If Scooby thinks your entire house is his potty, you're probably not smiling. Although peeing throughout the house is common for a puppy, older dogs might also require training, especially if they were previously housed in a commercial dog-breeding facility and must now get used to new surroundings. Instead of punishing Scooby, which might make the indoor soiling worse, find out what's triggering his behavior so you can deal with it appropriately.
Just like humans, dogs can get sick, and a visit to the doctor can help establish a diagnosis. Have a veterinarian examine Scooby to rule out medical conditions. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, he might have a bacterial bladder infection or increased urine production, which can be caused by conditions such as hyperthyroidism or kidney or liver disease. In an older dog, incontinence might be to blame -- he might just have trouble holding his bladder.
If Scooby was fully housebroken and suddenly pees everywhere, he might be marking his territory. This territorial behavior is more common in male dogs and is his way of marking everything he thinks is his. Everything from your socks to your bedding can fall victim to Scooby's behavior. Unfamiliar smells, a new baby or another pet can trigger him to mark. Neutering Scooby might stop or reduce his urine-marking behavior.
Potty training Scooby can keep him from peeing all over the house. In addition to establishing a regular feeding, playing, walking and sleeping routine, watch your dog like a hawk when he's indoors. When he starts to circle, bark or sniff, bring him to a designated potty area, because he might have to relieve himself. When he does, lavish him with treats and praise so he'll want to repeat the behavior. If at times you can't watch Scooby, get him comfortable with being in a crate. Be consistent and patient, and eventually Scooby will be fully housebroken.
Instead of punishing Scooby after finding a puddle on the floor, just clean the mess and promise yourself to watch him more closely. Use a cleanser geared toward removing pet stains, because if not cleaned thoroughly, the smell might encourage Scooby to pee in the same spot again. Punishing your dog after the fact isn't effective, because your furry friend won't associate the punishment to what he did earlier, and he might end up fearing you.
- The Humane Society of the United States: Housetraining Adult and Senior Dogs
- ASPCA: Medical Causes of House Soiling in Dogs
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine-Marking: Why Dogs Mark Their Territory
- The Humane Society of the United States: Urine-Marking Behavior: How to Prevent It
- The Humane Society of the United States: Housetraining Puppies
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.