How to Deal with Puppy Accidents that Happen in Front of You

Posted on Apr 6 2016 - 3:00pm by Susan Bewley

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for a brand new pet site – Why Does My Dog.  I received product and/or monetary payment for this promotion. All opinions in this article, however, are honest and my own.

Potty accidents

While puppies are full of cuteness, there are some things that dog owners just don’t look forward to when a new puppy enters the home. One of the tasks that most owners dread is potty training. One of the worst is when Fido decides to use the bathroom right in front of you, with you standing there watching!

Why would he do that? Aly DelaCoeur, Founder of has some answers for you. Make+ sure to watch for signs that show your puppy starting to potty. He will be circling and sniffing around. Simply say “Ah-ah” and have him go outside.

If he starts to pee, say “Ah-ah” to interrupt him. Pick him up and take him outside. There will be a trail of poop or pee and it will get on you, but this is the best way to teach them that it’s not okay to potty inside.  Give a lot of praise when he finishes outside.

Remember, if you did not see the accident happen, you CANNOT do anything about it except clean it up.

The key takeaways:

  1. If you see your puppy or dog starting to pee or poo right in front of you simply interrupt him with an “Ah ah” or “Oh No” or “Not here” firmly.
  2. If your dog or puppy has not started yet, just walk them outside. If they are mid-stream, pick your puppy or dog up and get them outside as soon as you can. Do not get upset or angry at your dog or puppy as they won’t understand.

To learn more about potty training, make sure to also check out Aly’s video on the basic of potty training!

Aly DelaCoeur combines her love of dogs, years of experience, and the most up-to-date animal behavior science in Her goal is to help you and your dog have a fuller, happier, and more rewarding relationship. Our unique platform optimizes content for consumption and sharing. Content is presented in mobile-optimized, short, to-the-point pieces designed to give just the information the user is looking for whenever they need it. All content is Creative Commons licensed to encourage sharing and reuse.

Disclosure: Budget Earth received monetary compensation for this post. All opinions are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

38 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Christina G. April 6, 2016 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    This is good advice. You should never punish a dog for doing anything. They won’t understand why they are being punished. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sarah L April 7, 2016 at 2:56 am - Reply

    This would have been good to know many, many years ago when I got a puppy.

  3. Rachel Dean April 7, 2016 at 7:13 am - Reply

    My dog pooped right in front of me the other day (in the house)!

  4. michele soyer April 7, 2016 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Thank you this is very helpful to me right now. After losing our dog of 14 years we are getting a new puppy in the near future and need to be updated on puppy issues…..

  5. clojo9372 April 8, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

    The hardest part of having a puppy is house training. In my experience some puppies learn it very quickly and some struggle with it. You have to be patient with the puppy and just be aware that the mistakes are part of the learning process. Have those cleaning products ready! But always remember that they will get the hang of it eventually! 🙂

  6. Sandra Watts April 8, 2016 at 11:09 am - Reply

    My dog was always good about this until he got so old he could not help himself. Then I just felt bad for him. Patience, lots of patience.

  7. Natalie April 8, 2016 at 11:29 am - Reply

    I think that it can be hard to catch your dog in the act. If you punish them later they do not know what they are being punished for.

  8. Irene Lirette April 8, 2016 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Sometimes an Ah-Ah works, sometimes it don’t! lol My dog rathers poop in the house then outside no matter what I try!!

  9. Sue M. April 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    This is really helpful advice; a friend of mine is thinking about adopting a puppy from a shelter, so I will pass this on to her. Thanks a lot for posting!

  10. Amber Terry April 8, 2016 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    Training a puppy can be difficult so it’s good to know any tips that can help!!

  11. Barrie April 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    We crate trained all our dogs and NEVER had a dog pee in the house. Best way to train a dog, IMO.

  12. Shiloh K (mckinneymommas) April 8, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    THanks for the great reminders on not getting upset at the dog, since they simply won’t understand. Kinda just like potty training a kid, right 🙂 haha!

  13. RT April 8, 2016 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    I too used the ah-ah-ah command. I used bells on the door that I thought them to use and made a BIG deal when they went outside. Potty training is the hardest part and crating is the best way, and later they will think of it as their den/safe place.

  14. belinda bell April 8, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    thanks for the advice.

