How to Train Your Dog to Stop Peeing on the Carpet

Easy
1-2 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

A new dog in the home generally means good things! Whether your dog is young or old, they provide you with so much excitement and fun when they finally come home to stay. Well, at least until you realize that they might not be as housebroken as you’d first thought. Stains on the carpet, not-so-nice smells, and repeat offenses by a dog who isn’t sure how to ask to go outside are not the most pleasant experiences. It can be downright frustrating having to break out the cleaning supplies two or three times a day because your dog had an accident.

Housebreaking your dog doesn’t have to be stressful, however. There are many ways to ensure that he learns the appropriate places and times to relieve himself and generally, it will take some adjusting for a dog who is not used to the way your house is run. With a regular routine, you can be at ease knowing that your carpet will survive another day.

Defining Tasks

Housebreaking your dog in order to prevent him from using your carpet as a bathroom is really just a matter of prevention. Dogs will often relieve themselves multiple times in the same place, especially if the scent of their previous accident lingers. It’s important to take steps to keep this from happening in the first place and ensure that you thoroughly clean any area where he does pee to keep him from being drawn to the same spot again.

Keeping your dog from peeing on your carpet may seem difficult the older he gets, but these methods can be utilized for a dog of any age, puppies included. Each one takes just a few days or a week or two to adjust to and can solve your problem with relative patience and repetition. Staying committed, using positive reinforcement, and remaining persistent will help you get your nice and comfortable carpet staying clean.

Getting Started

Establishing a routine for dogs is important. No matter which method you use, you want to be consistent with it. Don’t do it one way on Monday and do it differently on Tuesday. Your dog will thank you for the easy-to-remember process to relieve himself and you will be much happier as a result.

If your dog is older and has suddenly started using the bathroom indoors, have him looked over by a veterinarian to rule out any medical causes. Otherwise, get some treats together for a reward and set aside a few minutes several times a day to adjust your dog to his new bathroom routine. The younger a dog is, the more often they may need to practice.

The Schedule Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Determine how often to use the bathroom
Younger puppies will need many more bathroom breaks than older dogs. Figure out how often your dog uses the bathroom and make a note of it on paper or in a computer document.
Step
2
Learn the typical bathroom times
Your dog will more than likely need to use the bathroom in the morning after waking up, after any meals, after drinking water, after being let out of a crate or kennel, before going in for the night, and possibly in the middle of the night. These are times you will need to be aware of.
Step
3
Avoid punishment for slip ups
Negative reinforcement may not always work to prevent your dog from using the bathroom indoors. If you catch her making an attempt to use the carpet as a bathroom, calmly relocate her outside and clean up any mess thoroughly.
Step
4
Go out and go out often
After determining her bathroom schedule, start taking your dog outside whenever you get the feeling she may need to go. This typically means about five minutes BEFORE she usually uses the bathroom. This may require you going outside several times a day and possibly a few times at night, depending on your dog’s needs.
Step
5
Praise and reward!
For any successful attempt at relieving herself outdoors, offer lots of excited verbal praise. Treats and toys are fantastic rewards for appropriately using the bathroom outside. Even if the amount of waste is small, continue to reward at all available opportunities.
Step
6
Adjust the schedule with progress
Puppies will typically outgrow the need to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and older dogs may pick up on an established schedule pretty quickly. Adjust your schedule as your dog’s needs allow. If you’re realizing he can go a little longer without a bathroom break, feel free to remove one from your daily routine.
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The Kennel Method

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Step
1
Find a proper kennel or crate
Crates are often used as a resting area for dogs until it’s time to go out to pee. An appropriately sized crate should be large enough that your dog can stand up and turn around in it comfortably. A crate that is too large may just end up being the next bathroom area and a crate that is too small is uncomfortable and cramped. Take some time finding one that is just right.
Step
2
Make the kennel a nice place
Use a comfortable pillow or blanket to line the bottom and provide some nice chew toys or treats. The crate should be relaxing and fun.
Step
3
Teach your dog to go in and out
Using words like ‘in your crate’ or ‘let’s go’ can help put verbal cues to what you’d like your dog to do, whether it’s going into the crate or coming out of it. Use treats or toys to entice him to do what you’d like when you’d like him to so he associates the behavior with a reward.
Step
4
Create a specific ‘kennel time’
Your dog shouldn’t be in the kennel all day, every day. Figure out an appropriate span of time when he’ll need to be in the kennel, such as when you’re away at work or school or are busy with other things at home. Try to limit the amount of time he is in his kennel, especially for higher energy breeds. A bored dog can become destructive.
Step
5
Go outside immediately afterwards
After each ‘kennel time’, take your dog outside to relieve himself. Dogs will generally not use the bathroom in the same area where they sleep, so this is a good chance to teach him that kennel time will always be followed by a bathroom break.
Step
6
Reward for good bathroom behavior
Offer your dog playtime or yummy treats any time he uses the bathroom outside. He’ll soon look forward to leaving his kennel to use the bathroom outside because it means good things!
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The Puppy Pad Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Find the right size puppy pads
Puppy pads or ‘pee pads’ are often used for young puppies, smaller, or senior dogs who may not always enjoy relieving themselves outside. These pads can vary in size and quality, so be sure that you’re buying the right size for your dog. They may not be ideal for large dogs who eliminate a lot, as absorbency and required clean up may also vary.
Step
2
Find a specific place for the pad
The puppy pad will need to remain in the same area for your dog to adjust to using it. Try not to move it or relocate it once you do find a place for it. An ideal place will be somewhere in a room with tile or wood floors to make accidents easy to clean. Make sure it is accessible to your dog at all times. A closed pantry or closet is not ideal.
Step
3
Visit the pad often
A few minutes before your dog’s usual bathroom time, encourage him to come with you to the pad. Let him sniff at it, even if he doesn’t have to use the bathroom just yet. If he stands around for five minutes and does nothing, leave the pad and come back in another ten to fifteen minutes.
Step
4
Reward at bathroom time
Any time your dog uses the puppy pad to go to the bathroom, make a huge deal about it. Give him lots of praise and pets for doing it. You want him to feel good about using the puppy pad.
Step
5
Clean the pad regularly
Most puppy pads are disposable, so be sure to change them out whenever necessary. Leaving a small pee spot alone for a little while is usually fine, but letting the pad soak through before changing it can leave a mess and give the whole area an unpleasant urine smell. Keep your dog’s bathroom area as clean as possible.
Step
6
Move to the outdoors if necessary
If you’d like your dog to eventually transition from the pad to the outdoors, the simple way to do so is to move the pad gradually over the course of a few days. Move it closer to the door until you can open the door and set the pad right outside. Then gradually move it out and onto the grass, if that’s what you prefer. Take your time doing this to prevent your dog from having accidents and always make sure that your dog has plenty of access to the pad.
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Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Angel
Miniature Pinscher
10 Years
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Question
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Angel
Miniature Pinscher
10 Years

