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.
Recommend training method?

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

Effective
0 Votes
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

Question
Mickey
Golden Retriever
3 Years
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Mickey
Golden Retriever
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
420 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
Roxie
German Shepard Mix
5 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Roxie
German Shepard Mix
5 Years

My dog usually runs free around the neighborhood , but she’s recently gotten sick so we’ve been walking her on a leash , the only problem is that she doesn’t want to use the bathroom on a leash. My question is how do we get her to use the bathroom on a leash ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
420 Dog owners recommended

Hello Aimee, I suggest purchasing a fifty foot regular training leash (not retractable) and taking her to an open area while on leash. Bring treats large enough for her to see them if you drop them into the grass. When you get to the area with her, keep the leash loose, tell her to "Go Potty" and let her wander around and sniff while on leash. If she goes potty, praise her and toss the treats over to her. Give her 4-5 treats. When she starts to go potty quickly in response to your "Go Potty" command, then you can gradually make the leash shorter over time until you eventually are able to walk her on a normal six-foot leash. When you take her outside, give her fifteen minutes to sniff around and go potty. If she does not go, take her back inside and put her in a crate or other confined area where she will be encouraged to hold her bladder until the next trip outside. After an hour (or sooner if she acts like she needs to go potty), take her back outside and repeat the process again. Repeat the trips outside until she goes potty. With practice she should learn what "Go Potty" means, be motivated to go quickly to earn her treats, and start to understand that she only has fifteen minutes to go potty so needs to hurry. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Beau
Labrador Retriever
10 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Beau
Labrador Retriever
10 Months

Hi - While we just picked Beau up from the foster two days ago, we've realized that he does not like to pee or poop while on the leash. This is a problem because we live on the 6th floor of an apartment building with lots of other dogs and people. Sometimes it feels like Beau gets distracted by the smells and the people and forgets that he has to pee!

We've been bringing him to a specific area over and over again when we go on walks and we've listen to his cues about when he wants to go but without fail we will walk around for an hour, come home and he will go outside on our very small patio and pee/poop. He is very smart and loves to be outside but refuses to pee or poop when we take our walks. Are we doing something wrong? Is there a way to prompt him to go when outside?

We have yet to have him pee or poop outside (not on our patio) so we haven't had opportunity to give him a high-valued treat.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
420 Dog owners recommended

Hello Allison, Some dogs only learn to use the bathroom in one location (like their backyard) and they simply do not associate other places with going to the bathroom. Distractions are also probably a problem. I suggest crate training him. Get him used to being in a crate by following one of the methods from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Once he is used to being in a crate, when you are home or will not be gone for longer than three or four hours at a time for a couple of days. Take him potty out front in the morning, spray a "potty encouraging" spray like "Go Here" or "Hurry Spray" or "Puppy Training" spray, and tell him to "Go Potty" in an encouraging tone of voice. If he does not go potty there, take him inside and put him in the crate. Wait an hour, then take him back outside to try again. Repeat the trips outside and then back in the crate until he goes potty outside. When he goes potty outside, praise him enthusiastically and give him five small treats, one at a time to make them last. Give him three to four hours of freedom (if his bladder control is good enough for that long now), then take him outside to go potty again. Spray the encouraging spray where you want him to go and tell him to "Go Potty". If he goes, praise, reward and give freedom. If he doesn't go, then back inside and into the crate, and try again in an hour, every hour until he goes potty. The crate will encourage him to hold his pee and poop while inside, so that he really has to go whenever you take him, without having an accident inside in the meantime. After he successfully the bathroom outside and is rewarded for it several times with treats, and learn what "Go Potty" means, he should get better about going potty. Before you take him on a full walk, insist that he goes potty first and if not, take him inside and put him in the crate, then try again in an hour. If he goes potty, you can also take him on a walk after if you wish. You want him to get into the habit of peeing BEFORE a walk so that he does not hold his bladder during the whole walk to keep the walk continuing. That is a fairly common issue pet parents have. Once he is reliably going potty outside in the front on leash, you can decide whether to continue using a crate if he needs it for other reasons still - like destructive chewing. Here is an article written for younger puppies. You will find some helpful details under the "Crate Training" method. The times there are shorter than what your dog will need because your guy is older though. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Stella
Mutt
2 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Stella
Mutt
2 Years

