There are times that it is easier to have your dog pee in the shower than take them out for a walk. How can you teach your dog to pee in the shower?
You can teach your dog to pee in the shower by using a piece of turf and with plenty of patience. You will first have your dog use the turf outside. Then, you will bring it inside and have them use it in the shower. Over time, your dog will learn that they are allowed to pee in the shower.
This article will tell you exactly how to train your dog to pee in the shower, step by step. We will discuss the benefits of teaching your dog to do this, and whether it is even a good idea. Many people consider teaching their dogs to do this because their dog wakes them up in the middle of the night to go out. If this is the case for you, we will discuss ways to help your dog sleep through the night as well.
I have owned and loved dogs for my entire life. Many circumstances could be made easier if your dog could just pee in the shower. I have experienced many of these, and so have learned all about this type of training. I hope that through this article, I can help you train your dog how to go to the bathroom in the shower.
How Do You Teach a Dog to Pee In The Shower?
There are many reasons that you might want to teach your dog to use the bathroom in the shower, which we will discuss later. In the following sections, we will detail the steps you need to take to teach your dog how to pee in the shower.
If your dog is used to using the bathroom outside, they will likely be uncomfortable with going to the bathroom inside. They know from their house training that they are not allowed to do this. Because of these instincts and your previous house training, teaching your dog to pee in the shower will take time.
Your dog might be confused at first about this new training, and might even have some accidents while they are learning. You should have patience during this process. Eventually, your dog will learn to pee in the shower.
Prepare a Piece of Turf
One of the best ways to teach your dog to pee in the shower is to use turf or fake grass. You can find pieces of turf at most hardware stores. Buy a small piece of turf and cut it to fit in your bathtub or shower. This will be your main training tool in this process.
Have Your Dog Use the Turf Outside
Start your training with the piece of turf outside. Your dog is likely already comfortable using the bathroom outside due to their house training. Bring the turf outside and have your dog pee on it. You may need to hold your dog firmly on a leash so that they stay on the turf.
Once your dog pees on the turf, give them a lot of praise and a treat. This will communicate to your dog that peeing on the turf is a good thing. Continue to have your dog use the turf outside for several days. You might even need to practice this for a few weeks.
You will know that your dog is ready to move to the next step when they go straight to the turf to pee when you take them outside.
Bring the Turf Inside
Now that your dog knows that they should pee on the turf, you can bring it inside. Put the turf in the shower or bathtub, and have your dog use the bathroom there. Take them into the bathroom on their leash at the same time that you usually take them outside. Stand with them in the shower or tub while holding their leash until they use the bathroom.
It may take time for your dog to pee in the shower since this is a completely new environment for them. Once your dog pees on the turf in the shower, give them praise and a treat. Continue to take them into the shower for the bathroom until they seem comfortable with peeing there.
Practice Having Them Go to the Bathroom Outside and in the Shower
During the last step, you were taking your dog to the shower for all of their bathroom trips. You don’t want your dog to stop using the bathroom outside, so it is important for them to still have access to the outdoors. Once your dog is comfortable peeing in the shower, you can start taking them outside for some bathroom trips.
Try to take your dog outside and to the shower for the bathroom. You want your dog to feel equally comfortable peeing in both locations.
Eventually, you want to get to a point where your dog only pees in the shower on occasions where it is hard for you to take them outside. They should be using the bathroom outside more often than in the shower.
Remove the Turf (If You Want)
At this point, your dog should feel comfortable peeing in the shower. You have completed the training process and don’t necessarily need the turf anymore. At this point, you can decide if you want to keep the turf in the shower or not.
If you decide to remove the turf, your dog might get confused. If they seem reluctant to pee in the shower, you might need to take your dog on a leash to pee. They should quickly realize that they can pee in the shower even without the turf.
Why You Would Need to Teach Your Dog To Pee In The Shower
There are many reasons why it makes sense to teach your dog to pee in the shower. It is a good idea to train your dog that they can pee in the shower for certain situations where it is dangerous, inconvenient, or impossible to take your dog outside for the bathroom.
