Walking and Potty Issues.......wondering if we have dominance issues?
We have an 8 1/2 week old Doberman Pincher :)
We are having issues getting him outside to go potty, leaving LOTS of "accidents" in the house.
He DOES not want to go out for anything. He pulls and pulls to stay in the house. To the point that his back paws have little sores on them I assume from us pulling him forward and him pulling back being dragged a bit?
What are we doing wrong???
This doesn't sound like a dominance issue to me, more like an anxiety problem.
Your pup is still very young, at 8 weeks he's a baby! He's just gone through the stress of leaving his momma and siblings, and is trying to adjust to a new home and new people. It's a lot for a little guy to handle. No matter how great his new home is he's probably homesick and scared.
Many pups go through some difficulties during the first week or so in a new home, you can read more about this 'adjustment period' on my Bringing Home A New Puppy page.
It sounds to me as though your puppy is scared of going outside and is resisting in the only way he knows how. Overcoming this problem may be easier if you can try to figure out WHAT it is that is making him so anxious.
Perhaps you live in a totally different environment from the one he was used to. For example, if he lived in the countryside with lots of open spaces and not much traffic - if you live in town where there are lots of traffic noises etc., or have a small fenced-in yard, this will be scary to him. And vice-versa, if you live out in the country and have a large, unfenced or open land and he's familiar with a small enclosed yard - he could feel anxious and afraid being 'out in the open' like that.
If you try to see things from his perspective it may help. Do you have a noisy air conditioning/heating unit by the house? A barking dog next door? Airplanes flying overhead all the time? He needs time to adjust to his new surroundings, and he will do so in time, but you'll need to be patient and loving with him while he does so.
I wouldn't drag him if you can help it. At 8 weeks, he should be small enough to carry outside for a week or so, until he's feeling less anxious. Or entice him outside with a very tasty treat, or a favorite toy. I'd also advise staying outside with him, or even putting a doggie playpen or fencing in a small area for him to use as his 'potty spot' if it makes him feel more secure.
Some dogs are naturally more anxious, and less confident, than others, but with love and patience they can learn to overcome their worries. Try very hard not to let him associate going outdoors with a negative experience - don't reprimand or scold him when he's outside for example. You want him to have fun outside so that he starts to WANT to go out.
I'd also recommend using a crate and crate training him. This will help prevent him having the opportunities to mess indoors, and anxious pups sometimes feel safer when they have a 'safe place' to go (ie their crate). If he gets very stressed in a crate though, especially when you leave him, check out my Separation Anxiety pages for tips and advice on dealing with that.
The first few weeks with a new pup are always a bit of 'trial and error' and you'll find that once your puppy settles into his new home, things will run a bit more smoothly. The best advice I can give is to be calm, patient and consistent with your little guy, and start out the way you mean to go on..... have certain 'rules' that you put in place now (with a firm, but loving hand), and try to set up a daily routine that your pup can come to expect.
Best of luck with him.