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 Crate Training Method

Most Recommended
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 Tether Training Method

Effective
1 Vote
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 Reduce Anxiety Method

Least Recommended
2 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

Question
Bella
Chow Chow
One Year
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
Bella
Chow Chow
One Year

Bella does not poop or pee in the main part of the house but if she gets in the basement she will go there. How do I break her of this? She has a doggie door so when she is in the main level she will go outside in the yard/

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lynn, Does Bella have a way to alert to when she needs to go to the bathroom while in the basement? If she does not, then since she is used to going to the doggie door whenever she needs to go out rather than alerting you, she might be going simply because she does not know what to do instead. Once that has happened several times, she probably formed a habit of going in the basement, and smells the old urine and poop if you did not use an enzymatic specific cleaner. I would recommend training her to use a bell to let you know when she needs to go outside while she is in the basement. Place the bell in an easy to location spot, such as hanging low enough for her to reach on a door going outside in the basement. When she is in the basement, take her outside every two to three hours on a leash, and have her ring the bell on her way out each time. When she gets outside, tell her "Go Potty" and let her sniff. If she goes potty, then give her three treats, one at a time. Even though she knows how to pee outside, you are rewarding her for asking by ringing the bell and then going after she asked, to teach her to ring the bell and to motivate her to want to pee outside again while in the basement. If she does not go when you take her then bring her back inside, and put her in a crate or another small confined area, that you are confident she will not pee in. After thirty minutes there, take her back outside to try again. Repeat this process until she goes when you take her. After she goes then she can have two to three more hours of freedom in the basement. Do this whenever she is in the basement until she will go over to the bell and ring it whenever she needs to go to the bathroom, and until she is having no more accidents in the house. It might be inconvenient to take her so often, but the more accidents that you can prevent and the more successes she has peeing outside, the quicker she will learn to go only outside, and you will break the habit of going inside. It takes several successful times of eliminating outside to make up for one accident in the home, so prevention is extremely important or training will not work. The crate is a good tool for preventing elimination in an area because most dogs naturally not eliminate in a small, confined space, where they cannot avoid their own pee and poop. Not wanting to eliminate in the crate can prevent accidents but also remind her to hold her bladder in the basement. Also be sure to clean up any previous or future accidents with a spray that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the pee and poop on a protein level. Only then will Bella not be able to still smell it. If she smells the old urine or poop places, the smell will encourage her to eliminate there again. Also avoid using cleaners in the area that contain Ammonia, because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog. To teach her how to ring the bell check out these Wag articles: https://wagwalking.com/training/with-a-bell https://wagwalking.com/training/got-potty-with-a-bell Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

What's if the dogs out side to pee already but not poo and the owner waited very long not happen and they decided to poo in the rag and floor.

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Question
Frankie
Frenchton
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Frankie
Frenchton
1 Year

Frankie is so stubborn about pooping. She will not poop in the living room if contained (all doors shut and stairs gated off) but if one of my kids happens to leave any other doors open she will go in and poop. We use a bell on the door and that works most of the time but she still does not like to poop outside. I’m at my wits end. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Niki, First of all when she does poop inside make sure that you are using a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Only the enzymes will break down the poop enough to eliminate the smell enough for her not to be able to smell where she previously went. Any remaining scent will attract her back to the same area, particularly if that area is carpeted. Also purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination. You can get it online or at most large pet stores. It is typically called "Hurry Spray", "Training Spray", or something similar, and found in the house breaking or training section of the store. When you take her outside to go potty, spray the spray onto an area where she will some times poop and let her sniff the area to find a spot to eliminate. The smell of the spray will encourage her to go. Also make sure that you are taking outside about twenty minutes after she eats because eating will cause her to need to go, even if she just peed outside beforehand. After she pees outside make sure that you are walking her around again to encourage her to poop as well. Most dogs will not pee or poop right in a row. They typically need sniff around again and think about going for a minute before they will go. When she beings to pee or poop tell her "Go Potty", and after she poops outside give her three small treats, one at a time. By encouraging her to eliminate outside with the spray and giving her treats when she does, she should begin to prefer to go outside because when she does it inside she does not get treats. Make sure that when you take her outside that you either take her on a leash or follow her around your yard to remind her to go and make sure that she is actually pooping when she is out there. Many dogs will get distracted while outside and forget to go and then need to eliminate still when they return inside. This is less of a problem with peeing because territorial instinct and smells outside will encourage Frankie to pee, but pooping often needs more encouragement. Before she can be trusted to eliminate on her own outside without supervision she needs to go several months without an accident inside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Bella
Jack Russell Terrier
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Jack Russell Terrier
3 Years

I have a jack Russell who is coming up for 3 years old and I have had her since she was 8weeks. She is fully house trained and will let You know when she wants out for The toilet however I have to keep her in the same room as me as if she is left alone or is allowed to wonder the house she will do solid poops all over the room we are not in... I mean a bit on the sofa, some on the door mat, some on the kitchen floor and generally everywhere she can (despite being out just 10 minutes before hand) if she doesn’t have any poop left she will run away in the a different room and pee. When she is with us she is no problem and isn’t anxious or uncomfortable and as I said will tell you when she wants out.. very vocal. Is there anything I can do to stop this ? I’m at my whitts end.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nikkii, When you take her outside to poop does she poop multiple times while outside as well. Normally a dog will poop one or two times, getting everything out at once. If she is pooping multiple times outside when she goes, then have her evaluated by your vet. Something medical might be going on, such as a back up of poop, as gross as that sounds. It that is the case she would probably still be able to hold it with you, and would because she knows that she should not poop in front of you, but if she constantly feels like she needs to go, the the temptation to go in the house and "relax" when you are not with her would be strong, making it hard to potty train her. If you treat the root cause it should become normal to house break her again. If she only goes one time outside and it is enough for her not to be backed up still when she returns inside, then the next thing to check is what you are cleaning your floors with. If your floors smell like Ammonia from a cleaner, or poop from previous accidents that were cleaned up with something that did not contain enzymes, then she is probably associating the house with being outside and thinks that she is just not supposed to poop in your presence and doesn't associate the lesson with being in the house. The solution then would be to remove the smell by not using Ammonia containing cleaners and by cleaning your floors, and especially and future accidents, with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes that will break down the pee and poop better. You can also try purchasing an exercise pen. Create a resting area with a crate or bed that she will not chew inside the pen, and add some safe chew toys. I recommend purchasing Kong type hollow chew toys and stuffing them with her dog food so that she associates the area with eating too. Make sure that she has eliminated outside beforehand, and then have her spend time in the exercise pen when you are not with her. Set up the exercise pen in one room at a time. After she has spend about a month in the pen in one room, move it into another room. Continue doing this until she has spent time in each of the rooms while in the pen. This will only be effective if she does not have a medical issue though so pay attention to that. If she poops in the exercise pen despite not having a medical issue then try this with a crate instead. The idea is the get her used to spending alone time in each room while encouraging her to hold it due to the smaller, more personal space, of the exercise pen. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Georgie
Maltese-Shitzu
3 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Georgie
Maltese-Shitzu
3 Years

My dog is three years old and potty trained for the most part. He goes potty outside, but will poop in the house on occasion. Never in front of my husband or myself. More recently, he has begun to pee on my clothes if they are on the floor. I have no idea why he does this because he doesn't pee in the house otherwise and he does not pee on my husband's clothes. To prevent him from peeing on my clothes, I just pick them up or keep my closet closed, but sometimes my husband will forget to close the door completely and my dog will go in and pee on my clothes. Any suggestions on why he is doing this and how I can stop it? Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alisha, Has Georgie ever used Pee Pads? If he has, then he might be pooping in the house because of that. Some dogs that temporarily use Pee Pads will begin to eliminate on other soft, fabric type material when they cannot find a Pee Pad to eliminate on anymore. This especially true if he is choosing rugs, mats, carpeting, or other fabric type material to eliminate on, opposed to hardwood or linoleum flooring. The first step is to make sure that you are cleaning up all accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes will break down the pee and poop and remove the smell well enough for your pup to not be able to smell it. Other cleaners only remove the smell so that humans cannot smell it. I would recommend washing any clothes of yours that he has eliminated on with a laundry detergent booster that has enzymes in it too. Nature's Miracle has a laundry booster with enzymes that you can probably order online. You will need to get rid of any lingering smells in your home or those smells will just counteract the training. Also avoid cleaners that contain Ammonia because Ammonia smells like pee to a dog. Once you have eliminated the smells, then I would suggest purchasing a doggie diaper and having Georgie wear it inside the house to discourage him from eliminating. You can buy disposable ones and fabric ones that you can add disposable liners too. After the first couple of accidents you should not need a liner anymore though because he will hopefully learn not to go while wearing it. I recommend the fabric ones because he is less likely to tear those up and you can reuse it for a long time. The point of the diaper is to prevent accidents from happening and to break that habit. After you have removed the smell of previous accidents and put the diaper on him, then begin to give him five small treats whenever he eliminates outside. Take him outside on a leash, tell him to "Go Potty", and then give him the treats, one at a time, when he goes. This is to motivate him to go outside rather than somewhere else. He is essentially exchanging his pee and poop for treats so that he will want to wait to go outside to eliminate, which will give him an incentive to hold it since keeping your home clean does not appear to be enough of an incentive on its own. If the above suggestions do not solve the clothes peeing part also, then set up something that you can create noise with remotely to surprise him, and leave a camera pointing towards some of your clothes left on the floor, so that you can spy on him. Leave him alone in the room with the clothes. As soon as he begins to squat to pee on the clothes, create your noise to surprise him. You will need to repeat this several times and make sure that you are not in the room when this happens so that he does not associate the surprise with you and become afraid of peeing in front of you. I would also recommend practicing this in areas where you do not want him to go on his own anyways, such as your closet. This is in case he begins to avoid that entire area for a while after you do this. Make sure that you are still following the other steps with the diaper, treat rewards for eliminating outside, and effective cleaning also when you do this, or you may not see success.. You likely already have a camera device that you can use, rather than having to buy one. Some common options are GoPro cameras with the live feature on the GoPro app, two smart phone or tablet devices with Skype or Facetime transmitted to one another on mute, Security cameras with portable phone apps, and video baby monitors and receivers. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
chanel
Shitzu
6 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
chanel
Shitzu
6 Years

i got Chanel after my parents passed i am her owner,,,,,,,,i also have oliver a shitzu,bear a golden retriever and barney a wirehaired dachshund,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Chanel is a mess,,,i confined her to a room where she ate the door,,,i walk her every 2 hours,,,,,she now is in the kitchen with a gate,,jumps it poops in the dining room,living room and bedrooms and hallways,anywhere she wants to,,,,,,,,,,,i now have her in a crate and this is the last resort for her,next will be euthanization,,,,,,,which i really do not want to do,,,,,,,,help what can i do the other 3 do not go inside,i have praised her,and her walks consits of at least one mile each time,so i dont know what to do,helppppppppppp

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Holly, Check out this article bellow and follow the "Crate Training" method from that article. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside That article includes more frequent potty breaks, more confinement, rewards for going potty outside to encourage the dog to hold it while inside, and a potty encouraging spray to speed up pooping while outside. If you feel like you cannot keep Chanel, look into Shit-Zu or all breed rescues who foster the dogs that they take in, in your area. If you email or call one of those rescues you should be able to easily find someone to take Chanel in, work on training with him, and then re-home him, free of charge for you. Many people would be glad to take him in, especially after someone like a foster family works on his issues. You are correct to use the crate to deal with his behavior. He needs to learn to self-sooth, self-entertain, and hold his bladder. Try to be patient with him though, even though it is frustrating. He has gone six years without proper potty training or house manners training. It's a big adjustment for him to learn manners now. That does not mean he cannot learn to be a good pet, but if you feel like you cannot commit to that job, look into rescues in your area before you consider euthanasia. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

thank you,it seems she likes being in the crate i will do my best and keep you updated

My dog is 12years old and I have the exact same problem. I have small children and it is becoming a major concern for health reasons for them also. Jasper my dog also poops in his cage so this does not stop it either. I am now cleaning up from him once to twice a day. I don't want to put him down like I am being advices by friends as he is still happy and vibrant. But I really am at my wits end on what to do as it is so unclean for the children.

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Question
Molly
Shih Tzu
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Molly
Shih Tzu
5 Years

Our dog poops in the house only when we leave her home alone. We keep her in the kitchen and the issue we're having is that she poops in random spots and sometimes, if we're lucky, she'll step in it. It causes us so much frustration when we come home to stepped in poop that's caked into her paws and into the floor. What can we do to break her of that? I understand she might need to go but I rather her go in the same spot on the wee wee pad then in random spots.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Randy, First, purchase a pet safe spray that contains enzymes that will break down any remaining poop and pee proteins in the kitchen and thoroughly clean the kitchen floor. Regular cleaners do not break down the poop and pee enough to remove the smell to the point where your dog cannot still smell it. Any remaining smell from previous accidents will encourage your dog to go in those spots again. Also, avoid the use of Ammonia containing products in the area because Ammonia will also encourage your pup to eliminate there. Second, I would recommend at least temporarily enclosing Molly in a different area of your house while you are gone using an exercise pen since she has formed a habit of pooping in the kitchen and she needs for that habit to be broken. Third, purchase a spray designed to encourage elimination and spray that spray onto the pee pads so that the scent will encourage her to go there rather than just anywhere. When you are at home, whenever she eliminates on the pads, go over to her and give her a treat so that she will begin to associate going on the pads with something pleasant and prefer to go there rather than just anywhere. If doing all of that does not work, then you will need to switch out the pee pads for either a litter box or trips outside to use the bathroom. If you end up deciding to just take her outside to go, then I would recommend using crate training to teach her to go outside. For some dogs the pee pads themselves are the issue. Because the pads are made out of fabric and require you to teach your dog to go on a thin fabric type material indoors, some dogs have trouble differentiating the pee pads from other areas in the house. This is especially true if your pup is using the bathroom on just area rugs or mats that feel similar to her to pee pads. A litter box tends to be a clearer location to go potty since it does not resemble other areas in the home, and taking her to use the bathroom outside and teaching your dog to never eliminate inside the home is the clearest lesson of all. If you decide to switch to using a litter box you can teach her to use one using one of the methods from the article that I am linking bellow. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lil Bit
Chihuahua pug mix
9 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Lil Bit
Chihuahua pug mix
9 Years

We have an older dog who has no accidents when we are home. When we leave for work she pees and poops on everything... Dog bed, rugs, wherever. We have tried the kennel training and she has accidents in there as well and just lays/steps in it. We have also tried confining the hallway and provided puppy pads to no avail. We do clean the area with nature's miracle when we see it. We don't know what else to do or try. We thing she has some issues with anxiety, but also suspects that she doesn't care about having accidents wherever in the house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christy, It sounds like the issue likely started as separation anxiety and now she has learned to do it out of habit also. In order for potty training to be effective she will need the anxiety dealt with first. Once the anxiety is dealt with you can deal with the accidents by putting a doggie diaper on her to prevent her from peeing directly in the house until she stops attempting to. I would also recommend crating her while you are gone like you did before, but you will need to address the anxiety in order for that to be successful, and you may need to use a different type of crate to break the association with peeing in the old crate. Make sure that you clean up any accidents, old or new, with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes so that the smell will be removed well enough for her not to be able to smell it still. Other cleaners without enzymes do not break down the poop and pee enough to fully remove the smell for dogs. Any remaining smell will encourage her to eliminate in the house again. I would need a bit more information in order to address the anxiety. Spy on her with a camera or through the window and see what she does while you are away. Is she destructive? Does she pace? Does she shake? Does she bark or whine? Does she look nervous or stressed? Is she peeing and pooping as soon as you leave or every couple of hours? When you are home also pay attention to how often she is peeing outside. Make sure that she is not peeing very frequently during the day. If she is then the issue might still be incontinence, which is common with age and needs to be addressed with more frequent potty breaks during the day in addition to breaking her habit of peeing inside. If the issue is incontinence, and you cannot take her out frequently because of work, then you might want to litter box train her inside of an exercise pen in a specific area of the house. Do not use pee pads though or they might make the issue worse since they resemble household items like rugs and clothes. If you decide to litter box train her, then you can use "Exercise Pen" method from the article I have linked bellow. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy To address the separation anxiety practice gathering your things, placing her into the crate, and leaving and then coming right back within five minutes while she is being quiet for two seconds if she barks too. When you arrive home ignore her until she calms down, then go over to her and carefully open her crate door, but if she rushes out quickly close the crate door again. Repeat this until you can stand a few feet back from her with the crate door open and she will remain inside. When she is being calm and respectful and not rushing out of the crate, then tell her "okay" and encourage her to come out. Also work on teaching her a "Place" command and having her stay on place with a chew toy for longer periods of time while you are at home to build her independence and self-control. Also work on creating clear boundaries for her and not rewarding her demands with attention. When she comes over to you do not pet her until she does something for you such as sits down when you tell her to, or unless you call her over first. The idea is to build her respect for you, create clear boundaries, work on her independence, and make the crate a calmer place for her. You can also stuff a hollow chew toy such as a Kong with kibble and peanut butter or soft cheese and give it to her when you place her in the crate. Also practice putting her into the crate during the day while you are at home, and when she is calm and quiet go over to her and drop treats inside and then leave again. Do not let her out until she is being quiet and at least a little bit calm for a couple of seconds. Start with shorter amounts of time and gradually increase the amount as her anxiety improves. If you are still having issues after trying these things then check out Jeff Gelman's separation anxiety protocol from SolidK9Training's YouTube channel, it's a bit more comprehensive than what I can write here. You might also need a trainer to come to your house and assess the issue in person and develop a plan. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Melvin
Labrador Retriever
10 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Melvin
Labrador Retriever
10 Years

Melvin doesn't move around too well and has some large benign lumps on his body. For the past year or so, he's infrequently gone potty in the house, sometimes without realizing it. His owners (my in-laws) are eager to put him down if this behavior keeps up, so to avoid that, is there anything we or a vet can do to help treat his condition? He does initiate going outside to go potty, but seems to be losing control of his bowels.

