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Discussion Starter #1
Okay so my nearly six month old spoo, willow, has a nasty little habit! She is totally potty trained with one exception, she pees on beds....!!!!!!!!
WARNING - graphic content!!
Let me explain. The night I brought her home at nine weeks old she pooped in the house. I believe it was only because I didn’t have a crate for her yet and she hasn’t since. The following day she hopped up on the couch and straddled a pillow and peed. As I was learning To potty train her I figured out I needed to take her out often, she would pee on the floor if I waited too long to take her out. But here is the weird thing. If a pillow ever got on the floor, even if she just went pee she would run over to the pillow and straddle it and pee. I am sorry for the details but I’ve googled so much and I can not find any other dogs that have done this. Something about pillows makes her want to straddle them and pee. I waited until she was over three months to let her in my daughters room. They snuggled on the bed for a few minutes. She got up goes to the cactus shaped pillow, straddles it and pees! Well I waited another month before letting her in the bedrooms. She gets on my bed goes to the pillow, straddles it and pees!!
Ok so today she is nearly six months old. She’s at my parents. I make sure she goes potty outside before coming in. I warn my parents multiple times to keep her away from the beds or she may pee on them. Well what did she do today? She peed on their $5000 bed!!! Thank goodness they had a waterproof thing on it!!!! I am not sure what to do about this because she has not pottied in the house at all in like over two months besides the pillow on the bed situation. The obvious thing to do is to keep her away from beds. At this point I will never let her in another bedroom. I am just wondering does anyone have any sort of experience like this or explanation? It’s so bazaar to me, I just don’t understand. Thank you!!!
Z
 

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Wow. Yuck. Has she ever peed in the crate?

I've had plenty of cats that pee on beds. It always seemed to be triggered by some kind of stress: the humans going on a trip, conflict with another pet, that sort of thing. Their preferred soiling spots were anything that smelled strongly of a human (beds, pillows, frequently worn clothing), anything foam or plastic (because foam and plastic sometimes smell like body odor,) and spots near a door or high traffic area. They were dealing with their insecurity by creating a scent monument.

Pogo was guilty of excitement or submissive piddling until he was almost a year old, but he usually hit the floor in front of someone. I wonder if your girl is doing a variation on the cat stress marking or Pogo's submissive piddling. Basically using the pillow to create a scent monument because something is overwhelming her doggy brain.
 

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I hear you on the embarrassment of having your dog pee in someone else's house! Try and remember your Willow is still a baby, and just now starting to develop good bladder control, and also that dogs are terrible about generalizing rules.

At around 8 or 9 months, I took my girl to visit my cousin and while I was occupied in another room, she peed and pooped on the hall runner while my cousin and I were in another room. I was pretty mortified, as she'd just done both not 1 hr earlier outside, and hadn't had an accident in months. Luckily my cousin's a dog person, and was not upset.

A lot of dogs (especially it seems younger dogs) like to pee on soft surfaces. Annie's 14 months, and just a few weeks ago, had her first accident in probably 5-6 months. My fault, she'd just been out and peed, and was bugging me again, so I ignored her thinking she wanted to play. She preferentially target(ed) her dog bed, just like she did when she was a baby. I could not have a dog bed or rug in the house until she was 6 or 7 months, yet she was perfectly fine about couches and beds.

Dogs often prefer to pee on things they don't consider to be part of "their space". For example, my father's dog, if desperate and left way too long, would walk upstairs to my room, which was off limits (i'd long since moved out) and pee or have diahrhea on the rug there. She never was upstairs, and I don't think she considered it to be part of the "house". My mom's dog used to sneak into the unused back room at her last place.

So my suggestion would be... Don't never let her be near beds/in bedrooms. But do allow her to practice only the desired behaviour while heavily supervised- being on the bed, with you, NOT peeing. So maybe keep her blocked off from the bedroom, and then once or twice a week, snuggle with her on your lap on the bed for 15 min, then block her out again. If she moves to get up and starts to pee, gentle "no!" then take her outside, preferably carried, if you can do it.
 

