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Suddenly Afraid Of Yard, Refuses To Relieve Herself


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We adopted Kira almost 2 months ago. Up until about two weeks ago, she LOVED the backyard (full privacy fence, about a third of an acre). She loved chasing critters (as I mentioned in a previous post) to the point that she actually refused to come in the house. She would patrol the yard, often not relieving herself for a long time and then we'd have to go get her with a leash or offer treats to get her inside.

 

About two weeks ago, she began peeing on the deck rather than going into the yard. Each time, I hosed off the area and sprayed with enzyme cleaner - I also began walking into the yard with her and that seemed to help. Then, she began pooping on the deck.

 

I have since then blocked access to the deck stairs, I walk her down and I wait for her to go - giving loads of praise/treats when she goes.

 

Our problem now is that we are spending longer and longer outside with her - and she often will not pee (only poops). Yesterday, for example, she pooped after almost an hour, but would not pee. I decided to praise her for that and let her in, knowing we were taking a morning walk soon. She peed on her walk, about 8:30 am. All day, I let her out 3-4x and not once would she leave the deck, even though our boy happily goes out anytime he's outside. I didn't pressure her. After dinner, around 5:30, she wouldn't leave the deck again. I walked her down, closed access to stairs and walked around the yard...for an hour. Finally, she pooped - no pee - I praised and let her in. Evening walk about 30 minutes later...no pee. We let her out before bed, about 10:30 - stayed outside roughly 20 minutes with her, husband didn't realize she has access to the deck on one side - Kira ran up on the deck and peed.

 

This morning, I sat outside with her for 45 minutes...no pee. She finally pooped...on the asphalt connecting to our driveway at the bottom of the deck stairs.

 

I have never experienced anything like this. We have also tried putting her on leash and walking her in the yard, and spent 2 hours the first time (she didn't go at all) and an hour the second time (she peed, so we praised and let her in).

 

She has been doing great up until this point, and never has any issues going outside unless she was distracted by chasing/hunting squirrels, chipmunks, etc. now she seems scared of the yard? And even peeing on walks is becoming rare.

 

I just don't know what else to do? I work from home, so I can dedicated time to this - but I do still have to work and be at my desk.

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1) Do not give her that long. Take her out for 10 minutes. Be pleasant and happy and say something like, "Time to tinkle." If she doesn't go, take her back inside and try again later. If she DOES go, praise her to the moon.

2) Never, ever end a walk right after a dog finally does produce. You can actually inadvertantly train a dog to "hold it" this way. So don't stay out until she poops or pees and then immediately go inside.

 

3) Sounds like something frightened her--can you take her out the front on a leash for a while? She'll get over it. But it might take a bit.

 

I'm sure you'll get plenty of other good advice, but I believe dogs do best on a regular schedule. It's awesome you're home and she has access to a yard and time, but for now, consider a schedule built around a normal work day (as if you were working outside your home). Take her out first thing in the AM. Then feed them. About 45 later, take her out again (this is when I'd leash walk her out the front around the neighborhood). Then do your work. Keep her with you, but you don't have to let them in and out all day. If she hasn't relieved herself, and shows signs that she does, go ahead and leash her up and take her out for a couple of minutes (see above). As if you were housebreaking a puppy, in other words.

 

Also, inspect the yard for something like fire ants or anything else that might have bitten her. She sounds like she's avoiding something that you might not see or hear, but she can.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Above advice is great! Especially about not going in right after she potties. Maybe praise her, give her treats, encourage her to romp around the yard, etc.

 

I'm still impressed that you're able to leash walk her! I wish I had a video of her bouncing like a kangaroo :lol I'm sure these quirks contributed to the reason she was returned - I'm so happy she's with you since you obviously have the patience and desire to work with her. She licked out! :)

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

I sell things on Etsy!

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How many stairs are there, how good is the traction, and is there the possibility that she slipped on them at some point and that has made her reluctant to use them by herself? Maybe she slipped going down or maybe she slipped going up, but whichever it is they might be stressing her out. Or, maybe she was 'interruped' when pottying by your other dog and that has made her reluctant. Have you been letting them out together or separately?

 

Do you walk her in the mornings? Maybe she is one of those dogs that wants to do her business away from home, either as marking for other dogs or just keeping her own area 'clean.' Our Allie does a lot of marking (more than Monty by a huge amount!) and Monty himself is very fussy about finding exactly the perfect spot for his precious, precious urine and looks and looks for the best spot so it takes a while. We have no fenced yard, so ours get walked for all potty breaks.

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Hi all, thanks so much!