Is this a sign that he's at the very end of his rope, or does he have a handful of years left? Any advice and insight you can give me would be appreciated! I'm afraid they're going to put him down after we move out of the house in the coming weeks.

Thanks,
Ken

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ken, I am so sorry that you are going through this with Melvin. Only a vet can assess how he is doing in general and how long he might have left, but incontinence is a very normal issue for older dogs and by itself does not necessarily mean that his general health is declining rapidly. If he seems mentally impaired, then that is something to mention to your vet and that could be related to the loss of his bowel movements. He could have a while left, or if he is showing other signs of decline, he may not. Ask your vet. Only a vet can tell you whether or not surgical intervention can help him or medication can help him or whether or not that is even a safe option for him, but for the majority of dog's his age, in his condition, it is more of a management situation rather than being able to fix the issue. Ask your vet though, only he will really know. Check out this Wag! health article I have linked bellow. Specifically, you can ask a vet a question if you scroll down to the bottom of the page. Hopefully you can gain a little bit of medical insight to add to my training recommendation. https://wagwalking.com/condition/urinary-incontinence As far as managing his condition, you might try closing off an area in your home where there is not carpet, and teaching him to use a home-made litter box that is located in the far end of that area, away from his bed. You can make a wide, shallow litter box out of a short plastic storage container and cat litter. If that is too different for him, you can also place a piece of grass sod into the box rather than litter. Confining him by the door without a litter box may also help. Since it is harder for him to get to the door to let you know when he needs to go out and to remember to go outside your goal should be to increase his access to the bathroom and to make the trip to go potty shorter for him. That will hopefully decrease the number of accidents that he has. For peeing accidents, you can place a doggie diaper on him. You can buy disposable ones, or reusable fabric ones and disposable pads to place inside. You can even purchase human urinary incontinence pads to use inside the reusable fabric diapers instead of using the ones from the pet store, if it is more convenient. Here is an article on teaching your dog how to use a litter box. The steps to train him should be the same as with a small dog. You will need to build your own box for him though. Use the Exercise Pen method from that article if you choose to try it. I will say, whether or not this will be effective for him will depend on his mental state. Normally an old dog absolutely can learn new tricks, but if he is suffering from something like doggie dementia, then learning something new at this point will likely be too difficult for him. There is no harm in trying either way though! https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mystic
pit bull lab mix
6 Months
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Question
1 found helpful
Mystic
pit bull lab mix
6 Months

Hi! We started fostering a pup 2 months ago and she's been a HANDFUL and has recently been pooping/peeing in a couple spots in the house. Some history.... First - she came to us from the south where we think the southern foster encouraged pee-pads all day, so no consistent bathroom breaks outside. Second - She came up with lots of stomach issues so regardless of the size of the crate, she wouldn't be able to hold it and would mess in the crate; even after leaving her alone for 30-40 minutes in there. Third - She has distemper and is deaf. I'm not sure if the distemper ever plays a part in things like this but the deaf part has added a slight complexity to training in general.

After a month of regulating her diet, she got better enough to hold it in the crate so luckily she didn't view the crate as an acceptable place to empty anymore . We continued crate training throughout the night and while we're gone for short spurts and immediately take her out to a designated spot in the back yard to eliminate. This has worked and we reward her every time and shake hands vigorously and go for walks and give scratches after and let her play with our main pup inside for a while. Here's the rub - it seems as though she sees her "poop spot" inside with the same regard as her spot outside. As if they're BOTH acceptable places and is happy to use them interchangeably. We can feed her in the morning, take her out to eliminate where it'll work 60% of the time and if she doesn't, we'll bring her back in and walk into another room for 2 seconds and she's pooped in her spot again.

We're not at our wits end at all, just very confused because it seems like her relationship with the crate after 2 months hasn't solidified with the rest of the house where the entire inside is not a place to eliminate and only outside is. I may be leaving out other behavioral details, but any advice you have is helpful! Thank you...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dan, First of all Distemper can cause GI issues, including diarrhea, so that probably is or was making the training harder for her when it comes to pooping .It also generally just makes the dog feel worse, and when a dog feels bad, learning is more difficult. When she recovers, the training will hopefully get easier for her. It sounds like you have made progress with the crate, continue using that. Using Pee Pads inside probably has taught her to pee in the house, especially if she had a lot of diarrhea before and had several accidents because she could not help it. After a certain amount of accidents, a dog will often give up on trying to hold it while inside if he is forced to have accidents. You will need to back-track with her even more by limiting her access to the areas where she is choosing to pee over and over again.Either block off those areas or set up an Exercise Pen or gate off part of the room for her and keep her in there while you are trying to get Potty Training under control. When you take her out of the area to spend time with you, then attach her to yourself with a six or eight-foot leash. She needs to have her environment managed enough to prevent accidents inside, so that she can form a new habit of going only outside. Obviously you do not want to keep her confined or block off areas forever, but limiting her freedom until she breaks her old habit of peeing inside will make Potty Training easier for her. Make sure that you clean up and new or old accidents with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Only an enzyme containing spray will remove the smell enough for her not to be able to smell it still. If she can smell an old accident, then she will want to go potty on that same spot again. Also avoid cleaners containing Ammonia because Ammonia will encourage peeing and pooping too because Ammonia is found in urine and poop. If Mystic's stomach can handle it, then find treats that she enjoys that won't aggravate her stomach. In addition to the affection that you are already giving her, reward her by giving her three tiny treats, one at a time, whenever she pees outside. You also might want to teach her to ring a bell when she needs to go outside. She will not be able to hear the bell so it will take her a little longer to learn, but she can be taught to touch and make it move. If she is not alerting you when she needs to go outside, then I would add the bell. When you teach her, at first, reward her for simply touching the bell. As she improves, require her to make the bell move before you reward her. Even though she cannot hear the sound of it, if she can see the movement, then she will know that she did it right. Here is an article on how to teach her to use the bell. Use the "Hanging Bell" method from that article and point to the bell as her cue instead of saying "Bell". https://wagwalking.com/training/got-potty-with-a-bell If you feel like she is struggling with training in general, then you might want to train her with a low level vibration collar. You can use the concepts of clicker training with a vibration collar instead of a clicker. To do this, first purchase a vibration collar that vibrates very softly. Look for one with adjustable levels or very light vibration. Educator Collar brand makes vibration collars that have one-hundred vibration levels., called the PG-300 and Pg-302 Vibration collars. If you choose a collar with that many levels, then you can also use the collar for teaching a distance come by teaching her that the low level means that she did something correctly and the higher level vibration means come. To train with the collar, measure out her breakfast or dinner, or grab several of her favorite toys if she does not like food. Set the collar to the lowest level that she seems to recognize, then push the vibrate button once and immediately give her a treat or a toy. Repeat this until her breakfast or dinner food is gone, every day at meal time for one to two weeks. With time, she should begin to associate the vibration with the reward. After she associates it with a reward, then you can vibrate the collar whenever she does something correctly, right when she does it correctly, and you can give her a treat, affection, or toy right afterwards. The timing of the vibration will help her to learn more quickly because she will be receiving feedback right when she does something correctly, rather than receiving it a few seconds after, which can be more confusing. It will also cause her brain to release Dopamine in anticipation of a reward, which makes training more pleasant for her. If you train her with the vibration collar, then you can vibrate the collar any time that you would normally verbally praise her, including when she rings the bell to go outside and when she pees outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Thanks for such a thorough and understandable answer! We're going to try these suggestions out asap for sure. Thank you again -

I have a rescue dog 2 yrs old carmal is a rescue I have a problem of he pooping in the house I put down pads but she dosn't use the and if she does she eats he poop how do I stop this

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Nacho
Chihuahua
12 Years
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Nacho
Chihuahua
12 Years

Nacho poops in the house when I'm not home. He never Pee's just poops. how do I train him not to do this if it only happens when I'm not home?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Laura, I need a bit more info to help but I have a couple of thoughts. Has Nacho always pooped in the house when you are gone or is this recent? Does he poop in a crate also if you crate him? Is he pooping in the morning before you leave him? If this is a recent problem and you have not moved or majorly changed his schedule or environment, then a visit to your vet is in order. Because of his age, he might have a physical issue that effects his ability to control his bowel movements and when you are at home he can tell you when he needs to go out. If that's the issue, then you need to address the physical issue with your vet and if the issue is permanent, then you probably need to litter box train him and place him in an Exercise Pen with a litter box on one end and a non-absorbent bed like a PrimoPad, which can be ordered online and is easy to clean, on the other end. Spend time when you are at home training him to use the litter box in the Exercise Pen. You can do that by following the "Exercise Pen" method from the article that I have linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If this has been an issue all of Nachos life, then you need to crate him to teach him to hold it during the day. When you do this go outside with him when he goes potty and make sure that he is actually going and not becoming distracted after he pees. You can get him used to being in a crate by following the "Crate Training" method from the article below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he also poops in a crate and you know that he pooped outside beforehand, then he might have a Separation Anxiety issue. I would suggest hiring a professional dog trainer to come to your house to help with that because Nacho would benefit from being evaluated to see if that is truly the issue. Solving Separation Anxiety involves changing multiple things in a dog's environment, tailoring the training to the specific dog based on that dog's physical anxiety cues, and trying different approaches to find the one that is right for that dog at that time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocco
Jack Russell
14 Years
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Rocco
Jack Russell
14 Years

My dog has been in a belly wrap diaper for 2 years as he does small pees every hour or so. He’s been pooping in the house a lot lately, even when I walk him every 2-3 hrs. He also aimlessly wanders our apartment from 6-11pm every night. Not sure how much of this is due to old age or if there something we can do to eliminate so much poop in the house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sheri, It sounds like Rocco is probably having accidents because of his age. I would suggest having your vet evaluate him for dog dementia or other cognitive decline. Also have your vet evaluate him for loss of bowel function. Because he has already developed urinary incontinence it is very likely that he is slowly loosing control of his bowel functions now also. He may know that he is not supposed to go potty inside but once the urge hits him he cannot hold it long enough to make it to the door. Overtime he probably gave up even trying. His wandering behavior in the evening could be a sign of early mental decline. Only your vet can say for sure though. Dogs like people can get dementia and will forget things and regress with things like potty training and directions. If your home is less well lit in the evenings then, he could also be doing it because of poor eye sight. His eyes might be good enough to see when rooms are fully lit but he might have trouble getting around in darker areas now, which can cause some anxiety and confusion. Adding more light in the evening should help this if that eyesight is the problem. Ask your vet about options for mental health and bowel function if he determines that one of those is the problem. If the issue is that he has trouble finding a place to go potty inside, due to mental directional issues now, or he cannot hold his poop long enough to alert you due to loss of bowel functions, then confining him in one central area of the house with hard floor and a dog bed with a waterproof, easily cleaned cover will help with easier cleanup with the accidents. If his mental state is alright and it is simply a bowel function issue, then you can also teach him to use a doggie toilet like a litter box or grass toilet, and place that toilet nearby him in the confined area. That will make it easier for him to go potty where he should when the urge suddenly hits him. When he is out of that area keep an eye on him and try to time it so that he has recently pooped before being let out so that he is less likely to poop in the rest of the house while with you. If you find that his is a medical issue, try to be patient with him. He cannot help it. Make it as easy for him to get to a bathroom as possible and reward his efforts to poop in the new indoor toilet so that he will at least try to go on that while it is nearby. You can also use doggie diapers. To minimize the mess on him try cutting a "poop" hole in one diaper and putting that on him and then placing a second diaper without the hole over that, so that the poop is caught between the two diapers rather than against his fur. Depending on his shape, this may not work, but a bit of inventiveness on your part to create something along those lines could give him a lot more freedom in the house. You would obviously need to clean or throw away any soiled diapers and change them but that should be a mush easier cleanup, like a puppy pad, than accidents in the house. You can buy doggie wipes that are created for puppies to freshen him up as needed too. Here is an article on how to litter box train a dog. You can also use a grass toilet or something similar in place of the litter box and train with the same methods for that. Instead of cat litter you can also use rabbit litter, which looks more like cedar shavings. Make sure your dog does not try to eat whichever one you use though. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Here is a link to a disposable real grass toilet for indoor use. You can put a plastic tray underneath it too for easier movement too. You can also make your own out of a litter box or large shallow plastic storage bin and a piece of grass sod. https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-SPACIOUS-inches/dp/B00761ZXQW/?tag=petslady-20 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bella
Chihuahua Beagle Mix
7 Months
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Question
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Bella
Chihuahua Beagle Mix
7 Months

