How to teach your dog to poop outside

Tips and tricks to train your dog to evacuate outside

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By Alex

teach your dog to poop outside

Living with dog is definitely a commitment. Our lives and daily routines are somewhat disrupted. We need to learn to live with the newcomer and adapt our habits. In addition, it is essential from the very beginning to educate our puppy. One of the very first things to teach the puppy is not to poop everywhere in the house, but to get used to doing it on outings. The process of educating a dog requires commitment, perseverance and a lot of patience. But then, the commitment of both parties is rewarded with satisfactory results that improve coexistence. So let’s see how to teach a dog to do its business outside.

How to teach a dog to poop outside even as a puppy

It is important to start instructing it in the very first months of life. First, it should be pointed out that learning can be achieved with perseverance, patience, and gradually.

So let’s look at the steps to put in place to teach a dog to relieve itself outside from the time it is a puppy.

  • Take it outside as soon as it wakes up and also after he has eaten and/or drunk. During potty trips, opt for relaxing walks. No games with jumping and running or intense physical activity in general
  • Give it more opportunities to go outside during the day. The ideal would be every 3 hours for puppies. When the dog becomes an adult, the number of outings can be scheduled more dilated in time
  • Choose a fixed “toilet area” that the puppy will be able to find and recognize, possibly in a quiet area with little car traffic and even people. In general, dogs tend to soil in the place where they recognize their scent. This makes them feel comfortable and safe. In any case, remember that there are special absorbent mats to protect home floors (especially hardwood floors).
  • Make sits of a few minutes without rushing the dog
  • After the dog has done its business outside, premium him with cuddles, compliments or a crunchy treat or cookie.

How to teach your dog to do his business outside as an adult

Not only puppies need to be accustomed to pottying outside. We often welcome an already adult dog into our home. In this case, it too will have to receive proper education in this regard.

The technique is the same as described earlier for puppies, and thus:

  • Always take the dog out at the same times, so as to establish a certain daily routine, and, if possible, after meals
  • Give it various opportunities to go out during the day
  • Choose a fixed “toilet” place, in a quiet area, where the dog is comfortable and knows how to recognize
  • Don’t rush, but make stops of a few minutes
  • Once the dog has completed its needs outside the house, reward it with cuddles and praise or by offering it a small yummy snack, such as a cookie or a crunchy treat.
teach your dog to poop outside
The floor of the house can be protected with special mats.

How to teach your dog to poop outside: how long does it take?

As mentioned from the beginning, training a dog takes time and patience. One should not get discouraged. Teaching a dog to do its business outside takes, on average, 4 to 6 months. However, this is purely a general indication. Much, then, in fact, also depends on other factors, such as the dog itself and its learning abilities. Some dogs learn quickly, almost instinctively, while others, on the other hand, need more time, perhaps even up to 1 year.

How many times a day should you take your dog out

When it comes to potty training, a puppy is more demanding than an adult dog. Just think of the size of its bladder, which is obviously much smaller than an adult canine specimen, perhaps of medium to large size.


On average, a puppy needs to pee even every 1-2 hours. As the puppy grows, it will increase its capacity for autonomy and the outings can then be more widely spaced, up to intervals of 3-4 hours. In any case, when deciding to bring home a puppy dog, it is essential to arrange to ensure that it has several walks during the day, at specific intervals and, as regularly as possible.

Adult dogs

In terms of outings, however, adult dogs are much less demanding. On average, walking your dog 3 times per day ais enough. Also, the other good news is that adult dogs are usually able to retain their needs overnight. Therefore, it is ideal to schedule the last outing after dinner, and in any case after the dog’s last meal.


Generally speaking, dog outings for pottying should be as regular as possible, so as to create a certain“routine” that is comfortable for the owner and creates safety for the dog.

Recommended, for example, taking the dog out to relieve itself after every meal, after a nap, or after a leisure and play activity.


Despite having established a regular routine for outings with the dog, it may happen that there are “extra” needs of an emergency nature. Exactly as it happens for us humans when, for example, we drank more than usual or if we ate something that hurt us. In cases of urgency, our four-legged friend will do anything to get our attention. Therefore, pay close attention to any signs of restlessness. In such a case, take the dog outside immediately.

teach your dog to poop outside
Urgencies? A quick walk solves it!

How to teach your dog to poop outside: create a toilet area

At the beginning, we looked at the various points for teaching a dog to do his business outside. Among them, we pointed out the importance of identifying and establishing a “toilet area.”

Whether it is in the backyard or in a public park, our dog needs to be able to recognize  its “private toilet.” Thus, in practice, we need to make it understand the difference between the area where he plays and the area where, instead, he can go potty.

In one’s garden, the toilet area should be clearly distinguished from the rest of the garden. For example, you can limit the area used for pottying with some sort of fence or cover the area itself with bark flakes.

In a park, or on the street, once we realize that a certain area is particularly to our dog’s liking, it is good to establish a routine. Therefore, always take the puppy or dog to that particular place. And make frequent stops until it has fulfilled its needs.

In any case, the most important thing is to keep clean the chosen “toilet”area, picking up the dog’s waste, both out of a sense of civic education, as well as also to encourage our 4-legged friend to always return to the same place. Dirt and debris left in “its” area, could in fact bother it, causing it to look for a new place.

