How to stop a dog who pees for revenge

Why Is My Dog Peeing Out of Spite and Revenge Marking?

At least once or twice a week, one of my followers writes to ask why is my dog peeing out of spite. They will say things like: My dog pees for revenge. I know it. He does it to pay me back for something. Or….I know a dog who pees for revenge. His owner isn’t home a lot. Sound familiar?

Maybe you’ve said it. Maybe you’ve thought it. Maybe one of these statements sounds like you or someone you know:

My dog is peeing out of spite because he is alone all day. He pees for revenge.

My dog pees in the house to get even with me for going out without him. He urinates for revenge.

Do you think either of the above statements is true? Think about it for a minute.

Here’s a photo of a dog waiting to go outside so you can consider your answer before scrolling down past the photo for the answer.

dog urination


When a dog urinates or defecates in a place they normally shouldn’t, a multitude of reasons can cause this, but revenge/spite/trying to anger you are not on that list.

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I am also an Etsy and Chewy affiliate.

My Dog Is Peeing Out of Spit: Dogs React to Their Owners

It isn’t pleasant to step in a puddle of (hidden) cold dog pee saturated deep within the carpet. A typical reaction to this is probably something like “dammit, INSERT NAME HERE, what did you do?”

Yelling, shouting, shaming, or “punishing” a dog for such a behavior is not going to prevent the accident from happening in the future.

A dog’s cowering, hiding, sorrowful eyes, or lowered head when yelling, shouting, or a harsh tone is taken at finding such an accident teaches the dog to be afraid of you.

As smart as most dogs are, they aren’t manipulative enough to ponder the art of revenge: That’s a human quality. Do you know how to stop a dog who pees for revenge? You don’t! Dogs do NOT pee for revenge.

And do not under any circumstances “rub their nose in it:” This is an antiquated, disgusting, and old wives’ tale and proves only what a bully you are in doing so. Your dog can become very ill from this and it is a form of abuse.


A website, book, and memes galore have been built around the notion of  “dogshaming.”

Putting funny signs in front of a dog who looks like he or she did something does not mean the dog actually feels that way. Memes are meant for good humor and laughs. Dogs do not exact revenge on people. It’s just not their way.

Reasoning it Out

Dogs live in the moment. This we know. Dogs don’t ponder what’s going to happen five minutes from now let alone what might happen when their parent leaves for work tomorrow.

Dogs might anticipate departure, hence a dog’s reaction when keys are heard jingling or his parent puts a pair of shoes on for a walk. Some dogs love to go for a ride, while others loathe it.

Dogs do have emotions. They do not have the foresight to willingly inflict emotional upset on people.

Planning Ahead

Ponder this: When a special occasion happens in the family, does a dog plan ahead, act extra nice, or otherwise go out of his or her way to extend himself because it is an extra special day?


A happy dog is just that: happy dog: A joyful pooch who loves nothing more than to be around his pack, whether that means one person or a whole family…. he remains that joyful dog no matter what day it is.

That is, unless someone is upsetting to the dog, the dog is sick, or something emotional has happened in the dog’s life.

Dogs don’t have a date planner. Dogs do, however, show emotions with their body language, behavior, and “in the moment” thinking.

For a dog to pee in the house, plan ahead to do so, not know when you will find it, and then know you will get angry and start yelling or scolding them. Well, that takes a whole lot of calculated forward and vengeful thinking. Of all the emotions a dog has, getting even with you is not one of them.

Dogs Who Pee for Revenge or Spite

There is no such concept as dogs who pee for revenge. We place human feelings and emotions on dogs, and in many cases, rightfully so.

Dogs have a huge array of emotions. If we are happy and celebrate life, our dogs are happy for us.  When we are in a bad mood, dogs either try to snap us out of it or hunker down to get through it with us or hide in the corner from a loud or irritated voice.

The most common reasons dog pee indoors include:

Dogs will pee if they are scared (i.e., a loud noise, thunder, fireworks, arguing).

Dogs will pee if they have emotional or behavioral issues.

Dogs will pee if they are puppies.

Dogs will pee if they are left alone too long.

Dogs will pee because they are marking a spot such as an intact male.

Dogs will pee because they an old dog and cannot hold it.

Dogs will pee, especially Cocker Spaniels, with excitement urination or submissive pee – sometimes called ‘glee pee.’

Dogs will pee because there is a health problem.

Dogs will not pee out of revenge.

Dogs do not deserve to be hit, nor should they be spanked, slapped, have their nose rubbed “in it” or any similar behavior. This only serves to instill fear, the latter of which is unsanitary, disgusting, and an old wives’ tale that seems to take place in homes across the world. Doing it doesn’t make it right and can actually harm your dog.

Could My Dog Have A Urinary Tract Infection? 

Is the behavior associated with any of these symptoms when your dog starts peeing indoors?

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Pain on urination (squealing, straining, unable to pass much urine)
  • Very small amount of urine comes out, and sometimes with blood
  • Bloody or cloudy urine

Dogs with a urinary tract infection, bladder infection, kidney stones, or even a tumor may exhibit one or more of the above symptoms. 

Sometimes dogs with a urinary tract infection developing may not have symptoms. Never second guess any of this and seek veterinary help.

Double Hack Alert: 

  1. Purchase a pet camera so you can see your dog while you are away. You can monitor his behavior and determine where and when he pees in your absence. Bonus: You can also talk to, hear, and give treats to your dog from wherever you are. Our favorite affordable pet camera is the Petcube Bites 2 Lite
  2. Check your dog’s urine at home once or twice a month. I purchase urinary test strips for my dog online. The strips can detect if your pooch has a urinary tract infection when used properly. Not all test strips are created equal, so check reviews and be sure to throw them out when expired.

Here are my secrets to preventing a urinary tract infection in dogs.

What to Do When Your Dog Pees Indoors

Prior to making any changes, the first step is ruling out medical problems. If your dog engages in inappropriate urination, you can go back to basics with house training retraining him to pee outdoors.

If you have an adult dog who suddenly starts peeing in the house, it’s up to you, the pet parent, to become a detective and figure out why.

The way you have to think – and I am not trying to sound condescending or oversimplify this – is not what’s wrong with your dog but rather what you should be doing differently. Your dog reacts to many of your cues, even ones you don’t recognize yourself making.

The most important thing is that you absolutely can’t get mad. You will need a lot of patience to get through this.

Start with observation and documenting when and where your dog pees in a Piddle Journal. 

Here’s help for adult dogs peeing in the house.

Fun Fact: None of the reasons are for revenge.

When your dog has an accident, write down the time and what happened before that. When was he last outside? Did he drink a lot of water? Is the marking in the same spot? This will help you get to the root cause.

You can begin to spot (pun intended) patterns and even seek the guidance of a positive reinforcement dog behaviorist. If you want to potty train an adult dog, it takes patience.

We created the DogMinder Canine Health and Wellness Journal so you can log these details easily.

If your dog is urinating in the house, any number of reasons exist, but revenge is not one of them. Science says so, too.  Some believe that guilt is complicated; we believe that dogs are not (complicated): they simply love us and would not purposely or with calculated intent seek to be punished.

The above applies as much to number “two” as it does number “one.”

Pro Tip: We use a baby gate to separate the rooms we don’t want our dog in while potty training.

Revenge Pee and Revenge Poop Are Fiction

Revenge peeing and revenge pooping are human characteristics some people try and assign to canine behavior or anthropomorphism. 

Example: “My dog pees in the middle of the night because I won’t let her sleep on my bed.”

Explanation: Your dog has a health issue or is anxious because you changed her sleeping area or admonished her for trying to get on her owner’s bed.

If your dog is peeing (or pooping) in the house suddenly, ask yourself if one or more of the following things have occurred in your dog’s life recently:

  1. You (or your dog) had a change in routine
  2. You added a new pet or baby to the family 
  3. You changed their diet
  4. You moved 
  5. He is bored and/or alone a lot 
  6. Your dog isn’t getting enough physical activity or mental stimulation 
  7. You have a lot of traffic in and out of your house (friends, family, kids with friends, etc.)
  8. You expect your dog to hold it too long while you are out
  9. You yell or scold the dog when you come home and find pee or poop. (spoiler alert: Your dog has no clue why you are freaking out after the fact)
  10. Your dog is nervous or anxious about something 
  11. Your dog is fearful of noises, thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. 

Your dog may have an underlying cause like bladder stones and indoor accidents can’t be prevented.

Remove the human perception of what is going on and think like a dog. Dogs do not pee or poop out of revenge.

Dogs mark their territory by peeing or pooping. This is a natural, instinctive behavior that dogs do. They love to urinate and defecate, and they communicate by doing so. 

Here’s what to do if your dog pees on you.

But My Dog Looks Guilty When I Yell At Him For Peeing Indoors

Nope! Yelling at your dog may produce a scared, “guilty” look because your dog is sad, upset, or nervous that you are raising your voice and shouting.

Maybe your dog runs behind a chair, couch or cowers in a corner? He’s trying to get away from your shouting and ranting. 

It’s not just my opinion. One of the smartest dog behavior specialists on the planet, Alexandra Horowitz, published a white paper on a dog’s guilty look for Science Daily.

If your dog pees on your bed, he is taking comfort in a familiar scent: YOU! Your bed smells like you, which means your skin cells, sweat, and overall body odor. Your dog smells this and is trying to strengthen a bond, just like wolves do in the wild. 