I have a 7 month old chihuahua beagle mix ( I think). At least that’s what I was told. The previous owner told me she was house broken. Lo and behold... surprise! She’s not! I take her outside a lot when I’m home but Honestly that’s not a problem. I will leave her home for a few hours at a time you want to get back it will be no accidents. But is soon as I come home take her for a walk and feed her wait about 20 minutes and walk her again she will not poop or P rarely outside only P never pooped. As soon as we come back again even though I have Keep her close to me on a lease walked her outside as soon as I noticed her sniffing around but she still will not poop outside only inside when I’m home. I live on a half acre out in the country so I know there’s lots of new exciting stuff to her and that’s all she does when she’s outside is sniff sniff sniff sniff. I’ve tried crates I’ve tried keeping our with me inside on that leash taken out so I want to see your pooping and it’s not working what do I do ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jane, Set up an exercise pen with plenty of space inside it outside on a grassy spot in the shade where she will be safe from other animals. Strictly crate train her while she is indoors so that she is never free outside of the crate indoors unless she has used the bathroom outside during the previous two hours. Limit her freedom to an hour-and-a-half if she has accidents during the two hours. When the two hours are up, put her back into the crate until it has been four hours since she last went potty outside. At which point you will take her outside again. You can take her to go potty sooner than four hours, but if she does not go, then she needs to go straight back to the crate and you need to keep trying every thirty-minutes to an hour until she goes. The four hours between potty trips will make her more likely to go when you take her and will make it easier to potty train her during work days by simply coming home midday during your work day or having a dog walker come by then. When you take her outside to go potty, go with her, spray a potty encouraging spray on the grassy area in the exercise pen, and tell her to "Go Potty". Either leave her in the pen until she goes and watch her out the window so that you will see if she goes or bring her back inside after five to ten minutes and put her back into a crate and try again in thirty minutes. The idea is that whenever she is outside things are very boring, the area smells like a toilet to her, and she only gets freedom by going potty. When she goes, let her out of the exercise pen to play in the yard or in the house and give her several small treats, one at a time to make the treats more exciting. The more times that she "accidentally" goes potty in the exercise pen and is then rewarded and given freedom, the more she will start to learn that peeing and pooping outside are correct. The exercise pen and the crate simply force her to pee outside because she does not have access to anywhere else. She will be spending a lot of time in the crate while you do this. That is okay. In fact, long term it will be good for her. Crate training can help to prevent separation anxiety, can prevent destructive chewing, teach your dog how to travel, teach your dog how to be calm, and so many things. You are likely already crating her while you are at work, but she needs to be crated whenever her bladder is not empty also, until she starts to pee and poop outside quickly when you take her and not have accidents in the house. Buy several medium or large hollow Kong toys or safe hollow chew toys. Place her food into a bowl and cover it with water and let it sit out until it turns into mush. Mix a little peanut butter, liver paste, or cheese into the mush, stuff the Kongs, and then freeze them overnight. While she is spending so much time in the crate, give her part of her meals in Kongs so that she will have something to do in the crate. For more details on how to transition her to more freedom in the house when she is accident free check out the article that I have linked below and the "Crate Training" method from that article. What you are going to be will be a bit different with the exercise pen, but the transition in that method should still give you a general idea of when it's time to slowly increase her freedom. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Aliya
Yorkshire Terrier
7 Years
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Aliya
Yorkshire Terrier
7 Years

I adopted Aliya about 5 months ago. She is 7 years old. She will eat anything, and I mean anything she can get A hold of, like toilet tissue, cutips, paper, crayons, pencils, gloves, etc....Oh and her own poop! I have to chase her around to try and get the items from her. She will growl and snarl at me. I have been bitten a few times. How do I stop this behavior? Also, I can take her out to potty and she will to both but 30 minutes to an hour later,never consistently, she may poop again while in the house. I can not figure out her personal schedule for pottying and finally, when we are in bed at night, if my husband or son walks in the room Aliya will bark and growl frantically at them. How do I get this behavior to stop? (I do crate her when have to I leave home.)

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Suzanne, I would speak to your vet about a possible nutrient deficiency, parasite, or chemical imbalance. The object eating can be simply behavior related but her bowel habits combined with the object eating can be related to a nutrient deficiency, parasite issue, or chemical I'm balance. Those issues can also effect behavior. If she is peeing outside and then pooping inside thirty minutes later, the issue is likely the schedule. A dog will need to poop about thirty minutes after eating even after peeing outside right before hand. If this is happening in the morning, then take her to go potty, feed her, then take her back outside to poop thirty minutes later. If she is pooping outside and then pooping inside thirty minutes later that sounds like a physical issue to discuss with your vet. For the aggressive behavior toward your family members I would correct her, send her to her crate, and when she calms down have your husband and son toss her treats while they are in the room to make their presence pleasant. She also needs more boundaries in general. Check out this article and use at least one of the methods, and ideally incorporate aspects from all of the methods by working on her obedience, making her work for what she gets in like by having her do commands first, and being very consistent with her. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Cosmo
Australian Shepherd
4 Months
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Question
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Cosmo
Australian Shepherd
4 Months

Hi, I just got Cosmo a few days ago and he has been a handful, but one of the few things he has surprised me with is that he came to me very well potty trained from the breeder. He only pees when we take him to our backyard. And so far he has pooped once there. He mostly poops when we take him out on a walk at 6:30 am and in the evening at around 7 pm. My first question is whether or not pooping twice a day, and peeing 3-4 times a day is enough, or should i be taking him out more to pee and poop. My second problem is that Cosmo only poops on concrete or sidewalk. So the one time he pooped in our backyard, he had already peed on dirt, but came on the concrete tiles to poop. And the rest of the ties he has pooped has been on walks and he actively makes sure to poop on a hard surface like the sidewalk instead of the grass. He sometimes pees on the sidewalk too. So how can i get him to realize that he should only do his businees on dirt and grass. Also another thing is he readily pees in our backyard, but hold his poops for walks... So in a way he is potty trained but he just poops on the sdiealk or concrete instead of the grass, and i dont know how to get him to do it on the grass. I was hoping hed do it accidentalyy on the grass and then id reward him heavily for doig so, but that hasnt happened yet.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Siddesh, First, pooping two to three times a day is normal for a puppy of his age. I would suggest taking him outside to pee every three to four hours at his age, as long as he is remaining accident free. If he is having accidents, then you need to take him out even more often. The longest that he should be able to hold his pee for under ideal circumstances at his age is five hours during the day. You do not want to get too close to that number too often though or he will start to have accidents since that is an ideal number. In general, the maximum amount of time that a puppy can hold his bladder for during the day under ideal circumstances is the number that he is in months of age plus one. So Cosmo at four months of age can hold it for five hours during the day, assuming he completely understands that he should hold it and has not drank a lot of water or gotten too excited. You should take a potty-trained puppy out about two hours sooner than his maximum amount of time most of the time though. You should take a puppy that is NOT potty trained out every one-to-two hours unless that puppy is in a crate, then he can hold it for his age specific maximum number of hours occasionally too. Second, It sounds like his breeder probably taught him to go potty in an area with a hard concrete-like surface; therefore, he thinks that that is the only surface that you should poop on. When you take him outside a few minutes after he has eaten, when he usually poops, then walk him around in your grass on a leash in your backyard. Walking will get his bowels moving and make him have to poop, which is part of the reason he poops on walks. Tell him to "Go Potty" when you do this and bring treats with you. If he does not poop after fifteen minutes of walking in your own backyard, then bring him inside and put him in a crate for fifteen to thirty-minutes and then take him back outside in the backyard on a leash and try again. Repeat this cycle until he poops outside. When he poops, praise him and give him five treats, one at a time, to show him that pooping on grass is a good thing and to help him learn what "Go Potty" means so that command will later signal to him what he is supposed to be doing when you take him outside. You might want to start this on a day when you will be close to home for a couple of days, like the weekend. If he needs extra encouragement, then also purchase a potty encouraging spray like "Puppy Training Spray", "Hurry Spray", "Go Here!" or something similar. Read the bottle. It is simply a spray that attracts a dog to a certain area and encourages him to go potty there with scent. Spray this spray on the grass where you want him to go and let him sniff there. You can also spray this in a few spots and walk him around in a slow circle, letting him pass and sniff each spot to get his bowel movements going and make him think about going potty. If you have another dog, then leave one of his fresh poops in the backyard for your puppy to sniff if he does not eat poop. The smell should help him to go potty there while still learning. If all of that does not work, then check out the article that I have linked below and try the various methods in there. Start with the "Crate Training" method because that method will be the most strict and likely to work. It is similar to what I just told you here but includes a few more details to further encourage pooping. That schedule will be more strict and will further encourage going potty where you want. You can follow the same advice for peeing. Also, once he is pooping in your yard alright, then save the walks for after he poops. A dog will learn to hold her poop and pee until a walk if she is in the habit of pottying on a walk. If you require the dog to use the bathroom in your yard before a walk, then that dog will learn to hurry up and go potty in your yard in anticipation of the coming walk. The walk becomes a reward for going potty. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Finn
beagle chihuahua
3 Years
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Question
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Finn
beagle chihuahua
3 Years

I adopted Finn in February of this year. He'd been adopted as a puppy, but his family lost housing and gave him back to the rescue he came from - I adopted him about 2 days later. When I first got him, I tried to have him in a crate and he just kept peeing all over the place. At the time I had another dog — I have a dog door and they got along very well, so I was able to leave them alone, free roaming after a few weeks. They grew to be very bonded. Aside from an occasional (maybe twice) accident, he was potty trained.

Around 4th of July, we had a ton of fireworks and thunderstorms, which both frighten him, in the area for over a week and he started pooping in the house often at that point (and peed one time). Then he settled down when the loud noises went away and went weeks without doing so.

At the end of August, my other dog passed away. From that point on it's been pretty consistent that he'll go at least 3 times a week when he's alone in the house. Most often it happens when it's very rainy outside even if I take him for walks and he goes at that point. But sometimes it's perfectly sunny, like today, and he just goes on the bathroom floor instead of going out the doggy door.

I don't know what to do — it seems like it's a cross between separation anxiety, his hatred of rain and thinking it's okay to go inside the house. I've read online not to yell at him but I am getting very frustrated and need to do something about it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erin, It sounds like he never solidly learned to go potty outside for himself to the point where he was strongly motivated to do so, but simply followed your other dog's lead and went outside because the other dog always did and the other dog's urine also reminded Finn why he was outside. It also sounds like he has anxiety from noise, specifically fireworks but likely also thunder and the rain is triggering that anxiety because he associates the rain with the coming noise. Between the anxiety, not being very motivated on his own to go outside, and having had some accidents inside lately and further lost his inhibition to pee inside you are where you are now, so we will need to tackle all of those things. First, purchase a very sturdy Exercise Pen and set it up against the doggie door door. You can place a chew proof bed and chew toys in the exercise pen, but the idea is the limit his freedom so that his only option are in the exercise pen or outside. This will give him confinement without feeling as enclosed and it will also give him the option of going outside to pee or simply to have more space. Use a very sturdy one and perhaps even reinforce it because he is likely to try to get out if a thunder storm occurs. The exercise pen should help with the general peeing, making it more convenient to pee outside since it's always close, while also encouraging him to keep him much smaller exercise den area clean. You can also feed him in the exercise pen at meal times to further encourage him to keep that area clean. Next, when you are at home, go outside with him when he needs to pee. Let him go through the doggie door but join him out there and tell him to "Go Potty". When he goes, then give him five treats, one treat a time. If he is having accidents when you are at home also, then you will need to take him out more frequently too. Experiment with how often you have to take him out to avoid accidents and then take him out that often any time that he is not in the exercise pen. He will probably need to go at least every four hours to ensure that he does not have an accident in the house when outside of the exercise pen. Giving him the treats outside should help him to want to pee outside more, so that he will be more motivated to make the extra effort it takes to get outside. It should also help him to connect that going outside is related to peeing, without the other dog always having to show him. Last, address the anxiety. That one will be the hardest. It sounds like he needs to be counter-conditioned to loud noises. For that I suggest hiring a professional trainer to help you locally. You can also find multiple videos online on youtube with trainers demonstrating how to do so. It involves pairing something fun and rewarding with a recording of the noise and gradually increasing the noise overtime as your dog learns to relax around it because of the fun and food. Some dogs are able to get over loud noises, some do not without their owner present. Some do well with devices like thundershirts or having a save place to go during storms. On days when it's stormy you may find that you either need to have a dog walker come by the house, knowing that he is not going to go outside unless someone makes him. Wag walkers can be sent to your home last minute if you have a Wag key lock box for the person to access your home with. You could hire a wag walker last minute if needed on days when it looks like it will be raining. Please don't take this as a sales pitch. Wag genuinely could help on rainy days with their last minute type options with lock boxes. You can also teach him to go on a real grass toilet pad without him having to go outside to pee. If you use the pad be sure to put it somewhere where he never normally goes, like the garage or a bathroom that is normally closed. Essentially that area will end up being a spot where he will learn to go potty in general so you do not want it to be somewhere that he can get to on nice days. Don't use pee pads for this. The fabric material could make your issue worse. Check out the link to the real grass pad below. Outside only is far more idea, but if anxiety remains, then a grass pad is the best indoor option to avoid as much confusion as possible, and putting it in an area that he does not normally have access to is also beneficial for preventing even more accidents inside. https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Dog-Potty-Grass/dp/B00761ZXQW/ref=pd_sim_199_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00761ZXQW&pd_rd_r=81f3878b-c797-11e8-b4bb-f94ae1ae4c7a&pd_rd_w=TUn0L&pd_rd_wg=spKih&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=18bb0b78-4200-49b9-ac91-f141d61a1780&pf_rd_r=EKYBE1P7SD60R0X0WJ8W&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=EKYBE1P7SD60R0X0WJ8W Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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MAizey
Greyhound
11 Years
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MAizey
Greyhound
11 Years

Maizey has started pooping overnight even after having gone out before bed. she will go out at 6am and can make it until 4 pm or so in the afternoon, yet if she goes out at 10pm, there is an accident before 4 or 5am...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michele, How many times does Maizey normally poop in twenty-four hours? If she is pooping more than two, occasionally three times, then I would look into her digestive schedule and for digestion issues. First, try giving her more opportunities to poop outside. When you take her potty, after she pees, walk her around again and tell her to "Go Potty" again. If she goes, give her a treat. If you normally just send her out into the yard to go, then go with her on a leash for a couple of weeks, tell her to "Go Potty", and when she goes pee or poop give her a treat. This is to teach her the "Go Potty" command. After she has learned "Go Potty", then send her outside in a fenced yard on her own and watch her from somewhere further away, like your porch. Tell her to "Go Potty" when you send her, and then after she pees, if she has not pooped in several hours or has eaten recently, then send her back out and tell her to "Go Potty" again. Make her wait out there and encourage her to sniff around for a few minutes before letting her back in. If she potty again by pooping, then praise and reward her. She may be holding her poop during the day rather than getting it out, then she has to go in the middle of the night because she cannot hold it any longer. It is not normal for a dog to have to poop during the night. If she is pooping a lot during 24 hours, then take her to your Vet's, more than three times is not normal. Also, look into when you are feeding her dinner. She should have at least two hours between dinner and her last trip outside to go potty. You can do even earlier to see if it helps. During the last trip outside before bed, do what I mentioned above and encourage her to go potty again after she pees because many dogs need to poop thirty-minutes after they poop, even though adult dogs can hold it when they choose to. She might be loosing that ability to hold it in her sleep, so it is even more important that she gets it out during the day. Finally, after doing the above, try crating her at night. If the issue is physical, then the above suggestions should fix it or a trip to your vet's is in order because there is an age related medical issue probably going on. If the issue is behavioral, then crating her at night for awhile should improve the issue. If you get angry with her when you take her potty, then she also might be intentionally holding her poop around you during the day, and waiting until you are not around at night to go. In that case more patience with her and rewarding her with praise and treats when she goes potty outside should help her relax enough to empty herself when you take her outside during the day, letting her be empty during the night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Roxy
Boxer
8 Years
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Roxy
Boxer
8 Years

