5 Signs Your Dog Needs a Bathroom Break

5 Signs Your Dog Needs a Bathroom Break

Author WDF Staff


Becoming a new dog owner is one of the best things you can do for yourself. The love you have for a new puppy is one of the best feelings in the world. However, dealing with puppies means often dealing with the mess they leave behind them. One of the first things you need to do is establish a potty schedule. Otherwise, your dog will go inside your home, and that is not something you want to clean constantly.

Even the best-laid plans can fail, so don’t be discouraged if your puppy has accidents while you’re potty training them, and they seem to improve. Potty training is a long process, so make sure you have plenty of patience. The good news is - if you know what to look for, you can notice signs your dog needs to potty. New dog owners might not know what to look for. We decided to share some of the tips and insights experienced owners and breeders shared with us. Here are the 5 most common signs your dog needs a potty break.

1. Sudden change

One of the most apparent signs your puppy might need a potty break is a sudden change in their behavior. If your puppy is eating and suddenly stops and moves away, chances are nature called, and they need a potty break. Like human children, puppies don’t care about holding it in. When they have to go, they go. A sudden change might be a clear sign your puppy needs to go outside.

puppy in a box

You should know that puppies have a short attention span, so chances are that something simply caught their attention. With time, you will learn to differentiate between these two sudden changes in behavior, and you will know when to take your puppy outside.

2. Circling and sniffing

Circling a specific area usually happens seconds before a puppy does what you don’t want them to do. If you catch them circling, you should take them out immediately. You can notice this type of behavior if you see your puppy sniffing the ground and circling around it. By sniffing the ground, your puppy is looking for a “bathroom area.” That is an area where they might have relieved themselves earlier. Puppies love going in the same space, so it would be a good idea to prevent access to that area.

PRO TIP: If you don’t want to block access to certain areas in your home, you should use enzyme-based pet-friendly cleaning solutions.

3. Whining

One of the ways your puppy will try communicating they need a potty break is by vocalizing their needs. They will probably whine. That way, they are letting you know they have to go. If the whining accompanies one or both signs mentioned before, it is a clear sign you have to give them a potty break. If your puppy whines, don’t ignore them or get angry. Be thankful your puppy tells you they need to go outside. Many puppies don’t do it, and their owners need to focus on other signs to recognize a need for a potty break.

weimaraner puppy

Want to know more about potty training a puppy? Check out this article - How to potty train a puppy?

4. Going for the door

Older puppies and dogs that are well house trained might let you know they need to go outside by going towards the front door. Your dog knows this is where they enter and exit, which is a clear sign that they want to be let outside. This behavior is often accompanied by barking, whining, pacing, or scratching the door. Your dog is clearly communicating they need to relieve themselves, and they don’t want to do it inside the house. As far as signs go, this one is as clear as it gets.

Mind you, dogs might want to go outside for many different reasons. They might have smelled, heard, or sensed something that interests them outside. However, that type of behavior can be differentiated, especially if the recent potty break wasn’t that long ago.

5. Licking or sniffing their groin area

Licking or sniffing the groin area can be a sign your dog needs a potty break. However, they can do that for many different reasons. Most of them are connected to UTI or other infections that can affect that area. However, if your dog is healthy and not exhibiting any symptoms, but they sniff or lick their groin area, you might want to take them outside.

In conclusion

Dogs use their whole bodies to communicate, so if you keep a close eye on them, you can learn to spot signs they might need to go outside. Dogs love communicating with their owners and their environment; we just need to learn which signs to look for and how to interpret them. If you look for these 5 signs, you will keep your home incident-free, and your puppy’s potty training will go a lot smoother.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo