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We have a 14 year old female dog (Carolina breed). For years, she has peed outside. During most of that time, our yard was fenced, so no other dogs' pee. She used to sometimes pee on a walk around the neighborhood, but hasn't done so for a year or so.

My daughter moved out a year or so ago, and I've taken the dog to visit her most weekends. But the dog refuses to pee outside her condo, even though we take her on long walks, or sit with her outside. Instead, the dog either pees inside, or waits until we get home--which means she goes hours longer than usual between pee times.

Recently I've done overnights at my daughter's condo, in hopes the dog would have to pee outside. I bring her crate, along with all her bedding and her usual food. We walk the dog in the morning--by which time she's waited a long time since her last pee. But no matter how long the walk, and how many places we visit on the walk, she still waits until we come back inside to pee.

I tried expressing her bladder while outside, but apparently I'm not doing that right, because nothing came out.

My guess is that she smells other dogs' pee outside and is afraid to pee there. We tried taking some of her pee on paper towels outside, and letting her smell it there, as if she had already peed outside. No luck.

Am I out of luck--too late to teach an old dog new tricks?

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  • Did you visit a vet to be sure there is no physical health reason? Dec 24, 2021 at 8:08
  • No, but how would that explain the fact that she pees in our back yard, but not in my daughter's back yard? Dec 25, 2021 at 17:16
  • Could be, that she feels pain and would pee in a "save" environment only... Because she would feel hurtable in another environment Dec 25, 2021 at 23:14
  • Have you tried rewarding whenever she goes outside successfully? Do you have a "go potty" type command? Oct 28, 2022 at 18:24

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When she goes to the bathroom inside, is it in the same spot? Usually a dog will try to designate a spot that is away from human activity and out of the way with more privacy.

If so, (and I suspect this is the case), this means that the dog smells that a dog went potty there (any dog, even her), therefore, this spot is now the latrine. She isn't waiting to go outside, her bathroom spot is inside, and she's waiting politely until she can go.

At this point, her potty training has failed and you have to re-start house breaking all over again. (I know I know, it sucks but this is the only way to do it). But before you can even start the re-potty-training, you have to clean up the spot where the dog has gone potty so that she can't smell those enzymes. This requires a special enzymatic cleaner. It doesn't matter if the cleaner says it is "for pets" or "for dogs" (ugh, marketing tricks), it has to contain pet enzymes that will break down that smell so that the dog cannot smell a latrine spot there anymore. In worse cases, you may need a professional carpet cleaning and you need to specially request them to use their enzymatic pet cleaner. In severe or prolonged latrine cases, sometimes the soiling can seep past the carpet and into the carpet padding or even the flooring beneath.

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  • Thanks. The answer is no, she's peed in several different places inside my daughter's condo. Just never outside... Aug 11, 2022 at 13:39
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In my experience rescuing dogs from the streets in NYC since 1984 I have found that giving dogs at least 3 or more walks every day, including time in a dog run, or some such socialization is the most dependable way to provide everything a dog needs; socialization and elimination. I get up really early to give the dogs their first long walk (at least one hour) before going to work. I come home on lunch hour or hire a dog walker to give them their second one hour walk, run, play; then a another hour walk after work before giving them their dinner and then before bed a quick pee walk. Also, dogs are social beings who live in packs in the wild and should always have a buddy to hang out with. I recommend against having only one dog. I am strongly against a dog being a 'yard dog.' I might add, the silver bullet of dog training is this: "a tired dog is a happy dog is a good dog!" Good luck!

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    Welcome to pets.SE! The question states, that they use to do long walks outside. So your answer does not really provide new solutions to this question. Maybe you had a similar problem and can focus more to steps, how you detected the reasons and solved it? Feb 16, 2023 at 7:56

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