Some dogs feel the bed is a safe place to urinate because it is an area of comfort. 

If your bed already smells like dog pee, the smell may not be noticeable to you, but your dog’s amazing nose can tell. He may continue to pee on the bed.

Dogs sometimes communicate to their pack by urinating or defecating. He’s leaving you a pee-mail message that he is sad, fearful, or something is bothering him. It’s not for revenge.

Your dog adores you. He isn’t peeing for spite.

Your dog is establishing his mark as “I was here first.” You bring a new baby, dog, cat, or significant other home, and your dog starts peeing indoors, perhaps on the bed. It’s not revenge. It’s nature and common sense. 

Our Favorite Products to Clean Up Dog Urine From the Carpet

Accidents happen. Here are our favorite products for potty accidents to get rid of urine odor and stains without nasty chemicals:

Rocco and Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator: My favorite indoor urine product. It helps to get the stink and stain out without nasty chemicals. 

Nature’s Miracle Set-In Stain Destroyer: I have had success with this product for those hard-to-get-out stains and severe, stubborn pet and urine stains.

Hoover Oxy Pet Urine and Stain Eliminator Carpet Cleaner: The enzymatic formula breaks down organic particles to get the mess out. 

Blacklight Urine Detector: Great for hard-to-find urine accidents. I used this when my Cocker Spaniel was housetraining.

Pooph Laundry Additive: This product is added to the laundry machine to dismantle pee and poop (and more) odors on a molecular basis.

Bottom Line On The Dog Revenge Peeing Myth

Dogs like pee and poop. It’s how dogs are wired. Smelling pee and poop is the equivalent of humans reading the newspaper or watching the news, listening to a podcast, etc. Your dog is telling them learning what they need to know about where another dog has been.

Dogs basically ‘see’ with their noses, and experts like Alexandra Horowitz, PhD agree. Dogs ‘look’ guilty when you yell, scream, or get upset with them.

However, dogs have NO idea you are upset over the pee and poop in the house, on your pillow, in your bed, etc. They DO NOT associate themselves with excrement and urine in that way.

If your dog is peeing or pooping in the house, there are many things you can do to correct this behavior. We shared those links throughout this article.

Dogs who you think are ‘revenge’ pooping or ‘revenge’ peeing are either bored, anxious, have an enormous about of unspent energy, or a combination of any and all of those reasons.

Your dog is not trying to get back at you or teach you a lesson. Be the person your dog thinks you are, be kind, be patient, and eliminate the notion of revenge, peeing and pooping. They don’t exist.

How to stop a dog who pees for revenge


  1. This is something I learned when reading the Decoding Your Dog book. I would still swear that Shiner will occasionally pee for “revenge” or out of spite for something, but I know that this is not true and scientifically proven. I don’t punish her and I don’t make her “feel bad” about it. It rarely happens and when it does, it is just one occasion out of the blue.

    1. THAT is a great book, and we have read it. I totally believe that dogs do not do peeing or pooping for revenge on us.

      1. Great post, Carol.

        I’ve just recently finished reading the Decoding Your Dog book. I think the potty training chapter was actually one of my favorites! It was very well written and full of good information.

        I loved the one example where the owners thought the dog was acting “guilty,”
        But then later on when they got a new puppy, the dog would act the same way when the puppy had an accident. And then it really sunk in for the owners that the dog was just responding to their body language and emotions, because the dog knew the humans would react to the puddle on the floor.

        1. I have a 12yo shih tzu who never peed in my home or anyone else’s home until I moved in my boyfriend. He stared peeing in the house. He has access to a dog door and uses it. I then either had him with me outside or alone in my room. Last week I adopted a 1yo cat. She is active and likes to play with my dog, icluding following him around and pouncing on him. My dog will ignore her a couple times and will snap at her. So the day I brought her home he has peed on the carpet. Today he peed on my bed. I believe he is mad at me. He’s 6.5lbs and shy. I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

      2. My daughter has had her dogs since their births. They’re 9 now. One of them started peeing in the house. He’ll sneak into another room pee then go back into her room she’ll get up see it and say wtf him and only him runs to his pen.. if she gets up to go to the bathroom he’s peed again. All over her new couch, all over her curtains, Xmas tree and presents, the whole hallway. Even after coming in from outside, he’ll wait till she walks off and he’ll pee, even if she’s outta the room for one min, and each time run to his pen. But he looks first to make sure no one can see him. He’s housebroken always has been. When he pees his brother likes to remark it. He’s stopped now but not the first dog it’s constant it’s not in the same place and he’s sneaky about it. Please help

      3. So when you leave for more than normal, the dog breaks into a room and jumps on the bed so he can take the biggest pee possible and spends over a half hour to break in the only room with carpet to poop when its never allowed upstairs except to sleep, is not revengeful… I have it on camera, it’s 100% revengeful.
        If it just anxiety then why not pee and poop where it easy, we come home and have no clue it’s been upstairs and yet the dog has tail down and hiding because it knows it did something wrong, it’s not feeling are feelings we haven’t found anything wrong.. you even have a dog or live on this planet?

        1. Hi Bob. First thing: How can your dog “break into” your bedroom? Does he have ninja skills? Stealthy talent of unlocking doors? I believe you have a genius on your hands. Since you recorded it, send it into one of those television shows that feature talented pets.

          I often wonder if I live on this planet with people who come here and comment with such jibberish.

          I have your answer, however: Close your bedroom door and stop letting your dog use his mega talents to break into the room.

          Your dog smells his scent in that room, dude. He’s marking. It’s one of those things dogs do. Woof.

          1. I know bob was being a little rude in the last part of his comment but Instead of shaming someone for still believing that they do it out of revenge, give him a concrete solution besides closing the door.
            My dog ate my door-nob and did break into my room without needing “ninja skills”.
            She suffers from separation anxiety and I’ve tried calming treats, crate training, buy toys, rewarding when she doesn’t misbehave, cbd treats, perimeter shock collars and even medication… The only thing that somewhat worked was the medication but she wasn’t her usual and she lost her appetite so I decided to discontinue it. Now I’m back to square one.
            So I can understand Bob’s frustration when you’re trying to find hopefully a solution but all you find are articles that don’t give you one.

        2. I totally agree. Our GSP will pee on my chair if he decides he’s been home alone too long……he spends most of his day OUTSIDE by way of our dog door only to have an “accident” by lifting his leg on MY chair? Not my fiance’s side…..MINE.

      4. You would have to meet my 9 month old rescue lab pit mix. He completely has the potty trained thing down, He never has accidents at night, even when I sleep in too late. He never had accidents when left at home by himself during the day. With that said I would also like to say I’m a very rational person that’s not crazy before I get into this. I can be sitting in the kitchen eating and have to be pretty vocal for him to stay back or lay down and not beg, if he’s good he usually gets a treat, but if it’s a regular dog treat he will just drop it if there is people food around at all. Every once in awhile I’ll give in and give him a little something for not begging too much, it started with a piece of pizza crust here and there. Then there was the first incident, I had a piece of pizza and he was extra up in my face not listening when I told him to stop begging and lay down so instead of walking over and putting it in his bowl I walked to the trash and threw it away, his response was to bark at me, he never barks, then boldly walks right up to me and starts peeing on my foot. Since then it’s just got worse and worse. I’ll take him out before I’m going somewhere, he will pee poop and do his thing, when I take him back in and grab my keys to go and once he realizes he’s not getting to come he will just start walking around peeing, no puddle just spread threw out the whole house in a dribble.(thank god for hardwood floors). Sometimes he will start doing it before I even get out the door right in front of me. Like I said, he is a freak for human food, a behavior he picked up from his first home, on several occasions if he’s not happy with what’s being presented for him to eat, he will walk away out of sight for the most part and piddle, and more recently poop. On other occasions my roommate will come home from work, if he doesn’t immediately take him out and we get caught up in conversation he will walk around piddling until we pay attention to him. It doesn’t matter if he’s just back from a mile walk around the track at the park or had just been out. He’s so entitled and has really grown to expect things exactly how he wants them and if he doesn’t get it exactly how he wants it he’s gonna walk around piddling to make sure we know he is not satisfied. He could care less about the punishment because we have tried everything, he knows he is gonna be in trouble and doesn’t care if he’s proving a point. I work from home so I’m around him all day, my phone is set for every 90 minutes for me to get up from the computer and take him out and a smoke break. We have ruled out medical issues, have spent hundreds of dollars in a short time just to be told the same thing over and over. He has no infection and they have ruled out everything from diabetes to a ruptured disk. I don’t wanna take the little guy back but I just can’t keep going on like this, I understand dogs are work, even more so with puppies but he is ruling my life. It’s almost like I’m here to serve him 24-7 or else and I’m just at the end of my rope. Like I said earlier I am a rational person, so if corse I have tried just about everything and with that said I am going to have to agree to disagree, my pup does do this out of spite, retaliation, or just to try to manipulate the situation and get what he wants. It’s more than submissive pee’s and it’s obvious he is capable and potty trained as well as he knows exactly what he’s doing. Once I realize what he’s doing I don’t even have to say anything and he goes strait to his bed because he already knows he is in trouble. If he already knows he’s in trouble for doing it before he even does it than he gets that it’s bad. I’m trying one more thing, I read about putting diapers on problem dogs like this while there inside and take it off when I take him out. Even when he is upset about not getting his way I doubt he will just pee in the diaper just because he doesn’t want pee all over him self. I hope it works and I hope everyone doesn’t think I’m a monster for resorting to putting diapers on him. I just bought this home, it’s my first home I’ve bought so I’m not gonna continue to let him treat it like his own personal toilet. Fingers crossed for max because I think my local shelter has a policy about dogs that have been brought back for a third time. And that’s the last thing I want for the little guy, but he’s gotta figure out this isn’t his 300 thousand dollar toilet.

