“My puppy will only pee inside”
“My pup won’t poop on walks”
“My puppy won’t go to the toilet in the garden”
“She pees inside to spite me”
These are all variations and progressions of something that’s very common for pups, and a common nuisance or concern for new puppy owners.
First off, I just want to clarify something; puppies don’t do things to spite us, or to get revenge.
They don’t have that thought capacity. When we view something a puppy does as one of these things, we’re humanising their behaviour.
Puppies and dogs do doggy things, they don’t have any concept of right or wrong – it’s just some of the things they do we like and want more of, and other things we don’t like and would like less of, or none at all.
So why does this happen?
The main reason is, that when dogs go to the toilet, they’re at their most vulnerable. They’re trapped in position for a brief moment in time. So puppies go where they feel safe. Which to start with may only be inside. Then it might progress to the garden, and finally onto walks. Pups with a bit more confidence may be fine to go outside straight away, or just transition quicker.
Another reason is the increase in use of puppy pads when they’re young. You’ve taught them to go inside, on the puppy pad. You then have to teach them to go outside. If you live in a house with easy access to a garden, I’d skip the training pads (or maybe have them down in a pen or something to help with accidents, but don’t try to teach them to go on there – you’re just making a rod for your own back. If however you live on the 5th floor of an apartment block, it may be worth going through this 2-step training.
Also, dogs like to go to the toilet where they’ve already been. If you’re just cleaning up their accidents with a regular cleaning product, they will still be able to smell it. Use Simple Solution afterwards to get rid of any residual enzymes (that we can’t smell, but they sure as hell can) to reduce the likelihood of them repeat-offending in a particular spot.
And finally, when they DO go outside, whether that’s garden or on a walk, reward them! Celebrate those wins, and make it the best thing n the world for them, so they WANT to do it again. Conversely, if they have an accident in the house, never punish them. Just clean up after them as outlined above.
Good luck, stay strong. It’s a common issue out there with puppy owners, so you’re not alone.