Miscellaneous problems with house training

Miscellaneous Problems With Housetraining


Some problems that appear to be associated with housetraining are instead rooted in some other type of behavior problem. You need to know how to deal differently with the following two problems.

My dog wets the floor every time I come home at night!

This is called excitement urination. That means that when your dog is too excited he wets the floor. This is not a housetraining problem. It is a confidence problem. Some breeds are more prone to this type of problem than others. Do not punish your dog for this; it will only make it worse.

Most young dogs will grow out of this behavior provided you work on actively socializing your dog so he gains confidence. If you know what kinds of situations incite this behavior in your dog, the best thing to do is to try to avoid them or keep them very low-keyed. If Fido only wets when you come home at night (excitement) then try ignoring him for fifteen minutes when you first get home so he learns to calm down before you greet him. When you are ready to greet Fido, do it where it can be cleaned up easily such as on the kitchen floor or outside.

Sometimes he wets the floor when I yell at him too

This is called SUBMISSIVE WETTING, or he becomes so frightened that he wets the floor. Try keeping your voice lower and softer. Or better yet, you, the owner, should learn proper training techniques so Fido does not become frightened of you.

If Fido is very fearful of other dogs or certain situations, then try using a very happy voice in those fearful situations and actively work on socializing him to those situations.

My dog pees on anything new that comes into the house, and when I try to walk him we never get very far since he is busy peeing on every bush!

This is called LEG LIFTING OR MARKING TERRITORY. This is an instinctive, normal doggie behavior in the wild, but leg lifting in your house is an attitude problem! Leg lifting is most common among un-uttered males, over the age of seven months, or in the males who were neutered late in life. It literally means that Fido lifts his leg, pees, and usually it is directed onto something (it is not uncommon for very dominant males to urinate on their owner’s leg!). The amount of urine is usually quite small in comparison to the real urge to eliminate. It is an act of dominance because urinating on things in the dog kingdom means, "this is mine." Some dogs have an exaggerated ego and believe everything in the house, and down the street, are theirs too!

To remedy this situation, first have your dog neutered. That will reduce the urge to mark by about 50%. Secondly, you need to treat him like he is unhousebroken, in the sense that you need to supervise him closely!

In correcting leg lifting, you do want to be very stern when you catch him in the act! It is most helpful to keep a leash on Fido, even in the house, until you get this behavior under control. When he tries to urinated uninvited, pop the leash firmly while you tell him "OFF". Do not feel badly that you seem to be correcting a natural urge; remember he did not have to "go" in the strict sense of the word, he just felt like putting his mark on something or someone! He has a bad attitude and needs to be corrected about whose territory this is!

Your dog should not be walking down the street, peeing at every other step on your neighbor’s bushes. Besides being most rude to your neighbor’s landscaping, your dog is exhibiting dominant behavior. That needs to stop. Simply pop the leash and tell your dog "Lets’ go!" every time he tries to urinate uninvited. Please give him an opportunity to relieve himself at the beginning of your walk, but only when you tell him his elimination command. From then on the water works must be shut off for the duration of your walk.