"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

"Ask the Dog Guy" with John Wade

Puppy and Obedience Training Without Food or Fear

Peeing in the house training

– Posted in: Behavior Problems, Bichon, Columns, Fear and Anxiety, House Soiling, Newsletters
House Training Cheat Sheet Housetraining

I have a 5 1/2 year old male Bichon Frise that about two years ago lost his house training and started peeing in the house. I had him thoroughly checked for various things at the vet and all possible things were ruled out. My feeling is it is his way of showing he is unhappy when we leave. He is now peeing in other places. If he is caught in the act he is sprayed with a water bottle and given a time out in his crate.

He is treated like royalty-sleeps on the bed etc. just so you don’t think he is neglected, actually just the opposite!

Julie

Hi Julie,

I’m not getting why you think he’s “acting out” because “he is unhappy when we leave” as you’re indicating it happens when you’re home as well. It’s possible that his house training missteps are anxiety related if the incidents when you’re home coincide with some sort of stressful occurrence. However, it’s also possible this is connected to his being treated like royalty rather than a dog.

I think a lot of dogs see their humans at best as college roommates rather than leadership figures. This often devolves into behaviour issues and always makes them harder to resolve. Your dog might be just wondering why you’re not saving yourself a walk to the bathroom too. It’s hard to say, so it’s worth hiring a balanced trainer to come in and have a look at your house training problem and work out what’s behind it. Trying to resolve house soiling that is anxiety oriented vs relationship oriented vs just an insufficiently organized approach (see the last paragraph regarding my free house soiling resolution cheat sheet.)

I know there are dog trainers that think a “time-out” in a crate is more humane then actually saying, “No!” in a manner meaningful to the dog. I’m not one of them. In nature, a “time-out” is something a mother dog, wolf, ape, gazelle etc. might do to her young if she wants something to eat them. It just isn’t used as an “educational” tool. I’m not saying that time alone is not something that a dog might perceive as a discipline but it’s an unnecessary workaround and makes it harder for a dog to connect the dots. In the animal kingdom, if discipline is required, it happens on the spot in a clear and fair manner. A timeout would risk a return to find nothing left but blood, bones and fur so I’m pretty sure it’s not the best way to help a dog connect the dots.

Contrary to the more politically correct, but I think sadly misguided dog trainers, discipline and abuse is not the same thing. Just because they can’t see the dog when it feels bad doesn’t mean that’s more humane then addressing the behaviour in an immediate manner.

Besides, crates aren’t for punishment they are for rest, sanctuary and moments of the day when diligent supervision is required but isn’t practically possible. (Here’s a tip on how to make a crate slightly more comfortable.)

The water bottle is another piece of new-wave bizarreness. It’s another illogical connection using weak science to define what a humane “correction” is. Some dog trainers think that making a dog feel bad about something by spraying water at it is more humane than a well-timed fair verbal correction.

The truth is that both are useless if the dog isn’t making the right connection. Depending on the timing and perceptiveness of the person holding the water bottle I’ve seen more than one dog just think that water bottles are horrible. One might say that’s better than the dog thinking their human is horrible but I don’t agree that is even possible in a normal human/dog relationship. We’re all wired well enough to cope with fair discipline provided by the teachers in our lives and the overall time a dog spends with its human companion is by far counterbalanced with love which keeps the discipline component in context.

house soiling - House Train Your Puppy in 5 Days - One Spot 3X/day.Send me an email requesting a free house training program to help get on track to resolve your dog’s house soiling problem. (I recently added a simple progress chart) It will be a big help get your dog back on track. Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long-standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/ (The e-booklet is only $4.97 but I still think hiring a balanced trainer is a better first step.)

Pawsitively yours,

John Wade

55 Comments… add one
karen

I am so absolutely fed up with my 2 10 yr old Bichons. They used to be housebroken and now they literally cannot be trusted at all inside house. They will pee or poop anywhere, especially on rugs. They will go in the crate also. I will NEVER get another bichon…I don’t want to resort to potty pads but I cannot have them ruin my house any more. They are fine health wise. I just can’t take it anymore.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Karen,

I understand your frustration. No need to ever get another Bichon but this isn’t a reason as the problem you are having isn’t a known breed trait.

When you say “used to be housebroken”, how long ago was that? The two main reasons that a dog (rarely two at the same time) loses it house training when it has been good all its life is either health related or anxiety triggered (changes in routine, household structure – or possibly health). Another reason is dementia but they don’t seem old enough for that.

How sure are you that they are healthy? Did your vet do a complete blood panel?

Have they ever had episodes like this in the past that they recovered from?

