Inadequate dog defecates or urinates Elimination

When the dog defecates or urinates in the wrong places.

The lack of education is the most frequent cause of this problem. Other causes can be:

  • In old dogs, due to a loss of training, urinary or fecal incontinency, or neurological problems, etc.
  • Due to diseases of the nervous system (there generally are other symptoms that are associated to this problem).
  • Because of anxiety due to separation (this would only occur when the dog is left alone at home).
  • It can be as a result of submission (the dog urinates when the owner or another person arrives home and touches the dog) or because of excitation.

When puppies are around 3 weeks of age, they usually have, out of their own initiative, already started to urinate and defecate far from their resting place. At 5 weeks of age they already choose a specific place where they will eliminate and at 9 weeks, that area will be better defined and smaller, more concrete. The domestic training strategy has to take advantage of this innate tendency of the dog.

Domestic training. Most dogs are companion animals, which is why it's very important for them to be trained quickly. Training a dog using prizes is much more effective than threatening to punish. At the beginning, young puppies must be taken out to the fresh air as much as possible (the ideal would be every hour while the puppy is awake). In a little while you, the owner, will learn how to predict the time in which the puppy needs to be taken out. Going back to the exact same spot every time helps the odors to accumulate and increases the probabilities of the puppy returning instinctively.

As soon as the puppy has started to eliminate in the right place, you should give him a prize such as a cookie or special bone. If the puppy wants to play or enter the house, you should take advantage of the opportunity and award the animal as soon as he ahs finished. Don't wait for the puppy to reach the house to give him the prize as it might create a confusion as to why he is receiving it – he might think he's receiving the prize for having entered the house and not because of the successful elimination.

Ideally, if the dog is being kept an eye on, the owner can learn to identify the signs that come before the elimination and that way can interrupt the dog before he accidentally eliminates in the wrong place. This way, you won't need to apply any punishment. Nevertheless, if you notice that the puppy has eliminated in the wrong place, you must interrupt him with a firm yet loving NO! But remember that a severe punishment can teach the dog to:

  • Avoid future elimination in that spot, or
  • Avoid future elimination in that spot when the owner is around, or
  • Avoid elimination in presence of the owner.

You must only consider punishment when the puppy starts eliminating inside the house. Water guns, the shake of a tin can or a whistle are preferable to the physical techniques or even verbal rebukes as they provoke less fear towards the owner. Never use a punishment that instills fear in your dog!

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