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Discussion Starter #1
Our yard is not fenced in yet (it's happening in the next couple of weeks) so we let our dogs out between walks on lines attached near the back door. We hook them up, they walk down 3 steps and then they do their business on the lawn. The last few weeks, when we let Maggie out, she is reluctant to walk down the stairs and sometimes pees on the doormat (it stinks!). So we have been watching her and directing her down the stairs if she doesn't go on her own. Sometimes even then she will only pee and poop on the stone walkway and then she runs back up to the door. Most of the time we have to beg her to go out at all.

She LOVES going out for walks (we go out the same door), she isn't in any pain that we can tell, and she usually has Roscoe out there with her (on a different line). The only thing we can think is that her foot became very irritated a few weeks back and she had to go on an antibiotic. The vet didn't know if something go lodged in between her toes or if she was bitten by something (we had bees on some of our shrubs in the spring). Could she be afraid of the bees? They're not even around much lately and she's been getting worse the last few days.

We welcome and theories or advice on how to help her out. Thanks.
 

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She LOVES going out for walks (we go out the same door),
there is your answer, Take her for a walk in the yard. You may need to proceed as if you are going for you regular walks and enter the yard from a totally different approach but it is likely once nothing bad happens over a couple of times see will become less relunctant. And if you hid a few treats in the yard for her to find on the walk recovery will be even faster. You need to make being in the yard rewarding without the bagage of what possibly traumatized her, which at this time is idle speculation.
 

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This is what I would do:

Open the door, attach the line, hold on to it just as you would her walking leash, and proceed confidently down the steps with her. Walk her out to do her business, praise, and then return to the house with her. Don't acknowledge her fear- just make it seem matter-of-fact.

After a day or two I would drop the line and wander around the yard while ignoring her.Again, the message to her is that this is normal: no big deal.After a time or two she should be relaxed with the situation and explore on her own.

This worked for us when our dachshund was scratched by a cat in our backyard a few months ago and refused to go outside- being with her in a relaxed way without acknowledging her fear gave her confidence and she soon stopped clinging to us and started exploring the yard on her own.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice. We have been praising her when she peed in the yard, but we have not been going outside with her. We will start doing that today. Thanks again.
 
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