Revenge Peeing: Fact Or Fiction?
Revenge Peeing: Fact Or Fiction?

I’ve heard this a lot recently:

My dog pees/poos in the house just to get back at me! He knows he’s supposed to do it outside. He knows I hate it. He does it purposely, out of revenge! What a jerk!

It is the easiest thing in the world to get frustrated at our dogs sometimes: they are domesticated wolves, after all, who we try to fit in to our well-manicured apartments and lives. And to make the learning curve even more difficult, we don’t speak the same language that dogs do!

But anger and frustration will rarely help your dog learn to trust, respect, understand, obey, and love you. So it should help to know that dogs don’t EVER mess the house out of “revenge”, to “get back at” you, or to make you mad! This includes not only peeing and pooing, but even digging, chewing, and shredding things.

First of all, remember that DOGS LIKE pee and poo! They love the smell. It tells them everything about where dogs have been, what they’ve eaten, their physical conditions, even their moods. Smelling messes is like us reading a book or watching a movie! As I like to put it: when your dog messes in your house, if he’s doing anything at all intentional with you in mind, he’s leaving you a gift! Of course it isn’t an intentional “gift”; but the point is to try to see how one-sided our human assumptions are. We’ll never be able to live harmoniously with our dogs if we can’t learn to see the world through their eyes (and noses :).

What about the reasons people give that prove their dogs are devious and vengeful?

– “He knows he’s supposed to do it outside!”
Yes, he knows outdoors is where lots of other dogs do it, and hopefully he’s never been punished for doing it out there (and instead been rewarded). But this doesn’t mean he knows he SHOULDN’T to do it INSIDE!

– “He knows it makes me angry!”
There has been excellent recent research on “the guilty look” in dogs. Β Basically, dogs know when you’re angry or upset. They can even learn that you tend to get upset when certain things are around – like pee or poo in the house. What they DON’T learn is that you’re upset that THEY MADE those things! They don’t associate themselves, their previous actions, with the product.

– “He purposely does it in the worse places!”
Dogs innately abstain from messing where they eat and sleep. When we exclude our dogs from certain areas – like our bedrooms, or living rooms with expensive oriental rugs – they’re much more likely to go mess in there when left on their own, if they have the chance. Also, if your dog is “marking” – putting his (or even her) scent on things to “claim” them, he’ll tend to do it on things that smell like you (your clothes, bed, etc.) A neat housebreaking tip is to feed your dog wherever they tend to mess – e.g. actually put the food right down on the rug itself, no bowl.

So what are the real reasons your dog still messes inside even after so much training? The three most likely causes are:

  1. anxiety
  2. boredom
  3. excess physical energy

– or all of the above.

So instead of getting frustrated next time your dog messes, take him for a long walk to the dog park, and get him running and playing offleash with other dogs.

I guarantee your pup isn’t trying to “get back at you” for anything. He’s likely experiencing some combination of frustration, nerves, and pent-up needs for outdoor mental, physical, and social stimulation. Whatever the case, he certainly doesn’t expect or want to make you angry. Though sometimes he doesn’t understand why you get so angry, in his mind you guys are besties till the end!

136 comments

  • Really Think you're Mistaken says:

    My female dog has pointedly soaked the area of the couch (which she is not allowed on) where my date had been sitting. We’d gone upstairs to mess around, and shut the door on my dog. She couldn’t have been much clearer about her feelings regarding my date.

    When we came down and discovered it, the dog was already displaying “guilty” pose, before I’d even turned to scold her. She knew.

    • Anthony says:

      Interesting, thanks for the feedback! A more common interpretation of the behavior you describe is “marking”. Female dogs mark their territory just like males do, contrary to popular belief. Marking occurs especially in and around where the dog considers home. Dogs like to mark on top of their competitors’ scents β€” higher up on a tree/post/hydrant, or simply over it when it’s on the ground. Your date left a scent on your couch! No doubt you’re right about her knowing you were or would be mad. Check out neat studies about the “Guilty Look” from Barnard’s Dog Cognition Lab. Thanks again for sharing!

      • Jen says:

        My dog and were playing on my bed and he stopped looked at me and pee s. Why did he do this. He goes out side and has chew toys. He sleeps with me so I don’t get it. From now on he will be in his cage at night and when I’m not home. He will never be left alone in the house

      • Sandy westfal says:

        But this is in the car, pee on the pillow i use for my back the 1st time. Pee on the blanket i sit on and both times walked before.

        • Anthony says:

          This is dominant marking, taking ownership of your items. I bet your dog walks in front of you on leash, doesn’t have many obedience commands, e.g. doesn’t have his own bed in the car which you’ve positively reinforced with obedience command “go to bed” . . . etc.

    • S says:

      My dog I’d VERY housebroken. Except when she is jealous. She has climbed on the couch and pooped on my sick friend’s feet b/c I put a blanket on her.
      Another time I had company and she did not have my undivided attention. She jumped on my bed and soaked the spread, comforter, sheets and pad. Another time company came and she peed where I sit on the couch. Tell me this is not spite! She hides as soon as she does this. Other than that, she holds it all day while I’m at work and never messes in the house.

      • KB says:

        This is real! My dog does it too. But the experts will never believe it until they encounter a dog that does it.

      • R says:

        My dog is in heat. She jumped up on my bed which she never does. I kicked her off and she went straight into.my sons room and peed on his bed. They most definitely pee out of spite.

        • J E says:

          From what I read from many professionals dogs aren’t capable of feeling the emotion of “spite.” Do more research.

          • Some guy says:

            many “professionals” have no idea what they are talking about if they claim to undersand how a dogs brain works and attempts to understand thier emotional states and speak for them is arrogant. maybe after 500 years of study maybe can they talk about “knowing” anything. But unfortunately we still have not totally figured out how a ant’s brain works never mind a dogs…

            “Dog-lovers have committed a few notable gaffes in interpreting dogs’ facial expressions, e.g., assuming the often-documented hangdog look signifies guilt, an emotion that, most behavior experts agree, requires a multifaceted notion of self-awareness that dogs probably don’t have. ”

            This is how special we think we are but in fact we have no actual “data” to back that up and most of the time it us assuming that we are on a level so much higher emotionally then dogs and many other animals. And the more we study animals of all different types the more we find out that we are stupid and mostly talk out of our ass like we know. Untill studies prove us wrong over and over.

          • ScooterGirl says:

            I suppose but here’s one for you. I need to give my dog meds and so wrap the pill in a bit of roast beef. He wants more roast beef. I do the hand sign for no more treats (he’s deaf) and so, while looking straight at me, he lifts his leg and let’s loose with the pee. Mind you this can right after he’s been brought out to do his business, or right before, or somewhere in the middle. It can be a bit of beef, or chicken, or salmon, whatever. The only constant is the pee when he doesn’t get more of what he wants. If I DO give him more, guess what? No pee.

            If that’s not spite I don’t know what is.

    • Phaedra says:

      Hi there, I really find this topic fascinating! If dogs are not capable of revenge, can you help me figure out how this happened (dog gets pack to destroy guys car after the guy kicked the dog out of his car parking spot)? –> http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/street-dog-gets-revenge-on-man-who-kicked-him/

      Would love to get your thoughts on this πŸ™‚

      • Jena stanford says:

        It depends on the breed. Smaller dogs are prone to this. Chihuahuas especially, as they are very very smart. The smarter the dog, the more emotions they can feel.

        • Anthony says:

          The smaller the breed, the more proned to situationally-triggered anxieties and high-strung emotional state. These are both well-known to cause marking, messing, and other forms of desctructive behavior.

          • Mary says:

            Well, I can believe what you are saying but my question is – how do I get my miniature (not toy) male poodle to stop sneaking off and peeing in the back rooms (if we have forgotten to close the doors and put up the kiddy gate). I’ve tried crating, belly bands – he gets tons of exercise on walks and playing like crazy with our other dog in our huge yard. I’m home most of the time but when I go out he gets crated and never makes a mess in there of course. It’s all well and good to say what their problem is but how to solve it. How??? I don’t want to have to give the dog away because I can’t train him properly to stop destroying the carpets and rugs in the house.

