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Hey, ya'll. I have a 9 year old male Yorkie, and a 19 (yes, 19!) year old male Pekingese. Have had them both since they were puppies. Both are in excellent shape, aside from the Pekingese starting to get a bit arthritic. I'm rural, huge yard, no fences above or underground, they know where their yard begins and ends. I open the door, and they're off to do their own thing, usually I don't even have to say or do anything more than that. But for the past few months, my Yorkie WILL NOT go outside for me. He will still give me his usual kinda whiny hints that he's gotta go, and him and his brother will follow me to the door excitedly, but last second the Yorkie bolts for the bedroom to hide under the bed. Even if I physically pick him up to take him outside, he tries to sneak back into the house when I go back in. If I sit out there while they're doing their business, he will sit near me, and not go do what he's gotta do.

At first, I thought he had maybe gotten into a bit of a scuffle with one of our outside cats (him and his brother love to chase em, jerks), and he was scared to go out... But he still excitedly goes outside for my wife and kids, without issue or complaint, so I think that cans that hypothesis. It seems that something changed that's about me specifically, and I have no idea what. He still "prefers" me over everyone else in the house when it comes to whose lap he's going to sit on, or who he's going to cuddle with in bed, but when it comes time to go out, big NOPE from the Yorkie. I've tried bribery with treats (in forms of food, compliments, belly rubs, etc), only giving them to his brother in front of him while clearly stating it's for going outside (which breaks my heart, I hate being unfair), none of it seems to work at all.

If anyone has any explanation for this behavior, or has any idea how to fix it, I'd appreciate hearing it immensely. Thank you for reading.
 

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Dogs can make weird (and incorrect) associations. An acquaintance had a dog who fell asleep under a coffee table, when she woke she banged her head on the underside but she ”blamed” and growled at the ceiling fan forever after. So yes, he may associate you + outside as something scary because a totally unrelated thing happened while you were out there with him. You + inside is totally different.

I'd suggest your wife takes him out, then you follow out and go straight back in. Proceed from that to going out, giving a treat, then going in while he and your wife are still out there. Then go out, take a bit longer to give the treat, go in. After that I might try going out, give the treat, your wife goes in but you stay out, giving more treats.

When he seems OK with you being out and treating (it may take a little time, even weeks, going through the steps) see if he will go out just for you. If not, you have gone too fast so continue on the earlier steps.
 
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