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If you just started to house train your new puppy, you are prepared for accidents to happen. But, the thing no one warns you about is that your pup will pee outside and then go inside and pee again! What’s that about, and is it normal if a puppy keeps peeing inside after being outside?
The first time my puppy did that, I was completely baffled by his behavior. We had just come back inside from a successful potty, and as soon as he was off leash he squatted and peed again in the middle of the carpet. And let me tell you, cleaning up urine stains from a white carpet is even harder than it may seem!
PRO TIP: you’ll want to use an enzymatic cleaner when cleaning up potty messes. Our favorite is Rocco & Roxie’s Stain And Odor Remover.
Needless to say, the whole experience left me extremely frustrated, and I was worried that my pup would form a habit of peeing inside the house.
As someone who is obsessed with cleanliness, I decided then and there that I couldn’t live in a home that smells of puppy pee. Armed with enzymatic cleaners and potty training guides, I was determined to nip this problem in the bud!
In this article, I’ll tell you why your puppy pees inside after going outside and what you can do to stop it from happening. Keep on reading to learn more!
Why Does My Puppy Pee Inside After Going Outside?
If you are in the process of potty training your puppy, certain behaviors such as peeing inside the house after being outside will leave you scratching your head. The first thing you will ask yourself is “why?”
I know I wondered why my puppy was doing this and whether this was some sort of revenge. But if that were the case, what did I do wrong to deserve this?
Knowing what I know now, I realize how silly I was being—my pup wasn’t on some bizarre revenge quest or trying to make my life miserable. As it turned out, he had an actual medical problem, which I’ll tell you about in a bit.
The only way you will ever resolve inappropriate urination is to figure out why your puppy keeps on peeing inside after being outside. Once you identify the reason behind this behavior, you will know what to do to stop your pup from peeing inside the house.
Below, I’ll list the most common reasons puppies may pee inside after being outside on a regular walk.
1. Your Puppy Has A Medical Condition
Puppies, like older dogs, can, unfortunately, develop all sorts of diseases and infections that can cause increased urination. There is no point in questioning or changing your puppy’s training routine if the answer to your problem is as simple as a prescription for antibiotics.
A lot of different medical conditions can cause a puppy to repeatedly squat and pee inside the house after peeing outside. The most common one is a urinary tract infection, which was exactly the problem my puppy had.
If your puppy pees inside the house after being outside and is also only releasing a few drops of pee, he may have a urinary infection.
Furthermore, other medical conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease can also cause your pup to urinate frequently. Your pup may also obsessively lick its genital area, drink more water, and ask to go outside repeatedly.
Even if your puppy isn’t exhibiting any of these other behaviors, you should take them to the veterinarian. Inappropriate peeing in itself can be a sign that your pooch has a health problem.
Your vet will most likely take a urine sample from your pup and do a urinalysis and probably a urine culture. These tests will show if your pup has bacteria and abnormal cells in its urine.
If the tests confirm a urinary tract infection, your vet will prescribe antibiotics that will kill all the bacteria that are causing your pooch to frequently pee inside the house.
However, if it turns out that your puppy doesn’t have urinary issues, your vet may want to do additional tests to rule out other conditions that can cause inappropriate urination. These tests will depend on your pup’s other potential symptoms, and the treatment will be determined based on a diagnosis.
2. Your Puppy Isn’t Completely Potty Trained Yet
Another reason your puppy pees inside after going outside is that they aren’t entirely potty trained yet. It’s not uncommon for first-time owners to think their puppy is completely house trained just because a few days have gone by without peeing accidents.
Naturally, you start to relax, giving your puppy more alone time inside the house, when all of a sudden you come across a puddle on the floor. And because you believe that your pup is already potty trained, you fail to consider the alternative.
House training a puppy won’t happen overnight—it takes a lot of time, patience, and consistency to properly potty train a dog.
Generally, it’s safe to say that your pooch is potty trained only if they haven’t had an accident in the past six months. Anything less and you will be lying to yourself and expecting too much from your pup way too soon.
In the light of things, be honest: Is your puppy really potty trained or not?
If the answer is no, don’t worry! Start or continue house training your puppy as you did before, and don’t expect a miracle to happen in a day, a week, or a month.
No dog was potty trained in one day, and it’s unrealistic to expect that from your pup, no matter how smart they are.
If you’re struggling with house training and don’t know how many times a day a puppy should poop and pee, take them out on a leash every hour. When they go potty, praise and reward copiously.
However, if your pup doesn’t do anything while outside, take them back in and keep them on a leash close to you, to prevent accidents. Take your pup for another potty break in 20 to 30 minutes, and if they go that time, praise, reward, and repeat.
As time goes by, you will be able to prolong the time between potty breaks and eventually train your pooch to hold it until it’s time for a walk.
PRO TIP: Don’t forget, anytime your puppy has an accident in the house you’ll want to use an enzymatic cleaner like Rocco & Roxie’s Stain And Odor Remover. Why? If you don’t completely remove the smell of urine your puppy will be compelled to pee in the same spot.
3. Your Puppy Isn’t Emptying Its Bladder Completely While Outside
Being outside is extremely exciting for puppies, especially first thing in the morning. Your pup may be too eager to see you and spend time with you outside that it fails to completely empty its bladder in the first go.
Some puppies also get so overstimulated or distracted by all the smells and sounds while in the backyard that they forget why they came out in the first place.
In this case, the puppy will remember that they have unfinished business only after they come back inside the house. If your puppy quickly pees while outside and then comes inside and pees again, you may be dealing with an overly excitable pup.
For an easily excitable puppy, staying outside a bit longer and giving your pooch extra time to potty should do the trick. Staying out a few minutes longer will give you a good idea of whether or not your puppy needs to pee more. Some pups may even pee three or four times when given the opportunity.
Another thing that helps with easily distracted puppies that forget that they need to pee is training them to go in a designated potty area. This means you will have to pick a spot in your backyard that will serve only for peeing and pooping.
Taking your pup day in and day out to the same spot may be boring, but it will teach them to focus on the task at hand.
To encourage your pup to empty their bladder completely, just walk around the designated potty area in small circles that will discourage sniffing and exploring. After your puppy pees, you should praise them and offer treats. Small training treats like Zuke’s Mini Naturals work best when working with your puppy.
If you have a completely fenced-in yard, you can let your puppy off-leash after they finish peeing completely. This way, you are teaching your pup that they will earn some fun time to sniff around and explore only after going potty.
And by going to pee in the same area day after day, your pup will be able to focus on peeing rather than be distracted by all the fun things in the yard.
4. You’re Praising And Rewarding Your Puppy Too Soon
Picture this: You’re outside and your pup just started peeing in their designated potty area.
You’re so over the moon about your pup’s accomplishment that you start doling out treats too soon, distracting your puppy and interrupting the urine flow. Now you have a puppy with a half-full bladder and a tummy full of treats!
So once you go back inside, your pup will remember that they still need to pee and finish the job on your brand new carpet. If your puppy pees after going outside or is coming back to you excited after releasing a few drops, you might be an untimely reward-giver.
Even if you have just realized the error of your ways, don’t despair! Just start waiting until your pup finishes peeing before offering praise and treats. And if your pup stops mid-pee and turns to you for a reward, don’t give any treats or praise until they pee again.
Dole out rewards only after you are certain that your puppy has emptied its bladder completely.
5. Your Pup Still Doesn’t Have Full Bladder Control
If your puppy will only pee inside the house, you need to remember that young pups don’t have complete control over their bladder. Most puppies aren’t able to hold it until they are about 4-6 months old, and this is the time most accidents happen.
You should also monitor your pup’s water intake since everything that goes into your puppy must come out at some point.
If your puppy drank too much water, they will have a much stronger urge to pee and may not be able to completely empty their bladder in one go. In that case, your pup will pee outside and then go back inside only to realize that they need to pee again.
Keep in mind that puppies tend to drink the most in the morning, after waking up, after eating kibble, and after playing. That means that your pup is more likely to have an accident inside the house after these situations.
