Why Does My JRT Urinate on the Couch or Chair?

by Liz Kinney
(Fresno, CA)

My JRT is 5 months old and his house training is going very, very well. I take him outside to the same area and say, "go potty" and he goes. I watch him very carefully all day and the accidents are now very few. He is crate trained at night and he is very much part of the family. I'm working on his biting or nipping and jumping up on people. He gets very excited to see guests. He has toys and we play with him, take him for walks and now is in obedience class. He has now urinated on the couch twice and once on my chair. The first time on the couch, my husband was scolding him for biting his hand and Jasper jumped on the couch next to me and stared at my husband and urinated. The next time we were playing with him and he jumped on the chair and urinated. Next time he was playing with my grandkids and jumped on the couch and urinated. What gives, why does he do that and how do I correct or break him of that. Right now he goes outside. I need help with Jasper.


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Nov 02, 2011
JRT peeing on couch
by: Andrew

Your Jack Russell pees on the couch to mark it as his territory. He will repeatedly pee in the same spot if it is not cleaned with a strong product that eradicates the smell. Remember, your dog's sense of smell is perhaps thousands of times more sensitive than a human's.
It sounds like your dog is trying to test your willingness to lead him. You need to be firmer about what he can or can't do or else he will end up thinking he is the Alpha in your house, and will then start guarding 'his' sofa, his food, his favourite people, and taking you for walks rather than the other way round. The first thing to do is ban him from getting on the sofa. Initially you may need to take him off it and put him on the ground if he's become used to it. From then on he needs to be told 'off' if he tries to get up or is caught on it. If he refuses or gets snappy, give him a firm rebuke ('no' or 'naughty'), and lead him by the collar into the garden where he should be isolated for at least 20 minutes. This will teach him that the act of jumping up on the sofa is not acceptable. You'd be amazed how quickly this can modify behaviour. There's no point punishing him for peeing on the sofa unless you actually catch him in the act. If you to he needs to be firmly rebuked and isolated in the garden. My girlfriend's family had a JRT for 16.5 years. When he was a few months old he tried peeing on the sofa. The second time he was caught, sternly rebuked and unceremoniously shoved out the back door where he was left for several hours. He never did it again.
On a more general note, you need to show your dog that you are the Alpha. There are several steps you can take to assure this:
- Don't allow him to sit on the sofa.
- Make sure you walk through doors first whilst he waits.
- Make sure you eat first while he waits (quietly).
- Make sure he walks at your heel when you take him out.
- Make sure he is reprimanded for breaking rules that he knows about, as these dogs will try to test you if they think you'll waiver.

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