You are here:

Canine Behavior/Fear of going outside since moving to the city


Dear Madeline,

I apologise but it won't let me copy and paste your text but I do agree to respond and rate your response fairly and within a three days and appreciate that you donate to cat and dog shelters. I am also sincerely appreciative of your time.

My dog is a pit-mix (pit and Staffordshire). She has a real fear of going outside since we moved from a more rural area to the city (Manhattan).

In warmer weather she goes to the toilet outside fine but now it's turning colder she won't go outside - it's got worse now on the way outside from the apartment she goes either while waiting for the elevator, in the elevator or if we have to pause for some reason to go outside. Anything to avoid having to go outside.

I would appreciate any guidance on how to rectify this behaviour. She's also been a bit of a nervous dog but this toilet behaviour has really only happened since moving to the city. I understand that it's a big change for her with the noises etc but now it seems to be the cold she doesn't like (even when I put PJs on her to keep her warm).

Thanks in advance for your help,


This question was asked on 1/15 at about 9:00 a.m.  As of 1/19, four days later, you have not adhered to your promise to read and rate my response within three days, nor have you responded to my questions so I could respond to yours.  Any follow up on your part will be rejected as you did not fulfill your promise, and you have cost a dog rescue a donation from me by not fulfilling your promise.Why would you make a promise that you had no intention of keeping?  You just cost The Grey Muzzle Foundation and WTCares my donation.  How will you explain that to these deserving organizations and to the animals which would have benefited?  Perhaps you will make up the loss by donating to one or both of these organizations.   All I asked was that you honor a simple promise, and you haven't even read my questions.  Shameful on your part.

Hi Bettina,

Thanks for your question, and for agreeing to my question criteria even though you couldn't cut and paste it.  THere's no problem about that - I just like to be sure folks read my bio and understand how the ratings work.

As for your Staffie-Pit mix, I have questions I need to ask as well before I can fully answer your question.

First, from where did you move that was rural?  How old is your Staffie-Pit now, does she have any health issues, and how long ago did you move to the city with her?  Exactly when did her reluctance to go outside start?  You said she was "fine" in the warmer weather; so, when did the shift begin where she started showing reluctance to go outside?  Does her reluctance seem to correspond to how cold it is outside, or how wet, or snowy, or icy, or other?  When it's colder outside, does her reluctance to go out become stronger and more apparent?  Does the reluctance seem related ONLY to cold and the temperature outside?  When did her reluctance to be taken outside to potty start, exactly; and, has it gotten incrementally worse since its start?  How long does she wait between opportunities to be taken out to potty - how many hours?  Has she been recently check for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?  How much does she weigh?

Also, you suggested in your question that the noise of the city in comparison to her rural roots was causing her to be fearful.  Is this still the case?  Or, did she adjust to the noise of the city at any point, and how do you know, what were her behaviors that told you that she had adjusted to the city noises?

At what point does she resist - when you put her leash on to go outside, on the walk to the elevator, or at another time?  How does she express/show her reluctance?  What do you do when she resists?  Do you always take the elevator, or have you ever tried to take the stairs with her? When she potties in the elevator or somewhere other than where you would like (outside), what is your reaction?  What do you say and what do you do?  Since you know that there's the possibility she may potty in an inappropriate place, are you prepared with wee pads or something else?

Please answer ALL the questions.  Based on your answers, I may have more questions, may respond fully or partially because I have enough information to do one or the other, and/or I may recommend that you work with a behavior and training specialist, such as myself.  I do service Manhattan, and you are welcome to work with me.  You are, of course,  welcome to work with any trainer you wish, of course.  I will not withhold information simply to obtain a new client.  That would never be the reason that I would be unable to answer a question.  If I genuinely think and feel that your situation warrants personal, in-home training and is beyond the scope of what I can do here on Allexperts,  I will let you know.  Please let me know that you understand this before your responses to my questions above.  I want you to be prepared for that possibility and to understand that, particularly with behavioral issues, there are limitations to what I can advise in this format.