    • Donna says:

      I have read all the considerations, issues and critiques, but my dog pointedly pees when I’m eating on my foot and I or we don’t give him anything and he believes he should be entitled. We feed him and treat him. Sometimes, I’ll give him a metabolic bone to clean his teeth while I’m eating. When he finishes, if he wants something, he’ll pee…a lot. He also use to tell us he needed to go outside to pee. Now, he suddenly quit. He walks behind the couch pees and walks to the door or he’ll pee first go to the door. It’s crazy! He’s 13. Just started acting crazy. We took him to vets. I’m thinking he’s losing it…

    • Rere says:

      I always let my dog potty before she is crated to reduce the risk of accidents. Then when I crate her she will whine for a few minutes until I tell her no. Then she will become quiet then I will return a few minutes later and she will pee in the crate and as soon as I walk in she has her guilty sad look. It drives me crazy but she only does it when she doesn’t want to be in there. I tried the pee pads and she will just tear them up. Idk if I’ll ever trust her in the house at night because she doesn’t lay down even in the dark she roams. But they know what they are doing and she clearly understands. Its her way of telling me now you have to let me out.

      • Anthony says:

        This is so sad! Poor girl needs to be taken out on long daily walks and to run and play offleash in the dog park every day with her friends. You will realize you can trust her once you start fulfilling her basic needs.

        • Judith Henderson says:

          My dog does go on long walks

          I do take my dogs on long walks. on my days off they are taken on two walks, one in the woods where they run off leash at least 60 mins and again in the evening for 60 mins on leash at the park. They have access to a fenced yard through the dog door. Yet, on my days off, I come home to find the new dog (have her 2 weeks) a chihuahua has peed or pooped in the living room. I never had a dog do this and I am confused. I don’t want to yell at her. I have fenced off the area but this is temporary.

          . on my days off

          • Judith Henderson says:

            I should add the days I am working they go on one walk for 60 mins in the park as soon as I get home.

            • Anthony says:

              A walk at the end of the day leaves them pent-up the entire day while you’re gone. Outdoor mental/phsyical/social release is more effective when done in the morning and mid-day. Dog-door remains boring and not a pack-led activity; it will help once she’s housebroken and adqeuately exercised and socialized daily for at least a month; until then it will probably remain uninteresting to her. Finally, I don’t see in any of this where your dogs get to socialize offleash with other dogs.

          • Anthony says:

            2 weeks! πŸ™‚ Housebreaking takes much longer. Dogs naturally want to avoid messing where they live; it takes longer than a few weeks for a dog to feel like they live in your entire house. She’s probably happy to sleep on her/your bed, eat in the kitchen, then run toward the back door or any bathroom or dining room etc. to pee, then “return” to where SHE lives.

    • Serena says:

      My sister has had issues with my dog peeing on her stuff. I have 2 male dogs and she has one female dog. We all live together. I was not 100 percent sure who it was. So I waited. She ignores the dog that she thought did it and didn’t give him treats buy gave treats to the other 2. I gave him love and made him feel better and was about to go get him a treat as my sister is walking out of the house. As soon as she walked out the door he got up, walked to the couch and peed right in front of me! He has never peed right in front of me! I was so shocked! So instead of giving him a treat I scolded him and sent him outside in his own. O really don’t know if that was the best way to handle the situation but I was and am still so upset with him!

    • Amelia says:

      Sorry Anthony, πŸ™‚
      I think they do. They definitely do. I know my dog very well. They can’t talk but they know how we react to things. They want us to feel the same way as they did. When I take one of my dog for a walk first, he will pee in the house. This is after he has been let out to pee. In his head he doesn’t get to go for a walk (first) and although he KNOWS he’s going to get out 15min later for a walk he still pees knowing it will upset me as he is upset from being left behind.
      I respect your point of view but I have to agree with many many other dog owners that some animals (not all!) are like that.
      When I was housetraining him last year, if I had to leave the house I will let him out do his business then back inside and confine him to the bathroom, I’d come back a short time later (as early as 20min), he would have pooed in the bathroom.
      When I stopped confining him and left him in the house with all room doors shut and with my other dog he wouldn’t pee/poo. As soon as back in the bathroom he would poo. I did this as an experiment as I was not convinced about him doing it on purpose bc surely animals aren’t like that… The truth and I’ve learnt to adapt my point of view on animal behaviour is that they can’t talk, they can’t tell us how they feel but they can make us feel something. They don’t do something you don’t want them to bc they KNOW you don’t want them to, because you taught them. They are smart, very smart, and underestimated in their way of communicating with us. If you feed them something they don’t like, they will look at you, they will look miserable, they will let you know they don’t like it. If they can feel jealous, (a lot do!, experiment: try patting another dog and they will push through to get patted over the other dog) they can show us how they feel and the degree they don’t like it, peeing/ pooing (when already housetrained and when medically sound) being the highest “payback”. Not that it IS payback, just communicating they are not happy and they want you to know it.

      • Anthony says:

        The behaviors you describe are perfectly explained as resulting from separation anxiety. Locked in a bathroom . . . doesn’t happen when he has his companion with him . . .

        It’s sad to me that owners see this behavior as “revenge”, because that means the dogs are going to get punished for it, or at least the owners are going to resent them for it. Think of it this way: if your dog really wanted revenge, and held a grudge, he’d treat you nastily AFTER YOU RETURN HOME! He’d growl, or snap, or ignore you at least. But I bet this isn’t what your dog does when you return; I bet he jumps all over you and covers you with licks! (Unless perhaps there’s pee or poo around, and he knows you aren’t going to like it; in which case he sadly steers clear of you until you’ve forgiven or forgotten.)

    • Reality Check says:

      I think that the author of this article (and most people) justify our dogs actions with the most creative mental acrobatics we can come up with to make them look innocent. While I think that complex psychological processes like “revenge” are far beyond a dogs reasoning, it’s ludicrous to imply that dogs don’t simply “do what they want to” regardless of what they’re told. Saying that they’re leaving us a gift, is a perfect example of these mental acrobatics (grasping at straws) we do to find reasons not to blame them. I have an English bulldog who is now 3 years old. Anytime I let him sleep outside his crate overnight, he will piss and poop all over the entire house. Because he knows I’m not present, and he does whatever he wants. He simply doesn’t care. This can be seen in the numerous other examples throughout the day, where he’s told to sit, and he just looks at me. Yet when he’s in severe trouble for his behavior, he will sit immediately. There’s an element here that always gets ignored. Sometimes dogs just do whatever the hell they want. Sometimes they simply disobey. Knowingly. And as a loving dog owner, it pisses me off that there are literally no solutions online for properly disciplining dogs. Everyone says don’t discipline them. Well guess how that has worked in my household? He’s three years old and he still pisses all over the floor. I’ve used every “positive reinforcement” trick in the book. They don’t work with some dogs. Some dogs simply don’t care. Let’s stop blaming ourselves, and start finding ways to discipline dogs who are simply disobedient.

      • Anthony says:

        Of course I don’t think they’re “giving us a gift”. The phrase is a devil’s advocate way of showing how equally silly it is to say they’re getting “revenge”.

        And if you were to follow any of my posts, philosophies, comments, responses, or videos, you’d realize I am vociferously opposed to “purely positive” reinforcement training. I am a proud and vocal proponent of a calm, wise, experienced, and gentle version what you’re calling “discipline” β€” which I call setting rules, boundaries, and limits to create calmness, patience, self-restraint, submissiveness, and respect.

        • Jena stanford says:

          Agreed. Dogs know, especially certain breeds..mostly small dogs do this out of spite or for attention. To think that after dogs being domesticated for thousands of years now, that they are incapable of doing these things to communicate in a negative way is ridiculous and closed -minded. They learn your individual personality too, as youndo theirs and do certain things to piss u off, just as we do them. Yes, we make our dogs mad sometimes! Sick of hearing they’re just always innocent, blah blah. If this were true then they wouldn’t need any obedience training.

