She's 5 years old and very well house trained. She hasn't 'gone' inside in over 5 years and hardly ever did even as a puppy. The only negative behavior I haven't been able to stop is that she gets into the trash in the kitchen once every few months, especially if there are meat wrappers and I forget to lock it. I left her with a friend (who also had a female dog, and they get along) for a month while I had to go away. I've been back for a month and in the past week she's gotten into the trash three times AND left a puddle of urine right beside it on the rug (twice in the kitchen, once in the bathroom). Why did she start this and how can I stop it?

  • 2
    Is it possible that your dog has been (improperly) scolded for getting into the trash while you were away and now is scared?
    – Sambovi
    Dec 17, 2017 at 23:14

1 Answer 1


Trash-diving is a self-reinforcing behavior. Unless it’s hunger, in which case more or higher-quality food may help, it’s likely that your only option to prevent trashcan raids is to take the trash out more, or otherwise make the trash physically inaccessible.

As for urination, once you’ve ruled out physical problems with your vet, you might consider whether:

  • your dog was punished for making messes by your friend, and now urinates as a submissive gesture after dumping trash
  • your dog is marking her treasured trash as a mild resource guarding behavior

In all cases, check for health problems and prevent physical access to the trash Then see if the urination stops.

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