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Why Does my Puppy Pee After Going Outside?

Updated on April 21, 2013
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Adrienne Farricelli is a former veterinary hospital assistant and now a certified dog trainer, behavior consultant, and author of dog books.

Kaiser and another boarder teaching a young puppy where to potty outside!

Why does your puppy pee right after going outside?
Why does your puppy pee right after going outside? | Source

Puppy peeing right after going outside, why?

If you are in the process of potty training a puppy, some behaviors such as peeing inside after being outside, may leave you baffled. So why is your puppy peeing after being outside? There are several explanations for this. First and foremost, let's debunk some common potty training myths.

You may have heard about the month plus one rule. This rule should give you an idea about how often your puppy will need to be sent outside. It's calculated by calculating the puppy's age in months and adding one to it. So if for instance, you have a puppy that is 3 months old (12 weeks) you add 1 to that, and the number 4 is how often you have to take him out,-that is every 4 hours. Forget all about this rule.

For starters, a puppy's bladder doesn't know how to count. It's not like at the four hour mark, the puppy's bladder will start saying "hey it's four o'clock, time to go!" Also, consider that there are many variables such as how much the puppy drank, at what time he ate, if the puppy is active or sleeping and so much more. For instance, a 12-week old puppy can often hold its pee in the night for 6 to 8 hours, so waking the puppy up every 4 hours isn't worth it in this case. However, during the day, four hours can be a very long time especially if the puppy just ate or drank like a horse after playing.

The month plus 1 method therefore is not accurate, and it can lead to unnecessary frustration. I have countless owners tell me "I follow the month plus 1 rule and it's not working!". And of course, if your puppy is going outside and coming inside peeing, you know for a fact it really isn't working! So why are puppies peeing inside after being sent out? Following are some answers to the mystery...

So why do puppies pee after going outside?

So what gives? Why is your puppy peeing inside right after being sent out? Of course, it's not to make you angry! Puppies and dogs, don't act up in spite, so please don't think your puppy pees or poops inside just to make you angry, it doesn't work that way! Also, consider that dogs don't have the cognitive ability to act in spite and out of vengeance. There are instead other possibilities and I am going to tackle several I have noticed in my experience of potty training young pups.

  • Your puppy has a medical condition. This is on the top of the list because puppies aren't immune from disorders that can cause increased urination. It would be unjust getting frustrated over a puppy that is suffering from a dog urinary tract infection. In this case, the puppy may be squatting repeatedly and often only releasing a few drops of pee. Also, the pup may have bloody urine, may insistently lick the genital area and ask to go out repeatedly. One dog owner was once desperate because she was cleaning up so many messes and her puppy drank so much, she later discovered her puppy had diabetes insipitus! So a veterinary visit may be very helpful, especially if things don't seem right.
  • Your puppy is not completely emptying her bladder when outside. This often happens in the morning; basically, your puppy is so happy to see you and eager to embrace the day, she fails to completely empty her bladder. So when she goes back inside, she just finishes up. Tip; stay out a big longer and see if your pup pees again. If she does, that's a sign that she doesn't empty enough the first time. Some pups may do this even 3-4 times given the opportunity.
  • You are distracting your puppy. Say, your puppy is outside peeing and you are too fast in praising her and rewarding her with a treat. In this case, you may be interrupting the urine flow. Don't praise and give her a treat until she is completely done peeing and is starting to move away from the potty area. Also, keep the treats out of sight and in your pocket instead...many pups are so eager to get the treats they won't finish up peeing as they should. Walking away may also cause a puppy to not empty the bladder in his eagerness to follow you back inside.
  • Your puppy drank so much, his bladder is over's science.. what goes in,must come out....Puppies tend to drink a lot in the morning after waking up (makes sense since they most likely were without water for at least 8 hours or more if you take away water a couple of hours prior to bedtime). Also, they drink a lot after eating dry kibble and after playing. What comes in, must come out, and at times, it takes multiple trips to successfully empty that bladder.

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Tips and Solutions on Solving the Problem

So, now you know some of the possible causes for a puppy to pee inside right after going out, but how can you solve the problem? Following are some tips that will help you out.

