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I am posting this in general, health and training sections as I think it might be relevant in all of them, and I am hoping for lots of feedback...

I am having a problem with my NM, 3 y/o, Pit Bull X, Tyler.

In the last 8 months or so, Tyler has stopped playing in the back yard. I have a beautiful (that every other dog seems to think is heaven), 1 acre fenced in yard. He has free access to it via a doggie door. Tyler will go out to do his business, but then runs right back. If he is outside, he is on the porch or deck and refuses to go on the grass (except to potty).

My other NM Bloodhound X loves the back yard. We can play for hours out there, having a great time. Tyler just sits on the porch watching us. If a playmate comes over, I usher them outside to run and wrestle. Again, Tyler stays on the porch. As soon as the other dogs come inside, its playtime!

I don't think it is grass aversion as I have tested this. He loves to go to grassy fields, other peoples yards, etc. And again, he relieves himself outside several times daily on the grass.

The only thing I have been able to pinpoint is that he acts the same when we are at our other residence (a small apartment) that has a small unfenced lawn. He will hurry onto the grass, do his business, then literally run off and back to the cement.

With this knowledge, I am leaning towards that he is averse to being near where he eliminates. I know this is normal for dogs (thats why crate training works, right) but it doesn't seem normal.

I am also leaning towards this theory because he has no perceived aversion to the front yard, which is only separated by a fence. However, this is a new issue for us. We moved to this property a little over a year ago and he absolutely loved the back yard the first summer and fall. He also never showed any aversion in our previous home and yard.

I have tried luring him onto the grass with a favorite toy or treat. He follows me happily until he has to put all four paws on the lawn. I had a steak (no lie), about 20 feet into the yard. Where was Tyler? Standing on the porch, looking at me with his soulful eyes, saying "nice try."

Our trainer suggested feeding him outside. Build up the positive association with the yard. Tyler didn't eat for multiple days.

It hasn't always been this way and I have no idea or clues as to what caused this. Perhaps he was stung while outside? But that doesn't explain his aversion to our other yard and his lack of aversion to other grassy places.

Its very distressing for me to see my happy, playful boy, choosing to seclude himself from activities because he doesn't want to be in the yard.

We went today (7/12) for a full blood panel, urine analysis and parasite analysis. Doctor suspects nothing medical, so I am crossing my fingers.

Any ideas what this could be or how I can help him?
 
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