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Ask Karen Purcell Your Own Question
Karen Purcell
Karen Purcell, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 945
Experience:  1992 Graduate Cornell School of Veterinary Medicine
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how do I get my dog to stop peeing on the couch and carpet

Customer Question

how do I get my dog to stop peeing on the couch and carpet? Dog goes in spurts, seems like for a week all things are fine. Like last night, he peed on the couch. Now today, he peed on the living room carpet. It seems like our carpet smells like pee now and I am getting frustrated. We rescued this dog about 9 months ago. We now have put him in the Kennel until we can watch him. So he is now spending a lot of time in the kennel, but without accidents.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Karen Purcell replied 7 years ago.
Has Copper done this all along or was he thoroughly house trained at any point? Did you crate train him originally? Are there other animals around that might be triggering this behavior?

I can give you a much more complete answer with additional information,
Dr. Karen
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
He was difficult to train at first. We actually locked him up in our kitchen with our other dog Fritz (cocker spaniel). So, we had a litter pan with newspaper that copper would pee on. It became a problem while we were at work. What would happen is Copper wouldn't pee and poop on the "dirty pan". So once he went in the litter box 1x, then he just would go anywhere in the kitchen. When Copper got more settled down, him and Fritz figured out how to open the sliding pocket door (so then they had the run of the house). I guess when we were litter training there were times when if the box was used, he would go off and pee somewhere else in the kitchen or on a rug. But never on the carpet or sofa. So then we started kenneling him only when we were gone. It seemed like after that, he would start peeing all over every once in a while. What was frustrating is that we knew he can hold his urine for a good 9 hours during the night. He to this day doesn't let us know he needs to go outside. Our other dog will scratch at the door and whine. Copper once outside, will bark when he is ready to come back inside. Once he is settled down for the night, he doesn't move until we open the door to let him out in the am. We tried giving him treats about a month ago everytime he peed outside. Then that seemed to help some. He knows he had been bad because after he pees somewhere he comes to hide by me with his tail tucked b/t his legs. It has been about 3 months since he pooped in the house, he used to do this daily, like he was afraid to poop outside. And he always did that in hiding. It also seems if Fritz doesn't go outside with Copper, Copper will not eliminate. SO all in all, no, he probably really has not been fully trained.

Fritz and copper get along quite well. They play together and sleep together. Occassionally they fight (growl at each other to move over or off their spot on the sofa), but all in all they do well. Fritz is old 13 years old-human yrs.

Hope this all helps, Karen
Expert:  Karen Purcell replied 7 years ago.
That is exactly the information I needed. So, what you need to do is take Copper right back to puppy training, because he wasn't fully trained to begin with. This means he stays in the crate when you are not home (and the crate is only big enough to lie down and turn around in) without food or water. When you are home, he is attached to you or another human via harness or collar and leash and never at any time left alone. At the same time, I would hang a string of bells on the door you normally use to take him out. When he gets restless, take him to the door, ring the bells with his paw and take him out. This way he can't pee in the house without an immediate correction. This could take a month or more, do not give up on him. Yorkies are tough to train.
I would also have the carpet and couch professionally steam cleaned in the meantime, to decrease the triggers that make him do this.

Dr. Karen
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Is there a certain cleaner (brand name) I should use that gets the smells out better to eliminate re-peeing?
Expert:  Karen Purcell replied 7 years ago.
I recommend Eliminodor, I have had the best success with that. I also use 50% white vinegar and water on fresh stains as a natural odor remover.

Dr. Karen

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