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I took in a 10 week old puppy about 12 days ago that was kept outside, had ear mites, ticks, etc.. Judging from the way he was taken care of, I kind of figured we’d have a long road ahead with proper training.

Unfortunately, I’m feeling helpless with training so far. Is it possible the puppy is backwards potty trained and how do I break him from this habit?

The entire time I’ve had him, he has pooped and peed inside only. I’ve got him secluded to one small area of the house where he sleeps so that it would put it in his head he doesn’t want to poop/pee where he sleeps. This is not the case. In fact, not only will he poop where he sleeps he will lay in it and need a bath.

I have him on a routine with his eating and potty breaks. Due to him NEVER peeing or pooping outside the entire time I’ve had him, I go outside with him for long periods of time in effort to get him to pee/poop. I feel like if he goes one time outside I can praise him and give him a treat for going so that he knows he is supposed to do it outside but we have not made it that far.

A couple tricks I have tried to get him to finally use the potty outside have been:
• Spend an entire day outside. I brought his food and water outside and ate my meals outside while playing in the yard. This was in attempt to get him to relieve himself out there. He held his bladder and bowels the entire day and when the sun was going down I brought him back inside. Not even 2 seconds after us coming inside, he peed on the floor.
• When he pees, I clap my hands loudly to signal to him he shouldn’t do that. I wipe the pee with a paper towel and immediately take him and the soiled paper towel to the yard and show him that’s where he is supposed to go.
• When he poops I do the same thing I take his poop and him outside and try showing him that’s where he is supposed to relieve himself.
• If I see him squatting or sniffing around I promptly grab him and take him outside before anything touches the floor and he will immediately hold it in when we get outside.
• I will hold on him a leash inside where he sleeps at and is quarantined to so I can keep an eye on him for when these accidents are about to occur.
I am trying to stay consistent and show him as much as possible that pooping and peeing inside is bad and that he should be doing it outside. So far these methods have been proven unsuccessful.

He will not use the bathroom outside whatsoever. I’m not sure what I should do from here because to me it seems like he is already potty trained, but was trained to poop inside not outside.

Also, when he uses the restroom indoors I make sure to clean the area with an enzyme spray and completely deodorize the area. This doesn’t seem to do much but I read online that it’s what I’m supposed to do to help train.

This leaves me with the question.. what am I doing wrong? What else should I be doing? How do I achieve that first successful release outside when the puppy absolutely refuses? Help!
 

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At 11 weeks old, the pup isn't trained one way or the other, so let's eliminate that thought. It's possible he was kept confined to a small area so was forced to eliminate waste in his eating/sleeping area, so now he's used to it.

Do not scold the puppy for having in accident. This is very important. Scolding the pup will only teach him that going in front of you is bad. If you catch him having an accident, just cheerfully say "Oops!" to interrupt and rush him outside. You don't want to scare him or be intimidating.

Are you using a crate? The crate should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down in. You can purchase a crate that will be big enough for the dog when he is full sized, but use the divider to keep it at the correct size as he grows. Try feeding him his meals inside the crate, as well. Dogs generally don't want to eliminate where they eat. If he was forced to eat in the same place he eliminated in his previous home, then this might not work, but it's worth a shot.

Taking waste outside is a good idea, but you should also take it outside when you know he probably has to go, not just after he has already gone. If he's already gone potty, the tank is empty. If you take some of his waste outside when the tank is full, he might be more likely to want to go.

Do you have a fenced yard? If so, you might try "hiding" and seeing if the pup will go potty when he thinks you're not looking. Some pups are a little shy, or previous experiences might make them think going in front of humans is bad. When you see him going, quietly praise him and throw treats. If you don't have a fenced yard, try a long line so the pup can get some distance from you.

You can also try exercising with the pup a bit, like taking him for a walk or playing. Exercise often gets things moving, so they have to go.
 

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Also, if you know anyone who has a well mannered dog, try taking the puppy for a walk beside that dog. Let the puppy see the other dog get treats and praise for eliminating outside. That worked for me with reluctant rescues a couple times.
 
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