How to Train Your Dog to Pee While on Leash

Medium
1-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

Have you just got a rescue dog, that you haven’t had a chance to teach recall to yet, so you always have to walk him on the leash? Do you find that he won’t go for a pee unless he’s off leash and in the house? By now, you’re sick and tired of always having to wipe up those smelly damp patches that are turning your nice clean carpet a shade of yellow. Even if your dog knows recall, sometimes it’s not appropriate to let them off the leash or maybe they’re sick and you need to monitor how much urine they’re producing, therefore, training them to pee on the leash is a useful skill regardless. Now is the time to teach your pooch to pee while on-leash.

Defining Tasks

This command is important because although it’s not natural for dogs to want to pee on the leash, imagine going to the bathroom in front of someone. Dogs like their privacy too. However, learning the command will have lots of practical benefits, such as always checking their toileting habits are ok and picking up something abnormal quicker if your pet gets sick, as they’ll be peeing close by. Learning this command will save you those unpleasant hours cleaning up urine off of the floor, if they’re peeing inside because you can’t let them off the leash, which is the case for life for some dogs that are dog aggressive or those that have poor recall such as Pomeranians. Another benefit is that you can get them to go in a designated spot, if you want to keep your backyard urine free for example. It will take a few weeks to train your pooch to learn this trick and it is best suited to younger dogs, while they’re still learning. However, older dogs can be trained also.

Getting Started

To begin training your pooch to pee on-leash, you’ll need some high-value treats such as boiled chicken, hot dogs, or cheese. If you’re teaching your 8-week old pupper to pee on a leash straight away it would also be a good idea to fence off an area of a room and keep him in it when he’s unattended so it’s easier to see him showing you signs of going, so you can get him on that leash and outside. When he has an accident inside, you’ll need to correct him but not scare him, so make sure your voice is firm and authoritative, but not frightening. And when he does his business on the leash, make sure your voice is rewarding and encouraging, you’ll need to make the training fun for him. Now let’s get started.

The Puppy Method

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Step
1
Understand your pooch
Different breeds will have different frequencies at which they need to go. Know your pooch's breed and therefore how often he or she will need to go, so that you can get him on that leash and outside accordingly.
Step
2
Watch their behavior
Keeping a close eye on your puppy means you can watch for behavioral signs that they’re about to go, such as sniffing, scratching, circling and whining. If you see these, get them on the leash and outside straight away.
Step
3
Stop him off leash
When he has an accident and pees off leash, stop him by saying ‘no’ and clapping or making a noise to put him off, be careful not to scare him though.
Step
4
Choose a designated area
Choose a particular area outside and consistently take him to it on their leash, to avoid confusion. Make sure they’ve had their vaccinations if it’s going to be somewhere outside of your backyard though.
Step
5
Praise when he goes on-leash
Give him a tasty treat and lots of tummy rubs when he goes while on leash. Peeing on-leash needs to be a fun and rewarding experience.
Step
6
Introduce a command
If you like, once he's got to grips with peeing on leash, you can even get him to associate it with a command such as ‘pee’ or ‘go’, so that he’ll pee on leash when you use the command.
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The Routine Method

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Step
1
Establish a sensible routine
Make sure that your pooch is taken out the correct amount each day for his or her breed and/or age. Make it a routine thing, so that your pooch knows when he'll get the opportunity to go. Take him out around meal times, for example.
Step
2
Clean up accidents quickly
To make sure your pooch doesn’t associate an area of your home with peeing, make sure you clean up any accidents that occur right away.
Step
3
Designate an area
While on-leash, choose an area outside where you want your pooch to go and consistently take him there, so that he recognizes his scent.
Step
4
Let him relax
Although you’ll have him on the leash, make sure you give your pooch as much space as you can to let him do his business, and don’t distract him while he's in the middle of it.
Step
5
Rewards
Give lots of praise and a lovely, tasty treat when he goes while on the leash.
Recommend training method?

The Crating Method

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Step
1
Get an appropriate sized crate
Crate your dog while he’s inside to stop him from peeing. Dogs don’t like to pee where they rest.
Step
2
Leash him
Pop him on the leash and take him outside, it’s likely he’ll have been holding it in and will be keen to do his business. Make sure you take him out enough times a day for his size and breed though.
Step
3
Be patient
Take your pooch for a good walk around, don’t just go outside and expect him to do it. A 20-minute walk may be necessary. Don’t be anxious or impatient, as this may put him off.
Step
4
Try again
If he doesn’t go on the first walk, keep him on the leash inside and have a 5 minute rest. Take him back outside somewhere free from distractions, he should now pee. Make sure you take him out the required number of times, at roughly the same time every day. Dogs are creatures of habit.
Step
5
Lots of treats
When he goes on the leash, give him lots of high value treats and praise so he knows he’s been a good boy.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Kaiser
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks
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Question
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Kaiser
AnimalBreed object
12 Weeks

My pup has been with me for one week. He was peeing outside (with free reign of the yard)pretty consistently (between distractions) and had only one accident the first day. Then I read that I should train him to pee/poop on a leash but every since I put him in a harness and leash, he refuses to pee outside but has accidents in the house. He does fine on his short walk on a leash but he no longer pees/poops on cue in the backyard. I know I’m confusing him but I’m not sure what do.

