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Okay, so obviously that title was used to grab some attention. Let me just go ahead and state that I do not think my pup is dumb. He's incredibly intelligent, but I am desperate for some helpful tips and ideas. Here's the scenario.

I have a 6 month old Mini Schanuzer male (Max) WHO WILL NOT POOP OUTSIDE!!! He can sit, stay, fetch, speak, follows commands without a hitch. But, for the love of all things Holy, I cannot teach him to poop outside. The peeing is getting better, but not by much.

Max stays either tethered to me or in his kennel. No ifs, ands or buts. I am his soul caregiver. I don't let my kids or husband take him out or watch him, because that's when Max has accidents in the house. So, I do it all. But whatever I am doing is not working. He refuses to poop outside. I take him to the same dang spot everyday, up to 20 times a day. I'm a stay at home mom, so I have the time to spend with him. I have treated and praised him in the past as if he has cured cancer. But something in him no longer wants to poop outside and I don't understand it. He will hold it for H-O-U-R-S! until he finally goes unsuspectingly in his kennel. He has no medical conditions, sees his vet more than normal ( because I'm THAT dog mom) UTD on all immunizations and preventatives.

His feeding schedule is consistent. We have a consistent daily routine. He knows when it's time to go out, when it's time for breakfast, time to take kids to school, back in kennel, dinner time, etc. He is the smartest dang dog I've ever owned, but for whatever blasted reason, he's the biggest idiot in the pooping department. It's most likely me who is the idiot, TBH though. ? There's something that I'm not doing right obviously.

Guys, tonight I'm in tears because I've had enough. Since he won't go outside, he's resorted to pooping in his very small kennel. Doesn't seem to bother him a bit. He gives no warning. He just goes. And if it's not in the kennel, he poops the very second my kids take him out. They're "AWESOME" about taking him out of the kennel... and not watching him.?? And the second they do, he heads for any random spot and craps right in the floor. I kid you not. Even though I have taken him out 15 times prior, at 15-25 mins EACH TIME (it literally consumes my entire day, every day) which is why the kids no longer get to spend any unsupervised time with him.

Y'all, I have wanted Max for years. I have pinned over him for so long. I finally got him and he was going to be my pride and joy. I thought the void would finally be filled because of him. But now, every day that goes by, I'm growing more resentful, then sad because I'm resentful, then mad because he just won't learn, then mad at myself because obviously I'm doing something wrong (but worked for every dog I've ever owned) but he's the one in a million that it won't.

Can anyone shed some light? Any helpful tips? Maybe read my pup's mind for me? That'd be great! ?? If you came here to bash me, move along. I won't entertain any negativity. I don't have time for drama or mean people. I'm genuinely asking for help. Something's gotta give. ??? Thanks!
 

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The only thing I can think of is that something traumatizing (defined by the dog - not us humans! it could even have been something that you didn't even notice) happened when he was pooping outside, possibly when he was in a fear period, and now he is terrified to poop outside? If that *is* what's happened though, I don't know if there's a way to start to fix it unless you can figure out what it was that terrified him in the first place.

Alternatively, he might be really picky about the surface that he does his business on? Does he always poop on bare floor, or does he poop on the carpets as well?
 

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That's a good thought, but I haven't a clue what it would be. And as far as preference goes, he doesn't have one. Carpet, hardwood floors, the rugs, the linoleum in the bathroom, it doesn't matter. But if it's outside in the grass, it's not happening! :-/
 

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Maybe he doesn't like the grass? Is there an area of gravel or cement or mulch or.... just something other than grass you could try for a few days?

(I really hope on your behalf that it's the surface thing).
 

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Other things you could try (but they might not work if it's a fear thing): EDIT: apparently half the text got deleted when I was moving it around so now I'm fixing it.

1) You could use potty pads placed right by his crate, take him there when he gets let out and reward for pooping on the pad. Every couple of days, move the pad towards the door and gradually outside.

2) If it's the grass he doesn't like, make an area of pee-pads outside and take him there

3) When you are outside with him, is he tethered close to you, or free-roaming/on a long line? You could try giving him more space to do his business, or taking him for a thorough sniff around the yard before you stand in one place (which I'm assuming is what you're doing anyway, since 20-25 minutes is a long time to just stand in one spot, hah).

4) He might just be getting distracted because he's a young dog. When we were still in a condo, we actually had a very similar situation. Ida was so distracted when outside that she "forgot" to go and would do her business within 1-2 minutes inside. We started going back inside just long enough for it to be boring and for her to "remember" that she had to go (a minute or two, I didn't even take my shoes off) and then went back outside to stand around and she usually did her business shortly thereafter. (I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier).
 

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Is there a part of his routine that involves long walks far from home?

I have a friend whose dog will NOT poop in their yard. Sometimes he won't even poop in other people's yards. I once dog sat him and had him hold it 32 hours before he pooped in my house. I quickly rushed him outside mid poop....took TEN minutes to convince him to finish his business in my yard. I understand the frustration, and I was just dog sitting that pup!

