What to do if your dog doesn’t want to pee outside

When my Frank peed in the house, it was a tragedy. So I can imagine how you feel when your dog refuses to pee outside! No doubt you want to solve this problem as soon as possible. That’s why I’ve prepared for you the most effective methods to solve the problem.

These tips will be great for dogs that used to go outside and then suddenly have to pee inside the house, as well as for puppies that aren’t yet potty trained.

Why a dog doesn’t want to pee outside

There are several reasons why a dog refuses to pee outside:

1. Health problems. If your dog used to pee in an appropriate place and suddenly starts peeing at home, he may have a health problem. There are several medical conditions that you can read about in the table below.

sad dog on the couch

2. Fear. Your dog may be afraid to pee outside if he has had a negative experience with it, such as being startled by something – lightning, a loud noise, a car, fireworks, etc. This also happens with shelter animals.

scaring dog

3. Leash Training. If you are just starting to get your dog used to being on a leash, this can also cause problems. Some dogs are afraid to go potty when held on a leash or when the owner is too close.

dog with his leash

4. The dog hasn’t been potty trained or has started potty training outside late. If the puppy has been potty trained at home for a long time, he may not understand why he needs to pee outside.

puppy peeng on the grass

If you have a small puppy, don’t be surprised at the peeing accidents in the house. Puppies under six months of age don’t have their bladders fully under control yet, so they sometimes pee in the house. This is a normal phenomenon. Be patient and train them to go to the bathroom outside.

๐Ÿ“ŒSome breeds of dogs have a harder time learning to pee outside. For example, small-bodied dogs like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Shih Tzus have a harder time in cold weather because they are closer to the ground. They don't feel comfortable peeing outside. Also, small dog breeds have small bladders.

Diseases that can cause potty problems

Arthritis Arthritis can make it difficult for an animal to walk. The disease also worsens when the air temperature drops. A dog may have to go potty in the wrong place because it is not feeling well.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)Infections cause animals to want to pee often, and it’s complicated to hold them back. Tests can determine the presence of an infection. The veterinarian can then prescribe a suitable treatment.
IncontinenceUrinary incontinence is more common in older dogs, but can also occur in younger dogs, such as females, after spaying.
Diabetes or Kidney ProblemsKidney disease increases thirst. The dog drinks more water and therefore pees more often.
Cognitive Dysfunction (Doggie Dementia)Dementia occurs in older dogs. It can cause your dog to drink a lot (he just forgets he drank before).

How to teach your dog to pee in the right place

If you suspect that your dog doesn’t want to go potty outside because he’s sick, you should go to the vet to determine medical problems. It is vital if your dog was acting normally before. An examination will help determine the cause of the illness.

However, if your dog is not accustomed to peeing outside, then apply the following tips for house training:

  1. Watch your new puppy to see when he wants to pee. If you notice your puppy squirming and sniffing, take him on a leash and go outside to the potty immediately. When you take your dog to the potty, repeat the same command over and over, such as ‘Go potty.”
  2. If you pay attention, you’ll understand your dog’s routine and be able to set up a schedule. Puppies usually go to the bathroom shortly after eating or drinking and after waking up. Just make regular potty breaks.
What to do if your dog doesn't want to pee outside
  1. If your puppy pees outside and then does it again at home after 10 minutes, you should take a longer bathroom break. Puppies sometimes don’t empty their bladder all at once. Therefore, they need to do it again.
  2. It’s a good idea to get the dog used to being on a leash. This is especially true for puppies, who often forget that they need to pee while walking. Use the leash to guide your pet to the right place.
A girl walking her puppy on a leash
  1. Use encouragement. Give your dog high-value treats and praise when he pees in the right spot.
  2. When you see your dog getting ready to pee inside, say “no” in a firm voice, stop him, and take him to the potty. This way he knows it’s not right. However, don’t do this if you haven’t seen the puppy pee. Then it’s too late, even if it’s only been a few minutes.
If you walk your dog in your backyard, you can set up a special, cozy potty area there. Read more ideas for a dog-friendly backyard.

