Your dog has an instinct not to soil the den, so if he’s urinating in the doghouse, it means physical urges are overriding this instinct. Fortunately, you can use kind corrective methods to harness his instinct to keep his sleeping area clean.
Stopping the Problem
Monitor Lucky’s routine and make a toilet diary. Measure the time after eating, drinking and waking it takes him to need to pee. For example, you may be putting him in the doghouse just after he’s had a drink, forcing him to endure a full bladder for too long.
Observe Lucky’s body language and behavior and makes notes of what he does before peeing. For example, some dogs circle, some dogs whine a little and others simply stop what they’re doing and let it flow. Knowing what Lucky does just before he pees will help you step in at the just the right time.
Adjust his routine. Don’t let Lucky go into the doghouse just after he’s taken a drink or had some food. Set a minimum number of eliminations before you let him in there. Use what you learned from monitoring his routine to determine the right number.
Reduce the time your dog spends in the doghouse. If Lucky pees after two hours of being awake, make sure he is in the doghouse for not more than 45 minutes.
Let Lucky out of the doghouse. Allow him to explore and stretch for a moment.
Fit his leash and take Lucky into the garden. Let him roam about for a minute or so.
Guide him—calmly—to the part of the garden you wish him to use for peeing. As you do this, use a trigger word such as “toilet.” Over time, Lucky will learn that “toilet” means he should go to this spot.
Give Lucky lots of fuss and a food treat. The trick here is to make him form positive associations with this particular spot. This makes him more likely to head for this spot when asked. Repeat the process for a few days until Lucky knows the command. In the meantime, you may need to tolerate some peeing in the doghouse. But if by coincidence Lucky decides to pee when outside or, even better, on the exact spot you’ve selected, lavish him with praise and fuss.
Observe Lucky and use what you learned from his body language and toilet habits to determine when he is most likely to pee.
Take him to the spot and use the toilet command. Wait for him to go, then give lots of verbal praise and a food treat. With sufficient repetition, Lucky will learn that peeing in this spot has positive results.
- Never punish a dog for inappropriate urination. Doing so can cause him to develop anxieties about urinating, forcing him to do it in secret and increasing the chances of doghouse soiling.
Simon Foden has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He began his writing career after graduating with a Bachelors of Arts degree in music from Salford University. He has contributed to and written for various magazines including "K9 Magazine" and "Pet Friendly Magazine." He has also written for Dogmagazine.net.