How to Train Your Dog to Pee While on Leash

How to Train Your Dog to Pee While on Leash
Medium difficulty iconMedium
Time icon1-4 Weeks
General training category iconGeneral

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.

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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.

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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.

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The Puppy Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The Routine Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

5

Rewards

Give lots of praise and a lovely, tasty treat when he goes while on the leash.

The Crating Method

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By Catherine Lee-Smith

Published: 11/10/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Training Questions

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Training Questions and Answers

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Puma

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Boxer

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14 Months

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Good morning, I adopted my boxer when he was between 8-9 months. He is so good, house trained. He was not too comfortable walking on a leash when I got him, have been working on that and he has come a long way. He is not too comfortable walking on a leash in my neighborhood but has no problem in the woods or at the beach. He loves his fenced in backyard, car rides, toys and his zoomies. He hasn't peed on a leash yet. He will pee on a leash when I take him in the back yard , but not the front or while walking him. Any suggestions?

June 29, 2022

Puma's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Sherry, I would purchase a long training leash, like a 15 foot leash. Coil up the excess so that pup has a regular 6 foot leash worth of slack in it. If pup isn't staying with you during the walk, I would practice the Treat Lure or Turns method from the article I have linked below, using the turns method if pup is pulling and the treat luring is pup is more fearful. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel If the issue isn't how pup works on a leash but pup being uncomfortable during the walk, which sounds like is the case, then pup is probably not peeing because they are nervous and don't want to do something that would make them vulnerable. I would go to various spots in your neighborhood with pup on the long leash and simply hang out there for 30-60 minutes each time, often, giving pup slack in the leash to sniff around and relax (away from the road). If pup will take food or play with a toys while out, take them and stuff hollow chew toys with treats or kibble, practice tricks and easy commands and give treats, or play easy treat hiding games in areas that are free of any car spills or pesticide sprays. Once pup is less fearful in your neighborhood and enjoys being in your neighborhood, then I would bring potty encouraging spray and spray that on areas you want pup to pee on when pup goes out. You may have to make the walking route the only place you take pup potty to for a while, but I would spend time getting pup used to your neighborhood and using the potty encouraging spray first, so pup is less hesitant to go potty somewhere new. I would also use the long leash for this at first, giving pup enough slack they can wander several feet away from you to go, in case pup is shy going in front of others and needs to be able to find a spot to hide a little in the new location. Just be sure pup doesn't have so much slack they can wander into the road or bolt and pick up enough speed you loose the leash when they hit the end of it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

June 29, 2022

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Penny

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Chihuahua/Dachshund mix

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1 Year

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Penny is 1 year old and she refuses to go potty or poop on a leash. She has done it once (only after a 4 hour long car ride). She also will sometimes potty or poop right by her puppy pad. I take her outside constantly and she just won’t go unless it’s first thing in the morning. That’s the only time I’ve seen her go outside. Do we need to find a trainer or do you have any tips? Thank you so much for your time! -Haley

Oct. 20, 2021

Penny's Owner

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Caitlin Crittenden - Dog Trainer

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Hello Haley, To get her to go potty outside, you will probably need to use a crate to pup's only option is going potty outside and the crate - which most dogs naturally don't want to go potty in if you set it up correctly. . Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dog is older you can adjust the times and take her potty less frequently. I suggest taking her potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if she has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return her to the crate while her bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since her last potty trip. When you have to go off she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while she is getting used to it and longer once she is accustomed to the crate. Only have her wait that long when you are not home though, take her out about every 3 hours while home. You want her to get into the habit of holder her bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever she feels the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Oct. 20, 2021


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