Ask The Dog Trainer, Dog Training

Ask The Dog Trainer: My Puppy Won’t Pee Outside

Ask The Dog Trainer: Author Larry Kay and Dog Trainer Nance Moran answer this new pet parent’s question.


Troy wrote to us and said: I recently adopted a puppy from the local city shelter. I take her out all the time. When we go for long walks she will not to the bathroom the entire time. She will wait until we get back home and usually in the house before she goes. Thank goodness most of the time she goes on the training pads, but this morning I had her out three times and she didn’t pee, she came into the house and peed in a corner.

The only time she goes to the bathroom outside is during the night. I hear her getting restless and take her out. She immediately pees and poops. I always reward with treats and praise on those rare occasions she does go outside. I have another dog and we take them out together so she sees the other one getting praise and treats, but the new one doesn’t seem to get it.

Am I doing something wrong? Should I just keep doing what i’m doing and eventually she will catch on? I’m feeling frustrated.

Ask The Dog Trainer: My Puppy Won’t Pee Outside

train dog to pee outsideANSWER: 

Nance says: I suggest using a leash in the house. This way, Troy, you can watch your pup more carefully and be on alert to her sniffing the ground or attempting to leave the area to eliminate and take her out. Take the dog out after any change in event for example play ending, waking etc.

Keep the puppy on leash or crated when you cannot directly pay attention.

Reward outside elimination have a potty party! Celebrate like she just won the Nobel prize! This creates success. When the dog goes outside give playtime/freedom off leash as a reward inside for twenty minutes.

In addition make a point not to come inside immediately if your pup has successfully eliminated outside thus the dog thinks going potty ends the fun and outside time.

Larry says:

You are doing everything right. So sorry that you’re having to go through this. You’re correct that eventually your puppy will grow out of it. Is it possible for you to have longer times outside with your puppy?

I had an experience with an adult dog who would only do his business in very certain spots. I really wanted him to do his business while we were on walks. So I took him out all day long. We stayed outside together all day long. I fed all his meals outside, and I ate my meals outside, too. Eventually, he had to do his business 🙂 Perhaps on your next day off you’d be able to do something like that, and little by little your new puppy will get it. It may take multiple days like that with your puppy.

Congratulations on getting your new puppy, and bless you for going to the local shelter. There are more potty training ideas in my book, Training the Best Dog Ever.

Troy wrote:

Thanks Larry. I just ordered your book and loaded to my phone. Thanks again, my partner and I want to make sure we do right by this little girl. It has been twenty-eight years since we had a puppy, we have rescued other dogs but they were adults.

I can tell you even just in the one day it has made a difference. I took them both out after work and they peed. I immediately gave her a treat. Took her out again after she ate and peed again and got another treat. By the time we went to bed she would pee and run to me and ended up peeing three times while we were out. Same thing in the middle of the night. Thanks for all you help in this.

We’re so happy we were able to help Troy and his new rescue pup to address her potty issues! We believe that all shelter dogs deserve a forever home and that training will help keep all dogs in their forever homes! #AdoptDontShop

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