House Trained Dog Peeing and Pooping Inside

I have a 16 month old male, neutered Schnauzer. He is house trained. He never goes upstairs in the house, but he sneaks out of my sight and goes down to the rec room and pees and poops down there always in the same spot. He goes to the far end of the room and goes just in front of the far wall.

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We spend a lot of time at my boyfriend's house and he never does it while we are there, but as soon as I come home he does it again.

He is fed on a schedule and taken out and walked on a schedule and it's the same schedule here as at my boyfriend's house. He has been vet checked and is healthy. It's not necessarily when I go out that he does it. He just randomly sneaks downstairs and goes.

The only thought I have is that my adult son lives with me and his bedroom is in the basement. He is not home much between working and being at his girlfriend's and when he does come home he doesn't really pay much attention to the dog (even though the dog loves him to death) and I'm wondering if the peeing and pooping is an intentional thing to protest my son not being home or not giving him enough attention.

Does anyone have any suggestions? He has ruined my carpet downstairs and I'd really like to correct this before I get new carpet. I've done all the retaining stuff and it didn't make any difference. He knows to go outside and always does, but this behavior in the house has to stop.

Suggestions please!

Thanks for your time!

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December 22, 20160 found this helpful

If he goes in the same spot, he has marked his territory. Get an enzyme-based cleaner such as Nature's Miracle to remove the odor.

Your dog needs behavior therapy. Reward him when he does what he is supposed to do and speak to him in a stern voice when he doesn't.

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December 23, 20160 found this helpful

Thanks. You mention he needs behavior therapy. What would the behavior therapy be for? What behavior needs correcting other than the accidents in the house? I'm just a little unclear as to what I would be looking for with behavior therapy. Could you please explain? I really appreciate you taking the time to answer me! Thanks. (I will get some of that cleaner and give it a good scrub)

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Anonymous Flag
December 23, 20160 found this helpful

Getting to the bottom of this behaviour does not seem easy. It might be a symptom of doing inappropriate territory marking as a sign of stress. Being angry with him won't help as I'm sure you know.

It's clear that he is well house-trained otherwise. The answer may lie among the relationships at your home. Your son and your boyfriend may need to show him a lot of affection on his own home territory, to relieve his stress. Perhaps you need to assert your place as pack leader more?

Look up dog-training sites for some help with these questions. Good luck!

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Anonymous Flag
December 23, 20160 found this helpful

How about a baby gate to help him break his new and naughty habit. He sounds like a nice dog. Good luck.

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January 11, 20170 found this helpful

You are correct that your dog's behavior is connected to your son being away from home a lot. But your dog is not intentionally protesting that your son is away and trying to punish your son. He is trying to show your son how to find him. He doesn't know if your son has lost his way. He doesn't know that he is at work or with his girlfriend. He only knows that he is missing.

He must be very attached to your son to overcome his instinct to try to cover his pee and poop to avoid being found by predators. He is probably experiencing severe anxiety when he comes home and your son is not there.

Here are some suggestions to lessen his anxiety.

1. Place, around his room, some of your son's unwashed towels, stinky socks, sneakers, and other things like pillowcases, whatever has your son's scent. Even if you cannot smell it your dog can.

Place one of these right next to the door your dog comes through when you come home with him.

2. Get a continuous run tape and any tape player. Have your son talk to your dog or sing to him on the tape. Put the tape on a timer that lets it play for around 5 minutes, every half hour or so, or whatever you think works best.

3. Have your son make a video of himself where he can talk to your dog, or where he is doing anything where he can be recognized by your dog. Do not have him and your dog in the video because your dog will think it is another dog and may get jealous. If you wonder whether your dog will respond to the video have you son tell him the 'sit' command and see if he does it.

Here are two examples from animals I have cared for.

1. When my neighbor's son went to college her cat took up pooping on her son's pillow. He was trying to tell her son how to get back home and find him.

2. I was away in Florida, from Massachusetts, when my sister checked on my three cats. She could only find two of them. She put me on the speaker phone and as I gently called him he came quietly up the stairs from the basement and we knew he was OK.

The reason your dog does not poop in your boyfriend's place is because that is not his territory. He has no need to mark it.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.

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Anonymous Flag
January 13, 20170 found this helpful

Thank you so much. That makes a lot of sense to me. I will try what you have suggested right away. Thanks for talking the time to give me such an informative answer. I really appreciate your time and thoughtfulness!

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