Why Is My Dog Peeing in the House? (These 5 Tips Will Help You)

There is nothing more unpleasant for a dog owner than a dog's lack of housetraining . In this article, you'll learn the top five tips you can use to housebreak any four-legged friend.  

Dog pees in apartment
Article Overview

Either your dog was never trained properly or there are other causes, such as poor health. 

No matter what the ultimate cause, a lack of potty training in your dog is annoying and can get on an owner's last nerve.

This article will help you deal with this issue. We have gone in search of the causes to help you determine the reason behind why your dog pees in the house.

Likewise, we provide various tips and behavioral measures that can guarantee your pet's housetraining.

The causes

Dog toilet

There are numerous causes for this issue. Some of them can be fixed quickly. Others require a lot of patience, time, and work.

The good news is that the reasons for your pet’s poor bladder control can usually be fixed.

We have distinguished three basic causes of uncleanliness:

  1. Health
  2. No proper training
  3. Character

These three points can be further subdivided and nuanced. Below is a detailed description of the various causes.

1. Health issues

If your pet suffers from certain illnesses, this can lead to poor housetraining.

Consider the following situation: Your dog has been housetrained all along and has only recently started showing uncleanliness.

A cystitis is the most common condition in which your dog cannot control his urge to urinate. Other symptoms of bladder disease are the following:

  • Increased urination
  • Painful bladder emptying
  • Blood residues in urine
  • Intense or unnatural urine odor
  • Malaise
  • Limpness and fatigue
  • Fever

Kidney problems or diabetes can be the cause for a lack of cleanliness in your dog. The symptoms of these diseases are similar to the symptoms of bladder disease.

If additional symptoms, such as those mentioned above, occur, this may be an indication of a health limitation.

Do you suspect a disease or are you unsure what is wrong with your faithful friend? 

Visit a vet immediately . This should especially be done if the symptoms have been present for a short time.

2. No proper training

Of course, it's also possible that your charge has never had the proper education regarding housetraining. With a little patience , housetraining can quickly be successful.

However, this changes the older your four-legged friend gets. Basically, the same tips and rules that apply to training puppies also apply to older dogs, but it may take a little longer with them.

3. Character

Your dog’s temperament may also be a reason why he is not serious about being housebroken.

The most common cause of this is the marking behaviorMarking is a natural and instinctive reaction of your dog. 

Urine marking not only relates to dominance , but dogs also use it among themselves as a method of communication.

If your furry companion marks a walk in the woods or park, that's perfectly fine. 

But has he started to make marks in the apartment? Then you should consistently and immediately set hard limits..

As a rule, uncleanliness due to marking behavior typically occurs in a dog when there have been changes at home. .
 

" For example , unexpected separations are often a reason. Due to the change of situation, your furry nose instinctively reacts as he would in the pack. 

When family situations change, his instinct is to learn who will be leader of the pack. 

Separation from a life partner, which was the main component of education, can also lead to the marking behavior of your quadruped.

A new dog in the neighborhood or even just as visit, with a new dog, can trigger this reaction. 

For this purpose, it is usually enough if another dog owner visits you without his dog. Your darling will recognize the smell of the other dog on the visitor. Again, clear and consistent rules are important.

. Anxiety can also cause your dog to urinate in the apartment.

As a rule, it is recommended that you get to the bottom of the cause.. Try to find out why your dog pees in the apartment.

These questions will help you determine the cause:

  1. When did my dog stop being housebroken and can I relate it to a specific situation?
  2. Was there a stressful situation for my four-legged friend?
  3. Has he recently had to go through a traumatic or stressful situation?
  4. Is my dog afraid of certain people (for example, children)?
  5. Do I have too much stress myself at the moment and project this onto my dog?

Scolding is a no-go!

Of course, you will be greatly annoyed if you once again discover the uncleanliness of your dog in your home.

However, scolding - in the form of a loud voice or even physical violence - is an absolute No-Go

Emotional or even physical violence should not be used on animals as it is with humans.

As a result of scolding, your darling will emotionally distance himself further from you. Even if he still carries out your orders. 

They are not caused from a loving and caring connection, but from fear. This will have a counterproductive effect on your relationship and parenting. .

Instead, a reprimand in the form of a stern but calm voice should be used. 

And again, this should only take place if you catch your four-legged friend in the act of urinating in the apartment. Later reprimands will no longer be associated with the situation.

5 Step Guide to Housetraining

Puppy housetrained

Either your pet is still a puppy or he hasn't been house-trained properly. 

In both cases, you should proceed in the same way, because there are virtually no differences in terms of age when it comes to housetraining. 

