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My dog with only pee and poo in the backyard if there is snow.

March 15th, 2011, 07:59 AM
Why won't dog pee and poo in the backyard unless there is snow on the ground?
I have a 3 year old french bichon which came to our home at 8 weeks old in November 2007. We were pleasantly surprised that she has very few accidents in the home at all as she quite enjoyed the back yard and such.

Around April 2009 she stated peeing and pooing in the house (the snow had melted). We tried working through many reasons, crate trained her, and various different practices. She can hold it, she will hold it for days it seems as we now have different areas of the house boarded off to prevent her just going where no one is looking.

Come November 2009 the snow fell again. For the next 4 months there wasn't a single accident in the house. Snow melted and we were back to square one. This now happens each year.

We have tried everything short of getting our own snow maker for the back yard in order to ensure that she goes outside to do her business. We have put carpets outside, she seems to have no problem peeing on the carpets inside so it was a hope, but we just can't understand why she won't go outside in the backyard unless there is snow on the ground.

Please any ideas you may have? So frustrated here.

March 15th, 2011, 08:37 AM
:laughing: Sorry, it's not a laughing matter. But - some of the kitties in the Catuary do the same thing!! Well, they use litter boxes the rest of the year but --- they seem to like the texture of the snow and being able to bury it.
Maybe a white sheet bunched up to resemble snow?

Do you go out with her on a leash or just let her out the back door?
Sounds like it's back to basics. Leashed, someone taking her out every hour on the hour, rewarded for going, as soon as she goes it's back inside (no playing outside), etc, etc............

March 15th, 2011, 08:41 AM
I think you are having a generalization problem with your pup. They have learned that snow (and maybe carpets) not outside means "appropriate spot" to urinate/defaecate. All you need is a little time and patience to go back to basics.
Here's a good video

Basic breakdown:
1. never let your dog out of your sight or leave them uncrated when you cannot watch them, even for a moment.
2. start taking them out at regular intervals - after sleep, meals and play
3. reward HEAVILY when the go in the right place
4. if/when you catch the dog peeing in the house do not punish them - this will not teach them peeing in the house is bad, it will teach them that going in front of you is dangerous (meaning they will work harder to hide it) - try to interrupt them with a clap or an "oops" and take them outside (gently) to finish (reward HEAVILY if they do).
5. Have them looked at by a vet to make sure there are no health reasons for this behavior.

Gradually your dog will associate eliminating outside with good things and that eliminating inside proves unrewarding.

Hope this helps :)

March 15th, 2011, 09:44 AM
I have the same issue with my Boston. When the snow melts she doesn't like the dead wet grass. It's seems ok by the summer when it's drier. It's pretty funny to see her seek the little patch of snow to do her business, as this melts it is more of a challenge. One thing that has helped is training her to pee on command. I send her out by actually almost chasing her, I tell her to go pee and she gives me a look and hops along the wet grass, pees and be-lines right back on the deck. Have you tried taking yours on a leash? I have to say that after a few accidents in the spring she gets it again and is back on track.