Madeline Friedman, M.A.

Canine Behavior

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Madeline S. Friedman, M.A.


I respond to public questions only. I'm not a veterinarian & do not respond to medical questions.Suggestions: Submit a question in one area of priority, as what I am able to address in this venue is limited. Provide as much detail re: the behavior & issue as you can. Tell me how & if behavior is a change from previous behavior & when the changes occurred. Let me know what you think may have triggered such changes & what you have tried so far to resolve it, & what the results were. Let me know what you want help with & what are your concerns & questions about the behavior. I have set up a payment/donation to myself for responding to questions. I donate most of it to animal shelters & rescues. I keep a small portion for my time. The minimum donation is $25.00 on PayPal. When I see that a donation has been made, I will respond to your question. You will be prompted to make the donation before submitting your question. When you have read & rated my response fairly, which must be at the time you read it, I will refund $5.00 back to you IF YOU REQUEST that I do so in your rating comments. If I ask for more details, please respond as a "follow-up" & not as a new question. If I don't respond to your question, I will refund your donation less $5.00. DO rate me fairly at the end of our exchange. I will be pleased if you DO nominate me for volunteer of the month - why not, if I was generous in my response? I may suggest something you were not necessarily ready to hear, but I am honest in the interest of helping your dog, & that is my goal. Please keep that in mind. Please do NOT contact me privately about Allexperts questions through my e-mail or website unless I have invited you to do so. That is an invasion of my privacy - thank you for respecting it. If you would like to contact me for actual dog training & behavior consulting, you may contact me through my Web site.


Own & operate dog training & behavior consulting businesses, Hoboken Dog Trainer, and ny-njDogTrainer, in the NYC & NYC Metro areas since 2002. Work with thousands of dog owners & their dogs, & shelter & rescue dogs. Active volunteer in dog shelters and rescues (rescues being "no kill" and shelters being municipality-run urban shelters that can and do euthanize dogs). AllExperts volunteer in "Dogs, Category 701" and "Dog Training" and "Canine Behavior" since 2006. When you submit a question, please make sure it's being submitted in the appropriate category as I volunteer in two different categories. Make sure you agree to the Virtual Contract (the instructions I outline for question submissions) and agree to read and rate my response when I answer in the body of your question. I make donations to various animal non-profits based on YOUR ratings. If you don't rate my response, or rate it unfairly, you have just denied a dog rescue org or shelter a donation. Keep that in mind.

Professional Member of APDT for five years Founding Member of Animal Behavior Associates Behavior Education Network Former Board Member of IAABC, appointed by Founder Former Member of IPDTA in Canada Founding member of Behavior Education Network

Chronicle of the Dog (APDT, peer publication, numerous articles) Popular Dog Series magazine, numerous entries AOL in Tonowanda News Morris County News Vermont News Boston NOW New York A.M. Polo Trace Newsletter The Dodo AOL

Counseling Psychology, Caldwell College Animal Science, Rutgers University Master of Arts Degree Permanent New Jersey State Teaching Certification (teach public school and university level) Numerous workshops, lectures, and seminars on dog training and behavior Ongoing self-motivated study in my area of expertise

Awards and Honors
Best Canine Coach Award, 2006, Rondout Valley Instructor's Training Course Society of Illustrators, second place international competition Jellybean Photographics, second place international competition Fashion Institute of Technology "Commitment to Illustration" award

Past/Present Clients
Testimonials from a number of clients appear on my Web site at under "Reviews." My customers include: Puppy owners wanting to get their puppies off to the best start; owners of mature dogs who want their dogs to have more obedience skills; fosters and owners of rescue dogs or shelter dogs; customers with special needs who need to train or retrain their dogs; housetraining and housebreaking; owners who have behavioral issues with their dogs such as house accidents, aggression towards humans, aggression towards other animals, inattentive dogs, unmotivated dogs, overly-exuberant dogs; and, more.

©2017 All rights reserved.