How to Train Your Dog Not to Urinate in the House

Whether you've just purchased a puppy or adopted an adult dog, housetraining is a necessity for any new dog. House dogs go hand-in-hand with pet hair, dog smells and dog toys scattered about the floor, but urinating in the house is one problem you can curb using positive reinforcement. Each dog is different and some might learn quicker than others, but with persistence and patience your dog will learn that the correct place to urinate is outdoors, not in your house.

Things You'll Need

  • Crate
  • Pet gate
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Treats


    • 1

      Consider purchasing a crate as a housetraining tool. Used properly, the crate becomes a safe place, or "den," for your dog, and dogs do not like to soil their dens.

    • 2

      Supervise your dog or puppy at all times. Watch out for signs that he needs to urinate, such as sniffing and circling. Take him outside as soon as you notice these signs and praise him when he urinates outdoors.

    • 3

      Confine your dog or puppy when you cannot watch her. Put her in a crate or gate her in a dog-proof room with an easily cleanable floor.

    • 4

      Take your dog or puppy out for a potty break after he eats, drinks, naps or plays. These are the times a dog typically needs to urinate, and taking him out after each event prevents accidents.

    • 5

      Keep a diary of the times your dog goes to the bathroom each day. The minimum time between potty trips is how long you can trust your dog to hold her urine. Take her out for potty breaks when she reaches the end of her "safety zone" to avoid potential accidents.

    • 6

      Clean up any accidents immediately using an enzymatic cleaner. Dogs use their noses to decide where to urinate, and old urine spots are tempting. Enzymatic cleaners remove the odor, preventing repeat accidents occurring in the same spot.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you catch your dog urinating or defecating indoors, make a sharp noise to distract her and take her outside immediately, praising her for using the bathroom in the appropriate place.
  • Do not punish your puppy for having a housetraining accident. Yelling at your dog or rubbing his nose in the mess only make him frightened of you and can make the problem worse.
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  • Photo Credit dog image by Ergün Ã--zsoy from

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