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If your dog is being naughty and peeing on your furniture, there are solutions that will help prevent this unwanted behavior. We’ll also look into why dogs do this in the first place and how to get your dog to stop peeing on the furniture.

Dogs are known to follow their noses, so when looking for a place to urinate, they’ll often search for a place where they have urinated before or where other dogs have urinated. The first step to ensuring your dog doesn’t continue to pee on the furniture is to clean it well with an enzymatic cleaner.

Now, of course, you cleaned the furniture after your dog peed on it. But was it enough? Even if you can’t smell the urine anymore, dogs are believed to be able to smell up to 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans!

So even if you’ve already cleaned your furniture, you may need to take further steps to ensure that the smell is no longer there. This is where enzymatic cleaners come into play.

Training your dog not to pee on your furniture

One of the first and most important steps when training your dog not to pee on the furniture is taking them outside to use the bathroom frequently.

If your dog has an empty bladder, ideally, they won’t feel the need or urge to pee on the furniture! When you let them outside to potty, reward them using positive reinforcement like high excited praise and treats.

This helps them understand that outside is where they are meant to pee, not on the furniture.

Another step is to revoke your dog’s furniture privileges for the time being. Suppose your dog is jumping up on the couch to pee. In that case, this can be avoided by either temporarily not allowing your dog in the room where the couch is.

You can also block off access to the couch by putting up baby gates in front of it or other obstacles that will prevent your dog from jumping on it.

A good playpen setup is an excellent way to control the space your puppy has access to.

Unfortunately, some dogs tend to want to just lift their leg and aim at the legs of the couch, which can be more difficult to prevent. Still, baby gates can come in handy by creating a barrier between your dog and the couch.

You may even need to stop your dog from entering a room they have a habit of peeing in, and this type of gate can help with that.

One other tool that might help you is an interrupter. Basically, when your dog goes to pee you interrupt them by shaking a can of quarters or using one of these hiss cans.

Then when your dog stops doing the act of peeing, you reward and relocate them. The only problem with this technique is you would need to be holding the hiss can when the act takes place, which may be difficult to do!

You might like to read our post, Why Is My Puppy So Naughty? (Explained)

woman angry dog peed on furniture

Can crate training help?

One of the next steps in training your dog not to pee on the furniture is going back to the basics of house training, which is crate training!

Dogs are far less likely to urinate where they sleep, so when you can’t directly supervise your dog in the house and watch for those potty signals, keeping your dog in the crate until its next bathroom break will help prevent any accidents from happening.

After letting your dog out of the crate, ensure you immediately take it outside- even if your dog has only been in the crate for a few minutes.

This way, your dog will learn that it will always be given the opportunity to potty after being in the crate. Remember that crate time should never be used as punishment as it is meant to be a dog’s safe place.

We also recommend you read our post Puppy Still Not House-trained: Age expectations

Does spaying and neutering work?

A major reason that dogs pee on furniture is due to their hormones. An intact dog, especially an uncastrated male dog, uses his urine to instinctively mark his territory.

This is a way that dogs communicate with one another. So, when your dog lifts his leg and pees on the couch, he is essentially telling other dogs that that specific couch is his territory.

This can sometimes happen even if there are no other dogs around. If you move into a new home where other dogs have previously lived, your dog will be able to smell that.

Or, if you bring home a new baby or a new adult moves into your home, your dog might feel the urge to claim its territory and establish dominance with the new person.

This is primarily seen in uncastrated male dogs, but female dogs who have not been spayed are sometimes known to mark their territory with urine as well.

So if you have your male dog neutered it can stop this behavior. However, if this behavior has been going on for quite a while, then it’s likely the action has become a habit. If your dog has formed a habit of peeing inside or on your furniture, then neutering may not help.

You may wish to read our post, Will Dog Stop Barking After Neutering or Spaying?

What to spray on furniture to stop your dog from peeing on it

Of course, the first step is thoroughly cleaning the area your dog frequently urinates on. If your dog can still smell urine, there is a very high chance that they will urinate in that spot again.

After cleaning, some sprays can help deter your dog from peeing in the area where the spray has been applied.

These work because they have a strong odor that dogs will find to be gross and want to stay away from.

For us humans, the smell usually dissipates within a few minutes, but ultimately your dog will still be able to smell it even when we can’t!

There are commercial products you can buy, like Bodhi Dog Not Here! Spray and Off-Limits Training Spray that discourages dogs from peeing in certain areas. However, these sprays can be hit and miss. Some dogs will simply ignore it, but it might be worth a try.