    2. I totally agree with the revenge peeing. If my dog does not want to do something …example go out side to pee. She runs and lays down and pees right then and there. This just about the only time she has done this except two other times when she was had worms when we got her..
      I had a dog who every time. Left the house she defecated everywhere! And yes I did cage her along with other doggie options . It done NO good.

      1. I have an 8 year old chocolate lab and I can’t seem to pin point WHEN he is peeing in the house but he only pees on furniture or the walls in the living room. It’s destroying my home but the dog belongs to the kids and I am at an absolute loss as to what to do. I am guilty of the yelling and smacking him on the butt for it. I’m just so frustrated.. Last summer I bought a new couch and love seat. I blocked off the front entrance which is where he’s always pee’d and now he’s peeing on the new furniture.. I tossed the lazy boy out the other day to wake up this morning to see that he pee’d all over the TV stand. PLEASE anyone HELP ME!!!

          1. Hello I have a 2 year old Rottweiler he started to pee in my house after kicking him out of my bed room where he slept at night could this be the reason??

          2. I’d be happy to help. He is likely doing one or all of these:
            1. He is nervous, upset, or depressed you kicked him out like that.
            2. He is marking a spot with his specific scent on it.

            When does he pee? How often is he alone? Do you scold him? Why did you “kick him” out?

      2. All the dog experts confidently tell us that dogs don’t pee for revenge. How on earth do they know this to be true. I don’t think there is a conclusive study that proves this assertion. It just seems to be conventional wisdom that keeps getting repeated. Show me the research, the references to empirical studies. I think it would be quite hard to test – to set up a revenge test scenario…

        My dog has peed for revenge, or just maybe he was just angry with me. It happened just once as far as I can tell. This is a well trained dog – a grand champion Golden Retriever, who we treat as a family member. He is well loved.

        I keep a dog treat jar in my home office. He comes into the office when I go in there and I give him a treat. Its our little custom. Yesterday, he came in perhaps a half dozen times for more cookies. I finally brusquely and rudely told him to get out and quit bothering me. He left the office through the open door, entered the connecting hallway, stopped a foot outside the door, slightly lifted a leg, and peed right in front of me. He knew I was watching. We had just been outside for a short romp, so I know he wasn’t suffering from too full a bladder. He was mad at me!

        Solution – I submitted, and now I give him a cookie when he asks for it 🙂

        1. Everyone lists all these emotions dogs have “He is nervous, upset, or depressed” but they don’t know spite? I am not demanding anyone rub their dog’s nose in poo just stop trying to convince me a long known working method doesn’t work.

    3. I respectfully disagree. My dog does it out of revenge. I just got back from playing outside and taking him to the normal poo spot. then when we all go inside he will go poo on my deck. He only does it when we don’t let him in the house or when he see’s me playing with other dogs inside, etc. This last time, we just got back and he was on the deck for under 5 min and went in the corner. It is spite.

      1. I agree dogs do things out of revenge and spite and they are smarter than given credit as a kid I had a dog who was my best friend I talked to him about stuff I didn’t feel I could talk to another person about and pet him and I’m not saying he understood but in a way he picked up on how I felt and he responded (comforting and keeping a person away who i would tell him hurt me )when we got another dog he walk up my mother made eye contact and peed on the clothes she just cleaned and even now I have a dog and she peed I cleaned it and scolded her and when I went to wash my hands she peed in the same spot for scolding her smh

        1. Actually, no…a dog is marking his spot in those cases. Your name came up n/a and blah blah?

          1. It’s pretty frustrating to see all of these “dog-shaming” posts. My boyfriend has a stubborn, dominant Mastiff. He pees if we even leave him alone for an hour. It’s not anxiety. He is the laziest, brattiest dog ever. If he’s outside, he will destroy the door jams scratching to get in until we let him in. We’ve recently purchased a shock collar but have yet to use it. We cannot let a dog RUN our lives because we aren’t “making him comfortable”. He has a better life than most dogs: sleeps on the bed or on the couch, gets plenty of snack, regular walks… it’s ridiculous to tell owners they need to do more for their dogs when the dog is just showing dominant behavior. Maybe try giving advice instead of “owner-shaming”.

          2. I feel bad for dogs who have owners that deem them lazy and bratty. Yikes.

          3. You shouldn’t have a website to give people information when you’re obviously a judgy miserable bitch… pun intended

        2. I think they do it out of spite. My male dog has started peeing and pooing upstairs. I blocked him from being able to get to that area. I noticed wet spots and poo even after blocking him. So I waited and watched..he went upstairs and I waited for a bit then I went up. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I called his name and he came crawling out from under the bed. So, he was scooting under the bed to get to that spot. I cleaned all the carpets yesterday only to find poo there this morning. I am home all day every day. He goes out all day long and does his why is he doing this. And the fact that he goes upstairs to hide it makes me believe he knows what he is doing.

          1. I agree, My dads dog absolutely pees on the floor out of spite. He works far out in the city and he’s only home on the weekends. He arrives Friday and leaves Sunday night. My dad is the dogs favorite human, she follows him around and sleeps with him when hes home. Every Sunday he packs his bag and gets ready for another work week and every Sunday before he leaves she pees on the floor. Monday through Friday she does not pee on the floor at all, not once. Please explain again how dogs dont plan things?? Shes been doing this for 2 years now BTW. SOUNDS PRETTY PLANNED!

          2. Dogs have instincts. If you don’t want to use the word “revenge “ then don’t. There was a tote on the couch with dog treats in it. She knew that because she was given one from there. Later she hopped on the couch to try and get more. She couldn’t. So guess what? She peed on the couch. Call it what you what. In human terms that’s revenge.

          3. My dog has some kind of severe OCD, he’s a rescue, and he marks literally the second I walk outside the door. I once ran upstairs just to grab something and came right back down and caught him with his leg up. He also seems to do this when he wants to do one of his compulsive behaviors and I tried to discourage it he gets up and walks around and generally that means that he’s going to assert his power. Not necessarily in a traditional revenge type fashion, but it’s part of his behavior if he can’t do the really weird things that he does, he acts out. Like asking to go outside every 10 minutes even if he has already been outside for an hour, or when he’s anxious and comfortable weirdly, he bites at his feet and sometimes licks at his feet and it drives me nuts the noise of the dog licking himself. He begs for food and you cannot get him to give me some space when I eat. He’s also picked up another habit that my other dog has of staring at me like they want something but I know they don’t want anything and they will do it for hours and I’ll see them out of the corner of my eye staring at me. They won’t do it if I’m looking them in the eye, but they will just sit right out side my peripheral and shamelessly stare at me.

      2. Agree wholeheartedly. My 4 year old Pug would still be pooping and urinating in his crate, had we not bought an extra small crate. He is spoiled, and at times has to be crated. He will still urinate in his crate if his bladder is not completely empty. He even finds some, and lets loose! He is not ill, and is loved. If we accidentally leave the bathroom door open where he is crated, he will urinate on the shower curtain and rug! Frustrated beyond belief with this dog. He only wants to sleep with my daughter, yet, will want out and to eat anytime he hears activity in the kitchen, We are talking 3, 4, or 5 in the morning!

        1. I hear you! We just bought a cavachon last December. The kids love her because she looks really adorable. She was potty trained fast, so I know she is smart. Then we put my oldest son in charge of taking her out and watch her because where we live there are bobcats and they can snatch little dogs. Once she was bigger and there was no danger anymore we opened the door for her and she refused to go. So we pushed her out, and she did nothing. Back inside she pooped and peed inside the house. I quickly realized she was not happy going outside without my son.. She peed in front of his bedroom. What we did: We stopped my son from letting her inside his room, or feed her or playing with her outside. I took charge of everything. Eventually she stopped seeing him as hers and started to ring the bell to go outside, on her own! We are having other problems now, but dogs do react to what you do to them. You can call it whatever you want! ?

        2. I have a male jack Russell he about thirteen years old. He pees it seems when he can’t get what he wants wether it be a treat or water. There have been situations where we have taken him outside to releive himself and he will come back in side and pee. Other time if we don’t take him out at his usual time he pees. How can we correct this issue

      3. My dog does too. He has taken his bathroom breaks on the pad ? of the times since were home for COVID. Today I began working on leaving him home and he struggled through the child proof gate to pee on not 1 but 3 of our chairs. It is revenge.

        I need to figure out how to stop it besides the kennel, because like I said he’s an escape artist.

    4. Hi Ann, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Freddy, and I am a dog trainer for over 19 years now, in S.I., N.Y.. My 1st question is hw old is your dog ? Has your dog been checked 4 diabetes ? BC they do get it just like us. If your dog is young, and accidents arise, take your dog back out, to let it become to going outside more, and reward it when doing so. May I also recommend, substituting water for ice cubes, and reducing her water intake especially at night.