Our foster dog (age estimated between 9 and 12) has been peeing inside very often. She goes immediately when we get her outside, but will then pee again soon after we get back. We have been interrupting her every time and taking her out, but she just doesn’t seem to be getting it. She is crated when we’re not home, and in the bed with us at night, and she doesn’t pee either of those times. But when loose in our home she seems to pee inside frequently. She also is peeing really often just generally— she seems to need to go every hour or more (despite holding it for 8 hours at night and for 3-4 hours in the crate when we’re away). What can we do? We’re using Nature’s miracle to clean up but is it possible we’re not getting it all? Is she just a slow learner?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julie, It sounds like she needs to be evaluated by your vet for a medical issue, like urinary incontinence or a urinary tract infection, especially a urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection could cause her to pee every hour in an effort to relieve discomfort. She would still be able to physically hold her pee but it would be very uncomfortable to do so. Some forms of incontinence could cause the same thing. She could hold it, but it is very uncomfortable to do so, so she would empty it whenever her bladder started to fill to relieve discomfort. If it is a urinary tract infection, then your vet should be able to deal with that quickly. If it's incontinence, then your Vet might be able to give you a couple of options. If he cannot give you options, then she might need to wear a doggie diaper when loose in the house, and be trained to use an indoor toilet area or given a doggie door, so that she can relieve herself often. If you rule out all medical issues, or deal with them but are stuck with the bad habit of peeing inside that was formed, then I suggest using a strict crate training method for a month to stop all accidents and give you enough opportunities to reward her good efforts outside. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. This article was written for a puppy but because of her limited bladder control these time frames should work for her also. If you find a medical issue, resolve it, and she is able to hold her bladder for a more normal amount of time, then you can take her outside every three to four hours instead of every hour. She might even be able to go five or six hours when necessary, but I would start with smaller amounts because of her age and general comfort. At first, limit her free time to no more than forty-five minutes at a time, after she has peed outside though. As she improves, if she is not having any accidents inside and is able to hold her bladder for longer, then you can gradually work her up to two hours of freedom after she pees outside. If she starts having any accidents again though, subtract thirty-minutes, and repeat that until she stops having accidents. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Once you find out if anything medical is going on, if it turns out it is incontinence and she will never be able to hold her bladder for longer, then check back here if you need more help. There are a few indoor potty training options, diaper options, and schedules you can try instead of standard potty training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Marley
Beagle basset
3 Years
2 found helpful
Question
2 found helpful
Marley
Beagle basset
3 Years

