How to Train Your Dog to Not Pee at Night

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

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.

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!

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.


The Rigid Routine Method

Effective
0 Votes
Rigid Routine method for Not Pee at Night
Step
1
Set your alarm
Pick a time in the evening that is about two hours before bedtime.
Step
2
Take the bowl away
When the alarm goes off, take away your pup’s water dish.
Step
3
Go outside
Make sure you give your dog one or two more potty breaks before heading to bed.
Step
4
Keep tabs on your dog
Bring your pooch’s bed in your room so you'll hear if he gets up.
Step
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.
Step
6
Reward a job well done
After he “goes” in the right spot, praise him with a treat.
Recommend training method?

The Marking Menace Method

Effective
0 Votes
Marking Menace method for Not Pee at Night
Step
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.
Step
2
Clean the spots
Get your heavy duty enzyme cleaner and soak the area.
Step
3
Follow the label
Get your heavy duty enzyme cleaner and soak the area.
Step
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!
Step
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.
Recommend training method?

The Cozy Crate Method

Effective
0 Votes
Cozy Crate method for Not Pee at Night
Step
1
Bring in the crate
Put it somewhere that your family is, like a living room or bedroom.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
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.
Step
5
Go outside before bed
Make sure that your pupper fully relieves himself before heading in for the night.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Tiger
Rottweiler
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tiger
Rottweiler
2 Years

How to prevent not to pee at night at night

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kartikey, While sleeping most dogs' bladders become less active, making it easier for them to hold it until morning. While your dog is awake his bladder will be active though and he will not be able to hold it for as long. First of all, make sure that you are taking him outside to go potty right before it is time to go to sleep for the night, and not one or two hours beforehand. When you take time out, watch him and make sure that he actually eliminates. Some dogs will get distracted outside and will not eliminate, and then they will have to go in the middle of the night, which causes accidents because you are sleeping. Once he wakes up in the morning, his bladder will "wake up" too, so you will need to take him to the bathroom right away. Not thirty minutes or an hour later, but right away. Most dogs naturally will "hold it" when they are in a confined space, to keep from eliminating where they are eating or sleeping. For this reason, try putting him into a crate at night to encourage him to hold it. This will only work however if he eliminated right before bed and again as soon as he wakes up in the morning. Crating him will encourage him to try to hold it for longer though, and it will help him break the bad habit of going in your home. Make sure that any accidents that he has had before, have been cleaned up well with a pet safe spray that contains enzymes. It is the enzymes in the spray that break down the protein in the pee and poop so that your dog can no longer smell it. If your dog can still smell where he eliminated before, then the smell will encourage him to go there again and cause confusion. Just because people can no longer smell it does not mean that a dog cannot, since their since of smell is much better than ours. Also avoid cleaners containing ammonia because ammonia smells like urine to a dog. Make sure that you take away all food and water two hours before bedtime, and do not give it back to him until after he has eliminated in the morning. His last drink and meal for the day need to happen at least two hours before bed so that his body can shut down for sleep and not be digesting still. Otherwise, if his body is still digesting, he will need to eliminate. If you do all of these things and are still having problems, then visit your veterinarian. A dog at two years of age can normally hold his bladder for ten hours overnight so long as he eliminates right before bed and right when he wakes up, does not eat or drink during the two hours right before bed, is encouraged to hold his bladder by being confined at night, is not encouraged to pee inside by old pee or poop smells, and has been potty trained in your home before so that he understands that he is not supposed to eliminate inside. If he is still having accidents after all of these things, then he might have a medical issue such as a urinary tract infection or incontinence, that effect his ability to hold his bladder for long periods of time. If this is the case, the problem will not get better until it has been treated. Urinary tract infections can also lead to kidney infections, which are dangerous if left untreated. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Tiger's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Otis
Miniature Pinscher
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Otis
Miniature Pinscher
2 Years