9 tips what you can do if your dog doesn’t want to pee outside

These tips are worth applying in addition to the ones mentioned above:

  • โœ…Get rid of the urine smell

Pets often go to the exact location to pee and poop. To break this bond, you need to get rid of the smell of urine and poop. Use special products to do this.

Last update on 2024-02-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • โœ…Use pee/poop training sprays

You can spray it on a specific spot in the yard to make your dog relieve himself there. These sprays contain pheromones in the scent of pee and poop, which should attract your dog. But this method doesn’t work for all dogs. On the contrary, some dogs are even repelled by the spray.

Last update on 2024-02-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • โœ…Take your dog to a quiet place

Dogs need a secluded place to go to the potty in peace. It should not be a noisy street with heavy traffic.

  • โœ…Take your dog for a car ride

Most dogs love to ride in the car. After such a pleasant ride, your dog is more likely to relax outside and do his business.

a dog in the car
  • โœ…Go for a walk with another dog who isn’t afraid to pee outside

By his friend’s example, your dog will also learn that peeing outside isn’t scary. Of course, you’ll need to repeat these manipulations more than once.

  • โœ…Use calming aids

To calm a fearful dog, you can use the Thundershirt. Studies have shown that a light pressure on the dog is similar to a hug, so it’s calming. You can also find other calming aids at local pet stores.

Last update on 2024-02-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

  • โœ…Put your dog in a crate

Try crate training if you don’t have enough time to supervise your dog. Dogs don’t urinate in their crate, so this can help. You can only crate the dog for a short time, though. For puppies, the time is no more than 1 hour, and for older dogs, up to 3 hours.

puppy in the crate
  • โœ…Use pee pads or litter boxes.

For those who live in an apartment, potty pads or litter boxes for dogs can be helpful. Train your pup to pee there at home. Keep the litter box clean.

  • โœ…Limit your dog’s space with a baby gate.

Lock your pet in a room without carpets until he learns to pee in an appropriate place.

I hope at least one of these tips helps you stop accidents inside the house!

๐Ÿ“ŒIf the dog is very agitated and anxious for a long time, it's better to contact a veterinarian. He prescribe you appropriate medication to calm your dog.

Teach your dog to ring the bell when he wants to pee

A suitable method that makes life easier for pet owners is to teach your dog to ring the bell to be let outside to pee. The training takes place in several stages.

  • ๐Ÿ‘‰First, you need to teach the dog to ring the bell. He can do this with his nose or paw. Hang the bell only when you are training. When the dog rings the bell, give him a treat. Make sure the dog understands what is expected of him and rings the bell consciously.
the dog ring the doorbell
  • ๐Ÿ‘‰In the next step, toss the treat for the dog in front of the door. The dog should understand that when he rings the doorbell, the door will open and he can go outside and get the treat.
  • ๐Ÿ‘‰The third step is to let the dog know that the ringing of the bell means he needs to go potty. Hang up the bell when it’s time for the dog to go outside. When the dog rings the bell, go outside and come to his spot. When the dog follows you, give him lots of treats and praise.
  • ๐Ÿ‘‰Then you can leave the bell at the door for your dog to use whenever he wants.

You can learn more about bell training in this video:


How long can a puppy not pee?

Young puppies need to pee very often. In the first month of life, they go to the potty once an hour. Every month this time increases by 1 hour.

What do you do if your dog refuses to go potty in the rain?

Try to get your dog to like water. You can do this by playing games using the garden hose and playing while he bathes. You can also get your dog to walk on the wet grass and put treats or a bowl of food out for him.

How much time will potty training take?

This is completely up to the individual. Puppies can take up to 6 months to learn.


Teaching your dog or pup to pee outside takes effort. You need to be consistent and stick to a routine. If you systematically repeat the same actions, praise the dog and reward him with treats for good behavior, he’ll learn to do his business in the right place.

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