My 3 year old dog loves peeing on carpet! She is potty trained and kept out of any carpeted areas when we are not home. She can go a full 8 hours without going potty when there is no carpet around. We recently just put new carpet in our bedroom due to the odor and we noticed she has been peeing on the new carpet. She sleeps with us at night, so it must be happening at night or in the morning before we wake up so we never see it happening. Help! What can we do to save our carpet?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Meghan, The first step is to purchase a pet safe spray that contains enzymes. Only enzymes will fully remove the smell to the point where Marley cannot still smell it and be attracted to the same area to pee there again. Clean any accident spots well with the enzyme spray. The second step is to prevent the accidents from occurring because the more times that she goes there while unsupervised the stronger that bad habit will get and the harder it will be to undo. So at night put her in a crate while you are working on breaking this habit. No more freedom around the carpet when you cannot supervise or block off the area 100%. The third step is to take a look at your potty training routine and make sure that she is being taken outside regularly to pee outside AND start giving her treats for doing so. When you take her out to go potty for now, go with her, tell her to "Go Potty", watch her go, then give her four small treats. The treats can be pieces of her dog food if she is pretty food motivated. Keep the treats in a zip-lock bag or bowl out of her reach next to the door so that you will remember to bring the treats and be more likely to do it because it is convenient to do so. Rewarding her for going potty outside and teaching her the "Go Potty" command will help her to WANT to pee outside because she only gets treats for peeing there. This is an important step. It might be inconvenient if you are simply letting her outside into a fenced in backyard right now but do not skip this step. This step is just until the peeing inside habit is broken. After the habit is broken, if she still needs to extra treat incentive to go outside, then you can give her a treat when she returns to the door after walking herself into the yard and peeing. Simply open the door into your fenced in yard, tell her to "Go Potty", peak out the window to make sure she actually goes, and give her the treat when she returns to come inside. At first she will need you to walk her outside though and give her the treat immediately, or she will not learn everything you need for her to learn. The fourth step is to set up times when she is on a six foot leash with you on the carpet. You can hold the leash or let it drag behind her but you want it attached to her for the next part. Only let her on the carpet when you are specifically practicing this and watching her. You can pretend like you are not watching but pay attention. When she starts to circle, sniff, squat, sneak off, or generally act like she needs to go potty, clap your hands loudly and then quickly rush her outside on the leash. When you get outside, tell her to "Go Potty" and let her sniff. If she goes potty outside make a huge deal of it with treats and praise. You can also set up something to surprise her remotely while you watch her on a camera. Your smartphones or tablets can be used as a camera. GoPro with the Live App, video baby monitors, and video security cameras also work. As soon as she is interrupted from looking for a spot to go potty by your surprise you need to run in there and take her outside with the leash clipped onto her though. Using a camera and being able to trigger something remotely from a distance that will surprise her may help more with the peeing while you are not with her, since she is doing while alone primarily. Only do this after you have spent a lot of time rewarding her with treats for peeing outside in your presence though. If you skip going outside with her and rewarding her with treats, then she might think she is getting in trouble for peeing in general or in your presence and not simply for peeing inside. Reward her peeing outside so that she clearly understands that outside is fine and in your presence is fine. It is simply inside that is the issue. There are a number of ways to surprise her remotely. Look online for a device you feel comfortable that will surprise her but not cause much pain. If you choose to use a spray collar, then avoid the citronella ones, only use unscented air. Vibration collars, making a noise over your camera speaker, or simply rushing into the room while clapping are just a few options. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Jack
Chihuahua
10 Months
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Jack
Chihuahua
10 Months

I potty trained my dog using the puppy pad method. He learned how to properly relieve himself on the pad and was doing a great job for a couple of months. Just recently my dog started peeing and pooping on the carpet during the nights while we are sleeping. Now he will not use the pads at all and goes all over the carpet. I am not sure how to re-train him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kenia, The most effective thing to do would be to train him to go potty only outdoors and strictly confine him indoors anytime that his bladder is not completely empty, until he is no longer having any accidents. To do that, follow the "Crate Training" method from the article that I have linked below. Since your puppy is older he can go much longer between potty breaks than the article mentions. He can stay in the crate for up to eight hours, but I suggest taking him out every four hours to help him learn faster. When he does pee outside, then he can have two to three hours of freedom outside of the crate. After that time, put him back in the crate while his bladder is filling back up until it is time to take him back outside again four hours after he last went potty. That way he will not have the opportunity to have an accident. If he does not go potty when you take him out, then try taking him out again in an hour. Have him spend that hour in the crate though. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you are very set on him using the bathroom somewhere inside, then I highly suggest switching to real grass disposable toilet pads instead of pee pads. Many dogs confuse pee pads with carpet because they are made out of fabric. Once that happens it's best to switch to something else. Real grass has a natural smell and does not resemble other surfaces in your home. To do this, he will need to be strictly confined while relearning to prevent further accidents. Use an exercise pen that is stable and safe and follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article that I have linked below. That article is about litter box training, which is an option but slightly less effective than grass, since you will be using grass pads simply use a grass pad in place of a litter box and follow the rest of the instructions. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Here is a link to a grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI Regardless of which method you choose, purchase a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes and thoroughly clean the carpet and any other areas Jack had an accident on. Only enzymes will break down the poop and pee molecularly, getting rid of the smell to where a dog's sensitive nose cannot still smell it and be encouraged to pee in the same spot again. To break the cycle you need to clean with something with enzymes. Also, avoid using cleaners containing ammonia in the area. Ammonia smells like urine to a dog and will encourage peeing and pooping in that area. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mitzi
Maltese
9 Years
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Question
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Mitzi
Maltese
9 Years

We rescued a 9 yr old Maltese two months ago. She does her pe and poop on every walk- four times a day. When the need to leave her at home she is put
in my lit bathroom, with water,bed and food. She has learned to poop in the sshower and gets lots of praise. The issue is she doesn't want to pee
in the shower, wood floor or pad. Instead she
will do her thing on the carpet and then cower
when we find it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Stan, It sounds like she was likely pee pad trained at some point or simply does not like the feeling of the pee on her feet is it runs. Many small dogs have this issue. You need to remove (if it's a rug) or cover (if carpeting) the area where you leave her in the bathroom so that the carpet or rug is not an option to pee on. Only the covered area, the shower or her pad. You can also try switching her pad to a real grass pad instead of a pee pad. Many dogs prefer the feeling and natural scent of the real grass pad and will more willingly pee on them. Switching the pad out of that might fix your issue alone. If not, the rug or carpet needs to be covered or removed to help her learn, until she improves. Also, use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean or wash the rug or carpet. Only enzymes will remove the smell to the point where she cannot still smell it - otherwise she will simply be encourage to pee where the smell is again. Grass pad https://www.freshpatch.com/products/fresh-patch-standard?variant=3477439297&gclid=CjwKCAiAyfvhBRBsEiwAe2t_i5N9Kw85K0NDw88312BpiyzHj5jP_6gb79wiUqTGOTc0oeFbeeebZBoCQJ4QAvD_BwE Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Cinnamon
Yorkshon
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Cinnamon
Yorkshon
4 Months

