Dog won’t go to the bathroom in front of you?
If your dog won’t go to the bathroom in front of you outside and then eliminates indoors as soon as you bring him in, the dog has most likely been punished during the house training process. The dog is very willing to go to the bathroom…just not in front of you. These dogs will eliminate outdoors (if there is no human around) and inside the home when the owner is absent.
This “hide from my human to eliminate” behavior almost always results from the use of punishment in house training. For example, the dog’s nose may have been rubbed into “the accident,” he may have been screamed at or hit. Unfortunately, the dog learns the wrong thing from these types of punishments. Instead of learning that going to the bathroom in the house is wrong, he learns that going to the bathroom is wrong”“and if his human sees “it” terrible things will happen to him. From the dog’s perspective, the only way to stay safe is to eliminate where the human cannot see him or “it.” Dogs can learn this wayward lesson with a single punishment event and once learned, the dog will not go to the bathroom in front of you”“no matter how long he has to hold it.
- If you know or suspect that your pet has been punished during house training, eliminate all forms of punishment, going forward. For fast and effective house training techniques, I strongly recommend the booklet, Way To Go! written by Patricia McConnell.
- Purchase a 30-foot, long-line leash. Walk your dog so that he can move freely at the end of the leash allowing him to maintain maximum distance from you. You can always bring the line in when needed for safety reasons.
- Try not to use vocalizations while on your walk, not even praise, for the first week. To help the dog feel safe, his eliminations should not draw any attention from you. When the dog is successfully eliminating at the end of the line for one week, shorten the long-line to 25-feet and work at that distance for one week. When you see that the dog is eliminating, try adding praise in a quiet, calm voice and elongate your words, “gooooood boooooy!” If the dog stops eliminating or becomes nervous when he hears your voice, discontinue the verbal praise. Whether you are able to verbally praise or not, give your dog three treats after he eliminates and continue on the walk.
- Gradually shorten the leash by 5-feet each week, repeating step 3 until the dog is eliminating within a 6-foot distance.
The goal of all dog training is to provide peaceable solutions to everyday problems so that pets and their owners live harmoniously. Paws in Training provides dog and cat training services in Raleigh, Apex, Holly Springs, Cary, Fuquay Varina and Garner, N.C.