If your puppy won't go potty outdoors, you might end up frustrated and constantly cleaning soiled areas indoors. Maybe you haven't properly taught him where to do his business, maybe he's developed a surface preference or maybe a medical issue is to blame. Regardless of the reason, it's up to you as the puppy parent to take charge and teach your furry friend right from wrong.
If your puppy is housebroken and suddenly has accidents inside instead of doing his business outside, take him to a veterinarian to rule out medical issues. Conditions, such as a urinary tract infection or gastrointestinal upset, can trigger his behavior. Recent changes in your pup's diet might also be to blame, because he might have to relieve himself more often. A veterinarian can examine your puppy, make a diagnosis and recommend treatment.
Improper training, or lack thereof, might cause your puppy not to do his business outside. A set schedule that includes taking him to a designated, outdoor potty every hour -- and after meals, naps, playtime and waking -- can promote the housebreaking process. Housebreaking also requires constant supervision. If you notice your pup pacing, sniffing or circling indoors, take him to the potty area, because this might indicate he has to go. If you catch your furry pal having an indoor accident, clap your hands to stop and startle him, and them take him outside to finish.
If you've trained your puppy to go potty on sheets of newspaper or a pee pad indoors, a surface preference might keep him from eliminating outside. To combat this, place a soiled pee pad or newspaper in the outdoor potty area. When potty time comes around, place him on the pad or newspaper and say "go potty." The smell of his waste helps him recognize the area as his potty and triggers the urge to relieve himself. Once he consistently goes potty outside, cut the pad or newspaper to make it smaller, and eventually get rid of it entirely.
Once your puppy eliminates in the designated area outside, lavish him with praise, give him treats or play games with him. Throw a little party so he associates doing his business outside with pleasant consequences and is motivated to repeat his good behavior. Avoid scolding or punishing him after finding an indoor accident, because he might start fearing you. Just clean it with an enzymatic cleanser and start watching your pup more closely.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.