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puppy peeing

Kay R. writes, “I have tile throughout the first floor of my house and a few throw rugs. My puppy always wants to pee on those rugs. I have taken them all up, but want to put them back. Any suggestions?”

It is very normal for puppies to do this; they naturally prefer to eliminate on something absorbent — like grass, for example. Your puppy is too young to know that it’s not okay to use the rug, and the fact that he is making an effort to get to an absorbent surface is actually a good sign. But, for now, don’t put the rugs back down.

Take him outdoors more frequently. He may still be too young to physically control his bladder. Give him treats and praise when he successfully goes to the bathroom outside.

Watch carefully for signs that your puppy needs to relief himself: circling, stopping what he’s doing and purposefully heading to another part of the house, or sniffing are just a few examples. If you see any of these signs, take him outside, but try not to let your pup get to that point. Right now, it’s better to set him up for success by taking him outside before he starts to look for a place to go. After several weeks of successful housetraining, try putting one rug back — but make sure it is thoroughly cleaned before you do and don’t let your canine companion have access to it for a while. As he matures and gets used to eliminating outside, you’ll be able to put them all back.


Our dogs are cherished members of the family, sharing our lives and providing unconditional love. But dog owners know that our canine partners have different perspectives on life than we do.

If you have ever asked, “Why does my dog do that?” then this feature is for you. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline training team will answer your questions about dog behavior and offer training advice to help you and your pup have the best relationship possible. The AKC GoodDog! Helpline is a seven-day-a-week telephone support service staffed by professional dog trainers. For more information on the service and how to enroll, go to www.akcgooddoghelpline.org.

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