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Dog Training/my fearful rescue dog wont go outside.


I recently rescued a small crossbread from Spain and was told he was owned by a very aggressive hunter and will need alot of work to get his confidence back. He seems happy in my flat and we are giving each other space but when it come to me taking him outside to go to the loo he gets terrified. He shakes and climbs the walls, tail between his legs and nails clawing at the floor until he can get back into my flat. I no I should take him to see a trainer but his not interested in treats so i cant train him yet. How can i get him to wee outside?

Hi Mary.  Is there a time of day when things are very quiet outside and might be less frightening to him?  If there is less noise and activity, you might be able to work on building his confidence outside by taking him out very briefly and then bringing him back in. If he's more comfortable when you carry him, do that.  Give him time to learn that it's safe to be outside.  Take it slowly and don't put too much pressure on him.  He's truly having a panic attack outside.

If you can get this book in Spain, I highly recommend it.  It's called Help for Your Fearful Dog by Nicole Wilde.  Your dog doesn't need training so much as confidence building.  That will take time. In the meantime, can you use pee pads next to your door and teach him to go on those?

Here's a website with good information:

There's an over-the-counter remedy here in the states called Anxitane (an l-theanine supplement).  It's being used for fearful and anxious dogs with a lot of success here.  You might also talk with your veterinarian about drugs that can help.  It sounds like your boy really needs something to calm him down a bit.

Please let me know if you have questions.  You did a great thing rescuing this dog, but you certainly have taken on a challenge.  Good luck!

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Barb Gadola, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP


I can answer questions related to problem dog behaviors, teaching polite manners, puppy raising, and any type of training-related issues. My website page, offers a wealth of information on training and behavior issues as well.


I've been training dogs since 1989 and own and operate Distinctive Dog Training LLC in Keller TX. I specialize in providing practical and positive solutions for families through personalized training in their home.

Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner
Victoria Stilwell Positively! Licensed Trainer
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Association of Animal Behavior Professionals
Truly Dog Friendly Coalition

BS in Education
Graduate work in Behavioral Psychology
Karen Pryor Academy Dog Training Program
Certified Professional Dog Trainer

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