If you’re sure that this isn’t anxiety or a health issue this inexpensive downloadable ebook about housetraining will help you dot your i’s and cross your t’s. (I wrote it)

Betty cole

Also a bichon issue: got a 3 year old as a therapy dog for our son. She’s great at that, but never tells us when she needs to pee. Just does it! Usually in the dining room. Will also poop in the middle of the night if not crated.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Betty,

I’ll send you “John Wade’s Housetraining Cheat Sheet” by email. Review it, if you’re doing everything on it already there’s an outside chance there’s a physical problem or an anxiety issue triggering the act. My ebook goes into much greater detail and might help as well – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/

John

Tali

I have a dog I have been trying to housebreak for a year with no success. I have crated, taken her out every hour, taken her out for last walk at midnight, restricted feeding times, and still she will go in her crate at night and during the day. I tried diapers thinking it may help her learn control, but she still went. I have corrected her with the no bad dog, in a stern voice, no improvement. She has taken to pooping and peeing now when I am not looking. She just doesn’t seem to be bothered by it. And she eats it. I would like to know if you have any tips with a dog like this, because I don’t want to make her an outdoors dog, but with two toddlers and a baby on the way, I can’t clean the crate and bathe the dog five times a day. Thank you in advance

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

It’s possible you don’t have a dog with a house soiling problem. House soiling can be a symptom of anxiety (or poor health). If not, I would recommend reading my house training booklet.

John

sue miller

Please send Housetraining cheat sheet. i, too, have a 4 year old Bichon rescue who is basically house trained but will randomly pee in house, especially when it rains or in days after. Is the training the same as for a puppy?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Sue,

I’ve sent the housetraining cheat sheet as well as a new progress chart tracker that I recently made up.

John

Tia

Could I possibly get a guide sheet to? I have a seven month old Bischon I take him out at least 3 times a day n he still goes in the house….

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Tia,

Check your email. I’ve sent you the information you asked for.

Regards,

John Wade
http://www.askthedogguy.com
519-457-9559

Patreon is an easy inexpensive way to support
the ‘Ask the Dog Guy’ column by letting fans
like you fund each piece of created content.

https://www.patreon.com/askthedogguy

Max leuenberger

We’re at the end of our rope with our 6 year old bichon. She’s started to pee on rugs in the house. Vet has done a full battery of tests and found nothing wrong. We give a stern correction when we catch her in the act but she’s very sneaky. Help!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Max,

If she hasn’t a history of this and by nature she’s not a nervous natured dog I still wouldn’t write off that there’s something potentially going on physically regardless of the tests. What was she tested for? Urinary tract and related infections? Blood work, ear problems, tooth problem, X-rays, eyesight issues, blood panel? Otherwise has something occurred recently in her or your household that has upset the equilibrium? Either way this sort of soiling is a message. I call it p-mail.

If it’s not due to a physical or routine upset then some information is missing. If it were a straight housetraining problem I’d suggest start by having her drag her leash around and supervise her like a 2 year old for the next 6 months. When you might be distracted by something enough that leash or not you can’t interrupt her sneaking away, use her crate like a playpen. Put her in it but – near you – not isolated. Download my house training cheat sheet and follow those instructions as well.

John

Alec

Love to get your cheat sheet also. My bischon is 8 and having this pee problem.thanks

Eud

Would also love the cheat sheet. My dog has been doing the same thing the past month.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Just emailed it to you.

John

Beryl

Please..could I have you email me your sheet for dog peeing

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Beryl,

Absolutely. Check your email it should be there shortly as an attachment. Check your junk/spam filter if you don’t find it in your inbox.

John

Sue

Hi John,
We are struggling with our Bichon too. I love Billy, but we just figured out he has been peeing on one rug in our home. We got rid of it and put his nose in it and crated him. He does not get it. I am hoping for any help. We love him, but this is a problem. He is such a love and we take him out 3 times a day with walks. Help!
Thank you!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Sue,

There’s not enough information for me to provide targeted input. A dog’s history, age etc. can help put things in a context that gives direction. I’m going to send by email my house training cheat sheet and a progress chart to help keep you on track but if this is an anxiety problem or there is an underlining health issue you might be putting the cart before the horse and get further discouraged. FWIW, the putting the dog’s nose in it concept must have worked on some dog some time for such an idea to continue in circulation but it can back fire. Have a look at the cheat sheet and get back to me if you have questions. Check your email. (junk/spam folders too if not in your inbox in the next few minutes.

– John

Sue

Thank you! Billy will be 4 years old next week and we are not sure how long he has been peeing inside. Thank you so much. I am going to call the vet about a urinary track infection. He does have some anxiety. He really is the best.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I wondered about the urinary tract infection but they typically aren’t targeting a single area when that’s the case. Definitely have it checked though. If he does it more so when you’re not home, rather then when you are, it’s more likely to be anxiety based. Has he ever soiled in his crate?

John

Sue

Thank you! Never any accidents in his crate, but he paws the crate and bloodies his paws in the crate. I do not like to put him in the crate. I am going to try a bigger crate and ask our vet. Thanks again!

Robin

Cheat sheet please.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Robin,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

John

Mary

Hi can i have the cheat sheet too please?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Mary,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

John

Robin

Is it possible that when dogs bark they have to pee and poop and the owners are missing the signals?

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Robin,

Anything is possible but in these cases I don’t think it’s probable. For what it’s worth I have never believed methods that involve a dog signaling through barking or bell ringing etc. is wise. Instead it’s better to train them to go out on a schedule (as outlined in my “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet”).

