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My Dog Won’t Pee Outside (Reasons Why)

dog won't pee outside

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Dogs are creatures of habit. If they learn to pee inside, it can be difficult to teach them to go outside. Here are some common reasons why your dog may not be willing to relieve himself outside.

Your dog may not be used to going outside to pee. If you’ve just adopted your dog or he’s used to living in an apartment

Reasons Why a Dog Might Not Pee Outside 

Health Issue

A health problem could be causing your dog to hold it or have accidents in the house. If your dog is house-trained but suddenly starts having accidents, it’s time to see the vet. Here are some health problems that could cause your dog to have trouble urinating:

  • UTI (Urinary tract infections)
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Kidney Failure
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Cognitive Dysfunction

Anxiety or Fear

Your dog may be afraid to go outside to pee because he doesn’t like the weather, he’s afraid of other animals, or there are too many people around. If your dog is normally confident but suddenly seems afraid to go outside, it could be due to anxiety or a fear trigger.

Here are some common fear triggers that could cause your dog to hold it or have accidents:

Bad weather

If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, he may not want to go outside to relieve himself during a storm.

Other animals

If your dog is afraid of other dogs, he may not want to go outside to pee if he knows there are other dogs around.

People

If your dog is afraid of strangers, he may not want to go outside to pee if there are people around.

Poor House Training

If your dog was never properly house-trained, he may not understand that he needs to go outside to relieve himself. This is often the case with rescue dogs or dogs who have been neglected.

Marking Territory

Some dogs urinate inside as a way to mark their territory. This is often seen in male dogs, but can also be done by female dogs. If your dog is marking territory, he may not want to go outside to pee because he wants to leave his scent in the house.

The best way to stop your dog from marking territory is to have him neutered or spayed. This will help to reduce the hormone that is causing him to mark. You can also try to clean up any spots he has marked with a pet odor neutralizer.

What You Can Do About It

If your dog won’t pee outside, there are a few things you can do to try to encourage him.

Proper Housetraining

If your dog is not properly housetrained, you will need to start from the beginning. Teach him where he should go to the bathroom and take him outside frequently (after meals, naps, etc). Reward him when he goes in the appropriate spot. If you need help, there are many resources available on how to house train a dog.

Desensitize Your Dog to Fear Triggers

If your dog is afraid of something outside, you can try to desensitize him to his fear triggers by slowly exposing him to the thing he’s afraid of (in a controlled setting) and pair it with something he loves (treats, toys, etc).

For example, if your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, you can start by playing a recording of thunder at a low volume while he’s eating his dinner. Over time, you can gradually increase the volume. If your dog starts to show signs of fear (panting, shaking, etc), you are going too fast and will need to go back to a lower volume.

If your dog is afraid of other dogs, you can start by walking him in areas where there are few other dogs. If he sees another dog, make sure to give him treats and praise so that he associates other dogs with something positive. You can also try doggy daycare or dog walks with a group of other dogs to help him socialize.

If your dog is afraid of people, you can start by walking him in areas where there are few people. If he sees a person, make sure to give him treats and praise so that he associates people with something positive. You can also try doggy daycare or dog walks with a group of other people to help him socialize.

Use a Bell

Hang the bell by the door you use to go outside and ring it before you take him out. After a while, he will start to associate the bell with going outside and may be more likely to go out when he hears it.

Eliminate Pee Odors Inside the House

If your dog is marking territory, he may be encouraged to keep doing it if there are lingering pee smells in the house. Be sure to clean up any accidents with a pet odor neutralizer and try to keep the house as clean as possible.

Give Him More Time

If your dog just needs more time to adjust to his new home or is going through a stressful period, give him some time. He may start to feel more comfortable and be more likely to go outside to relieve himself after a while.

Use Pee Training Sprays

There are sprays that you can buy that will encourage your dog to pee in a certain area. These sprays usually contain pheromones that attract dogs. You can spray them in the area where you want your dog to go and he may be more likely to relieve himself there.

Try Crate Training

If your dog is having accidents in the house, crate training may be a good option. Crate training involves confining your dog to a small space (usually a crate or pen) when you can’t supervise him. This will prevent him from urinating in the house and will also teach him to hold his bladder for longer periods of time.

Crate training can take some time and patience, but it is a very effective way to housetrain a dog. If you are having trouble crate training your dog, there are many resources available to help you.

Use Pee Pads or Litter Boxes

If you can’t take your dog outside frequently or if the weather is bad, you can try using pee pads or litter boxes. Pee pads are absorbent pads that you can put indoors for your dog to use. Litter boxes are small boxes filled with sand or litter that your dog can use indoors.

Ask Help From Professionals

If you’ve tried all of the above and your dog still won’t pee outside, it may be time to ask for help from a professional. There are many dog trainers and behaviorists who can help you with this issue.

There are many reasons why your dog may not be peeing outside. Some dogs are afraid of going outside, some may be marking territory, and some may just need more time to adjust. By trying some of the above tips, you may be able to get your dog to start peeing outside again.

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