Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.
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Thread: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

  1. #1
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    Question Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum, having adopted an adult lab (2-4 yrs) from a rescue. We've had Mattie for two weeks now, and she is a wonderful dog. She does well in the house, goes into her crate and stays there while we are away, is great with our cat, loves to play fetch, etc. We know nothing of her previous training, or even if she had any, as she doesn't seem to know any basic commands, but she is a very well behaved dog. There's just one thing we are puzzled about. She will only go to the bathroom when she is off leash and playing fetch in the yard. When we first brought her home, she went to the bathroom right away, on leash, as soon as we took her out of the car, before bringing her into the house. Ever since, even though we have taken her on leash to her "potty spot" waited for upwards of 20 minutes, walking her back and forth, as soon as she gets up in the morning, and after waiting for an hour or two after meals, basically anytime we want her to go to the bathroom, she won't do it. But, no matter how long we have had her on leash to try and get her to go (and I have to admit, she wears us out waiting) she refuses. But, as soon as we play fetch with her, she will go to the bathroom within 3 or 4 throws of the ball (pee and poop.) We have taken her on long walks through the woods, on leash, where she has been able to sniff to her heart's content, but...no peeing or pooping! We took her with us to our daughter's over Christmas, a 7 hour drive, and she did great in the car, but, again, did not go to the bathroom once on the drive, despite stopping frequently to let her out to go. We've never had a dog that did not go to the bathroom on leash and we're really puzzled as to what might be causing this behavior. We hate to take away the exercise and enjoyment she gets from fetching in the yard, but wonder if this is what we must do until she finally goes to the bathroom on leash when we take her out so we can praise her and she knows what we want her to do. Any thoughts or ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks!

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    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    It's not unusual for some dogs to need some concealment for going potty as they are in a very vulnerable position. Confidence is part of that issue. It's only been 2 weeks and everything is still pretty new and strange for her. Nature will win out and she will go when she absolutely has to....whether on leash or off.

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    Unhappy Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Thanks for the advice, although I don't know if concealment is what she is loking for as when she does go to the bathroom it is in the wide open field we have her in. Today was the first day she was home all day while my husband and I were at work. She was crated after her morning meal, and when my husband came home from work, he immediately took her outside on leash. He walked her around for almost an hour until I got home, after which I took over for about 15 minutes. We knew she HAD to go. Finally, we just let her off the leash, threw the ball for her to fetch, and after the third toss, she did her business (both ) Very frustrating for us as we won't always be in a situation with her where we can just toss the ball so she can go to the bathroom!

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Hello! We have the EXACT same problem with our 8-month-old male yellow lab. We just adopted him from another family, so he's just been with us for a week. He will not pee or poop on a leash at all, only when we play fetch! Just wondering if your problem has improved and what you may have found as a solution.

    Thank you!

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattiesmom View Post
    We hate to take away the exercise and enjoyment she gets from fetching in the yard, but wonder if this is what we must do until she finally goes to the bathroom on leash when we take her out so we can praise her and she knows what we want her to do. Any thoughts or ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!! Thanks!
    You don't have to take it away. Let the fetch be the reward. Keep taking her out at regular intervals. As TooneyDogs said, eventually nature will win out and she will go despite the leash. When she finally does, reward her with a fun game of fetch.

    ---
    Humble servant of Big Words, a three-year-old beagle/basset mix.

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Funny, my dog will only go on leash, will not go when off and roaming. Also, took him awhile on leash to go other places then our own lawn. I would walk him, but he'd wait to get back home to go. Guess its like his own bathroom.

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandjody View Post
    Hello! We have the EXACT same problem with our 8-month-old male yellow lab. We just adopted him from another family, so he's just been with us for a week. He will not pee or poop on a leash at all, only when we play fetch! Just wondering if your problem has improved and what you may have found as a solution.

    Thank you!
    jenandjodie,
    Don't give up hope! Mattie is now doing vey well going to the bathroom on leash. It took almost two months but one day (and it was literally overnight) she just started going on the leash. She can be counted on to pee almost every time we take her out; we're still working on the pooping - she seems to prefer waiting until she's fetching- but she's doing that on the leash more often, also. We did begin training her according to Jan Fennel's method ("The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennel) about a week before she had her "transformation" as we refer to it, so I really don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. We also began walking her on the leash and if she didn't go within 10 minutes, we'd bring her back in the house and take her out again about 15 minutes later, repeating this several times until we either had to stop because we had to go to work, to bed, or whatever else. It took some time, and an awful lot of patience, but, it seems like she just "got it" one day and she's been great since. Honestly, I was beginning to think it was never going to happen, but it did! Also, out vet suggested a longer leash, and we tried that, too, but now she goes on the short one or the long one. I hope this is encouraging for you. I know whenever I mentioned this "problem" to most of my friends, and even our vet, they said they had never heard of a dog that didn't at least pee almost every time it was let outside, and we had never had this happen with any of the other dogs we have had, so we didn't get any "quick fix" advice.....only to keep working on it, which we did. Good luck, and let me know how you make out!

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    Member drea's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    On thing that I do whenever I see Tucker peeing or pooping is to say "Good HurryUp!" (this may or may not be a good phrase for those with small children) or "Good Poop!" in a happy voice. Now, when I only have a limited amount of time to have him do his business, I say "HurryUp!" or "Go Poop!" and he will, in a matter of a few short minutes. Almost on command.
    104 pounds at 12 months. Oof.


