If your puppy pees before going outside, you are likely frustrated and tired of cleaning up messes.
Perhaps you have crated your puppy, and right as you walk your puppy towards the door, your puppy has an accident, or perhaps your puppy pee along the hallway as he tries to reach the door.
Regardless, your are likely looking for some solution to help reduce the number of indoor accidents.
Of course, it helps to fist troubleshoot a bit more what may be going on.
Why Do Puppies Pee Before Going Outside?
The reasons why puppies pee before going outside can be various, but some of them are more common than others. Let's take a look at several.
A Matter of Under Development
Picture this: your 12-month-old toddler has always worn diapers, and out of the blue, diapers are no longer being sold. The manufacturing plants are missing the material necessary to make them.
Your toddler therefore walks naked around the home. What do you think would happen in such scenario?
Most likely, he would have multiple accidents around the home.
This is the same thing going on with young puppies. Puppies lack sufficient bladder and bowel control, so by the time they even think to go potty, they have already soiled.
Of course, it doesn't help if the door that leads the puppy outside is on the very far end or if your puppy drank a whole lot and got distracted by playing.
Other Forms of Peeing
Sometimes, you may think your puppy is peeing because he can't hold it, but puppies can also pee "submissively" or due to excitement.
A Medical Problem
Sometimes, puppies may develop annoying urinary tract problems which may cause them to pee more frequently and in small amounts.
Urinary tract infections, although not too common in young puppies may sometimes be the culprit, but puppies may also have anatomical malformations which predisposes them to accidents or they may suffer from certain medical conditions such as diabetes insipidus.
How to Tackle Puppy Peeing Before Going Outside
The solution for a puppy peeing before going outside will vary based on the underlying cause. Following are several tips.
Talk to Your Vet
If your puppy is having a lot of accidents, and it seems like water just keeps seeping out of him with no control, it may be worthy of discussing this with the vet.
Sure, young puppies don't have bladder control, and accidents are very normal, but if there is no progress and your puppy seems to be always leaking, there may be an underlying medical issues at play.
Go on Earlier Trips
If you put your puppy on a schedule, and your puppy has accidents prior to his outing, you may want to take a little step back and start taking your puppy a little earlier.
For example, if you are taking your puppy outside every hour, try taking him out every 45 minutes.
Then, increase the time gradually once you notice she's consistently getting better at not having accidents prior to the 45-minute mark. Eventually, you should find a schedule that minimizes the chances for indoor accidents.
However, you'll need to still factor in several variables such as your puppy drinking more than usual or playing more (physical activity predisposes to pee versus sleeping in a crate) so you'll need to make some occasional judgement calls based on these factors.
Have The Work Cut Out for You
Keep your puppy in an area nearby the door. If your puppy must be leashed, keep her collar on (use a breakaway collar for safety) and keep the leash right by the door.
Or even better, keep your puppy leashed to you, in what is known as "umbilical cord" training.
Basically, clip the leash to your belt so that you can swiftly take your puppy outside when it's time or earlier if you notice any signs your puppy needs to potty.
Another option if your puppy pees right when she gets out of the crate is to move the crate as close as possible to the door, or even carry the crate and open it outside.
Letting your puppy sniff a treat before opening the crate and being let outside can help keep your puppy "focused" on it as he walks so that he has less time to think about the impellent need to potty.
Once out, take him to his usual potty spot and wait for him to go potty, then praise and give the treat.
Make Pottying Outside Rewarding
Once your puppy realizes that accidents indoors lead to nothing, but the moment your puppy pees outdoors you throw a party, with lots of praise and tasty treats, your puppy should start learning that going potty outside is super worthy of the effort.
To further emphasize how great it is to potty outside, after you praise and give a treat, if you have a safely fenced yard, remove the leash and let your puppy explore and play for some time before heading back inside.
Clean Up Potty Areas Correctly
If your puppy has an accident inside the house, it's important to clean it with a dog-friendly enzyme cleaner.
Enzyme-based cleaners are designed to remove any lingering smells that may be left behind.
Removing all traces of odor is important so to not encourage the puppy to keep peeing and making the same mistakes, since puppies may smell old accidents and feel compelled to keep peeing there.
As tempting as it may be to punish your puppy for having an accident before going outside, refrain from doing that.
Scolding your puppy or putting his face in his mess, will only teach your puppy to fear you, which will make it harder for them to learn what they should do in certain situations.
Punishment does not work with puppies because they do not understand why they are being punished and have no idea what is expected of them.
Not to mention, puppies may learn to associate your presence with punishment, which may lead to puppies who hide under a bed or corner to pee.
Puppies learn better if instead we show them what we would like them to. By taking your puppy out at a frequent interval and praising and rewarding him for peeing outside, you are telling your puppy what you expect from him.
Provide a Consequence For Not Going
If you take your puppy outside and he doesn't go within a few minutes, bring him back inside and wait at least 5-10 minutes before going back outside again.
During this time, keep an eye on your puppy and take him out earlier if you notice any early signs of him needing to go potty.
Always take him outside on leash so you being him straight back inside if he doesn't go, or you can unleash him and let him have fun if he does.
The goal is for your puppy to learn that outside is the only potty option.