If your dog still urinates indoors after being housebroken, he may be suffering from one of several problems. Taking him to the vet should be your first recourse. If he doesn't have a medical reason for his inappropriate urination habits, he may need further training -- or just to go outside and relieve himself more often.
A host of medical conditions can cause irregular, inappropriate urination in your dog. For example, he may suffer from a urinary tract infection that makes it difficult and/or painful to relieve himself, causing dribbling or irregular bathroom habits. He also may have a condition such as diabetes, which compels him to drink more than usual and consequently urinate more frequently. Take your dog to a veterinarian to ensure that nothing is physically wrong before you pursue other potential causes, such as behavioral motivations.
Submission and Excitement
Sometimes, dogs urinate as a communicative gesture -- it demonstrates their submission to another creature, like an alpha pet or even an owner. If your dog suffers from low confidence, which can be brought on by frequent scolding and punishment or a lack of praise and interaction, he may urinate out of submission. Excitement, on the other hand, is a physiological reaction, not an intentional demonstration. If your dog becomes too excited when you come home, for example, he may lose control and urinate. Working with a professional trainer can help you overcome both excited and submissive urination habits.
If your dog has been housebroken but not spayed or neutered, he may not be urinating in the traditional sense -- he may be urine marking. Dogs use their urine to mark territory as theirs, and to advertise their virility when they are intact. Neutering or spaying dogs while they're young can curb this behavior, but older dogs who have marked like this all their lives may need additional training to break the habit after being spayed or neutered.
Urge to Urinate
While a housebroken dog knows not to urinate inside, he only can hold it in for so long, and he may have no choice but to urinate. An adult dog should go outside to urinate at least three to five times per day, depending on the size and drinking habits of the animal. Practice taking your dog outside more frequently throughout the day, particularly after meals -- you may find that all he needed was for you to give him the opportunity to urinate outdoors.
By Tom Ryan
San Francisco Chronicle: Housebroken Dog Starts Urinating Indoors
Humane Society of the United States: Urine-Marking: Why Dogs Mark Their Territory
Hartz: Preventing Unwanted Urination Behaviors
Cesar's Way: How Often Should a Dog Urinate?
About the Author
Tom Ryan is a freelance writer, editor and English tutor. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English writing, and has also worked as an arts and entertainment reporter with "The Pitt News" and a public relations and advertising copywriter with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.