How to Teach a Puppy to Relieve Itself in the Right Place

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When a puppy arrives at our house, a stage of responsibilities begins. As we would with any child, pet owners have to educate our puppies to learn certain guidelines that help them to live together at home.

One of them concerns your needs. Biologically, it is the puppy’s mother who teaches him the importance of hygiene and guides him in his learning.

As it will still be early to take him for a walk, we will have to assume this role with our puppy so that he learns the proper place to urinate and defecate.

While there are techniques that only work with baby dogs and others with adult dogs, we’ve put together seven quick tips on how to teach a puppy to relieve itself in the right place:

  1. Before adopting a dog, you must choose and adapt the space wherever the dog needs to go. When he arrives, you’ll have everything organized and ready for him. Do not place the needs area with the feeding area, as dogs prefer to relieve themselves away from food.
  2. With a sheet of newspaper, wet it lightly with dog urine and let it dry. Then place it where you want, mixing the newspaper with the other sheets. Let the newspaper soak up the urine just so the dog can smell it, but not enough for owners to smell it.
  3. Whenever you notice that your dog wants to relieve himself in the wrong place, pick him up immediately, without frightening him, and put him in the right place. Make this transition discreetly and with as few words as possible, as dogs can get used to the attention and will need to go to the wrong place to pick it up and hold it.
  4. Do not yell at your dog, as he is in the learning phase and is not advisable. This behavior can trigger worse-case scenarios, leading you to hide your needs, doing so under your bed or other furniture.
  5. Reward the dog to accelerate learning. Whenever he relieves himself in the right place, give him extra cookies, praise and treat him.
  6. Choose to remove all rugs from the house to eliminate the possibility of your dog relieving himself in the wrong place.
  7. If your dog is an adult, spay him. During heat, dogs like to mark their territory and urinate in completely random places. If you neuter him, you will decrease the chances of this happening.

How to teach a puppy to relieve itself

One of the essential requirements for our dog to relieve himself in the place that we allow him is perseverance. We must be persistent to reach our goal and be aware that the path will be slow.

  1. Identify the location. The first thing we will do is establish a space for the puppy’s needs. We have to think that it will be a temporary passage, a transit point until we can take her for a walk. Therefore, it is important to look for a space that is easily identifiable for the animal but that can easily be associated with the place where it will urinate when it grows up.
  2. Watch the puppy. In order for the animal to be clear about where it can relieve itself, we will have to place it, from time to time, in the place we choose, since the puppies tend to urinate and defecate a lot. If we want, we can use simple commands to associate them with their new habits, like “pee”, “pee” or any similar word.
  3. Restrict the dog’s area  to the space where the designated place for its needs is located. If we cannot monitor the animal for a long period of time, it is best to place its bedding with its toys and feeders, in a place close to the place defined for its needs.
  4. Move the location to the street. As we have done before, once we can go for a walk with our little one it is important to define the change of location. In the beginning, we will take him for a walk often and show him where he can defecate and urinate in the street.

As with any stage of transit, while the puppy gets used to his new routine, it is important that his resting place is not too far from the space intended for his needs.


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