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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to spend this weekend trying to get Willow to use the backyard more for her business. It's...challenging.

Here's the thing...since I got her, I knew I would be needing her to do her business in the morning before work so I could leave her unattended for up to 8 hours without worrying about her having an accident. She willingly poos and pees on walks, so that's what we're doing: taking a 20-minute walk every morning so she can do her business.

Problem is, I know there are going to be days where a) I don't have time to walk her or b) it's FRIGID outside and I don't want to walk her or c) there's a crapton of snow on the ground and I can't walk her. Unfortunately, she will not pee outside when I tell her to. Sometimes she will in the evening before bed, but in the morning, it's hopeless.

This morning we spent over an hour in the backyard waiting for her to poo. I think she finally is understanding that I want her to pee, so she peed 3 times but refused to poo. I know, I KNOW, that if we start our walk, she will poo within 5 minutes. But I'm being stubborn. I want her to poo in the yard. And she's being stubborn too.

She has never once asked to go outside to do her business. Besides the time she had diarrhea in the middle of the night, she never has to pee or poo. Seriously. Never. She has held it for like 17 hours before, when we walked around 2pm, she wouldn't pee in the evening before bed, and then she peed again at 7am on her morning walk the next day. I seriously don't get it. She never has to pee. I started just leaving her outside after breakfast hoping she'd do it on her own back there (I wait an hour after feeding her before I walk her, to reduce the risk of bloat), but nope. She holds it in until our walk.

So now, after over an hour of trying to get her to poo outside and her refusing, we went back inside and I put her in her crate. I'll try again in an hour. But I WON'T walk her until she does it. I want her to learn this. And to be clear, I'm being patient, I'm not getting angry with her like I did the last time we tried this (shortly after I got her). I just wait and wait and wait and then we go inside.

Any other tips?
 

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Have you tried walking her around the yard on her leash?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have you tried walking her around the yard on her leash?
Yep. No go. It just makes her act kinda dejected.

And yeah this whole time, for the last 3 months-ish, I'd say "go poop" whenever she started to poop on her walks. I feel like she knows what it means. She just won't do it.

I just spent the last half hour walking in circles around the yard hoping she'd eventually just go. Nope.

So now she's in the yard and I'm sick of watching her and waiting for her to do it. She will sometimes go out there when I leave her back there for an hour or so. I was just hoping to catch her in the act so I could praise and reward her.
 

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Have you tried walking her around the yard on her leash?
this.
It’d be the first thing I’d try... at the very least to gain information.
It could be exercised induced, she may get stimulated by other dogs scents, or it could simply be that it’s what she’s accustomed to (not uncommon for dogs raised in apartments for instance).
Also, if she hasn’t had accidents in the house, but WILL eventually go in the yard... then have her hold it. She’ll eventually get there.
How have you attempted to teach her to potty on command? At what point are you adding the cue word and what’s the reward?
Another thing that could help is having another dog come spend time in your yard...
 

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Pooping is an involuntary action that cannot be trained on command. As others have stated, it can be induced by excitement, exercise, anticipation, etc. Your dog is not being stubborn.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I don't get it. I've seen plenty of dogs that when let out into the yard, will poop and then come back in. That's all I'm trying to do here really, is get her to poop when I put her outside. I don't care if she does it when I say "go poop", I just want her to do it without having to leave her back there all day. I know that's what I'm hoping to do eventually when I'm at work, but it being winter and all, I don't want to have to do that if it's super cold outside.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also, if she hasn’t had accidents in the house, but WILL eventually go in the yard... then have her hold it. She’ll eventually get there.
How have you attempted to teach her to potty on command? At what point are you adding the cue word and what’s the reward?
Another thing that could help is having another dog come spend time in your yard...
I'll try that, just put her in her crate and let her out when I get home.
Getting her to potty on command has been challenging as well. As soon as it looked like she was about to pee, I'd say "Go potty" or "go pee" and then praise her tons and give her treats when she was done. Have been trying to do that with poop too but yeah, doesn't appear to be working.
And yeah maybe I'll try bringing in another dog to poop back there haha.
 