We just got our dog from a rescue and she won’t go potty while on a leash, which is the only real option for us apartment dwellers. Even when she has been in her crate, which she does very well with, she doesn’t go outside on a leash, she will come in and pee off leash. We so rarely have to opportunity (once) to give the positive attention when she does go on the leash we are just at a loss. We know she is house broken but clearly the leash is a new issue.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
420 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kirsten, I suggest looking for a very light weight (but strong) long leash (like 20'), so that you can let it drag along the ground behind her. How light weight it can be will partially depend on her strength but look for a climbing accessory rope that is very light weight but rated to hold more than her weight or pull force, or look for a polyethelene type leash like the one linked below: https://www.amazon.com/Coastal-Pet-R3825-YEL25-25-Feet/dp/B0036O2LIQ/ref=asc_df_B0036O2LIQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=218413592118&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7331165686461348664&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010791&hvtargid=aud-643330155750:pla-355731055428&psc=1 Or something like this for a smaller dog: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D3XGRLJ/ref=psdc_2975433011_t3_B071WVWZFD Essentially anything strong but lightweight and at least 10-15 feet long. When she does go potty while on the long leash you can praise her and toss larger treats over to her. As she gets used to going potty on the leash, then gradually reel in part of the leash so that there is not as much leash between you and her; do this until after a few weeks your leash is reeled in so much that there is only 6 feet of leash between you and her - at which point you can switch to a normal leash. Avoid retractable leashes with her before the pull back of the leash can bother a lot of dogs and make them feel resistant. When you take her potty on the long leash, try to take her to an area that is calmer, where she can roam around and sniff to find a spot. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Troy
Australian Shepherd
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Troy
Australian Shepherd
10 Weeks

My puppy seems to mostly understand peeing outside and only has a few issues, usually in the early morning, with peeing inside. However, he has yet to poop on the leash at all. I can only get him to go in backyards or large fenced in areas, which is a huge problem living in an apartment where he has to be leashed outside. What can I do to encourage pooping on a leash?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
420 Dog owners recommended

Hello Daniel, Check out the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, try using a 20' foot leash and walking to somewhere on the property that is more spacious for potty breaks to start with. As he improves, coil up more and more of the leash until he will poop on just a six foot leash, and gradually take him to less spacious areas when he will poop on the six foot leash. Potty training is new for him so the confinement of the leash combined with the distractions close to the apartment can make it difficult. Use a crate between potty trips when he hasn't gone yet or keep him attached to yourself with the leash inside to prevent accidents and help improve the timing of when he needs to go potty - so that he will hold it until outside. The more accidents you can prevent and thus successes pooping outside, the more opportunities you will have to reward him for pooping outside and the easier it will get. Lots of supervision and scheduling at first makes potty training easier and quicker in the long run even though it can seem exhausting for a few weeks. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Beau
Mastiff
17 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Beau
Mastiff
17 Weeks

Beau is very well behaved and full house trained,but we cant get him to wee or poop out on a walk or when we go out for the day,he will wait hours till he gets home to do his business in our back or front garden,the other day we took my son back home down summerset and as it was a lovely day we stopped down there for the day and tried everything to get him to do a wee,but he just would not do anything by the time we got home he waited nearly 8 hours as it takes us 2 and a half hours to get back to the midlands but soon as he jumoed out of the car there it was a very long wee in tge front garden and a poop on the back,please please give us some advice,we have tried loads of advice that ive read off the internet,its perative that we succeed as we have an old american RV that we go travelling in alot and need beau to do his business out and about rather just at home.... Help!!! Please.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
420 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lynnette, A couple of things could be going on here: First, he may think that its only acceptable to go potty in your yard since that is where he has learned to be potty trained and go - the solution to this is to crate train and when you take him potty only take him places outside of your yard - carry him to those places so he doesn't potty in your yard on the way, or run there so he doesn't stop to potty. Eventually if his only options for pottying are the crate and a new location he should potty in the new location - He should naturally want to hold it while in the crate, and don't put anything absorbent in the crate with him, and carry him back to the crate and try again in thirty minutes if he doesn't go potty in the new location. When he does potty there, be ready to give him four small treats and praise him each time to show him what he did was right...Leading up to doing this you can also teach "Go Potty" ahead of time by telling him to "Go Potty" when you take him out in your yard and giving a treat when he goes there, then start taking him potty other places and telling him to "Go Potty" in the new location also and give several treats when he goes so he will understand he is supposed to pee there. This route will require strict crate training for a few days until he get comfortable peeing in other spots - so that he is only out of the crate while his bladder is empty and only taken potty in new spots. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Second, he might be distracted in the new locations - if this is the case you need to spend more time simply hanging out in those types of locations until they become more boring to him. Keep him on a leash when you do this at first. Third, he could be nervous or afraid of things like people and other dogs, or signs that they are nearby like smells, barking, and people working. Teach Go Potty and use treats as rewards when he does finally go potty there, spend a lot of time around the things that he seems nervous about, dancing, acting silly, playing games, resting, and generally keeping a calm, happy, or pleasant attitude full of confidence from you. When he responds well to something or first notices something before he responds poorly - while he is still deciding what to think, praise in a confident tone of voice and give treats or do a silly dance to make that scary thing seem exciting or safe. As you tackle the fears and insecurity and he seems more relaxed, then practice the crate training I mentioned above to help him get used to pottying there too...pooping will be the hardest thing if he is nervous because pooping puts a dog in a vulnerable position so many dogs don't like to poop while feeling unsafe. Once he will go potty in your neighborhood, go lots of other places to practice in other locations and on other surfaces too, like: grass, pinestraw, woodchips, dirt, gravel, ect...to prepare for traveling. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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