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Discussion Starter #1
Our Labrador was raised in a 4th floor condo for the first 2.5 years of his life. So every time he had to go out to potty, we took him on walks to do so. Fast forward to present day, we just moved into a house with a nice fenced backyard. We were excited because with a baby on the way, we thought it would be nice to be able to just let him in the back yard to do his business instead of having to physically be with him every single time he needed to go. Unfortunately, I think because he is so used to us being with him for bathroom breaks, he won't go to the bathroom in the backyard without us physically being out in the backyard with him.

When we let him out and don't go out with him, he just sits at the door waiting and whining either for one of us to come out too or to just be let back in even if he has to go really bad. Then if we do let him back in, he just whines to go back out and the whole thing repeats itself. We tried just letting him out and keeping him out there thinking he would eventually just go potty by himself if he had to go bad enough but that has not worked. He just holds it. And now sometimes he won't even step a foot outside unless he knows for sure we are going out with him. I don't want him to always be holding himself for us to either take him on a walk or to physically be outside with him because I know that is not healthy. I just want him to feel comfortable to go potty in the backyard all by himself like a normal dog.

Any advice would be much appreciated as to how to train him to go potty by himself. Please and thank you!
 

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Congratulations on the imminent arrival! How long has it been since you moved in to the new house?
 

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Hmmm, he's had a while to settle in then, though some dogs can take a long time to adjust to changes. I think for now, he needs the stress of him, so you're best off going out with him. When the weather is better, you might be able to encourage him to spend more time out there - give him an outdoor bed (with shade if needed), maybe spread a handful of tiny treats around in the grass/borders for him to hunt. Once he thinks of it as an extra room, then you can nip in and out when he seems happy to be out there. And if the door is open, when he needs to toilet he might simply go out without summoning you.

I'm not an expert, so hopefully others will have suggestions too.
 

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Hmmm, he's had a while to settle in then, though some dogs can take a long time to adjust to changes. I think for now, he needs the stress of him, so you're best off going out with him. When the weather is better, you might be able to encourage him to spend more time out there - give him an outdoor bed (with shade if needed), maybe spread a handful of tiny treats around in the grass/borders for him to hunt. Once he thinks of it as an extra room, then you can nip in and out when he seems happy to be out there. And if the door is open, when he needs to toilet he might simply go out without summoning you.

I'm not an expert, so hopefully others will have suggestions too.
Thank you!
 

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But it is possible that it may never happen. :-( I also house-broke my dogs 'with an escort' (even though I have a fenced yard) - but they got distracted easily and it worked better if I took them out on a leash to their area or at least followed them out to make sure they went. Even as adults they still like to be 'watched' and told to 'finish up' otherwise they 'forget' they have to go. :)
 
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