I often get asked questions about housebreaking, and if you have read my article posted last month, you may be on your way to have a fully housebroken puppy. However, even if you properly housebreak your puppy, as an adult, he may relapse for a number of reasons.
Here I am posting a question from someone who was having a problem with her small breed dog. Also, I am posting my response to her problem. If you are experiencing similar relapses in your adult dog, feel free to contact me via email or on the bb on the bottom of this page for a recommendation.
QUESTION: My 5 year old Miniture Pinscher urinates every night, in the middle of the night, on the rug in front of the front door. I let him out before I go to bed, but he still urinates. He does not bark to signal he has to go out. He's in his cage all day while I'm at work, so I hate to cage him at night too, but it looks like that is the only solution. Any other suggestions?
MY ANSWER: Hi there, I have a few suggestions and questions. Has the urinating during the night been a recent thing? Perhaps just to be safe, take him to the vet to be checked for a urinary infection. Can he make it through the whole day in his crate with out urinating? How much water do you allow him to have at night? Perhaps limit the intake of water after 7pm, then take him out twice instead of once. It is possible that his bladder is getting weaker, and he may need to go out during the night.... If he is holding it all day for 8 hours or so, that is a lot of strain on the bladder muscles day in and day out, so he may really have to go.. Keep an accurate account of how much water he drinks all day and night, and make sure he can't sneak water when you are sleeping and then have to go again.
However if his urinating by the door at night is habitual, and not due to something physical, block his access to the front door where he will want to go, perhaps confine him with a baby gate in your room or the kitchen or where ever he will sleep comfortably. Try and work out the stain with a good odor neutralizer.
Another thing you might want to try if this is something you will like, is to train him to urinate on a weewee pad. These are disposable pads you can buy in the pet store, I know a good online store that sells 50 for 15 bucks if you are interested. Train him to urinate on these pads if he has to go in the house and if he has to go during the night, he will go on the pad, especially if you put the pad by the door. Then you won't have to wake up to take him out.
Small dogs come with very small bladders and have to urinate more frequently than large breeds in my experience, especially is they have free access to water.