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I don't get it. I've seen plenty of dogs that when let out into the yard, will poop and then come back in. That's all I'm trying to do here really, is get her to poop when I put her outside. I don't care if she does it when I say "go poop", I just want her to do it without having to leave her back there all day. I know that's what I'm hoping to do eventually when I'm at work, but it being winter and all, I don't want to have to do that if it's super cold outside.
If a dog is pooping as soon as it is let out, it is because it has to go, not because it was trained to go. Sometimes dogs need to go more than once and aren't finished yet when brought in and will go in the house. To paraphrase Cesar Milan, just because you were finished (walking the dog, letting the dog out, etc.) does not mean the dog was finished.

I have a pup here now that will go outside and pee but I can't bring him in afterwards because he will pee again about 15 minutes later, inside or out.

I rotate dogs outside. Everyone gets rotated to go out for a quick one first thing in the morning followed by a more leisurely second outing to finish business on their schedule.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I guess I don't know what to make of all that. What exactly is your advice? You're not really giving me advice on what I should do. I don't have the luxury of being able to let her out as soon as she needs to, to hang out while she strolls leisurely around in the backyard for hours. She gets a chance in the morning and if she doesn't go, she's gonna have to hold it for 8 hours. If that's how she needs to learn, then that's how she's gonna learn, I guess. It's been 23 hours now since she last pooped, and she's not asking to go, so...I guess she can hold it.

Literally every dog I've ever had, or dogsat, and all of my friends' dogs, pooped in the morning when first let out. I don't think that is an unreasonable expectation and no, I don't feel like they only went because "they had to"--sure, they obviously had to because they did, but I do think they have some control over it. I feel like Willow has been trained (by me) to wait for her walks, and I'm trying to un-train her of that.
 

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Dogs are creatures of habit. She has learned to poo on a walk, and it’s more fun to poo on a walk. Plus, pooing is brought on by walking.
I think there’s nothing wrong with crating her if she doesn’t go. She will eventually go when she really needs to.
 

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Go on command can be a little misleading if you look at really literally. Its a combination of pretty much all thats been said. They can only give what they've got, but thats all you're looking for. I'd quit doing what you've been doing, do like dogma said and put her on a leash. Take her out and tell her once calmly to go. A calm "Good Girl" and come back in. Then do it again in a little while. Its just adding structure and routine to it, from repetition. I never reward or create any kind of excitement around it. I shut up so I'm not interrupting a natural function. She's fully mature so if she's trained to not go in the house, they can hold it for 12 hours until you get her used to the new routine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well it's officially been 24 hours since she pooped. I just don't understand how she'll go twice a day on walks but now she hasn't gone in 24 hours.

This is getting really, REALLY frustrating. I've literally devoted this whole day to trying to get her to poop outside and she just won't do it. I'm supposed to be seeing a movie with a friend tonight and if Willow won't go before that, then she gets to spend the evening outside. I will not give in and take her for a walk.
 

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Some dogs for whatever reason view the yard as part of the house and don't want to relieve themselves there. My Shadow will not go in a camping area, for example. She clearly views it as living space.
Take her for a walk, bag the poop and then place it in a spot in your yard where you want her to go. It may help her to understand that this is acceptable.
 

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My advice is to explain to you what is going on. She is not being stubborn. She is not trying to force you to take her for a walk. This is not something she is doing to you.

I never said that she does not have bowel control to hold it if she needs to. I said she does not have bowel control to go when you want her to, that is involuntary. What is your feeding schedule? What is the feeding schedule of the dogs that you know that go in the morning? A feeding schedule can affect the timing.

