How to Train Your Dog to Pee in the Bathtub

How to Train Your Dog to Pee in the Bathtub
Hard difficulty iconHard
Time icon1-3 Months
Behavior training category iconBehavior

Introduction

Are you still getting up in the middle of the night to take your pup outside to pee? Isn't this getting a little old? What about when you have to be at work all day long, is your pup peeing on the floor and leaving you a big wet mess to clean up? What if you could train your dog to pee in the bathtub when there is no one around to take him outside.

Okay, I can already hear you saying "Eww that's gross!" But then again, how gross is it having to clean up the mess on your floor every time he pees on it? While most dogs are taught to go to the bathroom outside, which can be a hard habit to break, you can teach them to pee in the tub. It won't be easy, but in time your pup will be happy to have a place to pee inside where he won't get in trouble for doing so. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Defining Tasks

This command goes completely against your dog's training to pee outside. After all, haven't you already spent countless hours teaching him that the only place he is supposed to pee, or for that matter poop, is outside? Of course, you could always use a crate to prevent your pup peeing on the floor, but your dog doesn't deserve to spend hour upon hour locked up.

There is no real command here, it is in all reality more about teaching your pup a new behavior. One that will keep him out of trouble and allow him to relieve himself when needed, rather than trying to hold it in for longer than he should be doing. Take your time and be patient, it will happen. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

Getting Started

When it comes to training your pup to pee in the bathtub, or for that matter a shower stall, the biggest thing you will need is plenty of patience and time in order to make this training stick. You will need a few supplies to get things off to a good start. Which ones you need will depend on the method of training you decide to use. Among these are:

  • Treats: As rewards for peeing where you tell him to.
  • Bathtub or shower: A place for your pup to go to the bathroom indoors when he needs to.
  • A section of fake grass: One training method uses this as a way to train your pup.
  • Time: Training your pup to pee in the tub is going to take time.
  • Patience: As always, you need plenty of patience during any type of training. 

arrow-up-icon

Top

The Truly Patient Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Clean the tub

Start by cleaning out the tub and rinsing it out thoroughly to remove all traces of chemicals. Your pup will not like the smell of cleaning chemicals, which can make training him that much harder.

2

Introduce your pup to the tub

Getting your pup used to being around the tub and in it is a vital step in the training process. Spend plenty of time letting him get used to the tub, climbing in and out of it, being in it, and so forth. Be sure you have some kind of non-slip mat or surface in the bottom of the tub so he doesn't slip and fall.

3

Keep the training sessions short

The most important part of this training is to keep all training sessions short; aim for 10-minute sessions to keep him interested in what is going on. Do this twice a day and keep him where you can see him the rest of the time.

4

Try the tub

The next time your pup lets you know he needs to pee, take him to the tub, have him hop in and let him stand there until he pees. You must be patient, but if after ten minutes he still hasn't peed, go ahead and take him outside. If he does pee, be sure to praise him and give him a treat.

5

Keep working with him

Keep doing this every time he indicates the need to go outside, never scold him if he can't go. But be sure to reward him generously when he does. Dig in and be prepared to keep training him for a few weeks. In time, he will take care of business in the tub at night or when no one is home.

The Artificial Turf Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Cut a chunk of fake grass

Start out by cutting a strip of fake green grass that is the length and width of the bottom of your bathtub or shower stall. Leave enough room for the tub drain to be exposed.

2

Begin introductions

Lay the fake grass on the floor where your pup can get used to it. He might start out by sniffing it, laying on it, and playing with it. This is okay, be sure to give your pup treats each time he goes near the turf on purpose.

3

Take the turf outside

Each time you take your dog outside to go to the bathroom, take the turf out with him and place it on the ground. This will help your pup to associate the fake grass with going to the bathroom.

4

Let him pee on the turf

Now it's time to start teaching your pup to start peeing on the fake grass. Each time he does, be sure to praise him and give him a treat or two. Repeat this until he looks for the turf to pee on.

5

Moving inside

Wash the turf and let him pee on it once, then put it in the tub (yes this is a bit gross) where your pup can see it and smell it. Take him in the bathroom, and show him where it is.

6

Time to pee

Each time he needs to pee, take him into the bathroom where he can find his old friend, the piece of fake grass. Repeat this process until your pup goes to the bathroom and uses his piece of turf when he needs to pee. Be sure to give him lots of praise and a treat or two when he finally gets it right. Now you should be able to sleep at night or go to work without worrying about wet spots on your floors.

The Every Two Hours Method

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon

Effective

0 Votes

Ribbon icon
1

Mark your puppy's need to pee

If you are working with a puppy, take note of how often he needs to go outside and pee. In most cases, it is approximately every two hours or so.