Roxy is 8 and after a few days of not feeling good and having diarrhea she nows poops like all the time so during the day we keep an eye on her and take her out when she ask but at night she is just pooping on the floor this is new can you help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lydia, I suggest visiting your Veterinarian again. Pooping in the middle of the night, and especially more than once, is not typical, even for a dog that is not potty trained. If she is still pooping more than two times in twenty-four hours and especially more than three times and at night, then she has a medical issue that still needs to be addressed. You will not be able to fully resolve this until the underlying medical issue is addressed because she likely cannot physically hold it at night. You can also ask a Vet in the medical articles section of Wag!. Until her medical issue is improved, you will need to set up an area for her that is easy to clean up and take her outside to go potty during the night time too. Somewhere like a bathroom, with all dangerous items taken out, her own chew toys added, and a waterproof bed or easy to wash bedding should work. You can also set up an Exercise Pen for her somewhere with hard floor, like tile or linoleum. Once her body is back to normal and she is only pooping twice per day, then she might stop having the accidents on her own, without additional training. If she does not, then go back to crate training her for a couple of weeks, to remind her to go potty outside, give you an opportunity to reward her for going potty outside so that she prefers that, and encourage her instinct to hold her bladder and bowels in a confined space. Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Once she is healthy again, then you can take her outside to go potty every four hours instead of every one or two, since she is not a puppy like the article mentions. After she goes potty, she can be out of the crate for two to three hours, before being put back into the crate until time to go outside again. If she has accidents after two to three hours of freedom, then decrease that amount by thirty-minute increments until the accidents stop. Follow all of this for at least two week, then gradually give her more and more time out of the crate if she is not having accidents, until she is out for the full four hours without accidents and can make it through the night again without an accident. Phase out crating at night and when you are gone last. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Hank
Mix
4 Years
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Hank
Mix
4 Years

Over the last month or two our 4 year old potty trained dog Hank started to poop in the same area of our house. I have tried everything to try to get rid of the smell. I have used the Natures Miracle enzyme spray, had our carpets cleaned and asked them to spray an enzyme spray when they cleaned as well. This stopped the behavior for a couple weeks but this week he pooped in the same area again on two separate occasions. It is normally when we are not home, although there have been a couple times where I was upstairs and will come downstairs to poop in the same spot. He never does it when we are hanging out in the room. We have blocked off access to that room when we have left and he never poops anywhere else in the house. He is fed at the same time everyday, and let out at the same time in the morning before I leave for work. Sometimes he will not poop when he goes out in the morning, he will run out to pee and then come back to the door and sit there until I let him in. I asked the vet about it and she didn’t really have any answers for me either. She thought it could maybe be a behavioral thing and gave me a plug in diffuser to try in the room where he is pooping but clearly that is not working either. Do you have any suggestions as to what we could try next? I am getting so frustrated with this!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Natalie, It is unusual that this began suddenly. I would look for clues first. Did anything change at home, like a move, new baby, schedule change, someone moving in, or new pet? A change might be contributing to anxiety. If it's anxiety, then cbd oil can help (you can check with your vet), and adding more mental stimulation through regular training session for thirty-minute each day, adding more structure and boundaries (like having him sit before meals, learning to stay on a "place" instead of following you around, and having him heel and focus on you during walks. Also, give him something to do while you are gone, such as a food-stuffed Kong toy, Kong wobble toy, food puzzle, or automatic treat dispenser. The automatic treat dispenser would probably be the most effective for anxiety but it is also the most expensive option. Pet Tutor and AutoTrainer are two automatic treat dispensers that detect when your dog is being calm and quiet and reward him with a piece of kibble for it. Teaching things like "Place", increasing his independence, and adding boundaries are the most important for anxiety though. Unless it is anxiety (in which case address the anxiety by doing what I suggested above or hire a trainer who can help you), it might be a schedule or food issue. Since he is not pooping when he goes outside in the morning, you need to accompany him outside when he goes out in the morning, after he pees tell him to "Go Potty" again, and encourage him to walk and sniff around. If he won't, then put him on a leash and walk him around the yard while you encourage him to sniff and tell him to "Go Potty". The movement and sniffing will help his body feel the urge to go. He also needs to be taken out fifteen minutes AFTER he eats, even if that means taking him out twice. When he goes, give him three treats, one at a time. This will teach him to go faster in the future. When he will go quicky when you tell him to, then you can watch him from the door/porch and tell him to "Go Potty", and when he goes, give him the treats when he comes back. You must watch him to make sure he goes because that probably started this problem originally. He likely can't hold his poop during the day all day and is having accidents because he is not pooping in the morning. He needs to break that cycle because he is used to pooping inside now and is less motivated to go outside in the morning. Supervise him when he goes out in the morning to make sure that he goes. Cleaning and blocking off that area was the right thing to do. Continue doing that. If the pooping continues, then he needs to be crated, but he may still poop in the crate if he cannot help it because he doesn't poop in the morning, so making sure he poops in the morning and you are rewarding him for it so that he will learn to do it faster when you say "Go Potty". If he does poop in the morning and still has an accident, then I suggest changing his food gradually, looking for a food allergy, or addressing anxiety. If it does not seem to be any of those, then a trip back to the vets is in order to rule out a bowel issue by investigating his health more. Since you will be going with him when he poops right now, look at his poop and see if it looks normal and firm. If it's loose, then a food allergy or worms needs to be addressed probably. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gump
Pug
11 Years
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Gump
Pug
11 Years

Okay, so I have an 11 year old Pug, Gump. He has been completely housebroken that entire time (he came housebroken from the breeder when we got him at 10 weeks), aside from a few accidents when he had a tummy issue. About two weeks ago, to the day, he started pooping in the house. He poops in the bedroom. He poops in the living room. He has ALWAYS slept with my husband and I, and he now tends to wait until we are asleep and he poops in the room, but he doesn't have a preference if we are there or not, or alert or not. There have been a few times where he literally stares at me while he does it. He does it when I put his leash on him and we are getting ready to go out the door to go potty...like its no big deal.
He was an only dog until about 7 months ago when we rescued another Pug (girl, 4). Both are fixed. There were some bathroom issues with the girl when we first got her, but she hasn't had an accident in months---in fact we actually moved into our brand new house about 2 months ago, so a completely fresh slate for both of them.
Both dogs go out every 2 hours, without fail aside from the middle of the night (but they go out right before bed, and right upon wake up). We stay outside until both has urinated and defecated a few times. Then we walk for a few extra minutes. People have mentioned that the behavior is because of the new dog, but I would have assumed that would have started 7 months ago. Or because of the move, but I would have assumed that would have started 2 months ago.
For 11 years, he has always let us know he had to go out. These last few weeks, he doesn't. Their diet is exactly the same as it always has. The breeder had him on Iams when we got him, and we kept him on it. We have recently cut out all treats. They do not get human foods. We have NEVER had to have him in a crate, and with him being 11, I am a little worried that there may not be any help with that. All accidents are cleaned up with the appropriate cleansers. I am LITERALLY at my wits end, is there any direction you can provide to me to get this fixed...unfortunately, he is pretty much confined to the bathroom (to save carpets). But I feel bad because he has ALWAYS had full freedom to roam the house. Please help!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amanda, Unfortunately it sounds like it is probably a medical issue. Many dogs loose their ability to hold it and control when they go as they get older. Sometimes a vet can treat it, sometimes they cannot and managing where they are allowed in the house is the answer. Check with your vet. It could be due to the new dog but that sounds far less likely unless he is showing signs of anxiety due to her still. It could also be a mental issue related to age. Dogs can get dementia and other mental ilnesses when they age also, and the loss of awareness effects things like potty training because they get anxious, confused, and have a hard time alerting when they need to go. Finally, seizures can also cause random pooping, especially when they have already pooped earlier. There would be other signs usually like staring off into the distance. Not all seizures involve muscle spasms. I am not a veterinarian so I strongly suggest visiting your vet to look for an underlying cause. If you find a medical cause, if it's not something that can be overcome, you can set up an exercise pen with a real grass pad in an area with hard floors near everyone, like the kitchen. You can also use doggie diapers for times when he is in the rest of the house when you are home. Check out the article that I have linked below and the "Exercise Pen" method to teach him how to use the real grass pad. The article mentions a litter box but you can use an grass pad instead and the steps are the same. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad: https://www.freshpatch.com/products/fresh-patch-standard?variant=3477439297&gclid=Cj0KCQiAm5viBRD4ARIsADGUT240LhGvLZTtkV8mF5ipM-P6vFK77QkDx3igBKHDP240d4X2GnSvuDsaAuqxEALw_wcB Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Baloo
Blue pitt
3 Years
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Baloo
Blue pitt
3 Years

Won’t poop outside I take him for a walk he poops when he comes back in please help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Neo, I suggest following a modified version of the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Essentially only give him freedom outside of the crate while you know he doesn't have to poop or pee, teach him the Go Potty command, walk him around slowly on a leash, the movement helps - encouraging him to poop after each pee, and return him to the crate and trying again in a bit if he doesn't go when you think he may have to. Be especially vigilant 15-45 minutes after feeding him and after he runs around a lot - he is more likely to need to poop at those times even if he just went out beforehand. Since he is older, ignore the young puppy potty break times in the article and adjust the times according to how long you know he normally likes to go out to pee (such as every 3-4 hours while you are home, and longer if you have to go to work), and return him to the crate whenever you take him potty knowing he may need to poop and he doesn't poop, then take him back outside every hour until he finally poops during one of the trips outside - then you can give a normal pee schedule until the next portion of the day when he may need to poop again (like morning pooping and evening pooping - with more freedom during the middle of the day if you schedule allows for it). https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside You can also try the tethering method - attaching him to yourself with a 6 foot leash while you are home if he only sneaks off to poop and taking him back outside regularly until he poops out there and gets treats for doing so - this method will only work if he sneaks off to poop though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rocky
Siberian Husky / Lab mix
1 Year
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Rocky
Siberian Husky / Lab mix
1 Year

Rocky is a 1-year old rescue dog that I adopted a few days ago. He is a good boy, other than he hasn't pooped yet anywhere but in the house (twice in his bed in my room), and once in my roommate's room when his door was left open. I take him out for long long walks every two hours throughout the day, during which he only (sometimes) pees, but has only pooped inside! Help! He is a rescue, so obviously skittish and uncomfortable, but I am a first time dog owner, and need some guidance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sam, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Since he is older, you can take him outside every three house. If he does not go go potty and you know he still needs to poop that day, then put him right back inside the crate when you get inside. When he does poop or pee (and you know he does not have to poop), then you an give him up to an hour of freedom. After the hours is up, put him back into the crate until time to take him potty again. When he is free, then attach him to yourself with a six- or eight-foot leash. You can give him a food-stuffed chew toy or favorite chew toy to chew on when you are sitting somewhere for a longer amount of time instead of walking. You need to prevent the wandering off and confine him in a crate so that he will try to hold his poop and pee in there and the only place he will be able to poop is outside. When he poops outside, then you are going to reward him for it with treats (or a toy if he prefers toys). Pooping article. Follow the "Crate Training' and "Tethering" methods - especially the "Crate Training" method until he will poop outside regularly. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he seems afraid when you are outside, then spend time simply hanging out outside and giving him a food-stuffed chew toy to chew on, play with him, practice obedience, or simply relax for a long time. You want him to get used to being outside and to associate being outside with pleasant, safe things. If he is afraid of being outside, then helping him get over that fear should help him relax enough to go potty there more easily. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Moll
Dalmatian
12 Years
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Moll
Dalmatian
12 Years

My dog has started to poop in the house during the night. We've taken her to the vets who believe the cause to be due to arthritic pain when squatting to poop. Her pain is now well managed and she squats much easier however, she'svery reluctant to poop outside. She's a very anxious and stubborn dog so the vet thinks she's become frightened by the pain so holds it until she has an accident. We've been working at retraining her to go outside and she is improving. She normally poops outside at 7am just before breakfast then again on her walk at 1pm then sometimes at 10pm before bed. However, if she doesn't do the lunchtime poop she'll go at around 6/7pm and will end up pooping in the hallway where she sleeps around 4am-and often tries to eat it. I imagine it's too long a period of time to get her to hold it in but how do we get her to have a better routine and stop pooping inside? She gets really distressed at a crate so that's not an option.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Briony, You are on the right track. The issue probably was related to the pain and she is probably afraid to poop now. Continue to help her overcome that fear and make sure the pain stays well managed - if she seems to go backward at any point check in with your vet to make sure dosage doesn't need to be adjusted. To help her overcome her fear, try taking her to a different area to use the bathroom for a while. For example, if you used to take her to the backyard, take her to the side yard or front yard in case she associated the pain with the location. If you used to walk her down the street toward the right of your neighborhood, go left for a while for instance. Whenever she does go potty for you outside, give her five yummy treats (something like freeze dried liver that's not oily or hard on her stomach). Give her the treats one at a time so it feels more rewarding to her. You want to help her relax and look forward to potty trips again. Calmly tell her to "Go Potty" right before she goes because when she receives a treat after going, she will begin to associate that command with the rewards and it will help motive her to go when you tell her to "Go Potty" during the day. If he is able to with her arthritis, walk her around a little to help her feel the urge to poop. It does not have to be fast or far, don't push her too much, but just a little bit of movement should help her feel the urge if movement is alright for her right now - per your vet's advice. To prevent a habit of pooping at night from forming (where she doesn't mind pooping inside opposed to having to poop because she can no longer hold it) I suggest putting up a very sturdy exercise pen or gating off a small room with hard floors. You can anchor an exercise pen to the walls in a corner for added stability/safety for a larger dog. Put a non-absorbent bed with good semi-firm joint support but a waterproof cover on one end of the exercise pen or small room and a disposable real-grass pad on the other end. You can also make your own grass pad by putting part of a piece of grass sod in a shallow plastic storage bin. Doing that at least gives her a grass area inside the house to choose to poop on rather than the floors and keeps the mess contained and away from carpet. I would not overly encourage her to poop on the grass though, it is just there for backup while you work on helping her poop outside and get over her fear. Some dogs need to move to using an indoor toilet around this age because of health issues. So it might be worth keeping the exercise pen up if you find that she still needs it to make it through the night without going potty elsewhere, even after she is more willing to go potty outside again. Here is one example of a real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13789585758694451529&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-568582223506&psc=1 Porch Potty also makes a longer-term more expensive version that has several benefits. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mondo
French Bulldog
Two Years
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Mondo
French Bulldog
Two Years

Mondo, my 2-year-old French Bulldog, has been soiling the house randomly. From the time he was potty-trained as a puppy up until about six months ago, he had absolutely zero accidents in the house. The first time, I found poop on the carpet of my front bedroom. I cleaned it up with a good enzyme cleaner and he went about a week before doing it again. Again, I cleaned it and cut off his access to that area. A couple weeks later he pooped just outside the room. After that, I thought I got it under control until he pooped in his crate. Absolutely nothing has changed in our routine or in the household. He eats in the morning, gets let outside, mid-day gets let outside, and then after his dinner in the evening, gets let outside. Prior to the first house soiling incident, I would let him free roam during the day (regardless of whether I was home or not) and crate him at night. After the soiling incidents, I would start only letting him out of his crate while under supervision. Slowly I'd start letting him roam on his own again and we'd do well for a few weeks before the soiling would happen again. When I find the soiled area, he immediately tucks his tail and hides. He doesn't have separation anxiety and he only does the behavior when I am at home...he will sneak off and soil. If I don't start the supervision immediately after the initial soiling, he will start doing it numerous times per day and for days at a time. During the few days surrounding these soiling incidents, I will let him outside during his usual potty times and he will refuse to go. He will attempt to go back inside after just standing there for a minute or after only urinating (even when he really has to poop). I have to say the "go potty" command numerous times and sometimes he will relieve himself (poop) after being stern with him, or if after about 20 minutes he doesn't go potty, he goes back into the house in his crate until the next potty time. When I think I have the house soiling under control, he gets let outside and does his business immediately. I give him lots of positive reinforcement when he does his business like he's supposed to, especially after those stubborn potty breaks. The vet says he is medically healthy as well. I am so frustrated at this point. Is my dog just being a brat? How can I get things back to how they used to be? Help please!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachel, I suggest looking into his diet. I also suggest watching him while outside to see of he seems scared of being outside. If the weather has gotten really cold where you are, he might be refusing to go potty because it's cold outside. In that case a jacket may help. If it's a fear of being outside, then spending time outside with him in general, playing games, hiding treats for him to find and generally helping him relax outside again should help. Continue to reward him with treats when he does go potty outside. If it's a digestive issue and your vet does not feel like it's anatomical, I suggest gradually switching his food in case there is a food allergy causing him discomfort (you can check with your vet first). It sounds like he is avoiding pooping outside and that is leading to the accidents inside, or his diet is causing constipation or digestive issues. Continue with the crate, supervision, and enzymatic cleaner while you tackle the other possible causes. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Mix
3 Years
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Question
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Luna
Mix
3 Years

