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Me and my girlfriend have just brought home a 10month old male GSD, Shadow, about a week ago from a breeder. While there he has been trained with a leash to follow, wait, sit etc, basic obedience. During the times when not training, he was with a female GSD.

The first day he was with us, since he was not housebroken, we brought him outside about every 30 min so that he would go potty. He never did. I did not have a crate then, and in near morning he finally did it in the house and we let him because we were afraid he was going to explode LOL.

To make the short story long, we take him outside frequently but he never goes potty. While on a leash, he is in training mode I think and won't do it. We have tennis court and if I let him loose inside without the leash, after a while he will go potty (it's pouring outside, no harm done to the tennis court, and we clean afterwards). I praise and give him treats when he does his potty outside.

We take him on long walks, short walks, still will not do it while on a leash. While outside I am afraid to let him loose because he will be lost and I will never see him.

In the house, if we are visible to him, he won't go potty, but if there is an opportunity in one of the rooms where he can't see us, he goes. If I catch him just before, I stop him, and take him immediately outside but because he is now on a leash he won't go. I got a 8m long leash (26ft) so that he can go far away from me and I avoid looking at him. He will just go around and after that just sit or lie down.

I have no idea how to let him know that it is ok to go potty while on a leash. Any ideas???
 

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First thing to remember you have only had him 1 week and he probably has no interest in pleasing you yet. Give him time and crate him during the night and bring him out to go potty. If you have to wait him out do it and give him a very good tasting treat and praise.

You could keep him on a leash in the house so he is never out of your site. I think you will fix this in no time.
 

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I"ve had some dogs that just wouldn't potty on leash in the beginning, tho I don't particularly like them, try putting him on a flexi for potty breaks, or a really long line.
Gives them more freedom room vs a 6ft leash type thing.
 

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Bring treats with you that are a good quality that he would be interested in. Take him out to potty and when he goes potty you can mark it with a "good potty" or "go potty" command once he is done give him a treat.

Try a longer lead vs a shorter one so if you can get a 10 foot lead that will help the process because he is further away and can feel like he is more in the exploring mode.

My key since I have been fostering older puppies is if you can't watch them you have 2 choices. 1. Crate them or 2. keep them attached to you with a leash By following this rule you will eliminate the accidents and the dog will realize that the whole house is where he lives and the elimination will cease. Never punish a dog (not saying you do) for eliminating if you don't catch them and if you do a NO and then taking them outside immediately is the best option.

Trust me in the end if they have to go to the bathroom and they have not gone in the house they will go. I had the same issue when I started having my dogs on a leash in the front yard because the mud in the backyard they didn't want to go outside in the front especially poop. If our 8 month GSD didn't go she either went back in her crate or she was attached to me.
 

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I know this is a pain now but this will be a piece of cake! The good thing is that he's almost a year and he can hold it for a long time. I would IMO, get a crate for night time and for any time that you can't keep your eye on him. I like Jakoda don't favor the flexi leads but for potty breaks I think this is the way to go, and I think you mentioned about going on a tennis court? Try to find some grass or a wooded area if you have one, I think he will go quicker on grass than pavement. And the last thing is, if he pees at say 8 in the morning I don't think you need to take him out at 8:30, he's 10 months and will still be empty, I would extend the time a bit. Oh I forgot, try to limit the area he has to roam around the house until he is trained, baby gates work great for blocking areas off like bedrooms and such. You need to have him by you 24/7 or he is in his crate. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for all the suggestions. One thing to make clear, the leash that I have is already a flexi leash 26ft long. But that did not help. I am being patient, I am sure he will learn eventually. I am curious as though there are any alternatives that I have not think of yet.

The tennis court is the only place where I can have him loose. On the grass if he is on a long leash I try to ignore him and look the other way so that he will do his business. However he just sits there or lays down LOL.

At my girlfriends house he is potty trained already that he goes to the terrace to do his business. But at my house if I let him out of my site, I just know that he will do it there somewhere, because starts sniffing etc. and I hear him. I take this as a cue and take him outside with no luck.

In 6 months we are getting married and the house that we will live in has a backyard; where I think it would have been much much easier to potty train even on a leash. Because if he needed to go, I would not take the leash off at all for couple of days, take him outside, inside, outside and he would eventually get the point I think :).

Also, because he is older he really can HOLD his pee. Unbelievable! I find myself urge to go the restroom while waiting for him to go which never comes :)

On a completely different subject, I was first skeptical about getting a GSD. Just because for some reason they did not appeal to me. I was thinking of getting a lab or golden ret. etc. Now I think that I did make the right choice! GSDs are so loving, protective and also so cute at the same time. Since I got him I have been reading and reading, and the more I read and the more I am with him I love him even more. I am getting paranoid that what I would do without him after 10-12 years, it's so sad. Ok now I am just ranting. :)

Again thanks for all the advice and please post more if you come up with more or have similar experience.

------

Ömer from Istanbul, Turkey.
 

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First thing to remember you have only had him 1 week and he probably has no interest in pleasing you yet. Give him time and crate him during the night and bring him out to go potty. If you have to wait him out do it and give him a very good tasting treat and praise.

You could keep him on a leash in the house so he is never out of your site. I think you will fix this in no time.
Agreed !

The tennis court is too much like inside. Take him on a long walk where there is some grass/earth where nature is more likely to take its course.
 

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Are you walking your pup? That's the best way to get things going to get them used to going on leash.

My dog only went to the bathroom in my backyard or the park for the first 2 years of her life. It became a problem when we'd be away from home for 10-12 hours and I couldn't get her to potty because she wasn't used to going on leash.

I would take him for a walk around the block when you need him to potty and throw a party (lots of praise and/or treats) every time he goes on leash so he knows that it's a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We are trying the crate approach. Using the crate when not supervised (20-30min max), and at night while sleeping. Taking him to the terrace while we are there. He used to not go while we were there, now he goes, because there is no other chance and he knows it. After a week or so we will do the same routine but with a leash this time. We'll see how it goes, but I think it shouldn't be a problem. He is very smart.
 

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My Sheltie Mix, Riley, used to be like this. When I first adopted her she didn't know the difference between going to the bathroom inside or outside...And would not go to the bathroom in the yard or on the leash. I would take her in the backyard, walk with her forever and she wouldn't go. Then we'd get inside and she would squat! I would take her on walks and we'd go for miles without her going to the bathroom. I came to realize, as she had been abused, it seemed as though she was afraid to stop to go to the bathroom. She was always looking over her shoulder as though something was going to hurt her...

It took some time, but she got over it. Now she's completely housebroken and will not go in the house. She also goes on walks no problem now. I don't know what's going on with your pup, but give it time, he may just need to feel more comfortable. I know it's frustrating, but he'll get it, even if it takes a bit longer...
 

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I have gotten older pups and dogs from housing situations where they did not learn to go on leash. It does take patience.

I have one girl who really hates to potty on leash still. Fortunately she is very reliable off lead so we work it out most of the time.

I have just had to stand and let the dog go in a circle around me at the end of the leash until it finally goes. We always go to the same area and I don't let them have a fun walk about until the pottying is done. I try to make walking and sniffing about a reward for going on lead. We stay in the "potty area" until business is taken care of. Sometimes dragging a light line has worked also. Going on leash is something I work on early with pups because I have seen this issue a number of times.
 
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