2

Mark the spot

Collect a small sample of your dog's urine and place it in the tub. This is how your pup marks his territory outside and it will work to mark the tub or shower stall just as he does outside.

3

Watch your pup

Keep a very close eye on your pup. As soon as he indicates that he might need to go pee, take him to the bathroom and place him in the tub.

4

Keep him there

Now you need to relax and give your pup plenty of time to take care of business. But, at the same time, keep these sessions to around ten minutes. If after ten minutes he hasn't peed, go ahead and take him outside.

5

Keep trying

This trick is going to take a while for your pup to master. Bbe patient and keep trying it over and over again. The more you praise him for getting it right, the faster he is likely to master this new task and the sooner you can start sleeping through the night or go to work without worrying.

By PB Getz

Published: 11/03/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

Have a question?

Training Questions and Answers

Dog nametag icon

Bruno

Dog breed icon

Labrador Retriever

Dog age icon

6 Months

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

My puppy scratches walls and starts barking every couple of hours. I go to office and my father-in-law really has a hard time keeping him calm. He is excessively naughty and bites while playing. What can I do to keep him calm while I am away?

Oct. 23, 2018

Bruno's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nisha, First, if he is not already crate trained, I would highly suggest doing that. Start by getting him used to the crate over the weekend and for a bit in the evenings when you are home from work. To crate train, check out the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once Bruno is crate trained, if he was not already, then when your father-in-law needs a break or Bruno is acting a bit crazy, which is normal for puppies at times, put him into a strong Exercise Pen or crate and give him a really great food stuffed chew toy. The article above includes instructions for how to stuff a large Kong toy to make the toy more interesting. If he barks, make sure that you spent time getting him familiar with the crate beforehand like the article above mentions. If you have done that, then your father-in-law can correct the barking with a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of unscented, pressurized air. When he barks, have your father-in-law tell him "Ah-Ah" and if he continues, have him squirt a small puff of air at his side to surprise him, to stop the barking, then have your father-in-law leave again. Do not spray him in the face. If Bruno remains quiet for five minutes, have your father-in-law return to him and sprinkle a bunch of treats into the crate as a reward for being quiet, and then leave again. As Bruno improves, your father-in-law can have him go longer and longer before occasionally rewarding him for being quiet, until the food stuffed chew toy is his only reward and he has learned to quietly and calmly rest in the crate and entertain himself with the chew toy. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Also, make sure that he is being exercised a couple of times per day. He needs not just physical exercise but also mental exercise to challenge his brain. Structured walks, where you practice heeling and other obedience, like sit, down, and attention are good for accomplishing both. Games of fetch, where you make him sit and incorporate obedience commands into the game are good. Twenty-minute training sessions, where he is having to focus and learn something new or hard for him, are good. If you do not have the time to do this yourself, you might want to consider hiring a dog walker or trainer or sending him to a good doggie daycare part of the days. Also, look up automatic treat dispensing devices for when he is loose in the house. AutoTrainer and PetTutor are two such devices. These devices are filled with your dog's dry dog food, and then a piece is occasionally released to your dog to automatically reward him for being quiet and calm. This can give him something to work on and help him learn how to be calm. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 23, 2018

Dog nametag icon

Coco

Dog breed icon

Poodle

Dog age icon

7 Years

Question icon

Question

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

Thumbs up icon

0 found helpful

We have moved to snowy mountain area and can have up to 6 feet of snow surrounding the house. Coco is >9 lbs! If I can train her to use shower, what is best solution for cleaning shower that does not deter her sensitive doggie nose, but disinfects at same time?

Oct. 10, 2018

Coco's Owner

Expert avatar

Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

Recommendation ribbon

1133 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anita Jo, Check out Whip It. It is safe to use on most household surfaces, including showers, is actually enzyme based so it should break down poop and pee to remove the smell fully, and is advertised as being disinfecting and germ killing. The link below is to a concentrate bottle. That bottle should make up to thirty-two diluted spray bottles. Making the price less expensive than the product appears to be. It's also advertised as being non-toxic, making is safe to use around Coco. The smell is not strong, but if she has issues with it, then hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle or vinegar in a spray bottle can also be used, but won't do all of those things that I mentioned Whip It would do. I do not sell Whip It myself, but have used it personally. https://www.amazon.com/Whip-Concentrate-Multi-Purpose-Stain-Remover/dp/B00DKEWA92 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 11, 2018


Wag! Specialist
Need training help?

Learn more in the Wag! app

Five starsFive starsFive starsFive starsFive stars

43k+ reviews

Install


© 2022 Wag Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.