          • Anthony says:

            To deny that your dog is “innocent” is to deny responsibility for his happiness that you hold in your hands. You own the keys to your home, he doesn’t. You can open the cabinet and get his food, he can’t. You decide when he goes out, where he goes. You have the control. If your dog is unhappy, it’s your responsibility as owner. To deny that is lazy and selfish.

            As far as dogs “communicating”, they communicate what they want and feel in the moment. They don’t harbor long-term grudges, because they don’t think or feel or act in long-term, consciously planned ways. Yes they react out of frustration, anxiety, boredom, and other emotions that we can cause by shirking our responsibilities as owners. But to ascribe them anthropomorphized, human-like calculated emotions and behaviors like revenge isn’t just factually incorrect, it’s closed-minded and selfish. You are the reason your dog misbehaves. Realize the anger is in you, not your dog. There’s no need to fix your dog. Fix yourself.

    • Angelos simmons says:

      I know that my dog is peeing on my sons bed every time I leave the room because he’s pissed off I left him in the room by him self for less then a min. So these site that saying dogs aren’t spiteful is bs immoral professional it Uknow for a FACT my dog is spiteful period,. So I wish there was a pedwaaional that’s know this an has a solution because I’m about to let my dog go because I’ve had it its to much to handle. Washing my sons beding every day sometimes two times a day. I need to know how to stop this from happening

      • Anthony says:

        What saddens me is that people come at this debate with so much anger and resentment, while blaiming their dog β€”- instead of doing what’s needed to help their dog be happy and fulfilled.

    • Rebecca says:

      My husband is a OTR truck driver and is gone all week but comes home on the weekends, but when he is home my dog will poop and pee in the house and he does it in the middle of the night when we are sleeping. My dog never does it when my husband comes home. Is he mad at me or jealous.

      • moira mcintosh says:

        He is definitely jealous that you are intimate with your hubby and he is left out. He has your total affection all week and he suffers anxiety at the week-end. No he is not mad at you.

    • Janice Thomas says:

      My housebroken puppy pees when he is told no to something. Now this is a puppy who hates walks, so I know it’s not excess activity, he isn’t bored and if he’s anxious because we are telling him no, that’s not going to stop. Once I told him no and he looked directly at me and peed on the floor.

      • Anthony says:

        Anytime a dog “hates” walks that tips me off to pent-up need for mental, physical, and social stimulation and fulfilling leadership rituals!

    • Tovah says:

      This helps a lot. I am always asking my dog why does she does this? I can take her out and 30 minutes later she will pee in the house, she will even pee more than once at the same time just in a different spot. I will try ALL of these things and tell you guys what happens. Thank you for this.

  • Gail Fay says:

    My dog is 11 years old and has always been very good, weeing outside. But recently I left my bedroom door open while I was out shopping. I told her, as usual, to stay and look after the house. I always leave the back door open so she can freely go in and out. She has a bed in the lounge and one outside. When I returned she had ruffled my bed and done a big wee on it. The next time I went shopping I shut my bedroom door but she scratched the paint to try to get in there. So I built a gate from the lounge to the hallway leading to my room. She managed to break down the gate and enter my room while I was out shopping and again she did a wee on my bed. I believe she was upset because I didn’t take her out in the car, as I often do. She attacks my only sanctuary. This has only been happening since my elderly mother moved in with me (I’m her carer). She loves my mum, but she’s obviously jealous of the fact that I take my mum with me every time I go out in the car, but not always the dog. I do believe this is revenge. What do you suggest?

    • Anthony says:

      The cause here is obviously your mother moving in, as you note. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, revenge is a human emotion and not where your dog is coming from; instead, the psychological/emotional root is likely a mix of various anxieties triggered by the changes. Nevertheless, naming the cause is largely irrelevant to what you do about it. I first of all would try to respect as much of your dog’s old ritual and routines as possible, reinstate them and/or change to new solid ones as soon as possible. Regular walks, social outlets offleash, and mental stimulation outside the house. Then add to that, to start off, not leaving her alone for very long for a week or so. Allow her to settle into the changes and become comfortable. Then gradually increase the times alone, as she becomes more comfortable. Anxieties are almost always treatable with a mix of exercise, social outlets, and obedience routines. Good luck and keep me posted!

      • ScooterGirl says:

        Anthony, there isn’t an emotion in the world that we have that animals do not. As an advanced species those emotions are heightened and perhaps fractured into sub categories but they are NOT unique.

        No one would ever say a dog doesn’t feel a dogs version of love or trust or guilt or dislike or jealousy or sadness or boredom so why on earth would anyone think that revenge is beyond their grasp? It may not be the thought out, long term, calculated human version but that doesn’t mean a spur of the moment dog version doesn’t exist. It does exist. It just isn’t a trait in all dogs any more than it is a trait in all people.

    • moira mcintosh says:

      Revenge is not the correct word, but your dog is communicating her feelings of frustration at being pushed aside in the only way she knows how. She cannot speak and dogs do not like changes to their routine, so what is she to do? I would also feel resentful at not getting out in the car if I were in her shoes, so do try to reinstate her usual trips in the car.

  • Holly Y. Wesley says:

    In some ways I agree with you however I know my dog is “getting even” when he pees on the carpet. He is my 9 year old service animal and has never ever left a mark but lately when I take a shower he does. He even sits behind it waiting for me to see it! Its just he and I in the apartment so we have always had a open-door policy because he freaks if he cant see me … its his job after all. Ive taken into consideration that he is getting older and he cant see out of one eye but he has never been able to see and he isnt having “accidents”. Ive started telling him I was going to take a shower and remind him not to potty on my floor and its helped but Im the one thats about to be stressed about this.

  • paula says:

    I do believe in jealousy and spiteful marking….but i do also believe that the three reasons listed above are basically categories that the reasons fit into. For example….your dog peeing where your date was sitting would fit into the category anxiety. your dog is too attached to you and becomes anxious when she feels she may have to compete for your undivided attention. Address the anxiety that comes about from your dog being too attached to you…and the marking may very well fade away. Stick to those 3 categories…use the training protocols to change the behavior..and TA DA!! Happier dog <3

    • mary says:

      I have acquired a new poodle who instantly bonded to me, and she pees/poos EVERY time she is separated from me if I have left the house or she is fearful of navigating the stairs I’ve gone up/down. HOW do you “address” the anxiety issue??!! I can’t keep her with me every minute, and she’s even done it when left in a crate. (She is 5 yrs. old.)

      • Anthony says:

        The good news is that separation anxiety is almost always entirely treatable! However the process can be long and slow, and require serious commitment of time, energy, and money for things like walks, dog parks, and doggie daycare, in addition to daily leadership ritual, desensitization and counterconditioning exercises. It’s something you definitely want to hire a professional to come help you with. I recommend finding someone who pushes the importance of offleash socializing and routines that are fulfilling both physically and emotionally!

    • Jamie says:

      What are the training protocols?

  • Eric Reyes says:

    I have had my puppy for two full months now and he learned to potty in the pads very quickly. My partner and I are very good about giving positive reinforcement and occasionally he misses the pad and I’m ok with it. I want to understand why is it that when I eat food at the table and won’t give him any he poops and pees in all the wrong spots including places he sleeps and plays. This is the only time he suffers with poop/potty madness. I do occasionally put chicken or hamburger meat in his bowl in a seperate room if I’m eating at the table before I begin to eat. I try not to believe that it’s revenge peeing this is mainly the only time he does it. Other times he will let me know or I can see it on his face that he is about to go poop/potty.

    • Reeta says:

      I’ve had my min pin for three years now and he’s perfectly trained or housebroken. He even knows how to push the bifold door open on the way outside to potty. I often share a bit of what I’m eating with him, if it’s good for him. Earlier I was eating brown rice, kidney beans with sauce… He stared at me through the first and second bowls expecting to have a bit handed to him. I didn’t…. so immediately after I sat the bowl down empty, he jumped down off the bed and peed on the floor staring right in my face while doing it! I couldn’t believe him. I stood up and he walked down the hallway into the dining room and his under the dining room table with his ears back. That was secondarily out of spite! I know my baby and his behavior better than anyone. He holds his potty for he’s while I’m at work, this is a first! He used to me sharing oatmeal, strawberries, bananas, rice, blueberries, rice cakes, etc. with him.

