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Out of Control Peeing

Labrador Retriever in the RainHi John,

I have a 13 wk. old yellow Labrador Retriever who can’t stop peeing. We got her when she was 8 wks. old but found out 2 weeks later she had a severe bladder infection. She couldn’t hold her bladder then and now that her infection is gone, she just won’t hold it. We have been crate training her since day one but she constantly pees in her crate.  How do I teach her to hold it until she goes outside? And how on earth am I supposed to get her to stop peeing in her crate? I am so upset by this behavior and extremely frustrated.  My husband wants rid of her but my 2 kids are totally in love with her. I find myself in tears almost daily over this. Please I am willing to put in whatever time is necessary to correct this problem.  I want so much to have a great family pet. H.M. Ajax

Hi H.M.

There are a few details missing here and it would be better if we could talk. There’s a slight chance that her incontinence is still medically related, and a slightly higher chance it’s anxiety related. More then likely though it’s now just a typical tough to house train case.

Finding pee on the floor, no matter how diligent the house training program, can be pretty frustrating for a dog owner and confusing for the puppy that one minute is adored as puppies should be and the next be treated like some with serial gas in a church service (it only happened the one time.)

Physical signs are varied, occasionally blood in the urine, spontaneous peeing, as in the pup running about and very suddenly squatting to pee usually in very small amounts if at all and moving on. A 10 day course of anti-biotics clears the infection up with the outward symptoms stopping around day 3 or 4 when house training can resume.

Check to see how much room she has in the crate. It should be no bigger then to allow her to stand up, turn around and lay down. She’s much more likely to exert self control. People keep buying these crates the size of condos forgetting that dogs need more of a den like environment rather then a MuttMansion.

If the crate area is already small then get her back to the veterinarian. I don’t believe the infection is gone. It might be but the peeing in the crate tells me to check again. She may just be doing so be cause she’s used to it but check anyway.

Other then that it boils down to straight supervision. She’s on the leash and supervised all the time. You have a timer set to whatever interval is well within the boundaries of her incontinence. Trot her out whether she needs to go or not plus whenever she wakes up from a nap, has been playing with the kids or chewing a toy or sniffs and/or circles and an area. If she’s peeing in the night set your alarm for whatever interval you think is needed and extend it a little at a time. During the day, when you get three pee free days increase the interval 15 minutes.

Physically most dogs can hold it through the night by 10 weeks of age and accidents have finished by 16 weeks. Your time line is likely twice that. Don’t react if she pees in the house. Just clean up with a product designed to chemically neutralize urine.

Hang in there. This is doable. If things are getting on track soon, send me an email for a house training cheat sheet or give me a call. My contact information is on my web site

John Wade the Dog Trainer

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8 thoughts on “Out of Control Peeing”

  1. Destinie Carson

    My dog has always had potty training issues and then she got pregnant and she keeps having accidents in the house and peeing in her crate. She also submissive pees and her genitals are inflamed. I need to find out what’s wrong and get her to stop ASAP.

  2. I have a 16 week old male neutered rott gsd mix. He dribbles urine constantly and literally pees sometimes as he walks. Vet shows no uti and says he’ll outgrow it, but this is too much. I noticed if he’s up, paws on my lap, leaning ING against the couch, my legs, whatever he’ll drip more, as if pressure against his belly makes it worse. He has laid in my lap, belly down, and urinated on me. Something is way wrong. He goes outside at least every 30 minutes. No urine in crate he can hold it for 10 hours so I’m confused. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Annie,

      I’d start with a second veterinarian opinion. Just because it’s not a UTI (you don’t seem confident, and I’ve had many experiences where it was found to be the case when the test results indicated otherwise earlier) doesn’t mean it’s not another physical problem. He’s old enough to outgrow this if it was standard submissive urination. However, there are dogs that need some help in that department. Let me know once the physical possibilities have been dismissed with confidence and I’ll make some suggestions from a behavior perspective so you don’t need to wear a raincoat around him.


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense
      London’s #1 Referred Puppy and Dog Trainer

  3. Jeannette

    My 17 week old Goldendoodle Bear is doing well with training. Never goes in his crate, sleeps all night. Poops outside, goes outside when we tell him to “go potty”. The only thing we have issue with is him dribbling when he needs to pee. He barks when he has to poop, but when he has to pee he just walks through the room dripping until I notice it. I’m pretty much always notice so he doesn’t all out go in the house. We take him out regularly, but of course sometimes he just needs to go sooner than an hour. Anyway, is the dribbling pretty normal? Is there a way to get him to tell us he needs to pee? He can’t seem to get the bell thing, for whatever reason.

    1. Hi Jeannette,

      That is a little weird at 17 weeks of age. I’m sure it’s nothing serious and he may outgrow it but I’d have a look at your approach to house training. He shouldn’t be waiting until he thinks he needs to go, he should be learning to go on a schedule. It’s also possible that he has a UTI or something similar. Easy enough to fix but I’d get on it sooner rather than later as these habits can outlast the infection.


      John ‘Ask The Dog Guy’ Wade
      Embracing Science and Common Sense

  4. Mindy O.

    My dog is 18 weeks. She holds it all night (most nights) and will hold it when in her kennel. We take her out first thing in the morning, first thing when we get home from work, and several times in the evening and right before bedtime. We know she can hold it for several hours but when she’s not in her crate she will pee wherever she fancies. We will take her out and walk with her for 10 to 15 minutes every time we take her out and 5 to 10 minutes after we come back in, she will pee or poop somewhere, even when she’s already peed multiple times outside. She knows how to hold it but she refuses to do so. She doesn’t have a UTI or any other infections. I’m at a loss for what to do next. Our apartment is starting to smell despite our cleaning efforts.

    1. Hi Mindy,

      I just want to be sure that you’re sure she doesn’t have a UTI or other similar infections because she has been tested by a veterinarian? If so, the problem is likely at the other end of the leash and related to dotting your i’s and crossing your t’s. I’m going to send to the email address you’ve used my house training cheat sheet. That should get you on track. Normally a pup started on this program will be fully house trained by 16 weeks of age, however, when things are this off track, for this long, you’ve got a longer period of dotting i’s and crossing t’s ahead of you. You’ll get there though. Check your email.

      – John Wade (

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