Dog Won’t Potty Outside

Hi. My name is Dr. Marc and I’m filming for Pets Best Insurance, answering some Facebook questions for you guys at Broadway Veterinary Hospital in Boise, Idaho.

This question comes from Brittany. She says: “My dog is one who will not go potty outside at all. He’s a rescue and was really traumatized” by events prior to her getting him. She says, “We walk him, reward him, and nothing seems to work, including taking his potty pad out, and playing with him for a long time. He just won’t go outside. He still waits until we are inside before he’ll go,” she says. “I know he gets it because he’ll use a potty pad. He is 35 pounds and this is getting out of control”.

Brittany, this does sound like a frustrating situation. To me, this sounds like your dog probably has some sort of a behavioral problem itself. Obviously, your dog can be trained because he’s using the potty pads as well. Maybe at some point in his past, something happened that scared him outside or traumatized him, perhaps while he was defecating, to result in this fear of going outside. First, I would try to change the nature of his outdoor experience. So, go outside through a different door, maybe walk to a completely different area or park or something like that, spend an extensive amount of time out there, and when he does defecates or if he defecates, lots of praise and reward and things like that.

Second, if that doesn’t work, you may consider bringing a behaviorist in to see if they can diagnose the problem or what the fear may actually be, and oftentimes they can certainly read these animals and see where the issue is. And the final thing that I would do is maybe go ahead and take him in to your veterinarian and talk about this from an anxiety standpoint, because there’s medications and things that your veterinarian may be able to provide you that can help with this situation.

Hopefully, that helps answer your question. If anyone has any questions, post them to the Facebook page of Pets Best, and we’ll answer them for you.


  • Linda Masters

    1st of all I love PetsBest insurance. I have the illness and accident coverage and had a claim this month. You respond so quickly both in answering the claim and in sending the reimbursement check, Also, their policies are so clear and easy to understand.
    I can somewhat relate to this person. Our Issy will wet in the house every once in awhile. She is 2 1/2 yrs old and although I am with her all day long, and take her out every 1-2 hours daily, she will still for example, jump off the bed at night while we are watching tv and just wee on the rug. She usually goes to the kitchen door most times but it’s hard to say if the wee is forced because she really wants to see the squirrels. Anyway, this causes me great anxiety because I seem to spending my time watching her if she is out of my sight in the house. But believe me, she has the best of care, love and attention and I am always praising her. Why this happens randomly, I do not know. She can hold it because one night my husband and I went to the theater and right before we left she took a hugh drink of water. I told my husband to be prepared to find a puddle inside the house, but when we returned 6 1/2 hours later, Issy held it and we did not find a single drop in the house. She also holds it when my husband and I leave the hosue to go shopping. So go figure. We cannot and neither can the vet. Any ideas?
    Thank you.

  • I have a female American Bulldog, she used to have alot of accidents, my vet said this is caused by early spaying. We put her on a medication called Proin and it has stopped (almost). I notice when I give her high protein treats (Beggin Strips, or beef liver) she will have an accident 100% of the time, regardless of her medication.


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