How to Train a Pug to Pee Outside

Medium
1-12 Weeks
General

Introduction

There is arguably no cuter dog than the pug. That adorably wrinkled face and huge brown eyes make him an adorable dog, and with a sunny character to go with that sweet expression, it's no surprise the breed is so popular. 

However, it should not be overlooked that he is still very much a living breathing animal, rather than a cuddly toy. As such it requires time and effort to train him to toilet in the right place (outdoors.) To assume that because he looks cute he has cute habits is setting yourself up to fail. Just as much work is required to housebreak a pug as a Rottweiler or Doberman. 

Right from the beginning, start as you mean to go on. Show the pug where the toilet spot is, stay with him, and praise him when he goes. This is balanced against keeping him supervised while indoors so that he doesn't get a chance to get into bad habits. 

Defining Tasks

Training a pug to pee outside is part of his basic potty training. The idea is to have him associate a particular place outdoors with relieving himself, so he chooses this area as his default toilet. When the dog understands this is what's required of him then he will start asking to go outside when he needs to go. 

Until he reaches this happy state you need to put plenty of effort into making 'the penny drop'. This includes giving him ample opportunity to go outside, but this must always be under supervision. It's an essential part of training that you are with him so that you can praise that magical moment when he urinates outside. 

If you merely put him outside to leave him to his own devices for half an hour, the pug isn't going to realize this is his chance to toilet and at best won't learn anything but at worst he'll play for 30 minutes and then return inside to pee... much to everyone's frustration. 

Getting Started

All dogs learn at their own rate and this is especially true of the pug. Be prepared for training to take as long as it takes. For some dogs, this will be a few days but for others, it can be weeks or even months--it all depends on how ingrained any bad habits are. 

The important thing is to apply the rules consistently and to keep going... you will get there in the end if you keep plugging away. 

To teach a pug to pee outside you need: 

  • A sheltered spot for him to use as a toilet 
  • A collar and leash
  • A crate 
  • Treats
  • A treat bag or pouch so as to keep the rewards handy
  • Time and patience
  • Cleaning supplies including an enzymatic cleaner, disposable cloths, and waterproof gloves. 

The Praise the Pee Method

Effective
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Step
1
Understand the idea
You pug needs to pee sooner or later. Make this work in your favor by rewarding him when he pees in the right spot, outside. Especially when there's a food reward involved (pugs are sooooo food motivated) he'll soon start saving up his pee in order to spend it for a treat. After all, it's 'money for nothing' when he has to relieve himself anyway, so he'll soon start to learn to hold on for the high stakes puddles that earn him a tasty tidbit.
Step
2
Choose a toilet spot
Choose the ideal spot where you want the pug to go potty. Look for somewhere that is close to the house, but relatively sheltered. (Remember, you'll both be spending time outdoors together during training, and neither of you want to get too wet or blown about). It's also good if the spot is near a landmark such as a recognizable bush or post, so the dog can find it easily.
Step
3
Take the dog out on a leash
When it's bathroom break time, take the dog out on a collar and leash. This is so that you have him under control and he doesn't go running after a squirrel and get distracted from the task in hand.
Step
4
Praise the pee
When the dog raises his leg or squats, say "Yes" in a happy voice. Then when he's finished give him a big fuss and a reward.
Step
5
Put peeing on command
The final step is to add a cue word such as "Get busy" or "Toilet". Say this while he's relieving himself and he'll start to understand what the action is that earned the treat. This will enable you to put peeing on command so that when you say "Get busy", he realizes you want him to pee and for this he gets a treat. What's not to like?
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The Do's and Don'ts Method