We got cinnamon about 2 weeks ago and she did much better going outside when we first got her even compared to now. We give her treats when she does so properly. But are we supposed to say or do something when she goes on the carpet? She does a fantastic job not going in the bed at night (I take her out after about 4 or 5 hours after bedtime) and she does well in her kennel when my fiancé and I are at work. But when she is allowed to wander she will often just pee on the carpet.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Morgan, It sounds like you are expecting too much of her too soon. She likely does not understand the concept of potty training right now. Dogs will naturally hold their bladders in a confined space, such as a crate, even without being fully potty trained. When you are home, I suggest keeping her attached to yourself with a six or eight-foot leash and taking her outside more often. You can use a caribeener to clip the handle of a leash to your belt-loop to keep her from wandering off. Check out the article that I have linked below and use a combination of the "Crate Training" method and the "Tethering" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The more accidents that you can prevent, the quicker she will learn. Each accident inside takes several successes outside to make up, so using something like a leash clipped to you and a crate to prevent accidents is very important during the potty training process. Also, make sure that you are cleaning up any accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes. A pet safe cleaner should say enzyme or enzymatic somewhere on the bottle when you purchase it. Only enzymes break down the poop and pee at a molecular level so that dogs cannot smell the accidents still. Any remaining pee or poop smell encourages a dog to go potty in that same spot again - which can lead to recurrent accidents in the same areas and simply confuses a dog about where inside vs. outside is, especially small dogs. If she does not begin to alert you when she needs to go potty over the next couple of months, teaching her to ring a bell when she needs to go outside can also help. Peanut butter method or Nose the Bell method: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Chester
Foxipoo
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Chester
Foxipoo
4 Years

Hi, my dog has had problems from early on with peeing on anything that is made of fabric, from rugs or clothes on the floor to couches and beds. I have spent 4 years trying to train this out of him but nothing works. He always lets me know when he needs to go out and pee and I take him outside immediate and reward him every time he goes to the toilet outside. No matter how often or how much I take him outside, if I’m home, or not, and there is a rug on the floor he will most definitely pee on it even if he’s just peed outside. I am terrified of taking him to peoples houses because of this issue. As soon as I see a rug I fear he will pee on it. He’s a very smart dog and I just don’t understand how to get rid of this behaviour. It is causing so much unnecessary stress for me I need to fix it. Please let me know if there js anything I can do. Nothing I’ve read online has helped.
Thank you,
Camilla.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Camilia, Since the problem is happening even after he just peed outside, he might be marking. I suggest purchasing a "Belly Band" and having him wear that while inside. Whenever you see him attempt to pee inside, clap your hands loudly two times, then quickly and quietly rush him outside (even though he likely does not really have to go - it gives him an opportunity to learn). IF he does go potty when you rush him outside, then praise him and give him a treat. If the issue is marking you can correct that with the clapping. The belly band is to prevent the spread of his scent - if he is marking then he is essentially just trying to claim your home with his scent and that needs to be preventing by catching his urine and teaching him that its unacceptable with by interrupting him with the clapping. You can buy washable or disposable belly bands. For the washable ones you can also place disposable inserts inside, including feminine or urinary incontinence pads or special pads made for dog belly bands. I also suggest thoroughly cleaning anything he has peed on before with a cleaner that contains enzymes. Look on the cleaner bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic (unfortunately not all pet cleaners contain it so be sure to read the bottle and bleach will not remove the smell enough).Only enzymes actually break down the pee and poop at a molecular level and remove the scent to the point where the dog cannot still smell it. If he can smell his own or another dog's urine still, then he will naturally be encouraged to pee there again. I also suggest working on his respect for you. If he is trying to claim your home, there might be some respect and pushiness issues. Check out the article linked below to help establish his respect for you. you can implement all of the methods, but I suggest paying attention to the "Working" method if you only use one: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Finally, there could be a medical issue if he is not simply marking. There are bladder, kidney, Urinary Tract Infections, ect that can cause a dog to have to pee far more often than is normal. If he can hold his pee while in a crate for 7 hours then this that is probably not the issue. When you are not at home and cannot supervise him to interrupt his marking attempts, I suggest crating him. Check out the article linked below for how to introduce a crate if he is not crate trained already. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lacy
Shetland Sheepdog
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Lacy
Shetland Sheepdog
4 Years

Lacy seems to pee on the carpet during the night while we are sleeping. We have doggie doors so there is no reason for her to pee inside. It does not occcur every night, but a few times a month. We may even go a few months without a pee spot. We have cleaned the carpet several times. We even replaced the carpet in the hallway with tile. We really prefer not to crate her at night because of the security she provides both inside and outside the house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Saundra, You have four basic options in this scenario: 1. Crate her at night. 2. Let her sleep outside if you have a kennel run or fenced yard - I DON'T recommend this option because of other animals and her size. 3. Barricade her in an area without carpet, like the kitchen, a hallway, bathroom, or bedroom with hard floor - if the accidents only occur on carpet. 4. Wake up at night to take her potty - I also don't recommend this one because ultimately you are getting her into the habit of peeing at night. 5. Have her wear a doggie diaper at night. 6. Train her to use a real grass pad and confine her near the pad so that that is her only option and she cannot access the carpet. Pay attention to her daytime habits if she goes through period where she has to pee very frequently or drinks a whole lot, have her evaluated by your vet for things like Cushing's disease, Addison's, or recurrent urinary tract infections (I am not a vet so consult your vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sydney
Chihuahua
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Sydney
Chihuahua
9 Years

