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Hi, All -- I'm having a sudden, new, exasperating problem with an older dog (15ish years old). I've been spending time with her at my boyfriend's house recently, and when she's here, she's taken on a new behavior: she refuses to pee on walks. She'll ask me for a walk like usual, but once we're outside, she won't pee. She'll be very animated and focused on exploring her surroundings, but just won't pee. Even if we're out for 45 minutes or more. Then once she's back inside, she will run about the house looking for a place to pee; I often have to physically stop her from squatting to pee in the house. (And occasionally, she's managed to do it.) When I carry her outside again, she'll sometimes again not pee, even if she'd just tried to inside. The process may repeat. (with me taking her in again, where she tries to pee inside...) After several repetitions of this, I'll eventually get her to pee outside.

I've never had this problem with her before. And it only happens when we're staying at my boyfriend's house. Does anyone have any thoughts about what the cause might be and how to address the behavior?

Thanks!
 

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My military dog that I picked up at a new duty station she would not pee or poop away from the kennels. she was 10 years old and with that kennel her entire life. Most handlers have them potty before they go to guard mount, leave the dog in the vehicle and do moble patrol, or come back to the kennel and hang out unless they receive a call.. so the dog had never pottied away from the kennel.. Took me several weeks of taking her on walking patrols before she did. Same with one of my pups on a road trip to TX she didn't potty for almost 3 days for being in a different place.. One of those things You have to be (overly diligent) and stay with it..until they set a pattern in a new place
 

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Some dogs just don't like to potty in a strange place, like Patricia said. Sometimes they are just so overwhelmed by their environment that they forget to go, too. You could try taking her out on leash and just stand there, being boring, and waiting for her to pee. When she goes, treat and praise. Then allow her to explore other places for a few minutes before going inside, or continue with your walk, something that she finds rewarding so she doesn't associate potty with having to go back inside.
 

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Alan,

I agree with both but especially Lillith: eventually if you don't seem very interested in her the need to relief herself will probably take care of itself.

A word of caution, though: have her checked by a vet for kidney/bladder issues since she's an elder. I had to put my 16 year old dog to sleep because of kidney failure and I still berate myself for not noticing possible clues before it was too late.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so much! The issue seemed to resolve itself after one more day: the combination of my developing a consistent path for her in the new neighborhood, and standing very still in the same spot to encourage her to explore it, eventually got her into a consistent pattern of peeing outside (in the same spot) again. I'm back at my home with her again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that these initial days of not peeing outside don't repeat themselves when I'm next at my boyfriend's place.

This doesn't sound like kidney/bladder issues to me, because the behavior is so specifically connected to a specific, unfamiliar location. But can you say more about what possible early clues you feel you didn't notice to your doggie's kidney/bladder issues? (I'm so sorry by what happened with your dog! I can only imagine how painful that loss must have been.)

Thank you!
Alan
 

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The most obvious clues I missed was the dog getting listless and not wanting to go outside as often as he previously did. He also seemed uncomfortable when touched in certain areas (such as behind the ribs). Yes, I should have taken him to the vet a lot sooner so I'll take all the blame for not to.

In his case it was a case of me coming home one day and finding him laying on the floor, unable to move which inevitably led to a one way trip to the vet. Needless to say that kind of experience will shake anybody up quite a bit
 

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My first dog developed kidney disease. It was detected by a routine blood test before a minor surgery. She had had a senior blood panel that year as well. Senior dogs should get a blood panel as part of the routine yearly check up as it just might catch something like kidney disease.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What a terrible experience. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. Thank you for sharing it.
 
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