When people adopt puppies, they expect to be confronted with the task of house training. With adult dogs, however, pet parents often assume that the dog will already know to use the bathroom outside.
Although this is true in most cases, some adult dogs never received adequate house training and, as a result, don’t know that urinating or defecating in the house is inappropriate. Many pet parents have fallen in love with an adult dog at a shelter, adopted them and brought them home only to find out that house training needs some work. Fortunately, there are ways to house train your older pooch and help them overcome their toileting issues.
Why Dogs Go Inside the House
There are many reasons an adult dog may urinate or defecate in the house. Sometimes, these reasons boil down to improper or incomplete house training. Put another way: the dog simply doesn’t know that he should be going outside. In these cases, the dog can generally be re-trained to use the outside facilities for his bathroom needs.
In rare cases, however, the dog may be urinating or defecating inside the house because of an anxiety or fear issue. In these cases, pet parents need to find the source of the dog’s anxiety and fear and treat it there. Occasionally, dogs also urinate in the house because of submission or excitement, although this is much more common in young dogs or dogs that have been badly abused. Generally, this tendency will dissipate as the dog matures and gains confidence.
How to Fix the Problem
If your dog is urinating or defecating in the house due to poor or incomplete house training, it is important to re-train the dog to use the outside for their bathroom needs. Often, this can be achieved with the use of crate training. Dogs, like many species, do not want to urinate or defecate where they eat and sleep and, since a crate is a confined environment, it is often enough to teach dogs to hold their bathroom needs until they are in a more suitable environment. Keep in mind that crates should only be used as a form of training rather than a form of punishment or confinement, as this will easily create fear and resentment in dogs and may actually worsen the urination and defecation issues.
You can also help your dog learn good house training manners by paying close attention to any signs the dog may be giving that indicate it is time to go out. Most dogs will signal that they need to use the bathroom, but these signals can often be subtle, leading to pet parents missing them. Common signs include whining or pacing by the door.
These things, combined with a vet visit to rule out medical issues, are often enough to rectify a dog’s improper bathroom habits and make the house a clean and enjoyable place for the entire family.
If you have any questions simply post one to the LovePets experts.
Content reviewed by a veterinarian.