how can I get my dog to go potty outside in the winter?

This is Lucy's first winter - and its a doozy! It has been extremely cold this year and she absolutely hates staying outside. She let's me know when she needs to go outside and is all excited to go out, but then we get outside and she just cowers, puts her ears back, puts her tail between her legs, and looks at me like 'Mommy I wanna go back inside..' I have no idea how to get her to go potty outside - she just looses interest after a minute of walking out the door. She has a coat so she isn't extremely cold, and i have shoveled off areas of the grass for her to potty in so she doesn't have to walk through the snow... any other ideas???

Asked by Member 797931 on Jan 28th 2009 Tagged potty, winter, snow in Behavior & Training
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You could attempt at starting over as if she were a young puppy. Place her in the grass and tell her 'go potty'. If she just sits there and gives you that face (which I know is sad looking, but we must ignore), tell her 'no' and put her in the grass again and repeat. If she does go potty, reward like there is no tomorrow. You may even want to offer her treats if she goes outside.

You can also try taking her on a walk to use the bathroom instead. Actually let her sniff around and encourage her to do so - the unfamiliar scents may encourage her to use the bathroom in the snow and out in the cold. This could, in turn, make her realize that she can use the bathroom outside.

Don't give in to her not wanting to go out. Stay with her as long as you need to until she goes so she realizes that you won't just give up. My little ones often refuse to go out in the rain, and the first time they experienced this, would have nothing to do with the outside. I tried the first thing that I told you to do, and they would just hold it, so I actually walked out into the grass with an umbrella and kept it over them so they were dry. They will now run out to go potty, even in the rain. They don't enjoy the rain, but they realized they can actually do their business regardless of the weather. Be patient with her, and persistent. Please message me if you have questions and let me know how she does.

Sergeant answered on 1/28/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


If she has a coat to tolerate the weather.
Then lead her out the door by her collar and shut the door. Walk away, don't let her in right away that stops any hesitation and other unwanted behaviors.
I am having that problem with a big short haired dog. But I guess I don't blame her.
One thing that is sure fire, put a piece of goody in your hand and fist it. Let her sniff your hand. Then gently toss it out of her reach in a few inches of snow.
Then of course you will have to wait for her to potty, but maybe that will help hesitation.:)

Dieta answered on 1/28/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


There is another option. I know someone who says she taught her dog to use the bathtub in the winter. Afterwards, she scoops it up, drops it in the commode and flushes it away. Then she rinses out the tub with hot water, sprays the area with clorox spray, lets that set a few seconds and rinses again.

Of course, she has a big dog and a shower head on a hose. I don't know how easy that would be if your dog is tiny and your shower head is fixed.

I'm considering doing this with my dog, but I haven't yet. The winters aren't bad here and he loves his walks.

Member 796517 answered on 1/30/09. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer