What to Do if You Catch Your Puppy Peeing in the House?

Adrienne Farricelli

What to do if you catch your puppy peeing in the house is something that many puppy owners may be wondering about.

What should you do if you catch your puppy peeing in the house? Now, this is a good question considering that there may be right and wrong ways to approach this. What you definitely want to avoid doing is frightening your puppy. If you frighten your puppy when he is peeing in the home, you risk causing not only emotional repercussions, but also regression in the potty training process. Let's a closer look at what you want to do and avoid doing when you catch your puppy peeing in the house.

Avoid Frightening Your Puppy!

Many puppy owners feel compelled to correct their puppies when they catch them in the act of peeing in the house. After all, how can the puppy learn to not pee in the house if he's not corrected? Well, not too fast. Correcting your puppy harshly for peeing in the house will only end up backfiring. Let take a closer look as to why.

When you catch your puppy peeing in the house and do something that frightens him such as yelling at him, swatting his butt with a newspaper or rubbing your puppy's nose in his mess, you risk teaching your puppy to fear you. Not only that. Rep after rep, your puppy learns that going potty in your presence is scary, so he will start suppressing his pre-potty signs and your puppy will learn to hide to pee and poop.

This means that your puppy will sneak away and start peeing and pooping behind the couch, under the table or bed or in a corner so that he is out of sight. This causes complications because you miss seeing early potty signs so that you can take your puppy out, and on top of that, you miss cleaning up urine properly (all pee accidents should be cleaned up with an enzyme-based cleaner so to prevent residual odors from encouraging the puppy to potty there again). Not to mention that, the more your puppy uses other areas for going potty, the more using these areas will become an ingrained habit considering that emptying the bladder in dogs is self-reinforcing.

What to Do if You Catch Your Puppy Peeing in the House?

So what should you do if you catch your puppy peeing in the house? You need to find a way to stop him in his tracks, but without causing him any emotional trauma to avoid the previously mentioned repercussions.

Veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kelly C. Ballantyne suggests attempting to interrupt by clapping or whistling, and then immediately bringing the dog to the desired location. This way, the puppy can stop the urine flow if caught early and resume once outside so that the puppy can be praised and rewarded.