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What is Urinating on the Couch?

It can be frustrating when your dog is urinating on your couch and you may wonder why they are exhibiting this behavior. Your dog can easily ruin your furniture by urinating on it. If your dog is not fully house-trained, they may urinate on your couch simply because they do not know better. If your dog is fully house-trained and just started urinating on your couch, you should assess your dog’s environment and determine what changes may have triggered it or if your dog is suffering from a medical condition. 

Potential causes of your dog urinating on your couch include:

  • Disease
  • Territorial marking
  • Incontinence
  • Submissive behavior or anxiety
  • Other dogs

Why Urinating on the Couch Occurs in Dogs

Disease

Your dog may be suffering from a medical condition such as bladder infection or urinary tract infection, diabetes, or even internal parasites. If your dog is fully house-trained and they are urinating on your couch, monitor their behavior. Watch for excessive thirst which can indicate that a health problem is present. 

Territorial Marking

A dominant dog may urinate on your couch as a way of asserting themselves. When they urinate on your couch, they are marking their territory and will continue to do so as long as they feel that their territory is threatened. Many people believe that spaying or neutering your dog will stop the behavior of territorial marking, however, this is not always the case. You will need to assert your dominance over your dog to keep them from trying to mark their territory. 

Incontinence

Especially as your dog ages, they may begin suffering from incontinence. This is when they do not have the ability to control their urine and will urinate involuntarily. Incontinence will usually occur when your dog is relaxed, usually during sleep. Your veterinarian will be able to diagnose incontinence in your dog.

Submissive Behavior or Anxiety

Some dogs that suffer from submissive behavior will urinate on your couch when you enter the room or stand over them. Submissive dogs can be trained to not urinate indoors, but dogs that have been through traumatic experiences may not be able to be retrained to not urinate submissively. These dogs should not be allowed on the furniture. Dogs that suffer from separation anxiety may urinate on the couch because they are stressed by your leaving the home. 

Other Dogs

Sometimes when you introduce a new dog into your home, an established dog will regress in their house-training. Jealousy can also be a motivating factor for urinating on your couch. Dogs that are used to being the only dog may become increasingly jealous of a new dog and will act out by urinating on your couch.

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What to do if your Dog is Urinating on the Couch

Your dog may be suffering from a bladder infection, urinary tract infection or even diabetes. If you suspect your dog is ill, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will perform diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause of your dog’s problem. Once the diagnosis has been determined, your veterinarian will discuss possible treatment plans with you. Medications are generally prescribed and possible dietary changes may be recommended. Dogs suffering from incontinence may have a bacterial infection causing them to leak urine. Antibiotics will be prescribed if your dog has a bacterial infection. 

Dogs that are having behavioral issues such as territorial marking, submissive behavior, anxiety or other dogs in the home may need the help of a professional dog trainer or even a dog behaviorist. Urinating on the couch is very frustrating, especially when your dog is acting out or trying to get your attention. Retraining your dog will most likely be required to stop the behavior.

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Prevention of Urinating on the Couch

Simply not allowing your dog on your couch will stop them from urinating on your couch. Proper training will also keep your dog from urinating on the furniture. When you bring a new dog or puppy into your home be sure to give your established dog as much attention as the new dog. This will help your established dog to understand that their position in the home is not being threatened. 

Submissive dogs or dogs that are territorial should be worked with to minimize their behavior. Generally, these dogs will benefit from a structured learning environment with a professional trainer.

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Cost of Urinating on the Couch

Medical conditions such as bladder infections and urinary tract infections can cost between $300 and $1000 depending on the severity of the infection. Bacterial infections can also cost about the same. Dogs that have diabetes will need to have continual care but the initial diagnosis will cost about $800 to $1200.

