Zack Keithy, our author, has been a certified veterinarian technician for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers. Learn more about us here.
Is your German shorthaired pointer peeing in the house? You may be wondering why they’re doing it and what to do about it.
There can be several reasons why your GSP might start peeing in the house, and this is generally down to them either marking their territory or just accidental urination.
The good news?
There are several things you can do to correct this behavior.
Let’s find out how.
- First, is Your German Shorthaired Pointer Housetrained?
- How Long Does It Take to Housetrain a German Shorthaired Pointer?
- Difference Between Inappropriate Urination and Territorial Marking
- How to Tell if Your GSP is Marking?
- How Do I Stop My GSP From Peeing in the House?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
First, is Your German Shorthaired Pointer Housetrained?
Without knowing anything about your dog, it is important to determine if he has been properly housetrained, and that means completing its training rather than in the middle of it.
A poorly trained puppy will relieve itself wherever it wants, but a well-trained one is much more likely to go in the right spot.
What I really dislike is figuring out how to stop my dog from stepping in its pee. That’s frustrating!
If your GSP has been housetrained successfully and begun peeing randomly again, consider the following points and how they relate to your dog.
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Forgot its training
Potty training takes time, and even when you think that the training is successful, your GSP can still potentially regress.
This is often due to a weak understanding or confusion of the rules it was taught.
Did you move its pee area? Were there changes made in the house that might confuse your dog?
All of these can lead to your GSP forgetting its training.
Even after good training has been given, you as a dog owner will still need to constantly reinforce and remind your pet.
When this happens, you might want to restart the basic training steps to remind your GSP what it should do and make use of yummy treats to bring the point home.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: What To Do if a Puppy Poops 2 Hours After Eating?
Internal and external factors can both cause your German shorthaired pointer to urinate inadvertently or on purpose.
Marking their territory with pee is normal behavior in male dogs, especially those who have not been neutered.
This can be corrected, but it takes time to change.
External factors such as stress, anxiety, or even excitement, on the other hand, can also cause your GSP to pee.
Think about it, were there any unexpectedly loud sounds, such as thunder, fireworks, or a door slamming shut?
Were your dog’s interactions with strangers unsupervised?
Is there a new addition to your family, such as a newborn or a puppy?
Puppies can easily become overly excited and inadvertently urinate, which they will eventually grow out of.
Ruling out any medical issues
There are times when we cannot see a problem right away but will notice it when we pay closer attention.
If you notice your GSP peeing everywhere, it could be due to a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), which affects up to 27% of all dogs in their lifetime.
Frequent urination, straining to urinate, crying or whining when urinating, and possibly having blood in their pee are all symptoms.
Needless to say, a trip to the vet must be scheduled right away.
A DNA test can reveal all these to you.
Dog getting older
A dog that is getting older is also more likely to forget its training.
Not only that, but as dogs age, their bodies deteriorate and they lose some of their bladder control.
Other age-related issues, such as dementia, can undoubtedly contribute to your dog urinating all over the house.
Aside from that, they may develop kidney and bladder diseases, which are not always easily detected.
A trip to the vet should help you both if you notice any signs of deterioration in your senior dog.
This condition is more common in senior dogs, but it does not rule out younger dogs.
When this occurs, you will notice your dog leaving small puddles of urine around the house; unfortunately, your dog has no control over this.
Fortunately, there are medications that can help your GSP here, so talk to your vet about it.
Keep in mind that large puddles are not indicative of urinary incontinence.
How Long Does It Take to Housetrain a German Shorthaired Pointer?
When it comes to housetraining a German Shorthaired Pointer, the answer is: it’s going to take some time.
German Shorthaired Pointers are well-known for their ability to be trained and their love of learning new things, but they can also be stubborn and independent—just like their owners!
That’s why it’s important for you as an owner to set your dog up for success.
You can’t expect them to pick up all the rules overnight, and you certainly shouldn’t punish them for mistakes that they’re just learning how not to make.
Instead, you should focus on rewarding good behaviors and giving them plenty of opportunities to practice appropriate ones.
In general, it should take between 4 to 6 months of consistent training to get it fully housetrained.
Difference Between Inappropriate Urination and Territorial Marking
Sometimes, we might unknowingly ‘blame’ our dog for not peeing in the right place and get frustrated having to clean up accidents.
But how do we know that it is purely an accident and not a natural instinct instead?
Both male and female dogs will mark their territory, and there are some telltale signs when this is happening.
How to Tell if Your GSP is Marking?