However, you may have to invest a little more patience and time with older dogs.

Step 1 - Start immediately

Have you realized the uncleanliness is due to improper training? Then you should immediately put a plan into practice for housetraining. 

Even with puppies, there should be no "grace period" during which you postpone education. Starting the very next day is best.

Step 2 - Determine the timing

Usually, there are certain occasions that cause your four-legged friend to pee. 

Determine these times by paying close attention to when your four-legged friend urinates indoors.

Popular times here are after waking up or after feeding. . The signals for urination are sniffing around or turning around in circles.

Step 3 - Seize the moment for a walk

If you have noticed that your furry friend pees in the apartment at certain times, take the opportunity to go for a walk. For example, you can take your pet for a walk immediately after waking up in the morning. 

Thus, you will combine urinating in the apartment with urinating in the fresh air.

Of course, this takes patience, but the result pays off. 

Do not scold your darling when another mistake has happened. Continue to be calm and provide consistent education.

Step 4 - Use rewards

Have you related the critical times to the rhythm of your walks? 

Then you're ready for the next step. This consists of giving your pet rewards in the form of treats or praise .

Whenever your dog does his business outside, you must praise him. 

Reward your four-legged friend after every urination for several weeks. Ideally, you should reward him until he no longer pees in the apartment.

But always heed this fifth tip:

Every now and then, your four-legged friend may urinate in the apartment. These are small setbacks that should not discourage you. 

Scolding - as already mentioned above - should still never be a stopgap solution here.

If the so-called "peeing incidents" no longer occur, begin to gradually scale back the rewards. 

We recommend that you spend several weeks doing this. Of course, you may still give your darling a reward now and then. 

Our recommendation

The fact that your dog is not housebroken can have various causes. 

Health causes as well as character traits and improper training are the most common. Many causes can be taken into your own hands and eliminated.

If you suspect a health issue, visit a veterinarian immediately. 

General: Be patient, take your time, and don't use brash methods, such as a loud voice or physical force.

Written by Anja Boecker
Written by Anja Boecker

My name is Anja Boecker and I am a dog trainer and behavior consultant (IHK certificate). With these articles I would like to help you understand your dog better and build an inseparable bond.

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44 Comments

  1. Thomas Schauer

    Hello,
    We have a mongrel (French Mastiff Border Collie), he has been with us for 3 days and is about 10 weeks old. On the first day the dog did not dare to come to us, even walking with the leash proved to be very difficult as he resisted it. Today on the 3rd day he came to me for the first time and licked my hand 🙂
    Also walking with the leash goes much better now.
    Unfortunately or understandable way he makes pippi in our apartment, we have no carpet from therefore everything not so bad. Of course, we also want to teach him to be "clean".
    My question, how do we do this now ? We go out every 3 - 4 hours with him, he also does his business. Should we give him now always a treat when he has done his business ?
    And what is the best way to teach him commands like "stop" "sit" or "no" ?
    It would be very nice if you could help us a little here.

    Sincerely Thomas Schauer

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Hello Thomas, thank you very much for your contribution. The initial behavior of your mixed breed is completely normal. He needs some time to get used to the new circumstances and to find trust. The licking on the hand is already a good sign in the right direction 🙂
      The following article might help you with housetraining:
      Housebreaking puppies (fast and safe)
      To educate your puppy, the following articles might be informative:
      How to raise a puppy properly (puppy school useful?)
      Impulse control in dogs
      Dog training: the best tips and exercises 2019

  2. Hello
    I have two Westies, one Male and one Female. No problems with him but with her. I take both of them to work . Walk both early, midday and evening. I am not always in my place in the office. No problems with urinating. As soon as I get home and I leave them both alone in the apartment they pee all over my couch. It is a very expensive leather couch. I have tried covering it with towels and blankets (can be washed) but she scratches everything together and scratches the leather. I have now bought diapers for her. No problem is accepted but she continues to go on the couch and scratch everything. I am at the end.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Nadja, this can be very nerve-wracking. Maybe it would be good to contact a dog trainer, because it looks like your dog has already made this a ritual and her behavior can also have individual psychological backgrounds, such as attention seeking, separation anxiety, etc.

  3. Good day, I have my dog only a few days am in the process of getting him housebroken give me great effort only hope that it does not take so long will your 5 points as help gladly accept and take to heart gr klaus

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Klaus, thank you very much. How long it takes also depends a bit on age, breed and individual character. With a lot of love and consistency it will surely work. We keep our fingers crossed for you.

  4. Hello !

    Our Labrador ( 5 years ) pees for a week in the apartment, although we walk with him again before bedtime ( 23 - 23.30 ). Unfortunately, since this week we always find our surprise in the morning. Can anyone help ?