Your dog might need to pee in the shower during a bad storm, an emergency lockdown, if you can’t make it home in time to take them out, or if they need to pee in the middle of the night. You don’t want to make your dog pee in the shower all the time. Instead, this training is meant for certain infrequent instances like the ones we mentioned.
This training is meant to help keep your dog comfortable when you can’t take them outside. It is not meant to be a replacement for going outside. Even with this training, you should still take your dog outside for multiple walks per day for exercise and mental stimulation if you are able.
There are some situations where dog owners can’t take their dogs outside to use the bathroom for extended periods. One example of this is someone with a service dog that is going on a cruise. There is no natural ground area that the dog can use for the bathroom, so they must learn to use the bathroom on turf, whether that will be in the owner’s shower or a designated dog bathroom.
Is It Okay To Have Your Dog Pee In The Shower?
It is perfectly fine to have your dog pee in the shower. Dog urine will not mess up your plumbing or cause any issues to your home. You should not, however, let your dog’s poop go down the shower drain. If they happen to poop on the turf in the shower, you should place it in a bag as you would if you were outside. Pooping on the turf in the shower should not be encouraged, as some could accidentally make it down the drain. This could cause clogging and other plumbing issues.
As we have said, it is generally better to have your dog go to the bathroom outside most of the time. Dogs require exercise and are usually able to run and play and truly exercise better outside. The outdoors also provides excellent mental stimulation for your dog. When your dog is outside, they can smell all sorts of things and meet other animals and people. All of this is great for dogs.
Teaching your dog to pee in the shower is great for preparing for uncommon situations like the ones we previously described. You should not have your dog use the shower as their primary bathroom space.
Tips For Teaching Your Dog To Pee In The Shower
Now that you know the basics for teaching your dog to pee in the shower, we have gathered some additional tips that can make the training process a bit easier.
Teach a “Go Potty” Command
One helpful tip when teaching your dog to pee in the shower is to teach them a command for going to the bathroom. If you can teach them a command that they will follow when told, then it will make the whole training process a lot easier.
You would be able to give this command while they are on the turf, and they could quickly learn that they are allowed and encouraged to pee on it. Otherwise, you will just need to wait for your dog to understand this over time.
To teach a “go potty” command, you should start before ever introducing the turf and peeing inside.
Prevent Your Dog From Needing the Bathroom In the Night
One of the most common reasons that people want to teach their dogs to pee in the shower is that they constantly need to be taken out in the middle of the night. This is something that is not uncommon, especially as dogs get older. Dogs usually need more frequent trips outside for the bathroom as they age.
In addition to teaching your dog to pee in the shower, it can be helpful to adjust your schedule so that your dog doesn’t have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night as frequently. This can help your dog feel more comfortable throughout the night.
To do this, you should establish a firm routine with your dog. You probably already have a routine for taking your dog out and feeding them. Make sure you stick to this routine as much as possible. Dogs usually do well with a routine and will feel more comfortable in general.
As part of your routine, you might want to include an extra bathroom trip right before bed. This can be a quick trip where you just take your dog in the yard or quickly around the block. This will allow them to pee right before going to sleep and will hopefully prevent them from needing to pee in the middle of the night.
If your dog is still needing the bathroom during the night even after solidifying your routine, you could consider not giving them water very late at night. Many people leave water in their dog’s bowl at all times so that they can take a drink whenever they want.
If your dog is still peeing in the middle of the night, you could consider taking away their water bowl after they eat dinner. Only do this if you have discussed it with your vet first, though.
Rinse the Turf and Hang to Dry
Another tip that we have is to make sure that you frequently clean the piece of turf, especially if you are planning to use it with your dog indefinitely. Since turf is usually made of plastic, the pee can easily be rinsed off. Make sure that you are doing this right after your dog uses it so that the smell doesn’t stick around and the urine doesn’t dry or become sticky on the turf.
If your dog uses the turf in the middle of the night, you can simply rinse it when you wake up in the morning. If pee has been left on the turf for a while or it starts to smell, you can wash it with some dish soap right in the shower. Whether you are just rinsing or completely washing the turf, be sure to hang it up so that it can dry properly. If you have a porch or backyard, you could hang it up outside as well.
