Housebroken Dog Urinating in House

Dogs that have been previously house-trained may begin to soil the home for medical reasons or for behavioural reasons.

House soiling is a common problem among dogs, but often one that is resolved early on during puppyhood. So what do you do if your adult or senior dog is still peeing in the house?

Assuming medical causes can be ruled out (see below), some of the more common behavioural causes are a change in owner schedule, a change in housing or any change in the pet’s home that might lead to anxiety. For example, if you leave the dog alone for longer than the dog is accustomed, or significantly change the daily schedule or routine, your dog may begin to house-soil.

Here are a few possible underlying behavioural and medical causes for inappropriate urination in dogs.


Dogs that show their exhibit excitement by urinating do not show submissive body language. Instead, they exhibit joyous behaviour such as wiggling, jiggling, and jumping as they happily urinate on the floor. This often leads to the spraying of urine everywhere. 

Two specific types of house soiling, submissive and excitement urination, differ from most other forms of house-soiling in that the dog has little control over where they urinate. 


Submissive urination can be seen at any dog, however, it is most commonly seen in puppies. It can be triggered by a stranger or the dog owner. Also, the dog may appear comfortable and friendly at first, but when the interactions with the person get too scary they immediately show submissive behaviour and may urinate.

Dogs that are exhibiting an increase in anxiety may begin to eliminate in the home, due primarily to a loss of control when anxious and not due to spite. Dogs that exhibit separation anxiety may soil the home and require an intensive retraining program.

Improper House Training

If your dog accustomed to going for walks for urination, it isn’t fair to expect the dog to urinate only outside.

A key component in resolving improper house training in dogs is to establish a daily routine that includes exercise, sleeping times, playtimes, and opportunities for your dog to urinate on a time.

Ideally, you should try and identify those times when your dog needs to go, so that you can schedule walks and prevent house soiling.


Dogs often mark for a number of different reasons. Unfortunately, once they start it can quickly become a pattern – urinating small amounts in very specific areas around the house. It may even cause other household dogs (and sometimes cats) to mark the areas as well.

Medical Disorders

There are numerous medical problems that could cause or contribute to house soiling, and these become increasingly more common as the dog ages.

Medical disorders [such as urinary infections, bladder stones, kidney disease, diabetes, etc.] increase urgency so the dog can’t get to the outside fast enough. This often results in the dog going wherever they happen to be standing.

In fact, if you have an adult dog that begins to urinate in the home or a puppy with a refractory house soiling problem, then a medical evaluation is indicated.

Any other concurrent medical signs and any medications that your pet may be taking may also be important to consider. Therefore the history that you provide is critical in reaching an accurate diagnosis.

With a physical examination, diagnostic tests, and a good history, it should be possible to determine whether the problem is medical or whether some change or stressors in the household may have caused the problem.

Leave a comment