Dog urinating on carpet!

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Dog urinating on carpet!

This is a discussion on Dog urinating on carpet! within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello everyone, Around 6 months ago we adopted an 18 month old Beagle (not a rescue, she came from great circumstances but family were moving ...

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Old 07-14-2012, 10:06 AM
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Dog urinating on carpet!

Hello everyone,
Around 6 months ago we adopted an 18 month old Beagle (not a rescue, she came from great circumstances but family were moving overseas).

Now, for the first 18 months of her life she has been taught very little manners!! Previous owners explained if you need to do anything with her you need to catch her by her collar as she won't come to you.

She is an absolute little miss who takes any discipline as a joke

I have been working on recall with her, we are slowly getting it. She knows how to sit and drop which she picked up fairly quickly (with treats of course, only thing she listens to!!)

She is my mothers dog, so am limited as to what I can teach her (as my mother enables her bad habits! ) She will do things like jump up at the kitchen bench with front feet and try to snatch food, if you sit down with food she will attempt to get on your lap, is told to get down and just stares and 'scabs', she steals washing, takes your things and runs away with them (which i understand is a game for her, am happy to participate when she steals HER TOYS!! )

She is slowly coming around, have been putting her outside when preparing and eating food, ignoring bad behaviour, praising good behaviour but sometimes she does your head in. To put it bluntly she is like one of those cocky children that you see sometimes, (ie. gets a smack on the bum and promptly replies with 'Didn't hurt'. (not that we smack her, by the way )

Getting to the point... We have just got a new carpet, she is usually very good at sitting at the door and making a noise or nudging the door to go out, and now that we have a new carpet apparently there is no need for outside !! I will literally put her outside, wait 1/2 an hour for her to wee (that's another story) and bring her inside... She comes back in and wees on the carpet, putting her out hourly is not working, she just gets up from her bed, wees on the carpet and goes back to sleep...

I have been watching her so I can spot it and promptly put her outside but it's just getting ridiculous! She is a little madam! Luckily she has her snuggly moments and we love her

Any advice is much appreciated, Thankyou in advance!
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:13 AM
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Crate training? That's where I'd start.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:26 AM
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She is peeing on carpet because dogs like to pee on absorbent surfaces. She is not doing this to irritate you or defy you. She simply is not totally house trained.

Take her out... you must go with her, not simply put her out the door. When she pees, immediately give her the treat. If you are using a clicker as a marker, then of course use that, then the treat.

Deny access to the carpet until her house training is more solid, then only allow her access when you have her on a leash with you in the house, so you can interrupt any accidents.

Gradually give her more freedom as she succeeds.
Overall, the thing to do is make your plans around the two basic principles of house training

1) Prevention of accidents
2) Reward for success.

Right now, as you describe things neither of these principles is being enacted. You are not outside with her to reward/reinforce when she pees outside, and she is having free access to the carpet, which to her seems like an ideal surface to pee on, so ideal it is preferable to peeing outside by herself.

Dogs do not learn house training as a "revelation" as in "oh! now I get it... I'm supposed to pee outside!" then from then on doing the right thing.
Instead they learn by HABIT formation, and its a gradual process. As the human, your job is to set things up so she basically cannot fail, and continuously gets rewarded for peeing where you want her to. Eventually the habit will be so strong, she will be desperate to get out to her accustomed pee-place when she needs to go, just as now, she is preferring the carpet, because that is her habit to this point.

Last edited by Tess; 07-14-2012 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:50 AM
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I don't like the idea of crate training but I appreciate the suggestion - thankyou

Perhaps I didn't type it properly Tess, apologies. Let me explain... She IS house trained, was fine to put outside and I go out with her EVERY time and stand on the lawn. She understands 'wee wees' just like the other two dogs and would always go - until the carpet! Even when I go out with her hourly (if not shorter) and do the whole 'stand on the lawn for half an hour saying wee wee'.

Our carpet is in our main living room area so I cannot keep her off it. I can not say enough that she has NEVER urinated in the house and would always urinate outside when asked until we got the carpet! Funny creature she is. I like the lead suggestion, will keep me on the look out too. Thankyou

Last edited by Sheyru; 07-14-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 12:18 PM
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By definition, she is not house trained until she is reliable in all circumstances, including the presence of new carpeting. I'm not trying to argue with you, but rather make the point that her house training habit is not totally established yet.

The addition of the appealing carpet surface was a new factor for her that she has not yet translated.

Dogs do not generalize well
For example, you can train a puppy to "sit" reliably in your own living room, but then must strengthen that training in all the other rooms of the house, then outdoors, then at the park and so forth.

So although she was pretty reliable in your home before the carpet arrived, the carpet is a new factor that she has not generalized yet as a "not here" surface. It is very much like grass outside in that the urine soaks in.

She does not thoroughly have the "inside versus outside" distinction yet in her house training. She has the "outside where it soaks in" muddled up with "here on the carpet where it soaks in"

When a puppy or dog, has a backsliding in housetraining, then the standard solution is to go back several steps and strengthen the training. That is why I suggested to you that you go back to consistently rewarding the peeing outside with a treat, and also work diligently to prevent her from free access to the carpet. It sounds like the leash idea might work for you.

Also, it is imperative you use a good enzyme cleaner on the pee spots, without which the new carpet will smell like a toilet to her (even if not to you) and you will have a devil of a time getting her to stop using it as such.

Remember, dogs don't operate out of their frontal lobes (thinking part of the brain) when it comes to these matters. They are operating out of their "reptile" brains, so don't expect her to reason this out. Its habit formation clear and simple. The more you personify this and impose complex human reasoning ("she knows better"... "she is doing this to bug me") the more difficulty you will have getting the situation sorted out.

This is very mechanical.
Set things up so she cannot fail, and gets continuously reinforced for success, and she will form the right habits.

What I tell people is to "keep score".
Put a penny in a jar for each rewarded success (pee outside with treat)
Take 5 pennies out of the jar for each accident.
Save 2 dollars and you are probably on top of it, or at least ready to begin giving more freedom to see how she does.

Last edited by Tess; 07-14-2012 at 12:23 PM.
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