I have several issues with Otis overall he is a very good dogs and for the most part he listens well but I have not been able to get the potty training down. We have had a steady schedule for almost 2 years now. I get up and he goes potty at 6:30 then breakfast then he goes in his kennel when I leave for work I come him at noon and let him out. Now not every day but it happens quite frequently he pees in his cage before I get home for my lunch break. Usually after lunch when he goes back in his kennel he makes it until we get home at about 4-4:30. We also have an issue with him going pee in the house at night again not every night but it’s happening still. I have tried to limit water and like i said we’re on a pretty set schedule but he’s still having these problems.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katelyn, If the accidents are recent after a period of being house broken, and you know that he is peeing when you take him outside during those trips outside, then I would suggest taking him to your vets. He might have a urinary tract infection or some form of urinary incontinence, that makes it physically impossible for him to hold it for that long. Certain medications, such as steroids, can also cause frequent peeing. When you take him outside to go potty during the morning and during the day, if you are not already so, then follow him outside and make sure that he is actually going completely. If he is getting distracted and playing and then coming back inside without having peed, or is only peeing a little bit to mark something but not emptying his bladder completely, then that might be your issue, and making the trips outside more boring by adding a leash and supervising him, and then rewarding him when he goes fully before bringing him back in, should help. Also make sure that when you clean up the accidents that you are using a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the pee enough to remove the smell to the point where he cannot still smell it. If he can still smell it, even if you cannot, then the smell will encourage him to eliminate in that same area again and again. Another option is to set up an exercise pen and experiment with leaving him in there if he has lost the desire to hold his bladder inside his crate due to the accidents. This option might work if he is normally accident free while loose in your home when you are there.This should remove the association with peeing in the crate if that has become a habit now. For some dogs this will make things better and for some it will make it worse, so you will have to try it to see. If you try this then make sure that you are still following him outside to make sure that he pees though, or if that caused the original problem, the problem will still occur in the new area despite removing the association with the crate. A final option, if the issue is simply that he lacks the physical bladder capacity needed to hold it for that long, especially if your vet discovers a form of urinary incontinence, is to teach him to use a litter box in an exercise pen area while you are gone. Here is a Wag! article for teaching your dog to how to use a litter box: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Otis's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Fiona
Italian Greyhound
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Fiona
Italian Greyhound
2 Years

Fiona is a sweet dog. She has been challenging to potty train, lately she has been peeing in the house over night. My husband goes to bed late and I am up early so it is a matter of about 5 hours. I know she can hold it longer than that, but she doesn't. I read some of the tips you have posted to another person and will try that.

Another issue which might not be training is she gets car sick. It is rare that we can take her anywhere without her getting sick. We have tried dramamine, thunder shirt, car seat facing out, car seat hammock so she has the back seat to roam and crating her, Nothing seems to work, maybe that will never change. Any thoughts?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellen, In addition to following the other advise that you already read to make sure that she has the physical capacity to hold it, is eliminating outside before bed, and is not drinking too close to bedtime, I would suggest crating her at night until she forms a consistent habit of holding her bladder at night. When you crate her make sure that her crate is large enough for her to stand up, turn around, and lay down, but not large enough for her to eliminate in one end and stand away from it in the other end. If she cannot get away from her own urine and feces, then most dogs have a natural instinct to not soil their dens where they sleep or eat, and will try to hold it. Normally you should be able to capitalize on that instinct to break the habit of peeing at night and to teach her a new habit of holding her bladder. For the house breaking in general, a strict crate training protocol that includes tethering her to yourself with a leash while she is out of the crate will probably break her habit of eliminating inside more quickly than other methods. That method requires you being at home a lot during the day though. To get her comfortable with the crate, if you have not already done so, check out this Wag! article I have linked bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If you decide to use crate training during the day too, then here is another good article with steps for that and for tethering: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Some dogs genetically do get car sick because of the motion, in which case you will need to ask your vet about options. The majority of dogs get sick because of over excitement and anxiety though. If you treat the anxiety and excitement, you can often eventually improve the car sickness. The first thing to do is to ensure that she is safely confined in the car when you get to the point off going places again, which I will talk about. The lying down position is the best for preventing motion sickness and not riding in the very back of the vehicle, but instead in the middle or up front when it is safe to do so. I recommend a padded back clip harness and one of those car seat belt tethers attached to something on the floor of your vehicle if your seats lay flat or she will comfortable fit on the floor board. Before you get to that point though work on making the car a very boring location. Practice having her get in and out of the car and laying down and receiving treats for it while the car is stationary and off. Do that until she seems completely relaxed about the car. If she is afraid to jump into the car, then practice near the near with the door open and lead up to inside the car as she improves. When she can be inside the car and be relaxed, then turn the car on and practice the same thing with the treats and the down position but do not move the car. Practice that until she is relaxed also. Next, have someone sit in the back with her to encourage her to lay down and reward her for being calm, and drive around the block and back and then get out of the car with her when you return home, so that the trip is very uneventful. Practice that until she is calm while doing that and not getting car sick. After she can do that, then gradually go further and further in the car. At first simply drive around, do not get out anywhere, and then go back home. When she does well with that, then take her to local fun or boring locations. You want her to associate the car with boring, uneventful trips, and moderate amounts of fun, instead of just the vet's office or long car trips. While you are doing all of this you can grab a garbage can liner and a towel to put underneath her just in case she throws up if you progress a bit too quickly or the issue turns out the be genetic. Most dogs can overcome car sickness if they always ride while laying down and associate the car with pleasant and somewhat boring experiences. Be patient with her though and do not rush through each step too quickly. She has gotten sick several times so she currently associates it with unpleasant things and will need time to relearn car riding. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Fiona's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Penelope
Labradoodle
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Penelope
Labradoodle
10 Weeks

