How to Handle Common Potty Problems in Dogs

October 7, 2017
As a dog owner with over 25 years of experience, I can attest that having a dog is one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened in my life. The companionship and joy they bring is incomparable.


There are a few potty problems that a dog owner might face with his dog. Most owners have an unfortunate experience once or twice but it is not the same for some dogs who can have issues that are either perpetual or affect the dog’s ability to function otherwise.

From such problems the most common may be during potty training. Even the most lax dog owners in the world find the need to house-train their dogs. Dogs with potty training problems become a very big issue. The issues that these owners might face can include carpeting in the house. Carpets can be tricky for puppies as the texture can feel close to that of grass which gives the puppy the impression that he can relieve himself on it.

Some dogs have a habit of peeing when people come to visit at the house. It can be a very embarrassing problem and owners become desperate to fix it. This can be due to the doorbell as that may make the dog hyper and cause him to relieve himself at the door. When a dog is faced with the doorbell, it is an indication that a stranger is at the door. This often drums up conflicting emotions of fear and excitement that can cause him to become unhinged.

Other dogs are known to pee on the plants you might keep indoors. This issue damages not only the home but also the plants. Dogs often do this while ‘urine marking’ (when a dog leaves some pee on a vertical object like walls, or in this case plants). Urine marking is usually done by male dogs who try to mark their territory with the act.

Not having your dog relieve himself at all can sometimes be as problematic as him going in the wrong place. In some ways this is worse as it can have adverse effects on the dog’s overall health. Another potty problem owners might encounter at times is that the dog becomes finicky about when he goes to the potty. This is mostly in cases of bad weather, more specifically rain.

How to Overcome Potty Problems:

When it comes to house training always keep a few things in mind, whether you are house training a puppy or an adult dog. For puppies, it’s normally about training that prevents the puppy from having potty problems. However in some occasions it is possible that your puppy might have acquired bad habits that cause him to go to the bathroom inside the house.

First thing to do might be to roll up the carpet if he is using it and finding a designated place for him to use. To counteract these issues it is also a good idea to establish a ‘happy voice’ and an ‘upset voice’. Your upset voice should not be punishing towards your puppy, it need only sound concerned to him. If your puppy is found misusing some part of the house, denounce what he is doing by your upset voice and take him to the designated place where he is supposed to go. If he goes to that area by himself, then use the happy voice to praise him. Cleaning the area the puppy uses can be very important, as if he can smell any poop or pee over there then he might be inclined to go there again. If he has already done it by the time you get there than take him back to that place, make sure he has a look at it and use the upset voice to tell him what he did was wrong.

The best way to go about dealing with your dog if he pees when there are visitors in the house is to manage the behavior by replacing  an emotional response with a calm one. Teaching your dog to settle and sit can be helpful in this scenario where these commands will allow him to associate the situation with a more gentle reaction.

The most efficient way that can be used to stop your dog from urine marking and peeing on your indoor plants is by getting him neutered or sprayed. This is because in a domesticated environment it is much harder for the dog to deal with the hormones that cause such behavior. Moreover, there are many health reasons for which neutering has been recommended. Punishing can cause undue stress but is not likely to lessen the issue.

When your dog does not want to do potty in the rain it can be a big problem. For these situations there is clothing available that can help dogs who don’t respond to the weather very well. It may not be the most fashionable wear around but gets the job done and in cases like this, applicability is very important.


To prevent problems in potty training a puppy, one of the best things you can do is to make a schedule. This natural course of action is one that mothers often take for their puppies as well which means that the dogs will be able to function according to it. The schedule can determine when the dog eats, sleeps and goes for potty. In this schedule you will have to take your dog out rather frequently until he becomes entirely used to the idea of using the bathroom outside. Neutering or spraying the dog early (but only when the vet deems he is ready) is a way to prevent any future issues from arising. Another one of the solutions that might help would be to train your dog to go on cue. This means he will not necessarily go when his bladder is full. If the dog is taken out knowing that he will be rewarded for going to the bathroom when given the command, he will do so. If there are any predictions of rain in the area then this can be a very useful way of making sure that your dog can avoid not going to the bathroom in that weather and going earlier when he is able to instead.


Here, we looked at four potty problems that dogs and their owners might face in the course of living together. Some of the most common potty training problems were house training issues for puppies, dogs peeing when visitors come to the house or on indoor plants and dogs not being able to go the bathroom outside in the rain. There are multiple ways to solve each problem and reasons why the dogs act the way that they do. Puppies cannot distinguish between the carpet and the grass so it can be useful to keep the carpet away from them. If your dog pees when the doorbell rings, try to teach him calming behaviors like sitting.  Prevent urine marking by neutering your dog and if your dog can’t go in the rain then teach him to go on cue when you need him to. In the end, there is no one way to deal with all these issues. In fact, there are customized solutions to each. One thing they all have in common however, is that they require the owner to have patience.

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