She is being a good dog right now and holding it because you have trained her to go on her morning walks, intentional or not. Is your yard fenced? Then let her out in the morning and go about your business inside. If your yard is not fenced then just tether her outside.

She needs your patience right now because you have changed the game plan. She is confused and trying to please you. She does not understand the new rules yet. She's just a dog.
 

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My dog pees on command, but very occasionally I get the look "I can't possibly go right now", or at night he'll go around the corner of the house, and comes back quickly, he pretends he's been (very rarely). I can't poop until I need to go, the same for my dog. Enjoy your dog, she can hold it, and she'll adjust to your new routine easily.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So I put her back outside and went about my business, did a workout in the sunroom and kinda kept an eye on her...nothing. Took a shower and decided I'd just take her on her walk and make it a really brief one, and do what was suggested and bring her poop back and put it in the yard.

Literally just as I was about to bring her inside, I saw her walk off and both pee and poop. FINALLY. And boy it was quite the turd. I was in position then to immediately open the door, praise her, and then I took her on a much longer walk. (She pooped a little more...which I'm fine with.)

So yay, finally we had success. 25 hours after her last poop. I'll try to do a similar routine tomorrow. Honestly if she only poops once per day, that's fine, and if it ends up being on our afternoon walk, that's fine. Really it's the morning walk that I worry I won't be able to give her every day.

As for her feeding schedule...the recommended amount is 3.5 cups her day, so I feed her 1.5 cups in the morning first thing (usually 6 or 7am depending on if it's the weekend or not), and then 2 cups around 5pm. Because I already give myself 2 hours in the morning, I kinda need to feed her straightaway so I can wait my hour and then walk her without risking the bloat. (I'm taking that really seriously.) I may just put her outside immediately after her morning meal to do the waiting for that hour out there, and hope that she'll poop then.

I did try taking her outside first thing in the morning for the first couple of weeks I had her, but she never did anything. Seriously. Mondo bladder.
 

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A couple of things I've noticed- yes some dogs definitely define smaller outdoor areas near the house as a place they should not toilet. For all you know someone previously trained her NOT to potty in the yard or she had no fenced yard and only ever was pottied on a leash walk in her life. And those habits do get so ingrained. Imagine if one day someone told you you had to pull down your pants and pee on a city street in front of a 100 people. Bet you'd have a hard time doing it

I have indoor/outdoor kennel runs for boarders and some will happily poop and pee in their outdoor runs and others wouldn't no matter what, they see that as part of their run and not a toilet.

My male likes to use his poop to mark as well as pee so he definitely will save it for a walk.

Both my boys can hold it for a really long time. I'd say 1/2 the time if not more, I put them out the door first thing in the morning and they just stand on the porch and wait to be let back in. If I go with them they will go down in the yard but somtimes I still have to tell them to do it.

I'd also say 80% of my boarders will go to the absolute farthest point from the kennel building that they can to poop. So it's obviously a habitual thing of lots of dogs to want to poop far from where they "live"

Bottom line, it's not that weird, habits are hard to change and you just have to persevere like you are doing to get her to change her habits.
 

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"Several popular theories regarding bloat were not substantiated during the study. There was no correlation of bloat risk to exercise before or after eating, as most dogs bloated in the middle of the night with an empty, gas-filled stomach. There was also no correlation to vaccinations, to the brand of dog food consumed, or to the timing or volume of water intake before or after eating.

From the research performed to date, we can list several factors that, added together, can characterize the typical dog that develops bloat: a deep and narrow chest; leanness; a relative that has had a bloat episode; eating quickly; a dry-food diet; a single, large daily meal; stress; and a fearful, nervous, or aggressive temperament."

 

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Discussion Starter #20
Really? So the exercise before/after meals thing is ok? Most of the stuff I'd read was still recommending waiting.

Honestly if I don't need to worry about that it'll make things a little less complicated...

In the meantime, Willow and I both feel good now and apparently this is her new favorite sleeping position.
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