Dog Won’t Potty Outside

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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.

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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.

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