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Thread: puppy won't leave the apartment

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    Default puppy won't leave the apartment

    First post, but I've been lurking for a while.

    My wife and I got our puppy about 6 weeks ago. He was 11 weeks old when we got him and he was about 80% paper trained. Living in the city, we initially didn't want to take him out to the street until his vaccinations were complete, so we decided to paper train him 100%. We also have a fairly large terrace, so after he was reliably paper trained, we started taking him out on the terrace. This was great - whenever he had to go, he would walk to the terrace door and stare outside.

    Our puppy is 4 months old now and is finished with his shots, so we've been taking him to the street for bathroom/walks for about a week. We previously had no issue putting his leash on and walking him out of the apartment, into the elevator, and down to the street. We only did this periodically when he had to go to the vet, puppy class, etc. Now that he's going down regularly for bathroom breaks, he's refusing to leave the apartment.

    He'll walk around the apartment on leash fine, but once we start getting close to the front door, he backs away. With some coaxing, we can get him into the hallway, but before we even get to the elevator, he'll pee somewhere in the hallway. When I catch him doing this, I'll go to pick him up and he will try sprinting back into the apartment. I usually grab him and carry him the rest of the way out. Now we've just resorted to carrying him out every single time and not risking trying to walk him down.

    Not sure what to do. A lot of sites/people recommend carrying the puppy down, but I don't want him to get used to this. We also take him out quite frequently - never more than 3 hours between trips outside. He won't go to the bathroom in the apartment, but the next milestone is actually getting him to the street accident free.

    Any advice? Our trainer from puppy class said that when the dog refuses to walk, put light pressure on the leash and reward any forward movement. We do that, but once he's in the hallway, he just stops whenever he wants and pees. After I take him out and he has an empty bladder, I work on walking him up and down the hallway without much of a problem. It's almost as if the more he has to go, the less he wants to actually walk.

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    hello fellow GOT fan. what a GREAT name for a dog!
    I don't have much in the way of technical advice for you. but I will tell you my puppy was the same way at that age. Just taking him for a walk around the block was a struggle that involved us carrying him a lot. Eventually he got too big to be lugging around and outgrew his fears and hesitation. We worked with him going a little farther each time and now at 9 months old he is a champ going for 20-30 minute walks with minimal effort on my part. Sometimes he needs to be re-directed but that's it.


    Maybe the first step is just getting him to his new potty spot as quickly as possible. Once he has gone there a few times and knows that's his spot, he will see the path you travel to get him there and be more willing to head there quickly without dropping trow in the hallway.

    also, are you removing the accident spot scents from the hallway? He could be smelling where he's went potty before and think it's okay to go there again.


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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Quote Originally Posted by madie4589 View Post
    hello fellow GOT fan. what a GREAT name for a dog!
    Thanks! It's a really difficult name to understand for people who aren't GOT fans...

    Quote Originally Posted by madie4589 View Post
    also, are you removing the accident spot scents from the hallway? He could be smelling where he's went potty before and think it's okay to go there again.
    Yep, we always clean it with Nature's Miracle.

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Quote Originally Posted by bullyface View Post
    First post, but I've been lurking for a while.

    My wife and I got our puppy about 6 weeks ago. He was 11 weeks old when we got him and he was about 80% paper trained. Living in the city, we initially didn't want to take him out to the street until his vaccinations were complete, so we decided to paper train him 100%. We also have a fairly large terrace, so after he was reliably paper trained, we started taking him out on the terrace. This was great - whenever he had to go, he would walk to the terrace door and stare outside.

    Our puppy is 4 months old now and is finished with his shots, so we've been taking him to the street for bathroom/walks for about a week. We previously had no issue putting his leash on and walking him out of the apartment, into the elevator, and down to the street. We only did this periodically when he had to go to the vet, puppy class, etc. Now that he's going down regularly for bathroom breaks, he's refusing to leave the apartment.

    He'll walk around the apartment on leash fine, but once we start getting close to the front door, he backs away. With some coaxing, we can get him into the hallway, but before we even get to the elevator, he'll pee somewhere in the hallway. When I catch him doing this, I'll go to pick him up and he will try sprinting back into the apartment. I usually grab him and carry him the rest of the way out. Now we've just resorted to carrying him out every single time and not risking trying to walk him down.

    Not sure what to do. A lot of sites/people recommend carrying the puppy down, but I don't want him to get used to this. We also take him out quite frequently - never more than 3 hours between trips outside. He won't go to the bathroom in the apartment, but the next milestone is actually getting him to the street accident free.

    Any advice? Our trainer from puppy class said that when the dog refuses to walk, put light pressure on the leash and reward any forward movement. We do that, but once he's in the hallway, he just stops whenever he wants and pees. After I take him out and he has an empty bladder, I work on walking him up and down the hallway without much of a problem. It's almost as if the more he has to go, the less he wants to actually walk.
    We've always had the same problem with Blue since he was about 4 months old. We also live in a city and need to take the elevator down, then walk through a long lobby before we're out.
    I think it's sensory overload. He can't handle all the smells and everything that's going on around him.

