Puppy peeing on wood floors - is it my floor cleaner?

freezetagAugust 24, 2008

We're trying to house train our 10 week old puppy. So far she has learned that when we go outside, she should pee/poop. But she doesn't seem to fully understand yet that she shouldn't go inside.

We have her confined to our kitchen / dining room / entry area, which is hardwood floors with throw rugs. When she eliminates in the house, it is always on the wood floor - never on the rugs. So I am wondering if there is something in my wood cleaner that is triggering an elimination response. I know you shouldn't use any ammonia-based products, but the ingredient list for my (AquaShine) cleaner looks like this: water, 7732-18-5; Propanol 67-63-0; Glycol Ether of Poly 9016-45-9. It is a no-rinse cleaner, but I am going to start rinsing to see whether that helps.

Anyone else found this to be a problem? Or know, specifically, some ingredients to stay away from, or a wood floor cleaner that will not encourage my puppy to pee on the floor? I know it could just be my puppy's preference for this surface over another surface, but I definitely want to check this out so I'm not sabataging my house training efforts.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you leave her alone on the wood floor when she isn't supervised, she could be developing a bad habit. She should be confined to a crate when she's alone and it should be large enough for comfort, but small enough that she can't use one end for a potty. Dogs don't like to potty where they sleep. She should be crated whenever she can't be watched and corrected when she goes inappropriately. If you see her about to go you can tell her a firm, "No!" and whisk her outside and praise her when she goes. It will probably take months for her to be reliable and mature enough to be allowed more freedom.

If you are already doing these things, the problem could be her early experiences before you got her. I got my dog at eight weeks of age and he had been raised in a kennel with a concrete floor. When I would take him outside, he would run straight for our concrete patio because that was the type surface he had been using. I had to train him to use the grass instead, as well as training him not to go in the house. This can take time, but it can be overcome.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 9:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whe you say she is going outside, does this mean she is being let outside to go, but it is in her own yard, if this is the case, leash walk your pup. If you are already leash walking your pup, do it more often, with longer walks. She just has not gotten a routine down yet. It sounds like she is trying to figure it out. Question - do you praise her when she does go outside??? Like she just handed you a bag with a million dollars in it??? How often do you take her outside and once outside how lond do you stay out there with her?? Keep up the good work, she wil get it. Also, you might go get a painters tarp to put on your wood floors until she gets into a routine.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

(Sigh) I don't leave her unsupervised, but it's so hard to watch her every single minute! When she is sleeping, or I am cooking, helping the kids with a homework problem, taking a shower, etc my attention is not completely focused on her, and it seems like once every couple of days she sneaks off and does her business on the floor. I have caught her starting to go a few times, said NO! and ran her outside immediately. I think she is doing OK - I just thought it was odd that she would choose the bare floor over an area rug. My other dogs have not liked the bare floor, and mostly stayed on a rug or runner. Maybe she chooses the bare floor to eliminate since she mostly lays on the rugs - had not thought of that before.

Mazer, I wish I could leash walk her more. She is still at the stage where she will walk along for a minute, then start biting the leash, sitting down, rolling over, etc. We go for a leash walk a few times a day, but never for very long or very far. At this point, it is more for training purposes than for exercise :( She gets most of her exercise racing around with the kids and playing with the neighbor dog. My teenage daughter has a friend who runs with her dog, and was hoping to join her, but it seems like it may be quite some time the pup is ready for that!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Does she pee on the same spot of the floor every time? If so maybe she smells her pee from the last time and prefers to pee there.

You are right tho. All our doggie accidents seem to be on rugged areas. Our dogs are adults though and we adopted them so maybe puppies do not have this preference ??

Is the pee spot near the door? That could be another thing too, that she has to go but can't tell you yet so she hangs out by the door (or doorway to the room where you have the door outside) and has the accident there.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 11:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In the nutshell, no it's not your floor cleaner. You are expecting way to much from your dog, way to soon.

Lots of people make house training more difficult than it is or ever should be. It just takes commitment from the humans in charge, something that should be a given before the dog comes into the house.

You are making a huge mistake not crate training your dog. She has way to much freedom. If you have a negative feeling about crates, you need to make it a positive. Crate training your dog is one of the most important things you will ever do. It will give you peace of mind when you are away, it will keep the dog from injury (chewing on a electric cord and blasting its teeth out, swallowing a piece of wood chewed off, swallowing a toy), the list goes on and on. The worst case I have encountered was a dog that ingested a tin can, not something to be discussed for those with a weak stomach. Proper crate training also helps with future behavior. Without this, dogs have no structure and have difficulty gradually building on good behavior as they mature that will lead to their unsupervised freedom.

The major key to all of dogs behavior issues, and correction, is: Every second supervision, with a leash, when not crated, until dog has three very basic goals accomplished. Those goals need to be:
*No accidents for 9 months aside from medical issues.
*Teething must be under control.
*Chewing must be under control.