    5. Yea… people forget that they antiquate and really only witness THEir dogs. If untrained or left to continue peeing around the house and you just clean it up…

      Sounds like the new progressive this and woke that dont hit this or that. (That being said, there are always better alternative measures, no one is advocating that here)

      But, you may not have encountered the “revenge” dog. Someone new coming into your house like a new gf/bf. And witness in real time them picking out ONLY their stuff ..
      Then lifting the leg. You could argue that its Love pee… but that sounds as silly as not believing and talking about “Science” and books made to make money/stop people from disciplining in certain ways.

      Tough to do studies on this and to broad spectrum or spout “science” is dishonest in most books and websites.

    6. My lab- basset hound mix pees in the same 3ft section in my dining room. The back door is always open whether I’m home or not so he can get out. The only thing I can figure is he pees inside after the sun goes down because he is afraid of the dark.
      Now with that being said hebhas also been known to pee right outside my son’s bedroom door. Now this only happens when my son shuts the door and won’t let him in. That kinda tells me that he is mad at him for shutting him out. If he can pee while excited why not when he’s not happy!!

  2. The only place a dog takes revenge is in movies! Very informative article, now hope those that think they are peeing for revenge will wake up and realize NO, they are not!

      1. My dog most certainly pees out of spite. If I go outside without him for a few minutes or when we do things he doesn’t like (like take away a toy he destroyed or bathe/brush him) he will rage pee. It’s not a full emptying of his bladder, just a small spot essentially a screw you type pee.

          1. i adopted a 3month old shelter girl she is 37.5 pit, 12.5 chow chow, 12.5lab and the rest of her is sporting dog. I got her DNA. She was easily housebroken. She pees out of spite, if I am in my office on my pc with my back to her she pees, if i close the door on her she pees in front of the door.
            I cant give her attention 24/7 .She knows she is wrong because she immediately puts her tail between her legs and runs to the door. This happens even if she has just come inside from a walk. I hurt my back, so i hired the girl next door to walk her. she loved walking with my neighbor. My neighbor went went on vacation for 2 weeks. During that time, i got my 11 year old grandson to walk her.. When her regular walker came back and tried to walk her, my dog laid down and refused to allow the girl to walker her.. Kandee(dog) only got up when the walker turned around to bring her home, After she did this for 5 days, I got my grandson to walk her. Kandee never laid down not even one time. Now my grandson has to walk her everyday.

    1. Check this, you re-frame it however you want, and not actually do the real work, and figure out that your dog has very much human behavior because homo sapiens don’t adapt to the their environments and don’t pick up human behavior is insane! Know your science more than old dog books and behaviors. Some of you here need psychological help! Your dogs are smarter than you think, and do posses the emotional negativity like humans. You just don’t to admit that your dog actually can hate you like a human being. Dogs are all about survival tactics. Just like a human can live with someone and throw a lamp, bottle, kick a chair. Dogs do the same, except they pee, or chew up a brand new bed you got your dog, or scratch up the walls. Dogs have evolved, if you don’t want to believe or not, they have. I need you to evolve as well, and stop looking at your dog as some furry little creature that you find adorable. Dogs know what they want and what they don’t want, like humans. To think that all dogs are from the same DNA of other dogs, and dogs don’t possess the emotional trait of spite/revenge is crazy! Your nuts! Dogs are just Dogs anymore. Kids are just kids anymore. Adults aren’t just adults. We all evolve along with our environments.

      1. I truly believe my dog is peeing on everyting strictly to piss me off the same way I piss him off when I run to the store and don’t take him with me. Anyone who thinks dogs aren’t smart enough or evolved enough to express this emotion is in my opinion nuts!!!

      2. I absolutely love my Aussie. Having said that, @TODD ‘s post is spot on. Dogs have negative emotions as well. They are not just either happy or frightened robots. They have the mind of roughly a two year old. My Aussie is the best dog in the world 97% of the time. But just like me, he can get in a “mood.” You are right in this blog about saying that dogs do not “plan.” It’s not like this premeditated revenge plot that dogs hatch. But it is “revenge” in the sense that they experience jealously, unfairness, etc (all of which are proven in studies) and CAN and DO react accordingly.

        1. Of all the emotions dogs have, revenge is not one. That is reserved for humans. Marking behavior? Yes. Revenge? Nope.

          1. You are talking semantics withe the word “revenge” but prove by supplying studies here instead of just saying “nope” that dogs don’t get annoyed and frustrated and pee and destroy things because of it. Cats certainly pee when they’re pissed off so why wouldn’t dogs?

            Again, you’re NOPE isn’t good enough. List references.

          2. You don’t know what your talking about. Revenge isn’t an emotion. Anger is the emotion that will cause revenge. Dogs do stuff out of spite. Because they’re angry

          3. Revenge is a human action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands. That’s the Oxford Language dictionary definition. So just for you, Russell, I am breaking this down:

            1. Revenge is a human emotion
            2. Dogs don’t have hands, they have paws. See the definition for further clarification.
            3. You sound angry.
            4. You mention spite. That is a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend someone. Spite is a human desire. Dogs exist to be our companions. Be more like dogs.

      3. I have to agree. My pup is 6 months old n been going outside to potty for awhile but does he need to go potty everytime I step out the door? So, I am running in and out the glass door 20 times and he has been out potty at least half of that in 4 hrs. Does he need to go out with me every single time? Can I sit on my deck alone for 5 mins n have cig? NO!! If I don’t let him out every time I step out my door, he will find a rug or towel or something to pee on. He don’t lift his leg yet btw so not marking. Obviously he is pissing cuz I m outside and he is not! He can see me sitting in a chair thru the glass door… he’s sneaky too!! hmmm I think spite is the answer here.

  3. One of the biggest things I’ve learned the past year in nose work and tracking courses is how dogs are not at all doing things for reasons we think. They see things in their own way and we humanize it all which is what messes things up and doesn’t get to the root of a behavior.

  4. The article is very informative. But BJ did show his displeasure when I brought in a foster dog. He peed in the house. As soon as the foster was out of the house, he stopped.

  5. My Mama and Papa like to joke that I make accidents happen “out of revenge/spite,” but they understand that it is not premeditated. That said, I do it 1. When I am left alone for awhile, but also 2. When I am left alone for a very short while… sometimes as little as 5 to 10 minutes. I get anxious being separated from the pack.

    We agree with your argument, but we’d like to see more of “What to Do;” would you consider updating the last section to include some suggestions for how to improve this behavior using alternative methods?

      1. Please give us ways to stop it. We call them Protest Poops.

        MY dogs have two doggie doors. one is always available. Often times when I come home from work or even just being gone for an hour, I come home to a pile of poop in front of the door I leave and return from.

        She knows what she is doing. She uses the outside all the time!

        1. Dogs often do this for a number of reasons, trauma, depression, lonely. It’s not that they hate you or don’t like you, or arent potty trained. New things, people leaving, and situations cause anxiety which cause animals to misbehave. The other causes can be from them not seeing you as alpha, as well as medical issues. Dogs are not conceded and evil minded. They simply put reflect their owners.

          1. Hi, I found this post to be very helpful. My dog has recently started occasionally peeing in the house. He is otherwise fully trained to pee outside. We felt he may be doing it in protest or because he is anxious. I just wanted some guidance on what is the appropriate response in such a situation. This article is quite clear that punishing or shaming them is not effective (and I completely agree) but I wanted to know how should one respond to it. Should you comfort them ? Or give them a stern reprimand ? Or simply not react and just clean it up and move on ?

  6. Great post! It always boils my blood when I hear someone say “my dog did that to spite me for doing this/that”. No, they didn’t! That’s not how they think.

    1. We honestly do not know ho animals think.
      If they could not think in terms of revenge then why do they do things they know will get them in trouble? I am sure they know exactly what they are doing. Because when caught they look guilty and hunker down or run lol.

      1. We do know how animals think. There are scientific journals galore and studies at top veterinary universities. Dogs look guilty as you say because you are scolding them or verbally unhappy. Humans are the only ones who have revenge in them.

        1. I think you’re stuck on the word “revenge” and “premeditated” and it is somewhat an inaccurate word to describe the dogs’ behavior. They’re not plotting but they are displaying instinctive defiant behavior , just like how revenge is instinctive with some people. However, I think what most people mean is that when their dog is unhappy with being left alone, or having a new dog brought in for example, that they do intentionally enact or express this unhappiness by doing instinctively something that is destructive or they know upsets their owner. The fact that you can’t explain away the causal result people are describing from their unhappy pets means there’s no scientific evidence to prove that it’s NOT an instinctive reaction to show their displeasure to their owners. I think people are just being hyperbolic when they say revenge. They’re not strategizing but dogs absolutely act intentionally because they are that smart and so are cats.

  7. I do agree most dogs are not revengeful, but I feel my parents’ (spoiled rotten) cocker spaniel was an exception. Years ago, my dad had to put her in the garage for about two hours. The very next day, she pooped on his side of the bed. Something similar happened a few years later–she got mad and pooped on my parents’ bed.

  8. Yall crazy if you think dogs dont pee out of spite. Especially if they only do it when you tell them to move cause they want to play and be rubbed on. When she spite pees its clear regular urination is darker. She does it cause she wants attention.

  9. I’d love to hear anyone’s take on this as not being a case of spite peeing and pooping.

    My girl friend’s adult dog that she’s had for about 4 years is very bright and has a great personality, but is really sassy too.

