What to do if your dog won’t pee outside

When dog owners meet a problem like this, they want to solve it as soon as possible. After all, if the dog won’t pee outside, it will pee inside the house. This behavior can be caused by a variety of reasons, which I will help you to sort out. Then you can try different options to get your dog or pup go potty outside and prevent accidents.

dog pee on the carpet

Why a dog doesn’t want to pee outside

There are several reasons why dog refuses to go peeing outdoors:

  • Health problems. If your dog used to pee in a proper place and then suddenly starts peeing at home, it may have a health problem. There are a number of medical conditions that you can read about in the table below.
  • Fear. Your dog may be afraid to pee outside if it has a negative experience with it, such as being startled by something – lightning, a loud sound, a car, fireworks, etc. You may notice that the pet is acting frightened, keeps stopping and not wanting to go with you. This happens with pets that are taken from a shelter.
  • Leash Training. If you are just starting to train your dog to the leash, this can also cause problems. Some dogs are afraid to go potty when they are kept on a leash or when the owner is too close.
  • The dog was not potty trained or started late to potty outside. If the pup has been potty trained for a long time at home, it may not understand why it needs to pee outside. This problem is especially common for those who use pee pads.
  • If you own a small puppy, don’t be surprised by the pee accidents in the house. Puppies under six months old are not yet fully in control of their bladder, so they sometimes pee inside the house. It is a common occurrence. Be patient, and continue to train them to go to the toilet outside.
Fact: Some dog breeds have a harder time learning to pee outside. For example, stunted dogs such as dachshunds, chihuahuas and shih tzus have a harder time in cold weather because they are closer to the ground. They are not comfortable peeing outside. Also, small dog breeds have small bladders.

Diseases which are the reasons for dogs that may pee at home

dog get sick
Arthritis Arthritis can make it hard for an animal to walk. The disease also worsens when the air temperature drops. A dog may have to go potty at the wrong place because it is not feeling well.
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)Infections cause animals to want to pee often and it is very difficult to restrain them. The presence of an infection can be determined by tests. The veterinarian can then prescribe a suitable treatment.
IncontinenceUrinary incontinence is more common with the older dogs, but it can also occur with the 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 has its development with older dogs. It can cause your pet to drink a lot (it just forgets that it has drunk 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 it’s sick, then go to the vet to determine medical problems. This is especially important if your dog has behaved normally before. An examination will help to determine the cause of the illness.

puppe pee in house

However, if your dog is simply not accustomed to pee outside, then use the following tips for house training:

  1. Watch your new puppy to understand when it wants to pee. If you notice your pup twirling and sniffing, put on a leash and head outside to the potty area right away. Your puppy may not yet know how to tell you when it needs to pee. When taking your dog to the potty, make sure you repeat the same command, such as ‘go potty’.
  2. If you’re observant, you’ll understand your pet’s routine and you can make your own schedule. Puppies usually go to the toilet shortly after they’ve eaten or drunk, and after waking up. Just take toilet breaks regularly.
  3. You might want to take your pup for a longer potty break if it pees outside and then does it again at home after 10 minutes. Puppies sometimes don’t empty their bladder completely the first time. Therefore, they need to do it again.
  4. It is useful to accustom the dog to the leash. This is especially true for puppies, who often forget that they need to pee during playtime. Use the leash to guide your pet to the right place.
  5. Use encouragement. Give your dog high value treats and praise when he pees in the right place.
  6. If you see your dog getting ready to pee inside, say “no” in a firm voice, stop it, and take him to the potty. This way it’ll know it’s not right. But don’t do this if you haven’t seen the puppy pee. It will be too late, even if it’s been a couple of minutes.

Also, for puppies and older dogs, you can use a bell so your dog can let you know it wants to pee.

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

A good 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.

dog training to ring the bell

First, the dog must be taught to simply ring the bell. It can do it with its nose or paw. Hang the bell only when you are training. When the dog rings the bell, throw in a treat. Make sure the dog understands what is wanted from it and rings the bell consciously.

In the next step, toss the treat for the dog out the door. The dog should understand that when it rings the bell, the door will open, it will be allowed outside and there will receive the treat.

The next step is to let the dog know that ringing the bell = going to the potty. Hang the bell when it is time for the dog to go outside. When the dog rings the bell, go outside and come to its spot. When the dog repeats after you, give it lots of treats and praise.

Then you can leave the bell ringing for the whole time. The main thing is that your pet doesn’t ring it for no reason.

More about bell training watch in this video:

If the dog is afraid to pee outside

If a human experiences some kind of stressful situation, such as being in a car accident, then he will be afraid to get into a car. It’s the same with dogs. If something scary has happened in the street, then the animal will not be able to relieve itself there in the future.

dog scared to go outside

In this case you need to show the dog that the street is not scary. To do this, follow my recommendations:

  • Praise and encourage your pet. For starters, put treats for your dog near the front doors. Express joy when the dog comes to the door or goes outside. Then gradually train it to stay close to the house. If you give your dog treats or some toys, this will make being outside more comfortable. 
  • Take your dog to a quiet place. For your dog to go to the toilet in peace, it needs a secluded place, like a dog park. This should not be a noisy street with heavy traffic.
  • Take the dog for a ride in the car. Most dogs love to go for a ride in the car. After such an enjoyable time, your pet is more likely to be able to relax outside and do its business.
  • Go for a walk with another dog who isn’t afraid to pee outside. Looking at its friend’s example, your dog will also learn that doing such things outside isn’t scary. Of course, you need to repeat these manipulations more than once.
  • Use calming aids. To calm a frightened dog, you can use a calming cap. This is a hat that slightly limits your dog’s view, making it less reactive to visual triggers. Another calming tool is the Thundershirt. Studies have shown that when dogs feel a little pressure, it is similar to a hug, which acts calming. You may find other calming aids in local pet stores.
If the dog is very agitated and frightened for a long time, it is better to contact a Veterinary Behaviorist. He will prescribe suitable medication to calm your dog.

5 more tips to do, when your dog wont’ pee outside

These tips are worth using in addition to the above:

  1. Get rid of the urine smell. Pets often go to the same 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.
  2. Use pee/poop training sprays. You can spray it in a certain spot in the yard so it will relieve itself there. These sprays contain pheromones in the scent of pee and poop that should attract your dog. But this method does not work for all dogs. On the contrary, some dogs may be repelled by the spray. 
  3. Get your dog crated. If you don’t have enough time to watch your dog, try crate training. Dogs will not urinate in their crate, so it may help. But you can only lock the dog for short periods. For puppies its time is no more than 1 hour and for older dogs up to 3 hours.
  4. Using pee pads or litter boxes. For those who live in an apartment, potty pads or litter boxes for dogs can help. Train your pup pee there at home. Keep the litter box clean.
  5. Limit your dog’s space with a baby gate. Allocate your pet in a room without carpets, and lock it in there until it learns to pee in a proper place.
dog above the gate

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


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. Then each month, potty breaks increase by 1 hour.

What do you do if Dog refuses to Potty in the Rain?

What do you do if Dog refuses to Potty in the Rain? Try to get your dog to like water. You can do this by playing games with it using the garden hose and playing while it bathes. Another thing you may do is get your dog to walk on the wet grass, leaving some treats or a bowl of food on it.

How much time will the potty training take?

It’s all individual. Puppies can take up to 6 months to learn.


Teaching your dog or pup to pee outside takes effort. You need to act consistently, sticking to a routine. If you systematically repeat the same actions, praise the dog and reward it with treats for good behavior, the dog will learn to do his business in the right place.

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