There are also many homemade recipes for sprays that you can make yourself to help stop your dog from peeing on the furniture. You can spray these commercial spray products or your own homemade spray on other areas your dog likes to pee on as well.

You can even spray the different walls where your dog likes to pee to stop your dog from peeing on the walls in your home. You can also use these sprays on your plants if they have become a target for your pup to stop your dog from peeing on the house plants!

Homemade spray to stop dog peeing on furniture

There are also many homemade recipes for sprays that you can make yourself to help stop your dog from peeing on the furniture.

For example, this recipe is made of just water, distilled white vinegar, and orange essential oil.

Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray on areas like furniture, carpets, rugs, low-hanging curtains, or anywhere else your dog tends to pee. Dogs really don’t like the smell of orange or vinegar, so this works perfectly for deterring them!

Other scents that deter your dog from peeing on the furniture include citrus scents like lime, orange, and lemon, and you can even use a little bit of alcohol and, of course, vinegar.

The benefit of the essential oils is that they will help your house smell great!

Does vinegar stop your dog from peeing on the furniture?

As mentioned above, vinegar definitely will help stop your dog from peeing on the furniture. Dogs hate the smell of it. And don’t worry too much if you hate the smell of vinegar too! If you add in some citrus essential oils, the smell will be enjoyable for you but will smell awful to your dog.

Should I rub my dog’s nose in their pee?

This is a commonly heard of approach to discouraging your dog from urinating in the house or on furniture, but we now know it to be ineffective.

Dogs respond far better to positive reinforcement or positive correction than they do to punishment. Rubbing your dog’s nose in their pee will only hurt your relationship with your dog and cause them to fear you.

Why is your dog peeing on the furniture?

Dogs might pee on furniture for a multitude of reasons. Some of these include anxiety, territorial marking, lack of potty training, submissive behaviors, or because of an underlying medical condition.

Medical concerns

If your dog starts peeing on the furniture unexpectedly when it hasn’t ever done this behavior before, check with your vet as there may be a medical issue as the root cause rather than a behavioral issue. Some medical conditions can include diabetes, dementia, urinary tract infections, and more.

Anxiety or nervousness

Anxiety or fear-based responses can also cause a dog to urinate on furniture. For example, if your dog is scared of thunderstorms and there is a loud crack of thunder, your dog may urinate out of fear.

Similarly, anxious dogs can be more prone to urinating in the house or on the furniture when they are feeling anxious.

Some things that could cause this would be:

  • Moving into a new house
  • Introducing a new pet or child into the home
  • Changes in routine
  • Loud, sudden noises, and other such situations

For both of these explanations, the best thing you can do is to not punish your dog but instead comfort them and praise them when they potty appropriately. Reward all their good behaviors!

Submissive behaviors

Another reason for urinating in the house or on the furniture can be because your dog has submissive tendencies. A common sign of submissive behavior is that your dog may often roll onto their back and expose its belly to you or other dogs.

More than this, your dog may urinate out of nervousness, submission, or over-excitement. To stop this from happening, some training and positive reinforcement will need to take place.

For example, invite a friend over, and if your dog is known to urinate when the friend greets them, try having your friend approach differently.

If the root cause is over-excitement, keep your dog in the kennel until your friend has entered, greeted you, and sat down on the couch. Wait until your dog has settled down, then let your dog out of its crate and attach a leash so it can’t jump on your guest.

Have your guest toss treats at your pup from a distance to distract your dog from the excitement of the new person, and have your guest only calmly greet your dog.

Similarly, if your dog displays signs of submission when people approach, ask them if they would be willing to approach differently.

For example, instead of using a high-pitched excited voice to greet your dog, try having your guest greet your dog in a monotone voice and use slow, purposeful movements when approaching your dog.

You could even ask your guest to sit on the floor and let your dog approach them rather than the guest approaching and bending over your dog.

Gradually exposing your dog to new situations like this, and eventually, new people will help increase their confidence in themselves and help reduce their submissive tendencies.

Lack of housetraining

And, of course, a lack of housetraining can cause your dog to urinate on the furniture. Your dog simply may not know better!

Whether they are still a puppy, a rescue who hasn’t been housetrained before, or a pooch who has simply gotten lazy and forgotten its training, potty training will be key in stopping your dog from peeing on the furniture.

You may like to read our post, Puppy Peeing a Lot: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, What is Normal?

Key takeaways

Remember to give your dog frequent potty breaks, keep them in a crate when you are unable to supervise them during the potty-training stage, work on training, and be patient. These things do take time but it is well worth the effort to have pee-free furniture!

Are you interested in reading our post, Will My Puppy Ever Be Nice?