  • Lori Reyes says:

    My 4 year old Terrier female mix, pees on my bed where I sleep If a friend brings a pet over to my place. I recently started hanging out with this new guy and she started peeing and pooping in the house.

  • Sabrina says:

    My dog has done this twice. He is potty trained and doesn’t have accidents in the house. Just now is the second time he revenge peed, I KNOW that’s what it was. I have a baby gate between the living room and kitchen so my dog and my 9 month old can’t get onto the kitchen. My cat can jump over this gate, and sometimes when she does he gets jealous. Sometimes I will pet her in the kitchen because she doesn’t like him too much but she wants love from me. Just now I was in my kitchen, my cat came in and my dog started whining and wanted in too. I told him to stop and he started jumping on the gate and whining louder. I told him to stop a couple of times then he pees on the gate, immediately puts his head down and ran off! I know that was him being mad I didn’t let him in the kitchen! The other time he did it I was letting his food soak (he can’t eat hard food so we have to soak it for him) and he wanted to eat. He was whimpering and looking at me and then into the kitchen and showing me he wanted to eat. I kept telling him to stop because I knew it wasn’t ready, and he comes up to me pees on my couch and then stares at me! Both times it was only a small amount of pee, so I know it wasn’t because he needed to go to the bathroom. This has to be revengful peeing

  • Anonymous says:

    Experts don’t know everything. They don’t want to accept the fact that Dogs are VERY much like humans. My dog is super smart. She has HUMAN emotions. She gets scared, she gets excited, she gets sad, sneaky, even tip toes through the house when she’s trying to do something sneaky. When I don’t give her any of my food (Tilapia especially) and eats her her face She PEES on my floor. And yes she knows better!!!! So think what you want. I know what I’m talking about. Revengeful Spiteful peeing us is REAL!!!

    • Coco says:

      I was just making toast and peanut butter and wouldn’t share any with my dog, sure enough he’s peeing on my floor to get back at me just after being let out … and they say they don’t do it for revenge. Pff!

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh and she also hides after she’s done it. And if too much time has passed by before I’ve noticed and she comes out of hiding (Forgets about it) but soon as I tell her name, she knows exactly what it’s for and then go hides again. Now you tell me she not revenge PEEING on the floor!!

  • Fathom says:

    When ever I close the dogs from my room and I’m in my room suddenly they need to go. They know I find it immediately and how angry I get. It’s suddenly gotten worse after a new to me coffee table. But before that it was a new to me couch. I can’t afford to buy brand new especially if it’s being peed on. I’m wiping up several times a day unless I lock the offender in the porch which I can’t do all day every day. And stone times all four of them will do it but only if they won’t get caught in the act.

  • Jamie says:

    I have a small, purebred dog. He pees inside either when we are home or away. He’ll pee inside an hour after I let him out. He’ll pee inside even when a door is open to the outside. I now crate him at night, and when we are gone he is confined to the kitchen. I believe that the home is also for a dog, and he should feel comfortable in any place without confinement. He doesn’t pee where confined, of course, but it is usually in the living room or the family room. Both places are were the family gets together, we can play with the kids or the dog, we can sit on the couch and watch movies in the family room…. He goes hiking with us often as well as camping. He will lay on his bed under my chair while I’m on the computer, which is not that often, and he’ll sneak away and go pee in one of those rooms, come back, and I’ve never noticed he left. When we do leave, he freaks out, gets depressed, so it’s hard for us to ever go on vacation. But most of his peeing is while we are here. Explain that!

  • Bev Holdsworth says:

    Our 4mth old msle germqn shepard puppy peed behind a desk chair WITH my husband in it. What’s up with that? Please reply.

    • Anthony says:

      He’s a puppy! πŸ™‚ They can only begin to “hold” their pee at 3 months. After that, they will learn not to pee where you live only if you gradually condition them that all of those same spots are where they also live. It takes work! Crating, baby gates, playpens, lots of outdoor time, dog park visits…

  • Germaine St. Laurent says:

    I think I have figured this thing out. When he pees on my pillow next time; I am going to piss on his. End of story. I have had it. I am normally pretty rational about my behavior towards my dogs because I know they do not understand and will be anxious by odd behavior. The older he gets, the worse he gets. We recently needed to bring a young female yorkie into our home because she was in a bad situation. Our elderly male poodle has not taken this very well. If I show her any affection while he is in the bed or she comes into the bath while I am showering, he pees on our pillows or in her food bowl. I can’t stand it any more. I feel half crazy.

    • Anthony says:

      Hah! Sorry to say, I don’t think your revenge plan will work: he’ll probably enjoy rolling around in your pee smell!

  • Need an explanation says:

    We have a 6mo old large breed dog. He is exhibiting very defiant behavior. He ignores us and refuses to come when called in the yard. Since then we have resorted to leashing him in the yard. Once he’s done with his business he immediately flops around like a fish, screaming trying to get away from us. This weekend alone he has defiantly peed 3x in the house (he is fully house broken and hasn’t had an accident since we first trained him) and has destroyed specific objects. We stopped allowing him on the bed recently. I scolded him when he tried to jump up on the bed and he dug my new coat out from under two other coats sitting on a dresser and ripped apart the entire arm. My fiancΓ© scolded him on two separate occasions, once for jumping on him on the couch (which he has never been allowed on)- the dog immediately walked over and peed on his shoes (he had just come back from a walk outside). The second time he was disciplined for attacking/chasing the cat and ignored my fiancΓ© and walked in the other room and peed on his jeans he had on the floor. I don’t believe it’s not spite as it seems very specific that he’s suddenly peeing and destroying the objects that belong only to the person that disciplined him.

  • Kevin says:

    My dog is 2 1/2, and was spoiled by my friend’s 85 year old mother, who was in the house 24/7, and she went out, she took the dog with her…..she had to “get rid” of the dog because she “couldn’t take care of him anymore.” I took him in, with a week and a half break-in period of my girlfriend being here, as I went to work. Then she went to her house, and he seemed quite good with the adjustment. It is now 2 months later, and has STARTED peeing and pooing in the apartment anytime I don’t pay attention to him (e.g. on the phone, cleaning dishes, SHAVING!!!) and then puts on the guilty face and runs for his bed…..I’m sorry, but I can’t believe this isn’t spite. He rings bells by the door when he has to go out, so when he does, I take him out! But then he’ll do it hourly, and I’ll take him out, twice, without him doing anything, and then when we get back in the apartment, he’ll pee, or poo. This is not only frustrating, but seemingly premeditated….this is not a stupid dog by any means…he’ll get a certain toy out of his basket of toys if I mention it….mostly…..so it’s not lije he doesn’t know he’s not supposed to go in here!!!!!

    • Anthony says:

      Separation anxiety from being conditioned by your friend’s mom, combined with frustration from pent-up need for more daily physical, mental, and social stimulation is what I hear!

  • Blake says:

    I didn’t think dogs did revenge stuff (my boyfriend does, but he also thinks dogs are evil and conniving?) — but I just gave my dog a bath– and he HATES baths. He was very good the whole time we were in the bath, but as soon as I dried him off and let him out of the bathroom he bolts away and pees on the carpet! I thought it could have been an accident because it was close to the door, but my boyfriend says he didn’t whine to be let out or anything! He knows not to mark or pee inside– in fact, he thinks ALL voiding of stuff (poop, pee, vomit) needs to be done outside. If he has to puke, he runs to the door to be let out. So I’m worried that it was revenge peeing. I don’t know what to do about it. He’s a little over a year and a half old and this is the first time something like this has ever happened.

    • Anthony says:

      Likely anxiety from the bath or overexcitement after being let out (often they dash around like tasmanian devils!) Try to make the bath more enjoyable for your dog, e.g. with delicious treats during and after.

  • Liddy says:

    I was looking for info on Husky behavior. I have NEVER seen this before. Our new neighbor is a very mean person. I do not say that lightly. I one day saw his female Husky lying down-sun bathing. The male Husky came over and lifted his leg, and pee’d on her. She never moved, or barked at him. He would also chase her around the yard every time she tried to lay down. What would make a dog act like this male Husky? This was VERY disturbing to us as neighbors to see this aggressive behavior in an animal, every time these dogs were outside in their yard.