Peeing on upright objects
This is one of the most common signs that your dog has marked their territory.
They will often pee on things like a sofa leg or even your car tires to claim their territory,
This is especially true if you have recently moved into a new home or apartment.
You may also see urine marks that are higher off the ground than usual and they’ll look like they were sprayed up there deliberately by someone.
Peeing a small amount
This is another way that dogs will mark their territory.
They might pee in small amounts on the same spot over and over again, or even just once or twice.
Instead of the regular puddle that signifies normal peeing, you will find just a small patch that can sometimes go undetected.
Only peeing, no passing of motion
Another sign that your GSP might just be marking is that it only pees in the house but is emptying its bowels in its potty.
That tells you that most likely, it is trying to mark its territory rather than a natural need to go.
Peeing at doorways/entrances
In some cases, your pointer may have ‘accidents’ only near doorways or even near your bedroom door.
They understand that the house is theirs and their owner’s, and they feel compelled to protect it.
Marking is simply a way for them to communicate with other dogs.
Change in the way it pees
A female dog might change the way it pees when it is marking.
Similar to how male dogs pee, a female dog might lift one of its legs up and spray a small amount.
This behavior is more apparent when a female GSP is in heat.
How Do I Stop My GSP From Peeing in the House?
From the moment you bring your dog home, you should establish a proper training regimen.
Similarly, if you’ve had your dog for a while and notice it’s regressing, there are some tricks you can try.
These methods are useful whether your dog is peeing unintentionally or simply marking.
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Controlling the areas it can access
A dog needs discipline, but if you allow it to roam around the house without supervision, it will misbehave.
Cleaning up after accidents
If your dog has an accident, there is no need to punish it.
You should use an enzyme cleanser to clean up the spill.
They are very effective at removing stains and scents, so your puppy will be less likely to return to that area to mark it again.
Getting your GSP spayed or neutered
This point is highly debatable, with parties on both sides of the table touting their benefits and drawbacks.
It is entirely up to you, but if you do not intend to breed your GSP in the future, we believe that going ahead with the operation is the better option.
A number of studies have shown that sterilized dogs are less likely to mark and that other behaviors such as humping are greatly reduced.
If your GSP does not know who is in charge, it will most likely continue to mark wherever it goes.
If you want to strengthen your bond with your dog and reduce the likelihood of it marking, the best way is to establish yourself as the alpha.
If you’re not familiar with dog pack hierarchy, here’s a quick refresher: The pack’s leader is always the biggest, strongest, and oldest male.
In fact, male dogs tend to mark more frequently than females; they subconsciously want to show everyone that they are in charge.
In a similar vein, if you have multiple dogs, you should help determine who is the top dog in your household.
Hiring a professional
If all else fails, the solution might be to engage either a dog trainer or behaviorist.
These two occupations are distinct, so don’t make the mistake that one can replace the other.
A couple of sessions with one would most certainly help you in the right direction.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Do GSPs have peeing problems?
Some GSPs have a genetic condition known as Hyperuricosuria that can cause elevated levels of uric acid, which leads to symptoms such as frequent urination and straining to pee. Other factors such as increased water intake and stress-related issues can also cause this to happen.
Are GSPs difficult to potty train?
Yes, GSPs can be difficult to potty train, but you can be successful if you start early and be consistent. The best is to start as early as 8 weeks old. Even if they have been potty trained before, you may still have to retrain them depending on how much time has passed between their initial training and now.
How often does a GSP need to pee?
German shorthaired pointers should be able to hold their bladder for about 6-8 hours. If your GSP is urinating more often than this, it could be a sign of a medical condition such as kidney or bladder problems. On the other hand, if it holds its pee for over 12 hours, that might be an issue too. A vet needs to investigate this further.
Are GSPs good indoor dogs?
Yes, GSPs can be good indoor dogs but you need to ensure it has easy access to the outside. This breed of dog needs regular exercise and mental stimulation, so it’s not good to coop them up inside all the time.
In Conclusion: GSP Peeing in the House
While it can be frustrating to have your dog peeing all over the house, especially if it was trained previously, don’t despair!
In most cases, our dogs just need a bit of patience and friendly reminders for them to do their business in the right place.
Also, if you are able to reduce or eliminate errant behavior early, the chances of it happening again are very low.
Wanna learn more about dog behavior? Continue on our site with these articles:
- Dog puts food in mouth then spits it out
- Why do dogs flip their ears inside out
- Potty training regression after spaying
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.