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Hello all, I recently took in a 7 month old puppy. According to his papers he is a Mastiff mix, but I personally feel he is mized with something else as he does not look like a Mastiff and neither did his brothers or sisters. Anyway, he needs a lot of work done to get him trained how I want him trained, and trust me I am trying. I'm using only positive reinforcement, but still he's not giving in 100%. His new thing is being terrified to go outside to pee, especially when it gets dark outside. He was never like this before, now I have to fight him to go outside. I've tried giving him treats outside, I've even sat down on my front lawn and tried petting him but he continues to dash for the front door. I don't know if it's cus he was recently neutered and his testosterone levels have dropped so much he's just become a chicken or if the firecrackers people have been throwing outside lately has scared him so much he's scared to go outside. Either way I would like to know what can I do to get him to not be scared of going outside and not being scared of loud noises? Thanks
 

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You do all the usual socialization that you would do with any puppy. You build his confidence...show him how to cope with scary things, new things, noise, kids, bikes, balloons, etc. If puppy socialization is something you're not familar with then I strongly recommend a puppy class where he will get some exposure/experience.
 

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He may have gone into a fear period. The main thing is to not make a big deal about his fears but to build his confidence through the use of nilif and basic obedience training. Of course going outside to do his business is a must so just leash him and calmly take him out even if it means half carrying him (aren't you glad he's not full grown yet?). After he's gone outside and done his business then reward him. That way the reward is for having done something and not an inadvertent bribe to get him to do something (which can backfire).
 

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He may have gone into a fear period. The main thing is to not make a big deal about his fears but to build his confidence through the use of nilif and basic obedience training. Of course going outside to do his business is a must so just leash him and calmly take him out even if it means half carrying him (aren't you glad he's not full grown yet?). After he's gone outside and done his business then reward him. That way the reward is for having done something and not an inadvertent bribe to get him to do something (which can backfire).
I see where you're coming from but there's still a problem. As soon as the sun goes down and I leash him up to take him outside he runs towards the kitchen or the stairs, so then I have to pick him up and carry him outside, when we finally get outside he runs for the door and doesnt stop running for the door. He wont do his business outside because he's too scared. Thankfully if he doesn't pee then, he will hold it until the next morning but I don't want him to go through that every day. But Again thanks for the advice I will continue trying what I'm doing.
 

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Even a well socialised dog can react negatively to random situations. I was walking my Rottweiler Barnie one day, and we passed a shop that had one of those rotating ceiling fans. Barnie took one look at it, and began to cower with fear. I didn't react at all to his negative response; what I did was walk passed the shop with Barney about a dozen times, and eventually, he showed no response to the fan at all, and never did after that.

Sometimes we can spend too much time worrying over the training aspect of dog ownership, rather than getting to know our dogs as best we can. Watching our dogs, and learning how they communicate with both us and their environment is important also, as we are better placed to help when faced when they become frightned, for example.

Seeing as your dog has built a negative association to outdoors+the dark, try taking him outside before it gets dark; if he feels comfortable with this, do things with him he likes, for example play his favourite game, sit with him, and give him a few treats, above all, try to be as natural as possible, especially if he begins to get a little frightned at any time. As it begins to get dark, watch his reactions, if he is ok with things, continue to have fun, then go back inside, leaving your dog wanting more. Do this each evening before it goes dark, and build on the amount of time you are outside with your dog. Doing it this way, you will probably find that the problem sorts it'self out quite quickly.
 

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You know I recently had the same issue with my dog scared of going outside. There would be firecrackers going off somewhere. To make it worse, there was thunder those nights too. I would take my dog on walks aroung 8pm. He seemed to have associated being outside when it's not sunny with scary sounds.

He would follow me to the door but then as soon as i open the door, he backs away. I tried coaxing him out verbally then with tugs on the leash. I tried to act completely normal like any other walk. Once he was outside, i would walk him still acting normal. He was definitely cautious and scared, but i just slowly walked next to him and eventually he would feel better. Distractions like passing other dogs and interesting smells helped. Acting confident and "walking with authority" myself helps him calm down.

I guess I would suggest stay with the pup outside for a while every night even if he tries to get inside. Keep him close to you with a leash and try to keep him distracted and occupied with something he likes. Since there should be no more firecrackers anymore he shouldn't have anything to scare him more.
 

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You know I recently had the same issue with my dog scared of going outside. There would be firecrackers going off somewhere. To make it worse, there was thunder those nights too. I would take my dog on walks aroung 8pm. He seemed to have associated being outside when it's not sunny with scary sounds.

He would follow me to the door but then as soon as i open the door, he backs away. I tried coaxing him out verbally then with tugs on the leash. I tried to act completely normal like any other walk. Once he was outside, i would walk him still acting normal. He was definitely cautious and scared, but i just slowly walked next to him and eventually he would feel better. Distractions like passing other dogs and interesting smells helped. Acting confident and "walking with authority" myself helps him calm down.

I guess I would suggest stay with the pup outside for a while every night even if he tries to get inside. Keep him close to you with a leash and try to keep him distracted and occupied with something he likes. Since there should be no more firecrackers anymore he shouldn't have anything to scare him more.
LOL this was my same problem. A few day before 4th of July kids were already throwing firecrackers and I noticed that scared him and after that he was completely scared to g ooutside at night, but its a been a few days since the last firecracker has been thrown and I've noticed he's nto scared anymore. I'm starting to walking him on the sidewalk down a heavy traffic street to see if he gets over loud noises little by little. He's doing very well.
 
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