Hi:Luna is myrescued stray doggie. She is very smart and when she got home she caught up quick on potty training... she pees on a pad sometimes usually at night. Lately she has started going #2 inside at odd times. Ie. Right after she already went outside. Or at night when i dont let her jump on the bed she will go. How can i ensure she understands that she shouldn't go inside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mayra, First, when you take her outside (especially after feeding her and before bed) go with her and insist that she goes potty again. Walking her around also helps the bowels start to work (dogs are more likely to poop after running or walking and after eating - because the digestive system is stimulated). A lot of dogs get distracted after peeing and forget to poop so they need to be reminded and encouraged to go again until they create a strong habit of going potty and a desire not to soil the house. When you take her potty, tell her to "Go Potty" and after she goes, give her four small treats (you can use her own dog food as treats if she is food motivated). This helps motivate her to go potty outside and prefer going there. It also gives you a way to communicate to her that she should go potty again (poop) after she pees when you take her. If you want her to learn to poop inside on the pad, I suggest using real grass pads instead of pee pads there because the smell and texture will encourage pooping more. You can also just focus on her pooping outside though and only use the pee pads for pee. When she is inside, while you are working to build her potty training outside, you need to go back to your potty training basics because she knows where to pee but has not learned about pooping well enough to be left unsupervised - so potty training needs to continue for a bit longer. At night and when you cannot supervise her, I suggest crate training her because the crate will naturally encourage her to hold it and teach her to alert you when she needs to go at night - instead of just having an accident. Learning how to alert you and associate pooping with being taken outside is an important part of her training. You can also have her sleep in an exercise pen with a non-absorbent bed (like www.primopad.com) in one end and the grass pad or pee pad on the other end, close by. I suggest using the crate instead though because the crate will have the benefit of teaching her to alert you when she needs to go out and to hold it inside (a dog has a natural desire to hold their pee and poop in a confined space - like a crate, but the crate needs to be free of absorbent material and not too big). For right now she needs to be attached to you with a six-to-eight-foot leash while inside and not confined, so that you can catch her when she starts to act like she needs to poop and take her outside, and help her learn to alert you also. I also suggest teaching her to ring a bell when she needs to go outside, then rewarding her when she goes potty outside after ringing the bell. Some dogs naturally learn to bark or let you know when they need to pee or poop, so that you can take them outside; others need to be taught to alert you - which is why the bell helps. Check out the article that I have linked below for teaching a bell: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Here is a real grass pad. Make sure it is real grass when you choose one. Fake grass doesn't have the same benefits, like smell. https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=asc_df_B00EQJ7I7Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309806233193&hvpos=1o7&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9336022293454378800&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-572651300532&psc=1 You can also purchase a potty encouraging spray to spray where you want her to go potty right before you let her sniff there to help her go faster. Leaving one of her poops in the spot you take her (just one or it can have the opposite effect) can also help her focus on pooping because the smell encourages her to go. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sully
Pug
2 Years
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Sully
Pug
2 Years

My dog keeps weeing and pooing in the house during the night and I don’t know how to stop it.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Melissa, He needs to be crated at night without anything soft or absorbent in the crate with him. If you need a non-absorbent bed to put into the crate, then check out primopads.com. The confined space of a crate naturally encourages a dog to hold their pee and poop. Make sure that the crate is just big enough for him to lay down, stand up, and turn around, but not so big that he can pee in one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. Check out the article linked below to introduce him to the crate. Start by introducing the crate during the day for shorter periods of time first. Once he can handle being in the crate for two hours have him sleep in the crate at night also. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Drake
Labrador Retriever
4 Years
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Drake
Labrador Retriever
4 Years

We recently adopted drake from a rescue. His owner said he was potty train but just needed some basic obedience training. He is very sweet and loves people but seems to have no regard for peeing and pooping in the house as a bad thing. He will go to the bathroom outside and his stool is normal and the vet has ruled our any medical reasons. Often when we are not paying attention he will poop or pee in the house once a day and does not feel bad about it at all and will give us no warning. Sometimes he will pee when we are in the same room as him but he will never have an accident in the house when we are not home. How can we help stop this? Do we punish him when he relives himself in the house?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, I suggest keeping a leash on him while he is in the house right now and keeping him by your side. This will prevent him from sneaking away to pee on a rug or somewhere. If he starts to go potty next to you, quickly tell him "Ah Ah" and clap your hands, then tell him "Outside" and rush him outside. If the timing of the clap is good, many dogs will stop before they pee or poop if you catch it early, then you can take them outside to go. You do not want to harshly punish them but simply surprise them quickly. Once you are outside, tell him to "Go Potty" and slowly walk him around to sniff and happily encourage him to go. Out outside make sure that your attitude is encouraging and pleasant even if he just did something you didn't like inside. If he goes potty outside, praise him enthusiastically and give him five small treats or pieces of his dog food, one treat at a time to make it extra rewarding. Every time that you take him to go potty, even if he wasn't about to have an accident, tell him to "Go Potty" and reward him with the treats if he does go. You want him to prefer going potty outside because he gets treats for going there. I suggest keeping treats by the door out of his reach to remind you to bring treats each time. When you can't have him on the leash with you, he needs to be crated for now. Also, if he does not learn to alert on his own when he needs to go potty - by running to the door, barking, ect...You can teach him to ring a bell to alert you. Some dogs simply don't know how to let you know when they need to go outside and need to be taken out more frequently and taught how to alert you that they need to go out. Check out the article linked below and follow the "Peanut Butter" method or Nose the Bell method: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Finally, make sure that you clean up any new accidents or old accident areas with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes. Only enzymes break down pee and poop at a molecular level and because of how sensitive dogs' noses they will still be able to smell the accident if you use something without enzymes. Look on the bottle and somewhere on the bottle a good cleaner should say enzyme or enzymatic. Also, avoid using cleaners that contain Ammonia on your floors right now. Ammonia smells like urine to a dog and can encourage accidents for some dogs. There are many good enzymatic cleaners, but Nature's Miracle is one popular brand that can be found in stores and online often. Most of theirs contain enzymes but read the bottle to be sure. If he truly was potty trained before and the transition is simply confusing him, then sticking to the above routine should help him get back on track quickly. If he was never potty trained, it should help him learn also, but will just take a bit longer it this is new for him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nala
Border Collie
7 Months
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Nala
Border Collie
7 Months

Our border collie pup and her brother sleep in separate crates in the kitchen at night. Nana will poop in her cage most nights, despite going out several times during the evening. Yesterday despite being out most of the afternoon with me in the garden, she was in her cage for 20 minutes while I had a shower, and pooped again. They are still fed three times a day at the moment, mostly on chicken and rice as Nala especially has a delicate tummy. They go to bed at about 21.00 and we take them out at 05.00, is this too long, although her brother is fine and will “get busy” almost when requested.
Any ideas?
Barry Haywood

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Barry, I suggest a trip to your vet. It sounds like there might be a GI issue that is causing her to need to go potty more than usual. If she has been fed chicken and rice long term there may be nutritional deficiencies or good bacteria imbalances that need to be addressed too to help heal her GI tract. Dogs can also have food allergies. She may be allergic to a common ingredient in the dog foods you have tried in the past. My own Border Collie had to be fed Natures Variety venison and sweet potato because he was allergic to several common ingredients. She could even be allergic to chicken or rice but that is less common. I suggest speaking with a Vet (I am not a veterinarian). A local pet store that carries higher end products or is boutique-ish often trains their employees about food brands and nutrition. High quality pet store staff are often good people to talk to about food recommendations and supplementation too. Some of them are even more knowledgeable about brands and options than some vets are because it is common for food representatives to visit the stores and educate about their products. The issue could also be crate anxiety, but there would typically be other symptoms too if that were the case, such as drooling, shaking, trying to escape, injuring herself, or unrelenting crying. Because dogs GI systems normally shut down during long periods of sleep, like nighttime, it is unusual at this age for a dog to have a poop accident in a crate during the night unless there is a medical issue or they are not being fed at least two hours before bedtime to give their GI systems a chance to empty before bed. If you are feeding them right before bed, start feeding them two hours before bed and take them potty right before you put them into the crate at night and not thirty-minutes or an hour before. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pepper
Shih Tzu
1 Year
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Pepper
Shih Tzu
1 Year

When we first brought Pepper home October of 2018. We potty trained through the winter and he was doing good. About Dec/Jan my husband got sick and he did very well going potty outside.. but not at home. He will pee outside - but not poo.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Amy, I suggest crate training him for potty training so that pooping outside is normally his only option. Get rid of all pee pads if you are using them and only give freedom outside of the crate when you know he doesn't need to poop or pee. Most dogs poop twice a day, in the morning and after dinner - it can be a little earlier too so get to know his body's schedule. When you suspect he may need to poop but he doesn't go while outside, put him into the crate. Repeat the trips outside and then back to the crate until he poops outside - at which point he can have more freedom until it's the time of day where he may need to poop again. Be sure to give treats and teach the "Go Potty" command like the article linked below mentions to motivate him to poop faster while outside in the future. 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) of 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 - he will often be able to hold poop for a long amount of time but when the urge hits him after having held it for a long time, he will probably have to go right away. This crate method only gives him desirable pooping option - outside and the idea is that after enough times pooping outside and being rewarded for it he should start to realize that pooping outside is acceptable and good. Less freedom now means more freedom later in life. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Shadow
Sprollie
3 Years
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Shadow
Sprollie
3 Years

Shadow is a rescue dog and quite nervous. My issue with her is that she poops sporadically in the house at night. She is walked every day has loads of interaction. She has access to acres of land to poop in!We live on a farm so she has free run during the day. She eats late and poops on her walk first thing. I had to let her out last night at 12.15am where she was barking. She was gone 10 mins running after a cat. Came back and hopped on the couch. I went to bed and was greeted with poop this morning. It was dry so she had done it during the night. What can I Do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mary, First, make sure you feed her at least two hours before bed. She will need time to digest and give things time to clear out before bed, otherwise she will feel the need to go potty in the middle of the night. Second, before bed walk her on a leash and keep her focused for that potty trip. Tell her to "Go Potty" and if she pees or poops, give her a treat from your pocket. Once she pees and gets her treat, tell her to "Go Potty" again and continue walking her and keeping her focused until she poops or until you feel confident that she truly does not have to go poop (10-15 minutes probably, but pay attention to how long it does take her to go when you walk her around, to get a general idea of how long to give her at other times). Many dogs will quickly pee because the urge is greater than pooping and there is a desire to mark their territory, but they will hold their poop if they are distracted, until they cannot hold it anymore, then they finally HAVE TO poop, especially when things are calm (like the middle of the night or inside during the day). She needs help calming down and focusing so she will learn to poop in the evening before bed (or earlier in the day is fine too. Most dogs poop 1-2 times per day). The treats will help her learn the "Go Potty" command so that she will focus better in the future when you tell her to Go Potty, and the leash will keep her on task and prevent things like chasing a cat (and forgetting why she went out in the first place). Third, until she is doing better at pooping outside before bed, have her sleep in a crate. While in a crate, she should be motivated to let you know when she needs to go potty, instead of just sneaking off to go. She needs to stop having accidents (even if that means a middle of the night potty trip right now while she is adjusting to pooping in the evening). As long as the accidents continue it will be hard to motivate her to do it in the correct location outside. Check out the article linked below to crate train her if she is not already used to a crate. Expect some protesting in the crate. Practice for at least an hour during the day each day for a few days. At night do not give treats for being quiet though - practice with treats during the day so that she can handle the night time too without being fed (food will make her need to go potty, which you don't want during the night). Do not put anything absorbent in the crate with her of this can motivate her to go potty in there. If you need to give her padding in there look into something like www.primopads.com The Surprise method for crate training (you can practice the other methods in addition to the surprise method if you want to also): https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ubba
Yorkie /schnauzer mix
3 Years
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Ubba
Yorkie /schnauzer mix
3 Years

I adopted a dog out of the shelter he is around 3 years old and was extremely frightened and his fur was extremely matted he looked rough and was excessively shaking. I thought it was perhaps because he was in the shelter. I think of you probably have been abused. I've had him for a month now and he is afraid of everything and constantly growls and nips at my husband. He won't allow my husband to put the leash on him to take him outside only I can touch him but he has no problem with my husband taking him off the leash. He even bites the Vet she said from fear It seemed that the dog knew how to go to the bathroom outside and on potty pads so we take him outside around 6 times a day he started pooping and peeing all over the floor so we bought pee pads he used the pads 2 times and now he's not even using the pads and pooping and peeing on the linoleum floor 3 to 4 times a day. Not to mention he has severe separation anxiety and is constantly under my feet I buy toys to preoccupy him and also when I leave the house he's constantly running around and howling. The crate doesn't work I bought him some treats with melatonin and hemp in it and it does nothing to help him he's extremely skittish and afraid of people and even other dogs and seems unsocialized. I'm doing everything in my power I can do to socialize this dog slowly. We are both retired military and suffer from PTSD and this dog is causing me more trouble than it's worth I'm at the point I don't know what to do with him anymore and I can't find any rescue groups that can deal with dogs with behavioral issues and they're all telling me that they're full. I tried everything in my power to be patient with this. But I cannot have him attacking my husband with PTSD although he's nipping at him and constantly growling at him as well I don't know what else to do. But I cannot spend 2-3 K on a behavioral specialist. I have tried the whole treat method and praising him after potting outside but he still continues to pee and poop in the house he'll even do it within 5 minutes of me taking outside.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kris, Whatever you do, your husband's and your own well being does need to be priority. For training check out Jeff Gellman from SolidK9Training. He has a free YouTube channel with hundred of videos. I suggest checking out the following videos: Rehab strategy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bT0lyPdZ6mk Human adult and dog aggression: https://youtu.be/mgmRRYK1Z6A I suggest using the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box or pee pad using a real grass pad for potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad (each pad is advertised to last a couple of weeks) https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI/ref=asc_df_B005G7S6UI/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309763115430&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=13374130959173536673&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015474&hvtargid=aud-643330155750:pla-568582223506&psc=1 Separation Anxiety Protocol: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2013/02/21/separation-anxiety-im-not-seeing-it-at-my-place Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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sneaker
German Shepherd
2 Years
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sneaker
German Shepherd
2 Years

after we take him outside to potty and poop, he pees outside but comes back in the house and in a few minutes he poops inside.
He is fed in the mornings and is in an outside pin all day. but waits till he comes in to poop.
we crate him afterwards but this is not helping.
We give him rewards when he pees outside.
When he goes in the house he knows and when we call him to it he hangs his head down and voluntary goes in his bad boy crate. So he knows better . Getting pretty fed up with this . what do we do ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nikki, You need to reverse the order of the crating. When you know that he has not pooped yet that day, when you take him potty outside, if he pees but does not poop (and likely still needs to), then when you bring him inside, put him into the crate. If he acts like he needs to go potty in the crate, take him back outside quickly enough that he does not have time to stop on the way to go potty. Even if he doesn't act like he needs to go, give him chances to every couple of hours as much as you can. Repeat the trips outside and then directly back to the crate if he does not go potty, until he finally cannot hold it any longer and poops while outside. When he does poop outside, you need to act like he did the most amazing thing ever. Give him ten treats, one at a time, and praise him genuinely, then he can be out of the crate for a while. Keep treats out of his reach by the door so that you will remember to grab them on your way out. Pooping outside = treats, praise, and freedom from the kennel or crate A couple of notes: 1. Whenever he goes outside, tell him to "Go Potty" and give him one treat if he pees and ten if he poops. You are teaching him the Go Potty command so that you can help him remember what he should be doing later. After he pees, repeat the "Go Potty" command so that he knows he should poop now too. 2. Take him to poop on a leash in a boring area and stay calm. Slowly walk him around to let him sniff to find a spot to go- The movement helps get things going and the sniffing helps encourage things as well. The leash is to keep him focused on going potty - right now you cannot simply let him out into a fence if you have a fenced yard. You need to go with him and keep him focused until he is in the habit of pooping outside. Tell him to "Go Potty" when you start to walk him, and again after he pees to remind him to poop also. Stay calm and be patient - if you act frustrated he won't want to poop in front of you because pooping is vulnerable for a dog. 3. Be sure to give him time to poop after he pees. Remind him to poop and walk him around again after he pees - many dogs will get distracted while outside. They will pee quickly because they cannot hold that or they want to mark, but they will hold their poop when distracted and will forget to go. You have to insist on it calmly while outside by saying "Go Potty" and walking them around again. Once his option of going potty inside it taken away by using the crate, he should get better at going potty when reminded to but will probably still need the reminder to "Go Potty" while outside. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bailey
Beagle Collie Mix
18 Months
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Bailey
Beagle Collie Mix
18 Months

