Ask the Dog Guide: Dachshund Occasionally Urinates Indoors

August 15th, 2008 by Dan

Question:I have a 1 1/2 yr old miniature long haired Dachshund that we got when he was 6 months old. He is occasionally peeing in the house even though we have a doggie
door. Here is his history and what we have done so far to try and remedy this.

His 1st owner allowed him to pee anywhere in his house, so “Oliver” thought peeing inside was ok. We got him neutered right away and started crate training the 1st night. It took nearly a year and we thought he was going outside 100% of the time, but I noticed random pee spots on two specific rugs in the house. Our wool living room rug (which was his favorite spot to pee as a puppy) and a rug
by the sliding door to go to the back yard(around the corner from the doggie door). I use dog urine odor neutralizing solutions on the rug spots, but I think he can still smell the urine. I threw out the rug by the sliding door and bought a new, washable rug–which he still pees on (not every day, just randomly).

I just sent the wool rug out to a company to treat it for pet urine odor, so I want to make sure I fix this problem.

I work from home 90% of the time, so I see him go out the doggie door all day to go pee. He is in his kennel when we are not home and does not have accidents there. He sleeps in our bed with us, and I think he is peeing inside either during the night (although our doggie door makes a loud “bang” when opened, so we hear him go out 1st thing in the morning) or in the evening before bed. We know he hates to go outside to pee or poop when it rains or the grass is wet (we live in AZ, so hardly ever have rain).

I make a point of taking him out in the am if he gets out of bed first and I don’t hear him head to the kitchen where the doggie door is. I praise him every time he pees outside when I am with him. I also take him outside every night before bed to make sure he pees. He is healthy, and doesn’t have an issue every day–is this lazyness? What can we do if we never see him peeing inside, we only find the pee spot later?

Thank you!

A black and tan dachshund lifts his leg to pee on a trash can.

A black and tan dachshund lifts his leg to pee on a trash can.

Photo by anko.gaku_ula


Dogs not just not housetrained as puppies, but actively taught that urinating and defecating in the house is acceptable, can be difficult to manage as adults. If you do not know where your dog was bred, he may also be suffering from the one-two behavioral punch of being a puppy mill survivor as well as allowed to potty indoors as a pup. Many dogs bred in a puppy mill environment first learn to urinate and defecate on their own when confined to a crate or kennel, and later have difficulty transitioning to pottying outdoors.

One way that puppies learn where peeing is appropriate is by remembering the texture beneath their paws when they urinate. If your Dachshund grew up urinating on rugs, it may be that sometimes, when his bladder is full, walking on the rug triggers urination.

The simplest solution may be to move the rugs to a location where he has never had an accident, and put something in the area where he’s had his accidents that is of a texture unappealing to him. Many people succeed in eliminating accidents using the clear plastic floor runners with little feet on the bottom. You can probably find them at Target or Walmart. Turn one feet-side up, and place it where he has been having accidents. The texture is very different from anything to which he is accustomed, so it will not automatically say “possible pee zone” to a full bladder like the rug does.

Then, scatter some toys and treats atop the little feet of the floor runner. That sends the message, “This is a play and snack zone, not a bathroom zone.” Make a special point of playing with him in those areas when he has just emptied his bladder, so that he associates them with play and an empty bladder, not with the need to urinate.

After he has been accident-free for some time, you can return the rug with the floor runner on top of it, and then after another several days without accidents you can try removing the floor runner, but continue to make a point of making both rugs areas for food and play, neither of which in a dog’s mind is compatible with a designated area for urination.

One Response to “Ask the Dog Guide: Dachshund Occasionally Urinates Indoors”

  1. Jill Says:

    I have a Dachshund who is 2.5 years old, with almost an identical background! She was with another owner for her first 6 months and now she will pee inside, randomly.

    Our little scoundrel won’t pee if it’s too wet, too cold, too windy or too noisy outside. (!) So I feel your pain. Sometimes we’ll take her out a few times in a row to make her go, and as soon as we’re not watching, she runs and pees in another room, or rug. It’s always a carpet or rug.

    We’ve been consistent with training, crate training etc. And she STILL does it.

    I guess I’ve chalked our dog’s “accidents” up to the breed. They are stubborn little things. You definitely here a lot of Dachshund owners with this same problem. She always hides what she’s diong, I know she knows it’s wrong… but yet, she still does it.

    As we live in cold weather (and the accidents increase during this time) we’re thinking about putting down some puppy pads in another room to at least encourage her to go in a controlled area. I’m sure there are people wincing when the read this, but if they’ve never had a dachshund, they just don’t understand.

    Hope this helps you at least understand you’re not alone. Good luck!

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