We have a newly adopted (2 full weeks now) BC mix, who was fostered for about 6 months with another family before we got her. She is settling in nicely with one very minor exception, and I'd love any suggestions to resolve this now. She is nearly 2, nicely housetrained, very calm indoors, very sweet with us, but she does not want to go out in our backyard at all unless we are with her. And, I'm not talking about putting her in the yard for any lengthy time - just wanting her to go out and do her business and maybe enjoy a little Fall sunshine and pleasant weather. Otherwise, she is an indoor dog unless she is with us walking or playing. Our Aussie mix loved to go out and lay on the patio (the cooler the weather the better), but I can't get our new girl to be that interested in exploring the yard. In fact, I can barely get her off the patio to potty and that's with me standing out there with her. I don't want to reinforce the idea that I will go out with her all the time - I do not relish early February mornings in my robe and slippers standing there asking her nicely to go potty. I've tried having her go out and then shutting the door, but if I don't also go out, she just turns around and scratches to be let in. I also don't want to reinforce the idea that it's okay to potty on the patio, right by the door, which she has done a time or two when there has been a pile of leaves handy.
My border collies don't really like to stay outside without me, either. They're just so in tune with their people, that it's boring, maybe? My lab mix loves to bask in the sunshine and doesn't care that much if I'm out there, but the boys want to play and interact with us, so after an initial potty or trot around the yard, they're standing at the back door wanting to come in where we are.
Anyway, since your girlie is new to you, it may take a while until she feels ready to do some exploring on her own. In the meantime, I'd go out with her. And by out, I mean into the yard, off the patio or deck. Encourage her to explore the yard, walk around with her, let her get used to it and make sure she understands to potty there, not on the patio. It may be a pain for you to have to do this for a while, but remember that 2 weeks with you is nothing. It could take a lot longer than that for her to get settled and feel comfortable venturing out on her own. And even when she is more confident to go out on her own, don't be surprised if she doesn't like to hang out there alone like your Aussie mix did.
My BC/pyr mix, Spirit, will happily lounge in the fenced back yard, sunning himself, for about 30 minutes at a time. But then he's ready to come back in with the family. And none of my other BCs and mixes through the years have shown the slightest interest in being outside without a human along.
All of my dogs have also been especially interested in having human company in the yard when they were making the transition to living in our house, so I think Paula's reminder about it only having been two weeks is a good one.
You could also consider doing some training with her in the yard (after she takes care of bathroom business, of course), to help reinforce the idea that the yard is a good place to be.
Good luck as you continue to get to know each other!
Angie and Spirit (8, BC/pyr) & Huckleberry (8, beagle) William (1993-2006), Kate (1995-2008), Johnson (1998?-2011), Odysseus (1996-2012), & Mildred (2002?-2012)
I have all different kinds of dogs and most of them like to lounge around up on something. My BCxs all like their cool-a-roos, or what is left of them, my poodle likes my table on the deck. little mix likes a chair, folded up lawn chair for the puppies they like that. And I find that is where they round up their toys and leave them. Of course it is more fun when I am outside but they like having their spots in the yard. Try finding a toy your dog really likes, or maybe a nylabone, something that is only for outside, and play, play, play with it and your dog and leave it outside with her. Check on her often, but do not encourage digging on the door. She should come when you call her, and come through the door after you say it is OK, or even better, train to sit before going in and out. Get the treats out, it will make it fun.
Thanks so much for the responses. I don't mind going out with her 99.99% of the time and walking her around to the side of the house for bathroom time and I do realize that she is still new even though she seems completely at home inside (and believe me, I love, love, love the fact that she wants to be near me inside), but I just didn't want to be reinforcing the fact that I must ALWAYS go out with her when she does her business, especially first thing in the a.m. I have been reading about clicker training and I'm going to talk to the trainer that was recommended to me about how we might incorporate clicker training into rewarding where to potty (i.e., not the patio). She's just a complete love otherwise and so dainty and elegant compared to my big, burly Aussie boy, who we always joked was part cat given his independent nature. I will definitely be getting her some type of lounging bed for outdoors, maybe one of those cool-a-roo thingys, given how hot it gets down here in Texas for much of the year and some special "outdoor" toys. She'll definitely want that cool-a-roo as we hang out next summer in Texas, 'cause I doubt we will get her in the pool - she is so not a wet feet gal!