We just recently adopted a dog from a shelter. We also currently have a dog we've had for 8 years. The new dog won't go to the bathroom outside. We take him out every hour, to the same place, with the same routine. Our other dog goes when we are outside and we praise her for going. I can't get him to go outside to praise him or give him treats. He's also a master about going in the house, we don't see it happen, despite being in the same room with him. He's going in the same place every time, I clean it daily with an enzyme cleaner. I suspect the place is more convenient than the smell. How do I get him to know what I want him to do outside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Nancy, Bailey needs to be crate trained and be crated all the time unless you know that he pottied outside within the past two hours. Check out the article linked below and follow the "Crate Training" method. Since he is older you can take him out less often. When you are home, take him potty every 3-4 hours. If he goes potty outside, let him stay out of the crate for 1.5-2 hours (less time is he has accidents that soon after though). After the 2 hours of freedom out of the crate, put him back into the crate until it is time to take him potty again (3-4 hours since he last went potty). If he doesn't go potty when you take him outside, then bring him inside and put him straight back in the crate, then try taking him again in an hour, every hour, until he goes potty finally. The goal with this type of training is to limit his freedom to just times that you know his bladder is empty and prevent him from being able to sneak off to pee or poop inside. Most dogs naturally have a desire to hold their pee and poop in a confined space, so a crate helps a dog naturally hold 'it' until taken outside - so peeing outside is their ONLY option. Make sure that there is nothing absorbent in the crate like a soft bed or towel. If you want to give padding, look for something non-absorbent like www.primopads.com Also, make sure the crate is just big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lay down, and not so big that he can pee in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big and a crate won't encourage a dog to naturally hold their bladder while in it. "Crate Training" method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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cody
multi poo
2 Years
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cody
multi poo
2 Years

he does not pee in the house, but at night in my bedroom he poops on the carpet

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judy, Many dogs who poop at night are holding it during the day, until they no longer can and finally go when things are quiet - which is often at night. He needs to be taken potty on a leash so that you can watch him go and encourage him to poop after peeing. Whenever you take him potty tell him to "Go Potty" and give him a treat after he pees. After he pees tell him to "Go Potty" again and slowly walk him around on the leash to encourage him to sniff and find a spot. If he poops, give him four treat (or pieces of dog food), one piece of food at a time to make it four separate rewards to him. The treats and go potty command will help him learn to focus on pottying and not just hurry back or get distracted after peeing. The walking with help things move along. At night, crate him until he gets into the habit or pooping during the day and not at night. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If he seems constipated, see your vet because he might be holding it during the day because it hurts to go. If he is pooping during the day a bunch AND at night, see your vet, and possibly try switching his food if your vet agrees. (I am not a vet). Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kona
Great Pyrenees
3 Years
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Kona
Great Pyrenees
3 Years

Hi! Kona has been having accidents during the night lately. She is a rescue dog and we have had her about one year. She has never had any frequent issues during the day, even when we aren't home. She does occasionally pee in the house at night, usually on weekends when we sleep in - though not always. We started taking her out right before bed and immediately when we wake up and this worked well for a few months. It started up again a few weeks ago, where she had peed during the night. I have started keeping the door open on weekends and she will come in and jump on the bed when she wakes up, and then I take her outside. This worked for the past two weekends. This past week,however, she has peed in the house every single night, even during the weekdays. We take away her water bowl about 2 hours before bed, and she goes out to go to the bathroom around 7pm and again around 10:30 pm before bed. We take her out again in the morning around 7am. We don't currently have a crate, but are considering confining her to our bathroom at night. She always goes on the carpet in the living room, nowhere else. We are also thinking of trying to do bell training, so that she can let us know when she needs to go out, as we keep our bedroom door shut at night. Advice? Thank you!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Samantha, Ideally she would sleep in a crate at night because that would limit her access to the carpet, it would motivate her to hold her bladder at night and wake you if she cannot do so, and it would keep her from wandering the house at night - which makes her have to use the bathroom sooner. If you don't want to use a crate, then you can try confining her to the bathroom first and providing a way for her to let you know if she needs to go potty. I suggest teaching a bell by the door to go outside to teach her the concept, but also set up one in the bathroom at night and show her that one, so that she has a way to wake you up at night to go outside. The main problems seem to be access to the carpet, possibly roaming at night which causes her to need to go potty sooner than she should, and not waking you when she has to go outside. If you can limit access to the carpet and help her sleep through the night, her being able to wake you at night may not even be an issue since 9 hours is not too long for her to hold her bladder if she were actually asleep all night. Check out the article linked below to introduce a crate. Follow the "Surprise" method. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Check out the article linked below for teaching her to ring a bell. I suggest the peanut butter method. You can also use liver paste or squeeze cheese instead of peanut butter. https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Finally, if she also needs to pee frequently during the day, I suggest a visit to your vet to check for a possible urinary tract infection or other possible cause of frequent urination, incontinence, or excessive drinking. (I am not a vet) Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bramble
Labrador Retriever
7 Months
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Bramble
Labrador Retriever
7 Months

Hello, our gorgeous 7 month old is completely house trained when we’re with her or equally if we leave her for any time during the day. However during the night she does 2-3 poo’s and wees. She’s confined to the kitchen which she is anytime we leave her. I use pee-away spray to remove the odour for her and she is let out late and then first thing. We have tried altering her dinner time earlier and it made no difference. She will poo last thing when we let her out and then still in the night.
I thought this may be anxiety but then the odd time we’ve left her all day she doesn’t have any accidents.
Any top tips? Thank you

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Leah, First, I would check with your Vet. More than 3 poos per 24 hours is unusual and might mean something medical is going on. She may be holding it during the day because she is distracting and then can't hold it any more at night, so goes when the house finally gets quiet. In most cases I would say she is getting distracted during the day and you need to work on helping her focus on pooping during the day by taking her on leash to poop, telling her to "Go Potty", giving her four treats one at a time when she goes potty to motivate her, and reminding her to "Go Potty" again after she pees each time to help her go - while also walking her around again. If she is going poop twice during the day in addition to the nighttime pooping, then it is likely medical (I am not a Vet though). You may even want to try gradually switching her food in case it bothers her if your vet agrees. It could be anxiety, but that would typically also happen when you leave her alone during the day. Night time pooping is not normal even for an unpotty trained puppy unless something medical is going on or they are not pooping during the daytime. Finally, if it has simply become behavioral now, then crate her at night and use an audio baby monitor to listen to her in case she wakes at night to go potty. In a crate, she should be motivated to try to hold it and let you know when she has to go potty. She will need to be crated at night to stop the peeing accident either way - again needing to poop during the night multiple times suggests something else could be going on, so check with your vet though. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Baxter
Havanese
5 Years
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Baxter
Havanese
5 Years

I will take the dog out; we can be out there as long as 20 minutes and he will not poop; we go in and he goes straight to the dining room and poops

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Deanna, I know that can be frustrating, there are a few things that you can do to try to get him to begin eliminating outside instead. First you will need to clean up any areas where he has pooped or peed inside with a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes and no ammonia. The enzymes break up the protein in the feces and urine, and if those proteins are not broken up then even if you cannot smell the poop or pee anymore you dog will still be able to, and the smell will encourage him to go to the bathroom again in that same spot. Also Ammonia smells like pee to a dog so it will encourage him to pee there, so avoid that. You will need to start confining him whenever you bring him back inside, after he has refused to use the bathroom while outside. A crate that is small enough that he cannot use the bathroom in one end and stand in the other will work best. Take him to the bathroom outside, if he goes there, then bring him in and give him freedom until you know he may need to use the bathroom again. If he does not go, then bring him inside and put him in his crate for thirty to forty minutes so that he will be encouraged to hold it and will not be able to eliminate in your house. After that time, take him back outside to try again. Repeat this until he becomes desperate enough that he will eliminate outside. When he poops or pees outside, praise him and offer him three small treats, one at a time. You can also encourage him to go potty more quickly outside by purchasing a spray from your local pet store that will smell like poop or pee to your dog. Spray that spray onto the area outside that you would like for him to go on and let him sniff it. The spray should help him to think about going. While he is peeing or pooping begin to tell him "Go Potty" before giving him his treats. Doing that will also train him to go when you tell him to, over time. Practice the crating protocol until he will use the bathroom outside every time when you take him and tell him "Go Potty". When he is using the bathroom outside very well, then you can begin to give him more freedom outside of the crate only when you know he has either already eliminated outside, so is less likely to go indoors, or when you can directly watch him. When he begins to go potty outside every time then he will naturally not need the crate as much. Best of luck training Baxter, Caitlin Crittenden

same hare

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Diesel
Shih Tzu Chihuahua
8 Years
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Diesel
Shih Tzu Chihuahua
8 Years

Hello! I got diesel from a family friend at the age of 1 years old. He came potty trained & with a few taught tricks. As long as I can remember though he has had an issue with going to the bathroom inside, even with a doggy door available. If it is too cold outside, he will make a point to go inside. If it’s too hot outside, he will make a point to go inside. In the middle of the night, he will go inside. I’m the middle of the day with/ without anyone home, he will go inside. He is so terrible! It doesn’t matter what, he will go inside if he feels like it. No matter how many times I take him outside during the day he will still go inside. It is excessively worse when not home or in the middle of the night. & he is the kind of dog that will never tell you he has to go to the bathroom. Instead he will just go to the bathroom inside if he needs to go. Laying down puppy pads for the middle of the night “accidents” don’t even work! Instead he will literally go to the bathroom right next to them! He will poop right next to the pad or pee right next to the pad! It’s terrible! I don’t know what to do because holding water & many many bathroom breaks throughout the day doesn’t work. Nor does rewarding pooping/ peeing before bedtime. I don’t want to have to put him in a crate all day every day especially because he gets anxiety by doing so.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello, My first suggestion would be to crate him at night and while you are gone and address his separation anxiety. Check out the article linked below on separation anxiety. While you are home, either have him wear a doggie diaper or tether him to yourself with a leash so that he cannot sneak off to go potty. All of the accidents need to stop for potty training efforts to work. The crate will also encourage his natural desire to hold his bladder in a confined space - which can help him associate that with your home as well. Continue to reward him for going potty outside, but also clean up old accidents with a cleaner that contains enzymes to remove the smell fully (chlorox and most non-enzymatic cleaners rarely remove the smell enough for dogs not to smell it and be attracted to that spot again). Separation Anxiety protocol: https://www.solidk9training.com/sk9-blog/2013/02/21/separation-anxiety-im-not-seeing-it-at-my-place If you are alright with switching to indoor potty training long term, then you can also train him to use the bathroom on a real grass pad - many dogs do not like pee pads, so I suggest a grass pad instead. Follow the Exercise Pen method or the Crate Training method (in combination with addressing separation anxiety). The article below mentions litter box training (which you can try) but I suggest using disposable real grass pads for your pup to make it easier. You can follow all of the same steps using that by simply substituting the grass pads in place of a litter box. Indoor potty training methods - Exercise Pen method or Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad options: https://www.freshpatch.com/ Doggie Lawn, Fresh Patch, and Porch Potty are a few options for grass pads Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jack
Mutt
10 Years
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Jack
Mutt
10 Years

I adopted my sweet, 10 year old dog around three months ago. The first two months I had him, he had 2-3 accidents where he would poop a little (maybe a golf ball sized amount) overnight. Our vet didn't seem too concerned about a few accidents and I sort of expected to have to deal with this type of thing when I adopted a senior dog so I don't really mind. However, the past few weeks the incidents have increased. After reading through some of the information here, I am a little worried I might be allowing him to form a bad habit. I would love some advice!

Here are some facts that might be relevant:

-He sleeps most of the night on a dog bed in my bedroom but will occasionally get up and move to the other side of the room. This is often on nights when an accident occurs but not always.
-The accidents mostly happen on, or very close to, his dog bed and a couple of times recently he just slept with it on the bed with him.
-He has never peed in the house.
-I have a very small backyard that he will occasionally pee in but has never pooped.
-He is fairly regular and once a day will poop around the middle of a ~2 mile/45 minute walk. When he does, it is sudden - he'll be walking along and suddenly stop and quickly try to get off the path and poop (often doesn't make it off the path)
-Since he doesn't seem willing to use the yard, I take him on three walks a day. A short loop to a nearby field in the morning (10-15 minutes) where he pees and marks a lot. The longer walk that I described above where he almost always poops. And another quick loop before we go to bed (he always follows me up).
-He has arthritis in his back but not legs or ankles
-The vet doesn't think he has a neurological issue, no illnesses, and says he has good anal tone.
-He has never had an accident during the day even though he sleeps a good portion of the day.
-He seems to be well trained and really wants to please me so I don't think it is a behavioral issue.
-He was in his last permanent home from the time he was a puppy and by the end was being left in a garage while his person would go out of town. A neighbor would come by once a day, I assume to feed him and maybe let him out.
-He was in a rescue for a few months before coming to us. The rescue didn't recall him having any accidents or having any trouble getting him to poop or pee. They said he would just see them going outside and follow them out and do his thing. They have a lot of dogs in their house though so it's possible he had an accident and another dog was blamed.
-He is fed dry kibble twice a day. Once in the morning and the second time around 3:30pm. I then take him on his long walk (where he usually poops) around an hour later.
-We give him a few treats throughout the day for various things and half of a large dental chew dog bone after his last walk.

After reading today, I am going to try to move the dental chew to after we get back from his walk (before 6pm) because maybe that is too much food too late in the day. From reading advice to other dog owners, it sounds like it's possible that his arthritis in his back is making it painful to poop so he holds it as long as he can and isn't able to hold it after walking for awhile or when he's sound asleep. He is my first dog though so I am far from a dog expert and would love some advice. My vet suggested putting him on pain pills for his arthritis in his back if he begins having trouble getting around so maybe that is needed? He struggles up the stairs but that doesn't stop him from doing it and is slow to get up after laying down for a long time but seems to really enjoy his walks and still runs and plays like a puppy at times so we have hesitated to put him on medication. I'm open to it though. I just want to do the best for him that I can and make his last years his happiest. :)

Thank you for your time!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, This does sound medical your suspicions are what I agree with also. Because it is happening at night and possibly during his sleep, it is probably not behaviorial - except that he is trying to hold it during the day. I suggest trying your vet's advice. I am not a vet but was told by my personal vet with my own elderly dog that arthritis in the back can make pooping painful, which can lead to a dog holding it until they can't anymore (which often means going in the middle of the night). If it's happening in his sleep, then it may be worth getting a second opinion from another vet about muscle control. I suggest an early dinner and a long walk at least thirty minutes after he eats (to give things enough time to digest and make him have to poop). I would also suggest trying your vet's advice for the arthritis and see if that helps, especially if the medication is also an anti-inflammatory. I am not a vet though, and this sounds medical so I would check back with your vet, or seek a second opinion from another vet if you feel it's needed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Harvey
Husky Doodle
2 Years
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Harvey
Husky Doodle
2 Years

We just moved to a new house and my dog will not go poop in our new yard. He is potty trained and we haven't had issues with this before. If we take him to the dog park he will immediately go poop. But just at our house he isn't. I've been taking him out for about 5 minutes and then putting him back in his kennel. What do I do?? I feel so bad keeping him in his kennel but if I let him out then he's going to go in my house.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Timothie, You are doing the right thing by crating him in the house and pulling him back in the crate if he doesn't go. You may need to do this up to a week. To help the process along, whenever you take him potty tell him to "Go Potty" and reward him with a treat if he pees (to teach him what the command means). If he finally poops outside, reward with six treats! One treat at a time to make it wonderful for him. Purchase a potty encouraging spray like "Hurry!" "Go Here" "Puppy Training Spray" or something similar designed to help puppies go potty faster by making the area smell like another dog's urine (typically not much odor to people). While outside, keep him slowly walking around in your yard to stimulate his bowels to get things going again after he pees. Tell him to "Go Potty" again after he pees while you are walking him around. If he seems scared or distracted in the new yard, grab a book and spend a lot of time simply sitting outside with him to make it boring and less scary for him to help him adjust - most dogs don't like to poop when they feel nervous because pooping makes them vulnerable. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
miniature poodle
10 Months
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Luna
miniature poodle
10 Months

She just doesn’t get that she needs to hold in her Pee and poop. When I do these methods mentioned above it works but then as soon as I think she’s got it and give her more freedom she has accidents again. I have been trying to train her since she was two months old and she just doesn’t get it. She knows where to go Pee and Poo outside if I bring her but the problem is unless I watch Her like a hawk and take her out frequently she will have accidents. She doesn’t understand the concept of holding it until it’s time to go outside she just goes when she feels the urge to no matter where she happens to be.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, I highly suggest crate training if you have not already done so for potty training. Crate Training encourages a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean and helps to motivate them to try to hold it. Done right it can also stop unwanted accidents - which has to happen for any forward progress to be made. Finally, teach her to ring a bell to go potty and reward her with a treat when she goes potty outside after ringing one to go out. After you initially teach her to ring the bell when you point to it using one of the methods from the article I have linked below, then whenever you take her outside point to the bell on your way out and bring treats with you to reward her with after she goes potty - use something she really likes for this. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below. Since she is an adult now, I suggest taking her potty every 3-4 hours when you are home (she can go 6-8, starting with 6 until she gets better at holding it, when you have to be gone off). When you take her potty, if she goes potty outside, give her 2 hours of supervised freedom if you know she is empty. After 2 hours, put her back into the crate until time to take her again so that she is not free when her bladder is full. If she doesn't go when you take her outside, bring her back inside and put her back into the crate for 1-2 more hours. After 1-2 hours try taking her again. Repeat the trips outside and going back into the crate if she doesn't go until she finally goes potty outside - at which time you can reward her for going potty after ringing the bell on her way out - once she has learned the bell. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Ring a bell to go outside: https://wagwalking.com/training/ring-a-bell-to-go-out Purchase a pet safe cleaner that contains enzymes or even a carpet cleaner additive with enzymes if needed, and use something with enzymes to clean up old and new accidents - only the enzymes will remove the smell enough for a dog to not smell it anymore and any remaining smell from accidents encourages a dog to go potty in those same spots inside again - sort of like a dog being encouraged to go potty outside be smelling where another dog already went. If she doesn't seem to be able to hold her bladder inside the crate for at least 3-4 hours, then I suggest visiting your vet to find out if there is an adrenal issue, kidney issue, urinary problem, muscular problem, infection, or some other reason why she can't hold her bladder for longer, that needs to be addressed medically. Do not be anything absorbent inside the crate though, and the crate should be just big enough to stand up, turn around, and lay down - but not so big that she can pee in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ralphie
Poodle
3 Years
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Ralphie
Poodle
3 Years

We adopted Ralphie on June 1st and we are trying to train him to poop outside. Our other dog never goes in the house but ralphie keeps pooping in the house. For example, last night I took him out twice at 9pm then at 10pm. He peed but that's it. We come back in the house and I see him in the corner by the puppy pad getting ready to poop so I say ralphie stop and pick him up and take him to the yard. When we get outside he does nothing. We're outside for about 15 minutes. I bring him back inside and he poops in the same spot he was about to earlier. Then this morning I take him out when I get up and its raining and he doesn't do anything. We're outside for about 15 minutes. I take him back in and he poops about 2 minutes later. I dont want to give him back but its frustrating that he wont poop outside. He had pooped outside before because there was poop by the trash can and my other dog only poops by the tree so I know he can do it. Any help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Courtney, It sounds like he was previously trained to go potty on pee pads. First, you need to remove any pee pads - as long as those are an option he will likely hold it and wait to use the pads inside. Second, he needs to be crated unless you know he has gone both pee and poop recently, then taken potty outside, so that going potty outside is his only option. When you take him potty, tell him to "Go Potty" and walk him around slowly on the leash, encouraging him to sniff and find a spot. Take him potty where your other dog normally goes so that the smell will encourage him to go right now. When he pees outside, give him one treat. When he poops outside, give him five treats, one at a time to make it more fun. After he pees, always walk him around for a few minutes again, encouraging him to sniff and telling him calmly to "Go Potty" again. If he doesn't go, return him to the crate inside and try again later. The treats should help him want to poop outside, the crate should force him to poop only there to create a habit of pooping outside. Removing the pee pads should also help him understand that the house should be kept clean, and teaching him to "Go Potty" on command should help him go potty faster when you take him. Check out the Crate Training article linked below. Most adult dogs need to poop twice a day so keep him crated until he poops outside in the morning - returning him to the crate if he doesn't poop when you take him. Once he poops outside, if he is doing fine, you can give him 4-5 hours of supervised freedom inside if he isn't peeing inside. About 4-5 hours after he poops in the morning (make it less if he has an accident during that time), if he doesn't poop when you take him outside, go back to putting him in the crate until he poops outside again. At night he should sleep in the crate. Crating him now and teaching him to poop outside can save him years of issues later so don't feel bad about temporarily needing to crate him a lot. Give him interesting, safe chew toys in the crate and don't put anything soft or absorbent in the crate with him or he may not be motivated to keep the crate clean. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a bed for him that is not absorbent. Many dogs need to poop thirty minutes after eating. Be sure to take him potty then even if he just peed outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Gigi
Dachshund
10 Years
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Gigi
Dachshund
10 Years

I walk her in the am , noon, dusk and night time.
When I take her out 6 am, she just licks the dew and does not pee/poop. the next scheduled time is at noon to eat and pee/poop. She will pee or poop prior to the noon feeding in the house. Why does she not pee/poop in the 6am scheduled pee/poop and just lick the dew. She has a controlled area to roam in the house. thanking you in advance

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello George, First, I suggest feeding her before taking her potty - I normally don't suggest this but some dogs need their digestive systems to wake up a bit and get things going. Take her potty within thirty minutes of feeding her. If feeding her first doesn't work, when you have a couple of days off in a row, take her potty at 6am, then put her into a crate when you bring her back inside if she didn't go potty then. One hour later take her back outside. If she goes potty, reward her with three treats. If she doesn't go potty, return her to the crate. Repeat this until she goes potty outside. She may prefer going potty in the house. Her digestive system might need help getting things going and not be ready to go right after waking up. She may be confused and more easily distracted as she gets older. A number of things could cause this behavior. If it is recent, then it's likely due to a change in her mental health or digestive system function and you may want to ask your vet. If it's behavioral, then crating her if she doesn't go should remove the desire to hold it so that she can simply go potty in the house instead and the treats should encourage her to go more quickly when you take her. Whenever you take her potty, tell her to "Go Potty" and give one treat when she goes - regardless of the time of day, so that she will learn what "Go Potty" means and focus better. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Oscar
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
18 Months
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Oscar
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
18 Months

We have been unable to housetrain, Oscar. We have some circumstances that are complicating the situation. I have housetrained several dogs with no problems. But I am now disabled and am restricted to the second floor of my home. Therefore, I cannot take Oscar outside at all. I have to rely on others and they don't want to take Oscar out frequently enough. Oscar will usually pee outside, but he poops in the house at least half of the time that he goes. And the real puzzle is that my husband will often take Oscar out for long walks, or stay with him in our yard for over an hour or more, and Oscar will not poop. So my husband will come inside with Oscar and within 10-15 minutes Oscar will poop in the house. Please, if you can help me I would be so grateful. Oscar was a gift from my brother who has since passed away. I love Oscar and want a long, happy life with him and this problem is the only hitch in our plan.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vikki, It sounds like you might need to consider an indoor potty training method since she is not taken out frequently enough by others. If so, I suggest using disposable real GRASS pads instead of pee pads, and using the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below. When she is out of the Exercise pen, if you are able to, I also suggest attaching her to yourself with a six or eight foot leash to keep her from wandering off to go potty while she is still learning. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real-grass pad - Also on Amazon: https://www.freshpatch.com/products/fresh-patch-standard?variant=3477439297¤cy=USD&gclid=Cj0KCQjwov3nBRDFARIsANgsdoFPqeKG_a4oaN6l0viWH0-aKQ852XlJxVFQ-n0PiumC67NkmYQ-AmYaAijIEALw_wcB If you can get the help you need and want to continue with outdoor potty training, then she needs to be crated anytime that she doesn't poop outside and only given freedom inside when you know she is empty. That will likely look like her being crated the first half of the day until she finally poops outside probably (with pee trips outside between), then free for about 4 hours after she poops (if she has been going pee outside when taken), then crated again after when she may need to poop again, until she poops a second time for the day. Pay attention to how often she tends to poop and create a schedule for her based on that. Also, be sure to take her back outside to poop 15-30 minutes after she eats even if she peed recently - since eating will make most dogs need to poop. When she is taken potty outside she should be told to "Go Potty". If she poops, give her four small treats - on treat at a time, to encourage her to poop outside in the future. Check out the article linked below for more details. The article linked below was written for puppies. Since she is older she can be taken out every three hours, after eating, and up to seven hours when in the crate if she has pooped already that part of the day. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside It doesn't work for many dogs, but you could also try putting a doggie diaper on her while she is inside - some dogs do not like to go potty in them at first and will try to hold it until it is taken off until they get used to the sensation of the diaper. She could wear this inside and your family members take it off her when she is taken outside. Once she goes potty in the diaper a few times she will likely no longer try to hold things while it is on her though, so she will still need to be taken out fairly often. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Princess
Pit/Terrier
7 Years
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Princess
Pit/Terrier
7 Years

She will urinate outside and poop in the house. I will walk her for 20 or 30 min. and she won't pop , but as soon as I leave or go to bed, I have a present waiting for me. What can I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Monica, A couple of things could be going on here. 1. First of all, it sounds like she is holding while outside. Many dogs will hold because they are distracted and don't want to stop to poop - that is most common. In that case the dog needs to be taken outside on a leash, taught the "Go Potty" command and rewarded with treats whenever they pee, and with several treats whenever they poop, after being told to "Go Potty". After they pee, tell them to "Go Potty" again and walk them around to sniff again, keeping them focused on what they should be doing and redirecting their attention away from distractions. Pooping = more freedom to sniff and explore. Not pooping = boring, being directed to find a spot to poop. Choose a boring area to walk around in for this so that they are less distracted by smells and other people and animals. If they don't poop when you take them, put her into the crate when you get home and try again in an hour - best to start this on a weekend. Repeat the trips outside on leash every hour until she poops and you reward her with praise and treats, one treat at a time to make the treats especially good. 2. Some dogs hold because they are nervous while outside and pooping puts them into a vulnerable position - in that case the fear needs to be dealt with to help them relax enough to poop outside. Walking her in a calmer area can help. Teaching the "Go Potty" command is always a good idea, and using treats, toys, and simply spending time in the area she is nervous in times other than potty trips can also help. Train, play upbeat games, and give treats for relaxed body language while in that area. Keep your energy positive, confident, and calm. 3. She may be holding because it hurts to poop and she associates pooping with that pain, then when she can no longer hold she suddenly goes potty inside. The cause of the pain needs to be addressed if this is the case. Pay attention to straining, signs of discomfort down in that area, how her poop looks, and how she acts when she does poop. If this is the cause, visit your vet to find out what's going on. Your vet may have you switch her food, add a probiotic, or address an anatomical or muscular issue with their help, she may even need to take something to keep her poops super soft for a bit to allow any tears to heal (I am not a vet so can't give specific advice in this area). Once the pain is removed, teach the "Go Potty" command, give tons of praise and treats for going potty to help decrease her anxiety about pooping in general, use crate training to limit freedom in the house until she goes potty each day, and keep your attitude calm and positive surrounding potty training to decrease any anxiety already associated with going potty. 4. She may simply prefer pooping inside, especially if she is pooping on absorbent carpet and this has always been an issue - it's probably become a long-term habit now, just like pooping outside becomes for other dogs. Limit freedom inside until she has pooped outside that day. Expect her to need to poop in the morning after breakfast, and nighttime after dinner in general. Pay specific attention to her schedule though. Always take her outside after a meal or her running around - even if she just went outside and peed. Eating and a lot of movement will get things going and make her have to poop if she hasn't gone yet that part of the day. When you take her potty, tell her to "Go Potty" and reward with one treat for peeing - to teach her what "Go Potty" means, and with 4-5 treats for pooping, one treat at a time. If she doesn't go potty when you take her, put her into the crate when you get inside and try again in 30 minutes -1 hour. When you are home you can also attach her to yourself with a six foot leash to keep her from wandering off to poop, and take her outside every 30 minutes to 1 hour until she poops. Once she poops, she can likely be free inside (if she is doesn't have pee accidents and doesn't destructive chew anymore) until time to poop again later in the day. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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rocco
shih tzu maltese
2 Months
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rocco
shih tzu maltese
2 Months

my puppy always had some trouble pooping outside is there a way that he could poop outside without also how do you get him on a schedule

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kayla, I suggest reading the article that I have linked below and following the Crate Training method. Be aware that at his age, he cannot hold his bladder for longer than 2-3 hours even under ideal circumstances during the day. He will need to be taken potty that often while you are gone, and every 1-1.5 hours while you are home. At this age he probably also needs to be taken potty 1-2 times during the night. Crate him at night where you can hear him or use an audio baby monitor to listen out for him in the crate in another room. When he wakes and cries to go potty, take him potty on a leash, but keep nighttime potty trips super boring and immediately take him back inside and put him back in the crate to go back to bed after he finishes pottying - this helps him learn to sleep through the night as soon as he can hold his bladder all night long. If he cries when you know he doesn't have to go potty, then ignore the crying until he learns to go back to sleep. Expect a good three days of crying - stay firm about ignoring crying when he doesn't really need to go potty and just wants out. This can take up to two weeks to adjust to the crate so stay consistent, but many puppies will adjust in three nights if you are consistent. Potty Training - Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Albus
Maltipoo Pom
3 Months
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Albus
Maltipoo Pom
3 Months