Don’t Thoroughly Clean the Turf When You Bring it Inside
You will probably want to at least rinse the piece of turf after every use. A urine-soaked piece of turf will smell and it is not necessarily sanitary to have in your home. However, you don’t want to completely wash it the first time you have your dog use it inside. It is best to leave the turf a little bit dirty so that your dog can smell their urine on it.
If your dog can smell that they have peed on the turf before, they will quickly learn that they can pee on it even though they are inside the help. By keeping the turf slightly dirty when you first bring it inside, you can speed up the training process significantly.
Once your dog understands that they can pee on the turf in the bathtub or shower, you can rinse off the turf after every use.
What To Do If You Don’t Want To Use Turf
Understandably, some people don’t love the idea of having a piece of turf that their dog uses for the bathroom living in their shower or bathtub, even just during training. The turf will start to smell bad after a while, needs to be cleaned regularly, and needs to have a spot to be stored in your restroom.
Whether they don’t like the unsanitary nature of the turf, they don’t want to deal with cleaning it, or simply don’t have space for it, many people don’t like the idea of doing this training with turf. While it is generally considered the best tool for this type of training, there are alternatives.
Use Their Urine to Mark the Spot
The next best way to teach your dog to pee in the shower after using turf is to simply use a cup of their urine to mark the shower or tub. Dogs have an excellent sense of smell, and each dog has a unique scent to their urine. Dogs like to smell things that have been peed on, even though it is gross because they can tell who “marked” it. You can use this same logic to help your dog learn that it is okay to pee in the shower.
To teach them this you will need a sample of your dog’s urine. When you take them outside to use the bathroom, collect some of their urine in a cup. Then, when you come back inside, place the cup in the shower. Your dog will be attracted to the area by the smell of their urine. You might need to do this several times, but eventually, they will learn that they can pee in the shower or bathtub because their urine scent is already there.
Use Puppy Pads
Another option you can try is using puppy pads rather than a piece of turf. Puppy pads are disposable cloths that you lay down for puppies to pee on while they are potty training. These are typically used in areas of the home besides the shower but can be used there as well.
With this method, you will follow the same training process that we outlined with the turf. Instead of the turf, though, you will use puppy pads. Many people prefer to use this instead of turf because the pads are disposable. You don’t have to worry about anything getting too gross during the training process, and you don’t have to store a large piece of turf anywhere.
Puppy pads are a great alternative to turf for teaching your dog to pee in the shower.
Where To Have Your Dog Pee If You Don’t Want Them To Use Your Shower
The shower is a great place to have your dog pee inside because it is easy to clean and has a drain so you don’t need to worry about the pee getting on anything else. However, this is not an option for all situations. For example, if your family shares one small bathroom, it might not be practical to keep a piece of turf in the shower for your dog to use. Thankfully, there are a few alternatives that you can try in situations where you can’t take your dog outside for the bathroom.
One alternative to the shower is the garage if you have one. In your garage, set up a plastic kiddie pool with turf or real grass sod and let your dog pee there. If you use real grass, your dog will be able to smell it and will know that they should pee there.
This recommendation is most useful for extreme situations like bad storms. If you know that a storm is approaching, you can set up the pool and sod for your dog to use while the storm passes. To keep this from smelling, you will need to clean out the pool after the dog uses it. Therefore, this is not necessarily a permanent solution or something that you want to keep up in the long term.
This option is probably only viable for small dogs. Certain teacup-sized dogs and even Italian greyhounds have been trained to use a litter box like a cat. Cats don’t usually require a lot of training to use a litter box. They instinctively know to use the bathroom there and rarely have accidents outside of the litter box.
A dog, however, will need to be trained to use a litter box. You can follow the same steps that we gave for training them to use the shower to pee. Instead of bringing your dog to the shower, however, you will bring them to the litter box. With plenty of patience and training your dog will get the hang of using a litter box for the bathroom.
About THE AUTHOR
I have had dogs my whole life and have always trained my own dogs with patience and positive reinforcement. My dogs are my life. My family always had dogs growing up. I've trained dogs for clients while working at a local dog daycare. I hope that my research and experiences are helpful to you as I share them here.Read More About Russell Wright