Housebreaking is one of the most vital parts of owning a dog, and even the most dedicated owner may have trouble with a stubborn dog. Breaking a dog from peeing inside is not impossible, but does require consistency and patience.
Schedule the dog for a veterinary exam. Many peeing issues are caused by medical problems including urinary tract infections and bladder problems, and your vet will prescribe appropriate medication if necessary.
Crate the dog when you’re not able to give him your full attention. Most dogs will not pee where they sleep, and will whine or bark to be let outside.
Keep a close eye on the dog when he’s in the house. Many dogs that pee in the house ask to go out, but if the dog is in another room, you may not see or hear his cues. Sniffing, pacing and wandering are indicators that he needs to go outside.
Feed the dog on a consistent schedule. Dogs most often have to potty after meals, and knowing when the dog ate gives you a good idea of when he will have to go out.
Take the dog out for frequent potty breaks throughout the day. Healthy adult dogs can hold it for a few hours, but puppies need to go out every hour to prevent accidents.
Interrupt the dog if you catch him peeing in the house. Loudly clap your hands and say “no” in a loud, stern voice. Take the dog by the collar and immediately lead him outside.
Follow the dog outside and give him a command when he starts to urinate. Stand quietly as the dog uses the bathroom, and reward him with a treat. The positive reinforcement teaches the dog that peeing outside results in a tasty treat.
Clean the urine with paper towels and an enzymatic cleaner. These special cleaners break down proteins in the urine, eliminating the scent that might encourage the dog to pee on that spot again. If the accident happened on the carpet, clean it with an odor eliminator specifically designed for pets to completely remove the smell.
- Enzymatic cleaners and odor eliminators are available at most major pet stores.
- Never spank your dog if he pees in the house. Physical punishment will only scare the dog and may lead to more accidents.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.