Hi, I bought an eleven week old Maltipoo Pom from a pet store, previously bought from a breeder. I've had him for 3 weeks now. When I first took him outside, he wouldn't even go in the grass. I realized the pet store never took him outside and they had the animals go to the bathroom in their exercise pen whenever they wanted, cleaning it up when they got around to it. He started going to the bathroom where he could find a spot a little distance from me in the house. I've spent a lot of time researching, walking him, bought stimulation sprays, placed his poop in the same areas as well as multiple areas he could pick because he is little and the grass is nearly as long as his legs, extensive praise and treats, potty bells, pads... I started using pee pads and grass pads to isolate it to an area, this has helped. I bought a crate and an exercise pen, he really doesn't like either if I leave. He is now peeing outside some, no matter how much I take him out and walk him. He refuses to poop. I'm on the third floor and spent nearly 2 hours running him down mid-potty but he stops and won't go. I'm not sure what else to do and go back to work next week. A trainer came and told me to sit outside with him until he goes, however the heat index is near 110 and I just can't take it. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Marilyn, Check out the article linked below and follow the Tethering method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Before you go back to work I HIGHLY suggest getting him used to the crate. He may potty in the crate because of his past, but because of the smaller size of the crate you may be alright. If he doesn't potty in the crate, then he really needs to be crate trained for potty training to work, otherwise he may have to be trained to use an indoor potty. Once he is used to the crate, when you go back to work you can use the Crate Training method from the article linked below in combination with the Tethering method when you are home and able to supervise. If you decide to train him to use an indoor potty, check out the exercise pen method from the article linked below and use a real grass pad. You may have to start with the Crate Training method from that article until he associates the grass pad with pottying and will go there in the exercise pen. I would avoid pee pads because they can lead to confusion with peeing on rugs and carpet. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable Real-Grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Patch-Disposable-Potty-Grass/dp/B005G7S6UI He associates the house with pottying right now so all chances to go potty inside need to be removed by keeping him attached to yourself with a leash or him being in the crate. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below to help him get used to the crate. Crying the first two weeks of crate training is completely normal, and crate training him now will make the next dozen years or so of his life a lot easier and help him learn good habits that earn him more freedom later. One year of crate training can give dogs 12 or more years of freedom later because they avoid developing bad long term habits that they could be re-homed for later or need long-term adult crating because of. Surprise method for crate training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Kia
Alaskan Klee Kai
6 Months
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Kia
Alaskan Klee Kai
6 Months

Hi! So my AKK that I have had since she was 8 weeks has had a difficult time potty training. We have been using all the usual methods and sticking to them. She did get better, going some days without any accidents in the house, some days with only one or two accidents (peeing and pooping inside). However when we brought her on a trip to the mountains at 5 months old she almost refused to go outside, and no longer being to hold it, would go inside the house. After this week-long vacation we found that she has reversed a few months in her potty training. Ultimately she is back to having multiple accidents inside the house, even going so far as to pee right in front of me as she can see I'm getting her leash for her to take her outside. It's like she is 2 months again. She seems to do it deliberately as well, because I take her outside to let her go pee, wait to see if she needs to poop. If she doesn't I'll bring her back inside and yet she will end up pooping within the next few minutes. Regardless of how long I wait for her to go, she continues to do this. It feels almost intentional in a way, considering her bladder should finally be able to hold it for more than 1.5-2 hours at this age. Any help would be appreciated! She is an intelligent dog and other than some puppy biting (only with me), she quickly learns everything else and is well behaved.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Taylor, It sounds like she needs a strict crate training potty schedule to improve, and the areas she has had accidents in cleaned really well with an enzyme cleaner - only enzymes fully remove the smell and any remaining smell will encourage her to go potty again. Look on pet cleaner bottles for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Enzymes actually break down the pee and poop to remove the smell at a molecular level. Bleach, ammonia, peroxide, and other cleaners don't do that. Also, don't use ammonia to clean floors in general because Ammonia smells like urine to a dog. Follow the Crate Training method from the article I linked at the bottom. Take her potty when she first wakes up in the morning and again after you feed her breakfast - most puppies need to poop 15-45 minutes after eating even if they just went out before mealtimes. Follow the Crate Training method for teaching her "Go Potty" and rewarding her with treats when she goes potty outside. After she pees, walk her around again for 5-10 minutes and tell her to "Go Potty" again. If she doesn't poop then, take her back inside and put her back into the crate. Carry her into her crate if she has accidents on the way. Repeat potty trips outside every 30 minutes to 1 hour until she poops. When she has both peed and pooped, she can have as much supervised freedom as the crate training method describes (about 1 hour probably) if she gets into trouble during this time, you can attach her to yourself with a 6 or 8 foot leash too. If she is currently pooping twice a day, then after pooping in the morning, give her opportunities to poop after peeing whenever you take her outside, but you don't have to put her back into the crate if she does pee but doesn't poop then. Just peeing earns her freedom inside once she has already pooped in the morning. Once dinnertime rolls around and she may need to poop again, then repeat what you did in the morning and only give her freedom in the evening if she both pees and poops when you take her outside after eating. Pay attention to when she tends to poop. Many dogs have an internal clock and poop during the same part of the day most days (morning and evening for most but not all). She gets no freedom during the part of the day she usually needs to poop until she poops outside after peeing outside. Her life needs to look like a lot of crate training for the next couple of months. The accidents need to stop inside for her to become potty trained and crate training is the best way to accomplish that for most dogs - especially stubborn cases. A crate naturally encourages a dog to hold their bladder and poop because dogs have a desire to keep a confined space clean unless they are forced to loose that desire because they are kept in a pen all the time and forced to poop there. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to stand up, turn around, and lie down, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the other end to avoid it - if she can do that she won't be motivated to hold it in the crate. Also, do NOT put anything absorbent in the crate with her. If you need to give her a bit of padding in there, then check out www.primopads.com and use a bed like that. Give her interesting chew toys in the crate, including dog food-stuffed chew toys, like Kongs stuffed with kibble and a little peanut butter or liver paste, after she has pooped outside. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Arthur
mixed pitbull
8 Years
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Arthur
mixed pitbull
8 Years

My dog has started to ask to go out in the middle of the night. Nothing has changed in the routine - we walk for 30 min when I get home from work and he goes out in the backyard right before bed. If I don't let him out, he poos in the bathtub. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rachael, First, make sure he is pooping 1-2 times during the day. He may be getting distracted while outside. Take him potty on leash for a while, tell him to "Go Potty", walk him around slowly to let him sniff, and give three treats if he poops, and one if he pees (to teach the command Go Potty faster). Many dogs need to poop 15-45 minutes after eating so encourage him to "Go Potty" again and walk him around more after he pees especially after meals. Second, I suggest a trip to your vet. Since he is getting a little older a few medical conditions can lead to poop issues. Some dogs with arthritis in their back or other conditions in that region will hold their poop because it hurts to go - then at night they can no longer hold it and have an accident if not taken. Your vet may be able to address the pain to make poop easier if something like that is going on. A GI issue could also be to blame, especially if your dog is pooping a lot during the day (more than 2 times), his poops are loose, or he shows other signs of an issue there. Go with him when he goes potty if you do not already, and pay attention to his pooping habits and whether something seems off or not. If it's a GI issue your vet may want a fecal sample to test. A muscular problem or eating too late at night could also be to blame. I am not a vet so the above are not comprehensive medical advice - you will need to see your vet. Try encouraging pooping earlier in the day by going with him, teaching "Go Potty", encouraging him to go, and rewarding him if he goes, and try feeding him earlier in the evening if his meals tend to be within a couple of hours before bedtime. If those remedies don't help things, then I suggest a trip to your vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Timothy
Labradoodle
2 Years
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Timothy
Labradoodle
2 Years

Okay so i asked a trainer before about my dog not having the ability to poop outside. I tried all the methods above, and nothings working. he hasnt pooped in two days and we physcally cant get him to poop outside. he even started pooping inside and we ran him outside, then he immediatley stopped pooping. how on earth to we get him to poop outside?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, I would start by trying to figure out why he won't poop outside. Pay attention to his body language - his ears, mouth, spine, tail, head, ect... Does he seem nervous while outside? Is he distracted? Has he been punished for pottying in front of you inside? Pooping is a vulnerable act for a dog. If a dog is frightened or feels unsafe he may not poop until he is somewhere that feels safer. When that's the case, the dog's discomfort outside needs to be improved so he will relax enough to go. Spending time outside playing games, practicing training, or relaxing can help - pay attention to what helps your dog relax and look happy while outside. Pooping also requires that a dog focus and relax enough to go. Unlike pee, many dogs can hold their poop and postpone going for a very long time - until they get truly desperate and it causes other issues and they have to go without warning. If pup is distracted and not able to relax while outside that could lead to him holding it until he is inside where he feels more relaxed and focused. The key here would be to make outside more normal/calm for him, which often looks like spending a lot of time outside doing calming, focused things like obedience commands - have your own mini obedience class, practicing things like heel, sit, down, come, stand, wait, ect... using a long leash every day ideally (or as often as you can realistically). If pup starts to sniff around a lot during the training, tell him to "Go Potty" calmly and give slack in the leash so that he can sniff and find a spot to go. Praise genuinely (but don't scare him) and give several treats after he goes. Many dogs who have been disciplined for pottying in the house will learn to hide when they need to go and will sneak off to potty. The same dog also might think that pottying in front of you is the issue (rather than realizing that going in the house is the problem!) so the dog will not go while you are around outside either. In this situation, keep pup attached to you with a short leash, 6 foot, in the house so that he can't wander off to poop. When you take him potty outside, take him on a fifty foot leash, pretend like you aren't watching him, and let him wander away to hide and go potty. If he couldn't go potty in the house because you were right there the whole time, then eventually he should need to go outside IF he feels like he can wander away and not be seen while he does it. After he goes potty, praise and reward with several treats when he returns from hiding. It will take him longer to catch onto him pottying equals rewards because you aren't right there to reward him, but once he will potty outside on the long leash consistently and starts to relax more around you, then you should be able to very gradually shorten the leash (wind it up) so that he is not as far, until finally you can take him potty on a normal 6 foot leash. Going from 50 foot leash to 6 foot leash will likely be a 2 month process, but hopefully during those two months if done at the right pace pup should be pooping outside consistently. Also, when he does potty in the house - no more disciplining. Instead, focus on preventing via attaching him to yourself with a leash and crating him when he isn't empty and you can't have him attached to you. If he has an accident, then just very calmly walk him outside without saying anything (he may or may not finish out there), and make a mental note to adjust whatever allowed an accident to happen in the future. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Timothy
Golden Doodle
2 Years
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Timothy
Golden Doodle
2 Years

Hi, I have tried absolutley everything and my dog will not poop outside. We take him out literally every hour and stay out there forever, and he refuses to poop outside. then, he comes inside and poops in the house, yet we are never able to catch him in the act. we are completely out of ideas and have no idea what to do, we cannot have him pooping in the house all the time. Any tips?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ashley, Check out the Crate training method from the article linked below. Pup needs to be returned to the crate whenever you take him outside and he doesn't finish going potty, then taken again in an hour, or sooner if he asks to go out. Most dogs will need to poop two times a day. Pay attention to when and how often your pup needs to poop. For example, if pup generally needs to poop in the morning after breakfast and after dinner (common times), then if you take pup potty and he doesn't poop, return him to the crate after and take him potty every hour until he finally goes (at first he may hold it all day until finally going but this should improve with practice). When you take him potty, walk him around slowly on a leash, tell him to "Go Potty". If he goes pee reward with one treat. If he goes poop, praise genuinely and give five treats! One at a time. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below - since your dog is older follow the times I mentioned above instead of the article's times: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I have a 2 year old SASSY and super energetic basset hound. I got her at 5 months from someone who took her away from her original owners because they were keeping their litter outside in a barrel-in the winter!!!! She came with so much anxiety, I felt too bad to crate her, and I also thought I was going to be a temporary home, until other family members could take over. She knows to "go potty" outside (most of the time) and will even sit if she needs to go out when asked "do you have to go potty." She's so sassy though! I'm convinced she will pee and poop ON MY BED for attention and when she is mad. I've discussed this with my vet as well. I have no idea how to get her to stop. It'll be an issue for a week or two, then she will be fine for a long while, then she will start pooping and peeing on my bed again. During this time where she is pooping on my bed she also will poop and pee a lot more frequently than usual. Example: she is typically alone in 4-5 hour increments during the work day, and she does great most of the time. On her poop/pee problem time she can go out, then while I'm out to get groceries for 45 minutes she's pooped again and on the bed! -or she'll go out and by the time I shower, she's peed on the bed! We don't know what to do!

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BuB
Corgi
2 Years
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BuB
Corgi
2 Years

My dog is now two I've adopted her when she was one. For year now I've been trying to potty train her to pee outside only. Its been on and off and I just want to perfect her to pee outside only. Any tips? Yes I tried crating. I tried taking her out pretty frequent. I give her treats every time . ALSO she is not treat motivated. She usually just sniffs them and not eat them sometimes.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
446 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I suggest continuing crate training when you are not home (what happens when you do that - does she have accidents in the crate or just when out of the crate). When you are home I suggest following the Tethering method from the article I have linked down below. If you are still having issues after beginning tethering, I also suggest trying having her wear a doggie diaper while in the house while continuing to follow the rest of the training for crate training and tethering (attaching her to yourself with a leash so she can't sneak off). Doggie diapers are intended for dogs to use the bathroom in but when you first introduce them many dogs will try to hold it with the diaper on until they have gone potty in it a few times and gotten used to it. The idea is that if pup wears the diaper in the house but is still taken potty frequently outside and potty training is carefully followed - pup may never get to the point where she is comfortable going potty in it and it may help motivate her to hold it while inside. Just don't forget to take it off when you take her potty!! It's very easy to forget. This will only work if you are diligent with other potty training methods at the same time as the diaper so that she isn't just forced to go potty in the diaper - if she goes potty in it enough times, she will start using it like a diaper. The diaper method doesn't work for all dogs, but when it works it can be a great tool. Tethering method and THIS crate training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since your dog is an adult and not a puppy, adjust the times in the methods above. When you are home you can take pup outside every 2-3 hours when being tethered, every 3-4 hours while she is being crated. After pup goes potty outside, you can give pup 1-2 hours of freedom out of the crate, but then put pup back into the crate for the next 1-2 hours - until it's time to take pup potty again, 3-4 hours after she last went potty. If she doesn't go potty when you take her outside, put her back into the crate or keep her attached to you with the leash. Try taking her outside again every hour after that until she finally goes potty (or sooner if she is tethered and starts circling, sniffing, squatting, trying to get away, or generally acting like she needs to go potty). Each time she doesn't go potty she needs to be crated again or tethered to you. The idea is to only give her freedom when you know her bladder is empty to stop the accidents. For potty training to really work you have to stop the cycle of accidents inside as much as possible. You also need to be very diligent about removing the smell of old or new potty accidents as best you can, including cleaning the crate and rugs if those were soiled. You must use cleaners that contain enzymes for the smell to truly be removed. Only enzymes will break down things molecularity to fully remove the smell to the point where pup can't smell it with her sensitive nose. Any remaining pee or poop smell will encourage her to go potty in the same area again. Also, avoid using ammonia containing products near where she will be - such as the floor and walls. Ammonia smells like urine to a dog and can encourage a dog to go potty. It may be time to hire a trainer or at least talk with one over skype or the phone to really come up with a game plan for you guys. A trainer can ask questions, hear more details about what you have and haven't tried, and be more creative in person, than a generic solution or even my thoughts without me being able to ask you questions, if general advice isn't working. Be sure to ask questions about their experience, read referrals or ask for reviews, and find someone who specializes in behavior issues - you need someone who is used to problem solving and dealing with issues outside of obedience training. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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