How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night

How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-6 Weeks
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

You're in that place between dreams and reality. You hear the sound of a babbling stream as you drift off. But wait! There are no rivers in your house! You shoot out of bed as you clue into what's happening. Sure enough, a golden puddle awaits you smack dab in the middle of your living room.

Anyone who's dealt with a midnight urinator knows how much of pain this bad habit can be. But why would a dog who is otherwise house trained insist on “going” inside after the sun goes down? Finding that out will help you better address the situation.

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Defining Tasks

Peeing at night can happen for a whole heap of reasons. Sometimes it's just a matter of not being supervised before potty training is complete. Other times, your dog could be marking his territory in a spot that he previously peed on and can still smell.

Another reason that younger pups have night time accidents has to do with when they eat and drink. Their bladders are small, and empty faster than older pooches. If you're giving your youngster a giant bowl of water before bed, she might not be able to hold it until morning. Thankfully, most of these problems are fixable!

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Getting Started

To help your fur buddy make it through the night with no accidents, you'll need to be prepared. Try to come to the table with the following:

  • An Alarm: You may think it's overkill, but it's easy to let minutes turn into hours when you aren't paying attention. Having an alarm can help you set a strict schedule.
  • Cleaning Supplies: Don't just grab your favorite bargain brand! Dish out the extra dollars for an enzyme-based cleaner made specifically to beat dog urine.
  • A Crate: Some dogs just need a safe space to become their den. A dog's instinct tells them not to pee in their den, so staying in the crate overnight might stop sneaky floor pees.

Peeing inside at night can also be a sign that your dog isn't feeling so hot. It's a good idea to get a full check-up to make sure all is well before trying to train your dog out of this unpleasant habit.

Below are some methods that you can use to help both Rover and you sleep through the nights. Remember, if you catch your pooch in the act of peeing inside, don't freak out! Clap your hands loudly and give a firm “no!”, then lead the dog outside.


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The Rigid Routine Method

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6 Votes

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Most Recommended

6 Votes

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Rigid Routine method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night
1

Set your alarm

Pick a time in the evening that is about two hours before bedtime.

2

Take the bowl away

When the alarm goes off, take away your pup’s water dish.

3

Go outside

Make sure you give your dog one or two more potty breaks before heading to bed.

4

Keep tabs on your dog

Bring your pooch’s bed in your room so you'll hear if he gets up.

5

Don't sleep in!

If your pup makes it through the night, be sure to get him outside first thing in the morning to relieve himself.

6

Reward a job well done

After he “goes” in the right spot, praise him with a treat.

The Cozy Crate Method

Effective

3 Votes

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Effective

3 Votes

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Cozy Crate method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night
1

Bring in the crate

Put it somewhere that your family is, like a living room or bedroom.

2

Make it cozy

Think of what a den looks like. Try putting a towel on top of the crate and a fluffy blanket inside.

3

Check the size

Your dog should be able to comfortably lay down in his crate, but only just! If it's too roomy in there, the pup may designate a corner for peeing.

4

Put a treat inside

Let your dog know that the crate is a good thing. Give him a tasty treat once he goes inside and put his favorite toys in there.

5

Go outside before bed

Make sure that your pupper fully relieves himself before heading in for the night.

The Marking Menace Method

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2 Votes

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2 Votes

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Marking Menace method for How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night
1

Find where your dog has peed

Locate all of the pee spots in your home. If you really want to be thorough, you can use a UV light.

2

Clean the spots

Get your heavy duty enzyme cleaner and soak the area.

3

Follow the label

Get your heavy duty enzyme cleaner and soak the area.

4

Try it out

See how your dog does overnight after a thorough cleaning. If he does not return to the pee areas, you may have beaten the smell!

5

Steam clean!

If your first clean didn't stop the night accidents, you may want to rent a steam cleaner or hire a professional. Then you'll know for sure that all urine scents are gone.

By Amy Caldwell

Published: 10/24/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Bruno

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Jack Russell Terrier mix

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Six Months

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Question

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He doesn’t ask when he has to go potty! If I watch him and ask him if he has to go potty then he stand in front of door and I know he has to go. He doesn’t cry for it. At night he sleeping in my bed and he usually good till 5am but if I don’t hear him he get out of bed and go pee and pooped inside. I just don’t know how to make him cry and let me know if he has to go..