  • Sarah says:

    My dog peed on my two year old as we sat on the bed reading a book. Just came over, sat on his legs and fully released. I’m reading, oblivious to what she’s done and my son says “Lola pee Mom!” She’s been in the crate every night for the past 4 days since it happened. No more bedroom access. This wasn’t the first time she’s soiled something or someone on purpose. I think my boyfriend thinks I’m being cruel, and I feel guilty but I don’t know what else to do with her. I refuse to get rid of her. She is my first “baby” but this sibling rivalry is getting on my last nerve. She’s hated him since he was conceived.

    • Anthony says:

      This is marking! Males aren’t the only ones who try to own everything they like. πŸ™‚ Are you getting Lola out every day for an hour of offleash social play with other dogs in the morning and another hour mid-day? Obedience rituals at home will help your leadership also. Lola isn’t mad, she loves you!

  • Dwight says:

    my 9 years bechon frise pees in diaper over night in 3 weeks ? the diaper is the best thing ever used for peace of mind

  • Angela Wall says:

    I have a 6 month old pit bull puppy that I got at 5 months. I thought he was housebroken and he walked good on a leash but he seems to b going backwards. This morning he peed on my bedroom floor while I was in there with him. He also has not been doing good leash walks like he did before. He will just stop and sit and refuse to walk. I know pit bulls can b stubborn but I don’t know how to handle the leash walking thing. I don’t want to pull him. Is he just trying to dominate me?

    • Anthony says:

      In my experience when dogs, especially puppies, plant their feet and stop wanting to walk it’s usually because of a combination of fear/anxiety of the environment (cars, buses, concrete, people, etc) and a lack of thrilling, joyful, mentally and physically fulfilling rewards out on the walk. To solve these, first of all get the right collar (I recommend a Martingale), walk forward and don’t turn or look back, and head straight to the nearest offleash dog park where your pup can run and play with new friends! Of course this requires that your dog be social, and also it can take awhile and proper guidance to get a timid dog to come out of his shell socially. Hire a pro to help; it will be worth the effort!

  • There's no way they don't know....here's how. says:

    I have two dogs: Female Standard Poodle and male Cheagle (beagle mix). The Cheagle is a rebel and is confined to his crate when unsupervised. Yesterday, he escaped from his crate (I’m still investigating). He made it upstairs into my bedroom and poo’d near the poodle’s bed, near my bed, and in my office. He typically is not allowed in these areas because he has not yet learned proper manners. I walked him up to the “crime scene.” He was calm until we crossed the bedroom entryway, when he flipped out! Spinning and yelping! He calmed down as soon as we left the bedroom, and he started up again as we entered the office. Why would he react so strongly if he thought this was a “gift?” and why in these specific locations. He must have made decisions here. Thoughts??

    • Anthony says:

      He definitely knows you don’t like it, becauese you’ve punished him near it in the past! So he freaks out when you and he and pee/poo are together in the same room. As for those locations, dogs don’t want to mess where they feel at home, where they feel they live/eat/sleep. Since you confine him to his crate and don’t allow him in your bedroom or office, those are where he feels he can let loose.

    • Pepper says:

      I think using the word “revenge” to describe our dogs’ behaviours is too harsh. It is also wrong to completely rule out peeing as a show of unhappiness. We will never truly know what goes on in our dog’s brain because we are not dogs. However, my 13 year old potty trained mini schnauzer does it on several occasions. While it is understandable and acceptable that he does it when one of us goes overseas for a period of time because our dogs are extremely close to us, the schnauzer does it when we do not give him food off our table too (this has never been an acceptable practise since he came to us as a pup). We feed him with vitamins, treats, fruits etc. during the day in between his meals.

      My dad and I were having supper today just after midnight (past his bed time). As usual, both our dogs came flying down the stairs. Our usual practise is to look them in the eye and say no. The Shih Tzu always gives up after 5 minutes and goes back to sleep (after getting her belly tickles). The schnauzer on the other hand always stares really intensely at us and the food. He will then tip toe his way up the stairs when we are not looking and take a piss in any accessible room (90% of the time in the room belonging to the person who told him “no” earlier). Oh and he tips the rubbish bin and pulls the toilet roll all over the floor for good measure.

      Normally we will call the offender to the scene of destruction and look him/ her in the eye and say “no” firmly a couple of times. Just as dogs mark their territory with their pee, you DO need to draw a boundary as to what is acceptable behaviour in the household. These boundaries apply to both you and your dog. Just as you would not wreck his pad when you are unhappy with him, he should not pee in you room when he is unhappy. The key is to remember that they are dogs not humans; and certain habits are instinctive rather than a result of careful and measured planning. It is also extremely ignorant to say that dogs don’t get unhappy and react by doing something you don’t like.
      As I said every dog is different, and I would love to believe that I know my dogs better than these experts do.

      few tips: You got to accept that these things will happen from time to time – because they are dogs. It’s fine so long as it does not happen all the time. Don’t discipline them because you are pissed but because you need to avoid reinforcing bad habits and behaviour.

  • shannon says:

    My fully housetrained and very intelligent female husky, when we decided to stop letting the dogs on the bed, (after buying a very expensive new mattress), the very first time we left the bedroom door open, hopped up on that new bed and flooded the centre of the bed. What else would that be if not spite? And of course after an insurance claim, the dogs were shortly thereafter, back to being allowed to cuddle in bed, we missed it.

  • Eric says:

    One of the kids gave the dog a too large bone. I took it away and he pooped in front of the fridge. I go in my girlfriend’s room where he is not allowed and he pooped in her doorway and in mine. My friend had a cat who peed in the shoes of people he did not like. My sister had one that would pee on the pillow of her new boyfriend. They know exactly what they are doing and do it to spite. Nothing else makes sense.

    • Anthony says:

      So much of this is explainable in terms of marking/ownership. Do you think they have revenge for trees they pee on also?

  • Audrey B says:

    We have a 5 year old English bulldog. When we tell her “no” or ask her to get off of the bed/couch, or leave a room, she will come stand in front of us, pee, and then go into her kennel. She generally makes direct eye contact, so it isn’t out of fear. It’s hard to not assume it’s out of spite for not being allowed to do what she wants.

  • MJ says:

    I’d love to hear anyone’s take on this as not being a case of spite peeing and pooping.

    My girl friend’s adult dog that she’s had for about 4 years is very bright and has a great personality, but is really sassy too.

    If she doesn’t get what she wants–a hand out, you make her go outside when she doesn’t want to or don’t let her outside when shes wants to (she will hold it for a surprisingly long amount of time), she doesn’t get to go on the couch or a bed that she wants to, etc.–she will run to another room the moment you turn your back. When she returns to where you are looking all proud of herself, you’ve got a big old mess to clean up. And yes, she very much knows she’s not supposed to do it.

    I understand the idea that dog’s aren’t really capable of planning per say, but that seems to be an action/reaction scenario that can only be viewed as some type of “revenge”, even if it is a little more amorphous than the human conception of such.

    Regardless, we’re struggling with ways to get her out of it, any ideas would be welcomed and appreciated.

  • Maddy says:

    My dog is, to be blunt, is a brat. If he doesn’t get what he wants he will poop and pee in the house. I don’t let him on the couch or the bed and he will soil the house and sneak on the bed anyway when I’m asleep. I walk/run him everyday, 2 miles a day we run and we go on 2 walks everyday so three times outside in total with vigorous exersice but when he doesn’t get what he wants hell poop. He has toys to play with if he’s bored and he can sleep on the ground of our bedroom but if it’s not the bed he’ll get revenge. I don’t know what to do anymore other then leave him tied in the back yard with his dog house and make him an outside dog. I’ve set up diligent feeding/walking schedules and he still disregards everything when he doesn’t get his way. I’m at a loss.

    • Anthony says:

      One thing that I hear this dog missing out on is daily offleash social play with other dogs in the park!

