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MsNobleEleanor Offline
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Dog Won't Go Outside? - November 21st 2015, 02:35 PM

I want to explain what happened this morning because it frustrated me. Bentley was barking and I got up out of bed to let him out of his crate and let him outside. I went to go change his water and give him some food (breakfast) and a car pulls up and he is jumping at the window to let him in. I do. So, he eats and I go in another room to check something online that would take me about 1-2 minutes. He yelps and I go out and find that he crapped on the floor. I was pissed because I let him out and yet he crapped. I was pissed off. This is a growing problem.

I live in an apartment with a small backyard, my apartment is near the main entrance so people walk up and car park on the large side walk in front. This scares Bentley where he panics and runs and bolts the glass window (I am scared he will literally jump through it) and freaks out. I open the door where his tail is between his legs, ears pulled back, and shaking. I can't always be outside with him and I've went out and stood there with him a few times, but it doesn't work.

It's getting colder and colder outside and I can't always jump outside without a proper coat and I do things when I let him out, like maybe use the washroom myself, or clean something. It's getting to the point I don't trust him alone because he will end up getting into something (I barely have anything that he gets into but he finds things) or he is shitting all over the place despite me letting him out. Like, letting him out two times in 20 minutes or so, and he decides to crap inside? I do not get it. I feel I am doing something wrong, the moment I walk away he does these things when he's had time outside.

Am I doing something wrong? I am getting frustrated with him. I do know I need to spend more time with him, but I've been consumed by other things.
Any advice would be helpful.

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Re: Dog Won't Go Outside? - November 22nd 2015, 04:20 PM

My dog has done that once or twice, but it has been a while. She did it a few times when we first got her. She did it once when she was anxious, and once when she was annoyed with us. My dog is a kind of dog that is incredibly hard to train and she was older when we got her so things eventually sorted themselves out.

Does your backyard have a fence, or is there any privacy? Animals generally don't like to be watched while they're doing their business. If you don't have privacy in your yard, do you know of a way you can make some? You could get some plywood and section off a small part of the yard or something like that.

I have more experience litter training cats than I do with training dogs and I know they're completely different, but one thing that has helped me is moving their waste to the litter box (or in this case, outside). Then I'll usually take the cat and move them to the litter box so they can take a look at it and be reminded of the spot where waste is supposed to go.

Have you ever looked into dog pads to use? I think there's a lot of them out there. Some are disposable and some even look like patches of grass and those can be self cleaning. If you think your dog is anxious, look on Amazon to see what you can find. One of my cats has severe anxiety and we finally found something to help her with that.

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Re: Dog Won't Go Outside? - November 22nd 2015, 10:01 PM


There are a few points to this issue, so I'll give my input on all of them - although bear in mind that I only know about most of this in a theoretical sense, having been very blessed to have a dog who was immensely easy to house-train. But I figure you can give some of these a go and see if any of them work.

It's entirely possible that he's scared of cars (maybe because he had a bad experience with them, or because he's just sensitive to them), in which case it's understandable that he'd be reluctant to do his business out near them. Think about it: going to the toilet makes him very vulnerable, and of course he's not going to feel comfortable doing that if there are big scary monsters out there. So I would recommend helping him through his fear of cars initially by desensitising. By that I mean, try and build up his exposure to them if you can - play car noises softly in the house, building up the intensity until it gets to a practical level. And you can double that with counter-conditioning - every time something bad happens (in this case, every time he hears a car noise) make sure something good happens (give him a treat or a toy). That way he'll start to associate the original bad stimulus with a good feeling. Try to take him outside at times when there are less likely to be cars, and if there are, be sure to treat him so that he doesn't have time to focus on his fear. Also, if he wants to get away from the cars, let him. If you keep him in a situation where he's so panicked, he's going to a) feel cornered and either lash out or feel helpless, and b) lose a bit of trust in you because you haven't listened to what he's telling you. So just be aware of that.

When you find that Bentley's had an accident, do you mind me asking what you do/how you react? Because as frustrating as it is, it's never a good idea to show your dog that you're upset with things like this. So it's probably best to just clean it up without fuss, rather than, say, scolding him (I'm not sure what you do so this is just cautionary, I'm not suggesting you would actually do that).

The other thing to make sure is that it's not a medical problem. If he used to be well house-trained and now he's starting to have more accidents, there might be something else going on. I know he went to the vet fairly recently but if the problem persists you might want to bring it up with them, just in case there's something else going on. And on a similar note, it could be related to stress. Like in the example Cassie gave, sometimes dogs have accidents inside because they're stressed, anxious, or otherwise uncomfortable. And since this one occurred just after he'd had a fright, it's entirely possible that that's what happened. Another thought: you say that he usually does these things just as you walk away. Presumably you come back when you notice, so could that be a factor? Some kind of extreme way to get your attention? I'm just guessing here, since you know your situation better than I do, but it might be worth thinking about.

Alternatively, if he has never really gotten the hang of house-training, you may need to back up a few steps. One thing I've been told is that if you have an adolescent or adult dog who isn't really house-trained, it can be a good idea to take them back to eight weeks - act like you just got them, like you've never house-trained them before, and start from the beginning. Take the dog out frequently, particularly after play time or meals, and reward the dog when it does do its business outside. If you need to, restrict his access inside, so that when you think he might need to go, he's always in sight or at least nearby so he doesn't have a chance to have an accident. If there are particular places he likes to go inside, you could even try to convert them - put his food/crate/bed near them so he starts to associate that place with other activities.

I also like Cassie's idea of some kind of dog pad. You could have one of those inside or just outside the door, and you could start training your dog to eliminate on cue. That way when you do work your way back up to just taking the dog outside to do his business, you can give him the cue and hopefully he'll do it.

Finally, remember that this isn't his fault. There's always a reason behind dog behaviour, so it's up to you as the owner to find out what it is and fix it. It's all too easy to get stuck in a cycle of "the dog's misbehaving, I must be doing something wrong", but that's not constructive. What is constructive is working out the root of the problem and dealing with it.

I hope some of this helped, and good luck with it all!

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