Imagine walking into your house after a long day only to find that your house smells badly of pee! Would you stay in such a house?

When you have dogs, training them to pee in a litter box, on the toilet bowl, or outside is important for a harmonious living situation. Not to forget, it helps keep away pests that are attracted to the smell of ammonia.

So, a pee and potty-trained pet means that your house will be pee, feces, and bug-free!

jack russel puppy on white carpet

Understanding the Basics of Potty Training

Just like a child growing out of diapers, new pets need to be trained. If you live in a temperate environment, you can allow your dog to pee outside without the fear that they will catch a cold.

Consistency is one of the fundamentals of teaching a dog to urinate outdoors. However, this is not as simple as it seems. It means that you must be patient and keep following the routine you’ve devised along with reinforcement techniques and some other factors that we discuss below:

1. Setting a Routine

The first principle of potty training a pet is setting a dog potty training schedule, so they learn when it’s time to pee. Take your pet outside as soon as they wake up and then set the frequency according to the age and size of the dog.

Experts suggest a gap of 6-8 hours between toilet trips for adult dogs. However, puppies and smaller dog breeds like chihuahuas have smaller bladders means more frequent toilet trips. On the other hand, medical conditions like diabetes or obesity contribute to the frequency as well.

You need to take into account all of these factors while devising a urination schedule for your dog.

2. Recognizing the Signs

During the potty-training period, you have to be quite vigilant about the signs your dogs show to indicate the need to pee. You might be rewarding them for peeing outside so they will hold it, but here are the signs a dog needs to pee:

  • Excessive barking
  • Squatting
  • Circling
  • Scratching the door
  • Whining
  • Restlessness
  • Sniffing around

If you’re not observant of these cues, you will be ruining all the effort you’ve put in. Delays in urination might also lead to bladder issues like infections or kidney problems.

3. Choosing the Right Spot

While you’re training your dog, don’t expect them to urinate anywhere outdoors. It will be a hassle for you if the dog is trained to pee anywhere when they are outside.

To avoid this issue, dedicate a specific spot for the dog to pee and take them to the same place every time during the training period. Plus, familiarity aids in training too! You’ll be at ease when your dog only pees at a specific place rather than anywhere in your garden or near the walls.

Nice hunting dog looking at you on green grass background

4. Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is effective for any kind of training. However, you do not want to limit the reinforcement to a single thing like treats otherwise your dog will drive you crazy going in and out of the house just to get a treat.

Create a mix of rewards and reinforcements to encourage peeing outside. This could include:

  • Pet treats
  • Petting
  • Praising
  • Toys or games

5. Dealing with Accidents

While you’re training, do expect accidents to happen. The process of potty training is extensive and requires a lot of patience. Accidents indoors could be dealt with by showing a little dissatisfaction and then cleaning the area in front of the pet to show that pee is not allowed inside.

While showing a little dissatisfaction is a negative reinforcement that can help in preventing indoor accidents in dogs, don’t use harsh reinforcers like scolding or punishment. These extreme signs will stress out the dog and make them anxious. It might even prolong the training period your dog might keep doing it to gain your attention.

6. Training Older Dogs and Rescue Dogs

If you’ve adopted a dog who was housetrained before ending up in an animal shelter, their housetraining habits would have weakened considerably. On the other hand, older dogs who have never had any training might also be a tough nut to crack.

These dogs might take longer to train and require more patience and consistency in dog potty training. As a pet owner, it is important to understand the dog’s background before going into the potty-training process.

7. Creating a Supportive Environment

Potty training, just like other behavioral training, requires consistency and patience. Scolding won’t get you anywhere because it will not only frustrate you but also the pet.

If you live with other family members, it is important to ask them to be patient and understanding too. When everyone is involved in the process, the training will be quite easy, and you’ll be successful in the end.

FAQs About Potty Training for Dogs

How do I get my dog to pee outside?

Training your dog to pee outside involves consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. Start by establishing a regular schedule for potty breaks and taking your dog to the same spot outdoors each time. Use verbal cues or commands to encourage them to eliminate, and reward them with praise and treats when they do so. Supervise your dog closely, especially during the initial training period, and be consistent with your routine.

Is it too late to train my dog to pee outside?

It’s never too late to train a dog to pee outside, although it may require more time and effort for older dogs or those with established indoor habits. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, most dogs can learn new behaviors at any age. Focus on establishing a regular potty routine, using verbal cues, and rewarding desired behavior to help your dog transition to pee outside.

Can you train your dog to pee inside and outside?

While it’s possible to train a dog to pee both inside and outside, it’s generally recommended to establish a consistent potty routine and encourage outdoor elimination whenever possible. Teaching a dog to differentiate between indoor and outdoor potty areas can be confusing and may lead to accidents. Consistency is key in potty training, so focusing on one designated potty area (preferably outdoors) is often the most effective approach.

How long does it take a dog to learn to pee outside?

The time it takes for a dog to learn to pee outside can vary depending on factors such as age, breed, previous training, and consistency of training methods. Some dogs may learn quickly within a few weeks, while others may require several months of consistent training and reinforcement. Patience, positive reinforcement, and a consistent routine are essential for successful potty training.

What is the hardest dog to potty train?

Potty training difficulty can vary among individual dogs, but some breeds are known to be more challenging due to factors such as stubbornness, independence, or a strong prey drive. Breeds such as Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, and Afghan Hounds are often cited as more challenging to potty train due to their independent nature and stubborn streak. However, with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, even these breeds can be successfully potty trained.


House training dogs to pee outside is one of the most important steps to ensure a harmonious living environment. However, potty training isn’t easy. You have to set the routine and frequency of the potty training according to the dog’s size, age, and health conditions. Next, you must recognize the signs to understand when your dog needs to pee.

Outside, the spot where the dog can pee should be dedicated. Reward-based potty training and mild negative reinforcers are effective in training your dog to pee outside. Lastly, it is most important to remain consistent and patient throughout the process to be successful.

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