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I have a 7.5 month old water dog. He is house trained and does well with that. However, when outside he poops/pees wherever he's standing when he feels the urge OR goes to areas that he likes to hang out in. And then, because it's an area he likes to hang out in, he ends up stepping in the poop. Repeatedly. He also pees on his front legs almost every day and doesn't seem to have any concern with that either. He's not at all selective about where he goes (doesn't stop to smell around or anything like that). He's house trained so he understands that it's not acceptable to poop/pee in the house. We have walked him to a designated potty area EVERY day, multiple times a day, since his was 10 weeks old (we are still doing that). If we are with him, he goes immediately when we walk him to the designated area. He 100% understands that's what it's for. We reward him consistently with that. If he knows we are around, he'll go to that area 50% of the time on his own. If he thinks we can't see him, he goes right back to pooping/peeing in the areas he likes to hang out in (or where ever he happens to be standing at the time). He doesn't seem to care about the surface (pavement, cement, our skate ramp, playground rubber, etc... he doesn't seek out grass). He also tends to poop/pee every time we take him on walks - even when he's gone potty RIGHT before we walked (and it's always right on the sidewalk - not on grass). Any ideas? Suggestions? Is this something they grow out of? It's clear that he knows he's supposed to go to his designated area but he just really doesn't care to and isn't concerned about stepping in poop or getting pee on himself. We aren't making any progress with this.
 

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It is frustrating when a dog doesn't seem to want to change a habit. They can be very stubborn. However, this is not rare in dogs, I have worked with many who act similarly and there may be a few reasons why.

Dogs have a favorite spot because, in the wild, they have "latrine" areas that are most likely to be stopped and sniffed. Perhaps your dog likes the area where he hangs out because he knows that if he goes there other dogs will be more likely to smell it is "his area". Even poop has smells in it and is used for marking.

Some dogs just have to go more then others. Its just how they work. The dog may be easily distractable and hold it in until they just have to go and then just go before getting on with whatever they are doing. Some dogs may be semi-incontinent or have issues with using the bathroom and so are less likely to consider where or how they go and just do it. Shape may play into this, as some dogs are just shaped so they are more likely to pee on themselves.

As far as the surface area, some dogs just don't seem to mind if it isn't dirt or grass, particularly a dog that doesn't mind not marking its territory (more likely girls). This can be hard to prevent, but walking in areas where other dogs go may entice your dog to want to go where they do, most often on the grass which is much easier to clean up after.

If he sneaks to his favorite spot to use the bathroom when you aren't watching, that is something similar to our dogs. Our dogs are mostly house-trained, but sometimes the two girls just can't help, after years of training, sneaking back into the back room and going. They will force themselves to go if they have to, it isn't just because they needed to go. They are marking that territory, they have a reason for doing it in that area that may be beyond the human ability to see (or smell).

There probably isn't an answer to stopping a dog for peeing on himself. It depends on how they lift their leg, what they are marking, and if they are in a hurry or not. Also, stepping in their own droppings is something some dogs just don't care about. Our dogs tip-toe around their droppings on purpose, but some dogs are just excited and happy about life and don't care what gets on their paws. In this case, regularly cleaning up after the dog may be the best way to stop it.

I hope this can help to explain some things. Looking at the situation like a dog can often give you clues as to the psychology behind a dog's behavior. However, some dogs just do what they do and that's that. There isn't any deep thought behind it. We have had a couple dogs like this, where they just plain aren't thinking about what they are doing and to teach them anything else would be very difficult. One of our dogs, Epsilon, will step on you really hard and it hurts. However, he doesn't seem to realize it like all our other dogs do and to get him to understand that he has to be gentle is difficult without just making him avoid trying to sit on your lap.

I hope this gives you some ideas. Sorry for rambling a bit. :)

Best of luck with your dog!
 
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