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.
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.
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.
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?
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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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?
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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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.
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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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.
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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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.
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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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.
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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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.
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 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.
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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