Why Your Dog Keeps Peeing in the Same One Room of the House Over and Over; How to Get It to Stop
Need Help House Training Your Dog?
Why is it that a (mostly) house trained dog will sneak off to a certain room in your home to relieve himself? Understanding some basic dog behavior will help you understand why your dog uses the living room, the baby's room, or some other room in the house as his own personal potty. More importantly, you can use this knowledge to break your furry friend of this bad habit.
So you've been house training your dog and doing everything right. You've been taking him outside every 20-30 minutes, petting and praising him when he "goes" outside, and taking him back out again every time you see him sniffing around as though he's looking for the perfect place to pee. You've been working with him for several weeks or months, He's making progress and getting the hang of it. In fact, he's pretty much house trained at this point. Or maybe your dog has been successfully housebroken for a year or two. Yet despite the house-training success the two of you have achieved together, your dog is leaving you "surprises" in the house, and it's always in the same room.
Reward Your Dog with Lots of Praise When She "Goes" Outside
Eliminate Enticing Smells
The first answer that comes to mind for many people is smell. It is a well known fact that dogs will return to the scene of the crime because their noses tell them to go where they have gone before. Get a good enzyme cleaner and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Clean your carpet or floor thoroughly to remove as much of the smell as possible. In the past I have used Out! Stain and Odor Remover and it has worked well. Out! is a spray-on liquid that contains enzymes and pro-bacteria to basically "eat away" the stains and odors of pet accidents.
Close the Door to Pet Accidents: A Quick Fix
Another solution that dog owners sometimes employ is closing the door to the room that your dog prefers to use as his potty, or putting up a dog gate. Sometimes dog owners limit their dog's accessible area to one or two rooms of the house, such as the kitchen and/or laundry room. These are simple solutions, but really are only quick fixes which do not directly target and solve the dog's behavior problem, In fact, limiting a dog's access will actually make him more likely to go potty in the forbidden room if he happens to find a way in.
The Ultimate House-Training Solution
Eliminating the smell and restricting access will definitely help, but in my experience will not entirely solve the problem. Years ago when I got my first dog, I read Brian Kilcommon's excellent book, Good Owners, Great Dogs. In the book he explains that dogs prefer to be clean and do not like to poop and pee in the places where they spend their time. That's one reason why, when my dogs happen to get loose in the front yard, they run right over to my neighbor's yard and leave them a big present. They're not only trying to mark and expand their territory, they are taking advantage of the chance to use the potty far away from their designated hang-out spot.
Chances are, the room that your dog is using as a bathroom is one that does not get much use, at least not by your dog. Since he doesn't spend any time there, your dog sees this room as the perfect potty spot, He can do his business and then walk away from it, and not have see it or smell it. In his canine mind, doing his business in this unused room is the next best thing to flushing his mess down the toilet.
My beloved dog Roy, rest his soul, went through a period where he would sneak upstairs and pee in the guest room. After reading Brian Kilcommon's book, I came to realize that to Roy, peeing in the guest room was just as good as peeing way out in yard by the back fence. No one ever went in the guest room, right? Especially not Roy. He almost never had any reason to spend any time in there. So I decided to change that. I started spending half an hour every morning in the guest room. I simply sat on the floor and read the newspaper. Roy would follow me in, of course, and lie by my side as I read. It only took a week or two, and voila, he saw the guest room as one of his hang-out spots, and stopped using it as a bathroom.
Once your dog sees your entire house as his territory for sleeping, playing and hanging out, he will stop using it as his bathroom and will start using the yard exclusively.