How to Train Your Older Dog to Not Poop in the House

Medium
2-4 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

There is nothing quite as unpleasant as coming home, opening the door, and being hit in the face with the smell of dog poop. If you have just got a new puppy, you probably expected a few accidents, and knew you would need to spend some time and effort housetraining your new charge, but what if you have just acquired an adult dog that is pooping in your house, or if your previously housetrained dog has suddenly started having accidents?  

Before you start working on training your dog not to poop in the house, you should try to determine why it is happening. If you have just acquired an adult dog, especially if they are a rescue or shelter dog, they may never have been trained not to poop in the house and you will have to consider how to house train an adult dog who was never shown the ropes. Some small dogs are even trained to poop indoors, on puppy pads or newspapers. You will need to make a decision. Do you learn the ins and outs of paper training a dog? If you decide to change this, you will need to teach the dog a new bathroom habit and read up on how to train your dog to go outside.

Also, a new adult dog may be experiencing anxiety about the change in their surroundings or may be confused and may accidentally poop in the house. In these situations, you will need to make your expectations clear, take some precautions to minimize accidents, and invest some time training your dog not to poop in the house. There are reliable tips and rules on how to potty train a dog in a new home, including reducing their anxiety about the change and giving them plenty of opportunities to go outside.

It is also advisable to rule out a medical condition, especially if your previously housetrained dog starts having accidents. Medical reasons a dog may break housetraining and poop in the house include tummy troubles caused by parasites, food allergies or illness, cognitive impairment, and bowel disease. If your dog is experiencing a medical condition, treatment of that condition may eliminate pooping in the house.

Defining Tasks

The best way to teach a new dog, or revise the house pooping habits of an older dog, is to prevent the unwanted behavior and create a new habit. This will involve preventing your dog from accidentally pooping in the house, with careful supervision to intervene if your dog looks like they are going to relieve themselves on your carpet, using a crate, or tethering your dog, to reduce the likelihood they are going to poop in the house. 

Also, giving frequent bathroom breaks outside helps establish that outside is for pooping and prevents accidents. Having a designated spot in your yard, where you can direct your dog to poop, can eliminate some of the confusion about where they should relieve themselves and can make training easier.

You may be wondering are potty pads good for dogs? In some cases, when rain and wind are raging outside and you have a dog who doesn't cope well with tumultuous weather, then yes, training your little pup to use potty pads will come in handy. However, they should never be a replacement for going outdoors and having the chance to explore, mark territory and meet the neighbors, all things that our canine friends love to do.

Getting Started

If you are training your dog not to poop in the house, you should carefully observe their feeding and defecating habits and schedule so you have a good idea of when your dog needs to go poop and can appropriately direct them. Keeping your dog in an area of the house where they never have accidents, or using a crate to confine them in the house so that they do not have the opportunity to make a mistake and reinforce their house pooping habit, will be required. Some owners use a tether method, which will require a lead and somewhere to tie your dog, such as hooks on a baseboard. Use caution tying your dog to furniture – if it moves, your dog could become frightened or injured. 

Creating a designated bathroom space outside, to direct your dog to, can also help eliminate any confusion your dog is experiencing about where to go to the bathroom. Lots of treats to reward appropriate bathroom habits should be available. The best reward for a dog defecating in the appropriate spot is a walk or outside play time, so make sure you have the time to provide this reward to your dog. Be prepared for some accidents, and avoid punishing mistakes, as it is generally ineffective in preventing the behavior and can just confuse and frighten a dog that is already experiencing anxiety or confusion regarding appropriate bathroom habits. If you are unavailable for large stretches of time to let your dog outside, getting a dog walker, sitter, or neighbor to help you may be a good idea.

