Dear Dr. Diane: I have two Newfoundland dogs. One is 2 years old and his brother is 11 months. We have moved in the last two months and the younger of the dogs will not pee in the back courtyard. I have put down some grass but he has just stopped. When we take him out, he will pee no problem but when at home he will just hold himself. We have done all sort of things to encourage him but he remains with a full bladder until he goes for a walk. Can you help us please!
Your 11-month-old Newfie is still a puppy, and he is still learning to adapt to you and your family. You have just (within the past two months) moved to a new house with which he is relatively unfamiliar. His daily routine and environment have been altered, and he is not sure that it is acceptable to do his business in your courtyard.
He may regard it as an extension of his new home in which he has been trained NOT to urinate or defecate. Remember, these gentle giants, with their sweet temperaments, just want to please you!
I would take him out in the courtyard on a leash as though he were going for a walk and stay out with him. Have him observe his older brother pee and poop there, and praise your older dog when he does his business so that your younger dog can see that this is acceptable and desirable behavior.
Continue to take him on walks outside also as he can become ill if he doesn’t regularly do his business. Be patient with him, and give him some time to adjust to his new circumstances. Just as many people who live in a condo or apartment and don’t have a back yard, you may have to continue to take him for walks outside.
They both sound like great dogs. Just praise and pet them whenever they do their business in the courtyard.
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