Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Bloomfield, MI
I'm a first time owner. When we got our GSD pup I had to take him out on a leash because we had no fence in our backyard. We also got him in October, which meant I did it through a MI winter.. Yippie! After he was about 10 months old we moved and our yard had a fence. I continued to take him out on the leash to train him to go on the side of the garage, where my kids don't play. I just walked him over, gave him his command for pee/poop, and treated him when he complied.
After a month or so of doing this, I started walking with him to the area, but not on a leash and rewarded him complied. If he took off on me, I'd go back to the leash stage. Once he was doing it with no leash, I would stand outside the back door and point to the area, giving him his command. When he finished I called him to come, and he got rewarded.
Now I just open the door, and give him the command as he's running out and he's be really good about it.
My point is to try and break it down into smaller achievements if you aren't getting the result you want. If may be more of a pain for you, but it will be easier for the dog.