You may be surprised when your adult dog suddenly behaves like a puppy and makes a mess in the house and you feel like you are having to redo all your dog house training. The disbelief is made fact when you actually witness the act, followed by the slam of the back door, as the old family pet is quickly banished out-of-doors like a nine-week old puppy that had just had an accident. Such harsh and fast action in such an instance can have serious and detrimental effects on the older dog. Whenever a completely housebroken dog starts urinating in the house, there is usually a medical or psychological cause involved.
The medical reasons will be covered first, since the majority of cases can be traced to that cause, rather than the psychological. It is important that the reasons for such dog behavior be thoroughly checked before any dog training techniques are re-instituted.
Most dog owners know that the aging process of their dog health will manifest itself in a gradual loss of hearing, followed by diminished vision. Squeezed somewhere in between, signs of arthritis might show up, decrease in appetite, more frequent naps and other tell tale signs which may become evident. What is not widely known is that house training problems is one of the first things to happen.
Because this fact is not widely known, it causes frustration and confusion to the dog owner who suddenly thinks that his/her dog has forgotten, is not as smart as previously thought, is lazy, or has turned into a sneak. Such dog behavior on the part of a perfectly house trained dog could simply be the first signs of the inevitable aging process. In this aging process, the muscles of the bladder gradually lose their control.
In the male, the aging process can also cause the prostate gland to enlarge and this will produce an inflammation, which will cause him to urinate often. Kidney disease occurs in about 76% of dogs over eight years of age. When a dog ages, there is a gradual degeneration of kidney tissue, with a weakening of the kidney function.
The older dog should drink at least twice the amount of water than a younger dog, since the older dog’s kidneys will require it. Naturally, this will involve more frequent urination, thus more trips to the bathroom and a more vigilant watch with their house training.
Where the middle-aged dog would have required being let out in the morning and once at night, the aging process will require more freedom outdoors. In most cases, the older dog will try to make its needs known to its owner. However, the owner, who is used to a regular routine, just isn’t tuned in to the dog’s new requirement. Then, the old dog is left with just one alternative. In such cases, shaming and scolding will only make the situation worse, especially if the dog tried to communicate, only to have his communication fall on deaf or inattentive ears.