I have a 9 year old Chihuahua and she has been potty trained for years and I recently moved from New Jersey to Georgia where at my parents she had a doggie door and could come and go as she pleased and never had any accidents in the house and my parents house she had laminate floors throughout the house and this house now has a lot more carpeting in the house and now on all the carpet floors she pees and poops and I have no idea what to do with her because I have had her since she was an hour old and couldn't imagine getting rid of her but my Fiance and I are at our wits end with her peeing and pooping on the carpet and she is being let out all of the time and coming in and pooping or peeing on the floor.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Phylicia, I suggest working on crate training with her. She needs to get into the habit of holding her pee and poop inside the house, and learning to be clean there. The crate will utilize a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean. Also, reward her for going potty outside. Anytime that she is free while in your home, if you are not positive that she doesn't have to go potty, keep her attached to you with a six or eight foot leash so that she cannot wander off to go potty. If she starts to go in front of you, clap your hands and rush her outside (she should be on the leash). Carefully preventing accidents is the goal though - in order for this to work the fastest. Check out the Crate Training and Tethering methods from the article linked below. Focus the most on crate training because that will encourage cleanliness inside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since she is older you do not have to take her potty every hour, like a puppy normally. Determine what's the longest she can consistently hold it for during the day and cut that number in half - take her out that often when you are home, and less frequently when you are gone off if you have to - just don't exceed how long she can hold it for in the crate. Forcing her to go potty in the crate by not letting her out often enough can ruin crate training efforts. Do not put anything absorbent in the crate with her. Check out a bed like www.primopads.com for a non-absorbent bed option. The more strict you are to prevent accidents now the quicker she should adjust to her new surroundings. If she has accidents in the crate too even though she is being taken out frequently, I suggest visiting your vet. Fecal and urinary incontinence are very common at this age and it may be due to a medical condition that needs addressing and not just the new home. If there is a medical condition, then you may need to transition to doggie diaper or an exercise pen and real grass pad more often manage it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Moe
Chihuahua/Dachshund
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Moe
Chihuahua/Dachshund
2 Years

We just rescued Moe on 5/5/19 and she has been peeing on the carpet. Not all the time but we have caught her doing it even directly after a walk. We have a much older lab mix dog as well and was wondering if it has anything to do with the fact that there is another dog around? They are both female dogs.
Moe is crate trained and sleeps in it at night. We let her out and walk her plenty too. Plus the door to the back yard is open a lot. And she will still sometime just pee on the carpet without even trying to go outside with an open door just six feet away. It’s hard to figure out why she is doing it.
It’s not because of lack of opportunity to go outside.
Please let me know what you think and how we can get her to stop. Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Josh, Many small dogs were pee pad trained before being rescued, or not potty trained well, so they learn to just go potty wherever they want and inside is no different than outside - they just go wherever they are they. In addition to that, areas that have scent from previous pottying also tend to encourage dogs to go potty there again. So outside your dog is likely to pick a spot where your other dog also likes to go and inside he returns to the same spot over and over. It could also be related to marking territory since there are two females in the house, but that's probably only part of the equation. I suspect she isn't really outside potty trained and was taught to pee on pee pads - which many dogs confuse with carpeting. You need to treat her like she isn't potty trained. She needs to be in a potty training boot camp for a while. Whenever you can't supervise her, she needs to be in the crate. Whenever she is free, she needs to be tethered to you with a six or eight foot leash unless your focus is 100% on her training or playing so she can't try to sneak off. She needs to be taken potty outside on a leash and watched to make sure she actually goes fully. When you take her, tell her to "Go Potty" and give her four treats after, one treat at a time. If she does pretty well about going potty when outside, then you don't have to have to use the leash if the area is fenced but she must be supervised, told to "Go Potty" and rewarded with treats. - You need her to learn to prefer going potty outside more than inside. The area she likes to pee on needs to be fully cleaned with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Only enzymes will remove the smell enough for her not to be re-attracted to the area by scent. Look on the bottle for enzyme or enzymatic. Finally, if the pottying does seem to be just marking, then have her wear a doggie diaper. Whenever she tries to mark that area, clap your hands loudly, then rush her outside. The diaper will prevent her from spreading her scent further - which is a marking dog's goal, so you remove the rewarding aspect of it. If it is marking, also suggest making her work for whatever she gets in life right now by having her do a command first, such as sit before going on a walk, Down before being petted, Watch Me before eating - essentially you want to calmly build her respect for you so that both dogs are looking to you for direction. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Narla
Rottweiler
8 Weeks
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Narla
Rottweiler
8 Weeks

I cannot get her to see on puppy bars at all and she also keeps biting the kids feet

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellie, Did you mean pee on puppy pads? If so, check out the exercise pen method from the article linked below. If pup chooses to pee next to the pad in the pen instead of on it, cover the exercise pen floor with pads, reward when she finally goes potty on the pads, then gradually remove the extra pads in the pen over the next two weeks, continuing to reward her for peeing on the pad correctly during that time. This method can be used with a litter box, pee pad, or disposable real grass pad. If you plan to train pup to go potty outside later due to her adult size, I suggest using a disposable grass pad instead of pee pads, to decrease the chance of confusing the fabric of the pee pad with the other fabric like carpet and rugs. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real grass pads - also on amazon usually: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com I also suggest switching to exclusively outside potty training as soon as your schedule will allow you to take pup potty outside often enough. To do that, check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dixie
Mutt
6 Months
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Dixie
Mutt
6 Months

