If your dog is soiling inside the house, first take him to your
veterinarian for a check-up. He may have a medical problem even
if he doesn’t act sick. Your veterinarian may want to run
tests on urine or stool samples.
Dogs soil in the house for many different reasons. Your dog may
never have been fully housetrained, or he may be having a breakdown
in his housetraining. He may be afraid
to go outside, or not want to because of uncomfortable weather (too
hot, too cold, too wet).
Your dog may be afraid of something – such as a noise,
like thunder or fireworks, or being
left alone. Fear loosens the bladder and bowels, causing
your dog to soil.
Your dog may be urine-marking. Just because your dog is lifting
his leg or urinating in the house doesn’t automatically mean
he’s urine-marking – he may just be relieving himself.
Dogs urine mark if they think something is threatening their territory.
They will typically leave small amounts of urine in favorite places
rather than larger puddles.
Can you connect the marking to some event that your dog saw as
a challenge to his territory? Do you have houseguests? Have you
acquired a new pet? Do you have new furniture or carpets? Is the
soiled object something that can carry outside odors such as shoes,
a briefcase or a coat?
Dogs may also urine-mark when they are anxious.
Depositing his own familiar scent in his surroundings is thought
to have a calming effect.
Females will urine-mark, although probably less often than males.
Males that are not neutered will almost certainly mark, so if your
dog isn’t neutered, that’s your first step in changing
No matter the reason, never ever try to punish
or discipline your dog by showing him his “mess” and
yelling or hitting him. Your dog cannot connect the results of his
behavior with your later attempts to punish him. Punishment after
the fact doesn’t work and will damage your relationship with
your dog. Your dog is not soiling to make you mad, to be rebellious
or to leave you a message.
We have lots of resources for you if your dog is housesoiling -