  • AJ says:

    My chiweenie is in heat, and she’s been taking her poop off the puppy pad and putting it on the bed and couch. She has done this before, and when i think back, it was also when she was in heat. She’s the alpha of our four dogs but very submissive to me and my husband. She had been found by neighbors in their barn and has exhibited behavior such as peeing on the bed, eating poop, etc. We’ve worked through most of her issues, im just wondering why she’s doing this again while in heat? I know the past behavior is most likely done out of fear, hiding her mess in areas that smell like me and my husband and eating it to keep predators from finding her. Poor thing was outside with coyotes, etc for who knows how long

  • annmarie says:

    It’s called training. My boyfriends dog crapped and pissed in the house every night EVEN after going out right before bed. She is 10 yrs old. Not a puppy, just a spoiled brat!! It is unacceptable and the minute I trained him to teach her that she is his suboranate not his equal it stopped. It took a lot of proving to him she only did it when he was around. He went away for a week, set up cameras near her pee spots, lo and behold he got to see that she didn’t do it when he wasn’t around. They are animals, not equals. The minute they understand that the better off all you will be.

  • louise lawrence says:

    Hi Andrew, I have a 6 month old springer spaniel, she is extremely intelligent, housetrained, full spirit. When i’m on the telephone she is doing things she shouldn’t, trying to get my full attention, but, recently she has started to pee on the sofa when I pick the phone up, what do you suggest?

    • Anthony says:

      Is she getting out multiple times a day for long fulfilling walks and daily offleash social play with other dogs?

  • Bill says:

    My dog pees only when I make him do something he doesn’t like. Need some privacy for a couple minutes when I’m home? He’ll go pee. Leave him home alone, he won’t pee. He has a doggy door which he loves and can go out at any time.

    • Anthony says:

      You’re hoping for the dog door to do a bigger job than it actually will. The yard or garden is borning β€” no changing smells, no dog or human interaction, no exploring, no physical or mental exercise. Your dog needs to be walked several times a day and taken to a park to socially play with other dogs offleash every day. After that . . . we can start instilling obedience rituals, boundares and limits; but I bet that in itself will take care of a lot! I know it’s work. But he’s a living creature with physical, social, and emotional needs.

  • Yuki Marsh says:

    I am so sorry to see all those people still think their dogs marked for revenge or for jealousy. If you have established a mutually trusty relationship with your dog(s), they would not do what would upset you. If they pee inside it is whether they are not totally potty trained, feel insecure/anxious about the recent changes, or cannot hold due to old age. I agree with Anthony’s view.
    I have 3 dogs and 2 cats, and have fostered over 100 dogs. My dogs never have had accident let alone revenge pees inside even with 100 new dogs come and go. Most of them not potty trained so have accidents inside the house but my dogs don’t even mark to claim the house because they are totally relaxed and confident that THIS IS THEIR FOREVER HOME.

    • Anthony says:

      What a lovely post! Keep up the good work! Foster homes are such a crucial element of the rescue-to-adoption process. Those are lucky dogs who get to come into your care.

  • Pam says:

    Hi, can you comment on my dog peeing on my drivers seat? Do I need to do something different with how I’m relating to her? Thanks.

    • Anthony says:

      I’d have to hear a lot more details! This peeing is either marking, overexcitement, or frustration/anxiety (or a combo). Before you go for a drive, take her on a long walk and hit the dog park to exhaust and fulfill. Work obedience exercises like lie down and goto bed in the car.

  • Vanessa Lee says:

    My dog has been excessively peeing in his crate. He often lays all in it. He’s soaked to the point you’d think he’d been in a bath. I’ve given him 3 baths last week and 1 today. Not sure what it is but I’m becoming very annoyed and he is about to be either crated forever or put out. This dog is always doing things like this even when he’s out. If he’s not poooping, he’s peeing. I’m not interested in continued carpet shampooing or even shampooing him everyday.

    • Anthony says:

      This makes me very sad. I hope you immediately dedicate more time, effort, and money to getting your dog outside for frequent daily long walks and multiple offleash playdates at the dog park with other dogs. No well-treated dog who’s mentally, physically, and socially fulfilled behaves the way you describe.

    • Yuki Marsh aka HollyNoahDaisy says:

      Hi Venessa,
      How long have you had your dog? Does he like being crated or does he hate it?
      My current foster dog who has come a long way but she used to pee when crated and left behind in the utility room by herself. She even broke out the crate a couple of times. I was very frustrated and I even thought that she liked to get her pee on her so that she felt more comfortable. I had to either crate her or confine her because she wasn’t potty trained. It was a very bad cycle – nobody won.
      Then, I changed my plan 180 degrees. I focused on her potty training. There was a few accidents but I never scolded her. I praised her for pottying outside and she learned the routine and got better and better. I no longer had to crate her or confine her and our relationship got mended. Maybe it took 2-3 weeks.
      She is now 10 months old and she has a very severe anxiety. She has been on Prozac since Jan. I have had her over 4 months and she still has other issues, such as reactiveness to other dogs and people; she lunges and goes crazy and I have got bitten several times due to her redirected aggression but I am not giving her up. She is getting better and she has mastered all kinds of commands. She is very smart and tries to be a good girl when she is calm. When she gets panic attacks, she becomes a different dog.
      If your dog has an anxiety like my foster dog, please try to make him feel successful and confident, instead of blaming him. Start his potty training from zero. Cut the negative cycle I described above. If he feels comfortable with you and becomes more confident, I think he will behave better and your relationship with your dog will be a positive one.

      • Anthony says:

        That’s the way! Let’s stop seeing misbehaving dogs as our enemies, but as our children who need us to guide them to acceptable outlets to fulfill their needs! πŸ™‚

  • Karen says:

    I have two Yorkies. Savannah is 8 and Maisie is 2. We just moved into a new home. They act like they have never been house trained. They are peeing every where. What can I do?

    • Anthony says:

      There’s probably some degree of “marking” going on. This requires leadership and obedience training. For housebreaking, you need to get them out many times a day, ideally to the dog park, so they acclimatize to peeing and pooping outside instead of inside. Other indoor tools can also be used β€” e.g. playpen, dog doors, baby gates, closing doors, indoor leashes . . . but basically, the more they relieve themselves outside, the more they’ll want to and the less they’ll want to at home.

  • Sabrina says:

    H,i my mother’s dog moved into our house over a year ago. He is currently peeing on the carpet every night after most of us have gone to bed. We have tried to limit his time in the room but he always pees at a weird hour of the night when we are less on top of things. He is ten years old and is a lhasa apso. We have a German Shepherd who will be two in July and has never had an accident in the house, not even as a puppy. We have always let both of them out when they asked to go and never had a problem in the past. I feel as if it is revenge (even if it is not) because there is no reason he should be doing this. He pees on a carpet where you have to walk past the door to outside to get there. I know he knows he isn’t supposed to do it because he runs in and pees and runs out when you notice in a shame motion. He is not bored plays all day with the other dog and runs outside, and sleeps when he is tired. He was rough and mean when the new dog came and bites her (even still) but even if she is a german shepherd and huge she is really sweet and never attacked back. He does steal the German Shepherds things and bites people (including a vet) if they are near him when he has a bone or toy, so I know he must have some sort of anxiety or even anger towards the household. We had another lhasa apso but she died in January, she was around fourteen. She peed on the floor at the end but always made it close to the door to outside, those were accidents. These don’t feel like accidents. He does not have any medical problems and is perfectly healthy even the urine. Is he just old and grumpy? I am not sure how to get him to stop peeing in the house? What would even cause him pee in the house?

    • Anthony says:

      If this isn’t a housebreaking issue, it’s most likely anxiety (separation from you, or new environment) combined with boredom and lack of physical/mental/social/emotional outlets outside, on walks and at the dog park. You say he isn’t bored, but he plays “all day with the other dog” β€” what if you only had your sibling to socially interact with? And what if you never left your house? πŸ™‚

  • Frustrated says:

    My dog pees/poops in the floor even after a long walk where he has gone multiple times. He does this when I let him back into our apartment and go outside to smoke, or chat with my neighbor.

    I’ve cleaned his messes up with Nature’s Miracle and with a vinegar solution, but he still poops/pees in the same areas – the living room floor (all over it), the walk way to the dining room, and the dining room floor in front of his crate.