    If she doesn’t get what she wants–a hand out, you make her go outside when she doesn’t want to or don’t let her outside when shes wants to (she will hold it for a surprisingly long amount of time), she doesn’t get to go on the couch or a bed that she wants to, etc.–she will run to another room the moment you turn your back. When she returns to where you are looking all proud of herself, you’ve got a big old mess to clean up.

    I understand the idea that dog’s aren’t really capable of planning per say, but that seems to be an action/reaction scenario that can only be viewed as some type of “revenge”, even if it is a little more amorphous than the human conception of such.

    Regardless, we’re struggling with ways to get her out of it, any ideas would be welcomed and appreciated.

    1. MJ, let me get some expert feedback for you and I promise to come back and answer. Thanks so much for coming here to ask!

      1. Did you ever get the feedback on how to deal with this situation? I have a very similar situation and would love to know how to address.

    2. i agree with u my dog knows how to use the pad but when he doesn’t get his way he pees only on the edge or if i add to he pee’s on two in the middle most the time he would spitefully not pee on the pad just on edge i know he knows better cus there are days he use it correctly but the moment we dont let him eat what we eating or let him beg when we eating or let him sleep in our beds he poops or pee in the middle of floor if its not revenge he’s must be just doing it for attention either way im tired of it pads cost to much to allow him keep peeing and pooping on the floor .sometimes he even come to us and try to show us what he did then he runs when we see it

  10. My dog pees if I leave him longer than 5 hours (yes, I had him tested), which if you work for a living, happens often. So I invested in a good deep cleaning carpet cleaner. I guess you can say, I suck it up.

    1. That is really good that you do this and are aware. I know some dogs can’t hold it and 5 hours for many dogs means accidents.

  11. I’ve read all the comments but I still don’t have a clue as what to do about it.
    I don’t see them as “accidents’…My cat’s litter & food is in my master bedroom so we keep the door opened just a crack for the cat…however, Jake, my daughters dog, sneaks in there & poops & pees whenever he sees the door a little more opened.
    Jake has gotten into the litter box, pees next to me toilet bowl & poops in front of my
    My daughter & I are besides ourselves & don’t know what to do…can you please help us?

  12. Solutions are needed! This is so frustrating! Our boys just started this last year. No medical issues, and usually not left alone for more than a few hours. Driving us crazy!???

  13. So if the dog or in my case puppy doesn’t pee for revenge then what is it considered when your puppy knows he is in trouble because you yell at him for what he did then pees while looking at you and shows no fear and just anger because he is growling at you? This has been going on for a while and we don’t know how to fix it any suggestions?

  14. I have an 18 month old Maltese who only recently started peeing indoors, he doesn’t run to another room, he doesn’t hide, he doesn’t wait until he’s alone, he’s quite proud, no fear just lifts his leg & pees in front of you, I don’t know why he’s started this, he has constant access to the garden alongside our female Shih tzu who is spayed, she never ever done this, it’s getting frustrating as there are no health issues, he’s neutered & is never alone longer than an hour – 2 hours max, the door to the garden is open he even follows our Shih tzu & does go in the garden, we praise both dogs when they go outside & have done this always, so why would he start this behaviour ? He looks straight at us when he does it, most importantly how do I stop it ?

    It’s easy to think because he looks straight at you when he does this that’s its for attention but one thing my dogs are not starved of & that is attention & affection, I’m tearing my hair out as to why this has started out of the blue

    1. Oh honey,lol; Maltese, Havanese, Bichons, all in that “Havanese family” are truly slow to housebreak if they do at all. We have a Maltese and a Havanese. I wish we wouldve known this. They never truly get it; our Maltese is now 15 and our Havanese 13; its been a long road, filled with cold pee puddles, pooping as way of greeting new people who come into the house (the Havanese) ,etc. They all do this; getting them spayed/neutered helps, but even then, its no fix for these smaller breeds. Best advice? Get hardwood, and pray for patience,lol.

        1. Carol,

          You are dead wrong when it comes to saying that a dog will never spitefully pee in your house. My wife and I have a male Papillon who, regardless of what you say, will pee out of spite or retaliation for something he doesn’t like. In particular, if he hanging out around the kitchen trying to mooch a snack and we tell him to move, he will walk to his own crate or under our dining room table and stand there and pee. If he’s barking or woofing and told to stop, he’ll do the same thing. My wife and I are retired and home with this dog most of the time but, if we go out without him for any length of time we will let him out to pee right away. He’ll pee outside then he’ll come in many times and pee right in front of my wife. He definitely has some dominance issues related to my wife but, we have worked on those issues together. He has been medically tested and cleared. My wife and I have had a variety of different dogs and never had any problems with them peeing in the house. So, when this dog only pees in the house when he is told to do something he doesn’t like and he will stand there glaring at us while he pees an enormous puddle, if its not a form of revenge or spite then tell us what it is and how to correct it please. We have a female Papillon too and she never pees in the house. Both dogs are fixed. She’s 15 years old and he’s 8 years old and despite all of our efforts, he’s getting worse everyday.

          1. I completely disagree. People have spite, and dogs do not. It could be a marking behavior, a scent marking, or one of any other things. However, spite pee is not something a dog does. She is 15? Well having had a 15 year old dog, incontinence is an issue and you need to have that checked by a professional.

        2. Oh yeah? Well, how do you explain the recent behavior of my 2-year-old potty-trained, regularly-walked-twice-a-day male Maltese who, for the first time ever, peed and pooed on my bed while I was out for 6 hours, a longer time than I’d normally do an errand?

          I had left him alone in the dining area/foyer of my flat, placing his favorite toys easily accessible and making sure that there were 3 designated areas nearby spread with “accident” pads that were rubbed with some urine and poo scooped up from our first toilet outing of the day (since I knew I’d be away longer than usual from him), ….only to find, coming home, that he had somehow, squeezed his hairy but petite frame through the sliding door that separated my bedroom from the hallway and that he made a point on showing his anger and spite by dumping exactly on the bed spot that I’d immediately notice when I came in the room. It was the part that I failed to completely cover with the comforter. Thank goodness he didn’t do it on the fluffy silk comforter!

          BTW, I’ve never allowed him to get on the bed even when, several times while still a puppy, he tried his cutest best to join me laying on the bed because I was either sick or lazy to get up. I simply gently pushed him off at the same time mouthing a firm “no!”.

          When his foul deed was done, he obviously squeezed his way out of the bedroom to go back to where I was expecting to find him wagging his tail when I opened the door – except that, aside from the loving welcome, I could immediately gauged that his one-sided gaze meant “whatever I did serves you right, pal!”

          1. Humphrey said his 8 year old male dog not the 15 year old female Carol…and you keep saying it’s just marking, incontinence etc. Animals can feel happy and loving which they display with playing, tail wagging, licking, snuggling and they can see OUR pleased reaction so obviously they also feel annoyance and anger which they display by peeing and pooing to displease us.

  15. I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

  16. This morning, when my dog saw me putting my jacket on she ran out and peed right on the door. She does this every time she notices I’m going out. How do I prevent this? It really looks like she is trying to prevent me for going out. She is 4 month

  17. My wonderful, lovely puppy 10 mnth, has taken to peeing beside his food dish. Can’t think what it is due too. He is walked, fed, hiked, loved, pampered. Getting frustrating for us. We carefully trained him, only positive reinforcement but suddenly he has started this issue.

  18. This was a great article with some grey areas and no solutions on this behavior. Our 3.5 month old Frenchie is potty trained. We are currently trying to train her to lay in her bed while we work or study. After a few minutes of rejecting her requests to be on our laps, she will go to the same spot in the house and pee to express her frustration. This would fall under “emotional issue.” It may not be what we would consider premeditated revenge, but that is just semantics.

  19. But what if you let your dog out for ten minutes before you go to the grocery store and come home to find he has peed on the garbage can? Or you let him out before you go to bed and wake up to find a turd at the bottom of the stairs in the middle of the night? Also the poo only happens when you’re boyfriend sleeps over?

    1. I am so glad you asked this. Dogs do not think in terms of revenge. A dog is basically a nose with a body attached. I just finished reading an amazing book called “Being a Dog” – following a dog into a world of smell. The author is Alexandra Horowitz.

      I gained so much more info on that. Dogs are always in sniff, mark, repeat mode.

      So let’s use your example:

      Grocery store: He knows that if you are present, that the behavior is a no no. He is smelling something in the garbage with his amazing nose receptors and is marking it. He is not trying to tick you off.

      The turd in the middle of the night: Like people, nature calls, and when you gotta go, you gotta go. How else can he tell you he needs to go out if you are sleeping?

      The boyfriend one is easy: Your dog is marking his property. There is a new person in the house. That new person is your boyfriend. He has a distinctive scent. You may not even smell it. Your dog does. Your dog marks his territory when your boyfriend sleeps over.

  20. How then do you explain taking a dog outside, standing with them for 5-10 minutes (to no avail), and then bringing them inside and having them look into your face as they pee on the floor?