  15. ANN*H April 8, 2016 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Great tips . If you dont see the dog do it by the time you do he may not remember what he did by then. Another tip is take the pup out often and say go potty . When the dog does then praise him.Repeat this enough and he will know what to do

  16. Amy Green April 8, 2016 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    I like this new movement of kindness and patience involved with with pet training, rather than the more old-fashioned aggressive form of teaching your pet how to adapt to your home.

  17. janet aycock April 8, 2016 at 9:22 pm - Reply

    this is a great tip

  18. Arik Issan April 8, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I always take my pup out before she needs to go. The only exception is the rare middle of the night when she hops around somewhat excited, and so I calmly ask her if she really needs to go and then get dressed a bit quickly. She knows the routine and so no problem.

  19. Dotty J Boucher April 8, 2016 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    I love how easy you make this, because I have tried to express this to other people I have seen and often they get mad or start to scream and it just scared me for that puppy who is just trying to learn,,
    Great Post

  20. Laura April 9, 2016 at 2:48 am - Reply

    Oh, the fun of puppies. Makes me glad that my pups are both middle aged. 🙂

  21. Katherine Jaroszewicz April 9, 2016 at 9:20 am - Reply

    Good advice and this is how I trained all my dogs. I don’t believe in the old fashion rubbing nose in it and hitting them. I think that’s punishing them for a bodily function.

  22. Michelle Elizondo April 9, 2016 at 9:39 am - Reply

    So interesting, I love dogs.

  23. wendy browne April 9, 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Housebreaking is easy IF you are patient and watch your dog and plan ahead. You have to take them out immediately after eating/drinking/playing and every 15 – 30 minutes in the beginning. If that’s too much work, don’t get a dog.

  24. suzanne April 9, 2016 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Puppies are a lot of work, but they are so worth it. Thanks for the good tips.

  25. Terri Irvin April 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    Kindness, lots of patience and love will help any dog potty train. I have three dogs and they never go in the house. They get lots of praise if they poop in a certain area of our yard so they actually run over there to go!

  26. Marthalynn April 9, 2016 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    Love this! Along with positive reinforcement, what a great way to train a dog. I agree, it is so important to be kind, gentle, and patient with our animals. It’s a much better way to teach and to bond with them!

  27. KATE SARSFIELD April 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm - Reply

    Thank heavens the ‘rub their nose in it’ form of punishment has had it’s day. That only leads to anxious dogs who will be more inclined to have ‘accidents’.

  28. Jeanna Massman April 9, 2016 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the tip on puppy training. Your ideas make sense!

  29. Kim Thorne April 10, 2016 at 12:33 am - Reply

    Wow that’s useful info thanks. My Chihuahua has mistakes too like that.

  30. Beth Klocinski April 10, 2016 at 6:49 am - Reply

    I have fostered many rescue dogs. The key is to interrupt and take puppy/dog immediately outside.

  31. Leslie Crosbie April 10, 2016 at 7:12 am - Reply

    I was really lucky because my Sharpei trained our whole family!
    Even as a puppy he would go to one of us bark and run back and forth to the door!!! Smartest dog EVER!!

  32. Shailesh Manganakar April 10, 2016 at 8:46 am - Reply

    Very useful information.

  33. Shailesh Manganakar April 10, 2016 at 8:56 am - Reply

    I love dogs but my parents don’t allow me to have one for this very reason. They think dogs cannot be trained for potty and will make the house dirty and plus ours is a small house. But I will have one when I grow old and follow this. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Veronica Morin April 10, 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Great tips. It’s no fun to come home too, so it’s best to get them trained as puppies.

  35. sheila ressel April 10, 2016 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    Great tips. Positive reinforcement works so much better than punishment.

  36. gloria patterson April 10, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I guess I have been lucky over the years no major problems while training. But these are very helpful and I have forwarded the link to my niece who just got a new puppy.

  37. Susan Smith April 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm - Reply

    If my dog looks like he is going to go to the bathroom in front of me then I yell No! and he stops.

  38. ellen beck April 28, 2016 at 12:58 am - Reply

    I always whistled. It has been what has worked for me and gets attention quickly. Luckily, all the dogs I have had have trained quickly. I put them out frequently, and watch for what they do- circling, barking or going to the door. They all seem to have diferent cues especilly when little.

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