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A Comprehensive Guide to Puppy Potty Training Regression

A Comprehensive Guide to Puppy Potty Training RegressionA Comprehensive Guide to Puppy Potty Training Regression

Did you find your dog had an accident in the house? A one-time incident may not be a signal of a problem. They might have health issues or have been indoors for too long without a potty break. But if it happens more than once, your pup might be experiencing potty training regression. Here is a guide to help you manage the situation wisely and help your dog relearn potty training.

What is Potty Training Regression in Puppies?

Potty training regression is when your puppy forgets their potty training, and their brain goes back to the untrained methods of urinating and defecating. It can be a disturbing situation for the family members. However, remember your pet is not doing this willingly. According to an animal wellness study, this is a common issue among young dogs from four months to one year old. It is the stage when their brain is still developing, and their memories are not as strong as when they become adult dogs.

5 Signs of Puppy Potty Training Regression

Your Dog Keeps Eliminating in the Same Spot

If your dog returns to the same place inside the house to eliminate, remember that’s happening because they can smell the odour in that place from an earlier accident. The scent can trigger their brain to repeat the job in the same place, which means you need to clean the area to remove the traces of the odour completely.

Your Pup Urinates or Defecates When You are Not Home

If your dog is alone in the house for too long, it is natural for them to have an accident. Typically, an adult dog can hold their bladder for six to eight hours. But younger ones can hold it for fewer hours, so you must let them go out at least three to five times a day.

Your Dog Goes Out Yet Doesn’t Complete the Job

It may happen that your dog sent you signals of the need to eliminate but didn’t complete the job after going outside. The primary reason for this could be that they want to play or explore outdoors.

Your Pet Does the Job Without Any Warning

Even after completing puppy potty training, your dog might return to the old habit and mess up inside the house without warning.

Your Pup Has Accidents Overnight

Extra water intake before bed is a common reason your pet eliminates overnight. Or they might be more comfortable doing the job when you are not awake to catch them.

Causes of Puppy Potty Training Regression


Dogs can feel anxious due to several reasons. It could be a negative situation, anxiety from their human parent, separation from their owner, or disruptive noises. As a result, they tend to eliminate in places they were trained to avoid.


Some dogs can quickly become stressed when a drastic change takes place. You should consider the activities or changes you have made in your life that can affect your pet. It could be moving to a new house, moving in with a new person, or a new family member getting more attention than your pup.

Unknown Medical Issues

Potty training regression could be due to a medical problem such as urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and diabetes. If your pet is sick, they can show regression behaviour along with fatigue and anxiety.

How to Fix Puppy Potty Training Regression

Avoid Punishments

Never punish your pet for something that is not under their control. Give them positive reinforcement and reward them with treats.

Return to the Basics

Go back to potty training with consistency and patience. Try to convince them to use the same spot daily to urinate or defecate. Remove any opportunities that can lead them to have accidents.

Keep Note of Relevant Information

Keep note of when and where your dog is having accidents, along with their feeding times and water intake. If you find a pattern in how they have been excreting, consider making changes, such as reducing their water intake at night.

Follow a Routine

Dogs love to follow a routine, so they will quickly remember what they have learned about potty training. Be consistent with their feeding time, regular bathroom breaks, and feed them the same dog brand food. This will keep their digestion stable and help them learn the pattern easily.

Use the Right Cleaning Product

It helps to use cleaning products containing enzymatic ingredients to clean pet urine stains. The enzymes in the cleaner break the chain of molecules in your dog’s excreta and remove the odours your dog can smell.

Consider Expert Puppy Potty Training to Avoid Regression

If you see signs of potty training regression in your puppy and are struggling to get them back to their routine, it is wise to consult a professional dog trainer. At Alpha Paws, we provide one-on-one training sessions unique to your pet.

We provide puppy potty training to your dog and help them develop a strong potty routine. If you want more information about our dog training classes and packages, call us at 905-830-9500 or toll-free at 1-877-868-7297. Or, you can fill out our contact form to book a virtual appointment.

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