So, to prevent inappropriate urination, be one step ahead and take your puppy out for a walk:
- First thing in the morning
- After a meal
- And after an exciting playing session.
Don’t forget to give your pooch a chance to empty their bladder fully while out, even if that means prolonging the potty break for a few minutes. Also, always reward your pup for a job well done before heading back inside.
FAQs About A Puppy Peeing Inside
What do you do when you catch your puppy peeing indoors?
Whenever you catch your puppy peeing inside, interrupt them right away saying “eh, eh, eh”. Then, pick up your pooch and take him outside to his designated potty area.
Tell your puppy to go pee, or use your cue word for elimination, and then praise and reward your pup after they finish peeing in the proper place.
Make sure that your puppy has fully emptied its bladder before you start praising them and giving treats.
- Punish your puppy for peeing inside the house
- Rubbing your pup’s nose in the urine puddle won’t work either, so don’t do it, no matter how frustrated you are.
Try to always stay calm and patient anytime your puppy does something inappropriate.
Why does my puppy refuse to go potty outside?
Fear and anxiety are the most common reasons why a puppy refuses to urinate outside and continues to have accidents inside the house. There is a chance that your pup had a bad experience while being outside on a potty break and is now scared of reliving the same bad thing.
To get your puppy to pee outside comfortably, consider whether there is anything that may be stressing your dog out and causing it to be afraid.
Are there any loud sounds such as a lawnmower or construction site nearby? Unfamiliar smells left by other dogs or leftover holiday decorations can also be the things that are making your pup nervous to pee outside.
QUICK RECOMMENDATION: If your puppy is showing signs of stress you may want to try a product like the Thundershirt. We got one for Raven and it works well with her noise anxiety.
How long should you wait outside for your puppy to pee?
You should give your puppy 15 minutes to go potty outside. Take your pup to their designated potty area and give them the cue to pee. If you think that your pooch hasn’t emptied their bladder completely, walk around the potty area and give them a chance to eliminate again.
After you are sure that your pooch has finished peeing, praise and reward them and spend a few minutes playing in the yard. However, if your pup doesn’t pee within 15 minutes, take them back inside, put him in his crate, and wait around 15 min before taking them outside for potty again.
QUICK RECOMMENDATION: We crate train all of our puppies. Our favorite crate is the wire MidWest LifeStages Crates. We still have and use the first one we bought over 17 years ago!
How do you train a stubborn puppy to pee outside?
Although it might seem impossible, even stubborn puppies can be potty trained to pee outside. Keep in mind, that it takes up to six months to properly house train a puppy, so stick to training and stay patient and consistent.
You’ll also need to put your puppy on a regular feeding schedule, so they will eliminate at the same time every day.
Don’t forget, that puppies have small bladders and poor bladder control, so you will need to take them out to pee every two hours in the beginning. As your pup grows and develops bladder control, they will need fewer potty breaks.
What is the hardest dog to potty train?
Small dog breeds, especially those from the terrier group, can be exceptionally hard to potty train. Jack Russel terriers and Yorkshire terriers are notoriously hard to house train due to their stubborn nature and the fact that they are easily distracted.
If you have trouble potty training your small pup, set up a designated potty spot in your backyard. Make sure there isn’t anything that can distract your dog from the task at hand, and reward and praise them extensively after they pee in the right spot.
As you can see, there are many reasons why your puppy keeps on peeing inside the house after being outside.
While your pup’s accidents may seem like some type of revenge, there are many factors—some medical, some behavioral, and some training-related—that can cause your pup to pee inside the house. The most likely reasons for your pup’s peeing accidents are:
- Urinary tract infections
- The puppy isn’t properly house trained
- Your pup is easily excited and forgets to empty its bladder completely
In the end, figuring out why your puppy is peeing inside after being outside is the only way you will deal with inappropriate urination and stop cleaning pee puddles once and for all!
PRO TIP: Don’t forget, puppies often pee in the same spot whether outside or in your home. Make sure you always thoroughly clean up potty accidents with an enzymatic cleaner like Rocco & Roxie’s Stain And Odor Remover.
Is your puppy having potty training problems?
If so, tell ask us questions or leave us a comment below.
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