Peeing on Walks: A Guide for Puppy Pet Parents

| March 3, 2023

As a new puppy parent, you may be struggling with the issue of your furry friend peeing in the house, even after a walk outside. This is a common issue among puppies, but don’t worry – with a little patience and training, you can help your puppy successfully learn to do their business outside on walks instead of inside your home. 

The first step is to rule out any medical issues if your puppy suddenly starts to make messes indoors when they previously did not. If you suspect a medical reason, it’s important to take your puppy to the veterinarian to make sure there isn’t an underlying medical condition causing the problem. You can still implement the training tips below, but you’ll want to make sure that the accidents are because of a health issue.  

The ultimate key to success is consistency and patience. Follow these guidelines to help your puppy learn to pee on walks.  

Stay in One Spot 

Start by stopping in one spot with your puppy on leash. Don’t start walking right away – instead, stand in that spot until your puppy pees. Let them sniff around the area, but don’t play with them. Once they have peed, reward them with a treat. You can even learn to use clicker training, also known as ‘mark and reward’, where you use a sound from a clicker (or other noises) to mark a moment as a positive reinforcement tool, and then give them a treat as a reward.  

Visit Their Favourite Spot 

If your puppy hasn’t eliminated on the walk, go straight to the backyard or wherever they usually go to the bathroom. Some dogs are particular about where they eliminate, so it’s important to give them the opportunity to go to a familiar spot. 

Watch for Signs and Act Immediately 

When you’re inside, keep a close eye on your puppy. If you see them showing signs that they need to go to the bathroom (such as squatting, sniffing around or circling in one spot) take them outside immediately. Once they have eliminated outside, mark and reward them with a treat. 

Use a Verbal Cue 

Use a verbal cue to help your puppy learn to eliminate on command. Wait until your puppy is about to pee and say “go pee” or another phrase of your choice. Once they have peed, mark and reward them with a treat. 

Remember, punishment is not an effective way to train your puppy to eliminate outside. If your puppy has an accident inside, clean it up without scolding or punishing them. Punishment can actually make the problem worse by making your puppy anxious about eliminating in your presence. 

Want Extra Puppy Support? 

Toronto Humane Society offers Puppy Manners and Socialization classes, as well as Problem Solving and Behaviour Modification sessions, to help you and your puppy learn the skills you need for a happy and healthy life together. Click here to view a full list of classes.