Hi!
So I am trying to potty train my six month old pup. I will take her out frequently and immediately after naps and shortly after food/drink. I take her out and she won’t pee..(she WILL poop outside) but as soon as we return inside to a carpet surface she will immediately pee as if she were holding it in and waiting for a carpeted surface?!? Any tips?
Thanks

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nicholas, I highly suggest crate training pup and using the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Walk her around on a leash when you take her potty to keep her more focused. If she doesn't pee within 15 minutes, bring her inside, crate her for 30-45 minutes, then take her straight back outside again. Repeat this until she finally pees outside - so that she is only free while her bladder is empty. Follow the tips from the article for teaching Go Potty also. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mila
Mix
10 Weeks
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Question
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Mila
Mix
10 Weeks

Hello Caitlin,
Mila joined our family 8 days ago. We are potty training her with the crate. From the 1st days on, she did a wonderful job. Depending on her naps, we would go out every 1H30 to almost 5 hours. If we go too often, she doesn't do anything. At night, she sleeps up to 6-7 hours straight without getting agitated and I wake her up in the morning. On the 2nd day, after a rather short home time, she even requested to go out by turning around the front door. We were so happy and congratulated her loads. We have also been using the word "toilet" each time she pees/poss outside. I am always at home and observe her continuously. Everything went for the best until the 4th day, that is, the day we installed our new rug in the living room (that might feel similar to the area where she pees??). From that day on, she has peed on the rug once a day, even after barely 1 hour away of her previous pee break. I am extremely confused as the purpose of this rug was to create a space where we could be closer to her by cuddling, playing... on it since she can't go on our sofa. The rug is central in our living room and very close to her crate. We roll it away outside of these cosy times and when we are not by Mila's side. I am so scared that with this rug we are "unteaching" her to be clean inside the "home area" that she had previously been so respectful of. I don't think taking the rug away until she's entirely potty trained will help since the rug seems to have been a trigger (despite it only being a few days of potty training). All 4 times that she peed on the rug, I caught her on the act, and run with her in my arms to her potty area. I read somewhere that maybe we could put the rug in her crate for a while but I am so scared of making any mistake since before the rug, everything went so perfectly well...
It is to be noted that we live on the 6th floor. We alternate times where she goes down/up by herself and when we carry her in our arms depending on the urgency and the frequency.
Any advice or insight would be very much appreciated! Thank you very much!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Noe, First, it sounds like you are doing an overall great job with her. Keep up the good work! Second, take the rug up for a few months would be my strong advice! Definitely do NOT put the rug into her crate. To be completely honest that article you read was entirely wrong - when properly crate training for potty training you need to remove everything absorbent from the crate for potty training to effectively work - or else many dogs will simply go potty on the absorbent thing in the crate because it absorbs the pee, then they learn to go potty in the crate regularly - your instincts were definitely right when you felt like that wasn't a good idea. For a few dogs that may work but for the vast majority of dogs I have seen similar advice cause huge issues with potty training and actually teach the dogs to go potty on carpets and in crates. It sounds like you have been doing a wonderful job with her. Even though she is doing so well, everything she has learned so far is still in short term memory, she needs to be doing well for an average of 3-4 months before I would trust potty training to be a part of her long-term memory. Also, it takes time for many puppies to associate the entire house with cleanliness. She likely doesn't associate your home with something she should keep clean, just hard surfaces. She needs to have a very strong association of the whole house being somewhere to keep clean before you can expect too much of her - this also takes forming a habit for around 3 months. When it has been at least 4 months of keeping the house really clean without anymore accidents inside when you take her potty often, then I would try reintroducing the rug (you can wait even longer too though). Attach her to yourself when you do introduce it again, so that she has to be by your side while free in the room with the rug. If she squats or starts circling and sniffing to pee on the rug, clap your hands loudly three times, then run her outside. Once she finishes pottying outside, praise and give treats so that she clearly understands that it wasn't peeing in front of you that caused the interruption but peeing on the rug specifically (she peed in front of you OUTSIDE and was rewarded still) - you want a really solid foundation of peeing outside for a few months before you do this ideally though - to help her make this connection. Clean any old or new accidents on the rug up using an enzymatic spray - the enzymes will break down the urine to completely remove the smell - if any smell remains, the smell will trigger her to potty on it again. It is very likely that her previous home used papers or pee pads in the exercise pen or whelping box while pups were young - so pup is currently trained to go potty on those types of material, which resemble fabric like rugs. You want to create a new habit of going potty outside for long enough that pup forgets about the old habit and it becomes easier to undo it later - when you do introduce the rug again. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thank you very much for your explanation and helpful advice!!

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Feli
Cairn Terrier
4 Years
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Feli
Cairn Terrier
4 Years

