Our family dog is still fairly young. We’ve had her about a month or so. She was doing pretty well with being trained to go to the bathroom outside. But all of a sudden when we take her out she just doesn’t go. She will sniff around and just look at you after a while. She just won’t go outside.
What can I do to change this? Or is she too far gone?


  1. wishnuwe

    You don’t mention her age, or breed, so this is hard to answer. The bladder isn’t grown until 6-months-old, and they are not fully potty trained until 1-year-old. Puppies train at their own pace and while most stop having accidents around 12-weeks-old, don’t let your guard down that early. Try taking her on a leash, and use your commands, and then play time after potty so she doesn’t think she goes potty and then right back in the crate. Here are some tips, use what helps. I use a crate* to potty train with, but only for potty training and then I break it down and store it. I put blankets and a small food and water dish in the crate. Dogs don’t potty where they eat and sleep. When they are first little, I only expect them to hold their potty for 4 hours, and then 6 hours, then 8 hours and so on. So when they are first little, I set a timer or alarm clock to wake myself up at night to take them *out. I only allow my puppy in the bedroom* or the living room, only one room at a time. They have to graduate to more space. If I allow them to have full run of the house, it will overwhelm them. I take them out the same door each time. I tie a dinner bell to the door handle. Do not use a jingle bell as they could get their toe caught in it. So when they are little, I ring the bell for them, and then open the door to go *outside to potty. When they get bigger, I take their paw and whack the bell and open the door to go potty. Eventually getting to the place where the puppy will ring the bell and let me know when they need to go potty. Dogs want to please you, so it is your job to let them know what behaviors please you and what doesn’t. So when my puppy goes potty, I give her a treat*, and clap, and make a fuss and praise her. So she learns that going potty outside makes me happy. If she has an accident, make a disgust sound like “tsst” and take her out right away. I never yell* or spank* my puppies. Take them out when they first wake up, after they eat or drink, before nap, finish romping, when their activities change, or when they are sniffing around. Some puppies go pee right away, but may not go poop until 10 minutes later, so wait for the poop.. I have a little play time here, because sometimes I think they are done, and they are not. Puppies train at their own pace. While I may have a puppy that hasn’t had an accident in several weeks, I don’t let my guard down. I don’t expect my puppies to be “fully potty trained” until one-year-old. If they have a setback, shake it off, and start over. I only have my puppies in the crate when I am not watching them. When I am sleeping, cooking, ironing, doing chores, basically when I am not watching her. All other times, she is out of the crate practicing being a “big girl.” This is the time I train her how to behave in the house. So we are practicing “no barking”, ‘no biting”, “no jumping”, and “don’t eat the furniture.” I also have to practice “playing inside” so she doesn’t knock over things. You must keep the puppy in sight when they are little because they don’t know the difference between newspaper and carpet, and you don’t want them sneaking off and getting into trouble. Some puppies can sleep through the night around 3-months-old, but their bladder is grown around 6-months-old.
    *I use a CRATE to train with. It is the method I prefer, compared to other methods I have tried. I noticed that if they are in the crate, while I am doing chores, they are o.k., because the crate allows them to see me and be re-assured. The crate can also be a comfort when stored in the basement for dogs who live in areas where thunderstorms and tornados are an issue. . However, use the method that works best for you…..a laundry basket, a cardboard box, a woof-woof house, x-pen, child gates, whatever works for you.
    *OUTSIDE, pee pad, litter box, whichever method you are using. When the puppy is first little, keep the pee pad, litter box near the food and water dish, so the puppy can eat and drink, and then go potty. You can move it away as they get older. The pee pad has a scent that smells and initiates potty. Sometimes a pee pad makes a sound that scares some puppies, so you might want to use a litter box if that happens. The pee pad allows a puppy to walk around, but a litter box keeps the puppy in one place.
    *BEDROOMS, I use the bedroom and living room for training, because it works for me. Choose rooms that work for you, but watch for rooms that are damp, or drafty. While my puppies sleep in the bedroom during training, once they are trained, I let them sleep where they want to. They don’t have to sleep in the bedroom forever.
    *TREATS. While I use treats for training, you don’t have to. I like Charlee Bears for training (a little cracker for a little mouth,) I use them for training, but once they are trained, I cut back on them.
    *SOME PUPPIES will go potty in the same spot each time. Some puppies have to be told to go potty. A command like “go out” for pee, or “go finish” for poop, might work for you, keep saying “go finish” until the puppy poops. This is a good thing to train if you travel with your dogs. By using commands, the puppy won’t get confused when you are visiting someone, on vacation with you, or when you get to a new home. The command will tell them what you want them to do in an unfamiliar place. You might also want to use a leash method, so the puppy doesn’t sneak off, or for strange places.
    *YELLING. It is not a good idea to “yell” or “spank” your puppy and then take them outside when they have an accident. They may get confused and think that going outside is punishment. While you want to correct them, if you are extreme, they may not want to go outside again. Shake it off, and resume your schedule. You have to keep it real. Puppies train at their own pace, but a puppy can only hold their potty for a few hours. A guide would be 1 hour for each month of age, plus 1 hour, so a three-month-old puppy should only be expected to hold their potty for 4 hours at most.
    SOURCE: These tips, tricks, and ideas were contributed from many brilliant minds. Thanks for your help!

