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Adult dog won't toilet in garden

(10 Posts)
NoSquirrels Fri 17-Nov-17 23:15:36

So, we rehomed lovely approx 2 yr old Lab-cross a month ago. She is delightful - very very calm (to-point-of-comatose) in the house & a Big Fan of walks. Extremely gentle with kids, super tolerant & loves cuddles and belly rubs. Ignores boy cat (girl cat still refusing to come downstairs) and accepts the downstairs dog no-sofa rule unless it's just me & her then shh, don't tell!

She has no idea about playing with toys - or on the few occasions she has played, she's stopped when she's reached an obvious "unsure" threshold and it's like she doesn't yet trust us to not punish enthusiasm sad She meets & greets other dogs fine, but similarly not massively interested in playing & will warn them if they're too persistent. She's not properly recall trained yet so on a long line so we're not hanging out with loads of other dogs really so no issues there.

But ... after first few days/week of going in the garden, she will neither wee nor poo out there now. She'll hang on for a walk. So, if she goes on a last walk at 6-7, then 12 hours to 6-7am not unreasonable. But some days family schedule means last walk would be pre-6pm and next walk might not be till 8.45-9 after school drop-off.

She's got access to the garden whenever, certainly last thing at night/first thing in morning/during the day. She will "ask" at the front door but if I let her out back instead at that point she'll just hold out for a walk with her bladder of steel!

I have introduced key word on walks "hurry up" & treated effusively with chicken the last 2 times she went in the garden (upset tummy, clearly desperate) and accompany her out there, but especially late at night she'd rather go off to bed in the utility than venture outside!

I work from home so usually not a massive issue as I can pop her out whenever but today DH has gone abroad on an infrequent work trip & obviously DC1 has simultaneously come down with D&V meaning off school & walks impossible... we managed this morning by a quick walk to-and-from car delivering DC2 to school whilst poorly child stayed in car, and this evening I've just taken her across the road (leaving DC in house asleep) to pee on the verge as she's refused to go since 9am in the frequent garden offers.

So, wise MN Doghouse people - what next? Treat every elimination (even though she apparently saves for scent-marking on walks so never seems like any urgency for her?) Wait her out in the garden for days and deny any walks at all (feels bad when she takes such pleasure from them & I struggle to get her interested in the garden because won't play?) "Save" her poo/wee soaked leaves etc from walks and put back in the garden so she can scent mark?

And is it really awful for her to hold her pee so long?

missbattenburg Fri 17-Nov-17 23:26:29

If she goes when out for a walk have you tried walking her round the garden - complete with lead (for her) and jackets etc (for you)? The same ritual might just trigger her to go in the garden and you can then praise like crazy.

If she loves walks and the above works once then do this every time just before taking her for a walk in the hope she thinks a pee in the garden is the start of a walk, thus making it even more reinforcing for her.

Alternatively, have you noted the kinds of surfaces she will / will not go on. e.g. does she not go on the grass in the garden but happy to go on the pavement on a walk?

Using a cue and treats on a walk will also help in the long run (as you are doing).

NoSquirrels Sat 18-Nov-17 08:55:13

Thanks - yes, lead doesn't seem to help any more ... initially she'd go when we did that but now won't. But admittedly usually I'm not putting on jacket etc so that might work alongside always going out the back door for walks not the front door? We're waiting on a new side gate, so old gate is secured & a bit of a faff to go out/get in by but as we've inadvertently created a front door = proper walk = wee & back door = boring garden = no wee I might need to redress the balance.

Always wees on grass on a walk, so surface is not the issue. She really doesn't seem to feel urgency to wee - when we get out, apart from an initial slightly longer wee she definitely saves it to scent mark.

ColonelJackONeil Sat 18-Nov-17 09:00:48

My old dog was like this but my Dh liked it as he preferred not having dog mess in the garden. Labs do seem to have a bladder of steel! We are lucky where we are as there is a dog poo bin just up the road so we would just walk up there.

NoSquirrels Sat 18-Nov-17 09:13:25

I am all good with the only-poo-on-a-walk stuff (she goes once a day on her morning walk, and a poi-free garden is fine by me!) it's just the wee that worries me - like yesterday when 1 walk was genuinely all that could be available to her ... no dog should hold that long!

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sat 18-Nov-17 09:26:40

Our old family dog was trained to do this by the rescue we got her from - she would never, under any circumstances, toilet in the garden. The rescue felt it made her a more appealing dog because of the lack of garden mess.

She never got over it; really - we got round it by one of us older children taking her out if the adults weren’t available for more than 6/7 hours or so.

Rubberduckies Sat 18-Nov-17 09:43:06

I would work on it one weekend when you know you can be about and she’s not going to end up weeing inside. Just wait it out. Walks around the garden and playing out there every hour. Take out whenever she asks at the front door. Massive treat and then straight out for a walk once a wee is done. Once she learns she gets to go for a walk afterwards, the process should speed up!

When I brought my puppy home she went 16hours....and she’ll still sometimes refuse to wee before bed.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Sat 18-Nov-17 09:51:29

Our girl is the same, but we believe it's because she sees the garden as an extension of the house, and she's very clean. She's also very latrine and has her spots on her various routes. They change occasionally, but never by much.

NoSquirrels Sat 18-Nov-17 12:29:38

We did the boots & coat on, harness & lead in the garden for 15 minutes before our walk, out via back gate ... nothing. She was desperate obviously - jumping up at me (which she never does!) and clearly trying to communicate to me "hey lady, I need to go for a walk", but absolutely no dice until we crossed the road.

I did immediately click & treat & praise for that first wee, and next 2, which got her attention, but I fear it may be a long process - she can be pretty stubborn...

BiteyShark Sat 18-Nov-17 12:33:40

Do you have a key word for peeing? If not could you start to associate one when she pees on a walk then you could start to use that in the garden so you are giving her 'permission' to pee. Mine knows when I say our key word I am saying it's pee time.

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