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Hi, I find potty training to be the most challenging thing right now and I'd love any advice. Thank you so much in advance for reading this and helping. My husband and I are first time puppy owners, and we have a 5 month old female French bulldog puppy.
I want to provide some additional context because I think this is relevant to her challenges in potty training. In attempts to socialize our puppy when she was young (we got her at 10 weeks), we took her outside in our arms and walked around our block. We live in an apartment in the heart of a very busy city on a high traffic street. She was absolutely terrified by everything, especially the loud car noises, and wouldn't even take treats during that walk. Unfortunately we just figured she would be ok. But being first time dog owners we had no idea that forcing an uncomfortable situation absolutely does NOT work and when a food driven puppy doesn't take treats in a new environment, it probably means she's way beyond her fear threshold and needs to be removed from the situation. I mention this because I think due to our mistake, she might have developed a fear for loud traffic noises, which is unavoidable where we live.
Which brings us to today. She's been officially allowed outside since Christmas after completing all her vaccinations (we had some delays with her shots, plus we live in a high risk area), so it hasn't been too long since we've been training her to go potty outside. We were using pee pads in doors before. Like I mentioned, our street is very busy and loud. There are some small patches of dirt in front of our building we try to make her go potty on, but basically she refuses to go. She just stares off into the distance or gets distracted by every single person and car, and simply WILL NOT go. We've stood outside for an hour one time and she just held it in. So then what we do is bring her back in after attempting to go for 10-20 minutes, put her immediately back in her crate, wait another 15-30 mins, then take her outside again. We just repeat this process until she eventually goes, presumably because she physically cannot hold it in any longer. And when she does finally go, we immediately give her high value treats, play with her toys, and have a mini celebration. This is the same thing that people at her doggy daycare does as well. What should I be doing differently? Am I doing this wrong?
I should also mention that she doesn't have any other fears. She isn't particularly picky about concrete, dirt, or grass and I really believe it's her surrounding that's causing the problem. When we take her to nearby parks that are in quieter areas, she goes potty with zero hesitation.
Besides moving to a suburb, what can we do to make her go potty easier given loud traffic isn't anything we can change? Thank you!
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