Why do Dogs Sneak Away to Pee and Poop?

Why some dogs won’t eliminate in front of you, and what to do about it.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
5-minute read
Episode #125

Sometimes the universe taps you on the shoulder, and other times it leaves pee in your spare bedroom. In the last few weeks I’ve gotten half a dozen emails from fans whose dogs or puppies sneak away to pee and/or poop. Clearly, the universe thinks it’s time for me to write about this problem.  This week, the two main reasons why dogs eliminate when you’re not looking, and what to do about them.

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Reason #1: Dogs Pee or Poop in Another Room Because It’s Far Away

Housetraining has two main parts. You need to give your Baby Dogalini plenty of well-timed chances to eliminate outside. And in between opportunities, you need to supervise and confine her. You supervise so that you can tell when Baby D. needs to pee or poop – she may get restless, for instance, or trot around sniffing the floor. And you confine her between toilet breaks because dogs usually prefer to eliminate away from places where they eat and rest. That’s why crates and pens are such a big housetraining help. They encourage the dog or puppy to hold it till you take her out again. 

Suppose you take Baby Dogalini out. She pees, so you give her a little walk and then bring her inside again. So far, so good.


About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).