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Steffi, in order to exclude possible health problems or to recognize them early, it would be good if you contact your vet.

  5. I have a 10 year old Yorki. He has always been very peculiar. Sometimes he pees in the apartment and then not again for weeks.
    Mostly it is at night or when we are at work. Our bitch, on the other hand, has never done it.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Anja, the behavior of your Yorki can have psychological reasons, but also physical. Maybe it would be good if you exclude health problems with the help of your vet or have them treated early.

  6. My dog a yorkshire 6 years old, goes with me in the morning in the garden. There she pees and usually makes a Geschäftle. Hardly in the house, she pees on a carpet. When I walk through the apartment, I often find a little poop. She did that during the night. So sweet but it is totally stressful. Does anyone know what to do? Dsnke

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Hilde, there can be many reasons why your dog does this. It is best to ask your veterinarian to rule out possible health problems or to have them treated early enough. Another alternative would be to contact a behavioral therapist in your area.

  7. Hello, we have since 4 weeks an approx 5 month old Maremmano mix from animal welfare. At the beginning it was no problem, with ritualized walks and watching, we had her house trained after a few days. All no problem. After about 1 week she was like changed, she pees suddenly constantly in the apartment. If we notice, now it is so far and we go out quickly, it can be that we are 1 h and longer outside and nothing comes. As soon as she enters the apartment, she sits down and pees or even takes a dump. We can not remember any incident which could have scared her outside. She was always praised outside and never scolded inside. We can also rule out the other "typical" problems. It only happens when we are there, so not when she needs to be alone, we run the same places to not offer too much new impressions. We give her the opportunity to use the garden. We also don't notice any preference in person that accompanies her and it doesn't make any difference if we have our old male dog with us or not. It is not that she does not go outside at all. This also happens, but often we have the impression that she prefers to do it inside.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Hi Elena, it may well be that your new family member is marking the house to make his rank insecurity clear because of the male dog. Also, animals that previously had a lower ranking show this behavior towards other ranking dogs to show their submissiveness. Normally, this behavior subsides with time. However, if it becomes more severe, it is advisable to consult a behavioral therapist.

  8. My dog is now seven months old, we are all day in the garden, or the doors to the garden are open all day! Nevertheless, she pees in the apartment! Although I walk at least four times in the field despite the open house! I just do not understand

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Karin, in such situations it might be advisable to ask a trainer or behavior therapist in your area for support. There are usually many factors involved, which an expert person can better assess on site and give appropriate recommendations for action. We wish you much success.

    2. Astrid Wisweh

      Hallo! Wir haben Samstag einen Mischling aus dem ungarischen Tierschutz Pustahunde! Unser Hund ist 8 Monate alt! Die ersten zwei Tage erwiesen sich als sehr schwierig! Am Sonntag hat er nur in die Wohnung gemacht! Am Montag und Dienstag war es besser! Aber leider nur am Tag! Wir sind Montag sowie Dienstag Spät raus gegangen, und circa 30 bis 40 Minuten mit gegangen! Nichts passierte! Aber kaum in der Wohnung kam die Entleerung! Besonders war es für mich nicht nachvollziehbar, da ich gesehen habe, dass er musste! Heute musste mein Mann ihn mit ins Büro nehmen, da hat sich draußen gar nicht entleert, erst am Abend als mein Mann wieder zu Hause! Kann mir jemand einen guten Tipp geben? Würde mich freuen! Liebe Grüße Astrid Wisweh

  9. Hello, Since Sunday we have a French bulldog at home. She has experienced a lot of agony in her first year of life and then lived with a foster family with 2 other dogs and now with us and is here alone.
    Unfortunately she pees in the apartment, but I have the feeling that it is protest peeing. She pees when I am at home. Is it advisable to call in a behavioral therapist now or should we give her time to find her place. I am just worried that it will become normality for her.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Susan, thank you very much for your contribution. With dogs that have had a torturous past, it is advisable to get a behavioral therapist involved early on before the new pattern really takes hold. We keep our fingers crossed for you.

  10. Hello, we have a 4 year old Yorkshire Terrier and he barks at wind, noises, other barking dogs even on TV, pees no matter what time of day in the apartment, although the Gassiezeit are observed, bites even sometimes, although he likes us, even with the children? We have already been to the vet, everything is fine. Perplexed Simone please for advice

  11. Sandor Gyorgyevits

    Hello we have a 14 year young Staffirdshire Bullrerrier lady. Since her 3.month age. Until now everything is wonderful now is aucg wonderful but since 2-3 Wichen pees irregularly on her dog sofa and today on the coach. Probably health problem?mentally everything as before hug love words regardless of the new behavior.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Hello Sandor, in order to be able to rule out health problems such as cystitis, we recommend that you first contact your veterinarian. If your veterinarian is unable to determine any health problems, we recommend that you see a behavioral therapist in your area.

