Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Pee Does Not Work

Instead of cruelly rubbing your puppy’s nose in urine to house-train him, consider these alternative methods.

Avoid indoor accidents by being aware of your puppy’s water-drinking habits. By: philhearing
Avoid indoor accidents by being aware of your puppy’s water-drinking habits. By: philhearing

The thought of someone rubbing a dog’s nose in pee makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I can’t understand why someone would actually think this is an acceptable way to house-train a puppy.

It is definitely not acceptable, and the experts agree with me on this.

According to the American Humane Association, you should “never rub a dog’s nose in urine or feces, or punish a dog for an ‘accident.’ This will teach your dog to fear you, and he may hide when he has to ‘go.’”

“It’s way too late” when there is already pee on the floor,” agrees professional dog trainer Lisa Patrona, Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC. It “really constitutes abuse, since there is no way for your dog to understand why you’re acting the way you are toward him, much less what on Earth you’re so upset about.”

Now let’s take a look at some house-training methods that do work.

Tips on House-Training a Puppy

First, realize that house-training takes patience and consistency. Rewarding proper behavior will work much better than punishing a puppy for having an accident.

Some people don’t realize that the length of time that it takes to house-train strictly depends upon the dedication of you and your family. Canines can’t house-train themselves, so unless you’re steadfast in getting the pup outdoors when he has to pee, there will be accidents.

Listen for the Whine

A puppy’s first cry must be heard and acted on by his human family. The initial whine means that the puppy needs to go outside to pee or poop.

It is essential to his training that you immediately get him outside to do his business. When he urinates or defecates, give tons of praise. He will soon learn that handling his bowels or bladder outdoors is a fantastic thing.

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Don’t Withhold Water From a Thirsty Puppy

A pet’s brand-new family may not realize that a puppy needs to go outside to pee shortly after drinking water. Fluid moves quickly through a young puppy’s system, especially if he runs around your house afterward.

It’s never wise nor is it healthy to withhold water from growing puppy simply to decrease the amount of urine that he produces. Watch for the signs and listen for his yip if you hope to get him housebroken quickly.

Watch this video for more tips on how to house-train a puppy using a crate: 

Clean Up Accidents Quickly and Thoroughly

This is a big one that often goes ignored.

Dogs have a super-keen sense of smell. When they smell urine in a particular place — say, on your carpet — they will immediately go to that spot and cover it up with fresh pee. This can be avoided with a thorough cleaning.

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Urine accidents that happen on hard surfaces, such as ceramic tile, concrete floors or linoleum, are easy to handle: 

  • Absorb the urine with plenty of paper towels.
  • Mix up a bucket of bleach and hot water.
  • Scrub the soiled area with the mixture to eliminate any residual odor the puppy may pick up.

The better you are at cleaning these dirtied areas, the less likely your pooch is to have additional accidents.

Crate-Training Your Dog

One of the best tools that a pet’s family should invest in is an airline crate.

Dogs are generally clean animals and do not like to pee or poop where they sleep. Puppies that have been housebroken by using the crate training method are less likely to have accidents in the house, unless they have underlying health problems.

Consider crate training to keep your home free of the smell of urine.

Roseann Lahey

View posts by Roseann Lahey
Roseann Lahey has been researching and writing about pet care and behaviors for many years.

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