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I just picked up our new foster, Marvey, today. She is a 7 mo. old GSD mix…my guess is possibly GSD x whippet. Anyway, we had temp fostered her over Memorial Day weekend and discovered that although she was house broken she refused to potty on leash. Since it was only two days we didn’t try super hard to fix this problem but now that she needed a new foster home and will be with us for a longer time, we need to nip this problem in the bud since we live in a townhouse with no backyard. Her old foster mom did mention that she would always go behind a bush in her yard so I guess she really likes her privacy.


We went for a VERY long walk and Gracie must have peed about 20 times but Marvey would not go one drop. I tried to use a flexi-lead and just stayed put in little yard next to our house but she just lays down to rest at my feet within a minute.
So far my plan is to just keep trying this every 15 minutes or so and hope for a miracle. I would like to try to avoid her having any accidents in the house so she does not move backwards in her housetraining. She has had a lot of water since she got here so I know she will need to go soon.

Has anyone had success overcoming a similar problem? I would welcome any suggestions!
 

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I have this problem a lot with our fosters. My first technique to overcome it is the Flexi but since you've tried that and it didn't work, you might try a tether - something lightweight like clothes line. Tie her to the back stoop and then just kind of hang out outside with her and read or something while secretly keeping an eye on her - when she goes, lots of praise.

I run into two different types of dogs with this problem - one kind is just distracted by the leash and thinks they're going somewhere and the other has been harshly correctly for going to the bathroom (presumably indoors) and is now afraid to go potty in front of humans.

Doing what you're doing - giving her lots of water and then watching her like a hawk is good. Also crate her any time you can't keep an eye on her. Anything you can do to set up an opportunity to praise her for doing what she's supposed to do. You're absolutely right - this kind of issue if not addressed can easily lead to the dog losing ground with their housebreaking. The first few days with a dog like this can be seriously tedious but if you put the time in up front, usually they catch on pretty quick and the problem is solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Current score – Marvey -1 Melissa – 0


So after spending another 10 minutes outside with NO interest in potty activity from Marvey I brought her back inside. I fed her on the deck and then leashed her to bring her upstairs with me since I had filled my own bladder during this process and needed to keep a close eye on her. On the way upstairs Marvey pauses halfway up and starts to pee. Mind you she is ON LEASH right next to me! She must have peed for a good 20 seconds ( I knew she was full…I loaded her up on purpose!!). Now I am really stumped….

I will try filling her back up again and try the long lead tied to something trick later on but she is pretty empty for now…
 

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Originally Posted By: NoVA_DawgCurrent score – Marvey -1 Melissa – 0


So after spending another 10 minutes outside with NO interest in potty activity from Marvey I brought her back inside. I fed her on the deck and then leashed her to bring her upstairs with me since I had filled my own bladder during this process and needed to keep a close eye on her. On the way upstairs Marvey pauses halfway up and starts to pee. Mind you she is ON LEASH right next to me! She must have peed for a good 20 seconds ( I knew she was full…I loaded her up on purpose!!). Now I am really stumped….

I will try filling her back up again and try the long lead tied to something trick later on but she is pretty empty for now…
In away, you DID win. She was ON LEASH. Sounds to me like you were just in the wrong place when she couldn't hold it anymore. Had you been outside when that time came, she would have "gone" outside.
 

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That is true...now I just need her to do it on leash outside. I am starting to think that the issue may not be "shyness" but just excitement to go, go, go and explore when we are outside. Maybe I should just be really boring for a while on leash...like we don't go anywhere but the little yard next to the house everytime we go out unless there is potty action. Then if she goes, we have a praise and treat party, and take a little reward walk. Does that sound like it might work?
 

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Originally Posted By: NoVA_DawgThat is true...now I just need her to do it on leash outside. I am starting to think that the issue may not be "shyness" but just excitement to go, go, go and explore when we are outside. Maybe I should just be really boring for a while on leash...like we don't go anywhere but the little yard next to the house everytime we go out unless there is potty action. Then if she goes, we have a praise and treat party, and take a little reward walk. Does that sound like it might work?
that is pretty much what I do with a new foster. No interesting walks, just round and round the small backyard on a leash, with encouraging "get busy" and once we have some success with it ...WOO HOO! major "party" and then a walk in the neighborhood.

