There are some isolated cases where the cause of a breakdown in toilet habits in a mature dog starts as a psychological motivation, but results in a problem becoming medically motivated. An example of this would be the dog that suddenly forgets his housebreaking and urinates out of jealousy and spite.
A dog of this type could develop a psychosomatic urinary tract infection, therefore giving him a reason to eliminate at will anywhere in the house. Such a condition can be inspired by the arrival of another pet like a cat or a bird, a new baby, or any other attention-stealing tangible. Verbal punishment in such cases will only perpetuate the problem.
The dog is getting attention which is, after all, what he wanted in the first place. As long as he is getting this extra attention, whether it is shaming or admonishment, he will continue whatever action prompts his attention. Competition can cause a breakdown in toilet habits without the problem evolving into a psychosomatic urinary tract infection. The dog owner should understand that competition alone can be the cause of the problem. And when there is competition, the dog wets!
The competition can be real or imagined. In either case, a thorough examination into any recent changes in household routine would be in order. Something may be giving the dog a feeling that his position, or your affection for him is in jeopardy. Whether actual or simply imagined, it is very real to the dog. If competition is to blame, extra time spent with your dog, and maybe even exaggerated affection, will normally suffice in removing the motivator of his bad deeds.
Then there is the sort of dog who indulges in the type of wetting where he lifts his leg against everything; bedding, curtains, furniture, etc. and finds it necessary to try and own or control his environment by wetting on it. This is the type of dog who is self-oriented, selfish, narcissistic animal that he wets on everything to make it more his own territory. This is a dog that needs a master in all the purest and literal sense of the word.
That type of dog suddenly realizes that he is the leader of the pack, although he really doesn’t want to be. This dog is insecure and wants, in fact needs, strong and confident leadership. These actions usually materialize as a result of soft, permissive, easy-going dog owners who spoil and baby their dog. The ratio of love and discipline are tipped only in the direction of love.
Love in this instance is not a healthy love, both for the dog owner and his dog. It’s permissiveness by an owner who is afraid that discipline may cause the dog to not like the owner. In reality, mistaken kindness can be a bitter and unneeded cruelty. When these dogs are placed in the pound and put to sleep, there’s nobody to blame but their owners who thought so little of their pets that they failed to bring them up with the proper balance of love, discipline, and control.