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I have a 6 month old Shih Tzu and I feel like I am following all of the standard advice about house training him to not pee inside. I live in NYC on the 8th floor, but with a balcony. We have a crate, but don't use it often as I work from home and can stay with him all day. We only use the crate when we will both be out for a long time (a few hours).

  • I take him out first thing in the morning and he goes, he does not pee in his containment (not crate) at night.
  • Whenever I see him sniffing or moving in a circle, I take him out to the same spot and he pees, every time.
  • I take him to the dog park almost every day at 5-6pm and come home and feed him then take him out about 30 min after eating and drinking.

For some reason he still randomly goes in the house. Today, for instance, I had a conference call in the afternoon at about 3:30 and afterwards I saw that he went on the floor. Other times he will be playing and stop and go in the middle of playing.

I'm getting frustrated but try to not let it show around him. I don't really know where to go now. I can't take him out every 30 - 60 minutes even though I work from home, and putting him in the crate while he can hear and see me all day feels cruel.

Thanks in advance for any tips you can give me.

  • I want to add that outside of the peeing, he is very well behaved. He does not bark or bite, he plays really nice with other dogs, comes when I call him, sits when he is told, etc... It's just the peeing inside which seems to have gotten worse over the past week. – jeffsaracco Oct 14 '14 at 23:03
  • "Whenever I see him sniffing or moving in a circle, I take him out to the same spot and he pees, every time." That's a good start. When mine was a pup I used to lift him and take him quickly into the bathroom even if he's already started peeing (yes, it means you'll have to clean it up all along the way). Like yours mine used to randomly pee inside and in the bathroom, and then he started peeing in the bathroom only. "Boone, what did you do?" with a stare — and I guess he soon understood that he cannot pee inside the house. – its_me Oct 15 '14 at 5:35
  • Have you tried using a chemical to remove the scent from where he pees? There are some available commercially. He could be doing it to mark his territory and removing the scent could help stop that. – Karthik Upadhya Mar 10 '15 at 18:14
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You might need to wash all the floors, carpet and every place you dog used to pee with some enzyme soap to remove as much trace of odor as possible.

What you're doing is good and if you don't do it already, you can add to this some positive reinforcement when he goes outside to pee or ask for the door.

And dogs are like humans on some points... they also have their preferences even for that kind of things. It's possible your dog doesn't like the balcony for some reasons.

Your last option could be to use pee-pads but these can still be used to train slowly your dog to go outside; you can start using them inside near the door, and once the dog got the habit of always using it, you can try totally removing it and see if the dog waits next to the door for the pad. At this point, you can let the dog go outside, make sure you reward it and hope it will keep this behavior for good. If the dog pees in many different places, then use many pads and slowly decrease the numbers of pads when you see your dog is always using one of them. If the dog is not interested at all by the pads, you might need to wipe some of the pee with the pad to give your dog some "clue" about it! Dogs are very clean naturally and will go where they went before to do their little business.

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