CHENNAI: My dog likes to pee all around the home — on the sofa, on our clothes — in our absence or when we are sleeping. Though he understands that we don’t like him dirtying the house and leave the bathroom open for him (he has been trained to pee in the bathroom), he keeps doing it. Please help me understand why he does this and how to make him stop.
Anupama Hi Anupama,
It is not possible to give a specific solution for the problem you have highlighted unless it is investigated more and we understand what is really going on. Since you have not mentioned the age of the dog, I will provide an answer based on possibilities.
If the dog you are referring to is a pup, then please remember that pups have no bladder control and will tend to have accidents. They will also have a higher frequency of urination. Gradually, as they grow older and their urge reduces, they can be trained to pee at certain spots and certain areas.
In case the dog is an adult dog, and if the urination happens even when you are around, then your dog is not completely house trained and you may have to rework on his potty training.
However, from your question I assume that he does not have accidents indoor when you are around, rather this happens only in your absence. In this case the first thing to do is closely monitor the behaviour. Is there an actual big puddle of urine?
If so, there are good chances your dog is actually urinating from a real physiological need to empty his bladder. Another thing to watch out for is excessive water drinking behaviour.
Is your dog gulping gallons of water in your absence resulting in uncontrollable urge to pee? Excessive water drinking could be simply out of boredom or anxiety. Work on keeping him engaged with toys and activities when you are away. Ensure that he is sufficiently exercised and is tired out before you leave.
A significant possibility is that your dog is “marking”. Trickles of urine, marked on furniture and walls is a sign of territorial behavior. If this is the case, seek professional help to address the pertinent behavioral problem.
No matter what, always check with the vet and rule out medical problems or infections before you attribute any behaviour to behavioural or training related problems, especially if this is a newly acquired habit.