    1. It is not revenge. Dogs do not have the capacity, fortitude, nor thought process to plan nor exact revenge. That is a human characteristic. Try a different training method. Revert back to maybe what you did to train the dog as a puppy. I used to have piddle pads down, when my dog peed on them I would take the piddle pad outside and my dog and show him outside and praise him. With time, I would see him run to the piddle pad and then pick it up and take it outside. I would praise so much. I had a verbal party for him outside. Eventually he knew that outside was the place to go. Maybe just standing with the dog teaches the dog to just you know, stand. Are you associating a verbal reward or maybe even a small treat when he or she does pee outside?

  21. You people are stupid. “Because science says so” Where does a scientist say so? Where is the extensive researchand published article that I can look through to see their experimentation with a hypothesis? There isnt one because there is no way to properly correlate anything to do with dog brains or emotions. Every dog is different, just like people. And as far as I recall from Psychology 101, there is not even a proper breakdown of the human psyche as of yet, or at least not one that can be completely verified. Sure we can get schematics from breaking down where everything is via autopsy, but there is no defined system on how or why human emotions work as they do. So how can we say that dogs do as well? What about the Russian scientist who combined two dogs together? Do you believr that second dog head, with a fully functioning dog brain, was really living in the moment? Unaware of its dilipatadated condition? I call BS. Also look at the DSM, we have an “understanding” of emotions but we have an entire book of exceptions.

    So you are telling me that my dog has not turned into the most jealous piece of crap dog ever, because my brother got a cat? Despite her constant theft of cat food and water, her now “daily” habit of shitting in the living room everynight, depite the fact that she is let out 30 times a day or more, because of this issue. She is ten years old, never had this issue before.

    She also hates the outdoors, which is how she is punished, by being locked up in a pin outside. She whines, cries, and barks constantly while out there, aware of what she did wrong. Until the neighbors complain about the barking, I dont know what else to do. Vet recommends taking her to a “Pet Psychologist” no joke. What kind of BS is that? My Uncles dog got put on stronger Xanax than my Grandmother, seriously?

    I just dont get you people and your obsession with animals like they are children. Most of you would rather help a poor hungry animal than a human child living in poverty and an abusive environment. Why? Idk maybe you can tell me.

    1. Please give your dog to a loving home, Salazar. Dogs should not hate outdoors, kept outdoors as punishment, and IDK why you “believr” (your word, not ours) that is normal. Yikes.

  22. This is the most ridiculous thing I ever read. My dog DOES pee or poop out of spite. Today He was left in his cage all day while we were out. We immediately took him out and he peed. Came inside and within 10 minutes the dog went into my room, got on my bed and peed all over my bed. How can you say this was not spite? If he had to go out and couldn’t hold it he would’ve peed in front of the door like he has in the past. He has NEVER peed on my bed before. Also, 2 times prior when he had been left at home and was upset, he pooped on TOP of the couch. As is where your head rests. He NEVER goes up there. And those times he was taken outside also. So I can tell you 100% without a doubt my dog pees and poops on furniture out of SPITE.

    1. Dogs do not have the capacity nor the thinking mechanisms to feel and emit spite. It is a human quality and not a dog quality. While dogs have emotions and complex thought processes, a dog’s reasoning is different from a human’s. Our dogs can tell when we’re upset with them, even though they have no idea what might have caused our angry expression or tone of voice. Your dog’s behavior is anxiety and not spite.

      1. Please explain why my dog pees when I’m out of sight?
        We have put her peeing indoors issues down to being submissive or anxious. It has often happened during or just after there has been a tense shouting match between me and my partner, or even just him getting verbally angry about something while on his own with her around to hear it – shouting and stress in the air sets her off and she senses bad vibes. I’m more understanding if she starts to pee during a row, while we’re in the same room, but sometimes she will do it up to an hour after the incident, when our backs are turned!
        The reverberations can last for days after an incident and she will continue to pee indoors overnight like a frightened child. I’m at a loss!

  23. I have a very clever 5 year old boston terrier. Picks up tricks within an hour and can respond to countless commands. Will pee on command outside of the house, in the yard, and will even respond when I say potty in our room by running downstairs and outside in the rain to go potty before bed. Smart and attentive little sucker.

    Leave him at home with access to the back yard (and with a our other dog for companion) for AN HOUR and he’ll go find my purse or my camera bags to mark on them. I put those away and he jumped on the dining room table and peed on the centerpiece (and all over the table). Instantly guilty when I walk in the house and puts himself outside until I call him in.

    If he’s not revenge marking then what do I call this behavior?!?

    1. Now, in thinking this through. Knowing the dog is going to be put outside when you come in, why would he do it? He is probably marking his spot on your items. I bet this is a boy dog…and yes, you said “leave him at home” so he is a boy. I call this marking. Not revenge. Dogs do not pee for revenge.

  24. Wrong. If a dog can feel positive emotions like joy or love, they are perfectly capable of feeling negative emotions like spiter frustration. They aren’t robots and they aren’t saints. They are animals like the rest of us.

  25. It’s truly hard to believe they aren’t doing it out of revenge sometimes! My boston terrier (he’s 1 and neutered) will definitely pee when he’s not getting his way. He’s peed directly ON us three times in the house because we were on the phone and couldn’t immediately play with him. Last night around 4am, he went to get water and it was empty – he scratched at the bowl, then came into our room to pee on the bed (with us in it!) it happens so frequently. I read through all of the comments here and I’ve been searching around – do you have any advice for dogs that do seemly pee out of “revenge” for not getting their way? Our boy has to wear a diaper in the house so we can stop him now. We hate it 🙁

  26. My dog will sense that I am about to leave/ not play enough fetch with her (which she demands 24/7) & I will take her out to the bathroom/play fetch with her chuck it- and then she will come inside and pee 3 drops of pee on my main rug, in front of me but sometimes not. To be noted- she only pees on rugs, we have hardwood floors & tile in 95% of our house and a big back yard that she rules. She also has problems going to the bathroom in larger city’s with no grass. She will go on dirt but I can take her out and she will come back to the condo and poop/pee right on the rug- they have mostly hardwood too.

    1. Your dog probably anticipates that you are leaving or not playing and gets nervous. Of all the emotions dogs have, revenge is not one of them.

  27. This article is pure malarchy! I have a year old female red nose pitbull.. she was house trained when I got her at 6 months of age. She poops very regular twice a day. Early morning and just before bed. If I leave the house other then my normal routine without takinge her with me she spitefully poops. She first drags all the blankets off my bed. Then she tears all the stuffing from my pillow. Finally she squeezes out a shooter marble sized turd almost dead center of what’s left of the pillow. She leaves the pillow in the center of the bed. She has done this in as little as 15 minutes after pooping outside. The first month I had her she had jo accidents in the house. I literally took her in the car or outside every time I went outside, or went somewhere. The only time she was left alone was while I was working, and my kids were in school. Now that she got used to the routine if I leave and its not a day, or time I am usually at work this spite takes place. She never bothers so much as the garbage mon to fri during working hours. I am calling the science you claim as simply wrong. Noone will convince me otherwise!

  28. I don’t buy this for a second. It was once thought that dogs do not harbor jealousy either. It’s now understood that they do. Hell, anyone who owns a dog and has half a brain can make that simple deduction. Observe. It’s telling and doesn’t need a fancy science experiment.

    1. I allowed your comment but with a name like pissed off dog owner, that might be part of the problem. Just saying.

  29. if they dont revenge pee. can you please explain why when i tell them no about getting on the bed ( cause they have peed on it several time for no reason) they go pee on my blanket. or when one is in kneel while i walk the other 2 they break out and pee even though they have held it many times before. or when they can go days or weeks with no accident then pee on everything for days cause i left the house for a few hours.

  30. I am a firm believer in science. But even with that strong belief and what some scientist has said about it, my mom’s dog DOES pee out of spite. And I’ll tell you why.

    I lost a cat and 2 dogs within 6 months. Kidney cancer and congestive heart failure. We already had a younger dog that we got a year and a half prior to the deaths of my babies. So he has no issue and is one of the most laid back pups I’ve ever seen.

    One of those babies was my mom’s dog Jasmine. A 13 year old standard dachshund. And when the heart failure started, she declined quickly and passed the next day.

    My mom was gutted. And a couple months later, she rescued a poodle mix. Poor thing had been outside most of his life and he was only 8 months old. He had dreads that we shaved off and hundreds of fleas. A shave and 3 washes later, and you have my mom’s dog Joe.

    Now to the attitude.

    My dad just got a puppy. Maybe 2 months old and we’ve had him for a few weeks now.

    The puppy is in the process of being trained so he’s getting a lot of attention.

    Him being my dad’s puppy, he sleeps in my dad’s recliner.

    Joe gets in trouble sometimes because he steps on the pup or bites a little too hard and causes it to yipe.

    Just a simple tap on the nose and a stern no do the trick. But only for a little while.

    Because my dad gives more attention to the puppy, Joe has been peeing in his chair.

    And it is for spite.

    The dog whines and scratches at the door to be let out and stays out for about 30 minutes. So you can’t say he’s not being let out. Dude goes out several times a day.

    He never pees or poops anywhere in the house. Never. Even when he’s been at home alone all day. Never.

    But when my dad gets up to do something, Joe gets up on the chair and pees. I’ve seen him do it.

    And it IS for spite.

    The chair is leather so I clean it regularly so there is no smell.

    The chair cover is washed regularly.

    He is let outside a lot during the day and for a substantial amount of time.

    All because my dad doesn’t give him attention. HE PEES FOR FUCKING SPITE.

    I think some dogs a more intelligent than others and when they’ve been spoilt, they learn new things. Emotions being one of those things.