Good Luck!
 

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Well I still have had no success. We have spent lots of boring time outside with no success and one more accident inside. It’s frustrating because both accidents happened right after we got back inside and I had a feeling she needed to go. I feel like I can’t make any headway until I can get just one positive potty experience outside. Other foster dogs I have been able to interrupt while they are going inside and get them out to finish and praise when outside. With her, even though I feel like I did interrupt her the second time she showed no interest in going once outside. Hopefully I have better luck tomorrow…I can’t be upset with her though…this poor baby has been bounced around to 7 different homes/shelters in her short life who can blame her for being a little bit difficult!
 

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Well I have good news and bad news. At 3am last night my husband was able to get her to pee outside a little bit. The bad news is she has yet to go again...anywhere...yes, that is 18 hours later with no pee. I didn't think it was possible to hold it that long and I am sure it is not healthy. She has had some water and very little food just because she is not interested in eating at all. I just got back in from spending another 25 minutes outside with her. She keeps getting put back in the crate and then taken out. If she doesn't go then she goes straight back in the crate. This has been a really long process but I feel like she has to need to go now and if we let her out now she will just go in the house but I feel terrible that she is spending so much time in their today. I just don't know what else to do...
 

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Long line and keep the pup/dog moving. Just laying down and waiting isn't going to help. Walking or maybe a little running on a long line you can't do if you have a full bladder, so if you can get more movement outside that might help. Will the pup play ball, maybe a little jogging or running before you ask for going potty might just do the trick.

DeeDee was shy when I got her at 16 weeks. We did a lot of walking back and forth by the potty area, with me saying go potty or DeeDee go poo. Once she completed either action it was yea party time.

Val
 

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In any of your walking is there a fenced area where she could go potty?

Are you turning your back on her-would that help?

It is such an important skill for a dog to have-but seems hard for some of them to learn/undo old habits.

When Kramer was young and we went to VT, I had to find a field way far from where we were staying and take him on a long line (because I didn't want to lose him in another state!), turn around, ignore him (and peek at the same time) and wait for him to go in circles around me to go. Oy! Long vacation! But every time he's had to be on a lead for potties due to health things, I am thankful he learned it. But I would need to be on heavy medication if I didn't have a yard!!!!

Can you take another dog with you who will model the behavior and get all sorts of treats or praise for letting loose? Sounds like Gracie is willing to do her part!

It has to be scary for her.
 

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I am happy to report that we have finally had some good success. Very late last night (around 1 am, to make a total of about 22 hours on pee strike!!!
) she finally went outside!! She had a big pee party and even got to sleep out of the crate on the bed for her good work. This morning of course she would not go before I left for work but did go as soon as I took her out when I got home. As I was going on and on with pee pee praise my neighbors of course had to walk by and I am sure they now are certain that I have lost it!

I feel like this is really good progress though. I think she is starting to settle in and grow in confidence. We still have not gotten a poop on leash but that will be the next hurdle. We took her to the dog park and she went there so at least she has went today finally. She also did get brave enough to actually jump into the car herself on the way out of the dog park though. The poor baby has just had so much change in her little life that it has got to be tough for her to start feeling comfortable anywhere.
 

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I was wondering if you could share some more insight on this a few months after the fact.

My dog as of 7 days is experiencing the same things. She gets so excited about going outside and looking/sniffing everything that she forgets she needs to go until I take her back in. I find that chaining her with a 6ft leash to a fence will usually bore her and she will go as soon as I leave the area (guess I'm a distraction on top of everything). Not the most ideal method, but it sure beats 24+ hour pee strikes and 48+ hour poop strikes. She is about 2 years and isn't housetrained yet so it is a real tedious situation.
 
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