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Why Does My Puppy Pee Inside After Being Outside?

Updated: Feb 25

House training your puppy seems like a simple task and some training websites claim to offer tips to potty train your puppy in as little as 5 days! So you may find yourself feeling frustrated when your puppy is still having accidents weeks later and/or just does not seem to be catching on to the concept.


One common complaint from new puppy owners is that they dutifully take their puppy outside every hour, only to have him run around and play… and then potty almost immediately upon coming back inside. What gives?!



We will explore this dilemma as well as several common potty training mistakes owners often make.


If you find your puppy goes potty inside right after he should have gone potty outside, you are actually closer to being on the right track than you might think. You have the appropriate timing down as far as taking your puppy outside when he needs to go, but he is likely simply too enthralled with the outdoor environment to focus on the task at hand.


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Young puppies are in full exploration mode almost all the time. They are playful and curious and trying to navigate the huge world around them. When you bring home your 8-week-old puppy home, he will likely be a bit overstimulated by the new environment for a few days, especially outside.


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Being outside is full of new sights, sounds, and smells for a puppy. Puppies generally react to this huge new world with curiosity/excitement or fear/anxiety. Either of these reactions can result in not being able to settle down enough to actually go potty!


So you take your puppy out- he runs and sniffs around (curiosity!) or he simply stands there not doing much at all (anxiety!), so you assume he must not need to go potty, but as soon as you cross the threshold back inside, he pees all over your living room rug!


Your puppy clearly did need to go potty, but he was likely too overstimulated outside. He feels safe and relaxed indoors, which triggers him to release his bladder. The key is to make sure his outdoor time is safe, structured, and a little bit boring.


When it is time to take your puppy potty, always go to the same spot. Choose a corner of your yard and either take your puppy out on a leash or set up a small exercise pen/puppy play yard to keep the area smaller. He can certainly have more freedom when it is play time, but for potty breaks, try to keep him going in the same area.


This works for two reasons: one, puppies tend to form potty habits. You may have noticed your puppy often has accidents in the same general area of the house. They form powerful scent associations, so once they have gone potty in a certain area, they are more apt to do it again.



Secondly, limiting his outdoor potty area will make sure your puppy does not get too excited or overstimulated so he is better able to focus on the task at hand. You will want to make sure to not make it too small though. Your puppy needs to have enough room to walk in a circle in order to feel okay about relieving himself.


Puppies are hardwired to not soil their dens or sleeping areas so he needs to have enough space to walk around and find the “right spot” and feel that he can safely potty in one corner of his designated area without soiling himself.


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Another helpful tip to solve this common potty problem is to make sure you give your puppy plenty of time during potty breaks. While a trained adult dog understands the concept and knows how to fully release his bladder and bowels on cue, a puppy is really still learning the very basics of bladder control. As a result, many puppies will actually pee and/or poop multiple times in the same outing.


So even after your puppy goes potty, give him a few extra minutes to sniff around just in case he’s not quite done. Also, the more time you allow him outside, the more relaxed and comfortable he will become. Your goal is to make sure going outside does not feel particularly novel.


Remember that first key of keeping potty time boring so he can focus! The longer time spent outside, the more your puppy will find the sights, sounds, and smells to be familiar and nothing to get excited or scared by.


If you are following these tips and giving your puppy plenty of outside time in a smaller space of your yard, and he still chooses to go potty inside, he has likely formed a strong association with his indoor potty spot that you will need to break.


The first step is to keep him away from whatever indoor area he has chosen. If he is going on a rug, you may need to temporarily remove the rug. Or at least attempt to block him from whatever room he has chosen as his spot. To get his little brain back on track, you may have to do some serious potty training boot camp. If you take your puppy out for a long potty break and he does not go, place him back in his kennel.



As mentioned previously, puppies do not like to soil themselves or their sleeping area, so he will make every attempt not have an accident in this space. Let him out to try again in 15 minutes. And repeat. It may take some time, but eventually your pup will go potty outside. And when he does—offer praise and treats!


However, on this note, be careful when you offer praise and treats! Another easy mistake to make is offering praise and treats too soon! While we recommend establishing a command/reward system, the timing of your reward is important. Sometimes owners get so excited that their puppy is actually peeing outside, that they immediately praise him, which can actually excite your pup and cause him to stop peeing before he was actually finished!


