How to Make a Dog on a Leash Go Potty

The dreaded stare and do nothing is something many dog owners deal with.

The dreaded stare and do nothing is something many dog owners deal with.

Your pup's leash somehow makes his bladder freeze up, which is something your carpet probably wishes it could do during potty training. Getting your little guy to get over his fear of the leash and relieve himself has a lot to do with treats and a little with persuasion.

Teach your pup to think of his leash as something that's part of him, like his tail. Some dogs, especially puppies, hate leashes, because they're not used to them, so they immediately panic and think the worst. Introduce the leash slowly. When he sniffs it, give him a treat. When he leans in closer to check it out, give him another treat. After he doesn't give it a second thought, go ahead and attach it to his collar, then give him a treat again. Let him run through the house with it -- but keep a close eye on him. Once he doesn't mind it, he'll have a lot easier time urinating with it on.

Give him room to do his business. If the leash is too short, your pup might not be comfortable peeing. Some canines need a bit of room before they'll squat or lift their leg and relieve themselves. If you're in a public area, use a 4- or 6-foot leash, or a retractable one that's locked at that distance, but don't wind it around your hand. Hold it out from your body and give him some slack.

Shuffle his furry butt outdoors at the right time. Taking your pup outside an hour after he pees probably won't net you any results. But soon after he eats, when he wakes up and right before he goes to bed are prime times for dogs to relieve themselves. When his bladder is full, he's not going to give two hoots about something being attached to his collar.

Give your pup treats and tons of praise when he does pee with his leash on. As soon as he relieves himself, go crazy. Clap, slap your knees and tell him he's a good boy, and don't forget about the all-important treat! Anytime he's rewarded for doing something, he's going to be way more interested in doing it again. This is why taking him out at the right times is important.

Introduce a verbal cue. Sometimes dogs take their good old time when going potty, leaving you holding a leash for what seems like forever. Getting your pup to go on cue can be way less of a hassle. As soon as he squats or lifts his leg, say a unique cue, such as "pee." When he starts relieving himself, praise him. After he's done, give him a treat. Keep doing this and he'll learn that your command means he better start peeing so he can get those rewards.

Go to the same spot, or check out a different spot. Many dogs enjoy peeing in the same area each time. Others refuse to let loose until they find that perfect patch of grass. Go to the same spot at first, but if he just won't go, walk somewhere else and see if that better suits his tastes.

Tip

  • After your pup eats, when he gets up and before he goes to bed are good times to take him out, but they are not the only times. Each dog has different needs. Puppies and senior dogs need to go out more often, for example.

Warning

  • Don't ever jerk the leash, yell at your pup to go pee, or become frustrated. You'll only make him less willing to go.
 

About the Author

Located in Pittsburgh, Chris Miksen has been writing instructional articles on a wide range of topics for online publications since 2007. He currently owns and operates a vending business. Miksen has written a variety of technical and business articles throughout his writing career. He studied journalism at the Community College of Allegheny County.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images