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We recently installed a fence in our backyard in hopes of being able to let our 6 month old mix beagle/husky go out without us having to take him out on a leash every time. In addition to being able to let him run around outside and get exercise, etc. The problem is, usually if we leave him out on the back deck, he usually either just stands there and won't go down to the yard on his own. Or if he does go down, he doesn't want to come back in. I want to be able to leave him out, have him do his business, and come right back in. Any suggestions on how to train him to do this? We'd like to have this down as the weather starts getting colder.
 

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First, he should be fully potty trained. Most 6 month olds really aren't, even though they probably have a very good grasp of it. You may have to go out with him for a while until he understands that he should go down and do his business, and take him out frequently at first. Make sure you are watching him so you know he has gone, and reward him and praise him for going. At 6 months old, it is ver likely he'll become distracted with his new freedom, so you may have to take him out on leash for a while at first so he goes potty, and then let him off the leash as his reward for going potty so he can run about for a bit.

As he gets older, you'll probably be able to just open the door and let him do his thing. I usually allow 10 minutes or so before leaving for work or bedtime for my dog to wander around outside and do his business, so perhaps allow for that. If your dog has no recall training, you will probably have to put him on a long line or something so you an reel him in if you're in a hurry and need him to come inside. I taught my dog a recall, and he gets a nice treat every time he comes inside, so it's not quite so horrible to come inside after being free in the yard!

Also, huskies are known to be escape artists and known to wander, and beagles like to follow their noses, so make sure you check on your pup frequently to make sure he's not trying to make an escape!
 

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Thanks for your response! We do have a recall for him, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If we start giving him a treat every time he comes in, is he going to expect that every time even as he gets older? Just wondering if he's going to be 3 years old, still expecting a treat after he goes potty and comes back inside?
 

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In bad weather I get to go outside and watch the dogs potty. I will even walk them around on lead as Ginger will hold it for a day. Last winter I even went for a walk in the rain as she hadn't gone for 18 hours.

I have been mostly rewarding the dogs with a bit of a treat when they come inside. It's a bitty thing, usually something like a rice grain sized bit of cheese or an inch long bit of vegetable peeling. This insures they always come and is the start of an informal recall which is the single most important thing you can teach your dog. Bucky has bounced himself out the door a couple times and rather than stand there and call him I turn my back and run to the refrigerator for a cookie.

I praise and name the peeing and now when I suggest they ought to be peeing rather than chasing imaginary critters in the middle of the night they promptly squat then come in for their cookie. I wasn't specifically training this but it definitely is a nice thing.
 

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Thanks for your response! We do have a recall for him, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. If we start giving him a treat every time he comes in, is he going to expect that every time even as he gets older? Just wondering if he's going to be 3 years old, still expecting a treat after he goes potty and comes back inside?
I don't know if he'll necessarily expect it, but it will certainly encourage him to come when called. There's nothing wrong with rewarding your dog for a job well done for the rest of his life. I always give my dog a reward for coming when called, because I want his recall to be rock solid. It's really a simple thing to keep a little treat jar near the door with some yummy treats, and I've never had issues getting my dog inside, even if there's something super interesting out there.
 

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It will take some training, but I taught my dog to go potty on a cue. Teach the dog to "go potty" on cue. Take the dog out (preferably on leash to prevent wandering/getting distracted), give your cue, and stand there all boring and wait for them to do their business. It helps if you are already pretty sure that they need to do their business. Mine is "go pee". Immediately after they pee, mark with a "yes" or "good girl!" and then race back inside for something really awesome like a bit of steak or chicken or cheese. If your dog is all about toys, you can run inside and reward with a few rounds of fetch or tug with a special ball/toy that only comes out after potty time.

I will readily admit that I never had an issue with my babydog (who is now 2.5y) not coming back inside after pottying without any work on it, but the above ^^ is how I am going to train this exact thing for my next dog.

Separate from that, it is NEVER a bad idea to teach a rock-solid recall. A recall can never be *too* solid, IMO.
 
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