How to Keep Dogs from Peeing on Furniture

How to Keep Dogs from Peeing on Furniture

Have you ever sat down on your couch only to feel a wet sensation after a few seconds? Perhaps you have started to smell urine in your home. Both scenarios are common, as it’s not that unusual for dogs to pee on furniture. Knowing why dog wants to pee on the couch only takes you part way to being able to stop them doing it.

In this guide I will explain why dogs do it further down, but before that here’s how to stop dogs from peeing on furniture with tried and tested methods you can try today.

How to keep dogs from peeing on furniture?

There is no magic quick fix for getting your dog to stop peeing on furniture. There are various ways you can use such as surgical intervention, training, and other interesting hacks that will make your dog think twice about urine marking.

It might take some time, but it’s impossible to curb this behaviour significantly in most dogs within a few weeks.

Here are some effective ways you can try to stop your dog peeing on the couch, chairs, and up against the legs of tables or other furniture items in your home.

Handy Hint: If your dog is peeing on furniture all of a sudden after previously being housetrained, book a vet appointment. They indoor peeing could be related to stress, a health condition, or UTI.

1. Spay or neuter your dog

According to WebMD.com, by neutering and spaying dogs, you might be able to prevent them from peeing on furniture completely. The success rate is relatively high as you can see with the quote from their website below.

“The easiest solution for urine marking in a reproductively intact dog is to neuter a male dog or spay a female dog. Neutering male dogs successfully eliminates or greatly reduces household urine marking in 50 to 60 percent of cases.” 

If you haven’t already done so, then speak to your vet about having your dog neutered (males) or spayed (females). Neutering your dog will not only reduce how much they like to mark with urine, but also has health benefits for them.

Spayed and neutered dogs are said to live longer, reduces the chance of disease, reduce possible aggression, and most obviously… means no unwanted litters of puppies for owners of female dogs. 

stopping puppy from peeing on bed
In the past we had to use puppy pads on our furniture!

2. Clean thoroughly so they stop coming back to the same place

When dogs pee in a particular place it will leave a smell. It also means they will be encouraged to keep coming back to that particular spot and will pee on the furniture time, and time again.

To keep your dog peeing on furniture repeatedly, the area they urinated in needs to be thoroughly cleaned. If there’s urine on the floor, steam clean it. If there’s urine in the couch, put the fabric through a high temperature wash.

Other ways you can get rid of the dog urine smell in fabric like carpets and couches include baking soda and enzymatic cleaners. Here’s a great product on Amazon.

Remember, just because you can’t smell the dog pee doesn’t mean your dog can’t.

3. Spray the furniture area with enzymatic spray

Certain things are said to prevent dogs peeing in areas. For example, smells like vinegar are known to stop some dogs peeing on furniture.

But who in their right mind wants to spray vinegar onto their couch? It’s simply not helpful or practical, so there’s an alternative solution that smells better.

It’s called enzymatic spray.

You can buy it Amazon by clicking the image below. It’s the same product I recommend in the previous point.

If you don’t want to buy it, some people will also make their own DIY version of the spray.

I’ve seen forum posts where a lady uses vinegar, citronella oil or a mixture of cayenne powder and water, then sprays that on the spots where the dog tends to pee.

Assuming the spray doesn’t do any further harm to your furniture, this might be better off than your dog peeing on that particular item of furniture, but there’s still the possibility that your dog will simply go to another place in your house to pee.

4. Train your dog to pee in a new place

Many behaviors can be trained out of dogs, and I’ve previously written a training guide on getting them to pee in new places. It works just as well indoors as it does outdoors, so please do check it on this link:

You will need someone with your dog most of the day whilst doing the training and if different people are taking care of them, then just like parenting, make sure that the rules are fairly and consistently enforced.

5. Crate your dog until it’s time to pee

Some owners like the idea of crate training, others not so much. It’s over to you as to whether you try it, but I personally think it’s a great way in keeping a dog from peeing on furniture.

The premise is quite simple. If your dog has not had a pee recently, then he gets no indoor playtime, and instead has crate time.

I don’t believe that crate should be used as punishment, and it should never be seen that way. However, if your dog is in the crate during the training period, only coming out for walks and pees, in can help to housetrain them.

After a few days, you might have cracked it.