  • See your vet. If something doesn't seem quite right, see your vet to rule out any possible health problems. This will save your puppy and yourself a lot of anguish and frustration. With health problems out of the way, you can then focus on potty training your puppy without wondering about a medical issue.
  • In the morning, keep an eagle eye on your puppy. Often, this is when most accidents happen because puppies are all excited and tend to drink a lot of water. Your puppy may need to be taken out more often in the morning than during the day. If you're used to taking your puppy out say every 2 hours, in the morning try every hour if your puppy has accidents inside.
  • Spend more time outside. Don't just go out and back in after your pup tinkles. Give your puppy the opportunity to empty her bladder more than once. If your puppy pees quickly and then runs off to play in the yard, keep him on leash. Training your puppy to go potty on command can help tremendously in this case.
  • Keep treats out of sight. Treats can be a distraction and can cause your puppy to not fully empty her bladder. Hide them in your pocket.
  • Don't move away the moment your puppy is peeing. Doing so, may entice him to follow you and not finish peeing. Stand still as a statue and then praise/reward the moment she is done-and make extra sure she is done!
  • Don't encourage play in the potty area. This area is just to potty. If you let your puppy play in the potty area, next time he goes out, he'll want to play and won't focus on peeing.
  • Use the right cleaning products. If your puppy pees outside and then pees back inside in the same spot over and over, he may be smelling a previously soiled area. To a dog's nose a previously soiled area is like a restroom sign you see in a department store. Make sure you use an enzyme-based cleaner that removes all traces of odors.
  • Adjust your schedule. If your puppy goes out every hour, and still manages to pee about half hour later after going out, he may need to be taken out more frequently. Puppies under 12 weeks, may need to be taken out very frequently. At times when the pup is excited, running around and very active, you may need to even take him out just 15 minutes after the last trip, explains Patricia McConnell and Karen London in the book "Way to Go! How to house train a dog of any age."


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    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 4 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Interesting hub, and food for thought for puppy owners. Many owners find the nature call to be inconvenient and are more anxious to get it over with than the puppy is. For those folks, an attitude adjustment would be more valuable than a mop. Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Pet Artist profile image

      Pet Artist 4 years ago

      Great resource and very detailed. Followed Bob's lead and voted it up as useful and interesting, but only because it really is! Thank you.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks Bob, and this can be difficult for those with busy lifestyles and tight schedules. At this point, they're perhaps better off just creating an indoor potty area on an easy washable surface, at least until the pup attains better bladder control.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the votes up Pet Artist. I am in the process of potty training an adorable pup and this inspired me to write this,

    • pflamingo profile image

      Patricia Phillips 4 years ago

      Excellent advice! This is one of the most frustrating issues for new puppy parents. It can apply to older dogs, too. My guys will often pee several times around the yard before they're finished. So important to remind everyone that dogs do not act out of spite, too. Such a common misconception.

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Thanks for stopping by pflamingo! Yes, the peeing out of spite cliche' is so common and it's important to debunk this myth.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Thank God my dog didn't do that - it would be frustrating. Great topic though!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 4 years ago from USA

      Count your blessings Monis mas, because it can be frustrating especially for pet parents with busy schedules, thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      Jenny 14 months ago

      I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..

      My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 14 months ago from USA

      I would record his behavior on camera when you leave the house. There may be chances he's suffering from separation anxiety if this only happens when you leave the house. Signs of separation anxiety include pacing, vocalizing, eliminating, drooling, panting when left alone. How long is he left at home? Do you make sure he has a chance to eliminate before heading out?

    • profile image

      pearl 6 months ago

      my puppy is now nearly 6 month's old. She's been very good in going out for wee. But the last few days she's started doing it on my floor. I've tried put her in create when she's done it. Then when I take her out again and put her outside she still comes back in and do, s it again. What can I do I tell her good girl when she has done one outside and give her a treat. But when she plays with her toys she ends up doing it again help

    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 months ago from USA

      Vet check if she has a urinary tract infection, if this is sudden setback. Then with all clear with the vet: new rule, no more coming inside until she has peed. Try to train to pee on cue, look at my article on training dog to pee on command. When she pees, wait for her to be completely done "good girl!" treat and back inside to play. Give 20-30 minutes of active play while you watch her like a hawk, then in the crate/small play pen with a chew toy/stuffed Kong or leashed next to you (umbilical cord training) and out again for the next potty time.note: The crate is not for punishment! It's to teach the dog to alert you that she must go as dogs do not like to soil in a small area where they sleep. Rinse and repeat. Make sure she's no peeing from submissive urination (when you are upset with her, hovering over her, scold her), if you see a pattern of peeing when you are upset or pet her from the above, try calmer approaches and more positive training..

    • profile image

      Amanda 2 months ago

      I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..

      My husband and I were thinking about taking him to 'doggy school', but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest 'doggy school' is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

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