The Tether Training Method

Most Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Introduce a tether
Put your dog on a short leash or tether no more than 6 feet long.
Step
2
Tether your dog
When you are in the room with your dog, you can tether the dog to your waist or belt, or you can put hooks on baseboards or door jambs and tether your dog to those. Most dogs will not poop when in a confined area, and if they are tethered to you, you will immediately notice if they look like they are going to poop.
Step
3
Provide bathroom opportunities
Regularly take your dog outside, or if you seem them sniffing around indicating they might need to go, head to a designated poop area outside.
Step
4
Reward with walk
If your dog does not defecate, go back inside. If they do, give them a treat, and take them for a walk on a long leash. Reward them in an enclosed area with off-lead time if possible.
Step
5
Continue
Repeat for several days, until your dog has established that pooping is rewarded outside and they have not had the opportunity to poop inside, eliminating that habit.
Recommend training method?

The Crate Training Method

Effective
2 Votes
Step
1
Provide crate
When you are not home or when you are not directly available to supervise your dog, confine your dog to a crate. The crate should be the right size for your dog to be comfortable, have soft bedding, and be stocked with a sturdy toy or chew toy to keep your dog happy.
Step
2
Take directly out
Let your dog out every few hours and take them directly outside to a designated bathroom spot in the yard. Give your dog a command to poop.
Step
3
Reward with walk
Wait for your dog to poop. If they do, reward them with a treat and take them for a walk.
Step
4
Confine to prevent accidents
If your dog does not relieve themselves, take them back into their crate but do not use a punishing tone as you direct them.
Step
5
Decrease crate confinement
Repeat for several days, gradually let your dog out of their crate for longer periods while still carefully supervising them. If they look like they are about to poop, take them immediately to the bathroom spot. After several days, your dog should have learned where the bathroom spot in the yard is.
Recommend training method?

The Reduce Anxiety Method

Least Recommended
3 Votes
Step
1
Set up place and schedule
Make sure your dog has lots of bathroom breaks; call in a dog sitter or neighbor if necessary, if you are away from the house for more than a few hours. Create an outdoor bathroom space for consistency and to eliminate confusion.
Step
2
Reduce anxiety
Give your dog lots of exercise and play, to reduce anxiety, and increase socialization opportunities. Provide lots of new experiences.
Step
3
Reinforce appropriate behavior
Take your dog frequently to their bathroom spot outside. When they use it, give them a treat and take them for a walk.
Step
4
Don't create anxiety
If an anxious dog poops in the house, never punish them. Not only is it unlikely that your dog will associate punishment with pooping if there is any time lag, but it will only serve to make an anxious or confused dog more afraid and confused. If you catch your dog eliminating in the house calmly but firmly say, “outside” and take them to the bathroom spot.
Step
5
Be consistent
Be consistent and patient over several days. Direct your dog to one spot for eliminating. Calm, consistent, clear direction and interaction on your part will counteract anxiety and clear up confusion, so that your dog will learn not to poop in the house.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Happy
AnimalBreed object
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Happy
AnimalBreed object
4 Years

After my dog comes in from outside he still poops on the carpet

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
93 Dog owners recommended

Hi! I am sending you information on potty training as well as crate training. There is a lot of information, but it should help you with this process. The information below is geared towards puppies, but when adult dogs have potty training issues, it is best to just start completely over as if your dog were a puppy. A few weeks of consistency and a fresh start should be all you need to get it under control. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

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Milo and Rebel
AnimalBreed object
1 Year
0 found helpful
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Milo and Rebel
AnimalBreed object
1 Year

I think I've ruined my dogs!

They're a year old and as much as I desperately want them to be able to roam freely in my house, they still have accidents, and don't let me know when they need to go outside. They've gone in my backyard since they were small so they panic when they see collars and leashes. I just want them to know to let me know when they need to go outside, AND get accustomed to going for walks.