If you need a new dog crate, here’s a good value but well-reviewed one on Amazon.

6. Make sure your dog has regular outdoor time

I almost didn’t want to list this as it sounds so obvious, but there is one part to it that can really help in preventing your dog from peeing on furniture, and that’s the rewarding.

As with any dog training, positive reinforcement and reward is how they learn to do what you want them to do.

So, as well as making sure your dog gets enough time outside to do the business, when he or she does, offer a large reward. This should be vocalized and in the form of treats.

7. Don’t let your dog onto the furniture

Many dogs will get up onto your couch to show you who’s boss. I’ve discussed this at length in my post about why dogs like to sit in your spot. Much of the behavior is about them getting the upper hand over you.

how to stop dogs from peeing on furniture
Dogs will steal your seat pee on it to establish who is boss!

And this can be problematic, because a dog who thinks he is the boss, can mark his territory with pee, even if that means urinating on your furniture.

The solution?

Don’t let your dog up on your furniture or in rooms where the peeing has become a habit.

It might seem cruel to some, but it’s a lot better option than regularly cleaning up, smelling like urine or having to buy a new couch. It also has another benefit, as dogs who pee like this are also inclined to chew on the wood in your home.

Why do dogs pee on furniture?

As I mentioned in the intro, one way you can stop your dog peeing on furniture is by understanding what the root cause is, and then fixing that to stop the behavior.

The bottom line is, there are many reasons why your dog is peeing on your furniture or bed, but none of them is out of spite… don’t shout at your dog, it could make the problem worse and encourage the behavior.

1. Anxiety

Some dogs are more anxious than others, regardless of whether they are a rescue dog or were raised from birth in a loving and socialized home. If situations change in your household, like a new pet, the birth of a child, moving home or other such things, then a dog can sometimes revert to peeing on furniture.

Dogs are sensitive creatures and don’t like an abrupt change in routine. You might find that increasing the positive attention that you give your pet and sticking to a routine helps the situation.

Seeing an unfamiliar dog outside can also lead to anxious behaviours so ensure your dog can’t view where other dogs might be.

Handy Hint: If you bring a new dog into your house, your existing dog might even start peeing on food and water bowls out of anxiety and territory marking.

For example, can your dog see out of the window of your home when standing on furniture? If they can, limit that view, and you might stop the peeing.

If things don’t change, consider speaking to your vet about anti-anxiety medication if things persist.

2. Territorial marking 

This is mostly done by male dogs that have not been neutered. The dog wants to mark their territory and assert their dominance, rather than needing actually to relieve themselves. I’ve read instances where women have said that their dog started to pee on a new boyfriend’s clothes for this exact reason.

Handy Hint: I’ve also heard from readers who have a dog that keeps humping their boyfriends out of jealousy

3. Submissive behavior 

Rolling onto their back and peeing on furniture is a submissive behavior in dogs and one which can be tricky to stop. This can be linked with anxious dogs or can be when your dog is overly excited to see you.

stop dog peeing on chairs
You can prevent dogs from peeing on furniture by examining the behavioral causes.

4. Lack of housetraining

If your dog has not fully housetrained, then they shouldn’t be allowed on the furniture unless you are prepared for the occasional accident. If this is the case, then I recommend that you put down some throws to save on cleaning or have your pet have a dog bed or cushion that is permanently on the couch.

Keep working on the housetraining, take them outside often and offer treats and positive words every time they do their business where they should.

Crate training as I mentioned earlier should also be started at an early age.

5. Medical condition 

If your dog is fully housetrained and peeing on the furniture has come on reasonably suddenly then it might be due to an infection or disease. This can include conditions such as diabetes which is causing the incontinence rather than a behaviour issue.

Speak to your vet and schedule a full check-up.

Conclusion

Rest assured that your house doesn’t need to smell like a dog pee forever. In most cases, your vet might be able to give you a better idea of what’s causing your dog to not stop peeing on furniture.

But whatever you do, don’t punish your dog or you will likely make the situation worse.  Moreover, never, ever rub their nose in it. They simply won’t understand and could become more anxious.

Instead, take your dog outside and give them praise and reward when they pee in a more appropriate area.

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I regularly blog about the problems pet owners have with their dogs and have put together a short list of other content I think you might like to understand more.

Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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