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Tips for Housetraining a Dog That Won’t Potty Outside

Updated: Feb 17


When it comes to housetraining a dog or puppy, each case is unique. While the same general principles apply, not all dogs take to the training as well as others.

In some cases, you get a pup that requires a bit more time and effort for potty training. One example of this is if you have a dog that refuses to potty outside. In this situation, the dog usually waits outside and then goes as soon as they come back inside.

Experts often call this reverse housetraining and can be a nightmare situation.

While this can be frustrating, there are steps you can take to help ensure your pup gets fully house trained.


Create a Smaller Confinement Area Outside

It’s smart to create a smaller confinement area outside your home and always supervise your dog while they are in this area.

Begin the training in the morning when you know your dog needs to go. Put them in their pen and stand back a few feet. Try ignoring your dog and set a timer for 10 minutes. If your dog goes, praise them, and give them a treat as soon as they are done. If your dog doesn’t go within those 10 minutes, return inside but keep your dog tethered with a leash, inside and supervised.

If your dog tries to go when they get back inside, you should interrupt them and put them back into their confinement area. Do this until they successfully go in the pen.

You can put potty pads in the pen to help encourage your dog to eliminate there. You can even put laminate or carpet in the area, depending on their preferred potty surface.


Wean Your Dog Away from the Confinement Pen

If using the confinement area works for your life, for example, you can continue using it if you don’t have a fenced-in yard.

However, if you have a larger area outside, you should try to wean your dog out of the confinement area. You can start by moving any pad or flooring that was put inside the pen. You may want to start by making these smaller and then take them away completely.

Eventually, you can leave the pen door open, leading to it being removed completely.


Complete the Process

If you want to ensure the process works long-term, you need to ensure you notice if your dog has an accident inside. A great way to encourage them to go outdoors to potty is by praising them and rewarding them every time they do. This type of positive reinforcement can be extremely effective for dogs and puppies.

If necessary, seek third-party help with the potty training. Expert trainers can help ensure that your dog is fully trained and that they know where to potty. Being informed and knowing what to do is the best way to ensure your dog does not continue to have accidents in the house.

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