Hello! I just adopted by 7.6lb furbaby Feli two days ago. She was found as a stray in Tijuana and just brought up to San Francisco where we live. She was clearly traumatized by her past life and by the travel, but is now starting to warm up - smiles more, eats normally, walks faster, etc. I take her on many walks throughout the workday, on top of morning and night walks. She poops outside on walks (once per day) but she does not pee outside!!! She is with me all the time, and since I've had her I've only seen her pee twice! And both times were on rugs.... first time in my apartment, not too long after a walk. Second time was on my boss's expensive rug in the office, literally right after we got back from a walk around the block. She doesn't even seem interested in sniffing plants/pee outside... I also have a pee pad in the office and the apt, but she shows no interest in these. How can I teach her to pee outside? She is the sweetest tiny little girl and I want to help her!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alani, You will need to crate train her for potty training. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below for helping her adjust to the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, the first article linked above also includes the Tethering method. When pup is loose in the house, I suggest keeping her tethered to you (hands free for convenience) around the house to further prevent accidents until potty training is doing better. The tethering should also help with bonding. The issue could also be not wanting to go potty in front of you or others do to anxiety. For this, use a long non-retractable leash, such as a light weight 20' training leash to take her potty and let her wander several feet away from you to go. Do this in a calm area where there aren't a lot of noises or people or dogs around. After she goes, toss a couple of treats that are large enough for her to see over to her, or give her a couple of small treats when she comes back over to you. As she gets more comfortable pottying outside, you can slowly reel up more of the leash overtime, until she is finally going potty within 6 feet of you - at which point you can switch back to a normal 6' leash. Finally, you can purchase a potty encouraging spray to spray where you take her potty outside. Spray it in the area right before you take her out. Hurry, Go Here, and puppy spray are a few such examples. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ami
Shih Tzu Bijon Frise
17 Months
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Ami
Shih Tzu Bijon Frise
17 Months

Hi my dog is pee pad trained and when i go visit other houses i put down his pad, when younger he would go on the pad no matter where we were visiting and now he won't also he has been peeing in the house and no longer going to his pad in the middle of the night. What can I do, please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Joanna, Go back to the basics with him for a little while. Pee pad training is about location, not just the surface (pee pad). Set up an exercise pen somewhere without carpet or a rug and place a non-absorbent type bed on one end, such as www.primopads.com or a cot type bed and the pee pad on the opposite end. Have him sleep in the exercise pen for at least two months to reaffirm his habit of going potty only on the exercise pen. Place him in the pen at any other times he has accidents while home too - like if he has them when you leave the house. When you go to visit friends' he either needs to be attached to you with a hands free six foot leash (any leash can be made hands free by adding a carabiner to the handle), OR bring an exercise pen and create the same setup that I mentioned using at home for nights. I know this is inconvenient but it's crucial that the accidents are stopped for any progress to be made. Whenever you catch him going potty on the pee pads during the day, praise and give a treat (keep a little baggie or bowl or small treats or dog food kibble near the pee pads up high where he can't reach). Do not give treats at night because that can interfere with sleep. Be especially vigilant about rewarding pup for going potty in the correct location while at a friend's house - even though you led him to the pee pad while tethered to you or he was in the exercise pen. Check out the Exercise Pen method linked below for more details on how to phase the exercise pen out once the issue is resolved. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you are still having issues in a couple of months after doing the above steps, you will most likely need to switch pup to a real grass pad instead of a pee pad - some dogs have issues confusing pee pads with other household objects made out of material - like carpet and rugs. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Greta
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Months
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Greta
Miniature Schnauzer
7 Months

We got Greta for Christmas this year. She sleeps all night in her crate without accidents and she's confined to our laundry room w/open crate during the day while we're at work with hardly ever an accident. However, after we come home and on weekends when we're with her, she has occasional accidents. Sometimes, 2-3 times in a day and sometimes she goes days without an accident. The main problem is that we CANNOT tell when she needs to go out. We tried consistently giving treat rewards, we tried the "bell system" for a while. At what point, if ever, will we be able to switch from taking her out many times a day to her being able to let us know when she NEEDS to go out??? Sometimes, it seems she'll have an accident right after we bring her back in from going. Just frustrated...1st time doggie family...help please! Thanks!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, First, when you are home I suggest attaching her to yourself with a six or eight foot, hands-free leash to stop the accidents to begin with. Continue what you are doing at night and when away - it sounds like that part is working well. While she is attached to you with a leash, she should be more motivated to hold it until outside and if she does start to have an accident, you will better be able to pick up on early signs like sniffing around, whining, trying to get away, circling, or squatting. Doing this may even help her learn to tell you sooner when she needs to go outside. If you see any of the signs that she needs to go, get her attention and quickly rush her outside. If you catch her mid-pee (the goal is to not get to that point though), clap loudly two times to interrupt her, then quickly rush her outside. Don't make too big a deal of the accident with punishment - you simply want to surprise her, then reward her outside for finishing outside. Clean up all old and new accidents you know of with a cleaner that contains enzymes. A dog is generally attracted to a spot by smell, so it's very important to remove potty smells from your home and enzymes break down the pee and poop at a molecular level - so that your dog's sensitive nose won't smell it. Other cleaners like bleach often do not address the smell issue thoroughly enough for a dog's nose. Look on pet cleaner bottles for the word enzyme or enzymatic - not all pet cleaners contain it. Also, do not clean your floors with cleaners containing ammonia because ammonia can smell like urine to a dog. Typically, a dog learns how to go potty outside consistently and hold their pee in a smaller space and while supervised first. Next, they try to hold it in general between the potty trips you initiate. Once those things are well learned, it can take another 6 months before a dog will begin to alert you when they need to go outside - instead of them just waiting until you take them. Potty training is actually at least two parts. The first is for the dog to learn to hold it between when you take them outside - most people classify this as being potty trained. The second part is for a dog to learn to initiate going outside and tell you when they need to go potty. The first part takes many puppies under ideal circumstances around 3 months to learn (longer if not used consistently or other complications). The second part usually takes 6-9 additional months longer for a dog to learn. The better you can prevent accidents and manage potty training the quicker it tends to go. Giving too much freedom too soon prolongs the learning phase often - don't expect pup to tell you yet when they need to go. It's normal for a schedule to be needed still. Each dog is different as well and your pup might be a lot faster or slower than a friend's dog, and that's okay. It does sound like you are making progress in other areas of potty training, so that is great! I suggest tethering pup to you while home for a while to get things back on track; doing that normally should help pup get to the point where they hold it better between potty trips. Expect to need a potty schedule for longer though - don't expect pup to initiate trips outside just yet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Toby
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
2 Months
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Toby
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
2 Months