How to teach your dog to poop outside: the night

The night is long. Especially for puppies, it can be a bit of a problem to hold their needs for 7-8 consecutive hours. Generally, however, for adult dogs, this problem does not arise.

If you have a puppy at home, one solution may be to set the alarm in the middle of the night and accompany our pooch outside for a quick walk. Once the primary necessities are done, return immediately and reward it only with a caress or a small snack. Let’s not dwell too long on rewards. In this way, the dog will understand the difference between day and night.

The somewhat less traumatic alternative to the alarm clock is to have the dog sleep in a cage to be kept next to the bed. When needed, our little friend will know how to make itself heard to be taken outside for a brief outing of primary necessity.

Certainly, the night walk is quite demanding. However, remember that it is a necessity in the first few months of the puppy’s life. The older the dog grows, the more his ability to linger until the next morning will also increase.

In any case, to avoid finding unpleasant surprises scattered on the floor in the morning, it is important to remove the water bowl during the nighttime hours and to make sure that the dog does all its business during the last exit of the day. In other words, make sure it goes to sleep once all the physiological needs are completed.

Why the dog keeps peeing in the house

You have done a great job and, by now, your dog does its business outside on your scheduled daily outings. At some point, however, the dog starts to pee in the house again. This is not an uncommon occurrence. In this case, it is a sign that something is wrong with the dog. Resuming to relieve himself in the house can be a symptom of health problems: physiological diseases or psychological problems.

Hypothetical pathologies

An adult dog may start to relieve himself in the house again in the following cases:

  • diabetes. The exaggerated water consumption that this condition causes increases urine production
  • intolerances, allergies, malabsorption, or bowel diseases, which generally lead to diarrhea and incontinence states
  • feeding too high in fiber, as opposed to protein and fat
  • excessive amount of food 
  • bladder inflammation
  • physiological incontinence due to normal aging of the dog itself. Recurrent pathological situation even in spayed females

Psychological causes

Situations ofstress, punishment and trauma suffered can prevent the dog from relaxing when outside the home. When it is at home alone, then, the dog may feel abandoned and unable to control his emotions.

Sometimes, then, relieving itself at home can also be a “voluntary” way for the animal to express its sense of discomfort to its owner.

Having reviewed the various probable causes why a dog resumes peeing in the house, when faced with abnormal behavior of our furry one, it is strongly recommended to contact your trusted veterinarian to investigate the situation further.

How to behave if the dog has peed in the house

Especially at the beginning of our training, accidents are to be taken into account. It may therefore happen that, for whatever reason, our dog does his business in the house.

Let’s see then how to behave in the event of an “accident on the road.”

  • Do not yell or scold the dog
  • Don’t panic or get discouraged
  • Clean the soiled area, possibly without the presence of the dog watching us, using a neutralizing product so that no trace of odor remains in that particular area of the house
  • Increase the number of outings outside

If you leave your dog alone for a long time, the risk of it soiling the house is very likely. The probability risk rises the smaller the dog is. In fact, an adult dog can manage to go up to 8 hours without doing his business. Puppies, on the other hand, have a much more limited level of autonomy.

If for some reason you are forced to leave the dog alone in the house for many consecutive hours or a whole day, it is recommended to arrange in its “favorite” areas a sleeper to avoid finding unpleasant surprises.

Should you catch your dog in the act, admonish it with a firm “No,” avoiding yelling and scolding, and immediately take it to his “toilet area” so that it can complete his needs. When finished, reward it with cuddles or snacks. In any case, avoid scolding it and do not put anxiety or rush it.

Frequent mistakes not to make

In general, during any kind of training, overly aggressive attitudes are never fruitful but, on the contrary, they can cause trauma and even have the opposite effect than the one desired.

To teach a dog, whether puppy or adult specimen, that it should do its business outdoors, here are the wrong attitudes absolutely not to put into practice. Instead, many of the mistakes we are about to see are common practice.

To teach your dog to do its business not indoors, you must NOT:.

  • push his snout into the potty. This gesture, which to us humans should be understood as a punishment, in the eyes of the dog is instead a kind of reward. Dogs, in fact, do not feel revulsion at the smell of their own droppings: pushing him to smell them, therefore, is tantamount to telling him that he has done the right thing
  • reprimand and/or spank him. The dog cannot understand the real reason for the percussions and, therefore, may come to associate the punishment with simply urinating or defecating. In such a case, the animal may become so insecure and fearful that it hides its droppings from its owner, relieving itself only when the owner is not present or, in the most extreme cases, swallowing its own feces
  • Cleaning up in its presence: the dog interprets this gesture as an invitation to play and will not understand, therefore that he has done a wrong thing, but rather, on the contrary, will think it has created a new game
  • Use products containing ammonia. Pee contains ammonia and therefore, by cleaning the soiled surface with this product, you risk leaving an olfactory trace that would entice the dog to return to pee right there

How to tell when your dog needs to go outside to relieve itself

Despite a broken routine for dog and owner, it may happen that your dog escapes a potty outside the usual times it is used to. It will certainly try to let you know. So here are the signs to know when your dog needs to go outside to pee or poop.

  • Appear agitated and restless
  • Continue to walk toward the door
  • Walks about itself

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