What To Do if Your Housetrained Puppy Goes Potty in the House

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puppy potty training

Quick Tip – What To Do if Your Housetrained Puppy Goes Potty in the House

Housetraining a puppy is difficult!

It is probably one of the biggest problems that dog owners suffer from.

And, it is probably the #1 reason dogs end up relinquished to the pound or shelter.

A lot of times it is because owners don’t take the time to actually effectively potty train their dogs or puppies.

The truth is, that potty training takes time and effort and isn’t easy.

It requires you to monitor your dog or puppy, constantly and get them outside about every 2 hours.

Allowing them to develop bad habits and sneaking off to go potty in the house can turn your potty training experience upside down!

So put in the effort early in your puppy’s training and you won’t regret it!


But, what if your housetrained dog goes potty in the house?

It can happen, and there is no real need to panic!

One accident every once in a while isn’t a catastrophe.


Assess the accident to find out why this happened.

Is he sick?

Did he have diarrhea?

If he did, it really isn’t his fault!

Have you ever gotten sick to your stomach and needed to find a toilet in 0.2 seconds?

Imagine if you were locked in a crate or locked inside with no bathroom… chances are that you would suffer from an accident too!

After all, everyone has an emergency sometimes.

If the accident is not from being sick, assess it anyway.

If it is urine, understand that he may have some kind of infection.

puppy potty training

We see dogs all of the time at the vet clinic where I work that are inappropriately urinating because they have a bladder or kidney infection.

Have you ever had a bladder infection?

Do you know the pain associated with it and how frequently you seem to need to urinate?

Now, imagine being a dog and not having the access to go potty when you need to…

I once had a dog that had bladder stones and was urinating blood and I didn’t know until he was given an ultrasound for a totally different reason.  It taught me that you never know what is going on with your dog’s health unless you have it checked!

Even your vet may not know until he takes a sample and has it analyzed!

If after your vet visit it is determined that it is not health related, then you can move on to worry about behavioral concerns.

If It Is Behavioral

If it has been determined that it is behavioral, assessment is still valuable.

Did it happen during the rain?

puppy potty trainingDid it happen at night?

Is the accident in multiple areas?

If you can break down the behavior you may learn more about why it happened.

I used to work with a client whose dog had accidents every Friday.  After some assessment we realized that the garbage truck came on Friday and the dog was afraid to go outside.  This helped us to set up a training regimen to desensitize the dog to the garbage truck.

Go Back to Square One

There are always those instances where people have no idea why it is happening.

If that is the case, the most important thing to do is go back to square one and treat the dog like you are potty training all over again.

Keep an eye on the dog and don’t let him wander off.

Get him outside every 2 hours at first.

Use a crate if you can’t watch him!

The most important thing to do if you see your dog developing a bad behavior is to break that behavior as quickly as possible so that the behavior doesn’t become a habit.

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There are 10 Comments

  1. Wanda says:

    My puppy is still in potty training mode ~ she’s 8 months & she’s tiny, weights 4.4 lbs. She dribbles every single time we go to pick her up or she gets excited. What can we do to help this, vet said to put a diaper on her….I did not buy an infant . Please help


  2. Krystyna Baker says:

    We have a 3lb Pomeranian which we rescued. When we first got her she was in really bad shape, but now she has come a full 360, except for going potty. Even with me getting her out every 2 hours she will pee outside but, then come back in and pee again. She also barks excessively. Any advice would be helpful. She is on antibiotics just in case of a bladder infection. Again any help would be appreciated. Thank you, Krystyna


  3. VepMed says:

    Hi Krystyna,
    Frequent urination in dogs might indicate a health concern. Increases in frequency can indicate a bladder problem, bladder infection, kidney disease, bladder disease, liver disease or diabetes.

    Any changes in a dog’s frequency, urgency or ability, or discomfort urinating is cause for concern and warrants an urgent visit to the best vet.


  4. S J ARNOLD says:

    I don’t have a comment but a question. Is it ever too late to potty train a older dog. I have a poodle and plan to recarpet my house. My dog is 6 years old. Thanks


  5. pam says:

    We have a 15-week puppy. She knows to go potty first thing in the morning, then she gets breakfast, then she poops and pees and then we go play and go for a walk. After she sleeps we take her out right away and she always goes, but in between, even though we take her out every hour, she still pees two or three times a day in the house. What can we do? She doesn’t have bladder infection. by the way, she’s an active Australian Shepherd.


  6. Mary says:

    My daughter’s golden doodle is a 1 1/2 yrs old. Every time I go over to her house the dog is chained up to go to the bathroom! Before I unchain her she starts jumping up on me & urinating! This happens even when she’s inside & I
    enter the house. She immediately starts jumping up and urinating! I take her out
    so I can clean it up. Then I bring her in and she’s settled down. I stay a few days & during that time she usually rings the bell to go out. It’s usually when she first sees me! She doesn’t like when I talk to the grandchildren and tries to get between us!!!!


  7. Lynn says:

    Having the same problem! My dog is 11 weeks old. I take him out every two hours but he still pees in the house . He’s an Australian labradoodle. He also gets up at 2-3 am and needs to pee. Any suggestions?


    Minette Reply:

    He is a baby. Babies gain bladder control at different times, just like puppies.

    Use the crate and stick to a regimen. Also don’t allow the puppy to be out of your sight, unless crated!


  8. Amanda Dover says:

    I have two Rhodesian Ridgeback babies! Well they are almost 10 weeks old. They do great pooping outside but have accidents peeing all the time inside. They are brought outside very often. Sometimes they pee inside after just being brought out. It’s so strange because some days they don’t make any mistakes. Not sure if it’s there age? Or just poor training on my part.


    Minette Reply:

    2 puppies are always more difficult and take more time. Make sure that they are going potty outside before bringing them in.. it is common for them to play and then come in and have accidents.


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