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8 Ways to Stop a Dog from Marking in the House

Updated by Sheryl on Dec 21, 2021

Are you frustrated about "my dogs keep peeing in the house"? If so, you are not alone. It is perfectly normal when pet parents deal with occasional housebreaking accidents. Sometimes, your dog can't go out due to bad weather. But when your fido makes a habit of peeing in the house, it leaves you concerned. And the worst situation is when you surrender your pet and relinquish them to shelters.

male dog peeing in house suddenly
  • Why is my dog marking in the house?
  • How to stop dog urine marking in the house?
  • Don't do the following when training your dog to stop marking
  • Related questions about dog spraying pee in the house
  • Write in the end

To answer this question, we must first determine whether it is a puppy or an adult dog. If your dog is a puppy, then the home training may not be completed yet. If your dog has developed the habit of urinating in a fixed place, but suddenly starts urine marking at home, there are other potential reasons.

6 reasons why your dog is peeing in the house:

  • Dogs mark territory: Non-neutered or spayed male dogs are more likely to exhibit urine marking behaviors.
  • Unfamiliar objects in the house: Any changes in the daily schedule, the introduction of new things, or new pets to the house may trigger urine marking
  • Dog feel stressed or anxious: Your dog may suffer separation anxiety when you leave him alone at home for more extended periods.   
  • Dogs are aged: Just like humans, senior canines may suffer poor bladder control and urinary accidents.
  • Dogs have health problems: Certain health problems may lead to dog peeing in the house, such as urinary tract infections, kidney failure, and diabetes, etc.  
  • Dogs are restricted for going outside: Mostly, dogs go outside to do their business. If you don't let them out, they may pee in the house.
dog and his pee

You may also read: How to Potty Train a Puppy

It's not easy. We understand. Whatever you do, don't give up your dog and be more patient. Here are some vet-proven tips that will help you stop dog marking territory. You can try one or more steps to help your furry friends.

1. Clean up the urine immediately

Most dogs select the same spots for peeing. Therefore, cleaning the crime scene with an enzymatic cleaner is crucial to remove the lingering odor. It helps in preventing accidents at the same spot again.

However, dried urine stains can be difficult to spot, so we recommend using this pet urine detector to quickly find traces of your puppy's urine. Make previously soiled areas inaccessible or unattractive.

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2. Spay or neuter your dog

This sounds cruel, but it will greatly reduce or even eliminate dog urine marking behaviors. The longer the dog is neutered, the more difficult it is to train them not to mark in the house. Studies have shown that as many as 50-60% of male dogs stop marking territory after being neutered, but if your male dog is still peeing in the house after that, there may be other behavioral or physical problems that need to be addressed.

3. Take dogs outside

If your dog begins to pee indoors, take it outside immediately. Literally, dogs need to go outside for 3-5 times to relieve themselves. We recommend taking your dog outside on a regular schedule, and training the dog to pee in the right place and time. Also, it can help release the pent up energy to avoid behavior issues, such as marking in the house.

One last vital step, don't forget to reward your dog every time after he's finished.

4. Rule out anxiety issues

Check out the anxiety cause and try to rule them out. For example, if your dog has separation anxiety, then spend more time with him, or give them some self-playing toys to kill boredom. If your dog has a phobia from sound or music, make changes to ensure a stress-free environment.

dog self play toys to kill boredom

5. Introduce new things slowly

If the dog's marking is in response to a newcomer in the house, try to get this person to feed your dog, play with your dog, and make friends. You'll also need to move the objects your dog has marked and make them inaccessible.

When introducing new pets to your home, always start it slowly. You can let your dog get acquainted with each other's smell first. Try to find a neutral spot to make introductions, like a park. Observe their body language and take further steps.

6. Re-train your dog

Some dogs need more time to be potty-trained as compared to others. Sometimes, you need to retrain your pup for inappropriate urinating behaviors. For example, the use of puppy urine pads is confusing for young dogs since they can learn to pee anywhere in the house.

7. Do a health check

Urine tract infection is one of the most common reasons for your dog suddenly peeing in house. Some other reasons include kidney failure, diabetes, and dementia, etc. Before you get upset with your dog, take him to the vet for a throughout exam. Most urinary problems can be treated with medications, supplements, and dietary changes.

8. Get professional helps

Contact a professional pet behaviorist or a dog trainer if all of the tips and tricks above fail to stop your pet from excreting inside the house.

When potty training or housebreaking your puppy, you should use positive reinforcement again and again. Negative attitudes and punishments have opposite effects on dogs. So never do the following.

  • Don't scold or punish your pup in case of an accident. Punishment only increases his confusion or fear.
  • Don't let your dog drink too much water before going to bed.
  • Don't let dogs recognize the smell of urine, and think that indoors are suitable places to urinate. A thoroughly cleanup is necessary every time when your dog keeps peeing in house.
  • Don't let your dog stay at home alone for a long time.
  • Don't bring other animals to the house easily, especially before the dog has been neutered.
don't blame dog for peeing
Should I pee on my dog to show dominance?
There is a saying that peeing on a dog will tell him who the boss is. The idea makes logical sense but it won't work as intended. Dog parents know that keeping a dog is all about patience and love. So peeing on your dog will not change the dog's behavior and may even ruin the relationship between you and your dog.
Does vinegar stop dogs from peeing in the house?
Yes, white vinegar acts as a natural dog deterrent since it contains acetic acid. Dogs hate the smell of acetic acid. So, make a solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water. Pour it in a spray bottle and spray it on the carpets where your dog mostly urinates.
How often should dog pee?
On average, dogs need to go outside at least 3-5 times a day to relieve themselves.

Though a dog peeing in the house causes embarrassment, it is not something that can't be treated. With patience, consistency, and effort, you can rebuild a bond with your dog. Remember, yelling and scolding can never make things better. Animals can detect tones too. So, be patient and keep trying. Soon, your dog will stop making urine puddles in your house.

Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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