Up until 2 nights ago Penny was doing really well with night time potties. We would take her out between 10-11pm and she would hold it for 4-5 hours (being taken out between 2-3:30am) then she would hold it until 5:30/6am. No problems. Which was amazing! Unfortunately for the last two nights she has started to get way too excited when we do the middle of the night pee and lets out excited pee in her crate as she is getting out which means she is peeing a little on her bedding. We do not talk to her when we come down and we always make sure she is calm before opening the door but once the door opens it's like she can't contain how happy she is to see us. (Her crate is in the living room and we sleep on the second floor. My husband and I alternate night wakes and she has done this for both of us now.) We never play during this time and keep lights to a minimum. Also she last eats between 6 and 6:30pm and her water is taken away at about 7pm.

What could be all of a sudden causing this excitement and how do we get her to stop peeing from it? We never have excited pee problems getting out of her crate during the day either. The bedding is being washed right away, in place of it we put her bed that stays out on the floor in the crate. I'm starting to feel frustrated because I felt we were making progress with her almost being ready to go from 11pm to 4 or 5am but now I worry. Last night she was let out at 11pm and then again at 2:45am (less than 4 hours) and it still happened. Any thoughts on how to handle this? Are my expectations too high for a 10.5 week old puppy? Thank you! Becky

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, Penelope is probably becoming more aware with age and her need to sleep is less strong than it was. It is possible that she is going through a growth spurt that equals her eating and drinking more during the day, which is causing her to pee more and should pass in a week. If the nightly wake-ups keep happening before it has been three hours since she last went potty, then you might need to ignore her cries until she goes back to sleep, and then when she wakes up a second time take her out. Only do this if she continues to wake up early for more than a week and it has been less than three hours though. When you go to let her out at night, continue to keep the lights off and do not speak to her. If you are reaching into the crate to attach a leash, then try simply opening the door and walking away from her, toward the door. Stand perfectly still at the door to go outside until she calms down. When she calms down, then carefully clip on her leash, touching her and bending over her as little as possible. If you are clipping on the leash as soon as she gets out of the crate, then try reaching into the crate to clip her leash on before you let her out. You can also clip it on to her at the door to go outside after she has calmed down. Submissive and excited peeing is very normal for young puppies. You are on the right track by staying calm. Try clipping her leash on the ways I have suggested to minimize touching her while she is excited. The best way to avoid excited peeing is to not touch, speak to, or approach a dog until she calms down. Instead be completely boring, and when the dog has calmed down, then clip on the leash. Try not to be discouraged. 10.5 weeks is still very young. She should improve more by 12 weeks. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Penelope's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Training Success Stories

Success
Tacho
Labrador Retriever
4 Years

Tacho is our 4 years old Labrador Retriever. He usually stays alone at our house but won’t go to the bathroom by himself (he has an open door to the garden and knows it). When we come home he peed himself as a result of not going to the bathroom all day long (he pees while laying down, so its only drops during all day). Any ideas of how can we train or show him to go when we are not home?

3 weeks, 6 days ago
Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd