Dog Won’t Poop Outside? Housebreaking Your Dog 101

dog won't poop outside

So your dog won’t poop outside huh?  Is it because the weather is too cold?  Are they afraid of something out there?  Do they still need to be house broken?  All of these can be reasons why your dog won’t poop outside.  The good news is, there are fixes for almost every problem when it comes to dog training.

Hi my name is Mike and I’ve been training dogs for quite some time now.  Dog training has developed into a passion of mine and I decided to start this website to help others when it comes to their dogs and commonly asked questions.  Today we will be tackling the topic of house breaking and other reasons why your dog won’t poop outside.

>>New to dog ownership?  Need some help?  Check this guide out<<

Dog Won’t Poop Outside?  Possible Reasons Why

Ok so lets look at some of the more common reasons dogs may be giving trouble with going to the bathroom outside.  Is your dog new to your house?  Are they a puppy and not house trained?  Is the dog upset about something?  Did something in your dog’s routine change?  All of these issues can cause a dog to either act out and go inside or not want to go outside to begin with.  Lets break each one down in a bit more detail.

Dog Won’t Poop Outside Because It’s A New Home

This can very often be the case for any kind of new dog in home situation.  The dog is new to these surroundings and might be both upset and unfamiliar with a routine.  That’s usually because there is no routine to begin with.  Dogs are very much creatures of repetition and habit.  Once you get them on a schedule and enforce that schedule, they can become bent out of shape if something doesn’t happen as they expect it too.  Can this issue be corrected?  Absolutely!

The best way to resolve a situation like this with a dog in a new home is to get your dog into a routine asap.  When they first come to the new home.  Show them their sleeping area.  Bring their bed from their old home if able and place that in the new sleeping location.  Establish a food and water area as well.  Another good thing to do is to take the dog out frequently.  Dog’s are hardwired to go out in nature to begin with.  Sometimes they just need a good push in that direction.

I will usually give a dog food and water then let it out after 20 min or so.  Go outside with them.  Walk them on a leash if you have to or let them explore their new yard.  They will begin to get comfortable with this space and start to fall into that routine again.  The key here is frequent walks at first while they get adjusted.

Dog Won’t Poop Outside, New Puppy

New puppies are a joy to have in the home but they can also be quite a handful as well.  One of the hardest parts of having a new puppy is housebreaking them and getting them to fit into your normal daily rhythm.  There are ways to do this and luckily they don’t take very long to implement.  Remember to be patient with your new puppy as they grow as well.  There may be accidents or slip ups along the way.  Don’t get discouraged this is completely normal.

A good way to resolve this situation is to get your puppy started on a basic training program.  Provide them with some structure and build on that foundation.  House breaking a puppy comes naturally with basic training.  You can also use different kinds of training like Crating or Tethering to learn your puppies behavior.  This will allow you to anticipate when they really need to go and get them out of the house at the proper time to do so.

Another important concern when it comes to puppy house breaking is the overnight hours.  This is typically where a puppy will make a mistake and poop in the house instead of outside.  Puppies are still developing and they may not have the capacity to hold it overnight.  This is back where schedule and routine come in to play.  A great method here would be to make sure to get your puppy up before you go to bed and let them out one more time for the night.  You may also want to set an alarm to get up a bit earlier if they are having accidents in the early morning hours.  You will have to play with the times a bit as you learn more with your pup.

why a dog won't poop outside summarized

Dog Won’t Poop Outside, Upset

Dogs get upset just like their human care takers.  The reasons can vary but dogs do have very similar basic emotions to that of humans.  A dog can also sense and react to how you are feeling as well.  This can cause issues in it’s own right.  Our furry friends are very good at taking cues from us even if we aren’t verbalizing them.  Sometimes body language is enough for a dog to go on to get them to act out in a certain way.

So how does a dog being upset affect where it goes to the bathroom?  It all depends on what they are upset about and what emotions they are displaying.  For instance, I used to have a dog who would pee on the floor when my father raised his voice.  He didn’t even have to be in the same room with the dog.  Our dog would immediately begin to feel anxious and one of the first responses would be to pee.  This can be a hard wired response for some animals and hard to train them out of.  I should also mention that this dog was found chained to a radiator in the basement of a tenement building in NYC.  Who knows what was happening to it before we saved her.

Issues like this occur with dogs all the time.  Something can happen when they are younger that affects them in a certain way for the rest of their lives.  I’ve found one of the best ways to deal with this is to give them a loving home and not berate them if they do have an accident.  These things will usually take care of themselves in the long term.  We also asked my father to stop yelling so much in the short term!