Our dog passed away last year. When she was older, she peed on the carpets often. Will the new puppy pee on the carpet in the same places where she once peed? We've cleaned the area many times but I would think a dog would be able to smell it still.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello, What did you clean the carpet with? Steaming the carpet and cleaning it well with more professional grade devices will help to evaporate traces, but the spots will also need to be cleaned with a cleaner that contains enzymes if the initial cleaner did not contain it. Look for the word enzyme or enzymatic on the cleaner container. Some enzyme cleaners can be used with professional grad carpet cleaners/steamers that you can rent to help it more fully penetrate fibers. Only enzymes will fully break down pee and poop at a molecular level - to completely remove the smell from the fibers. How deeply the carpet was penetrated by the urine, how well you are able to clean it, and whether you also use an enzymatic formula on it will all effect whether pup is attracted to the areas. I would suggest using the Crate Training or Tethering methods (or combination of both) with new pup for potty training, so that pup is not left unsupervised inside while learning - so there will be less opportunities for pup to become confused with the possible smell, and potty training will be more likely to go smoothly. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Belle
pit mix
4 Years
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Belle
pit mix
4 Years

My dog has started to pee in the house and she has formal training but she has not be listening or obeying. I don't know what to do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sherri, If pup was previously great with potty training for a longer period of time, I suggest a trip to your vets to rule out a medical cause like incontinence or a urinary tract infection - I am not a vet. If this is a potty training issue, I suggest keeping pup tethered to you with a 6-to-8 foot leash while you are home, and crating when you cannot do that. Clean all accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes to fully remove the smell. Tell pup to "Go Potty" when you take her outside on a leash to go. When she does go, give a treat. Practice all of this for a minimum of 1-2 months to get pup back on track with potty training. If pup was not potty trained previously, expect the process to take more like 3-4 months. Again, check with your vet if pup used to do fine and this is new for her - incontinence can be a sign of several medical issues. - I am not a vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Willow
Goldendoodle
5 Months
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Willow
Goldendoodle
5 Months

We got Willow about a month ago. She was house trained and had a little bit of other training as well. We have a doggie door and hardwood floors upstairs. But downstairs is carpet and she seems to be triggered to pee when she feels the carpet. We tell her no and take her outside when she starts to pee. We really want her to be free in the house with no worry. How can we stop her from peeing on the carpet?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
66 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I am happy to see that Willow is, for the most part, trained in the potty department. I do think that you may have to spend some time "retraining" her for the carpet environment. Clean the carpet with an enzymatic cleaner - it's the only thing that will remove the odor from the carpet. You may not smell it all but Willow does. Start taking her out before heading downstairs and often while you are there. Every time you take her out (any point throughout the day) tell her to go potty right away. When she does do it, give her verbal praise and a couple of treats, one at a time, so that she associates the command and action with the reward. After doing this consistently and repeatedly, she'll want to pee outside.(Remember to make the treat a high value one that she adores.) You will have to gate off the carpeted area until she no longer pees there when you have her in that area. I hope this helps - it's important to get the carpet clean so that she does not smell and odor unbeknownst to you. Good luck!

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Mojo
German Shepherd
2 Months
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Mojo
German Shepherd
2 Months

Hi there. I recently adopted a German Shepherd Lab Mix rescue puppy. He previously lived outside in a contained area and had never spent much time inside or had any potty training experience. However, he is really great about going to the bathroom immediately when I take him outside. I try and take him out every hour. When he does have accidents inside though every single time it’s been on a carpet. My house is almost all hard wood/ tile and there’s three roomes with carpet. Every incident has been him going and peeing on the carpet. It’s never in the same spot but always on a carpet even a small area rug or front door rug. I dont understand why he seems to be picking out any carpet and peeing when I’m taking him out more than enough and watching him pee outside in the yard before letting him back in. I’m wondering if he’s doing it out of spite when he’s not getting enough attention because it seems to happen when I’m preoccupied with something else and he wanders off.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
621 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shelly, It is not out of spite. He does not understand the difference between grass and carpet yet. Many dogs choose to go potty on carpet because the carpet absorbs it so their paws do not get wet. When you are not watching him you miss his cues to go outside. Also, be sure to clean up accidents with a cleaner than contains enzymes. The bottle should say enzyme or enzymatic somewhere on it. Only enzymes remove the smell completely for a dog's sensitive nose - any remaining smell tells him to go potty in that same spot again and confuses him with being outside. Check out the article linked below. When you are home use either the 'Tethering' method (to keep him from sneaking off until he is fully potty trained) or the crate training method (which will encourage him to naturally hold his bladder while in your home) you can interchange both also. When you leave your home, he needs to be in the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bentley and tesla
Chiweenie
7 Years
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Bentley and tesla
Chiweenie
7 Years

I have a boy dog (7) bentley who we got fixed late in life and a girl dog (4) tesla. we live in a condo so they have a pee pad section that they use, but we just got our carpets cleaned from all their mistakes and both of them have already peed on carpet again, and right in front of us, which they normally dot do. our boy dog also started peeing on the bed (which he sleeps with us)
so i guess im asking how to get them to stop peeing in the house, or to at least only pee on their pee pad!

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Sketch of smiling australian shepherd