My wife and I recently got a dog, and even though we never had any formal training, it seems like she (the dog, not my wife) prefers to urinate outdoors rather than indoors.

When she wants to go, she'd wander around near the door uneasily and whining occasionally, and when I take her out then, she picks a spot immediately and takes care of business. Also, if she's not done, she'd not come inside despite beckoning and tempting with food. When she finally has the last bit of poo/pee out, she'd come inside.

Again, my wife and I got her from some people who didn't train her at all. They just tied her up near the construction site.

It's not a problem or anything, but I'm just curious as to whether dogs, by nature, prefer to poop and pee outside.

4 Answers 4


Dogs, in general, aren't born with a preference to eliminate indoors or outdoors; but they usually won't go right where they are resting. Consider yourselves lucky: your dog seems to have made an association with being outside to eliminate. My guess is that your dog, who was often tied up outside at a construction site, developed a preference for associating some outdoor smell (grass, weeds, dirt, etc) with their place to eliminate. Depending on the length of her tether, she might have had to isolate which spot she picked in order to avoid having to sit in it all day.


Adult dogs use urine to mark their territory -- males more noticeably than females, but the signalling is there for both. So I wouldn't be surprised if there is some wiring telling them to pee at some distance from their den. But that's guesswork.


Dogs don't have an "indoor vs. outdoor" preference. They just don't like to go in their homes.

They instead prefer to go where them (and you!) won´t have to interact with the excretion. In the case of domesticated dogs, this means going outside.

Source here.


Yes, most dogs do prefer to go outside, away from their home. Dogs do not like to potty where they eat/sleep/play/spend most of their time.

Dogs that potty inside were either trained/conditioned to do so, or are being prevented from making it outside for some reason (old age, health issues, their owner didn't take them out in time).

  • 1
    It is true that dogs prefer to not soil their nest/bedding, and that is why crate training is effective. But a puppy will happily go off to a corner of the room, or to a different room to eliminate when they have the urge. If what you said is true, all puppies would be born house-trained! No, a dog must learn that it is unacceptable to go inside, and that takes proactive training.
    – jalynn2
    Mar 20, 2017 at 13:31

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