Puppy refusing to go potty? Dog trainer reveals just one change that can make all the difference

Close up of playful puppy outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Does your puppy procrastinate every time you let them outside to go to the toilet? If they do, you’re not alone. While spending time selecting the best puppy toys and food for our new addition can be super exciting, many of us aren’t prepared for the challenges that await us as we enter pet parenthood. 

Learning how to potty train a puppy is certainly right up there, but even after we’ve mastered that, getting our pup to do their business immediately upon being let outside can prove to be yet another hurdle. 

Thankfully, expert dog trainer Antonio Diaz (opens in new tab), founder of K9 training school Leader of the Pack, has the answer in a short clip he shared on TikTok which you can view below. 

@leaderofthepacklv (opens in new tab)

♬ original sound - Leader Of The Pack LV (opens in new tab)

“So this is what most people do. They bring the dog outside, the dog is off leash and free to roam, sniff around, and is exploring and being a puppy. They go to the bathroom and immediately they get brought back inside,” Diaz explains.

From the dog's perspective, Diaz says, this can feel very disappointing. “The dog’s like well I was just having a good time and now I pee and I get brought back inside.”

Because of this, Diaz says that it’s not uncommon for a dog to start to procrastinate when they’re taken outside to go to the toilet. “They understand that the sooner they pee, the sooner they go inside and the sooner the party ends.”

The good news is, there’s a simple solution. “Have them on a leash,” suggests Diaz. “Now we’re in Boringville. Ask them to go potty. Stand there and do nothing.” Once they go, Diaz says it’s important to reward your dog with lots of praise and to begin to play with them. “Now I’ve taught the dog that the sooner they pee, the sooner they’ll get to play.”

Netizens have been quick to share their thoughts on the video, with one writing “That’s how I’ve trained my puppy. You taught me that rewards need to be fun,” while another said “I’m potty training my pups now and I love this advice! Thank you.”

Training a puppy takes time, patience, and consistency. If you find that you’ve been using the tip shared by Diaz for several weeks and not seeing any progress, we recommend you seek the help of a professional dog trainer who will be able to work with you and your dog 1:1. 

Enjoyed this piece and looking for more great canine content? Then be sure to check out our guide to the best puppy food for nutritious and delicious dishes that will give your fur friend all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to grow up big and strong.

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.