How To Train A Puppy To Pee Outside: Yes, You Can Teach This!

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Tetiana Zhudyk
Updated on

Even if your pup seems like a grown-up dog but still does their business inside your home, don’t worry; it’s normal! Up to 12 months, puppies don’t have full control over their bladders, so this may take a little time.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should just ignore this behavior and wait for them to grow older. You still need to teach them to pee and poop outside, as they don’t instinctively know that.

In this article, we will share some tips on how you can easily train a puppy to pee and poop outside.

Puppy Potty Training

Take your pup outside every hour

In the initial days at home, you may need to take your dog out for their “business” once every hour until they learn the correct behavior.

If you're unable to stay with your pup for extended periods, try taking them out immediately upon returning home or provide puppy pads for them to use for potty breaks.

The first 10 times, you can reward your pet when they use a potty pad, then just ignore the process. If you see your dog is going/starting to pee in the wrong place (sniffing and circling, restlessness or pacing, squatting or posturing), try to react as quickly as possible and bring them to the pad or move a pad to them.

If your little rebel keeps destroying their pads, try a pad holder.

When you catch your pup in the act, say "No" and redirect them to their toys and chews. If they persist in this behavior, it's likely due to excess energy, indicating the need for additional training and playtime.

Give them time to choose a perfect spot

Puppies often prefer to pee in areas with familiar textures. If your dog is accustomed to pee pads, consider taking one outside to reinforce the idea that it's an acceptable spot.

Additionally, seek out tranquil environments, such as places where other dogs have relieved themselves, to encourage your puppy to do the same.

When walking your puppy, opt for a medium to long leash rather than a short one, ensuring they feel secure and comfortable. It's best to get them used to the leash at home before venturing out. The Woofz app can help you with that.

Keep your puppy on a leash to guide their exploration while preventing distractions. Encourage them to sniff around different areas and watch for signs such as circling or sniffing, indicating they're ready to go.

Praise and reward them when they finally do their business. Once you know your pup’s favorite spot, it becomes much easier for them to poo and pee outside.

Avoid going home immediately after your dog pees outside

We understand that you may be in a hurry for work or other plans. However, if you drag your pooch back home immediately after peeing or pooping outside, you’re risking making them think it’s a punishment, so they will start doing their business only inside the house.

Instead, walk for at least 15 minutes more to create positive associations.

Use a confinement area to limit their access

Crate-training your pup or teaching them to stay alone in a separate room is an effective way to limit the area where they might have accidents and prevent damage to precious items.

Ensure your pup has their own designated area equipped with all the essentials, including water, food, toys, chews, a bed, and potty pads. Encourage them to spend time there alone occasionally (start with 1-2 hours initially, gradually increasing as your dog becomes comfortable being alone). Although they may whine initially, only let them out if they stop whining.

Also, consider reducing the time they're alone and enhancing the enrichment of the confinement area with more chew bones, mental stimulation toys, etc. Eventually, your pup will learn to entertain themselves.

If, after a walk, your pup still refuses to go potty outside

This might happen. Especially with young dogs, as they feel more secure about doing that at home.

If that’s your case, try this:

  • Go for a walk like you normally do.

  • If, after a 30-minute walk, your pup is tired but still hasn’t done their business, go back home.

  • After you arrive, watch your dog. If you see any signs they want to toilet (like sniffing and circling, restlessness or pacing, squatting or posturing), pick them up immediately, walk for 3 minutes with them in your arms, and go out again.

  • Give them lots of praise and reward if they finally do it outside.

If your puppy is already too big to pick up, try to understand why they feel insecure when outside and desensitize them (check this article for a step-by-step guide) to that fear or simply choose another place to walk them.

Even if you don’t manage to do it in time or are just too tired to go with them one more time after every walk, it’s okay, they’ll still learn to do it outside. It’ll just take a bit longer.

Handle potty accidents properly

If your dog goes potty in the wrong place, gently interrupt them, then guide them outside (or to a pad if it's nearby), rewarding them for proper behavior.

If accidents occur at home, promptly clean up (preferably with an enzyme cleaner) and focus on prevention for next time to create a happy, accident-free environment.

Learn your pup’s potty schedule

Generally, all puppies need to go to the toilet after waking up from a nap, eating, drinking, or even having a short but intense playtime session.

Observe your pooch to find out when exactly they need to go.

Below you’ll find two charts for large and small breeds with estimated "hold" times that might help you predict when to take your pet to the bathroom.

How Long to Train a Puppy to Pee Outside?

If a puppy begins outdoor potty training at 2 months old, and you're consistent with the training, you can expect them to be fully potty trained between 6 and 10 months old. However, the timeframe may vary depending on the dog, the environment, and the training approach.

Overexcitement, Territorial Marking, Incontinence

Overexcitement, territorial marking, and incontinence can also be reasons why your pup keeps peeing inside the house. Overexcitement is the most common, so let’s find out what you can do about it.


Like human toddlers, pets may have accidents when they get overly excited. To address this, focus on teaching your pet to calm down by maintaining a relaxed atmosphere at home.

Encourage outdoor playtime during walks to channel excitement appropriately. Lastly, be patient; solving this issue takes time and consistent training. With patience and dedication, you can help your pet overcome excitement-induced accidents.

Territorial marking

Territorial marking often stems from your pet feeling insecure, especially during significant changes like having a new baby, getting another pet, or relocating. They want to assert ownership of their territory in response to these upheavals.

To address this behavior, consider the following:

  • Avoid exposing your dog to items they may perceive as their territory and so want to mark
  • Encourage frequent urination in appropriate locations
  • Use an enzyme cleaner to thoroughly clean marked areas
  • If you catch your pet in the act, firmly say "No," then guide them to the correct spot to finish. Praise and reward them for doing so.

Neutering may help reduce territorial marking, but it may not resolve the issue if other animals are entering your home.


This is rarely a puppy issue, but it’s still best to be aware of it. The most obvious symptom is dribbling urine when the puppy is relaxed (lying or even sleeping), while walking, or after urinating.

Incontinence in dogs often signals underlying health issues rather than emotional distress. Reasons could vary from UTI infections to spinal injuries or congenital disorders.

To manage, consider these tips to ensure your pet’s comfort until a vet can be involved:

  • Provide ample bedding and change it regularly
  • Increase outdoor bathroom breaks
  • Avoid scolding
  • Use puppy diapers temporarily and maintain hygiene

Final Thoughts

Mastering potty training with your pup isn't always a walk in the park! It requires time, patience, and tolerance for the occasional mishap. If you need extra support, don't hesitate to turn to the Woofz app for expert advice or a session with one of our certified trainers. With a little help, your dog will be a pro in no time!

Written by

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Tetiana Zhudyk

Woofz Content Manager with a deep passion for dogs and a strong affinity for positive reinforcement training methods.

Reviewed by

Frederica Caneiro

Certified dog trainer, exclusive positive reinforcement methods & tackling aggression problems.