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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Brace yourself for a long post, and thanks ahead of time for any advice you can provide!

My dog Frankie is a 10-year-old chihuahua/daschund mix. I adopted him when he was 10 weeks old, and he is the greatest dog. He has always been very well-behaved and loving, except for the indoor peeing.

A little background before I begin the story:
We have two other dogs, and Frankie doesn't DISlike them, but he is sort of a lone wolf. He gets along with them, but definitely prefers people. We've had them for years now, and the timing of their adoptions didn't coincide with his urination behavior.
In addition, we live on half an acre with a massive backyard and a doggy door that all 3 dogs use. Plus, there are 4 people living in my house, so usually if one of the dogs is lingering by the backdoor, we let them out.

Now here's Frank's pee story:
We house trained him right away, and he took to using the doggy door very quickly. He never peed in the house until ~5 years ago. Those were my early college years when I started spending a few nights here and there away from home. On these nights, occasionally, I would come home to find that he had peed in my personal bathroom. I would take him to it, point at it and say "No! Bad boy", give him a light swat on the butt, and send him outside.

A year or two after that began, he began peeing in other places in the house. At first it was just when it was raining (because he's a big baby about getting wet). Then it became more and more frequent. It has been happening ever since, and there is no pattern to it. He does it a few times a week, and uses the doggy door to go out back the rest of the time. It doesn't matter what the weather is like, what humans are home, time of day, etc. It's also very intentional because he has a few choice places to go (the first stool at the kitchen counter, next to my dad's recliner, a specific spot on my mom's closet door, etc.); it's never an accidental puddle in the middle of the hallway.

He is perfectly healthy, and actually in great shape and full of energy for his age. According to his vet, everything is ideal: his weight, feeding times, eating habits, walks, etc. Like I said before, he is extremely well-behaved otherwise; in and out of the house, and no matter what company he's in (animal or human). We also know for sure that none of these surprise puddles are from either of the other dogs.

When I catch a pee spot in the house, I usually hold him near it, point at it, tell him "No! Bad boy", swat him on the butt, and send him outside. Whether I catch him in the act or he sees me when I find the puddle, he looks incredibly ashamed. When I spot him in the backyard urinating or he goes on our walks, I tell him "Good booooy!" and give him lots of petting and love.

If anyone has any advice as to why he's doing this and/or what can fix the issue, please let me know! Unfortunately, I can't afford any behavior classes for him.
 

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Stop hitting your dog.

In order for punishment to work, you have to punish the dog while they're doing whatever it is. Once they're done doing it, they don't know how it happened. As far as Franke is concerned, pee on the floor makes you angry and scary. He doesn't know how the pee got there. He just knows it's there, and you are going to hurt him.

So what does Franke do? He pees in hidden places when you aren't there. That way, he'll be safe.

He started peeing indoors when you starting slacking off in your dog ownership responsibilities and asked him to hold way too long. From there, he got into the habit of peeing inside, then he got punished, then he started hiding and it's just spiraled down from there.

Start treating Franke like a puppy. Take him out often, wait for him to pee, give him a treat. When you can't watch him, keep him confined somewhere, in an expen, in a crate if he likes it, in the bathroom, so he can't sneak off and go. When he goes inside, clean it up and do nothing else. No yelling, no hitting, nothing. Clean with something like Nature's Miracle. Regular cleansers leave the scent behind and Franke will think it's an okay place to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"He started peeing indoors when you starting slacking off in your dog ownership responsibilities and asked him to hold way too long."
Just for clarification, there was never any time when he had to "hold way too long". Whether someone is home or not, the dogs have open access to a dog door, and can/do use it freely and easily. So there was no "slacking off" to cause him to start doing this. If I had been forcing him to stay inside, I would understand why this was happening.
The majority of the time, we do catch him in the act, and discipline him immediately. In addition, he does not pee in hidden places.

Thank you for the advice on house training him over again and using Nature's Miracle. I will give this a go.

For additional clarification, I do not hit my dog. I apologize if this was unclear in my original post, but I do take some offense to such an accusation.
 

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Hi FrankiesMom,

First of all, I want to welcome you to the Dog Forum. I can see from your second post that you're probably wondering if posting here was a good idea, but I hope that you'll find some helpful information, nevertheless.

The following thread has a lot very practical ways for dealing with housetraining issues. In order to break Frankie's bad habits, you really need to go back to the beginning and reinforce desired behavior.

http://www.dogforum.com/housetraining/house-training-how-tos-2135/

There really are two keys to success: management and positive reinforcement. First of all, you need to manage Frankie's environment and schedule. For example, rather than expecting him to head out to the backyard of his own, you'll need to start taking him out on a regular basis.

Positive reinforcement is all about rewarding the behavior you want your dog to repeat. This means that you'll need to be outside with your dog and giving him tasty treats when he does his business.

Clearly, your attempts to "discipline" your dog, whether a firm "no" or a swat on the behind, haven't been working for you, and they generally don't work so well. I'd advise you to completely drop that approach.

Good luck!
 

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"He started peeing indoors when you starting slacking off in your dog ownership responsibilities and asked him to hold way too long."
Just for clarification, there was never any time when he had to "hold way too long". Whether someone is home or not, the dogs have open access to a dog door, and can/do use it freely and easily. So there was no "slacking off" to cause him to start doing this. If I had been forcing him to stay inside, I would understand why this was happening.
The majority of the time, we do catch him in the act, and discipline him immediately. In addition, he does not pee in hidden places.

Thank you for the advice on house training him over again and using Nature's Miracle. I will give this a go.

For additional clarification, I do not hit my dog. I apologize if this was unclear in my original post, but I do take some offense to such an accusation.

However you discipline him for pottying inside isn't going to work. If, by some remote chance, you get him to understand that it's pottying inside that upset you, then he'll likely learn that it's pottying in that ONE spot that's the cause of your being upset, not pottying in the house itself. So what will happen then is that he won't potty in that one spot, but there's still a whole house to teach him not to pee in. Nooo don't pee there, or there, or there, oh no not there either!!! See what I mean? What's much more likely to happen is that he'll learn that it's the peeing in front of you that's bad, you get angry when you catch him, but peeing when you aren't around is perfectly safe, so he'll go "hide" to do it. If he learns that then rehousetraining him will be much harder because he'll learn to hold it when you are around.

The best thing to do is PREVENT all accidents, that's going to mean no freedom when someone cannot watch him like a hawk, you can crate him, tether him, put him in an exercise pen, whatever you want, but no freedom unless you SEE him potty outside. Then you start actively taking him out, just like you would a little puppy, and give him a really tasty treat when he potties out there and a bunch of praise. Telling him Good Boy, and giving him love and attention, isn't enough, you need to get it through to him that peeing outside is a great thing and causes great things to happen to him. Don't worry though, once he learns that you can slack off on the treats! Do that till you are accident free for a few weeks then slowly start to give him some freedom, but only one room at a time. You want to make sure he does good in that one room before allowing access to another room so you can be sure that the housetraining stuck and he doesn't slip back into old habits.

Good luck and thank you for not giving up on him!
 
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