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Ask Dr. Diane: My Outdoor Dog is Now Indoors & Unhappy

My Question for Dr. Diane: Hello. I have a 3-year-old pit. she has been with us since she was 8 weeks old. She has always preferred to be outside most of the day. And we have always had large yard for her to run in. She has stayed inside during winter and rainy seasons… but now we are living in an apartment. She has only peed on a leash in very rare occasions during long walks. Now the only way to take her to the bathroom is on a leash. She hasn’t gone outside at all. And hasn’t peed inside  yet. It’s only been a day… but I am wondering if there is anything I can do. She did poo in the house last night. She doesn’t like to go in the house which is good. But I feel so bad not knowing what to do for her. I don’t want her to keep going potty inside. I have 3 children. The youngest is 1, so I need to get some fast results. Thank you

As so many apartment or condo-dwellers know, they must take their dogs for regular walks. I think that as she has lived primarily as an outside dog, she will need to be walked on a leash by you or someone else – perhaps one of your neighbors or a professional dog-walker can take her for multiple daily walks.

Take her out when you get up, after she eats, when you get home and before bed. Take her where other dogs have peed or pooped so she gets the idea. Moving for anyone, human or canine, can require many adjustments. If you regularly walk and exercise her, hopefully, in time, she will understand the new routine. Don’t give up on her. She’s a member of your family!


Dr. Pomerance is an animal behavior specialist and an expert on topics such as deciding which puppy is best for your family, how to pick out a rescue, and on healing from the loss of a pet.

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