Puppy Potty Training Regression – How to Manage It?

Puppy potty training regression

When a puppy starts to relieve itself where it’s not supposed to, it can be disheartening to the pet parent.

You cannot help but wonder why Bingo chose to disobey despite all the potty training you gave them.

What causes puppy potty training regression?


Puppy potty training regression is when a dog starts to relieve itself in forbidden areas like the living room carpet. This sudden behavior can be caused by underlying medical issues, separation anxiety, and inconsistent issues among other things. Fortunately, it is possible to correct this behavior.


Imagine potty training your puppy for months then one day find they left a stinking mess in your living room.

While it is tempting to scold your pup for being disobedient, that should never be the immediate action to take.

Even with months of training, puppy potty training regression can happen and we are going to see why.


Why does puppy potty training regression happen?

puppy training regression

The best time to potty train a dog is when they are puppies.

But what do you do if your puppy goes behind your back despite all the training you gave them?


Scolding them is not recommended simply because;

  • Puppies have a hard time controlling their bladder
  • Accidents are bound to happen despite all the training you give.


Fortunately, it is possible to make the regression problem stop.

Even with repeated potty training, puppy potty training regression can because of;

  • Medical problems
  • Inconsistent schedules
  • Separation anxiety
  • Environment changes


Medical Issues

If your pet is experiencing puppy potty training regression, the first thing you want to rule out any underlying disease.

Your dog may have accidents because of the following medical conditions;

  • Weak bladder sphincter
  • Kidney stones
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Prostate Issues
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Protruding intervertebral disc

Any of the above conditions could cause your dog to have potty regressions.

Spinal injuries, especially in German Shepherd puppies, can cause incontinence as well.


There are pet medications that can cause puppy potty training regression.

Take your puppy to the vet if they are having potty regressions.


A trained vet will conduct a proper diagnosis to rule out any underlying medical issue in your dog.


Inconsistent schedules

All dogs thrive on routine.

If a puppy does not have a consistent potty routine they are likely to have accidents around the home.


Establishing a routine for your puppy begins with feeding them at the right times.

Feed and give them water at the same time every day.

Puppies need a healthy meal to fuel their growth and development.


Also, a high-quality diet keeps its digestion regular and bowel movement healthy.

Understand your dog’s potty habits as well. Generally, puppies love to go right when they wake up or after eating their meal.

Use these times to direct your puppy outside or to the puppy pad.


Besides the normal potty breaks, get in the habit of letting your pup go frequently.

Puppies cannot hold themselves for long and will want to go each time they feel like.

Anticipate when your puppy wants to relieve themselves.


You will notice the puppy;

  • Pacing around restlessly
  • Circling the same spot and squatting
  • Sniffing at random surfaces and lifting one leg


VIDEO: 4 Signs Your Puppy Needs a Toilet Break


All these are signs your puppy wants to go.

Take them outside or direct them to a puppy pad immediately.


What this does is establishing a routine in the puppy’s brain.

One other thing is that dogs love to relieve themselves in the same spot.


Their pee or poo has a scent that always directs them to that spot.

If they get used to going on a puppy pad, they will always want to use the pad.


The same goes for a puppy trained to go outside.

What if you have to leave the puppy home alone?


Invest in a playpen large enough to hold the puppy and its pad.

The puppy should be able to move around the pen and relieve themselves when they feel like.

Also, keep a reasonable distance between the puppy and the potty pad. Dogs don’t like smelling their pee or poo.


It also helps to get someone to petsit your puppy while you are away.

They will keep your puppy’s routine going while you are away.


Separation Anxiety

An anxious puppy is a restless puppy.

If left on their own for long, they can develop destructive behavior.

One of these disasters is the puppy potty training regression.



Unlike a little boredom when your dog is left alone, separation anxiety can be the result of real stress in your pet




Some dogs are more vulnerable to separation anxiety than others.

This condition is more likely to happen to those dog breeds with a people-pleasing temperament.


Examples of such breeds include;


Puppies cannot be left alone for more than an hour.

If you cannot move around with them, it is best if you find a babysitter.


Change of environment

Part of a dog’s routine is establishing a familiar environment for themselves.

They are used to your home and have marked it as their territory.

Moving homes can cause a bit of anxiety to your puppy.


Because they are not used to the new place, they are likely to have regressions despite how well potty trained they are.

The same can happen to a puppy that just got adopted leaving the litter it was familiar with.


How can you end puppy potty training regression?

Whenever your puppy has a potty accident, do not scold home.

Positive reinforcement is the best way to redirect your puppy back to good behavior.


Praise and reward your puppy each time they relieve themselves in the right place.

It could be outside or on a puppy pad. Use the dog’s favorite treat as a reward.


Doing this consistently trains the puppy to always go in the appropriate places.

It won’t be long before your dog will be alerting when they want to go.


What if your puppy pees in its sleep? This too can be due to physical or emotional conditions.

This article should help you know what to do in such a situation.


VIDEO: The Secret to Potty Training your Puppy



Puppy potty training regression can happen to any dog.

Fortunately, with consistent training and an established routine, you can minimize the chances of your puppy having an accident around the home.


See Also

Frequently Asked Questions

Breeds like the Kai Ken, Shiba Inu, Maltese, and Standard Poodle are easy to train. Other intelligent small breeds that are trainable include Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, and Shar-pei.

It should take any dog about 6 months to successfully potty train. But some dog breeds are harder to train and may need more time and patience. Dog breeds that are hard to train include Dachshund, Jack Russell Terrier, Bichon Frise, Dalmatian, and Afghan Hounds.

Many things could cause puppy potty training regression. Some of them are medical issues, separation anxiety, and lack of consistency in potty training. Some dogs will fall into a regression when they are trying to adjust to a new home.

It can take up to 6 months to successfully potty train a puppy. But you can reduce this to 4 times or less if you remain consistent in the training. Some dog breeds are highly intelligent and can successfully potty train in under 2 weeks.


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.