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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20179
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We have four dogs. They are all varying ages up to 6. They

Customer Question

We have four dogs. They are all varying ages up to 6. They still pee and poo in the house. Its hard to punish them now, as because there is 4 of them its difficult to know which one it is. The back door will be open and they will pee in the house. They also if we let them gain access pee on the beds. We need some advice please
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.

My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

Can you give me ages and sex of each one and some way of identifing each one?
Also if that dog is spayed or neutered would help?
Can you tell me if they have always eliminated in the house?
Can you also tell me the order in which you got the dogs?
What do you use to clean up after an accident in the house?
What breed are the dogs?
Are they allowed on furniture?
Do you suspect one dog over another and if so, why?
What have you tried to correct the situation?
The more information you give, the better it will be. I may suggest something you already tried. Or I may see where you might not be training them in an effective manner.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.


We have 2 female sisters who are now six years old. They are Pug X Yorkies. They have both been spayed at 4 Years Old. They are identified as Ellie and Gizzzy


We have 1 Tibetan Spaniel who is 2 and half Year old. He is not neutered. He is known as Alfie


We inherited a Six and a half Year Old Chihuahua from my Grandmother who unfortunately died. He is known as Foxie


The girls were trained on training mats as puppies. They sleep on my parents bed, but have always peeded on the bed if the bedroom room is left open.


They used to have accidents when left for long periods of time. Got worse and recently will pee on coats if they fall on the floor from the coat stand.


Yes they are allowed on the furniture and allowed on the beds.


We feel the Tibetan Spanisl pees and poos more than anyone else. But the Pug X Yorkies have been caught doing it as well.


We clean up the mess with any household cleaner depending if the mess is on hard floor or on carpet.


We praise them for going to toilet outside and do not scold when them when they are caught based on recommendation.


Recently due to frustration if we catch them we scold them heavily but useless it is very difficult to know who has done it as there are 4 of them

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the additional information. It is pretty important to determine which dog is actually the culprit. The problem is that once one dog starts eliminating inside, the others usually follow and also eliminate inside.

The first step will be a thorough cleaning of the house with an enzymatic pet odor remover. Any place they have ever eliminated must be thoroughly cleaned with the enzymatic cleaner. Since urine and fecal fluid can seep down into the padding of carpets and into the pores of other types of flooring, the cleaner must be able to soak into the carpet to reach down into the padding and break down the protein to eliminate the odor. If the odor is not removed the dogs will be drawn back to the same area to eliminate. You may need to get a special light to show up where all the old spots are. They sell them in most hardware stores.

Once the house is cleaned up, I strongly suggest crate training all the dogs. This teaches them to eliminate outside and also teaches them how to hold their urine and bowels. Many small dogs never learn how to hold it since when they go inside, it tends to be a small spot and easily missed. Proper crate training teaches them that they have to go outside and if they do not want to lay in it in the crate, to not eliminate in the crate and how to control themselves. I would train them all at the same time. The crates will need to be small enough that they do not have any extra room in them. They also can not contain bedding as it will soak up urine and the training won't be effective. The following site goes over crate training.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

During crate training, if a dog succeeds in going when outside, they are rewarded with time outside the crate, so stagger your schedule of taking them out so you only have one dog out of the crate at a time. You also only want about 15 minutes of outside crate time initially. This may help you identify the culprit as well.

Another possible option is bringing some of the outside in for them to use to eliminate which stops the need for them to go outside on their own. Small dogs frequently are uncomfortable going outside on their own, so will eliminate inside instead. Using pads confuses them as it is not grass and dirt. They then will frequently start eliminating on other objects that are similar to the pads like clothing or paper left on the floor. Several of my clients purchase a small baby swimming pool with low sides and put sod inside it. Since most dogs prefer to eliminate outside, they usually will be drawn to the sod and eliminate there. You can change out the sod occasionally or set up a wire platform under the sod to enable you to water the sod and wash the urine down under the sod where you could have some absorbant material like newspaper or sawdust which could be changed out. I actually have many clients that prefer this so the dogs understand that they are supposed to go on grass.

I also recommend leashing dogs to the owner so they are close if a dog should start to eliminate inside. They can immediately give a correction of a short tug and firm "NO" and take them outside until they eliminate outside. Once they do eliminate outside, give a special treat. Also take the dogs out one at a time when training so they do not play with one another. This teaches them to go immediately and allows you to reward them for eliminating outside with a tasty vienna sausage treat or liver sliver. It needs to be a special treat.

It is going to be a lot of work to correct the situation since you do have so many dogs, but needs to be done. You can also purchase some scat mats to put in the bedroom doorways. They do give a low shock if a dog should step on it, but humans with shoes or socks don't get shocked. It teaches the dogs to not go into those rooms. They are easily found in pet stores and online.

If possible, get the animals off the furniture. When allowed on the furniture, they feel equal to you. That leads them to think that the house may be theirs and as it is theirs they should be allowed to do what they want including eliminate in it. If they are lower, then you are the boss and when you show them it is unacceptable to eliminate in YOUR territory, they are less likely to do so.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
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