Posted by: Dog owner | 2013/01/28

Messing in the house


I have a female scottish terrier aged 4 years. I house trained her from 6 weeks to go outside, by putting her outside after meals and praising her when she used the grass. I ignored her if she messed inside and cleaned up the mess. When she was a puppy, we used put her in the bathroom when we went out, and she urinated there on newspapers.

The house backdoor is open all the time and she spends 90% of ther time outside. This door is locked when we are sleeping and that is when she urinates in the bathroom, leaving a puddle surprise for me the next morning! How can I change this behaviour? Should I remove her water bowl after a certain hour? What about pet odour products claiming to eliminate the smell and things like " Voetsak"  which repels them? What about using bleach to clean the floor? The bathroom floor is tiled.

She goes for long periods without messing, then will do it for a few nights in a row.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDog Behaviour Expert

Hi there, nice to hear from you.If this is a new behaviour, then would suggest that you have her checked at the vet to make sure no physical problem. Would be an idea to phone vet first to see what they want to to look for before taking your dog in. They may ask you to see if she is drinking more, urinating more, what colour the urine is etc. I would not remove the water bowl without checking if physically she is ok first.

If there i nothing wrong from the physical side then I would suggest that you train her to eliminate on paper and have put a link here at the bottom on how to do this.

With regard to cleaning, try a mixture of one third white vinegar to two thirds water. Really dampen the whole area and then sponge up with paper towels. Many household products contain ammonia and this makes the area smell more like a toilet, plus the bleach may be very strong to her nose. Bear in mind that a dogs contains over 200 million more scent cells than us and bleach is very strong, even to us humans! If she is sleeping in the bathroom, provide a nice bed for her to lie in covering an area of the floor.

also try taking her out a bit later in the evening and see if this help. Link is

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Jane | 2014/07/19

Put newspaper down in your bathroom, the dog learnt to use the bathroom because you taught it. Clean the floor with some sort of diluted disinfectant if the paper you put down wasn't thick enough. And yes, particularly if dogs are spayed too young they need oestrogen supplements. But at the end of the day it is definitely all the ANC's fault..........

Reply to Jane
Posted by: Paddy | 2013/03/19

Spayed females have little or no oestrogen, which is necessary for bladder-control, according to our local vet. Putting her on a low-dose of oestrogen definitely helped the 'accidents', and is probably good for the animals overall well-being - it's a vital hormone, after all.

Reply to Paddy
Posted by: Mitz | 2013/03/19

Our female started wetting her bed or in the house she is now on hormone tablets and that has not happend again.

Reply to Mitz
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/03/18

It's the ANC's fault

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/03/18

Since she was a puppy she has seen the bathroom as the alternate place to go so her behaviour will be hard to change. You will have to retrain her. My dogs come and wake us up when they need to go outside during the night which we don't mind.. This did however take a few months to get right. Treats and the willingness to get up even once during the night to let her outside will get her into the routine. Get her in the habit of going out at about 9pm and then once in the middle of the night (or get a doggy door) and then first thing in the morning. Good luck!!

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: dog's rule, cats drool | 2013/03/18

You could get a little doggie door so she can run outside at night to make a puddle. If you have any safety concerns then maybe get a kittie litter box, line with paper and leave in the bathroom. You gotta go when you gotta go, and you can't expect her to wait until the morning. I take my puppy out every morning and her waits to pee because he knows he will get a treat if he does it outside :) I have also read that you could take the water bowl away in the evening, but I would rather clean up the mess than have my pup thirsty at night.

Reply to dog's rule, cats drool
Posted by: Anonymous | 2013/03/18

I also have small dogs that sleep inside. They go to the bathroom to do their business, as there is nowhere else to go. They don't do it where they sleep. I don't think there is a way to make them stop, if you have to go, you have to go. I also have to go in the night so why would dogs have any different needs than humans ?

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Dog owner | 2013/01/29


It is also not an option to close the door as she will just go somewhere else. She used to urinate on the carpets in the bedroom, and obviously would go back there because of the smell, even though they were washed. In December I pulled up the carpets and undervelt, scrubbed the cement floors with vinegar, sprayed the floors with pet odour disovler I got from the vet and have since laid vinyl tiles. She has not messed on these floors and I really hope she does not! What do you advise I do to break this habit and orevent her from messing inside at night. I tried leaving her outside at night, but she makes a racket to be let in. Thanks

Reply to Dog owner

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