    I dont know what to do, because it seems like I can never take a few minutes for me, to chat with a friend, or just relax outside for a few minutes without coming inside to a mess in the floor.

    And no, I cant let him outside with me, because we live in a second floor apartment.

    • Anthony says:

      This is separation anxiety!

      I’m guessing he doesn’t socialize offleash in a dog park with other dogs every day? This is important.

      There are also some fundamental desensitization and counterconditioning rituals that will help you to start putting in place.

      Finally, submissive obedience exercises where he learns that being a follower is a joyful way to be.

      Where are you located?

      • shonn says:

        is that way my puppy pees or poops in her house only when I leave. I feel like I cant go anywhere or do anything without her on my side becuz she will mess my apt up. she only does it when I leave the house I cant even take the trash out.

  • Diz says:

    This is the problem with dog “trainers.” All clinical, all instinct. I must regretfully inform you, you couldn’t possibly be more inherently incorrect; my friend, I apologize, but I’m afraid man’s best friend is quite a fair bit more intelligent than this rubbish. However, as insinuated above, you are one of many, many dog trainers to be misinformed. But please, do tell me… Why so insistently stubborn on the true potential of canine cognitive ability?

    • Anthony says:

      I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume there are many typos in your post. And I will just try to respond to the overall condescending gist.

      I most certainly do not believe dogs are dumb, or lacking in cognitive abilities. They are exceptionally smart, social, interactive, emotional, responsive, empathetic, perceptive creatures. In many of those areas, far more than we.

      It so happens that one of the ways dogs outdo us mere humans is in lacking some of our pettier traits such as grudge-holding, shame, and vengefulness. They live in the moment, not fixating on the past or worrying about the future. To have this opinion is the opposite of being “stubborn” or doubting their “true potential”; it is to hold them on a very special pedestal.

      And neither is it “misinformed”. On the one hand, it is testified to by years of experience working with dogs. On the other hand, though scientific research always goes slower than experiential opinion-making, all laboratory research points toward the same conclusions.

  • Mary says:

    I completely disagree. You’re not giving dogs enough credit for having just as complex a psyche and brain as we do. Different, but not lesser, and this week I have had it with my dog peeing on my bedroom carpet. She’s 7, and she doesn’t have a bladder problem and after I take her outside she comes in and pees on the carpet a short time later. I have had her 5 years, and she’s doing this when I have corrected her for aggressive nudging and bugging me while I’m trying to work, etc. even after she’s been on a two-hour hike on the ocean. She knows better, and this is has been all week, so it’s new behavior. It’s definitely not a physical problem, so how can I not think it’s revenge pee?

    • Anthony says:

      Complex, yes; vengeful/spiteful I don’t believe so! (And neither do any researchers who have done double-blind experiments on related matters.)

      In your case it seems like your dog is trying to gain ownership (aka “mark”), to dominate and take control. Dominant barking in similar situations is common: do you think if your dog barked at you in these same circumstances you’d think she’s trying to “get you back” or “get revenge” or harm you in some way β€” or is she just trying to tell you what she wants, trying to get you to do what she wants?

      I’d also want to know, in your case, what changed so recently from the past 7 years. Is she taken on these “2 hour hikes” regularly, at least every day, if not multiple times each day? Are they offleash? Does she encounter social play with other dogs on these hikes?

  • HollyNoahDaisy says:

    Mary,

    ”I have had her 5 years, and she’s doing this when I have corrected her for aggressive nudging and bugging me while I’m trying to work, etc. even after she’s been on a two-hour hike on the ocean”.

    How did you correct your dog for bugging you? Somehow you didn’t communicate with our dog properly and she got intimidated. Did you pay attention to her calming signals? I am afraid you are not having trustworthy relationship with your dog. The very reason I think so is the fact you concluded her peeing as a “revenge peeing” instead of trying to understand her feelings.

    Yes, dogs are very intelligent but they are much more straightforward than people. People are the ones do revenges in order to satisfy themselves. Dogs pee on carpets, if not a medical reason, with more straightforward reasons, such as anxiety, excitement, or not fully potty-trained.

    Instead of correcting her nudging and bugging by scolding/reprimanding, why don’t you find something that she can engage herself, such as Kong or bones as well as training her to wait on a daily basis?

  • Victor says:

    I keep my bedroom door closed and let my dog do as he wants in the rest of the apartment. He’s been revenge peeing lately though. He’s a frenchie, 11 months old. Whenever I bring a date over and a go into my room with her you can hear him scratch at the door and asking to be let in. He is really social and get excited whenever we have visitors. Every time I come out, without fail, even after me having taken him out minutes before, there is pee there. It’s not separation anxiety, because sometimes I go into my room and close the door and he stays out there and chills like it’s nothing. But he does this when I have girls over. That’s so revenge peeing for not getting his way and coming in. When there’s nobody there, he even stops at the door to my room and looks at me for permission before coming in.

    • Victor says:

      Nothing?

    • Anthony says:

      First of all, being separated from you when you’re with another companion can elicit anxiety, even though being separated from you when you’re alone doesn’t. The former generates anxiety of losing you. The latter doesn’t; he knows you’re still his, and that you’ll return.

      Second of all, this peeing can be dominant marking/ownership. He’s trying to reclaim you, since you’re threatening being taken away from him. Dogs pee on what they want to own and control.

      The point I keep repeating, that defenders of “revenge” seem to forget or neglect, is that DOGS DONT MIND PEE! They’re excited by the scent. It’s interesting, stimulating. It means ownership, presence, conversation. That’s why they stick their noses in other dogs’ butts, while we don’t! Even forgetting about whehter dogs are capable of having the petty “revenge” emotion and plotting/planning (they’re not, thank god), if they WERE to act out of revenge, urinatng wouldn’t be something they’d use or even see as a weapon!

      What I find interesting is why so many owners feel the need to anthropomorphize and see revenge motivation where there isn’t any. My best hypothesis is that owners don’t want to take responsibility for letting their dogs down. If they see the behavior for what it truly is β€” sadness, isolation, love, loneliness, craving, anxiety β€” they’ll realize they should include their dog more (note that you lock your dog out of your room), train them more (you need the physical door barrier, instead of having trained your dog to be calm and peaceful relaxing on his bed even when your door’s open), take them out on walks and to the park more . . . and so on. Blaming the dog for exhibiting a petty human emotion like revenge liberates the owners’ guilty conscience. It’s the dog’s shortcomings, not their own.

  • rhonda says:

    My current dog does fairly well with not going potty on the floor considering I am disabled and can’t get her out very often and she gets car sick so we can’t go to the dog park. I give her treats when she goes on her pad and rarely scold her when she doesn’t. I don’t think she is vengeful but certainly guilty because the only way I find out that she went on the floor is when I can’t find her, I call her several times before I look under the bed where she hides which is my cue to look for the mess.

    I used to have a Jack Russell that believed every ball on the planet belonged to her. Our
    other dog could not even look in the direction of ball without her getting upset. We would occasionally take her to another room so our other dog could play, I don’t know if she heard or smelled us but she always seemed to know he had played with the toys and she would be in a pissy mood for days and would snarl at him as though she were holding a grudge.

    If I am to understand you correctly you believe that dogs must have daily walks and time to socialize with other dogs before we can expect them to be housebroken but I grew up with dogs, my grandparents, aunts, uncles and others all had a dog but they never took them for walks and there were no dog parks then and these dogs did not potty on the floor. Back then housebreaking a puppy was simple, you rubbed their nose in it and swatted your hand with a newspaper to make the smacking sound. A few weeks later they were housebroken, permanently.

  • Misty says:

    My dog previously never peed in the house until a friends dog stayed over for a week. She knows it’s not right and she always acts different after she does it. I moved into a new house and she never peed in it. A year later I ended up moving back to my original house and the peeing inside has started again! Neither house has carpet and she will find a rug to pee on if she can. I’m tired of scrubbing my rugs and I’m terrified to even put down my hall rugs I bought. I don’t know what to with her anymore!

