Potty Problems

Photo by Keith Cannataro | www.mrhoni-photography.com

One of the most difficult challenges a dog owner may have to deal with is a problem with their dog’s potty training. From potty training an adult dog to dealing with marking or submissive urination, there are all kinds of potty problems that you might be facing with your dog.

The first thing to do if your dog is toileting inappropriately is to take her for a full medical check up to rule out any medical issues she might have.  If she is given a clean bill of health then the problem might be behavioral in nature.

Never punish your dog for having an accident inside your home.  It is important that your dog feels confident and able to toilet outdoors when you are present but if you have a history of punishing your dog when she has an accident indoors she will not toilet outdoors if you are there with her.

Never rub your dog’s nose in an accident. This will only cause your dog to fear you even more and she will not make the connection.

If you catch your dog in the act of toileting inside, issue a vocal interrupter and take her outside immediately. Encourage her to finish outside and praise her when she does so.


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  • Liz Hildebrand

    I recently adopted two puppies. One is a female golden retriever, the other is a male lab. The lab (FINN), seems to have grasped housebreaking, however my golden (who is older by two weeks) will not let me know she needs to go out. So, if she is by the door or in the kitchen she will potty rather than come and get me or bark. I have them in a crate during the day when at work and a friend lets them out mid-morning. If the weather is nice they are outside in the afternoon for a few hours. At night they are crated, however if I am at home during the day they are out and about, or gated in the kitchen. I am working on bell training her but she doesn't seem interested and the lab is only interested in the "reward" = treat. I don't know what to do as I have never had a problem housebreaking any puppy (I've had 7 dogs over the 40 years I've been married, and never used a crate). This little Golden is proven to be an exceptional exception. Any advice or how to on the Bell Training would be appreciated.

    Liz

  • Dawn Phelps

    I have to say some dogs, especially one of my puppies, just does not get the whole bell or doggy door concept. I joke to my family and friends and say she is just a companion dog, but never the less, I continue to try. We started with the bell training. One of the puppies instantly took to the bell. It was a blessing. If she rang the bell, all 3 would just go out. We progressed to a doggy door, of course the one puppy fully grasped the concept well before the other 2 puppies did, she is the only puppy that constantly and consistently will go out to do her business. The other two puppies are a hit or miss. As with kids, every puppy and dog is different. Just keep trying and use the puppy training treats as your reward, and the clicker...Worth the money.

  • Jean

    I rescued my golden retriever 2 1/2 years ago. She just turned 6. She is the sweetest, most lovable girl but I have such a problem with her going potty if anyone is around our watching her. She will ask to go out & when I say you have to tinkle she runs out but I can not be with her or if she see's me watching from the window (making sure she goes) she runs back to the door to come in. I have stood out for over an hour many times & she will just come by my side. I pretend I am working in the garden...nope. I try first thing in the morning when I know she has to go-nope. It is a problem because if we are at the lake she won't go there & I have to drive her to my mom's house which is fenced in & let her out & she makes sure I am not watching. She passed her therapy dog certification last year and we visit our Nursing Home twice a week. I can tell when she has to go so I take her out & nothing so we have to leave & go home. She had a UTI a year ago & I called the vet to say I can't get a sample so they said bring her in....they thought I was nuts but walked her & walked her and finally had to put a needle in her bladder to get a sample. No one has any solution & they feel who ever trained her did a real job on her. She is shy & had a few issues that we have helped her thru from her previous owner. I would love to take her to another facility about 45 min away but I just can't due to the fact we would get there & only be there a limited time & I would have to bring her home. We get home from the Nursing Home & I let her out of the car because I know she has to go & she will stop & wait till she sees me go in the house before she goes to the grassy area.
    Would love to know if anyone has any suggestions for my sweet girl!! Thank you! Jean & Goldie

  • Nicola H

    I wonder if anyone has any suggestions as to what's going on with our old girl, 10 year old spaniel who has started peeing inside, usually overnight but getting often in the day too.
    Almost daily now since February we have to mop up an accident or 3 every morning.

    She's been checked over a couple of times and the vet says she's really healthy for her age, and after an op she had (after the peeing in the house started, ruptured cruciate) was on a course of antibiotics so they assumed if there was an infection they hadn't picked up on they would have cleared it. No luck.
    As vet now thinks is behavioural, and could be onset of dementia, we have been given aktivait to try. No difference.

    Really scratching our heads at what could be causing it-no differences at home, we are in and out of the house the same as normal. No recent additions. Mo changes to food times. Nothing that we can think of.

    The only thing I have noticed is that she sleeps most of the day, but as soon as it's evening and it's getting to bed time, we let her in the garden, usually about 20 mins or so to have a sniff about and do her business. The nights that she happily comes inside of her own accord are nights she doesn't pee.
    However if I have to go out and bring her in, she does pee. Those nights she would happily stay out, sniffing about and rolling in the grass for ages (2hours last night!). I don't know what to make of this but it's the only thing I can say is different. Can any one advise at all, really struggling to not get cross, we've already replaced our flooring with moppable lino because it it
    🙁

  • Paula Starkey

    Please help .... I have 2 pug girls, 8 and 6. I've moved house recently and into my partner'a house. Far too often over night and sometimes in the day one of them is pooping in the back room, where they are left when we're out or over night.

    I'm at my wits end and close to moving out due to the arguments this is causing.

    Can anyone suggest anything?

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