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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19593
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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My dog won't go outside unless i am with him, nor will he

Customer Question

my dog won't go outside unless i am with him, nor will he leave me alone. he is like gum on my shoes. how can i get him to be more confident?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

My name is*****’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health/ behavioral fields for 19+ years. It will be my pleasure to work with you.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

How old is your dog?

What breed?

Have you ever put him outside and left him there for hours?

What obedience training have you done with him?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
15 months, bernese mt dog, no, puppy school, and boot camp because he was afraid of everything and everybody
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for the additional information. It is helpful.

You state he was afraid of everything and everybody. I'm hoping he has gotten better and is not as afraid of things and people. I think that his anxiety then is still a part of his personality and he is displaying a bit of separation anxiety. As a result he doesn't want to leave you to go out on his own for fear he might be left especially if he was left at boot camp.

Almost every dog loves to follow their owner everywhere they go around the house. I have 4 adult rotties, a chihuahua and 2 4 month old rottie pups and when inside with me, all of them have to follow me everywhere. It is almost impossible to walk unless I order them to lay down and stay. So part of the solution is more obedience training but not by someone else. You need to do the training so he listens to you the first time every time then you can have him sit or lay down and stay until released. Be sure to train for the release command.

The following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.

This also helps him gain self confidence as he learns the commands and knows what is expected of him when he hears those words. Be sure to use high value treats for training like hot dog slivers and chicken slivers. It is good to get this training done now since he is fast approaching the age when most male dogs test their owner's ability to lead or be the boss. Often dogs will stop listening during this time and in some cases even growl at an owner to indicate their displeasure if asked to do something they don't want to. With his being insecure already, it may take him a bit longer so training now should help establish you as an able leader/boss and help him gain self confidence.

You might also want to get him a dap collar. They are great for anxieties and separation anxiety as well. They use pheromones to calm a dog's anxieties. You can purchase them online, pet stores and the vet's office as well.

I'd recommend going out with him but have a chair and book or other activity for you to do right outside the door. That way you are outside but not walking around with him. Sit down and let him take his time eliminating even if it takes him 20 minutes or an hour to leave your side and eliminate. Once he eliminates, give him a special treat (hot dog sliver) and then go in. He'll learn that you are not going back in and go eliminate sooner each time you go out. Eventually you will move the chair just inside the door and wait. He will learn that you will let him in once he is done. The important thing is always to be right there so he can see you and you can let him in when he is done. It isn't an overnight cure but has been proven to be effective at solving this problem. Usually it is small dogs with this issue so I would expect training to go quicker with a large dog.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Jane Lefler
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 months ago.

Following up to see how things are going and if you have had a chance to try any of my suggestions. Also to see if you found them helpful.