My Cocker Spaniel Is Messing In My Kitchen

House Training Dogs...A Second Time Around!

My Cocker Spaniel Is Messing In My Kitchen!
By: Andy (S

Golden cocker spaniel looking for rabbitsWhere's that pesky rabbit?

Please, I need your help! My 3-year old cocker spaniel is messing in my kitchen, and I don't know what to do about it. He doesn't just pee, he poops too!

I've tried all the popular scent removal products with no luck at all. 

My dog is fed early in the day, so it gives him plenty of time to do his business, but I still wake up in the mornings to a mess in the kitchen. 

When the dog sleeps with me in my bedroom, or I sleep on the settee, he doesn't do anything during the night (however, my wife is unhappy if I bring him into the bedroom - so I can't win!)

Please can you help me?

My Cocker Spaniel Is Messing In My Kitchen

By: Pauline (Website Owner)

Hi Andy,

You don't say whether your cocker spaniel has just started to mess on the floor or whether he's always done this, so I'm assuming that he was previously house-trained and he's only just begun to do this. 

To resolve this problem, we need to work out what is causing your dog to suddenly behave in this way. Then we'll be in a position to deal with it.

My first word of advice would be to have your vet check him out to be sure that everything is working well down there and that there are no health problems.

Okay, here are some of the likely causes for peeing and pooping in the house.

Stress Caused by Change can Trigger Toilet Problems

Stress brought on by change can cause a dog to misbehave in this way.

Has there been any trauma that could be causing your dog to behave in such a way? For example, moving house, changes in the household, changes in routine, or the death of a pet?

Changes like these often upset our pets, and they and react in many ways. Could this be why your cocker spaniel is peeing or pooping in your kitchen?

Protesting Against Exclusion

Is he getting enough attention?

Peeing and pooping are often used by dogs to get their owner's attention...and it certainly works! If you think this is the case, give him some regular quality time with the family. 

Personally, I think he may be protesting at being left in the kitchen. Dogs like to be with their pack (that's you and your family), and I think that's why he doesn't mess in the bedroom or when you sleep on the settee. 

Would your wife accept it if he slept in the bedroom but in his own bed? That might be a happy compromise!

A Change In Diet?

Have you recently changed your dog's diet? This might be causing him to mess. It's always best to change your pet's diet gradually.

Is he fed at regular times during the day - you say he eats in the morning, but is he given anything during the day?

Dogs either eat one whole meal per day or have their meal split into two meals per day, with a few treats in between for good behaviour. The key is to be consistent with meal times.

Adequate Exercise?

Exercise helps to keep our dogs' digestive system working well.

Cockers need at least an hours' walk during the day and a short walk (or let into the garden/yard) at night to allow them to empty their bladder, (and bowels) before bedtime. 

Other Ideas To Try

Other Ideas To Try

If you don't already do this, try removing your dog's water bowl after 6:00 or 7:00 pm and let him out to empty his bladder just before you go to bed.

Just these two simple tasks can help to keep him dry and clean during the night.

If you're using pet scent removers and your dog is still peeing or pooping indoors, it may suggest that your dog is protesting. Has something happened that may be causing this reaction?

Does he have his own crate? If so, try locking him in that overnight - it may 'force' him to hold himself (as dogs avoid messing in their own den). If you'd like a refresher on potty training and crate training your puppy or dog, just follow the links. 

Good luck!

Our Visitor's Comments

My Cocker Spaniel Is Messing In My Kitchen
By: Anonymous 

Our cocker started doing this as well. But only at night when he would get up to go out. I changed our floor cleaner to one that did not have ammonia in it, and after a week, he stopped. 

Just my own personal thought, but I think that in the middle of the night, he sniffs around and can still smell the ammonia scent from his pee in the carpet and figured that is what his bathroom smelled like.