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.
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.
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.
Hello, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he 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 small 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 dog is older you can adjust the times and take him potty less frequently. I suggest taking him potty every 3 hours when you are home. After 1.5 hours (or less if he has an accident sooner) or freedom out of the crate, return him to the crate while his bladder is filling back up again until it has been 3 hours since his last potty trip. When you have to go off he should be able to hold his bladder in the crate for 5-7 hours - less at first while he is getting used to it and longer once he is accustomed to the crate. Only have him wait that long when you are not home though, take him out about every 3 hours while home. You want him to get into the habit of holder his bladder between trips and not just eliminating whenever he feels 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 he is not already used to a crate, expect crying at first. When he cries and you know he doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give him a dog food stuffed hollow chew toy to help him adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If he continues protesting for long periods of time past 3-5 days, you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell him "Quiet" when he barks and cries. If he gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If he disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at his side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If he stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward 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. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog won’t use the bathroom outside. He is 2 years old and has only learned to go inside. We live in an apartment so it’s a bit of a walk to go to his bathroom spot. However, he gets too distracted by people walking by or other dogs and instead barks rather than sniffing around, even when we know he has to go. How can I train him to go in this situation?
Hello Lindsey, I would star by crate training pup and crating pup between potty trips after it has been at least three hours since pup last went potty. After the three hour mark, take pup potty. Walk pup around slowly on a leash, taking pup to as calm a location as you can nearby. Tell pup "Go Potty" calmly. You can also spray a potty encouraging spray on the area you want pup to go on to encourage pup to sniff and go potty. IF pup goes potty then, praise enthusiastically and give seven small treats or pieces or kibble, delivered one at a time to make it extra rewarding. Stay outside walking pup around for 15 minutes until they either go or the 15 minutes is up. If pup doesn't go potty then go back inside when the 15 minutes are up, crate pup for one hour to prevent inside pottying during this time, then take pup back outside at the end of the hour. Repeat this crating and potty trips outside until pup finally goes potty outside and you reward with the treats. I would start this when you have a couple or days off like the weekend. The first couple of days pup will probably hold it for 7-12 hours before going potty outside. Crate between trips so pup's only potty option is outside and the crate helps motivate pup to hold it while inside. After pup finally does go outside a few times and gets praised and rewarded for it, pup should gradually begin learning that "Go Potty" means go potty, and be more motivated by the treats and praise to go potty, and be encouraged not to go potty inside through the use of the crate when pup's bladder isn't empty during that first three hours. When pup finally does go potty, the clock resets and pup can be given three hours of freedom again before taking potty and crating again. This process should get easier and pup going potty more quickly after a few successes but getting initial successes will require some patience and a lot of consistency. If pup is still holding out and is currently used to a pee pad, you can also place a pee pad outside for pup to use. When you set up the crate, don't put anything absorbent in the crate to encourage pup not to go potty in there. You can use something like www.primopads.com as a non-absorbent bed if you wish. Also, the crate should only be big enough for pup to stand up, turn around, and lie down but not so big pup can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid the accident. Too big or too absorbent and pup won't be as motivated to hold their pee while in the crate. As far as the barking outside, check out the article I have linked below and the Desensitize method and Quiet method. Also, check out the video series on desensitizing from the video link I have included. If pup is going potty on a pee pad fine inside and not having accidents, you might want to address the barking then start the outdoor potty training after. If pup is having accidents though, I would start the barking and potty training training right away. Barking - Desensitize and Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Barking video series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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All of a sudden she starts pooping in the carpeted closet during the night. It’s winter and due to knee replacement afraid to fall on the ice sidewalks, I’m unable to take her outside for walks, however, let her in the back yard to do her business many times a day. She always lets me know when she has to go outside. Always let her out at 10 pm and never used to have to go out until next day at 10 am. Was amazing. Just the last three weeks. Tried spraying vinegar on carpet but doesn’t bother her. She’s such an adorable dog and don’t know what to do about her new pooping habit. Spring is coming and Hope walking again will take care of this issue. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Hello Hilda, Because of pups age it might be that pup physically can't hold it 12 hours overnight anymore. Since taking pup outside too early isn't a safe option for you either, I would set up an exercise pen with a non-absorbent bed in one end and a disposable grass pad in the other end and have pup sleep in that pen at night, with access to the grass pad for early morning. Pup might physically have to go potty sooner than you can take them out in the morning because of their age. The grass pad can give pup a place to do so without the accidents. Disposable real grass pad brands. www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog keeps pooping in the drive way even after I use a strong disinfectant to take away the smell
Hello Awo, How is your yard set up? Is pup off-leash, in an invisible fence, your driveway a part of your fenced yard, left outside all day, or only outside occasionally to go potty or play with you? How you address this depends a lot on the above factors. If pup is just being let outside to go potty and not an outside dog, I would go with pup for a while, taking pup potty on leash to the area you want pup to go potty at, then tell pup to "Go Potty" and reward with four small treats, one at a time when pup goes there. You want to help pup develop a habit of going potty in the correct spot, associating that area with good things, and making that area smell like pup so the scent will encourage pup to go there again. When you clean the driveway, the area needs to be cleaned not just with a disinfectant but specifically with a cleaner that contains enzymes. A disinfectant can actually contain ammonia which smells like urine to a dog, or even though it kills bacteria may not break down the pee or poop at a molecular level - which is needed to remove the scent to the level pup needs to not still smell it there. Removing the scent is only part of the picture though, pup's access to that area and ability to go potty there needs to be blocked for a while, to break pup's habit of going to that location. You can either do this by taking pup potty on leash, or by blocking off access to the driveway with physical barriers like fencing or hedges, or by using a pet barrier device that corrects pup for walking onto the driveway via a corresponding collar pup wears. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We got Leo as a puppy and I worked from home at the time so I was able to work with him intensely on potty training. He got the hang of peeing outside, however, he continues to poop in the house. He will go outside and pee and then come right in and poop in the house. We have tried leaving him outside longer, taking trips outside more frequently, etc. Any ideas on how to avoid this? Thank you!
Hello! If you haven't already tried confining him to a small space with his food bowls and bed when you bring him back in, that is going to be your best bet. Set aside a day where you have time to work with him. Sometimes it just takes a day of practicing this and they get it. Take him outside like you normally do. But when you come back in, either put him in a kennel if you have one, or a small space with his bed/blanket, toys, and food dishes. Dogs will typically not eliminate near those items. Give him 20 minutes or so, then back outside. If he doesn't poop within a few minutes, it's back inside to his space. 20 minutes, and repeat. Repeat this until he finally poops outside. And make sure to have treats on you so you can praise the heck out of him for going outside when he does. You will want to do this until he is consistently pooping outside. Since he is a little older, it may take a few tries. But he WILL get it!
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