– John

Robin

What about the going in circles and going to the door signals that people miss? And people that clean spots with ammonia smelling products that smell like pee to the dog?

Robin

Rubbing a puppy’s nose in it and spanking them is like spanking a baby for pooping it’s diaper.

sharla

i need your cheat sheet as well. Im at my wits end with my Bichon. 🙁

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Sharla,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/ The e-booklet is only $4.97.

John

Rose shifflett

Need your cheat sheet please

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Rose,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/ The e-booklet is only $4.97.

John

Norma MacPherson

I have just rescued an adorable Bichon, and I realise his peeing in the house is due to the change in circumstances at the moment. I think your cheat sheet would help me help him! May I have a copy please? Thank you.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Norma,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/ The e-booklet is only $4.97.

John

Jan

Please send the House Training Cheat Sheet. My 16 mo old Bichon pees twice in 15 minutes outside, and then within 30 minutes of being back in the house she pees on the floor, rug or carpet.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Jan,

I’ve sent by email “John Wade’s House Training Cheat Sheet” and a chart you can use to track progress. Check your spam or junk folders if not in your inbox.

Keep in mind this is the basic approach for getting a pup on track for learning where they should eliminate, to do so 3 times a day on a schedule and to do so in a small area so you aren’t cleaning up “landmines” all over the yard. If you want something more detailed then the cheat sheet and especially if you are having a long standing problem I’d recommend buying my more detailed e-booklet – http://store.askthedogguy.com/how-to-housetrain-a-puppy-in-5-days-or-less-by-john-wade/ The e-booklet is only $4.97.

John

Maryann ERICKSON

a friend wants to give us his 13 month old bischon. He has been kept outside since the owner became frustrated trying to housebreak hIm. the dog has been checked out by a vet n has no health issues.

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

If you have a question, it didn’t make it before you hit send.

John

Lindsay

We have 2 bichons (Bro & sis). a year old and she has started peeing on our bed and we keep it seems about 400 pads out all the time. At our wits end. HELP!!, Please

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

May be p-mail as opposed to true house training problem. I have some information I can send for house training problems but probably won’t impact if this is an anxiety and/or confusion as to who is living in who’s home. Could be medical as well but depends on frequency. Check your email as I’ll send some information,

Regards,

John Wade
http://www.askthedogguy.com
519-457-9559

Patreon is an easy inexpensive way to support
the ‘Ask the Dog Guy’ column by letting fans
like you fund each piece of created content.

https://www.patreon.com/askthedogguy

Rachelle

Hi! I too have a Bichon Frise and we are beside ourselves and regularly wanting to kill him for the constant urinating on anything. He will urinate on a rug or doona hanging on the side of my child’s bed while I’m standing there. He barks continually if I put him outside or in his crate. I am continually disciplining the dog who will soon be 11 months old. My husband is at the point of giving him away. Please help!

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Rachelle,

I’ve sent you an email.

Regards,

John Wade
http://www.askthedogguy.com
519-457-9559

Patreon is an easy inexpensive way to support
the ‘Ask the Dog Guy’ column by letting fans
like you fund each piece of created content.

https://www.patreon.com/askthedogguy

Charlene

Will you please send me a cheat sheet as well. My daughter is planning to rehome her 10 year old Bichon because he keeps peeing in the house. I’m
Not supporting her decision at all because I feel like he will be depressed and confused. 🙁
Thank you
Charlene

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

I will send to your email address however if the dog is 10 years of age and this is a recent development I’d suggest a veterinarian visit for a complete physical. The obvious areas would be urinary tract etc type issues but blood work, X-rays, dental check, eyes, hearing etc would be in order as a dog can start sending p-mail when things are not as they should be. That can include upheaval as perceived by the dog in day to day environment and routines if the dog has historically been thought of as a sensitive nature dog.

John

Carmen

Will you please send me the cheat sheet my dog is having issues:(

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Carmen,

I’ve sent to the email address you provided the house training cheat sheet and a chart to track progress. Check your spam/junk filter if not found in your inbox.

John

MaryFlexser

Need training sheet and help on bed wetting at night I take her out at 10 pm doesn’t help

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Cheat Sheet is on its way by email. Check your spam/junk filter if you don’t find anything in your inbox.

Michael Chapman

I would like a copy of cheat sheet. Thank you

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Sending to your email. Check spam/junk folders if not in inbox.

John

heather

hi john i have a 16 week old bichoni have been taking him out and he as done his toilet but after 20 min or so he will pee in the house or poo yet he is brilliant at nite he is very mischievous in the day n evening before bed time as well chewing any thing grabbing my trousers or slippers when walking about any tips b grateful heather

John "Ask the Dog Guy" Wade

Hi Heather,

With pups it’s all about scheduling, supervision and the timing of feedings and amount of treats. I’ll send to your email a free tracking sheet and my house training cheat sheet. Pick up my book about training to learn how to deal with the mouthing and nipping. The Beautiful Balance – Dog Training with Nature’s Template

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