Do Chihuahuas Pee Everywhere?
There is a pretty steady prejudice against small dogs and especially Chihuahuas. Many people believe that they pee all over the house, and it is almost impossible to housebreak them.
Indeed, once a dog starts peeing in the house, your life turns into an ultimate nightmare. Everything, including your clothes and shoes, seems to smell like pee, and there are stains all over the house. Considering the fact that Chihuahuas are among breeds that are often welcome on the furniture, the problem may become truly devastating and destructive.
Usually, there are two scenarios of this issue:
- Your Chihuahua has always made puddles all over the house, and you never managed to housebreak the dog
- Your Chi might have suddenly started peeing in the house, although you thought that potty training went smoothly.
In fact, this problem is more complicated than you might have imagined. It can be an indication or a symptom of a severe behavior issue, mistreatment, or even a disease.
In this article, we shall try to understand why Chihuahuas are so mistakenly infamous for peeing all over the house and how you can deal with this issue once it occurs in your own pet.
Why Would a Chihuahua Pee in the House?
To start dealing with the problem, you should always do your best to understand its nature. There are two basic reasons why you Chi may make puddles all over the house.
- Potty accidents
Accidents are pretty common for puppies who just start housebreaking. They may happen for a while even if you think that the training was successful. Your Chi may still get confused from time to time or simply have to make a puddle because you failed to take your pet out on time. Sometimes accidents happen to grown-up and older dogs due to health complications such as urogenital diseases. That is why if you suddenly start noticing the puddles and are sure that the Chihuahua is entirely potty-trained, it is always best to address the vet for a thorough medical exam.
As for territory marking, the problem may be much more complicated. It is a pretty severe behavior issue that may route in mistreatment, failure to establish borders and hierarchy in the family, competition for leadership, and many other reasons.
There are two things you should examine in order to understand what exactly you are dealing with and how can you treat the issue properly:
- The size of puddles. Once we talk about territory marking, urine plays the role of a red flag that is supposed to let others know that this territory is taken and mastered by a particular pack leader – your Chi. That is why it is not peeing indeed. Marking the territory, you Chihuahua will simply spray some urine in one place or another. If you don’t address the problem immediately, your dog will start following this routine renewing the marks once in a while. Eventually, they will build up into significant puddles or stains.
- Is it only urine? It is pretty easy to understand whether you are dealing with housebreaking or a behavior issue. A dog that does not comprehend housebreaking rules will not only take a pee but also poo in the house. In a dog’s mind, those processes are equal. However, once you only notice pee stains but never catch your Chihuahua defecating inside your house, we are definitely talking about a behavior issue.
Animal communication is different from humans. It is based on numerous non-verbal signs, and territory marking is one of them. It has nothing to do with the “toilet” needs and cannot be treated the same way as you would treat “accidents” in the house. The earlier you recognize and determine the problem, the faster and easier its solution will be.
Things You Should Know About Dogs' Territory Marking.
There are several things you should consider once you realized that you are dealing with a Chihuahua marking his or her territory:
- Once a Chihuahua started marking the territory, he is in control of the house. You, Chi, started to put red flags all over the territory as he decided for some reason that now it is his responsibility to watch over the pack and protect it. And once dogs get a job, they make sure that it is done properly. If you only try to restrict the dog’s access to the marking points without addressing the issue itself, you Chi will simply relocate and start marking other objects or rooms in the house
- Both male and female Chihuahuas mark. Most people think that by getting a female Chi, they avoid the issue. However, a female dog that decides that she is in charge of the territory will start marking anyway. Both male and female dogs require the same level of training and attention to behavior issues
- Spaying or neutering may not solve the problem. While most owners consider it to be the fastest and easiest solution (which works in most cases), once the issue is already settled in your dog’s brain, it won’t go away after surgery without comprehensive training and education. Also, the fact that you spayed or neutered a puppy at a young age does not guarantee that the problem won’t occur
- Young and old Chihuahuas won’t mark. It is crucial that you establish borders with your Chihuahua puppy before he or she hits puberty that will inevitably wake up the instincts. Also, if the problem occurred with a Chi that is eight years and older, most probably it is a health issue, not marking. The older your dog gets, the fewer urges to establish leadership will occur.
Why Does my Chihuahua Mark the Territory?
You provided your Chi with a safe and cozy home, loving family, happy and healthy life, so why would he or she suddenly feel the urge to establish the leadership or prove something through marking?
The problem lies in the misunderstanding that is pretty common when we talk about dogs` behavior. You Chihuahua sees the world differently. Things that may seem natural and harmless for you may trigger behavior issues and end up with such annoying expressions as territory marking.
Here are the most common reasons for your Chi to start marking territory:
- Reaction to other animals. You might have brought another pet into the house, thinking that they will become besties with your Chi. However, for a dog, the appearance of another unannounced family pack member is a threat to vital resources. Your Chihuahua may not demonstrate direct aggression due to a quiet and submissive nature, but start marking to let the new animal know that the territory is already taken. It may also be a response to some animals outside of your house. Make sure that there is no family of rats or raccoons living in your back yard
- Attracting partners. Once your Chi hits puberty, the mating drive will become a huge motivator and a reason for most behavior deviations. Both male and female dogs often start marking territory to make sure that mates can find them
- Stressful change. In case of a significant change, territory marking is another kind of self-therapy for dogs, an attempt to take control over the situation. Your Chihuahua may start marking if you move to a new house, introduce a new family member, change the habitual routine, etc.
- Establishing hierarchy. In fact, this reason unites everything said above. Territory marking is a responsibility of a pack leader. Once your Chi starts leaving marks all over the house, it means that this little fur ball misunderstood the roles in the house and considers himself responsible for the pack’s safety and wellbeing.
How do I Stop my Chihuahua From Peeing All Over?
As you might have already understood, the main idea is to rule out housebreaking and health issues. Those are pretty easy to identify and deal with. Once we talk about territory marking, the problem, as well as its solution, will be a bit more complicated.
Here is a brief guide to stopping your Chi from peeing in the house:
- Start training as soon as possible. If you establish yourself as a leader before a Chi hits puberty, the problem won’t occur
- Spay or neuter on time. Once again, taking action before the problem occurs is most efficient. Over 80% of spayed or neutered Chihuahuas never demonstrate such misbehavior
- Establish leadership with new pets. Make sure that your Chi will not start competing with a new family member for leadership. It can only happen if both animals see you as the master of the house
- Eliminate uninvited guests. If you live in a house with a backyard, marking may occur due to wildlife’s visits or settling on your property
- React properly. Every time you notice your Chihuahua marking the territory, make sure to interrupt the process and let the dog know that you disapprove of such behavior. Every time you don’t react to a certain action, your dog will think that it is acceptable behavior
- Make sure to clean the markings. Dogs` noses are much more sophisticated than ours. Even if you don’t sense the smell, your dog will and keep on marking the same place again and again. Dog’s urine contains specific enzymes that are extremely robust to standard home cleaning products. Make sure to use solutions designed precisely for dogs` smells.
At the End of the Day.
Chihuahuas are not prone to making puddles all over the house more than any other breed. The problem usually lies in human behavior, reaction, and treatment of this issue. Considering it minor, we often neglect this misbehavior until it grows into a severely annoying and unhygienic habit that is almost impossible to deal with at a certain point.
Chihuahuas are smart, friendly, and beautiful dogs who definitely did not deserve their reputation as carpet strainers. It is up to us, humans, to establish proper borders, watch over our pets and address all issues adequately and on time.