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My Dog Won’t Poop on Leash!

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Do you ever have problems getting your dog to potty when on leash? We’ve heard from numerous readers whose dogs either won’t pee on leash or won’t poop on leash–or who refuse to potty when being walked by certain members of the family!

We’ve turned to Alecia Evans,  the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System for her advice!

My Dog Won't Potty on Leash!

My Lab Refuses to Potty on Leash

My boyfriend and I are moving into an apartment soon and are taking his 3-year-old Lab with us. We have planned to bring her to his parents’ house so she can play in the yard while we are at work, but she absolutely refuses to go to the bathroom while leashed. We have no idea what to do while she is at the apartment with us. Please, is there anything we can do?

A non-pooping pooch can definitely cause stress.  Perhaps let’s look at what caused the stress in the first place?  Was she pooping before?  Is it only on the leash at the apt?  How many days  has it been?

In general when a dog won’t poop on leash they are exerting a form of control.

There are several reasons why they might go this route:

  1. it’s a new place and they don’t feel comfortable
  2. they are  a bit peeved and using their movements or non-movements to control you by feeling bad
  3. they don’t have to go at that time.

From the sound of it, your dog would fall into # 1 or # 2.

What I have observed from other clients is that the more we worry and push the less they do (no pun intended).

This happened to me once with my dachshund in New York City, he took almost three days to go.  It was  a royal pain in my you know what but he finally went and all was dandy.

My suggestions would be:

  1. stop worrying or putting any “push energy” on him.
  2. just go out for a walk and if he goes, he goes.  If not, don’t harp on it, just go back upstairs and try again in a  little while.  This may go on for a few days but what I have noticed is that the less you stress, the more he will go.  You will really have to work on just breathing and relaxing as it can be way more  stressful on the human than the dog.

Here’s to a leash movement! Paws Up! Alecia

My dog won’t pee on leash when my husband walks him

We have a male 4-year-old Jack Russell-poodle that we have had for one year. We adopted him from a family that was moving out of state, and couldn’t take him with them.

Ever since we have had him, he will not go pee for my husband. I thought at first my husband was exaggerating, just not wanting to take the dog out. But sure enough, Ollie WILL NOT go for him or any other male human.

We have a fenced in dog run for Ollie to go potty in. He goes just fine for me, my daughter any other female…just not any male. If in fact my husband is outside, Ollie won’t even go in his dog run.

This is a very frustrating problem, as I cannot always be the one to take him out. Do you have any ideas why he would have this type of behavior, or what we can do to modify it?

I see how frustrating that can be. Here is what I would suggest:

  • Take Ollie outside on a leash with you and have your husband come along and bring his favorite treats with you. Walk him around first and let him go to the bathroom with you, when he does give him a treat.
  • Next bring your husband with you but you hold onto Ollie’s leash just let him go along with you. When Ollie is walking with you both have your husband give him a treat. Walk around again and when it feels right let you husband take the leash, while you are both walking around with him and he’s happy give him a treat and tell him what a good boy he is.
  • Then give your husband the leash and let him walk Ollie with you coming along and keep up the treats when he is responding favorably. Don’t worry this first time about Ollie going the bathroom we just want a positive experience with him and your husband.
  • Then have your daughter do the same and continue doing so for a few days without worrying about him going to the bathroom. On the third or fourth day let your husband take him out on a walk when he has not gone to the bathroom and let’s see what happens.

Paws Up! Alecia

My dog will pee on leash but won’t poop on leash

HELP!! please We took in a stray dog. My main problem is she will pee on leash but not poop. She poops in the house and knows its wrong. I believe someone once beat her. Even though we have a fenced yard she can get into wooded area which we don’t want as when we got her she had fleas and ticks. We are keeping her but my other family members are ready to give her the boot!Please any suggestions would be most appreciated. I live in a County that will not help strays and I am her only option.

Thank you on behalf of your dog for your kind and generous heart. When dealing with a dog that poops inside it is best to consider using a crate to retrain the dog. Start by taking the dog out for a walk, if the dog does not poop then when you come inside put the dog in the crate so she cannot have free run of the house and cannot poop in the house. In about 45 take the dog out again, same routine, if the dog does not poop, when you come in place the dog in the crate. Continue to only allow the dog free roam of the house once she has gone outside.

Make sure that the dog has plenty of exercise and long walks during this time. And remember you are not punishing the dog by putting it in crate, you are simply providing the dog with clear, consistent boundaries that will allow the dog to feel more confident and do her business outside.

Paws Up!


Steven South

Saturday 5th of June 2021

I have a dog the refuses to potty in the outside kennel it was grass and now because of digging it's dirt it was placed in a area of the yard that he used to potty in. He will hold it until he is let out.. please help.


Friday 25th of December 2020

My boyfriend and I moved into an apartment recently and brought his dog has always gone to the bathroom outside in a fenced area unleashed (brought her over Saturday night) . She is a shy potty goer. She is also a rescue. We now must walk her and have her on a leash to do her dirty business and has been refusing to go outside at all, we are on day 5. She peed in the house 2 days ago and went #2 tonight. We have scolded her and she knows she can't go inside. It's an active neighborhood and she can't seem to focus outside. What can I do to help her? I walk her in the afternoons, take her out numerous times during the day/night to help her get accustomed to the new atmosphere but still no luck. Even anxiety meds and still refuses. SOS.

Andrew Fenton

Saturday 5th of September 2020

Nah. Rescue. Does fine anywhere else. Just won't go when on leash. Walks fine, smells fine, interacts with other dogs and humans fine, not scared, not angry, not sad....just refusing to go while on a leash. Had her for a month....had to take her back to my mom's where she's could go in backyard. Took her back. Still nothing. Shits and pisses all over the house


Thursday 5th of August 2021

My rescue is exactly the same... She will pee on walks sometimes but waits until she is back in garden before she poops... Such a lady !!🤣

Tristen Anderson

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

I have this same problem! Very well behaved dog, but she refuses to go on the leash. Scrubbing my balcony and carpet is not fun and it really irritates me because otherwise she’s an amazing dog


Thursday 5th of July 2012

I've read of liveaboard sailors who have had the same problem getting their dog used to "going" on a boat. Three days is usually the longest a dog will hold out (which can't be very comfortable). But eventually they have to go and make the transition to the new place.

Of course, it's a good idea to train your dog to go on various substrates and situations on cue like guide dog raisers do. Maybe this would be a good future topic for Alecia to cover.

Paris Permenter and John Bigley

Sunday 8th of July 2012

I think that's a great idea! Living in the country, I know our dogs are so accustomed to "going" on grass or dirt that I worry about how to train them to go on different surfaces. Great suggestion! Paris