    And FYI, just because a scientist studied a handful of dogs compared to just how MANY dogs there are on this Earth, doesn’t mean every dog is the same.

    And may i ask why you seem so passionate about the matter?

    1. There is an amazing book I’d love to tell you about, Samantha. It gave me such a new appreciation and deeper understanding into a dog’s scent ability. It is called “Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell” by Alexandra Horowitz. Here is the link:

      When humans clean something, as you are the chair cover, it does not make it clean to a dog’s nose. In fact, the dog’s behavior speaks otherwise: He is telling you, I can smell something. I agree every dog isn’t the same. But every dog is born as a dog and dogs do not do spite. Dogs do behavior. Dogs do scenting. Dogs do marking. Dogs do routine. Dogs do not do spite.

      Did you know that a dog’s noseprint is akin to that of a human fingerprint? No two are alike.

      What you call spite, the dog behaviorists in the know call alpha marking. Your dad’s dog had its world rocked with a new puppy. He is marking, not acting with spite. I never condone laying your hands on a dog to correct unless that act is with love. You only teach the dog to fear you.

      What is alike is their ability to scent, mark, and be dogs. Dogs can smell so much better than we can.

      In fact, according to PBS, “They possess up to 300 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to about six million in us. And the part of a dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than ours. Dogs’ noses also function quite differently than our own.” Imagine that, you washed that chair cover and your dog is thinking “um okay, I can smell that a mile away.” Dogs smell cancer, after all.

      I am passionate because to correct a behavior with positivity, you must think like the dog. When you do, the problem will be solved. Do not allow the dog access to the chair. The dog is marking, not giving spite. Spite and anger are human qualities. Passion is too, so I prefer to direct it to help people understand their dogs better.

      Hug your dog for me and have a wonderful week!

  31. Dogs absolutely do pee and poop for revenge. Mine does. This is not an accident or just a “marking” action. The only time my dog does this is when the dog doesn’t get to do something they want to do. The dog clearly knows it did something bad and is clearly riddled with guilt and hides afterwards. Maybe the term revenge feels too strong, because as humans our emotional responses and reasons for revenge can be much more broad and complex, but revenge on a basic primitive level is still revenge.

    Its really unscientific for anyone to say that it is “scientifically proven” that dogs don’t pee for revenge. You can do a study on one dog or a group of dogs, and just like a study on humans, there is no “science” involved, just a sampling of a very small population group with an extremely high margin of error. I’m a dog lover to, so I wish you were right about revenge actions, but there is no question that some dogs do take revenge actions.

    1. This is sort of my thought process on the topic as well. Revenge and dominance are linked, I find it bizarre that dog “experts” aren’t aware of this primitive behavior. Think about it, someone did something to dominate you (or make you FEEL dominated sometimes even indirectly/accidentally) and you feel the need to “get even” and reassert YOUR dominance. Not to even mention that in all species there are spectrums of intelligence with extremes on both ends. Sure we see breed intelligence differences in dogs, some breeds are demonstrably more intelligent than others, but for some reason people forget that within each breed is also an individual scale with a bell curve and all that. Same with people, we have the general population and we have genius-level intelligence and we also have dullards.

      1. Revenge and dominance are apples and oranges here, Jenna. Think about it: You are equating a human emotion (revenge/I must get even/I will pay them back, etc) with dominance. Alpha structure is one thing and does not involve revenge. I find this thought process silly at best but I appreciate you taking the time to share your analysis.

  32. You all are crazy. There is no evidence that dogs are always “in the moment” or that they can’t do things out of spite. We don’t even have a proper breakdown of the HUMAN psyche! how can you all just say dogs can’t act out of spite when you have no proof they do. This whole article is literally just about what else it could be instead of spite, rather than any scientific facts. Plus, why would dogs be able to feel happy, sad, angry, jealous, and anxious but not be able to do things out of spite! Also, note this article is about how to stop a dog from peeing out of spite. You literally deny dogs can do it in the first place, so how is this article about how to stop something you don’t beleive exists in the first place! That’s like saying “how to summon god” and the first sentence is “god isn’t real”

  33. Dogs are smarter than you think. Two examples. When I come home I can always tell if my dog has peed in the crate. When I open door he normally cries or whines to welcome me. He can’t see me cause the crate is in the kitchen. When he whines I know he hasn’t peed. But when he does. Pee in the crate. Doesn’t mater when, He is as quiet as a mouse. And won’t even look at me. Not even a whisper. He can’t read my face from the other side of the wall or tell if i’m upset but he just knows he is wrong. When I have company and let him out of the crate and don’t let him play with them he will pee and when reprimand him to the crate he doesn’t make a sound. If i put him in the crate when he doesn’t commit an offense like at night sometimes, he gets upset. So much so that he will bang on the door of the crate. I usually keep the crate open and he sees it as his home. But he also knows when I close the door then something isn’t right. If he does something wrong and i ask him to go to his crate. He doesn’t get upset he goes and keeps quiet till i let him out. But if i ask him to go because i have company and not let him out. He will pee. You can call it anxiety or just his anger but the timing damn sure feels like revenge. He knows when he is wrong and he knows when he shouldn’t be punished. He will literally bang on the crate to get out if he feels unjustly punished. Jack russell are beyond smart. Probably smarter than most humans. Don’t sleep on dogs.

  34. Our dog is aging but she’s recently been peeing in the house at random! We let her out every hour but she’ll pee in a random spot in the house on the carpet when the majority of the house is wood floors. We’ll let her out, she’ll pee and then 30 mins later she’ll go upstairs to pee! She knows to go outside and she’ll go to the door to let us know that she wants to pee and we’ll let her out and she’ll pee but then she’ll go stand right in front of us after breakfast and stare at us and pee. We got her doggie diapers. This is frustrating indeed.

  35. I have 2 female huskies, both are potty trained and over a year old each, one of them however, if we stop giving her attention she urinates behind the couch or next to the chair, and lately on top of urinating she is now pooping, she has peed on our mattress while we are laying in the bed with her, and she pooped on my fiance’s pillow, while he was laying down. we have tried every method of potty training, from taking them out every hour, to directly taking them outside after an accident we have even tried the training treats for when they go outside we’ve even tried the spray that you spray in your yard. nothing has worked. I’m looking for help not conflict, every dog owner trains there dogs differently because every dogs behavior and personality is different. certain methods work for some dogs and others don’t, we have run out of methods can someone help us with a different solution

  36. How to prevent a female greyhound from peeing right after her meal? We always walk her and she does all her business outside of the house before we give her food. If she’s in the house, she knows exactly where to go for peeing, but she still pees right after having her own meal.

    We adopted the greyhound recently and she’s nine years old. We brought her to the vet to check her health and she seems fine and healthy. We have two other dogs, but they are gentle and never approach the greyhound during her meal.

  37. I have 2 year old Havanese. He never pees in the house, except on occasion in my son’s room. The door to his room is open all the time and he could come and go as he pleases, but he doesn’t. He only goes in when someone goes in the room with him and then he pees.. It could be my son, or me in the room. Doesn’t matter who enters the room, but he occasionally pees. He has done this randomly since he was a pup. Only that room and only if someone goes in with him. What gives?

  38. Im sorry but this is simply not true. I had 2 cats that use to deliverately pee inside for spite, many examples to proove it WAS out of spite but keeping this short. My dog now when mad for leaving him during day will, after he’s gone out and come back in, will pee and then run and hide. He knows what he done was wrong and wasn’t supposed to do it and was just outside but did it out of spite. So I disagree ? with your opinion. Dogs are smart, don’t be fooled that they have no ability to do things out of spite.

  39. I just came home to find four rugs peed on, and trails of pee all over the house, EVERWHERE! 3800sf house. Our dobie is 8 and she is a VERY obedient dog. She’s my bestie. She can hold it for 10 hrs easily. I started a training program three weeks ago and have been gone all day, leaving at 6am, but my wife doesn’t leave until 8 and takes her out. I get back about 5:30 and let her out. Today, I opend the door to a large amount of pee on the slate. I thought, “ok, she couldn’t hold it today”, but as I entered further, there was a large trail and several puddles in the room, going into the bathroom (more slate), and then into the living room in the other direction, 20 feet of pee. Then again in the kitchen, all the way around the island (another 12 feet) and on both rugs. Then all down the hallway, into the computer room, and on that carpet (another 15 feet), Large amounts. Then into the master bedroom, and on the sheep skin rugs one either side of the bed., another 15 feet. She peed ALL OVER THE GD HOUSE and on just about every rug, including her own in the living room. There is NO WAY this isn’t personal. She is VERY smart. She is clearly mad at me for being gone so many days in a row, after being with her all day every day for the last 6 years.

  40. I keep my bedroom door closed and let my dog do as he wants in the rest of the apartment. He s been revenge peeing lately though. He s a frenchie, 11 months old. Whenever I bring a date over and a go into my room with her you can hear him scratch at the door and asking to be let in. He is really social and get excited whenever we have visitors. Every time I come out, without fail, even after me having taken him out minutes before, there is pee there. It s not separation anxiety, because sometimes I go into my room and close the door and he stays out there and chills like it s nothing. But he does this when I have girls over. That s so revenge peeing for not getting his way and coming in. When there s nobody there, he even stops at the door to my room and looks at me for permission before coming in.