Just a thought that if there isn't a long walk somewhere other than your house/area everyday, it might help. The dog I'm talking about usually takes about an hour long off leash walk to finally do his business. He won't poop on leash either, so it has to be an off leash walk for this dog (this might obviously not be possible with your dog, but just showing you how peculiar this dog it).
 

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I'd run with the idea that people being too close bothers him. If you have an exercise pen put it outside, pop him in then step away and weed or something so you aren't watching too closely. After he's done the deed softly praise and treat.

Possibly he went into one of those fear periods and it manifested in a bit of shyness with bodily functions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Maybe he doesn't like the grass? Is there an area of gravel or cement or mulch or.... just something other than grass you could try for a few days?

(I really hope on your behalf that it's the surface thing).
I have a chert rock driveway, painful to walk on barefooted, but we will try it!
 

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Other things you could try (but they might not work if it's a fear thing): EDIT: apparently half the text got deleted when I was moving it around so now I'm fixing it.

1) You could use potty pads placed right by his crate, take him there when he gets let out and reward for pooping on the pad. Every couple of days, move the pad towards the door and gradually outside.

2) If it's the grass he doesn't like, make an area of pee-pads outside and take him there

3) When you are outside with him, is he tethered close to you, or free-roaming/on a long line? You could try giving him more space to do his business, or taking him for a thorough sniff around the yard before you stand in one place (which I'm assuming is what you're doing anyway, since 20-25 minutes is a long time to just stand in one spot, hah).

4) He might just be getting distracted because he's a young dog. When we were still in a condo, we actually had a very similar situation. Ida was so distracted when outside that she "forgot" to go and would do her business within 1-2 minutes inside. We started going back inside just long enough for it to be boring and for her to "remember" that she had to go (a minute or two, I didn't even take my shoes off) and then went back outside to stand around and she usually did her business shortly thereafter. (I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier).
By the way, how could I tell if it's a fear thing? He acts normal by all means when we go out. He has an awesome, adventurous personality. Happily sniffing around, finding bugs in the grass to mess with. He has started lifting his leg to pee now, so most of the time if he's not sniffing around, he's marking territory. His personality does change when something startles him (a bird, a car noise, etc). The change is obvious because he will bark and hide behind me. He is not one to cower, at least I've never seen him do it. So, I'm not sure if it's a fear thing right now. But I don't speak "dog" either, so who knows?? Somebody call a Dog Whisperer! Lol xD You could be absolutely right, I just can't tell.

To respond to your questions, suggestions:

1) & 2) I would really prefer to not have to use pee pads. I haven't tried them with Max because I never had much luck with them in the past. They always ended up being a waste of money, time and effort. But, I'm at a point with Max where I will just about try anything now, even if it means standing on my head while doing it!

3) We always walk around the yard (1 acre) together. I'd die from boredom standing in one spot for that long xD. He is on a regular leash, because that's all I have. Do you think getting a longer line would help?? Maybe one of those longer retractable leashes??

4) he could very well be forgetting/getting distracted to go. He's a schnauzer, and they are always "on the hunt" for something. But he doesn't forget to pee, which he will do quite a few times everytime we are out.

Thank you for all your suggestions and thoughts!! <3
 

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Some dogs HATE to poop on a leash.

If you don't have a fenced yard where he can get a little distance away from you, then I suggest a lightweight long line (not a retractable IMO). Should be able to get a 20 foot or so lead at a place like Tractor Supply for under $15.
 

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Have you tried taking him off property on a long walk? Exercise does stimulate the digestive system and get things moving along, and as others have said, some dogs just don't like to go in their yard. If I take my dog out on a long walk about an hour after he eats, he will most definitely poop. Some dogs also don't like to go on leash, and I know some dogs just don't have a choice because there is no safe place to go off leash, but if you don't have a fenced yard, get a long line and try that. A 30 footer should do the trick, they're pretty cheap on Amazon. If you do have a fenced yard, perhaps play some fetch with him, get the stuff moving, and see if he goes.
 

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Quoting this for emphasis. Has he ever been scolded or punished, even just a sharp no?
Good question. I'll just add - sometimes dogs will pick up on a raised voice, a facial scowl, or a sudden burst of negative energy / disappointment / general anger which so often occurs at times like these. . It doesn't necessarily have to be a punishment in the conventional sense. And it doesn't have to be directed at the dog, could be indirect. I'm not sure if that's the case here, but it could be, judging by the initial post.

When things seem to be going to hell in a handbasket, it's important to remain as emotionless as possible especially in the midst of major frustration. Simply clean up the mess, calmly. Every. Time. Even if it happens to be for the thousandth time. And then channel your energy into seeking out a more effective training method that will bring success. An eyes-on consultation with a trainer may help you to pinpoint problem areas, and help you to devise a better plan going forward.
 

