Signs That a Dog Has to Go to the Bathroom

Familiarize yourself with your dog's potty "clues."
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A world in which your dog could just say "I have to go to the bathroom" would be wonderfully convenient. However, that simply isn't reality. It's up to you to determine whether or not your cutie has to go. Thankfully, the canine signs of necessary potty breaks are usually obvious.


If your pooch is camped out right by the door, whether the one in front or the one for the backyard, you can be pretty sure of one thing -- he has to relieve himself, pronto. To get your attention, your frustrated pooch may bark persistently and noisily -- and even do some pawing on the door. Some especially patient dogs may simply wait next to the door -- no noises or pawing action at all.

Antsy Behavior

When a dog behaves in an uncharacteristically antsy and fidgety manner, he may just be ready to answer nature's urgent call. If your pet can't sit still and keeps moving in circles or pacing back and forth, it's time to put an end to his discomfort and let him outside immediately -- even if it deviates from his standard potty break schedule.


Sniffing also signifies that a doggie needs to eliminate. If your dog keeps sniffing on the carpet of your living room, for example, he's relaying a pretty clear message to you, at least in his sweet canine mind.


Whimpering also denotes a dog in need of a brief trip outdoors. If it has gotten to the point that your cutie is whimpering or crying, the poor thing is holding it in and cannot wait any longer.

Crouching Position

If your dog abruptly adopts a crouching type of stance, waste no time in getting his leash ready. His body is already in "bathroom mode," so act swiftly and head outside.


A straightforward, no-nonsense canine may simply walk straight up to you and intently gaze at you until you get the message. He may even cry a little to express his lack of comfort.


If your doggie gives you a clue that he has to go to the bathroom -- and waits to go until you get him outside -- make sure to show him your appreciation for his patience. Speak to him in a soothing tone and say, "good boy." Then give his back a couple of comforting strokes.

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