    We've had trainers and nothing works, we've just accepted it. When we're away from the city, going out is not a problem, it's just here that he hates it/scared of it.

    All I can say is try to make it as fun as possible for him and make sure he concentrates on you, and nothing around him. Have lots of treats available, only go the same spot and give him time to explore it. Don't overload him by going to many different areas.


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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    When Goob was younger (but completely potty trained), he would have accidents in the house because of excitement or sensory overload as @nycbullymama mentioned. We would run around the house with him and he would stop dead in his tracks and get that "uh oh" face and pee. We knew it was our fault for not taking him out before we began playing. You could tell he didn't mean to.

    Maybe you can take a pee pad along with you? That way you can throw it under him as soon as you see him squat? Also, you can let him pee on his pads in the apartment THEN take him out to the area you want him to potty. You guys can stay in that area (30 minutes or so) UNTIL he pees and go crazy with praise and rewards. This will lessen the chances of him peeing in the hallway and he will also be able to pee in "his spot" outside.

    I'm not sure how your apartment complex is but maybe you can spend time with your bully IN the hallway? Maybe he is scared because of the noises or the smells and he needs you guys to show him that the hallway is a comfortable place. Maybe sit in the hallway with him in your lap or maybe have him walk to your wife a couple doors away? Just some thoughts

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Quote Originally Posted by Goob14 View Post
    I'm not sure how your apartment complex is but maybe you can spend time with your bully IN the hallway? Maybe he is scared because of the noises or the smells and he needs you guys to show him that the hallway is a comfortable place. Maybe sit in the hallway with him in your lap or maybe have him walk to your wife a couple doors away? Just some thoughts
    Yea, we try to do this after we've taken him outside since there's little risk of him peeing in the hallway. He does pretty well and doesn't put up much of a fight, but I do notice that he walks a lot more quickly when moving towards the apartment than when moving away from it.

    He seems fine once we get outside, but I can appreciate that he might be getting overwhelmed - he gets so much attention on the street it almost overwhelms me. This behavior just developed since we started taking him to the street for the bathroom - previously he would walk out of the apartment and up and down the hallway with no problem at all, so he might just be nervous or scared.

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    It took me about a year to get my boy to walk past our front fence, the one piece of advice I can give that worked me is to carry him, like you said. He will not get used to it believe me. I used to carry mine for a couple of blocks and then put him down and he would make a bee line back home. He got used to the idea after awhile and is 2 and walks fine. Some of these babies are really timid and we have to teach them that it's ok. If you use a collar never ever pull him, that's a bigee because you'll only end up paying for it because you'll injure him without trying, and always use a harness when teaching him. Good luck!!

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Thanks for the advice everyone. We've been making good progress (we did start working on this before my original post)! Here's what's working for us:

    Whenever Hodor's bladder is empty, we practice leaving the apartment and going up and down the hallway. As we get further from the apartment and closer to the elevator, treats keep getting better. We don't lure or pull him, but he gets rewarded for making the decision to follow. When we get him to the elevator, we make him sit for a while so he gets used to waiting for the elevator to arrive.

    Once we had done a few session up and down the hallway and Hodor seemed to get it, we tried walking him out to the street for his bathroom break. We made sure to take him out well before he had to go, so that we were confident he was actually capable of making it to the street without having an accident. The game changer, however, was hand targeting.

    We've been taking Hodor to puppy class for a month now and they taught hand targeting in the first or second class, so we've been working on it for a while. It's amazing how cooperative Hodor is with this - even if he has just woken up from a deep sleep, if you give him a hand target he'll get out of his bed and walk over to you. When he's really tired, he doesn't respond to anything other than hand targeting. Super useful for keeping the dog both moving and engaged. We used this to get Hodor down the hallway when he was being a little stubborn. This all came together for the first time last night, and it worked again this morning with less hand targeting and less resistance from Hodor.

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Great news!! Congratulations!

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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    Great job Hodor!!!!


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    My whole heart, Tyson.
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    Default Re: puppy won't leave the apartment

    We have the same issues with Max and being downtown in an apartment. Carrying definitely worked and he knows and wants to go downstairs for number 2 but still having some trouble with number 1. He still dislikes the harness. Once it's on though and he wants/ needs to go zoooom down the hallway we go. If he doesnt want to, well the butt goes down in park mode. Seems to be his mood because we were going for 30 min walks a few times a week...now he's back to no thanks mom!

    Im glad you're having success and I'm not the only one. Max is 5 months now and I'm going to look into hand targeting knowing it's working for you and Hodor! Thanks again to all those bully parents - this forum and the info everyone provides is unmeasurable!

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