How to Correct Common Dog Housebreaking Problems

By Maria Posted in dog training /

Housebreaking problems are not rare, and they can be classified into several different types. Identifying which problem your dog has is the first step to correcting it. Potty training can solve all kinds of housebreaking issues. With this process, you simply teach your dog to eliminate in the right area and encourage him to not do it anywhere else.

Problem #1: Eliminates indoors and won’t go outside.

photoOne housebreaking problem I frequently come across is that the dog was inadvertently taught to relive himself inside. He can be put outdoors for long periods of time, but he will wait until he comes back inside to eliminate. Such a dog will usually do his business where his owner cannot see him.

This problem is generally caused or aggravated by taking the dog over to his mess and punishing him long after it was made.

This type of predicament calls for some structure in the dog’s life and plenty of discipline for the owner. The dog needs to be taught to trust and not fear his owner. Once trust is in place, he must learn to eliminate on command.

Problem #2: Scent marking inside the house.

Another common housebreaking problem is that the dog marks his territory inside the house. This is often found in male dogs that are more dominant or have a high mating drive. Another cause of this problem, sometimes combined with one of the other two causes, is insecurity.

Dogs that feel insecure or threatened tend to mark their territory to warn others that it is already taken. Since they can’t put up fences to keep intruders out, they put up scent posts instead.

This problem can be very difficult to correct, but it’s not impossible. If your dog is male, I suggest that he be neutered. The next step is to teach him how to eliminate on command, and on a particular scent post (for male dogs). You will also have to catch your dog in the act of eliminating indoors and correct him properly.

Problem #3: Submissive urination.

This one isn’t really a housetraining problem; instead, it’s a social and/or temperament issue. If your dog pees when excited, upon greeting people, or when you are upset with him, then he has a submissive urination problem and you should not punish him for his accidents. If you do, then you will only make the whole thing worse.

One way of correcting this problem is to develop good communication skills with your dog. This includes avoiding the following: emotional greetings, eye contact during greetings, and dominant postures with your dog.

You will also need to develop a strong bond of trust and confidence with your dog. This can be accomplished by doing different touching exercises. A well balanced obedience training program is also recommended.

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