Ask A Dog Trainer: My Dog Pees In The House
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QUESTION: From Bernice who says, “I have a Jack Russell who is ten-months-old and he still goes in the house. We take him out but right when he comes in from outdoors he goes. He urinates all over my home. What do I do at my wits end. Also he is still very aggressive.
ANSWER FROM: Lynn Brezina, CPDT-KA of FetchFind
Dear Bernice: Elimination, for all creatures, is a function of a few key components:
- The need to eliminate
- Feeling safe in the environment
- An established routine
- And for four legged creatures more so than us two-legged types, there can be a need to scent mark.
My Dog Pees In The House
The need to eliminate in a young puppy (under five months of age) is very frequent, so establishing a routine tends to be easy. But there are situations that can interfere with the process, such as access to inappropriate areas in the house; outdoor noises and smells a pup may find frightening; other animals living in the home.
- You should start from scratch and re-train your puppy.
The most important part to re-training your puppy is to deny him access to all of the places in the house where he is likely to eliminate. The next thing is he needs constant, close supervision. You do not say whether he is crate trained. If he is you should use his crate to deny him access to areas where he might eliminate. If he is not crate trained your job will be harder. Set up a baby gate and gate him in one small room.
He should wear his leash anytime he is not crated. He should not be allowed to move about the house freely for at least the next ten weeks. Escort him from room to room.
- Establish a routine. At his age, he no longer has a frequent need to go. He is likely to need to go the first thing in the morning; 20-30 minutes after a meal; mid morning; mid afternoon; evening; before bed. One to three bowel movements a day and six to nine urinations is common for healthy adolescent and adult dogs
- Establish his potty place and suspend “walking” him in favor of housebreaking him. Walking often interferes with housebreaking.
Take him, on his leash, to the same spot every time. Many dogs prefer one spot to urinate and one spot for bowel movements, but he does not need the whole neighborhood. Walk him back and forth. This will exhaust the novelty of the smells he is taking in and help him focus on elimination.
Once he eliminates you may take him for a walk, but before you bring him inside you should take him back to his potty spot and give him another chance to go before bringing him inside.
- If he does not eliminate in five minutes, and you are sure he needs to, bring him back inside, put him in his crate, or otherwise restrict and supervise him, for fifteen minutes. Then return him to his spot for another five minutes. Repeat as often as you need to. Regardless, his access to the whole house must be denied until his housebreaking is complete.
Follow this routine diligently for at least the next ten weeks. As the situation improves you may reintroduce him into your house slowly; one room at a time.
You may also find that these restrictions helps ease his aggressiveness.
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