 

I typically do keep the pups on a schedule - they go out after breakfast (yard) and then we take a walk (every morning). Then they go out (yard) at lunch, then they eat dinner around 6:00 and go out right after (yard). We have our evening walk every night an hour or so later and then they go out right before bed (10:30'ish). I've just started letting them out at random times because Kira kept running to the back door like she wanted to go out (in fact she tries to squeeze through the crack of the door before I even finishing opening it)...but then she just stands there. :dunno

 

We have stairs in the house (split level house, so half a flight up, half a flight down), 3 stairs off our front porch and on the deck there are two access points - one with 3 stairs and the other with 5. We've noticed no falls or stumbles, and no hesitation on any of the stairs. When we go out with her, she'll run down the stairs, but then she stands like a statue looking at the yard, and then bolts right back up.

 

We'll definitely extend the time in the yard after she goes as not to encourage lingering out there! We tried throwing tennis balls for her a few times, because she normally looooooves to chase them - but she has shown no interest in those, either. :( We don't end walks after she goes, we just continue our normal walks - just praise her when goes on leash. She loves her walks! I was going to try a few short walks with her today.

 

I'll also try the front yard. My husband took her out in the back (on leash) this morning while I walked our other dog - he was out there just gently leading her around, giving treats when she would follow him and he ended up out there for 30 minutes and no pee from her. He agrees with me that she appears scared of the yard.

 

I've asked him to mow the yard pretty short after work today - our yard is somewhat torn up at the moment due to our (very rude) neighbors digging a trench from their yard to our back yard where all their rain water just rushes there - eroding the heck out of our yard. We are already planning on a major overhaul in the fall - 3 truckloads of dirt, grading, filling in dents, covering tree roots, etc. and finally replanting all the grass. We just can't do it now because it's too hot to grow grass. I've been buying bags of dirt to fill in holes (lots of voles this year) and big "dents" when i see them. But we have a lot of weeds back there and they grow really fast. Maybe the taller weeds/grass bother her?

 

I've been checking as I wander through the yard with her every day for fire ants & yellow jackets (I'm allergic to both) and I've not seen anything. We're kinda spoiled, as we also have a guy who cleans the yard once a week of poo (BEST money ever spent!) - he covers every square foot of the yard and hasn't mentioned anything (he's told us in the past when he spots yellow jackets).

 

Was also considering hiring someone to check under our deck and garden shed for critters and clearing them out if they find anything. We have seen opossums in the yard before (our two previous dogs killed 3 of them). Thought maybe she was scared of some smells back there?

 

Thanks for all the advice - it makes me so sad to see her in such turmoil. One reason we bought this house was because of the nice, big yard for dogs - and we so want her to enjoy it again. :(


Just wondering if she might have an uti, and it hurts to pee?

I was wondering about that, myself. I'll call the vet today about getting her tested. She was on some hefty rounds of antibiotics (3x) since we adopted her because of a foot issue, and her last dose was not even a week ago. I'll definitely check it out!

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Does she actually *act* afraid? Tail tucked, nervous lip licking, anything? The reason I ask is that my dogs get bored with the yard and would generally rather go on walks. I'll turn them out, knowing they have to go (Heyokha in particular - he'll tank up on water until I'm sure his bladder would pop), but they'll stand there and not move off the patio. Put a leash on them and walk them out the door and they're happy as clams and do their business immediately. Just a thought :)


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Does she actually *act* afraid? Tail tucked, nervous lip licking, anything? The reason I ask is that my dogs get bored with the yard and would generally rather go on walks. I'll turn them out, knowing they have to go (Heyokha in particular - he'll tank up on water until I'm sure his bladder would pop), but they'll stand there and not move off the patio. Put a leash on them and walk them out the door and they're happy as clams and do their business immediately. Just a thought :)

Hiya! Yeah, she seems scared/hesitant - she just freezes up. So, when we've put her on a leash and walked her back there, when we walk around the perimeter of the yard, she'll come pretty willingly - but as soon as we try to walk anywhere in the middle of the yard (anyplace not protected by the fence, deck or house) - she will freeze and refuse to walk anymore. And it's not one specific area in the middle, it's anywhere that isn't protected. The times that she'll "go" on her own out there, she always stays close to the fence or deck and then she bolts back to the house.

 

Just took her out for a quick walk on leash and still no pee. Also romped around the front yard and nothing...she was sniffing a bit like she was going to go, but nothing. Will try again soon!

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Is it possible that your neighbors scared her with the digging or working in their yard? I have had fosters as well as my own dogs be afraid of noises made by children playing in their back yards (i.e. trampolines, aluminum baseball bats, etc) or unusual noises like certain yard equipment etc.

<p>Mom to Kyle (Diehard Kyle) & Angel Gracie (KB's Sankey) Foster Mom for AFG

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I was thinking about you last night, and wondering it could be something like an underground burrow, leak in a pipe she can hear but you can't, gas leak?

 

We had a dog go nuts in our screen porch once, digging and digging at the floor. Turns out we had termites!

 

Keep us posted!


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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