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Step
1
Do: Ignore the dog until he toilets
When outside, avoid the temptation to chat or play with the dog. Instead, leave him to sniff and realize his bladder needs relieving. The less distraction he has, the more successful you'll be at getting him to pee outside.
Step
2
Don't: Leave the dog to his own devices
Stay with the dog while outdoors, then you can be sure of being there to praise him when he pees. If you leave him outside by himself, he's more likely to get distracted and play, and then come indoors still with a full bladder.
Step
3
Don't: Punish the Pug if he pees indoors
Punishment doesn't work. If you shout at him for doing a puddle on the carpet, the dog associates the punishment with you rather than the act of toileting indoors. This will make him shy about relieving himself when you're about, which makes toilet training harder still.
Step
4
Do: Deodorize thoroughly
Pee has potent scent signals in it that will attract the dog back to the same spot to toilet. If he goes indoors, be sure to thoroughly wash, clean, and deodorize the spot so that it doesn't call him back to use it again.
Step
5
Do: Shout "No!"
If you catch the pug in the act of peeing indoors, it's OK to say a short sharp "No", so as to interupt the flow. Then pick the dog up and whisk him straight outside to the right spot. Wait for him to toilet, and then give him lots of praise.
Recommend training method?

The Time and Opportunity Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Understand the idea
Teaching a pug to pee outside also requires you to break the habit of toileting indoors. To do this you must supervise the dog at all times and spot telltale signs he needs to toilet, plus you must remove scent markers that might draw him back to the same scene of the crime.
Step
2
Plenty of opportunity
Decrease the chance of the pug peeing in the wrong place (indoors) by giving lots of opportunity for him to go in the right place (outdoors) A young pug puppy needs to be offered an outdoor toilet stop every 20-30 minutes when he's awake. Plus, take him out shortly after he eats and immediately he wakes. These all increase the chances of catching him with a full bladder and going outdoors.
Step
3
Strict supervision
Supervise the pug during training, at all times. If necessary, keep him on a leash in the house and attach the leash to your wrist. If you notice signs such as sidling up to furniture or sniffing, which could indicate he's seeking a toilet, take him outdoors immediately.
Step
4
Crate train
For the times you can't be there to watch him, then crate train the pug. This provides him with a safe space, which becomes his den. A dog's natural instinct is not to soil his den, and so he will cross his legs while inside the crate. When you return, pop him straight outside to relieve himself.
Step
5
Deodorize accidents
Many household cleaners contain bleach or ammonia, which have a similar scent signature to urine. These types of cleaners are best avoided as they can amplify urine-smells, rather than remove them. Instead, use an enzymatic cleaner or a solution of biological washing powder to get rid of 'spills'.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Lolita
Pug
8 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lolita
Pug
8 Months

I trained my dog to use pee pads and she was amazing with them, She learned almost instantly, but now that I'm trying to make her use the bathroom outside she just won't budge to do so. I don't have her crate trained. Instead I have her in a play pen. Not sure if I should probably crate train her. In need of some advice

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
112 Dog owners recommended

Hello Raquel, When she is in the Exercise Pen does she have accidents in there between potty outings? If she does, then you will need to exclusively crate train because the Exercise Pen is not a small enough confined space to trigger her instinct to hold her bladder in a confined space. If she does hold her bladder and bowels in the Exercise Pen, then you can use that instead or in addition to a crate, but make sure that you are taking her outside very frequently and not giving her any freedom in the house unless she has peed outside within the last two to three hours. After she has been free for two to three hours, then put her back into the crate or Exercise Pen until it is time to take her outside to go potty again. I recommend taking her to go potty every four hours when you are home, and no longer than eight while in a crate while you are gone off. While in an Exercise Pen, she will likely need to go out as soon as every four hours even when you are gone to avoid accidents in the pen though. If she is not having accidents in the Exercise Pen, then you can use both. Crate Train her and crate her when you have to be away for longer, so that she will hold it for longer than four hours. When you are home, put her in the Exercise Pen so that she has more space. Either way, make sure that you are giving her interesting chew toys to occupy herself with while she is confined, such as food stuffed medium sized Kongs. If you decide to use Crate Training, then check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Since she is older, take her to go potty every four hours instead of every one-to-two. If she does not go when you take her, then take her outside again in an hour. Put her in the crate between the trips and move her quickly between the two so that she does not pee on the floor in between. Take her outside on a leash. When she does go potty, then she can have two to three hours of freedom before being put back in the crate until the next trip outside, opposed to forty-five minutes for a younger puppy. This type of schedule ensures that she is never free when her bladder may be full, preventing accidents, ensuring that she pees outside when you take her, and giving you opportunities to reward her when she goes outside, to help motivate her to go there in the future. You may also need to purchase a potty encouraging spray to help her pee faster. The article below also covers how to use that. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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