How to stop a dog from peeing in the house – Here’s a complete guide

Saying “bad boy” or punishing won’t help. Your dog needs more than that. Here’s a complete guide on how to stop a dog from peeing in the house.


House soiling – a common problem among dogs

Even though your dog is already housetrained, there is no guarantee that he won’t ever pee in your house. In fact, more than 30% of dogs are diagnosed with this problem. However, again, being a common problem does not mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. So if you are one of those asking how to stop a dog from peeing in the house, then here’s you have it, the complete answer for all your wonders.

Why do dogs urinate indoors?

Behavior problems

behavior problems

Overexcitement – When exhibiting the excitement, dogs often do not show the submissive body language. Instead of expressing their hyper moods by wiggling and jiggling, they seem to move a bit out of their training boundary. Thus, they may jump around and happily spray their urine everywhere inside the house.

Anxiety – Uncontrollable urination may be a sign of submission and fear. This problem often occurs when someone leans over and scolds the dog. The dog may appear comfortable at first, but when the interaction becomes too scary, submissive urination may come as a result.

Territory marking – Dogs are territorial animals by nature. And once they start, it will quickly become a pattern – they leave small amounts of urine in some certain places in the house. Dogs also start marking when they feel the sense of separation anxiety or when they experience from the lack of housetraining.

Medical problems

medical problems

Medical disorders raise the urgency of urination, making the dog unable to get outside fast enough. In such circumstances, they will just go wherever they are standing. Major medical problems that cause house soiling in dogs are:

  • Kidney/ liver failure
  • ​Adrenal glands issues
  • ​Diabetes
  • ​Brain diseases
  • ​Bladder stones or infection, incontinence
  • ​Cushing syndrome
  • ​Addison’s disease
  • ​Allergic reaction to foods/drinks
  • Pain when lifting the leg or squatting

How to stop a dog from peeing in the house?

Observing and supervising

Observing and supervising

Photo credit: This Year's Love via / CC BY-NC-ND

Before the act

It’s ideal to catch your dog just when he’s about to do the thing. Some “before the act” signs are sniffing the ground, circling, lifting a leg, or squatting. Once you recognize these tell-tale signs, take him out and confine your pet in a particular peeing area as soon as possible.

In this step, close supervision is essential. And don’t worry, dogs learn quickly from this habit. An important note for supervising your dog is that you need to be dedicated and consistent in your action.

During the act

If you cannot catch them before the act, the next best thing to do is to get their attention as quickly as you can. Making a loud noise by clapping your hand or shouting is a good idea.

Also, you can make a shaker bottle by putting some pebbles/ coins inside a plastic bottle. Give it a strong shake to create a loud noise whenever you catch your dog during the act. The loud noise will startle and interrupt the dog, temporarily stopping it from peeing.

Praise your dog for peeing outside

Praising has always been an essential task for giving the reinforcement for a good change in the dog’s behavior. Thus, praising your dog whenever he pees in the appropriate place will reinforce this habit.

Tell him how a good boy he is and he will learn quickly from the positive response. In other words, by praising the dog, you will get across to him the idea that marking inside the house is not acceptable.

Removing the scent

how to stop a dog from peeing in the house

Photo credit: BPPrice via / CC BY

Identify the spots

Stopping your dog from peeing inside the house should not be s struggle. But it indeed needs a lot of patience and diligence. As territorial marking can quickly become a stubborn pattern, you have to leave so sign of odor if your dog peed inside the house.

Thus, it’s important to figure out all the areas with urine’s smell, even the smallest spots and even the areas with the slightest odor. This is to ensure that your cleaning will take effect to stop the dog from reoffending the same spot.

Clean thoroughly

50/50 water-vinegar

Mix half water half vinegar to clean the spot. The properties in vinegar do an excellent job in removing the odor. After cleaning with the mixture, pour water over the spot and dry it with a clean towel paper.

Enzyme-based cleaner

To make sure the lingering smell cannot make the problem worse, it’s advisable to use enzyme-based cleaning products. These cleaners can eradicate the smell entirely, which will keep the dog away from their reoffending behaviors.

When shopping for a cleaning product, be conscious about its ingredients. Some cleaners may leave stains, and some others may contain harmful ingredients for households. It is thus best to use natural cleaners to ensure a hassle-free cleaning.

Important notes

Don’t use any cleaning product containing ammonia. As dog’s urine also contains ammonia, they will be even more encouraged to pee in that spot again when they smell it.

Besides removing the scent in certain areas in the house, it may be necessary to give the whole floors a deep clean. And even though it will take you some effort, it’s worth the cleaning to reset the dog’s indoor peeing behavior.

Establishing roles and bonds

roles and bonds

Photo credit:

Set yourself as the pack leader

Above every specific expectation for your dog’s behavior, it’s crucial to make the dog familiar with his name and your role as the leader. Dogs crave boundaries and rules. And your mission is to let him know what are good and bad behaviors inside the house.

However, setting yourself as a pack leader doesn’t mean that you should apply physical punishment on the dog. He won’t understand what he does wrong, which will not bring you any real benefit.

So instead, use the assertive and calm energy. Make your dog earn food, water, and affection by involving him in exercising and discipline.

Communicate with your dog

When your dog is familiar with his name and knows you’re his boss, he will obey your command. Don’t think that it is ridiculous to talk to your dog because he won’t understand human language. Yes, he may not understand the language, but he definitely can refer from your voice and tone.

So if he pees inside the house, carry/pull him to that spot and reflect your displeasure. Then, bring him outside where he’s supposed to pee, change your tone of voice to convey the idea that this’s the right spot.

Prevention for house soiling by dogs

Prevention for house soiling by dogs

Spray collar

Using spray commander seems to be the simplest yet most advanced method to prevent a dog from house soiling. The device is attached to the collar of the dog, and its loud sound will quickly interrupt whenever he tries pee indoors.

Scat mat

Simply put the scat mat in the area you want to keep your dog away from and switch it on. When your dog touches the mat, he will feel a mild and harmless static pulse. And he’ll then learn which areas he should avoid.


If house soiling is the result of a medical issue, make sure your dog get checked and treated properly. In case it's a problem of behavior, then house training will help to reduce the likelihood of your dog marking in the house.

When your dog needs correction, you have to be firm, loud, and strict consistently. And when he deserves praise, use your happy tone of voice to show him your good feelings. By giving him intensive training and observing, you can establish and retain the well-behaved peeing in your furry friend.

Bottom line

Stopping and preventing your dog from marking indoors is not a tough task, but it needs a proper way. Thus, it’s crucial to get a grasp of how to stop a dog from peeing the house without negatively affecting his psychology. In short, it needs a lot of patience, discipline, and consistency in your method.

Tina Bray

My name is Tina Bray from - a student of San Diego State University majoring in communication. My dream is to educate people to stop animal abuse. Now I am living with my parents, two siblings, and my royal friend – a dog called Pip. I often spend her spare time on taking Pip for a walk while hanging out with my friends.

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