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Friday, September 20, 2013

Dog Will Not Potty On Leash

Some dogs (especially the nervous ones) can have trouble eliminating when when they think someone is looking it at them or when someone is holding the leash

For people who have secure yards, this might not be much of an issue. Pet parents who don't  have secure potty areas might have to get creative.

Try turning your head (only when it's safe)
Try a long line (only when it's safe)
Try putting up a screen - keep her on leash but let her go behind the screen for privacy
Take him for a very long walk.
Drop food on the ground and let her forage - some dogs like to eliminate after foraging.

If it's been a while since the dog has pottied, pet parents will need to keep the dog on leash when indoors to make sure the dog doesn't eliminate inside.  Guardians can try walking out of the house or apartment every 15 to 30 minutes (or more often) until the dog potties.

Experiment with different potty substrates: grass (also different types of grass), concrete, dirt, gravel, etc..

Note: do not let nervous dogs off leash in unsecured areas
Do not let any dog off leash in an unsafe area (i.e. traffic)
Do not let any dog off leash in any area that has leash laws in place
Do not let any reactive or aggressive dog off leash nor any dog who might run up to people and other animals

Update: One of our readers commented that she got her dog accustomed to having her nearby by starting with a long line and  gradually getting closer over time. This is an excellent idea - we don't want to keep trying the above tricks for the rest of our dogs' lives. Please see the comment from "Badger's Mom" below.

How have you helped your nervous dog to potty outside?
Tell us about it in the comments section below.

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  1. When I moved to the city with my country dog, he had never pooped while on-leash. For the first week I drove him across town to an off-leash dog park every morning so he could potty. After he had a couple of days to get used to it, I put him on a long line and stood at a distance looking away. I came closer each day and started looking at him. After a week he could potty on-leash during walks, which is much more convenient for everyone!

    1. Thanks Badger's Mom. This is really good info.
      What a great way to slowly desensitize your dog to having you close by when he pottied.