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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 

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Why Urinating on the Couch Occurs in Dogs

Disease

Your dog may be suffering from a medical condition such as bladder stones or urinary tract infection, diabetes or kidney disease. 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. Ensure they are receiving plenty of training and remove the scent with an enzymatic cleaner. Consider hiring a behaviourist to assess your dog and make a treatment plan.

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. There are various causes and treatment varies depending on what the underlying issue is.

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. Again, behaviourist intervention is sensible.

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  urinary tract infections can cost between $300 and $1000 depending on the severity of the infection.  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

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Precious

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American Pit Bull Terrier

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5 Years

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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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Apollo

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Jack Russell Terrier

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9 Years

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Peeing On Furniture
Marking

Hi! I have a 9 year old Jack Russell Terrier. He always goes potty outside when we let him out. Ever since he has been a puppy he has had trouble with marking. He always seems to pee on the same spot, the bottom corner of the ottoman. He is also neutered so I’m not sure what to do to get him to stop. I’m pretty sure this is a behavioral problem. We keep him in a kennel when we leave the house because he would begin to pee or poop elsewhere as a response to leaving him alone. Any tips to get him to stop marking on the furniture?

Aug. 25, 2018

Apollo's Owner

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We actually have a training guide which you can find linked below which should give you a few tips and getting Apollo to stop marking inside the house; also there is a section towards the bottom of the article where you can ask a certified dog trainer a question and read someone elses issues with their Jack Russell too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/training/not-mark-his-territory-in-the-house

Aug. 26, 2018

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