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A few months ago my wife and I rescued a 5 year old MinPin name Luey. Overall, he's a pretty good dog. Very laid back, but also very skittish around new people. Very concerned with every light, noise or movement he sees - particularly when we are outside.

The first few months we had him we walked him regularly, and he seemed to be generally housebroken save a few accidents during the first few days we had him. The problem is he will normally only pee when he is on a walk or when we bring him out to the street (we live in a condo). In the summer this wasn't an issue, but being that we live in Michigan I began to get concerned about what we would do once the snow piled up.

The last week or so we're been trying to train him to pee on the bushes in front of our house, with mixed success. We have gotten him to go on some of the trees in our front cul-de-sac area with more success. This seems to be an ongoing process.

My question is, I guess, am I doing anything wrong? I bring him outside and give him our command (Go Potty.... was not my choice but it usually works) and after enough time he goes (about half the time....). Is there any particular method I should follow if I want him to pee on these particular bushes (there are 7 or 8 to choose from, I'm not being very specific with him.)

My other question involves another particular behavior he has. He will line up like he's going to pee: sniff, sidle up to the area, get closer.... maybe lift the leg a little.... Then he stops and stares off into the distance. I absolutely KNOW he does have to pee, but he'll go as far as he can go into the process of doing so but nothing actually comes out. He does this a lot, and not just when he's out of urine. This can happen first thing in the morning after he's been asleep for 8-10 hours or so... and it drives me nuts. This is also where the distraction I mentioned before comes into play.... it sometimes doesn't take more than a stick breaking or a stiff breeze... Is there anything I can do? Any suggestions?

I appreciate all the help, especially being that I'm new here (as well as a new dog owner)

Thanks in advance!

B
 

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Can you shovel a patch for him to pee on? Most dogs like to pee where other dogs have peed. If the patch is near a sidewalk, or near a neighbor who has dogs, they may use it also, and your dog will be more inclined to go there. With that said, dogs need the mental stimulation and physical stimulation of walks. Not just playing inside in the winter, and going just outside the front door to pee. Are you actually walking him for a half hr or so a couple of times a day? I know it's hard when the weather is bad, but if you put a water proof dog coat/blanket (you can get some good waterproof ones for about 20.00), he'll be less distracted when you do need to just pop him out the front door to pee.
If he seems to have problems peeing, beyond the first one and being distracted have a vet check him for a UTI.
 

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Thanks for the quick response!

He does get daily walks in the morning and at night.... Which we will try to continue in the winter.

It isn't snowing yet though. We are just trying to get him to start peeing closer to home on his non-walk trips outside. We already have 2-3 pieces of clothing to keep him warm. Is there a specific coat that is best? All we seem to keep finding are sweaters and hodies.... No actual coats....

.....
 
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