  • Mona says:

    How to get the dog to stop is what I want to know. has a dog door and a fenced in yard. been hiking the leg and ruining everything brand new furniture replaced for same reason…brand new hard wood laminated floors that all are no good after a couple short months because of the excessive wetness time and time again…ugh who cares just what do I do besides have him put to sleep it’s getting that bad

  • Amanda says:

    I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

    • Anthony says:

      This is either a housebreaking issue or separation-anxiety related. Likely a combination but a large part the latter. It requires a consistent regimen of daily outdoor offleash social play in the dog park with other dogs, combined with therapeutic separation and obedience rituals at home. Contact a local trainer, ideally one who values outdoor physical and social fulfillment, let me know if you’re ever in the NYC area, and keep me posted!

  • HollyNoahDaisy says:

    Hi Amanda,
    I agree with Anthony for the most part but I have a couple of questions.
    1. Does he ever have accidents when you and/or your husband are home? Does this happen ONLY you guys are gone?
    2. How long are you gone? If it is only a couple of hours I will crate him. If it is 3-5 hrs I will confine him in a smaller area, such as laundry room or bathroom, or use a X-pen to make a confined area. And put your old sweater or something smell like you to make him comfortable.

    I would never leave him in the whole house. If he is not totally housebroken, he would find area that he consider as “outside” to release himself. Make sure he goes potty before you go out and limit the intake of water when you are gone.

  • Kim says:

    Neither of my two dogs ever had accidents in the house (passed six months old). We adopted a 3 year old dog and he was already trained, but has always peed in the house at random. He mostly pees at night even though if he barks or scratches at the door we will let him out (an average of 2 hours per night). He holds it all day while we are at work (they used to be crated but now have reign of the basement). Any advice?

  • Donna H says:

    My question is…why does my poodle put her tail between her legs as soon as she realizes that I found the pee if she is giving me a gift?

    • Anthony says:

      It isn’t a gift. I was just making a point that our dogs don’t dislike pee and poo to the intense degree we do. They aren’t sending it as hate mail.

      She puts her tail between her legs because she senses you’re angry at her. She’s right. She’s seen you get upset in the past in similar circumstances. And she isn’t blind.

  • Donna H says:

    I’m a little confused when you say they are leaving us gifts. Are we suppose to reward them? What do we do? I can’t handle it anymore.

    • Anthony says:

      It was just a turn of phrase. To make a point. Obviously don’t reward your dog for doing something you don’t want them doing.

  • Kelsib says:

    I don’t know I think there’s a lot of Truth in what you just said about revenge peeing ,and or poo and maybe they’re not being vengeful maybe they don’t know better …… or thier bored or have excess energy and so forth let me say this or ask this rather if that’s the case (how come he never does it in front of me??)
    He always waits until I’m occupied or busy in another room….. now if he knows not to do it in front of me while I’m at home , that just goes to show how slick he’s being ,
    so …if he knows that he’s going to get in trouble or that it’s wrong and is smart enough to plan things in my absence .ie next room over and busy. that’s pretty smart very intelligent planning he’s been doing it for years and to this very day I think I caught him peeing once out of all the multiple numerous times over the years that’s not nervous energy that’s focused energy! lol if he’s that smart plan ahead or make sure that the coast is clear at least …that goes to show he should be smart enough to know that he needs to go outside and he does! so what’s up with that? I think that animals especially dogs are smarter than we give them credit for …. and just like some people I think some dogs will just see how far they can push you and take advantage you , a lot of unanswered questions right here

  • Lisa says:

    I rescued a female puppy @ 4mths. It has been one year, and she still “revenge pees”
    If she wants food that I have and she’s told NO – she will walk away and pee.
    If our other dog plays with a toy and she tries to take it, even if I offer her a different toy to play with or even when I give her the toy and give the other dog a new toy, she will now want that toy – she will slink off and pee.
    If she tries to get on my bed (which is not allowed by either dog) She will go off and pee. Any time she is told NO she will pee. Clearly after a year, we are on to her, and she knows it. Once we see her slinking off after not getting her way, I will call out to her and say NO. Sometimes she will not pee, but most of the time she does.
    She has even done this behavior after coming in from a walk, and if any of the above situations are happening (eating food she can’t have, or the other dog comes in wanting to play with a toy) She always pees in the kitchen and when she walks to the area, she walks low and slow (slinking) like she is creeping up on prey. I have video of her slinking in the kitchen. I have dogs my whole life and Never dealt with this behavior. I have worked hard redirecting her when I know her triggers, and I have tried to not say NO – I will use a noise instead that she relates to stopping what she’s doing. Things are better, but they are not perfect.

  • Kumar S says:

    We adopted a 12 year old pitbull a little of a year ago and for the most part he is very well trained. He will pee in the house on occasion, but it’s getting rarer the longer he is with us. But there is one peculiar circumstance I wanted to ask about. He is spoiled and has two beds, one upstairs and one downstairs. And he seems to love having a blanket on the bed. But when there is a blanket on his upstairs bed, if my wife or I touch the blanket just before we all go to bed he will pee directly on it. Last night again, my wife brought up the blanket from downstairs to keep him happy, and thought that if I distracted him and didn’t let him see her putting the blanket down it would be okay, but he went straight over squatted and peed right on the blanket again. This has happened 4 or 5 times and it’s clearly a link to one of us touching or moving the blanket. Mostly, this is training us to either not put a blanket upstairs or be very cautious of touching it before bed, but I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on why he does this. Is he claiming ownership? If we left the blanket there would he sleep right on his own urine? Any other thoughts? He does walk in front of us on walks – is that an issue?

  • Rosi says:

    I hate to be that person, but I know my dog “revenge” pees. There have been WAY too many examples of this for me to ignore. I have a border collie, in particular, that does this. My husband and I have taken the dogs out (I have three, a Shih-Tzu, a border collie, and a hound mix) and we have all come back in without any problems until I leave the house. The border collie will watch me leave from the window while he stands on the couch, and then he’ll turn around and hike his leg on the couch, with my husband sitting three feet from him. Mind you, he was just outside not 5 seconds previously.
    He’s also done this when we had to both leave the house. We’ll let everyone out, stay out for 10-20 minutes, put everyone in the bedroom (because our hound once chewed our table during his puppy days so now everyone stays in the bedroom) and we’ll be gone 10 minutes and come back to pee and sometimes poop. It’s a sad fact, but I can tell who did what out of the three dogs and the border collie is always the culprit.

    • Rosi says:

      I’d also like to point out, the Border collie is around 12 years old, and he was a blood donor for a vet clinic that I worked for before I adopted him about a year ago. He never urinates in the house, unless someone leaves, even if someone is still in the house with him.

    • Anthony says:

      This sure sounds like dominant ownership/marking to me. Could also be some frustration/anxiety going on. These supersmarties have lots going on in their heads!

  • Teri says:

    Our dog Lucy is 10 years old – mixed min-pin/Chilhuajua. She is well trained, very used to her crate and likes it, is a kind patient dog and she listens. When I leave the house I usually leave her in her crate. She enjoys her space and sometimes you’ll even find her sleeping in her crate when we’re at home.
    So it was a big surprise that Lucy decided to not only poop but throw up in her crate yesterday. The grandkids were visiting and we were taking them to the movies, we had to leave Lucy home.

    When we got ready to leave, my husband made the mistake and said “let’s go” then Lucy ran down the stairs to go. I had to get her upstairs and put her in her crate, she whined and cried.

    When we got home we found that she had pooped A LOT towards the front of her crate door AND she also threw up foamy/yellow stomach bile towards the other side of her crate. She pulled in the blanket we put on top of her crate and bit it up. She has NEVER done this before and now this was the second time! The first was also when we took the grandkids out a few weeks ago and couldn’t take her with us, she had only pooped.

    She is crate trained and we do leave her in her crate during the work week up to 4 hours and she is fine. This situation is only tied to one common thing, the grandkids and us not taking her with us when the grandkids are visiting. Any thoughts??

    • Anthony says:

      She’s undergoing extreme stress at those times. Separation anxiety apparently when the grandkids are there. Can cause peeing, pooping, vomiting, also digging/chewing and other self-destructive behaviors.

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