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WildNoodles

Issues Going Outside

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Since adopting our boy, we’ve discovered that he’s very scared of thunder and absolutely terrified of fireworks. Initially he had no problems going outside to potty when it was dark, but now he fights me and sometimes growls at me if I try to get him to go out when it’s dark (sometimes this is after he hasn’t gone out for a long time, by his own choice, and yet he’ll still keep refusing). I’m wondering if he’s linking the dark with scary noises. I’d like to get him to go out without a struggle and without growling at me. Treats and encouragement don’t work. :(  Any suggestions?

Edited by WildNoodles

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I've been there. Forcing doesn't help anything, just makes it worse. Time should eventually make it better.

Have you tried leashing him up? Is he generally good about telling you when he's got to go out and not going in the house? If so, just wait him out. Try to get him out as late as possible, before it gets dark and then he might just hold it until morning, or get you up at 2 am. It's not ideal, but that's what worked best for me and Lila. It took a few weeks, but she got over it.

Hang in there!


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Jerilyn, devoted Mistress to Lila (Good Looking)

 

 

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5 hours ago, Jerilyn said:

I've been there. Forcing doesn't help anything, just makes it worse. Time should eventually make it better.

Have you tried leashing him up? Is he generally good about telling you when he's got to go out and not going in the house? If so, just wait him out. Try to get him out as late as possible, before it gets dark and then he might just hold it until morning, or get you up at 2 am. It's not ideal, but that's what worked best for me and Lila. It took a few weeks, but she got over it.

Hang in there!

Been there too. Gave up on trying to force Grace out in the evening so we now go for a walk and potty late afternoon and she manages until the morning walk about 6:30 with no problems.


Grace (Ardera Coleen) born 18 June 2014
Raced at Monmore Green, Wolverhampton UK - 68 Races, 9 wins, 5 second places
Gotcha Day 10 June 2018 

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Yes - I've been there as well.  I tried forcing Lucas, which resulted in him avoiding coming near me, so I gave up and just waited for him to show me he had to go out.  He never did have an accident in the house. When he indicated he needed to go (going near the door the way he typically did) and he'd finally run out, I would wait for him and bring him back in immediately so that he didn't have to stay out there very long. That seems to help him and he's gotten better.  Now he'll go out regularly but not want to stay out there, which is fine.

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Not sure if he's going out into a backyard/garden or for a late evening walk, but if it's the former could you install a motion activated light on the house so that it's not really that dark out when he's out there? Same might work if you're heading out the front for a walk.

Are you sure it's the dark, or could it be something more specific in his pottying area - like an animal that prowls around or a particularly scary/prickly/offensive shrub? (some hounds are just this neurotic :rollin) Is he avoiding anything in that area during the day too?

You could also try some general desensitizing - he gets a really good treat but only if he goes out into the dark with you.

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23 hours ago, Jerilyn said:

I've been there. Forcing doesn't help anything, just makes it worse. Time should eventually make it better.

Have you tried leashing him up? Is he generally good about telling you when he's got to go out and not going in the house? If so, just wait him out. Try to get him out as late as possible, before it gets dark and then he might just hold it until morning, or get you up at 2 am. It's not ideal, but that's what worked best for me and Lila. It took a few weeks, but she got over it.

Hang in there!

Tried using the leash last night and it got him out there! Thank you. He actually has wanted to avoid going outside so badly that I think (he’s not an only dog) he has gone in the house once or twice despite generally being very good about such things.

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14 hours ago, phall said:

Yes - I've been there as well.  I tried forcing Lucas, which resulted in him avoiding coming near me, so I gave up and just waited for him to show me he had to go out.  He never did have an accident in the house. When he indicated he needed to go (going near the door the way he typically did) and he'd finally run out, I would wait for him and bring him back in immediately so that he didn't have to stay out there very long. That seems to help him and he's gotten better.  Now he'll go out regularly but not want to stay out there, which is fine.

I have noticed he seems a bit less happy to see me since our potty struggles started, which is heartbreaking. :(  He typically indicates (if he’s going to) by running up to me and then to the back door. If it’s his “I refuse to potty” time, he won’t ask, he’ll just stay in the living room.

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6 hours ago, Bizeebee said:

Not sure if he's going out into a backyard/garden or for a late evening walk, but if it's the former could you install a motion activated light on the house so that it's not really that dark out when he's out there? Same might work if you're heading out the front for a walk.

Are you sure it's the dark, or could it be something more specific in his pottying area - like an animal that prowls around or a particularly scary/prickly/offensive shrub? (some hounds are just this neurotic :rollin) Is he avoiding anything in that area during the day too?

You could also try some general desensitizing - he gets a really good treat but only if he goes out into the dark with you.

Back yard - it is pretty dark out there. Once out there, he just wants to go back in. Lights might help, too - I’ll have to try that. (No animals that I’ve seen, and the shrubs are all away from the central area.)

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