  12. Our Rottweiler-shepherd mix also marks constantly in the house. With him it is clearly about marking and bad upbringing: On the one hand he has always done it, on the other hand the one caregiver moved out and I moved in with dog and three cats. As long as the other one was a puppy, there were hardly any problems, now one of them marks all the time.
    We don't know anymore how to fix the problem (giving away the other animals is of course not an option), because the dog obviously knows that he is misbehaving, but finds it more important to mark his territory. For example, it is impossible for him to be called to a place where he has marked, he starts to growl and hide, because he was beaten by the undressed caregiver in such moments.

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      This is very unfortunate that your dog was raised with violence in its past. This circumstance certainly complicates the desired behavior. Here it is best for the dog's well-being if you get support from a competent person in your area (dog trainer* or behavior therapist*). We wish you success and all the best!

  13. My 7 year old Welsh Terrier has never been 100% housetrained to this day! Even though I practiced and trained on it consistently for the first few years. At some point I gave up. I couldn't anymore. However, in the last few years it has gotten so bad ... I don't get it.
    Bags and bags on the floor- marked, yellow bag- marked, sofa- marked (on it and on it), trash can- marked, in the hallway - marked + peed and even in his bed. He goes to the yard in the morning, walks at noon and walks in the evening, and sometimes again at night after 11pm for a short time. He also pulls his blanket to us in the living room. He is probably also very dominant, already in the puppy school he had mounted the other dogs. Now he also mounts us and he licks his penis massively. I consistently reject him.
    I am in despair, help!

    1. HUNDEO editorial office

      Dear Franz, in extreme cases it is always advisable to involve a competent person on site (e.g. behavioral therapist/trainer), who would also have the possibility to observe your dog for a while and develop a strategy accordingly. We wish you much success!

  14. Hello, I took in a few weeks ago, a 12 year old, blind and deaf little street dog. He is very sweet and has enormous joie de vivre, unfortunately he has never been neutered and you can see that he is only interested in "sniffing out food", which has ensured his survival so far.
    There are two things I haven't got a handle on yet, since he can't see or hear anything:
    "Pedro" has not been able to find a constant daily routine for himself despite the now fixed times for his feedings - he walks and walks and then sleeps in between often briefly or even once for a few hours ...... especially this restlessness, which is probably normal for him though, starts sometime during the night ...
    But much bigger is the problem that he pees everywhere in the house, although I go with him, at the slightest sign (after awakening, after eating ...) immediately in the garden. I also try to give him a treat as soon as he has done his business outside - does not always work, because he is very fast and lively and you can praise the dear guy almost only so.
    Does anyone have any advice for me?

    1. Anja from Hundeo

      Dear Klaus, I think it's great that you took in an older street dog. But these dogs often need a longer period of acclimation. But now I have a question for you: can he really not stand, or does he mark? Can you generally close off access to these pee spots? Dogs like to mark always in the same place. Maybe this is already helpful for you.
      Otherwise, I wish you continued enjoyment with your Pedro.

      1. Anja, I think both. He already got a hormone chip, but that was 3 weeks ago and his behavior does not change. He marks or detaches "everywhere" - there are actually no fixed places in the house - "he finds everything beautiful". I also think that he can not hold it so well anymore, because he still lets water, even if he already goes on again or already starts, even if his little leg is not lifted at all yet... Outdoors, however, he always marks in the same places.
        I am trying to learn a rhythm with him now so he sleeps through the night. I think time will make some things better.

        1. Anja from Hundeo

          Good morning Klaus, then the only thing that helps is to limit space in the house and actually establish a rhythm.

  15. Petra Pothmann

    Hello
    I have a 5month old female Dachshund-Terrier mix from the shelter. She comes from Romania. She has been with me for 6 weeks now and I can't get her housebroken. When she wants to do her big business I can tell by her behavior. But if she only does pee, she does it very quickly, and as soon as I turn around, she has already done it. She sits down from now on and makes. So slowly I despair.

    1. Anja from Hundeo

      Dear Petra, I know that too! These dogs have not learned otherwise. Most of the time they only know kennels and didn't get out of there. Have patience. Your mouse must first learn the new rules of the game and also completely relearn them. Praise her when she pees outside and introduce rituals: after eating, drinking, going outside every two hours. Better several shorter walks a day than one long walk. Good luck!

