Behavioral Issues & Help for When Dogs Urinate on the Floor

Always use reward to encourage appropriate urination. Never punish your dog for inappropriate urination.
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Dogs in the wild that soiled their den could easily be found by predators due to the scent. So if your dog is urinating on the floor, he is going against his instincts. Once you identify the cause, you can use his instincts to help him learn to relieve himself in the appropriate places.

Fear and Submission

Nervous or very submissive dogs urinate when they feel intimidated. It’s an uncontrollable urge that is not linked to housebreaking. Although submissive or nervous urination can happen at any time, it is most likely to occur if the dog has a full bladder.


Scent marking urination is typically associated with furniture, lamp posts and any object that requires the dog to cock his leg. However, dogs may also mark the floor if they feel that part of the home has been claimed by another dog. For example, if you notice a regular wet patch on your floor, it’s most likely not accidental that it’s in the same place. Your dog is marking that spot on the floor in order to lay claim to it. This is most probable caused by the presence of another dog sleeping or lying in that spot.

Incorrect or Incomplete Training

Some dogs may urinate on the floor simply because they aren’t properly housebroken. The trick to housebreaking a dog is to reward appropriate urination and to discourage inappropriate urination with distraction. Your dog may believe that you want him to urinate on the floor and is doing so deliberately. For example, if you praised and rewarded him for urinating on newspaper or on an absorbent pad as a puppy, but never progressed to taking him outside, he may still think the spot where the paper or pad used to be is the correct place.

Crate Training

Crate training is a great way to kickstart the housebreaking process, even with an older dog. Because the dog is confined in the crate, his den instincts will be magnified because won’t be able to pee and then wander off to a clean area. Using a crate enables you to more closely monitor your dog. This means you can be on hand to distract him if he begins to urinate on the floor but also that you are in control of when he leaves the crate, so you can quickly put him in the garden or on his pad to urinate at regular intervals or whenever you suspect he needs to go.


You can help your dog overcome inappropriate urination by monitoring his habits and routine. Once you understand how long after waking, eating and drinking he needs to go, you can put him outside before he eliminates on the floor. Dogs tend to give signs they need to go, such as circling, pawing at a door and whining. If you spot your dog doing any of these things, help him overcome inappropriate urination by putting him outside promptly.

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