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Max stays either tethered to me or in his kennel. No ifs, ands or buts. I am his soul caregiver. I don't let my kids or husband take him out or watch him, because that's when Max has accidents in the house. So, I do it all.
This sounds a little, I dunno ... overbearing .. to me. Not to mention unfair to you, and unnecessary. It's time to give the pup some freedom to be just that - a pup. And time to delegate at least some of the responsibility to the hubby and kids. Again, I think a consult with a trainer will help to mitigate your frustration and workload, and will help to make life better for all parties involved.
 

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Has Max ever been punished when you've caught him eliminating indoors?
He gets a firm voiced "no-no" if I catch him in the act. I don't use the word "no-no" for anything else. If it was after the fact, I say nothing and just clean it up. I've taken the poo out to the same spot that HE chose initially as his potty spot when I brought him home at 10 weeks old. He is 6 months old now, and this change of him "not wanting to go outside" has been in the last 4 weeks or so.
 

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Some dogs HATE to poop on a leash.

If you don't have a fenced yard where he can get a little distance away from you, then I suggest a lightweight long line (not a retractable IMO). Should be able to get a 20 foot or so lead at a place like Tractor Supply for under $15.
The yard is fenced, but it's cattle panels, so he walks right through the squares in the fencing. Which is why he is on a leash outside. Plus, when he's not on leash outside, he will not come or follow with me. He knows he's off leash and he will wander off, despite me calling him back. Forget going to get him. If I try, he thinks it's a game and runs around in circles and then off he goes. I've even tried letting him potty with my older dogs (Black Labs) whom I had great success with potty training both. They were trained in 3-4 weeks each. I've had Max now for 4 months. :-/ It doesn't matter. He will watch my Labs come when called and follow directions (sit, stay, outside) but he's not picking up any cues from them.

I will try the longer line. Maybe it's a space issue for him with me. We have a Tractor Supply close and I will get one when I go to town today. Thank you for the suggestion! :)
 

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Have you tried taking him off property on a long walk? Exercise does stimulate the digestive system and get things moving along, and as others have said, some dogs just don't like to go in their yard. If I take my dog out on a long walk about an hour after he eats, he will most definitely poop. Some dogs also don't like to go on leash, and I know some dogs just don't have a choice because there is no safe place to go off leash, but if you don't have a fenced yard, get a long line and try that. A 30 footer should do the trick, they're pretty cheap on Amazon. If you do have a fenced yard, perhaps play some fetch with him, get the stuff moving, and see if he goes.
I haven't taken him off property for walks yet, because he is so easily distracted in our own yard, I didn't figure going off property would do any good. But, I will start trying this. Would be good for both of us if it works. I'm starting to agree with the thoughts that it might be a space/leash thing. I will definitely be getting a longer line to see if that helps. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions! :)
 

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Has Max ever been punished when you've caught him eliminating indoors?
Quoting this for emphasis. Has he ever been scolded or punished, even just a sharp no?
A stern "no-no" when caught in the act. Never after the fact. When I have found poo, I take it to the spot outside that HE chose when I first brought him home at 10 weeks old. He has been using this same spot when outside for months now. It's only been in the last 4 weeks that something has changed and he no longer wants to use this spot or any place in the yard, for that matter.
 

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Quoting this for emphasis. Has he ever been scolded or punished, even just a sharp no?
Good question. I'll just add - sometimes dogs will pick up on a raised voice, a facial scowl, or a sudden burst of negative energy / disappointment / general anger which so often occurs at times like these. . It doesn't necessarily have to be a punishment in the conventional sense. And it doesn't have to be directed at the dog, could be indirect. I'm not sure if that's the case here, but it could be, judging by the initial post.

When things seem to be going to hell in a handbasket, it's important to remain as emotionless as possible especially in the midst of major frustration. Simply clean up the mess, calmly. Every. Time. Even if it happens to be for the thousandth time. And then channel your energy into seeking out a more effective training method that will bring success. An eyes-on consultation with a trainer may help you to pinpoint problem areas, and help you to devise a better plan going forward.
You may be right. It's incredibly frustrating. And he very well could sense my frustration and disappointment, although it's never directed to him. I can't tell you how many tears I have shed in frustration and disappointment because I don't know where I'm going wrong, with him, with this. :'-( I do try to remain emotionless, but I'm only human, and with all other daily stresses, sometimes I feel incredibly defeated. I feel like I am getting nowhere with him, despite the love, positive praise, attention, treats, efforts, time, and devotion I have invested in him.

Just needed someone outside the box who has been through this, and followed the rule book to a T, as I have, who could offer maybe an off-the-wall solution that may work for us. I will do some research on trainers in my area. Although my vet is absolutely wonderful, he was of no help in this regard. Thank you for your suggestion. :)
 
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