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Urinating on the Couch Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Yorkie poodle

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Painful Urination

My dog when left alone sometimes will pee on the couch especially if there is a blanket on the couch or pillow. What is the reason for this. Also for the medications option I just clicked one because She’s not really on any meds. Also she doesn’t have any symptoms of anything so I also just clicked one for that too lol

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is possible that your dog has a urinary tract infection that is causing her to urinate where she shouldn't, or she may just not be fully housebroken and she may prefer to urinate on your couch or on a blanket. One way that you can help this is to kennel train her so that she is in a large kennel while you are gone. That way she can't pee on the couch. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 6, 2020

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Snookie

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Chihuahua

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4 Years

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Mild severity

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Anxiety
Urinating On Furniture

My 4 year old chihuahua mix both peed and puked in our bed about 2 months ago. We cleaned it up and we no longer allow her in the bedrooms if we are not in there. She didn't have any other accidents after that. Then today she was on the couch while we were out and she balled up her favorite blanket, then flattened it out, then peed on it. When we got home we discovered the pee and then watched our Doggy Cam (which we installed to keep an eye on her to make sure she's not barking while we're away) and sure enough, she squatted and peed, just like she would when she goes outside. She is fully house-trained and receives treats EVERY time she goes potty outside. She has that "What's in it for me?" attitude so we never forget to reward her for going outside. We've never really had problems with her going potty in the house until recently, and we keep puppy pads by the door (and she's used them in emergency situations in the past). She's a very anxious dog and everything scares her, but she has a kennel she runs into when her anxiety is high, and she just didn't do it this time. She also laid back down on the blanket as if she didn't care that she'd just peed on it. So... Any thoughts on why this could be happening? I don't think it's medical but as there haven't been any changes in the household and she's an only dog, I can't for the life of me figure out what sort of behavioral issue this could be.

Sept. 24, 2018

Snookie's Owner

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Buddy and Milo

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Shih Tzu

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12 Years

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Serious severity

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2 found helpful

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Serious severity

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Peeing Indoor

We have two dogs, Buddy is a Shih Tzu/ Poodle at 12 years old and Milo is a German Shepard/Husky/Labrador at 5 years old. Buddy was housebroken early and easily. It wasn’t a big problem until we moved to a new place. We thought it might be anxiety due to a new environment. Then we brought home milo (2 years later). Milo was housebroken for a while but as of recently (the last two years) we have had terrible issues. They pee on couches, the kitchen table legs, plant stands, bed frames, lamps etc. It seems like they can’t be left alone for more than 5 minutes without coming home to pee (this happened a few times). Sometimes they do it when someone is home in another room. We have tried using repelling sprays, they get three lengthy walks a day, even tried using pee pads to provide safe space for them to go in case it is because they can’t wait. It is frustrating being greeted by pee every single day.

Sept. 13, 2018

Buddy and Milo's Owner

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Aston Martin

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Maltese

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1 Year

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1 found helpful

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Pee

My Maltese is 1 and a half years old and comes from a home where he was never taken out of the house to potty. We've tried training him to go outside, but he has no idea what to do, so we just let him use his pads indoors. When we got him 4 months ago, he was good about using his pads, but everything changed a month ago. My daughter had surgery and Aston spent the entire month of her recovery with her laying on the couch. Now that she's gone back to work, he has taken to urinating wherever he wants and has gone several times on the couch, usually in the same spot. I bought a gate to keep him from the living room area but he learned how to climb it. I am now considering a crate but wonder if that's a good idea since we have a cat who is allowed to wander about the house freely. Wouldn't this cause jealousy and possibly more bad behavior from Aston? He is not neutered yet. Would that help?

Sept. 4, 2018

Aston Martin's Owner

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Precious

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American Pit Bull Terrier

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5 Years

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Serious severity

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Pee

My American Pitbull terrier is going on 6 years old. She is used to other dogs. She lives in the house with her son 1 1/2. Very well mannered and house trained. I am 7 months pregnant and we recently found out she has been sneaking and sleeping (she isn’t allowed on the furniture) and peeing on my couch the past few months. No matter what I do I cannot get her to stop. What should I do?