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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    try a flexi lead. I don't like them for normal walking, but I did have a dog who didn't like going on lead. Once I used a flexi lead I realized he just didn't like going within 6 feet of me, yet would go at the end of the flexi.
    <img src=http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a351/kcjmom/007.jpg border=0 alt= />

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    Question Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    I just moved from a big fenced yard with two dogs to a small condo with no yard!
    my dog(1 year) will not go potty on her leash she will wait till i am in the shower or in my room and she will run down stairs and "do her business" on my rug i cant get her to go on her leash i will take her for long walks to the park, trails,beach or even just out side in the grass and i will stand there with her for about 45 minutes and she just looks at me like i am crazy and lays down.
    if you no of a way to help me please let me know thank you.....

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    Senior Member DogPaw's Avatar
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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    I have to keep my dogs on a leash when out potting, I use a retractable. It seems to work better with some dogs as they prefer a little more distance away from you.

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    So there is obviously lots of advice from great owners to sort through here! I thought I would offer my advice, as I have had a rescue shepherd-beagle mix for 6 months now. She came from a home in the country with tons of land, and now lives in NYC. So, peeing off leash is no longer a great option for her! While the retractable leash seems tempting, I would not recommend it as many dog trainers and others advise that they give the owner less control and can cause other behavioral issues in dogs (this may not be an issue for non-rescue dogs that have been with one owner since being a puppy). My next tip is to take your dog to one spot that you decide is the bathroom area every walk and encourage your dog to "go potty" or whatever you might say. If the dog loses focus, give a quick tug of the leash and repeat your command. Then...TREATS, TREATS, TREATS! When your dog does finally go, immediately reward with a treat he/she does not get normal and is very tempting (small piece of chicken, etc.). Keep up repetition with this process, maintain your cool, and be super patient. My dog literally didn't go for days, but she is all set now - I even took her to the vet concerned and he said she was being picky. Good luck!

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    I have had my GS pup since she was 1 mo old....she is 10 months old now and still has the same problem about not going on a leash....i started waling her when she 2mo old but because she was to young for for her shots, i didnt let her in or on any dirt or grass...when we got home she would go in our back yard and potty...im sure this is why she wont go potty on a leash..i have walked her for hrs and still she will hold it. We also take her on camping trips and she will hold it for hrs then potty in the trailer when were sleeping or when we are off on a buggy ride. She now holds all night with no problem then when we get up we let her in the back and she goes..i even have tried not putting her out first thing in the morning and walking her instead...still she will hold it till we get home...How can i get her to feel comfortable about the leash

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    Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by lowa View Post
    I have had my GS pup since she was 1 mo old....she is 10 months old now and still has the same problem about not going on a leash....i started waling her when she 2mo old but because she was to young for for her shots, i didn't let her in or on any dirt or grass...when we got home she would go in our back yard and potty...im sure this is why she wont go potty on a leash..i have walked her for hrs and still she will hold it. We also take her on camping trips and she will hold it for hrs then potty in the trailer when were sleeping or when we are off on a buggy ride. She now holds all night with no problem then when we get up we let her in the back and she goes..i even have tried not putting her out first thing in the morning and walking her instead...still she will hold it till we get home...How can i get her to feel comfortable about the leash
    Have you tried taking her out on a retractable leash? Mine wouldn't go on a regular 6' leash but had no problem with the retractable one. Also I would praise more and use special yummy treats when she does go while on the leash.

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    Smile Re: Dog won't go to the bathroom on leash.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mattiesmom View Post
    jenandjodie,
    Don't give up hope! Mattie is now doing vey well going to the bathroom on leash. It took almost two months but one day (and it was literally overnight) she just started going on the leash. She can be counted on to pee almost every time we take her out; we're still working on the pooping - she seems to prefer waiting until she's fetching- but she's doing that on the leash more often, also. We did begin training her according to Jan Fennel's method ("The Dog Listener" by Jan Fennel) about a week before she had her "transformation" as we refer to it, so I really don't know if that had anything to do with it or not. We also began walking her on the leash and if she didn't go within 10 minutes, we'd bring her back in the house and take her out again about 15 minutes later, repeating this several times until we either had to stop because we had to go to work, to bed, or whatever else. It took some time, and an awful lot of patience, but, it seems like she just "got it" one day and she's been great since. Honestly, I was beginning to think it was never going to happen, but it did! Also, out vet suggested a longer leash, and we tried that, too, but now she goes on the short one or the long one. I hope this is encouraging for you. I know whenever I mentioned this "problem" to most of my friends, and even our vet, they said they had never heard of a dog that didn't at least pee almost every time it was let outside, and we had never had this happen with any of the other dogs we have had, so we didn't get any "quick fix" advice.....only to keep working on it, which we did. Good luck, and let me know how you make out!
    Thank you so much for the info.
    I just adopted 4 1/2 months old standard poodle puppy, and he will not go on the leash neither. My other dog who we had since she was 8 weeks old never had problem like this, so I was really puzzled. New puppy will go no problem in the back yard with no leash, but never during the walk on the leash. Some times back yard can get muddy if rains or snow melts, so I really need him to learn to go on the leash... Your method gave me a great idea. I will also try using the long leash in the back yard and possibly gradually shorten the leash... Thanks for giving me a hope!

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