Aug. 25, 2022

Bruno's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, In order for pup to start letting you know ,first pup has to associating your home with cleanliness, Accidents need to be prevented for long enough for pup to generalize their natural desire to keep a confine space clean to the rest of your home. Typically the first milestone in potty training is a dog learning to hold their bladder and bowels between scheduled potty trips - where you are initiating the trip outside, pup learns to hold it between trips by having you manage their freedom so that they are only free when their bladder is empty, so that pee and poop always goes outside. Once they are holding it between your scheduled potty trips (which often takes three months of restricting freedom to times when pup's bladder isn't full to get them to that point), then it takes about another six months of scheduled potty trips before a dog will often want to go outside on their own - at which point if they don't learn how to alert you on their own, its useful to teach them to ring a bell so they have a way to do that. If you expect pup to alert too soon and they are having accidents, not only will that stall pup getting to that six month point, but it can also undo the first three months of pup learning to hold their bladder between scheduled potty trips. In this case I would crate pup at night - when you are sleeping it's very hard if not impossible to keep pup from having an accident when pup is sleeping in your bed. When a dog is crated, it encourages a natural desire to keep a confined space clean - so that pup either holds it until morning or barks to wake you up to let you know they need to go outside at night, which pup may occasionally still need for another month. Crating pup at night can help break the habit of potty accidents at night until pup gets to the point where they are ready to alert you AND old enough not to need a middle of the night potty trip occasionally. I know that answer probably isn't what you want to hear but being more strict and putting off sleeping in the bed with pup for a little longer now can prevent a life time of struggling with potty issues, concrete pup keeping things clean and learning this well while still a puppy, so that you can give pup more freedom for the next 10-15 years. 1 Year of being strict can result in 10-15 of being able to give more freedom, but when you aren't strict at first, pup may need to be crated for years. After pup has been keeping things clean between scheduled potty trips for at least six months, if pup doesn't start alerting you at that point, then you can also teach pup to ring a bell, having pup ring that every time you take them out until they start to associate it with going outside. Most dogs when they are ready will begin running to the door, barking at you, pawing at you, or find their own way to alert. The bell will also only work if pup is already at the point where they want to keep things clean by having formed that habit over time. Surprise method for crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Aug. 25, 2022

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Buzz

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Dachshund

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One Year

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Question

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When I first got him he would absolutely not use the bathroom outside, only on a pee pad. As we slowly got rid of the pee pad we realized he wouldn’t use the restroom in the main areas of the house. He would only use the restroom in our bedroom. He has slept with us since he was a puppy, due to separation anxiety. When we recently moved, he was no longer using the restroom in our room. We have kept a clear schedule several potty breaks during the day, before bed, and no food or water after 5pm. He started peeing in our room again, and has been cleared by his vet that nothing medically is wron

July 18, 2022

Buzz's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello, Is there carpet or a rug in the bedroom in the new home? If so, the absorbent material from the new rug and possibly smells from animals who previously lived in your new home, could be encouraging pup to go potty there. I would crate pup at night to encourage pup to hold it while in the bedroom at night. During the daytime, keep the door to the bedroom closed when no one is in there to further encourage cleaniness in that room, and when you are in the room and want pup to be in there but it's not time for sleeping, then either crate pup while they are in their or tether them to yourself with a hands free leash. If while tethered to you, pup starts to look like they are about to pee in there (circling, sniffing, pulling away, whining, barking, squatting, ect...) then quickly rush pup outside. If pup beings to pee in front of you while tethered to you, clap a bit loudly three times to interrupt pup without touching or yelling at pup - just to surprise pup, then rush pup outside. Begin giving pup a dog treat whenever pup goes potty outside so make sure pup knows they shouldn't pee in the bedroom but it's okay to pee in front of you while outside, so pup doesn't think the interruption is just for peeing in front of you. The treat can also help pup prefer going potty outside again - especially if they are nervous about pottying in the new area with it's sights, sounds, and smells Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If you have reason to suspect the previous owners had a dog or cat who may have gone potty in your room a decent amount (older dog, small dog, puppy, male cat especially), then I would rent a carpet cleaner or pay someone to do it, and use a carpet cleaning solution that specifically contains enzymes - because only enzymes will fully remove the smell or pee or poop from old accidents to the extent that the remaining smell won't encourage pup to go potty there again. Some grocery stores and hardware stores have carpet cleaners you can rent for the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

July 18, 2022


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