HELP!!!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
674 Dog owners recommended

Hello Renee, First, for the harness or collar introduction, check out the video linked below. That dog wasn't nervous so the trainer could do the entire process in one video. This will likely look like just doing one or two simple parts of the video for several days before progressing. Go slow and base your speed off of how pup's are doing - doing force it too soon or you will go backwards. Harness introduction how to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn5b8u1YS_g&feature=emb_title Once pups are used to collars or harnesses, check out the article linked below and practice one of those methods, like the Drag method with each dog gradually. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-your-puppy-to-accept-leash As far as potty training, I suggest going back to the basics with them for 2-6 months, depending on the severity of the issue, to stop all accidents from happening so that they will develop a habit of holding it consistently while in the house and wanting to keep your home clean. After a couple of months if they have been completely accident free, very gradually give more freedom. To crate train, check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crates don't have anything absorbent in them - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com or k9ballistics if you need non-absorbent beds for them. Make sure the crate is only big enough for them to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that they can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. The method I have linked below was written for younger puppies, since your dogs are older you can adjust the times and take them potty less frequently. I suggest taking them potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 2 hours (or less if they have an accident sooner) of freedom out of the crate, return them to the crate while their bladders are filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since their last potty trip. When you have to go off they should be able to hold their bladder in the crate for 5-8 hours - less at first while they are getting used to it and longer once they are accustomed to the crate. Only have them wait that long when you are not home though, take them out about every 3 hours while home. You want them to get into the habit of holder their bladders between trips and not just eliminating whenever they feel the urge and you want to encourage that desire for cleanliness in your home - which the crate is helpful for. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If they are not already used to a crate expect crying at first. When they cry and you know they don't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give them a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help them adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If they continue protesting for long periods of time past three days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" by using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell them "Quiet" when they bark and cry. If they get quiet and stay quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If they disobey your command and keep crying or stop but start again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at that dog's side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If pup stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward their quietness. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. While home, you can also tether a pup to you with a leash to prevent them from sneaking off to have an accident - this isn't quite as effective as crate training but you can combine the two a bit if you want pup to be out of the crate a bit more while you are home, once pups are very comfortable with the collar and leash. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Teddy
AnimalBreed object
1 Year
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Teddy
AnimalBreed object
1 Year

We have had teddy for about a month. He was surrendered to a rescue from an older lady who lived in an apt so I’m not sure what method she used, outside or pee pads. He continues to poop in the house even though he is let out multiple times. He knows he’s done bad. I have rewarded him when he does go outside but seems he goes in the house more than not. Help please.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
93 Dog owners recommended

Hello! He looks like a sweetheart. Your best bet in this scenario is to start confining him while he is inside. I know this seems like torture. But to get the message across to him, he will need to be crated or left in a small area with his food and bed while indoors. He can have some free roam time right after he goes potty. But after about 30 minutes or so, he should go to his confined area for a few hours until it's time to go potty again. Continue giving him treats. Take this time to clean the floors really well. This process should only take a few weeks. You can start extending his time outside of the confined space as long as he isn't having accidents, until he no longer goes potty inside.

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Maverick
AnimalBreed object
2 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Maverick
AnimalBreed object
2 Years

New rescue dog keeps pooping and peeing in house wherever he wants to, we have an apartment with yard space only when take on a walk

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
93 Dog owners recommended

Hello! When adult potty training issues arise, it is best to start completely over as if your dog were a puppy. I am sending you some great tips on potty training. It is geared towards puppies, but the process is exactly the same. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior.

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Lady
AnimalBreed object
2 Years
0 found helpful
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Lady
AnimalBreed object
2 Years

we are in the process of adopting 2 dogs. 1 is Lady and the other is a Chihuahua named Dancer(1yo). We are at the stage where we can foster them for a week to see if things work out. I love the Chihuahua and. Y wife loves Lady. Problem is that Lady will poop in the house after coming inside when she is let out in the morning. Both are in a crate from midnight to 7am. I want to keep Dancer but and he is not a problem. They are a bonded pair and I have been trying really hard to make this work. My wife will not stand pooping in the house.Lady poops in the same spot in the morning. I have pee pads on hand and am willing to try other methods. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
93 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Often when potty training issues arise as adults, it is best to start completely over with potty training as if your dog was a puppy. I have some wonderful information on potty training. It is geared towards puppies, but the process is the same. And since she is an adult, it shouldn't take as long as if she were a puppy. She likely needs a reminder. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior.

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