House soiling can be a simple lack of house training or the dog could be marking prominent places with urine (sometimes faeces) to make a statement or increase his feeling of security.
For puppies under 6 months of age, go to 'Puppy House Soiling'
House training problems
For all house training problems, make sure that your dog has seen a veterinary surgeon to rule out any disease or condition that could be responsible.
There are many reasons why the house training process can go wrong. Your dog can be worried about using the garden or outside as a toilet, due to a previous bad experience, or because other dogs toilet there, or because people are putting too much pressure on him to toilet when they are out together. He may have been raised in place where there was no differentiation between bed and toilet area and so has learned not to bother being clean. He may be choosing to go on concrete or carpet since these were the only substrates available when he was a puppy, or he may be being left for too long and cannot hold on. If a dog is punished for toileting in front of humans, he may be sneaking away out of sight behind furniture in the house to toilet, and this can make him more difficult to train. You could be making a small mistake in the house training process, such a leaving him outside alone to toilet, or picking him up to take him outside when he needs to go.
Each of these problems will require a different solution, many of which become obvious once you have discovered what the problem is.
House soiling problems
There are also some house-soiling problems that cannot be attributed to lack of house training. These include sudden changes in routine or lack of routine, urinating when greeted, incontinence due to a medical issue, tension or stress in the household, and anxieties when left alone. All of these problems need very targeted solutions so that the dog is able to return to being clean in the house.
Problems at night or when left alone
For some dogs, this problem may simply be a bad habit or lack of house training, or it could be that the timing of feeding/exercising is causing him to need to go during the night. The dog may be anxious when left alone, or he could be too cold during the night or he may be being woken up in the early morning so that he has a need to go before his humans are up and able to take him out. Solving these problems relies on making it easy for the dog to toilet at the appropriate time, or helping him overcome the anxiety when alone.
Marking behaviour is usually driven by insecurity or by the need to compete sexually with others if they are not neutered. Helping your dog to feel more secure by finding out what he is anxious about will help to stop the marking. If your dog is entire and competing with other entire dogs of the same sex, neutering can help (although it will not do so if they are also marking through insecurity).
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- Charlie Lurcher Charlie was from a rescue kennel and have lived there for 2 years before coming to live with us. We think he had forgotten how to be clean inside and struggled for a long time to help him learn. ... — Click to read more By Susan Sharita
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