Doggie Signs - How To Know When Your Dog Has To Potty

Potty training your dog can be a very frustrating process. The first and most obvious barrier you have to deal with is you and your dog both speak different languages. If it is your first time house training your dog, you may feel at a loss, but do not fret, your dog may already be trying to tell you he has to go, you just have to learn to speak your dog’s language, or better said, understand your dog’s potty body language.

While dog’s cannot say, “I need to go,” in plain English, there are a number of cues you can be on the lookout for that is your dog portraying the exact same message, the best way he or she knows how. The key is to understanding your dog’s potty signs. These signs could be your dog letting you that he or she needs to go outside in a bad way.


Whining is more than your dog simply annoying you with whimpers. You may think it is a behavioral problem or that your dog is bored and trying to entice you in a game of fetch, but in fact it could be your dog letting you know that he or she is uncomfortable because he or she needs to eliminate. When your dog whines, let him or her outside and if your dog eliminates praise immediately.


Another cue that your dog needs to go is if he or she is randomly walking in circles. It may be all your dog can do to stop from eliminating in the house. If your dog is giving you this cue, take him or her outside and see if he or she needs to eliminate. If so, show your dog approval with praise.


If your dog loves to be by you and suddenly he or she is missing in action, that could be a sure-tell sign that your pup needs to go. This is one of the more troublesome signs, because typically your dog going off and hiding in a corner or behind furniture means that he or she is looking for a private place to eliminate. You will need to stay on top of your dog while housetraining and immediately let your dog outside so he or she can eliminate correctly.  Again, make sure you follow up with a lot of praise and love to encourage eliminating outside.


One of the most obvious cues that your dog needs to go to the bathroom is when they stand or scratch at the door leading outside. It cannot get any clearer than this, unless you teach them to ring a bell to be turned outside.

Remember, if your dog is doing any of these cues you should let him or her outside immediately so your dog can do his or her business the good way - outside. Once your dog eliminates outside, praise your dog for this accomplishment to further encourage outside elimination.

One of the simplest methods is to train her to ring a bell that is hung on a door. That way, you can hear her request even if you’re in another room. Once you’ve taught your dog how to ring a bell by touching it with her nose, you’ll ask her to ring the bell right before you open the door to let her outside-every time. That way, she’ll associate the behavior of ringing the bell with your letting her out. In other words, she will learn that ringing the bell makes you open the door.

Author Bio: Geri Davis has opened her home to fostering at-risk dogs from her local shelter. Geri keeps her four-legged guests safe with a containment system and remote training collars.