a large room it has to be little. A small bathroom or laundry room will suffice for this purpose. it needs to be little because typically a dog doesn’t like to go to the bathroom where it sleeps. So if the area is small it’s less likely to use it as a bathroom if you put its bed in there with it. Another option is to set up a small collapsible cage in the area directly connected to your dog door. That way if your dog needs to relieve itself it has the ability to go in and out as it needs to. You can also use these collapsable cages to set up a confined space anywhere in your home. Whatever you do you cannot let your dog roam free in your home when you are not there especially before they are trained. The purpose of this training is to break any bad habits and train in New good habits. So any time that the dog is allowed to reinforce its bad habits is going to lengthen the time that the training will take to finish.
If you have left your dog alone for any length of time as soon as you return to the home you must immediately take your dog outside to relieve themselves. Don’t wait to do this they’re excited just to have you home it’s a great time to reinforce good behavior. Most dogs use the house for their bathroom when you’re away so if they’re unable to do that now, and you Are reinforcing the good behavior after you get home they are going to want the attention from the good behavior and as a result, the bad behavior will tend to fade away.
As you get farther into this process you may notice that your dog will start to let you know when he wants to go outside. However, some dogs are pretty smart and they will try to get you to go outside all the time. Don’t be fooled keep your schedule 20 minutes longer for big dogs. Also, your regular schedule is not going to change you’re still going to take them for walks take him to the park and do the all the things that you normally would do with your dog. The only thing that changes is when you are at home they’re attached to you and are unable to use your home and your carpet for their bathroom.
Now night time, If you’re choosing to use the crate, it is fairly easy they go in their crate when you go to bed. They sleep when you sleep, they get up when you get up. As soon as you’re up take them outside to the bathroom reward and reinforce.
Now for those of you that have decided not to use the crate you must keep them where they sleep the whole night. Whether that’s on the bed with you or on their bed on the floor wherever they sleep that’s where they have to stay through the night. You can accomplish this in many ways a simple 3-foot leash is sufficient in most cases. Otherwise, use anything you need to to keep them on their bed or in your bed.
After the one to two weeks is over it’s time to start testing them. You will need to start removing them from their leash when you are in areas of the home where you can see them at all times. If the training has taken effect they will go outside as soon as they need to use the bathroom. Your job now will be to follow them and reward and reinforce any good behavior. During this transitional phase, you will still need to use the leash in certain places and at certain times. If you’re in an area of your home that is not easy to keep your dog in view at all times you may want to use the leash to keep them close to you during this phase of training. This time will be different for different dogs some dogs that have reacted very well will be completely trained after this time. While other dogs will take some close supervision afterward, to reinforce that they must not go in the house. If you are one of those who aren’t using a crate you will need to continue keeping them on their bed at night indefinitely.
Now after this training is complete only you can judge when your dog is truly finished you’ll still need to watch them and be careful. However, if you put in the time and the effort you can be successful and stop your dog from peeing on the carpet.
A word on crate training your dog.
Crate training your dog does not have to be difficult the trick is to make your dog love his crate. Most dogs have something they really love whether it’s a blanket a frisbee a bed a toy and of course treats. Whatever your dog loves should be in and around the crate. You should put it in an area that it already is typically sleeping. Now what you want to do is sit down by the crate for some low key time with you. You don’t want to do this when your dog is amped up you want to make sure that your dog is calm and relaxed before introducing the crate. A good time maybe after a long walk or after a period of play
Once the dog is used to the crate being there it’s now time to introduce them to the idea of getting into the crate. It may be a good idea during this time to tie the door open to the crate so it doesn’t move or shut and scare your dog. First, put something in the crate that you know your dog loves this could be anything from a toy to a blanket it sleeps with.next you can use treats to get them into the crate. Just put a few of the treats in the crate and let your dog eat them and of course reward them for going in the crate just a soft pet is all that’s necessary here you don’t want to get the dog all excited. Now in order get your dog to stay in the crate try giving it a bone that it likes or a chew toy with a hollow in it for a bit of food. Once they have the chew toy or bone gently close the door and let them stay in the crate for a period of time. This first length of time doesn’t need to be long a few minutes is sufficient and then calmly let your dog back out. Make sure you don’t make too big a deal when your dog comes out of the crate you don’t want to reward the dog when it comes out because then it will associate coming out with the reward. The reward should always come with going into the crate.
Now some dogs are going to make a holy Ruckus when they get shut up in the crate during this training phase. I’m sorry to tell you but there is no easy way to deal with this I suggest earplugs. Also, don’t fall into the Trap of your dog telling you when he wants out of the crate otherwise you will be at his beck and call whenever he wants to come out. It’s best to set a time that your dog will be in the crate and stick to that time when the time’s up it’s time to come out. that’s it slowly build up the time limits that they can comfortably stay in the crate and over time it will become his safe place its den. Another thing make sure you leave the door open to the crate that way they can use it anytime they want to. One more thing if you’re dealing with a new puppy make sure that the time limits are shorter and there are more potty breaks you don’t want the puppy to have to go potty in the crate.
okay well that’s it I know it’s a lot to take in and a lot to deal with but if you’re going to stop your dog from urinating in your house you’re going to have to put in the work.
Now since we dealt with how to train your dog not to pee on the carpet I’m assuming that you already have some spots to deal with. Either from before the training started or during the training phase. In that case, you want to read this article dealing with the cleaning of current dog or pet spots.
thank you for reading this article I hope that it was helpful have a great day