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Dog Hates to Go Outside Alone

We have a beautiful dog we rescued about 5 weeks ago. She is one year old and potty-trained, but refuses to go outside. The only thing I can think of is that whoever had her left her outside all day and now she is afraid to go out for fear we would do the same.

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We have tried leaving the door open and sit outside with a treat until she comes out. The problem is we live in Colorado and when it gets cold and snowy we won't be able to go out when it's zero degrees and sit, leaving the door open in hopes she comes out. My husband carries her out now, but in the winter that will be impossible. I read all the suggestions, but none fit me. Any ideas?

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June 22, 20161 found this helpful

I live in Colorado, too. It's June here and at 8500 feet I'd have about 3 months to solve this problem.
But dogs are fast learners. Once you solve the problem you won't have to sit outside holding a treat.

Once you are able to get her out, walk her. First around the boundaries of the yard (with the leash), then the neighborhood. Do this before she eats and reward her with food and water. The smell of the new place may seem threatening, so let her get used to it. You're assuming the other owners did something to scare her, but it may be simpler than that.

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Try spending some time with her in the yard yourself. Certainly there is some yard work or simple repair work that needs to be done. Let the dog hang around and get used to her own yard.

Finally, don't make a big deal out of it. If you're out there calling her, whistling, waving a treat, and so forth, she will feel pressured and this will make it worse. The backyard is just another part of her home. She'll get used to it quicker if you don't make it seem too special.

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