My Puppy Won’t Pee or Go Potty Outside! What Should I Do?

(Last Updated On: April 17, 2021)

So you’ve just gotten a new puppy and all’s well, except you notice something tiny yet somewhat frustrating: your dog just won’t pee outside. It seems like no matter how soon or long after you let him drink water and then take him outside, your dog just absolutely refuses to pee until you’re back home.

Puppy won’t pee outside? If you’re wondering how you can get your puppy to go potty outside or wondering why your puppy won’t potty train, read on!

My dog pees in her sleep

Puppy Won’t Pee Outside: Is It Normal?

Now you might be wondering (and worrying) if this sort of behavior is normal if your puppy refuses to go to the bathroom outside. Do other peoples’ dogs also refuse to pee outside? Is your dog just plain stubborn that it will not pee for as long as it has to when it’s outside?

The answers to those questions are yes and no, respectively. Yes, a lot of other pet owners have the exact same problem. And no, it’s not just because your puppy is being stubborn or anything like that. In fact, it’s quite a common occurrence in new pets that have not been housebroken yet.

Also Read: The top 7 puppy pads you must try

Now that you’re assured that you’re not alone in this dilemma of yours, it’s best to understand the whys and hows of things. Remember that getting your puppy to pee outside is going to need a lot of your patience and understanding, so that your puppy will not get unnecessarily reprimanded for something that it does not quite understand yet.

Also Read: Help! Dog Urine Incontinence: My dog keeps peeing in its sleep!

Why Won’t Your Puppy Pee Outside?

The primary reason that your dog won’t pee outside is because it’s not housebroken yet, or untrained. That’s probably the most common reason why puppies refuse to pee outside, especially if it is a new addition to your family. New pups that are bought or come from shelters may not know the boundaries of peeing yet, and are only comfortable doing it in a familiar place: inside your home.

In fact, some puppies are taken to the shelter because their previous owners can’t or won’t give time to toilet train them. And it just so happened that the responsibility falls on your, the new owner’s, shoulders.

If you have been doing measures to train your dog to pee outside and still achieving nothing, then it might be because your training is not ideal. For example, if you’ve been bringing your dog to pee outside on a leash, your dog may not be comfortable doing its business with you standing so close.

Or, some dogs even have a fear of doing business when you can see them. This can be because of trauma from a previous owner, or really just because it makes them uncomfortable. If that’s the case, you should modify your training to make them as relaxed as possible.

How To Get Your Puppy To Pee Outside

Consistency Is Key

This is the secret to training your dog to pee outside. Choosing the same place and the same time to let your dog pee outside will make your pet more likely to get used to the new routine. Consistency in praise or rewards, as well as in phrases to keep your dog from peeing inside the house, will help your dog understand the dos and don’ts much more quickly.

Set a schedule and stick to it, so that your dog will know exactly where and when it can pee. You can set the schedule around your own observations of your dog’s body’s rhythms. Maybe there’s a certain time when your pup goes to pee, or a determinate amount of time after feeding or drinking that it is sure to go potty. Use the same door every time you head out, so that your dog will signal if it wants to go pee outside by scratching that door once you’ve achieved your training.

Choose a phrase to associate with peeing, and say it before your dog pees. You can do this by getting to know the pre-pee cues that your dog does and then timing the phrase once you see your pup doing these cues. You can also reward your dog after the first few times that it pees outside, so that it will associate treats with peeing outside.

Dog’s stomach hard?

Constant Attention

Until your pup is housebroken, it’s best to keep your pup right where you can see it when you’re inside the house. That way, you can familiarize yourself with the pre-pee habits your dog has, and you can utilize those in your potty training.

You will also be able to reprimand them while they’re peeing in the wrong place, instead of saying it after. Smart as we may perceive our dogs, they will not be able to associate a reprimand of ‘bad dog’ while you’re showing them the pee puddle they have created just moments ago.

When you’re keeping an eye on your dog indoors, you can also immediately carry them outside once you see that they are trying to pee.


You’re going to need a lot of patience if you decide to undergo with potty training your dog, so it’s best to have a lot in store. Some dogs may pick it up quickly, and some will take some time to get used to what you want them to do.

Remember that supporting your dog will get more positive results rather than constant reprimands. If all you do is scold them without trying to correct their mistakes, your dog may start to fear going potty anywhere near you as they may associate the reprimands with peeing.

When that happens, your dog would think that doing its business is what’s wrong, and not where it’s doing its business.


  • Lisa Jackson says:

    My neighbor has a 4 1/2 month old American Cocker spaniel. She feeds him at the same time everyday, same amount, takes him out the same time everyday, uses the same command “go potty” and STILL he will not go potty outside. She will walk him, stay in a specific area, etc and he WILL NOT potty. She will spend 30 minutes at a time (within almost 1 1/2 hours). Once they come in, he pees and or poops on the floor within 5 minutes of coming in the house. I’m even teeing to help her. There’s consistency, consistent commands and all but he will not even consider peeing/ popping outside. All he wants to do is sniff, pick stuff up like leaves, etc to chew on or eat. It’s like his brain is all air!

    • Stuart lee says:

      No way ,that’s exactly what my lab pup is doing, I take her out and she does a lot of sniffing but little else, and seems more intent on picking up stone ect and won’t give it to me, I literally have to prise her mouth open, but she’s just started doing outside in the morning in the garden at 6am by which time she’s desperate, but later on in the day she’s still doing it inside, and I’ll grab her and pick her up to do the rest outside but no luck, I think it’s just a case of being persistent and just don’t give up and eventually they’ll get it..

  • Linda Neukirch says:

    I have a 8 month old whippet and since we got her at 4 months she will not pee outside. Even when we are with other dogs she holds it till we get back inside. we were even at the park and playing in the water and she held it for 6 hours till we got back home. It is almost like there is no connection between her head and her bottom. Any sggestions

  • Kathy says:

    I have an 8 month old Chihuahua/Papillon mix. My pup won’t pee or poop outside so I’ve been using puppy pads inside the house. Now he won’t use the puppy pads and is going on the floor. I’m at my wits end. What do I do.

  • TONI RANGELA says:

    I have the same problem. Did you find anything out from anyone to remedy the situation? I’ve asked vets and they are no help.

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