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Lisa, Certified Vet Tech
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16544
Experience:  AAS Vet Tech. Bully breed rehab & Behavior modification
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how do you get your dog to stop going to the bathroom in the

Customer Question

how do you get your dog to stop going to the bathroom in the house
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 years ago.




Has she always urinated in the house, or is this new for her?


What breed dog is she?

Is she spayed?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
she is 3 years old a yorkie female she poops and pees in the house we got her from the animal shelter 4 months ago and my husband is ready to give her back... please help before this happens
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for answering my questions.


If someone were to ask me the primary negative trait of small dogs, difficulty in house-training would top that list (and I speak from experience since I am currently owned by a Maltipoo). Part of the problem is that tiny dogs physically just can't hold their bladders for as long as bigger dogs, but often the issue is that the owners (myself included) don't insist on house-training as rigorously as they would have with a large dog. Some people with toy breeds worry about putting their pets out in the cold or wet weather or may dismiss their messes as minor lapses and over look them. But small piddles and poops add up to a big problem that needs to be corrected, and all dogs need to learn that their bathroom is outside.


The first thing that needs to be done is for the pup to have a quick trip to the vet to make sure that she doesn't have a medical condition that is causing her to have weak bladders such as a urinary tract infection. Most likely, however, they urinate or defecate indoors because they don't know the difference or they are marking their own territory within the house with their signature scents. Both male and female dogs will display marking behavior, especially if they have not been neutered or spayed.


If this were me, I'd start from the beginning and completely retrain the dog to solve this problem. I would establish a routine in which the dog is ushered outside as soon as she wakes up in the morning, after meals, after playtime, and before bed. I would praise the dog every time she does her business outside. If you catch the dog in the act inside, you can clap your hands loudly to startle and distract her long enough to grab her and take her outside. The minute she goes to the bathroom outside, give lots of praise and a treat.


Accidents will happen during the retraining process, but it's important to not become angry or frustrated. When you vent these types of emotions, training stops and your dog becomes fearful or confused. It's also futile and silly to punish the dog when she makes puddles or defecates in the house. All she'll learn to do is to do her business secretly or when the owner isn't around to catch her.


Another step I'd take is to completely and thoroughly clean all the carpeting with an enzyme based product that destroys the protein molecules in urine and feces rather than just covering the smell up. There are many cleanup products on the market that work this way..just make sure to not pick a product that contains ammonia, since it smells enough like urine to actually attract the dogs back to the scenes of their crimes.


I know it's frustrating to get a rescue dog house-trained (it took me about 6 months to get my rescue mutt re-house-trained)...but with a great deal of consistency and patience, you can get it done!


I hope this helps.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I have tried everything you have said... it has not done anything I have praised her and take her out after she eats before bed after play everything you have metioned i have taken her to the vet to check for UTI and she is fine... so now what
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 years ago.

Perhaps she just needs a little 'help' to get over her substrate preference (where a dog likes going to the bathroom and where they're used to going is called a substrate preference...).


A couple things you could try would be:


Melantonin is an over-the-counter drug that can be used to treat some anxiety issues in dogs. The dose you would give would be up to 3 mg given orally whenever necessary up to every 8 hours. More information can be found here: , which includes risks, warning signs to watch out for and other bits of useful information.


Try a DAP collar. These are collars that are impregnated with a man-made version of the dog appeasing pheromone, which is a pheromone that nursing bitches give off to their pups to help them feel calm and secure. It's something that humans can't smell, but it has an amazing effect on dogs with anxiety and other issues. Although you can find them at your vet's can also find them online at places like and Ebay for much cheaper. Just make sure they're DAP brand, as they seem to work better than some other versions.


Sometimes these little dogs just need a little help calming down and figuring out where they're supposed to be doing their bathroom breaks. I used the collar on my little rescue dog and within a week or so he had stopped making poop art in his kennel.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
this is bogus.... i would love a refund
Expert:  Lisa replied 7 years ago.
I've offered you all the suggestions that anyone would offer. If you want a refund, you have to talk to the site administrators, we experts don't have any control over that part.