My 9-month old Cava Tzu (a Shih Tzu mix) is perfectly pad trained. As a baby, she learned to go on a pad in our kitchen. When we moved apartments, she nicely adapted to going in our new laundry room.

However, when we go away overnight (more than 20 hours), she will go on the floor of our friend's house. She will go in a random place, when nobody's looking. I would like to train her to go outside.

The problem is that my dog is "too good". She won't go in front of people. Additionally, she can and does hold it in for up to 8 hours.

I've tried moving her pad towards the door. Once I move her pad more than a few feet, she goes on the floor where the pad used to be.

I've tried giving her to drink and then waiting. But she will wait and wait and wait till she has access to her pad AND I'm not looking.

I've tried giving her a cue to go potty. She stares at me blankly. I've tried catching her in the act - but then she waits till I walk away from her. And as I've said, she's very good at waiting.

Any ideas of how I can train my dog to go outside?


2 Answers 2


I have actually had a similar issue recently moving house Ive had to retrain my two dogs to go to the loo in an unfamiliar place. It seems she is associating the pad with the bathroom, this may then switch to associate the command with it as apposed to the pad as mine did for a while.

This is what I did hopefully it could help you too.

  1. Firstly, choose where you want the dog to go, room, mat, garden etc (we have a paved yard which is ideal).
  2. Then its about spotting when your dog is going to go to the bathroom, noticing the signs, walking around sniffing the ground, randomly disappearing etc, escort them to your chosen place and encourage them to go. When they do, put a command on it, (I use "go finish" or "go wee wees") so they associate that command with the bathroom and will eventually go in that area.
  3. Reward them and highly praise them ALOT, high pitch voices strokes, treats etc.

NOTE: If you catch her in the act, clap, or make a loud noise to shock in order to stop her and take her outside with a pad.

To go outside I would move the pad outside and at first shut both you and her outside until she goes on the pad. The scent of the pad will be associated with the bathroom and she may go on it. Then use the above. Take her outside alot with the pad too to encourage her to go to the bathroom.

Overtime this will start to build the garden/outdoors with the bathroom and she may even hold it until she goes outside. Perseverance is key, its not an easy task.

As I say, this is what I did and it worked the past few times Ive had to toilet train my dogs while they where young and with moving houses. Hopefully this works for you too.


I suspect she does not identify it as her house.

You probably need to start over with crate training at the new house.


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