Another concern. My pup doesn’t usually pee/poop after eating. He sleeps for several hours and the pees/poops when he wakes up. I don’t won’t to crate him after eating knowing that he not ready to pee/poop for at least an hour, at which time he’s sleep. I’m confused as to what to do. Eat, play, pee, crate, sleep? Eat, crate, sleep, pee, play?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
91 Dog owners recommended

Hello! He sure is cute! So one thing to keep in mind, is as puppies are maturing, they go through stages of learning and then regressing. What you're describing is normal. Frustrating, but normal. Since you know his schedule, I wouldn't change it up, but it would be wise to put him in the kennel regardless right now until he stops having accidents. And give him lots of praise and some treats for going potty outside, as well as walking nicely on leash.

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Question
Mickey
AnimalBreed object
3 Years
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Question
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Mickey
AnimalBreed object
3 Years

Mickey is a new rescue who has had a fenced yard to pee and poop his entire life. We need to train him to pee and poop while on leash. He has refused to pee or poop outside and instead has accidents in the house. Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
672 Dog owners recommended

Hello Angie,, If Mickey used to pee outside in the fenced in area just fine but is struggling to pee outside now when you take him on the leash, then the issue might be him not wanting to pee in front of you or a lack of him trying to "hold it" until he gets outside. To teach him to pee in front of you, purchase a fifty foot leash, take him outside to use the bathroom on that leash, and let him roam further away from you to sniff the ground to find a spot to go. Tell him to go potty when you first bring him outside, and then stand still or walk around slowly and pretend to ignore him while he wanders away. After he goes potty, then toss him a treat that is large enough for him to find in the grass. As he becomes more comfortable peeing while you are outside with him with time and the rewards, then you can gradually decrease the length of the leash one foot at a time, until he is within six feet of you, at which point you can substitute the long leash that is coiled up for a regular six foot leash. Avoid the use of a retractable leash for this though because the tension on his collar from that type of leash could discourage him from peeing. When he is inside your house, then tether him to yourself with a six or eight foot leash so that he cannot sneak off to pee. Be sure to take him outside frequently and if you cannot tether him to yourself, then confine him in a crate. Do all of this until he is reliably peeing just outside. Tethering him to yourself and using a crate will also help if the problem is a lack of him trying to hold his pee until he gets outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Zephyr
AnimalBreed object
11 Years
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Question
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Zephyr
AnimalBreed object
11 Years

So we got zephyr at 4 years old and we had to teach her how to sit because she was a show dog. Right now I’m struggling to get her to go to the bathroom on a leash. (She used to have a fenced yard) She sees our other dog do his business on the leash no problem but she just sits at the back door until I let her back in. She’s been having accidents in my new place because there’s no fence here so I can’t let her just roam around town. How does one untrain a show dog that was taught to never go while on a leash ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
672 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jessica, I suggest purchasing a very light weight (but strong) 30'-50' leash. If you can't find one light enough, look into using climbing accessory rope with a cord sheeth, that's been rated to hold a lot of weight so you know it's strong. Attach a strong metal clip from the hardwear store, and pad the handle you create with the thin rope so that it's easier to hold. Take her potty outside on the long leash, tell her to Go Potty, and praise and toss treats over to her if she goes potty. When she doesn't go potty, bring her back inside and either attach her to yourself with a hands-free leash (any 6-8 foot leash can be made hands free with a carabiner attached) or crate her, for one hour then try taking her outside again. Don't give her any freedom until her bladder is empty because she went potty outside. Repeat the potty trips outside every hour - staying outside and walking around slowly to encourage her to go for 15 minutes, then returning back inside if she doesn't go, tethering or crating for an hour, then taking her potty again, until she finally goes potty one of the times you take her - at which point you can give her normal reign of the home until her bladder is pretty full again and it's time for another potty trip. As she gets used to going potty on the long leash and is praised and rewarded for it (don't skip praise and rewards. That will help her know it's okay to go while on leash), then you can gradually begin coiling up the leash over the next 4 weeks, until she will eventually go potty with just 6 feet of leash uncoiled. At that point you can just use a normal 6 foot leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Rambo
AnimalBreed object
1 Year
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Rambo
AnimalBreed object
1 Year

Rambo is a rescue pup I adopted about 2 weeks ago. The first couple of days, we kept him on leash and he would only pee. So we tried taking him off leash to see if that would help - sure enough, he pooped! However, as he's been with me longer and gotten more confident (which is good), he's taken a liking to running off into neighbors' yards if I take him off leash, so back to the leash we go. Now, he won't poop OR pee on leash. Any tips?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
85 Dog owners recommended

Hello, take a look at this potty training guide and see which method may work for Rambo. The Timing Method may do the trick: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Dogs typically need to eliminate when waking up in the morning, about 10-20 minutes after eating, after naptime, and playtime. Schedule lengthy walks after these events and I suspect that you will have luck with Rambo. It may not work just in the yard, the movement and distraction of going on the walk might be the answer. If you have an instance when a walk isn't possible, try spraying a potty "encouraging spray" on a spot in the yard and take him there when you go out. You will still have to walk around though, as many dogs like to circle and sniff before they go. With some dogs, it is a privacy thing, too. If you are standing and waiting for him to pee or poop, Rambo may hold it in. Walking along is a different story. Good luck!

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Question
Lucy
AnimalBreed object
1 Year
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Lucy
AnimalBreed object
1 Year

She does not walk on a leash, she only pulls. and she refuses to potty on leash.

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