  16. Hello, I have a 15 year old terrier. A year ago he got a hormone chip due to tumors at the anus, which should only work for half a year. The tumors are gone, but since then he pees like a girl and does not mark anymore. Instead, he often pees in the apartment - the entire bladder at once. He often refuses to empty when we walk (even if we walk for a very long time) and lets it go as soon as we are in the apartment. Months of rewards for voiding outside showed no success.
    Since I don't know what else to do, I put him in the shower after the walk, where he refuses to empty himself, and then he does empty himself, grumbling. Even when I put a diaper on him, he almost immediately spreads his legs and lets it run.
    It is so disgusting to always have the urine smell in the apartment. Does anyone else have any ideas?

  17. My 5 year old male dog has been peeing tons of urine in the apartment for a week while standing (without lifting his leg like outside). He also vomits 2-3x a day, but only yellow mucus, not his meal. I go outside with him often and for a long time, he pees normally outside. He drinks almost nothing, but eats normally. His behavior is also completely normal, he plays etc everything as usual. The vet had taken blood, kidneys, liver everything i. O., except the thyroid gland, which shows inflammation values. No cystitis, no diabetes. Since my male dog has mated a bitch 10 weeks ago, it was said: a high testosterone level. Now I am supposed to have a "castration chip" implanted in him...I don't know what to do....

  18. Hello I have a question my dog bienkelt from time to time in the apartment even in her bed or in mine also with my son in the apartment it is not much what she pees but not already I do not know what breed my dog is I got him from Spain l

    1. Mine from Hundeo

      Hello Luna, we assume that your dog comes from the animal welfare Spain? Depending on how the past of a dog was, it can unfortunately come to undesirable behavior patterns, for which an individual consultation of a competent person (behavior therapist, trainer, etc.) would be very advisable.

  19. Hi there, we have an11/2 year old male who is deaf from birth. We got him as a puppy and he is a second dog. Somehow he has never been 100% housetrained but by now the urinating is really ultra annoying. The other dog is a female ,she is three years old ,also we got her as a puppy and she is absolutely clean. Since such things as scolding or other commands do not work, we know no more advice.

    1. Mine from Hundeo

      Hello Ingeborg, we would advise you to contact a knowledgeable person who has experience in training pigeon dogs. Possibly your veterinarian can recommend someone.

  20. Hello, we have a 10-month-old Terrier bitch comes from Romania Adopted on 16.07.2021.There she had a home and was then exposed.Our sunshine was probably not yet in heat, and clean she was already after 2 days.Now she makes about 1 week again in the apartment although I walk with her 5-6 times a day and in the garden she can also always there free access.But no she makes in the apartment.When I walk with her she does everything else only rarely her business.In the garden she also makes little but at the beginning was often.Healthy she is we also have in writing.What can I do so that she is finally clean and also remains.Yes I praise her when she makes times outside.

    1. Mine from Hundeo

      Dear Marina, if the tips recommended in our article do not bring success or the behavior of your dog is too pronounced, we recommend you to call in a professional person in your area - e.g. trainer, behavior therapist. We wish you success in solving the problem.

  21. Hello dear Hundertwasser,
    We have since 9 months a year old male from the animal help from Portugal. In the first week he pees more often in the apartment but this has quickly settled by walking 4 times a day. He is a very sensitive dog and is still afraid of some things, especially when we have discovered a tick on him and we want to look, he starts shaking like crazy, crawls away and starts to empty his bladder. Mostly in our bed what can I do to make him stop and let us feel him like a tick?
    For advice I would be grateful

    1. Mine from Hundeo

      Hello Barbara, surely there is a bad memory behind this behavior, which is triggered when you try to touch or hold him. Try it slowly step by step. For example, take a treat. While you are giving him the treat, just pet him. Stay calm while doing this. The more relaxed and calm you are while doing this, the more your dog will feel secure as well. When you feel that he can be stroked without problems, embrace his body, for example, as if you were hugging him. Only for a short moment. After that, continue stroking. And hug again. Keep practicing until he will let you hug him without a treat. In the next step, try gently grabbing a leg, for example, holding it for a brief moment and then stroking it. Again grab the leg and hold a little longer. Then stroke again and so on. If these exercises do not relieve him of his fear, it would be useful if you involve a competent person on the spot. Kind regards - Your Hundeo Team

  22. Hello I have a 20 week old dachshund .
    She goes on the dog toulette Pippi make .
    Untern play makes her 3 -4 times a day in their cribs how can I get her out of the habit best,
    Greetings Alexandra

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