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Hello, I have a 5 month old German Shepherd pup who was rescued from a puppy mill. Her housebreaking has gone well and we're past the stage of accidents in the house. But my question is this: How can I get her to quit doing her business near the back porch? I have a big fenced in back yard and it would be great if I could get her to go out to the backside of my property. (My last dog, also a Shepherd, just did this on his own - I didn't need to train him to pick a spot away from the house).
When she was rescued, she was living in a dirt pen. She'd never been in a house, so when she discovered how great it was, she was afraid to go out again. I could only get her to go out if I was with her and leading her on a leash. I took her out to the back part of the property, wher I wanted her to go potty. I encouraged her independence by taking off the leash more and more and then finally I slipped away to a part of the yard where I could observe her but she couldn't see me. When she realized that she could be outside on her own and nothing bad would happen, that was the breakthrough. Now she asks me to be let out.
Thanks!
 

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What I would do is take her out on a leash to the area you want her to go. Take her there every time for a few weeks, however long it takes for this to become part of the dog's outside routine. Eventually it'll become a habit for her and she will automatically go there herself.
 

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In addition to the above -- Move the feces and even the soil that she has marked near the back porch to where you want her to eliminate. You might consider treating the area near the back porch with some enzematic cleaner to lessen the scent she has established. Another thought would be to get her used to staying out after she eliminates. (Did you perhaps get in the habit of bringing her in after she eliminated?) My thought is that she does this near the porch because she knows she should do it before she goes in. So perhaps you could do an obedience routine or some play both before AND after the major chore is done?
 
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