Without these three very basic behavior issues being accomplished, your dog will simply not be ready for being weaned from the crate and unsupervised freedom. Building good behavior, gradually, will also be in jeopardy.

Expecting to much to soon, and doing things to fast is a major mistake lots of people make.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 1:24PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Whoa there, SG! I can see how you got the wrong idea from my original post, but we do use a crate at night, and when we're away from home. When we're home, though, our puppy is restricted to the kitchen/nook area because dh is horrified at the thought of her eliminating on a carpeted area.

There are no electrical cords at floor level, and nothing she can chew that would present an immediate problem (I am thinking that to ingest a tin can, a puppy would have to be unsupervised for at least several minutes).

I did consider keeping her tethered to me, as you suggest. However, it was really hard to get anything done. For example, when I tried to fold laundry upstairs, she kept digging at the carpet and I couldn't correct her and fold at the same time. If I'm looking at dh's computer, she's underfoot trying to chew the cords, etc. Since the kids (ages 6 - 13) are generally in the kitchen/nook area, it just seems better for me to run upstairs for a basket of laundry, bring it back to the kitchen to fold, then run it back upstairs.

But you're right that it is the "every second supervision" where I am failing, because if I leave the room, the (not super vigilant) kids are watching her for a few minutes. And the aforementioned kids are also vying for my attention, and it only takes a second for the puppy to slip away and do her business in a corner. We would certainly notice her chewing on piece of wood or tin can, though!

Hopefully you are not suggesting that our housebreaking efforts are doomed - we are doing our best, and felt that we were doing OK. Even using the tethering technique, you would not expect to be 100% accident free at 10 weeks, would you??

Feeling suddenly depressed...

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't be discouraged. Ten weeks is still very young and I wouldn't expect any dog to be trained by then. If she's a small breed especially, it can take as long as a year, although they get gradually better as time goes on.

What I did when my dog was a puppy, is I bought an over-sized crate to use as a playpen. She had her little crate when I needed to confine her, but the crate allowed her the freedom to play while still under fairly close supervision. That way, I could leave the room for a minute without coming back to an accident.

I used a wire crate with a removable top, took the top off, and everyone could pet and play with her whenever they passed by. Of course, she still had some totally free time (supervised) and outside play time.

I know what you mean about it being hard to do anything with a dog tethered to you. It works while you're watching tv or on the computer, but not so great when you're cleaning or cooking.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your housebreaking of pup isn't doomed but it will take a lot longer your way. Really if you are going to leave the rm (getting laundry) put the pup in the crate. If you are cooking or helping children with homework, crate pup. When you are able to give undivided attention take pup out of crate and outside. After much praise for doing good outside it is a good time to let pup play in kit. But watch every minute! If pup looks like he/she is looking for a place to eliminate, bring pup out. Tons of praise when pup does it outside.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 7:46AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You may want to just start taking her out more often. Puppys are alot like kids, they get involved in something and all of a sudden there it is, no time to go anywhere.
Many people do not crate their dogs, and if you dont want to you dont have to, I dont think it is a huge mistake, there are thousands of ways to train a dog, and you just need to find out what works for you. You may want to seet a timer, and take her out once an hour. She is still going to have accidents. Remember you can help things along by giving her a command to pee or poo when she is in the act, praise her as tho she has just brought you a bag with a million dollars in it, and repeat the command when she is in the act, she will begin to associate the command with the act, and when she gets a bit older you will be able to ask her if she needs to go outside (dont always believe the answer, my dog lies to me on a regular basis) More walkies are in order, it is okay if she throws herself on the ground or starts biting the leash, she is still a puppy exploring her world. Just keep trying, and you will see results soon enough, good luck

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 6:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HOLLY COW, you have lots going on. I get dizzy just thinking about it!

I think it is very important for all involved that you give some thought to where you want your dog to be when she is 12-14 months old. Right now she is, in all practical terms, an infant. This stage of her life is not going to last long. She will mature and grow very fast, at around 6-7 months you are going to have a rowdy teenager on your hands. Between 7- 12 months, you are going to have the equivalent of two rowdy teenagers on your hands, all on four legs!

It is extremely important for your dog to get tons of exercise. A tired dog is a good dog. It is also important that she have a schedule that you can live with, and she will grow in to. Dogs are creatures of habit, they depend on this, it gives them security knowing that their needs are going to be met. Without a schedule, dogs simply do not do well. Walks, eating, playing, everything needs to be on a schedule, especially for the first year of the dogs life.

For instance, when she is grown (around 12-14 months), she needs at least a morning and afternoon walk for at least 20-30 minutes. She needs to get started with this A.S.A.P. Dogs need to walk, it gets things moving. This is a key to proper house training.