  41. My dog will hop up on the couch and pee on it (regardless if he’s just been outside) when I give him commands he doesn’t want to follow. He’ll make a pit stop on the way to follow the command to piss on the couch.

    For example. I am first up in my house, I take the two dogs out (brother and sister 5 and 6 respectively)… The come in, I give them pets and attention and send them to the living room to their bed just like every day. Occasionally the male will run up to go bug my partner who is still sleeping…. I just call his name, and give him the command to go back to his bed until I am done making coffee or whatever in the kitchen. He comes down, wanders to the living room, hops up on the couch to pee.

    There are other scenarios too, but it’s not consistent…. sometimes same scenario and nothing is a problem.

  42. My dog waits till I get home, then pees on my hand (which I have learned to have tissues in) exactly when I pick her up. If that`s not revenge peeing, I don`t know what is…

  43. I have had a Lhasa Apso who would always tell me when he needed to go outside and never pee/poop indoors. However, when he saw that I would pack to go on a vacation/out of town, he would get up on my bed and poop! I don’t know how to explain this other than getting revenge.

    I currently have a Lhasa Apso who is well potty trained. He doesn’t like getting the gel for ear problems put in his ear so he pissed last time he saw the bottle… This could have been fear, however, it did seem closer to revenge. Another time, he had just been taken out, I locked him out of my bedroom for like 5 min and he peed right outside the door…

    I will never be convinced that these dogs don’t try to get back at you by pooping/peeing.

  44. Hi everyone! I know this post is old, maybe too old… but i need some help and I really dont know what to do. We (my boyfriend and I) adopted an 8 year old Old English Sheepdog after my boyfriend thought he was a poodle (i know, right?), in the begining we told the old owner that he was too big for an apartment (we have a large apartment) but in the end he became way to close with my boyfriend and we knew that it would be too hard on him to go with another family.

    Previously he was a backyard dog, he had his space but he didnt get to socialize with other dogs. We use to go for long walks but now, due to coronavirus we are obligated to keep walks under 30 minutes and 2 blocks away from out house. Before this he had some accidents but they were a random thing every now and then, now he’s peeing inside the house all the time and for many different reasons.

    If you give him a treat and then he wants more, he pees. If you dont let him inside the kitchen, he pees. If you ignore him, he pees. it is contant once a day or twice a day, he is house trained, he knows not to pee inside. lately we just clean and move on without paying him attention or saying anything to him but ¿is it the right aproach?

  45. They do pee out of spite. They aren’t thinking ahead about what your response will be, but they are feeling upset/jealous/frustrated in the moment, so they decide in that moment to do something they know is bad. It’s a direct behavior from what they are feeling in that moment – often from not getting their way. I’ve noticed the more intelligent dogs are more prone to do this.

    1. Thank you. Some sense finally hits this forum. A dog or any mammal for that matter will do things out of revenge/ anger/ whatever negative emotion they feel. To think they are just a bag of happy bones that never thinks or plans is outrageous. The article linked was about guilt. How would any living think know to be guilty if there wasn’t some form of punishment? Including humans.

  46. Did I miss something in the “what to do” paragraph? I don’t see any suggestions as to “what to do?” It’s more of a recap of the article. I’m terribly disappointed.

  47. I couldn’t disagree more. I got a puppy a month because my 1yo dog that I found on the street (who shows clear signs of abuse) is very emotional and I thought having another dog with her while I’m at work would calm her. It’s worked but she’s also very jealous. I’ve been potty training the puppy and the day after the puppy’s first successful day of no accidents in the house, my 1yo started peeing in the house. And she’d do it less than 30 minutes after we went outside. Now it’s getting worse. My puppy hasn’t had an accident in the house in over a week but last night while I was cooking dinner, my 1yo walked to the kitchen and peed right next to the island where I was working. I took the dogs out right before bed (our usual schedule) and the 1yo lagged behind. We all came inside and went to bed. When we went outside first thing in the morning, I noticed a spot on the carpet in the darkness. My 1yo pooped on the carpet the night before while I was outside with the puppy. Mind you, these dogs know what “let’s go outside” means because they run straight for the door. She knew we were going outside and stayed inside and pooped instead.

    Also, I’m very conscious of my 1yo’s jealousy and every time the puppy gets a treat for following a command, I give the 1yo a command and she gets a treat, too. I even started giving the 1yo treats for peeing outside like I’ve been doing with the puppy. Your dogs may not pee inside out of revenge but mine has walked near me and peed three times over the last three days. She’s never done that before.

  48. A lot of times the pet believes they are in control of they need to go outside to go, they let you know. When they are hungry they let you know. They get trained to go outside they are they ones telling you to let them out. They away try to act human and do understand word. they love you till the end but react no different than a child to a parent. I see there intentions and they can’t speak,but will try to speak in there on way. My friends dogs poop or pee on if they feel left out, no talking scraps tonigh, the only way they want to tell you, it’s unfair, is to leave something that they know you would feel upset about too. It’s the only way they can truly communicate. And spanking or any abuse only make it worse, they act as like a child would. No scraps or no snack will then as dog would dig in garbage as child sneek or steel food. Get caught and punishing does get a child to stop only if they want to. Same with dogs. Or cats or anything smart enough to know there name. And yes if it is unusual it might mean there sick of don’t feel good. As some food gets tainted human or dog or cat, eat we all get sick.

  49. Let’s take the word revenge off the table since you seem to have a problem understanding what people are saying when they use the word. You call it marking behavior. Rather you call it marking, Hoola hooping, or revenge, the point is they do it more frequently when they don’t get their way. That’s an undeniable fact.

  50. I would like to talk to this air thee my dog absolutely pees on my bed when she gets mad at me… if I go and check the mail she peas and poops in front of the door even if she has just used the bathroom out side and when she gets really mad she waits until I’m in my room pees on my bed then runs to her cage and because I was busy on my phone last night she hopped on my bed this time where I sleeps and peed on my bed where I laid my phone down so if it’s not out of spite please point me in the correct direction no new scents no new houses no new anything out of normal and she only does it when she has an attitude like if I don’t give her my food or in this case checking my phone instead of playing with her like I normally do in the am

  51. My girlfriends a$$wipe of a bulldog does this and it’s incredibly stressful to deal with.
    He gets walks, tons of treats and lives a life better than any other dog I’ve ever met. Yet, will go outside and then come back in to piss or poop in the house out of spite.

  52. Carol, what do you suggest you do when a dog does pee around the house? It could be anxiety when the dog is left alone, but how do I train him out of it? I didn’t see any solutions offered in this article as to what to do about it

  53. I searched “how to get a dog to stop spite peeing in the house” and this is the first article that came up. While I totally agree shaming/punishing a dog is ineffective, this article offered zero help on the problem. Our dog is marking spots constantly in our house because a 4 month puppy has been added to our family. It is always while we aren’t around, never while we are there. He is an adult dog who most definitely knows better and is fully potty trained. He has done this before in other scenarios such as moving to a new house, seeing me play with another dog, gating off an area while we are working on house projects, etc. Thankfully there are other articles and resources out there that do not shame an owner who may not completely understand the dog’s behavior, but is trying to and is looking for solutions. Thanks for nothing, but your opinion that no one asked for.

  54. My grandma had a female dog that would literally cock her leg and pee on you if you didn’t share your food with her. Without fail. I’m sure it was probably more of a weird dominance thing than revenge, but if we’re being honest revenge is also often a weird dominance struggle in humans so like they’re not directly related but more like cousins. I realize this is a specific and anecdotal experience, but I think like humans each dog varies in intelligence and emotional range. We have anomalies on either end of our spectrums, why can’t other animals? I wound up here randomly because my Google algorithm suggested it on an unrelated dog pee question.

    1. Jenna,

      Our ancestors had dogs before they even had bread. We know cave people sat around campfires to cook and eat. We had domesticated dogs at least 15,000 years ago. This we know. We know cave people began sharing their food with then wolves, eventually dogs. Dogs mark their spot to show they belong to the pack. Having studied dogs and spoken with experts over three decades, I know this: Your grandmother’s dog was marking her spot and reminding you she is in the pack and to share the food. This was not revenge nor spite. This is a dog being a dog and dogs mark their spot and place in a pack with urine and feces. They will even sometimes pee on a bed when you are not home because your scent is there. They mark their scent with urine.

  55. I’m sorry, but my dog definitely pees out of spite. She tells me she has to go, and if I take two minutes to get up (I work from home), she goes and pees in the dining room. I have done all the training listed above and beyond. I praise her endlessly when she goes outside, even after two years. My other dog hasn’t had an accidents in 5 years (got him at 8 months as a rescue), but her, ugh. Yes, she’s a husky; yes, she’s stubborn, and yes, I completely clean the area with an enzyme based cleaner. The smell doesn’t go away and my next step is to toss the rug in the dining room. It was purchased before we got her (my ex wanted her so much, then left us when she was 6 months old)
    So, any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Donna and thanks for stopping by. Spite is a human emotion. Our dogs are not spiteful creatures.

      Each dog is different and you cant compare them, but I digress.

      It seems like there is a disconnect here – what do you mean if you take two minutes to get up she pees in the dining room? I am not clear what this means.

      How often do you take her out?

      Since your ex wanted her, do you care about the dog as much as your other pup?

      What have you tried to get her to pee outside? I have a list of tips that can benefit you:

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