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Help! My Rescue Dog is Peeing in the House

Border Collie on a bright yellow background

Although owning a rescue dog can be a rewarding experience, it is a challenging task to train them. This is because most rescue dogs are adults and it’s extremely hard to change their habits. Toilet training is probably the most important thing because it maintains the beauty and freshness of your home. If your rescue dog is peeing in the house, keep reading to know how you can solve this problem.

Why is My Rescue Dog Peeing in the House?

According to Cesar’s Way, an underlying medical or behavioral problem should be your first concern if your dog is peeing in the house. Other than these issues, the following are some common reasons that can make your rescue dog pee inside the house.

Imperfect Housetraining – Some rescue dogs have never learned proper house manners and don’t realize that they are doing something inappropriate. Hence, you will need to teach them the right place to pee. Even if a rescue dog was housetrained in his/her previous home, he/she can forget the drill while living in a shelter. Paws mentions that such canines will need a refresher course to bring back their good habits.

Territorial Marking – This problem is generally observed in multi-pet households as the new dog tries to mark his/her territory in the house. However, some canines can also indulge in urine marking even if they are the only pet in the home. Normally, they do this because of fear, stress, or to make the new home theirs.

Lack of Communication – This happens when your rescue dog is peeing in the house because you can’t understand his/her bathroom signals. Fortunately, this problem is not a long-lasting one as you will quickly learn the cue after a couple of accidents.

What to Do if My Rescue Dog is Peeing in the House?

Border collie laying on a couch with a spiky blue ball

If you have adopted a rescue dog who is not housetrained, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. WikiHow explains how you can teach proper manners (even to an adult pooch) with some knowledge, consistency, and patience. Some of the steps that can help you in toilet training a rescue dog are discussed below.

Choose a Suitable Spot for the Bathroom

Find an easily-accessible location (not too far) and make it the toilet of your rescue dog. Always bring your pup to the same spot to avoid any confusion in his/her mind. If he/she has already peed inside the house, you can place the soiled rags and paper towels in the bathroom. The scent from these commodities will entice the pooch to eliminate again at that spot.

Establish a Routine

Border Collie on a leash being walked in a field

Make a proper schedule of your dog where you keep track of his meals and bathroom visits. Feed your pup at the same time every day so that you could plan his/her routine accordingly. For example, you should schedule a tour to the bathroom shortly (15-30 minutes) after a meal.

Make it a habit to take your dog to the toilet as soon as he/she gets up. Likewise, provide your rescue dog with sufficient opportunities to eliminate during the day. Lastly, you should give your canine friend enough time (on every bathroom visit) to relieve himself/herself.

Supervise Your Dog

It is vital to observe your dog continuously during the training phase. This is because accidents can (and will) take place and you need to know about them. This will allow you to clean those spots to avoid confusion in your dog’s mind. You can also confine him/her in a specific area of the house to make things easier.

Clean the Accident Spots Thoroughly

Person cleaning a couch with a spot cleaning machine

Dogs have a very powerful sense of smell and will be able to find traces of urine in an accident spot, even if you think it’s clean. Therefore, it’s important to deodorize these spots to keep your rescue dog from peeing in the house. You will need enzyme-based cleaners to ensure that the area is actually free from dog urine.

How to Train My Rescue Dog Who is Peeing in the House?

Housetraining a rescue dog is extremely important not only because it keeps your house clean, but also because it will strengthen your bond with your pup. According to Wag Walking, you will need a lot of patience to train rescue dogs. This is because their habits are developed and it’s difficult for them to learn new things. Read on to know about an effective method to train a rescue dog who is peeing in the house.

Make Sure that Your Pooch is Healthy

Happy Border Collie sitting in a field of orange and yellow flowers

The very first thing that you need to do is to visit a vet for a detailed checkup of your pup. This will rule out any medical condition that could be responsible for inappropriate urination. This is because problems, like urinary tract infections and kidney disease, are quite common, especially in older dogs.  

Make Your Dog Comfortable

Going to a new home can be a disturbing experience for some dogs because they are unfamiliar with the surroundings. The feelings of fear and stress increase the possibility of accidents, even if you have adopted a housetrained dog.

You should try to make things easier for your pooch by providing him/her a comfortable environment. For example, you can use a pheromone diffuser to relax him/her. You should also make safe places for your canine friend so that he/she feels at home.

Use a Crate

Close up of a border collie in a crate

Dogs love to have their den and a crate is an excellent alternative to replicate that feeling. Other than keeping your rescue dog comfortable, it will also help in teaching him/her house manners. This is because canines don’t like to pee in the area where they sleep or eat. Therefore, the chances of a rescue dog peeing in the house can be minimized.   

Provide Regular Bathroom Breaks

To maximize the benefits of a dog crate, it’s essential to provide sufficient toilet breaks to your pooch. There is no pre-defined number of bathroom visits because they are dependent on the breed and age of your dog. Observe your pup and ensure that he/she is getting enough opportunities to relieve himself/herself at the right spot.

Appreciate the ‘Good’ Work

Positive reinforcement is pivotal for dog training because it can speed up the process. Whenever your dog uses his/her ‘bathroom’, reward him/her with a tasty treat and a lot of appreciation.

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