Sept. 2, 2018

Precious' Owner

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Zoey

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Dalmatian

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2 Years

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Moderate severity

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None

My 2 year old female Dalmatian will not stop urinating on furniture and I’ve noticed she only does it where she sleeps. She gets plenty of outside time and is and has been house trained since after I got her. I have been battling with this for a year or more now, if she naps on the couch she’ll wake up and urinate where she was laying same goes for the bed or the rug or anywhere else. She is healthy she has been to multiple vets and they cannot find a single thing wrong her so it must be something at home but I’m not sure what it could be.

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Dakota

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Doberman Pinscher

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4 Years

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Fair severity

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My dog Dakota is 4 years old we rescued her about 1 year and a half ago. First when we picked her up we noticed the previous owner were leaving her in a cage most of the time and the cage Was dripping pee. We then once home noticed she never really asks for the door. We pretty much got her into a routine of taking her out 4 times a day of else she would pee in her bed. She got the surgery not long after that. Slowly the peeing in her bed stopped and it was ok as long as I took her 4 times a day... little pee once in a while in my bed when I slept too long but not frequent. My husband left for 6 months overseas and I hardly had any issues with her. About 1 month prior to my husband arrival I started to notice she was dripping while going up the stairs after being out happened only a few times then stopped. Then once my husband got back it started again. I know he is more hard with the dogs as I am not the most disciplinary one with them. She started to leak more. Took her to the vet for urinary test and they said she would need medication for an infection. Now the medication is over she pees in her bed just like at the starts when we got her. She even does little spots on the coach while having her head on me and literally peeing where my husband is sitting. Could this be a stress related issue? Has I know she had been left out and mistreated before we rescued her maybe now that my husband is back being more severe with her not letting her do what she wants like me...she is stressed? Could this be related to the surgery she had? I am worried and it cost over 200$ the first time. I can't afford to spend another 200$ for no results.

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Parker

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Bocker

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1 Year

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Serious severity

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Pottying Everywhere

My dog has had potty training issues ever since we brought him home. My sister had him (we were told he was six weeks and seemed to be that age) for about a month and a half before we got him and he was allowed to potty inside. Because of this he still will pee and poo inside. He won't even go on puppy pads. I've had to shampoo my carpets frequently because of it. He's peed on my couch twice for no reason, poops and pees on the dirty clothes, and will pee on our beds if we leave the doors open. Nothing helps. He will even poop and pee in his crate and lay in it. He does have seperation anxiety but he does it even when I'm home. When I'm home he is relaxed and perfectly fine. He knows to go to the door to go outside and has times where he doesn't poop or pee inisde. I don't know what to do. It's very frustrating. He turned 1 in March 2019.

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Gigi

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Yorkshire Terrier

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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Moderate severity

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Loneliness

I have a yorkie that is a little over five years old. Yes she goes to the bathroom outside very easily and she knows where she is supposed to "go", but she peed on the couch last week and my mom will not get over it. From the moment we got our dog, she was always allowed on the couch. But, about a year ago we got a new couch and my mom says that it is too expensive to risk my dog going on it and peeing. My dog seems to be a little sad since we got the couch and is unable to sit with us during the day. I'm not sure if this could be connected to the peeing on the couch but I thought I would mention it. I'm just not sure what to do. We find her sitting on the couch when we are not watching her, but darting to her cage when she sees us. I am just not sure as to why she feels the need to urinate on the couch.

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Minnie

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English Bulldog

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4 Years

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Peeing On Couch

We just adopted a 4y/o English Bulldog (fixed, female) from another family. Side note: we already have a male dog and 2 cats. The previous family did not train her at all, she doesn't know/listen to any type of command, doesn't respond to her name being called, only comes when she hears the biscuit jar open. She pees on our couch non-stop. She goes out plenty of times during the day, we go on walks, etc. She is a bit anxious and will duck if you try to pet her head, shakes when she gets excited, but then will squat on the couch and empty her bladder. Our next step to try is an enzymatic cleaner to rid the couch of all her scent, block off the couch during the day (maybe use a territorial spray to keep her away as well), and possibly crate her when we aren't home (she is currently out all day but sleeps in her crate). She shows no signs of a UTI or infection either. Thoughts?

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