Why Your Dog Doesn’t Tell When He Has To Pee? – (Teach Him To Do So)

Are you concerned that your dog doesn’t tell when he has to pee?

Imagine! You are sleeping and your dog steps in.

“ahm ahm, Dad! Are you awake?”

“Yes! What is it?”

“I just wanted to ask if you could open the door for me, I need to pee.”

“Okay! Gimme a minute please”

“Ahm! Actually, it’s a little urgent. So please”

Wow! That would be so nice if it was real. 

Wake up, Man! It’s just a dream. 

You are a dog owner and no matter how much you train him, he can’t speak your language.

He can’t tell you in English that he needs to go, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t use his own language to tell you.

You can even train him to tell you as per your own chosen method. 

Why doesn’t my dog let me know when he has to pee?

There can be plenty of reasons; why your dog doesn’t let you know that he has to pee.

  1. Incomplete potty training
  2. You have allowed him to pee in the house
  3. He smells urine there
  4. He just can’t hold it
  5. You are missing his cues
  6. He thought you wouldn’t respond
  7. He is not peeing, he is marking
  8. Potty training regression

1- If he is not yet potty-trained:

If your dog is not yet potty-trained and you are already expecting him to tell you when he needs to go.

This is not possible. 

How do you know that your dog is now fully potty trained?

  • He is more than 7-9 months old?
  • No accidents for the last 3-4 weeks?

Related article: How to know that a dog is now fully potty trained?

The problem is when he was potty trained and now he is not telling you that he needs to go. 

Either way, you must check out our guide to potty train a puppy and follow it step by step.

2- He has been allowed to pee and poop in the house:

If you have not been consistent enough with the eating and drinking schedule and regular potty breaks right on time, you have unintentionally allowed him to pee and poop in the house.

In this case, your dog wouldn’t bother to tell you and will go in the house. 

Using puppy pee pads can also cause this problem if you were not careful while training him.

3- He smells urine somewhere in the house:

He had a potty accident in the house, or he marked somewhere. That has gone unnoticed. 

A negligible amount of smell of urine may cause your puppy to go on that spot again to pee. Dogs have natural instincts to pee where they smell pee.

And obviously, when he has decided to pee in the house, why would he tell you? 

4- He just can’t hold it:

It can happen due to any illness like UTI or diabetes. The bladder becomes so weak that the dog doesn’t even intend to pee but it happens. 

Another reason for a weakened bladder is age. A very young dog or very old dog is more likely to have a weak bladder. 

5- He’s telling you; You are not getting it:

Maybe your dog has been trying to tell you but you aren’t getting it?

Are you mixing up the signals he is giving?

Maybe he was asking you to go to pee and you thought he just wanted to play outside or go for a walk. 

6- He thought that you wouldn’t respond:

If you are not responding to his signals right on time, he may assume that you won’t respond to his request to go outside to pee. 

This can also happen when he finds you sleeping and thinks that you won’t take him out. 

Related article: My dog peed on me while I was sleeping, what do I do now?

7- Urine marking:

If your dog is not actually peeing in the house, but he is urine marking. He won’t let you know.

If you find your dog peeing on new objects, or you find urine in small amounts on vertical surfaces and your dog lifts his leg to pee. It can be urine marking too. 

8- Potty training regression:

It is very common that puppies and dogs may forget their training. It’s a normal part of a dog’s brain growth. 

This is why we always advise you to follow up with your potty training. 

Here’s everything you need to know about puppy’s potty training regression.

How to find out what is the reason that your dog is not letting you know that he needs to pee:

See when and where he is urinating in the house.

  • If he is peeing on new objects, it can be urine marking
  • Peeing in only one area in the house? There might be a urine smell.
  • See if you have used the right method to potty train a puppy.
  • Note Down his cues to check if he is telling you that he needs to go.
  • Visit his vet to rule out any medical condition. 

How to train a dog to let you know that he needs to pee:

There are 3 steps to teach your dog to tell you that he needs to go:

  1. Understand him: First, understand what he does before going potty. Know what cues he shows before doing the deed.

    The most common cues are; sniffing the ground, circling, scratching, barking, etc. Some dogs stare at one place before going.
  2. Guide him: Whenever he shows the cues, get up immediately and take him out to the potty spot at the right time.

    You must have a fixed eating and drinking schedule for your dog, then he will have a fixed peeing and pooping schedule.

    Do not let him pee and poop inside the house. It’s your responsibility; take him out.

    You have to keep up with the training until your dog is fully potty trained.
  3. Make him understand you: After that, choose one cue that you should teach to your dog to tell you that he needs to go.

    Some people train their dogs to bark or pick up the leash but we recommend that train your dog to ring the bell when he needs to go.

    Barking may become annoying. If he is picking up the leash, you might miss it because of being occupied with something else.

    Bell is very easy to manage, it’s not annoying, you can adjust the volume and it is easier for the dog to manage the things.

    You can only start potty bell training once your dog is potty trained.

    Every time you are taking him out to pee, ring the bell.

    After some time, encourage the dog to ring the bell by giving him treats.

    He will eventually learn that this bell sound is the sign he can use to tell you that he needs to pee.

    Here’s a complete guide to walk you through step by step; how to teach a dog to ring a bell to go potty. (5 minutes read)

Tips to stop your dog to pee in the house without telling you:

1- keep the house clean from urine:

Check the house with a UV flashlight and find out if there are any urine stains.

Especially if the dog is urinating in a specific area in the house, there must be something wrong with that area.

After checking and finding out the urine stain, clean it up with a suitable enzyme cleaner.

2- Keep a door open when no one is there to help him

If you have trained your dog to go out to pee, then it is best to keep the door opened which can lead him to the potty spot when no one is there to take him out. 

This tip will only work if your dog is potty trained. 

3- Don’t use puppy pads or do the right strategy

This is one of the reasons why many trainers beg you to avoid puppy pee pads. So if you are using them, it’s better to stop using them. 

But if the use of these pee pads is inevitable, then use the right strategy, avoid all mistakes and follow all good tips to save yourself from such problems.

Browse through our articles about puppy pee pad training here. 

4- Limit access:

Your dog is peeing and pooping in the house without bothering to tell you; a very important thing you should do is to limit his access to the house.

Confine him in one area with a tiled floor (that is easier to clean up) and only let him in when he is properly potty trained.

Every potty accident in the house is a step back from successful potty training. 

5- Changing crate:

If your dog is peeing in or around his crate, you should clean up the crate with a good enzyme cleaner or ideally, change his crate altogether. 

Get one that is completely different in look.

Because he is already messing up with his potty training, you won’t want him to mess up with his crate training. Right?


Your dog doesn’t tell you that he needs to pee. Maybe because he is not yet fully potty trained, or he is trying to tell you but you didn’t understand. It is also possible that he is urine marking, not peeing in the house. It can be potty training regression too. 

First, understand why he is doing this and then guide him on what he is supposed to do. Choose a specific cue for him and train him to use that cue only. Ideally, ringing a bell is a great option.

taking puppy outside to pee
urine marking and house soiling

Leave a Comment