Dog Won’t Poop Outside, Routine Change

This is another very common issue with dogs.  When the routine changes, they can be known to act out in certain ways.  It could be chewing or it could be going to the bathroom in the house or refusing to go poop outside.  As I’ve stated many times, dogs are creatures of habit and routine.  Once we disrupt that routine, it can make life stressful on a dog for a period of time.  The degree of upset will vary from dog to dog as well.  Some dogs are much better with changes in routines just like some humans.  Personalities and temperaments differ which can cause different types of reactions depending on the change or even the degree of change present on a day to day basis.

One of the best ways to deal with a routine change for your pup is to ease them into it whenever possible.  If we use the example of moving to a new home, maybe you can take your dog to the new location before you move in.  Allow them to get used to the area a bit.  Walk them around the yard and take them through the surrounding area if possible.  This will establish the new location for your dog.  A move will still be a bit traumatic for your animal and there may be a few accidents at the beginning but this should help mitigate any long term issues.

dogs and weather explained

Dogs And Weather Explained

Weather is another important factor to consider when we talk about a dog not wanting to poop outside.  They may be doing this because the weather is not favorable for them.  I’ve had several dogs who won’t go outside and poop if it’s raining heavily or if there is any type of thunderstorm going on.  They will usually try to hold it or have an accident in the house.  For situations like this, we are usually looking at intermittent issues.  It’s not going to storm every day so their behavior should go back to normal relatively quickly.

What about cold weather though?  That can be a hard sell for dogs as well.  Imagine being comfy and cozy in your warm dog bed and then being asked to get up early in the morning to go out into a frozen landscape?  It’s not the most appealing prospect for a human and this goes for dogs as well.  They are not going to enjoy doing something like this repeatedly for days and months on end.  With that being said, this will also vary from dog to dog.  If you have a husky for example, cold weather really shouldn’t bother them all that much.  If you have a small 10 pound terrier, the issue may be much different.

The weather can be one of the more difficult obstacles to overcome as dogs do actually have a valid reason for not wanting to go out in extreme conditions.  I usually give my clients two options when handling something like this.  The first option and the one I prefer all my clients use, is to take the dog out on a leash.  This is not the most appealing option for several reasons.  No one wants to go out in a storm or the freezing cold to walk their dog!  The second option is to get some training pads and allow your dog to use them in a pinch.  I usually only recommend this for very small dogs or city apartment situations.

Fear and Dogs Examined

Another reason your dog may not want to go outside is because they are afraid of something that is out there.  It could be another animal or it could be the weather as mentioned above.  If there is another animal present in your dog’s area, they may decide that they would rather not engage with it and wait till later.  If this is the case, It’s usually ok to wait a while and let your dog out at a later time.

We touched on weather in a bit more detail above and the premise is very similar here.  Lets use a thunderstorm as an example.  A lot of dogs do not like thunder.  It stresses them out.  When there is a thunderstorm going on, my dog will tend to stay very close to me or go hide in the crate.  Once again, it may be beneficial just to let the dog wait until the storm passes to go back out.  Storms don’t usually last for days on end so the dog should be ok.  If you really do need to let them out, strap on a poncho and go out there with them.  That is usually enough for most dogs to go out and do their business.

Old Dog Vs. New Dog

This is also another scenario I’d like to mention.  Sometimes a new dog is introduced into an environment where there is already another dog present.  Both dogs can react to this is a myriad of ways.  They could be completely fine together and that’s great.  Usually though, there is some type of issue.  One of the dogs will try to establish the pack leader position and the other dog will hopefully fall into line.  The dogs could also get into a marking war both inside and out.  If this happens, they may be intentionally going in the house to let the other dog know that this is their territory.

If an issue like this occurs a good way to resolve it is to separate the dogs and reintroduce them to each other gradually.  Luckily this is a rarer occurrence in my experience and hopefully will not happen to you.  If it does, keep the dogs separate for most of the day and only allow them to come together under tight supervision.  Keep their food and water in different places as well as their toys and play areas.  Take them out to different areas of the yard to poop as well.  Eventually they will get used to seeing each other and this problem will go away.

Why A Dog Wont Poop Outside Summarized

There we have it!  A lot of ground was covered in the last few paragraphs.  My hope is that your specific concern was addressed.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below and let me know your situation.  Luckily, most of these issues can be resolved with a little bit of patience.  If your dog is having an issue, try to establish the root cause and give one of these methods a try.

Are you the owner of a new dog or a first time dog owner?  Training can be difficult if you don’t know where to start and dog training can get very expensive quickly.  I’d suggest checking out this guide here before spending thousands on professional training.  With dogs, most of the work will have to be done by their owner in the long run anyway.



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