  2. krill516

    You can get a towel or something you don’t care very much about that she has peed on, and leave it in the yard. My dog likes to mark, so she only pees when she has some other smell to cover, even her own. You can also watch her carefully until she looks like she is about to go, then ignore her once you get her outside. If I played with my dog, she would associate outside with playtime, so I played with her in the back yard and had her use the front as her bathroom. I don’t think she is too far gone, far from it. ‘Old dogs can’t learn new tricks’ is completely false, and she is still young.

  3. Molly Kuna

    dogs are NEVER too far gone lol
    as soon as she wakes up from a nap or is probably due to pee (learn to know your dog and how often she has to go), take her for a walk. she’s bound to pee and when she does praise/treats like crazy!
    also, you can teach her to pee on command. every time she pees outside, while she’s peeing, say “go pee” then praise/treat like crazy after. after a while she’ll learn that “go pee” means, well, go pee 🙂
    i also suggest you take some dog obedience classes. they’re a lot of fun for you and your dog, great socialization, and you lean a lot 😀
    have fun!

  4. michigan

    She is being a typical dog. I have a dog that takes longer to go his business when he is outside. Being a hound, he wants to catch every whiff of every smell there is in the air. And being a young dog, he wants to see where the other neighborhood dogs are. When he is finally satisfied, he starts the process of looking for a place to go pee. Then he spends another minute or so going back and forth and in circles before he will go number two. Your dog might not have to go potty. If she has good control of her bowel and bladder, then she will be the one letting you know she needs to go outside by whining/whimpering. Try to ignore her when you are outside with her. Don’t say anything to her or interact with her. Out of the corner of your eye, watch her. When she doesn’t get any response, she will start looking for a spot to go potty. Once she does, give her a treat. She already knows what you want her to do outside. That only has to be enforced. By not going potty outside, she is truly testing you. She wants to see who is the leader of the pack, and if you stay consistent and don’t give in, she will go back to doing what she is supposed to when she is taken outside.
    p.s: you mentioned that she is deaf, so I would also suggest that you look into teaching her ASL (American Sign Language). This way you can train her and communicate with her as well. Since she is deaf, it will take her some time to learn ASL. When she goes potty outside, show her how happy you are by smiling and clapping and then give her the treat. I hope this helps you.

  5. Tanya M

    Never too old to be trained. Try useing treats and saying “good potty” when she goes outside. Eventually she will learn the command “potty” and know what you want her to do. If shes still a puppy she may not need to go as often as when she was younger, you could try adding more time in between bathroom breaks.
    Scold her only if you catch her in the act going potty in the house. If its afterwards she wont understand what shes being scolded for.
    Also spend as much time as need be outside. When she was a puppy she might have had to go by the time she got outside and so went right away. Now that shes older and can hold it for longer she probably learned that the minute shes dont going potty she has to go back inside. So she holds it so she can play outside for longer. But then you reach the end of your patience and tell her to come in anyways and as soon as shes back inside.;…oops.

  6. DeeDawg

    keep walking her. walk her till she goes. then tell her how womderful she is! jump around with her! play with her! give her cookies!
    (my male ABPT pup liked this so much he used to poop and then do a happy dance!)
    when you take her out say “go potty” or whatever you’re going to use for a command. say it over and over. “hurry up” works good too, especially if you have nosy neighbors….
    if she’s crate trained, you can bring her in after a few minutes and back in the crate. then in about 30 minutes you can bring her back out again.
    if she has been pottying in the house, don’t let her out of your sight. don’t let her wander around the house unsupervised. that will make a bad habit out of pottying inside when you aren’t looking. crate her when you can’t supervise her.

  7. Irish fencer

    well, it depends. How old is she? Sometimes dogs seem as if they’re back tracking. Sometimes they’re just testing or they forget. If she’s a baby, they don’t have that great of memory, so sometimes that’s the reason dogs back track on their training. Keep it up! She’ll probably go back to her regular self within the next week or so.

  8. jackie

    get a pee post, thesmell of the eurn will convince her to pee outside at a designated spot. Maybe you could try also taking the dog around the block to get it moving, then see if it will releive at home.

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