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It's super common for puppies to want to pee on soft things. Blankets, towels, pillows, etc. Misha was an immediate towel pee-er for months before he forgot about it. I couldn't allow him to have a dog bed in his x pen because he would immediately pee on it. It just took a while of appropriate potty habits without any access to those tempting items. Even crating him wasn't a guarantee. I had to make sure I got to him before he woke up and had to pee, or he was likely to pee on his bed in the crate. A lot of puppies develop this problem because they're kept with bedding of towels and blankets or potty pads when they're little, so it feels natural and safe to pee on these things. Gate off areas and only allow her in puppy proofed safe zones.
 

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I'm surprised you couldn't find anything online about this because, as has been mentioned above, this is extremely common puppy behaviour. I just googled "puppy pees on pillows" and was presented with a LONG list of results. You're not alone. :)

Peggy was a breeze to housebreak....unless there was a blanket or anything soft on the floor. We couldn't even put a bed in her crate for a few weeks.

This behaviour has since stopped, likely because she was given zero opportunity to rehearse it, but I know it might pop up again as her teenage hormones run wild.

Not sure if there's any evidence to back this up, but I wouldn't be surprised if puppies that do this were used to urinating on soft surfaces (such as puppy pads) at the breeder's home, even just at a very young age. There's also the possibility that they're marking, which could mean they're anxious.

Restricting all bedroom access would only be a short-term solution for me. In fact, letting her get used to these spaces with a clearly designated "Willow spot" on the floor could improve her confidence and help her to see bedrooms as part of her home...not a potty area.

But you need to grant access slowly.
 

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Very common behavior. It’s imprinted in the brain at a very young age, at the breeder’s, where the puppies would be taught by the mother to relieve themselves on soft bedding. For some dogs it will be towels, carpet, bedding... Anything soft can remind a dog of where it was taught to relieve itself.

There is only one solution : never give access to whatever is the chosen place or object. You won’t win this one. Just make it impossible for the dog.
 

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Pretty reassuring to hear that it’s common. My 2 month old puppy is doing the same thing. Hoping that removing the soft things from the floor solves the issue because otherwise she is pretty good about only going potty outside. I expect some more accidents because she’s so young, but it would be nice to cut down on the amount of laundry I’ve been doing recently ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am so happy to know this is normal!! It felt like she was doing it to mark her territory or something. I just don’t understand why she does it right after she pees. I guess she think she’s being a good girl!
Thanks for the tips.
This forum is helping us so much in such a short time!
Z
 

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Your puppy is 5 months old meaning she is not reliably housetrained for all situations, you still need to be diligent. Basicly Not going potty inside means just your house, new places means reinforcing and diligence.
 

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She could absolutely be marking her territory so be sure to work on her confidence.

Gracie would pee on soft things if another dog came over. Sorry to say, this behaviour persisted her entire life.

Scolding can make it much worse, so be sure to monitor Willow closely, interrupt if she begins peeing in the wrong spot, take her quickly outside, and then praise like CRAZY when she goes in an appropriate place. Treats, too. Make it a real party.

She's still so young. Every experience makes an impression so make it count. :)
 

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Good news update 😊. For the record, I went through this with a past dog. The behaviorist had us feed her treats on the bed. We were to drop them on the bed for her to pick up and eat. Solved it immediately, thank goodness.
 

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I am glad to see you seem to have solved this problem, but will note some more general ways to view this in case other people are having difficulties. This may well be a common problem, but it should be noted that this is a common problems that leads dogs to shelters and rescues. Therefore it is essential that it be prevented in the first place or fixed asap if there are fails. Note that I consider fails on this to be on our plates not in the dog's bowl.

A crate used from day one is your best friend for many reasons, not the least of which is house breaking. It is also important to keep the pup safe from wires being chewed and all sorts of other problem behaviors. It also gives your pup a place to have a quiet undisturbed rest or a comfort zone spot and such.

I once had clients with two mpoos neither of which was house broken. There was a male who sprayed the walls and carpeting in a brand new home. After they house broke him properly using a crate and limiting his access unsupervised to quiet parts of the house they had to repaint some spots and get new carpet in others. He was just over a year old and had always had free range of the house. The female was younger but also completely devoid of any understanding that eliminating urine and feces in the house was unacceptable.

They got crates for both of the dogs and they were able to house break both of them by starting from scratch using the crates. The dogs both got happier since they wern't getting scolded and they both had their own safe space.

My suggestion to you is to get a crate and restart your potty training yesterday!
 
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