This of course can result in him having a potty accident as soon as you get back inside, resulting in the same vicious cycle all over again! When you bring your pup out to his designated potty area, choose a command to say: “Go potty!” “Do your business!” or whatever line you can come up with. When pup does potty, wait until he stops squatting before your reward. The second he appears to be done, offer an excited “good boy!” and a treat. He will quickly learn why you are rewarding him and be more apt to potty as soon as you take him out.


The timing is just as important when it comes to catching your puppy having accidents! Scolding your pup for an accident after the fact is generally ineffective as he will not connect the discipline to the moment of the accident. So keeping a close eye on your pup is very important so that you can “catch” them as soon as they start to squat or have an accident indoors. A quick “no” and then carrying them outside for a potty break will aid the potty training process.


On this same note, keeping your puppy’s indoor area limited at first can also help with potty training. Obviously, it makes it easier to keep an eye on your pup in a smaller space, but it also helps set your puppy up for potty training success. The smaller the area, the more likely your pup will be to alert you that he needs to potty rather than sneaking off to a corner where you can’t see him.


In fact, confining them to just a room or two of your house at first is often a good idea in general to make things less overwhelming for them. Having an area that is within direct eyeline to the outside door will really help your pup connect the dots on where to go when he needs to potty.



While we find it definitely takes most puppies more than a few days to totally grasp potty training, following these tips consistently will eventually get your pup going potty on command outdoors! By the time he is a 3-4 months old, he will likely be reliable with his potty habits and all the potty training frustrations will seem a distant memory!


Jenna and the JLDD Team


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21 commentaires


Mine is 7 months she knows to pee outside the breeder had a doggy door and fenced area we don’t have that. They also used fabric pee pads and so she peed on everything square and cloth. She will pee and poop in the morning and then go again within 15 min but inside and now she isn’t going on the pads we find pee all over and her favorite is my area rug which I am taking out today its ruined anyway. We only know she needs to go out when she runs off or starts sniffing. We tried everything including the crate which she peed in and pooped in and got it everywhere she pees in her bed…

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Erin Gehringer
Erin Gehringer
16 déc. 2023

Our puppy is 4 months old and is still peeing in the house. I take her out and she goes multiple times but within minutes she pees in the house, sometimes just walking around she will pee while walking. I know she understands "going" outside because she will signal when she has to poop but will just pee wherever and whenever.

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En réponse à

How big is the area you have her in while in the house? If she's still having accidents inside, you probably need to start tethering her to you, or making sure that you have her in a smaller space. If pups are given free reign of the house, they will just go whenever/wherever they feel like it. If you can keep her in a smaller area where you can catch her before she potties inside, that will be helpful. We suggest usually keeping them in a room close to the door you want to use to go out of. Then, when it's 'time', just make sure to scoop them up and to outside so they don't have the opportunity to…

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Tracey Skilton
Tracey Skilton
16 oct. 2023

My puppy is 71/2 months hasn't been to the toilet indoors for 2 months until the cold weather is here and we have the door shut and he pees at the back door how do I get him to tell me he needs to

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Jenna Stone
Jenna Stone
16 oct. 2023
En réponse à

A lot of dogs don't love going potty outside when it's cold. Maybe try ramping back up with the rewards for going outside? Or you could try potty bells!

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I had this issue too! My puppy knew to poop outside, but when it came to peeing, she would do it inside the house. If she didn't pee when I took her out, I would put her back in her crate and take her out again in 5-10 minutes. If she pees, reward and bring her back in; if not, repeat the process! It helps so much if your pup is nice and calm. I'm not sure if links are allowed on here but you kind find some excellent emotional control exercises if you Google search: 'Doggy 123 Atom' Other than that, it really is just a matter of consistency. Trust me, they will get it in the end!

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Jenna Stone
Jenna Stone
16 oct. 2023
En réponse à

Thank you for commenting this and helping out!

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Molly Hughes
Molly Hughes
31 juil. 2023

My puppy is 16 weeks old, hes picking up a lot really quickly. I took him home for the first time today, and I have spent some time with him and noticed his habits when he needed to go to the toilet in his old home, and would go outside to the toilet really quickly. He doesn’t seem to do these now he’s home with me, he’s had 6 wees, and none of them have been outside, with very little or no warning or signs he’s about to. I’ve consistently taken him outside every half an hour if not more, and tried to take him to the same place. I’ve sat out for a long long time just so he…

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Jenna Stone
Jenna Stone
01 août 2023
En réponse à

Maybe try crating him when he's inside and taking him outside immediately when you take him out of the crate and being very positive and praising him a ton when he does go outside! It's hard to tell some of these things without seeing it or being there, but its something to try!

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