Between the walks when she is younger, she needs the constant supervision. If I came across as suggesting that you tether the dog to you ever second she is not crated, I completely gave the wrong impression (sorry). What I MEANT to suggest, aside from the supervision, was having the leash on her at all times when she is not crated. If she is getting lots of exercise, she wont mind the crate. It will be her refuge, and you will have the freedom to do what you need to, and know she is staying out of trouble. The tether is to scoop her up quickly when you need to get her out. When she is out of her crate, give her a chew toy or something acceptable to chew on. Hollow bones or kongs, filled with peanut butter or soft cheese, and frozen over night are great pacifiers for younger dogs cutting teeth. You can make her lay down on a rug close to you while she chews and you do your thing. She will be challenged (pups love this) trying to get the frozen stuff out of the hollow bone.

As for house training, here goes.

*The instant the dog comes out of the crate, no matter what, (don't stop to put your shoes or clothes on) take the dog out, and when she squats to pee or poop, use tons of praise, say "good poop" or "good pee", go crazy with high pitched voice praise and pets, and give a quality treat used for this purpose only. IF the dog does nothing, crate her when you go back in, wait for a while, and repeat. The idea is to get the dog used to going out when she comes out of the crate and the commands "go pee" and "go poop" (or what ever you want to use). It will give her something to look forward to and build a schedule on. Eventually, you work your way to going out through the door.
1. *When she starts to squat and go inside when you are supervising her, instantly in a very loud voice say "STOP" (you may need to clap your hands or pound on a table), anything to get the dogs attention, grab her leash, and out you go. When she goes outside, do the praise treat thing. If you cannot catch her in the act indoors, you might as well grab cleaning supplies and clean it up. She is not going to retain that she was naughty only a few seconds after the deed.
Your goal should be building on small successes the dog has, turning them into larger ones, having no accidents for 9 months, and getting her weaned from the crate.

This is a very simple, basic way to start building your dogs positive behavior gradually. Keep in mind, that the constant supervision is only temporary, until she starts to do things you approve of such as getting her bones on her own and laying around while you do your thing. The dog also matures and learns what is acceptable and not. Some dogs mature very fast, others just dont. If your dog does not start to get the potty commands when you go out within 3-4 days, she is probably going to take longer to mature mentally.

As for how long your dog can (or should) be able to "hold it".

Your dog is very young, theory has it that a dog should be able to hold it for an hour for each month of age, up to about 9 months. The problem with this theory, is, dogs dont know that. They also have not grown inside or out. If pups have been playing or eating, they are probably going to gulp huge amounts of water, and their un-grown inner parts are just not going to be able to hold it. When this is the case, set a timer so you dont forget to take the dog out. About 10 minutes after drinking to start, then gradually increase by about 10-15 minutes over the course of a few months. This will allow the dog to grow, and also let her know that she is going to be offered relief when she needs it.
When she reaches 12 -14 months, she should be completely house trained (no accidents for 9 months aside from medical issues). Have teething under control. And have chewing under control. These are very basic behaviors essential to all of dogs future positive behavior. Without them, dog is missing out on positive behavior to build on, and you are missing out on essential trust which will lead to unsupervised freedom.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 9:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Don't get discouraged, freezetag. We have a seven month old whom we thought wasn't fully "getting it". Our entire house is hardwood except for area rugs and she always had her accidents on the hardwood. I must say I was very thankful of that, because it was so much easier to clean than if she had done it on the rugs. :)

That being said, we really started to focus on trying to "catch her" in the act so we could say "NO" and take her outside. Maybe it was just a coincidence, but that's when we started seeing progress. She hasn't had one accident in at least three months now - not one! What a relief!

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2008 at 8:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Actually I have been looking for information on this problem. I can assure you it is not the crate or house training. My lil Rotty has had no problems except after we clean the floor with hardwood floor cleaner. We have experimented with 4 different kinds and for some reason right after she gets a whif of it she pees right on the floor. It does not matter if she had been just out and went pee.
Same thing happened with the 3 1/2 year old when we switched floor cleaners. Still trying to find the one we used before. It was a AS Seen on Tv hardwood cleaner.
Almost like it stresses them somehow.

And yes. The lil one is crate trained up to 10 hours now, usually 7 hours while at work. And I watch for behavior changes and then I ask her and we go out. Monitor water, play, eating, naps, etc. She has a good daily routine.
I would send her out and make sure the dog is empty and then clean a bit of the floor and see what happens.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2012 at 8:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Lactaid all right for my cat?
Like a lot of cats, my kitty is lactose intolerant....
sandyslopes z5 northern UT
Excellent Animal Hospital in New England?
We are happy with our vet (actually vets, she has a...
Housetrained dog having accidents in the house!
My dog is about 2 and 1/2 years old and is housetrained...
Does anyone have a spayed dog that has a brownish discharge?
I came to this Forum to ask your opinions about something...
Cat,s ears causing misery
we adopted sweet kitty (8yrsold) just 6 wks ago. Took...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™