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House Trained Dog Pooping Inside

It is frustrating and confusing when your house trained dog backslides. This is a guide about what to do when a previously house broken dog has started pooping in the house.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
January 20, 2013

My almost three year old Boxer mix has been housetrained for the last two and a half years with no problems; until now. Over the summer, I let her out to potty, and she happened upon a cat in the shed. Of course, she chased it all over and ran it out of her territory, like every other instance a cat was in the yard. But, this time the cat who was guarding kittens, fought back, and they ended up in quite the tangle before I got them to stop it.

Since then, every time I let her out, she goes straight to the shed instead of doing her business. (No new household members, no medical problems, no moves or anything to stress her.) When I have taken her out, I've leashed her, chained her, tried to reward her with treats, stood with her, everything, but still, she only looks for cats. It's like she has the taste of blood now and that's all she wants. She's also become quite aggressive to other animals, even more so than before.

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I have no way to keep cats away, but I'm running out of ideas to make her stop.

It doesn't happen during the day much, but every night she potties on the kitchen floor. She knows it's wrong and hides and ducks her head and tail when she knows I am going to see it. I take her out 5+ times a day so she has ample opportunities. I don't have enough space for her to be crated since it has to be such a huge area, and she just jumped over or knocked down the baby gates. I don't want to give up on her because she is a great dog otherwise, but my landlord is going to make me "get rid" of her. I am not in a financial position to move so she has to stop. Any ideas?

I've been told to push her face into her mess and tell her no, then take her outside. That seems cruel to me. I don't want to lose her. She's a member of our family and we love her dearly.

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By Ree

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January 22, 20130 found this helpful
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NEVER force a dog's face into their waste! Please. Whoever gave you that advice is wrong. Perhaps well meaning, but so wrong about that! Particularly with a Boxer. Read on...

First of all, she may be ill, injured, or at a normal stage for her breed. What is she mixed with?

Is she spayed? If no, it's very likely that she should be because she is at precisely the age a female Boxer really matures (until now she's been the quintessential overgrown puppy) and housebroken unspayed female Boxers (even a mix) will start having hormone driven accidents.

Has she had a litter (or more than one)? Again, she is at the age that former good housebreaking behaviours will be hard for her to keep as the act of carrying and delivering a litter has the affect of weakening a Boxer's bladder and urethra.

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She needs to be seen by a vet as soon as possible. If she's spayed and never had a litter, she probably has a urinary tract infection and cannot control her functions. If you are on a tight budget, try calling around to vets to see if you can work something out, or call around to the animal charities to see if they can point you towards a low-cost vet clinic.

But she doesn't need to be punished for her accidents. Boxers especially are sensitive in addition to highly intelligent, and if you punish her she will begin to resent you.

Now, about her heightened aggressiveness. Boxers (and Boxer mixes) are great dogs (I used to raise AKC registered Boxers when I lived in the US) but they can be territorial especially after an event like her adventure with the cat.

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Perhaps the best thing for you to do is take her out on the leash and straight to the scene of the fight. Let her sniff to her heart's content-sooner rather than later she will remember why she's outside (to eliminate) and get down to business. Make it a habit to let her 'patrol' her territory on her leash/lead before she's expected to go about eliminating outside (where it belongs), it's going to make the whole 'going outside' thing more productive and pleasant for both of you.

Re her behaviour towards other animals, yes, this is going to be her norm going forward so you will have to restrain her with leads and possibly a muzzle. There are inexpensive, gentle restraints available, the Halti being one of the best.

You need to understand that she will always be a bit of a handful now. So you also need to decide if your home is the best place for her. If you decide that it is, you will need to always have her on a lead when out and about, strongly consider using a muzzle, and be willing to spend extra time training her. There are several really good books available at your local library on training a working breed dog like the Boxer, and tonnes of info on the Internet.

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If you have to rehome her, please, please, please use a Boxer breed rescue group to do so. They have the resources and commitment to find her a new fur-ever home with human companions who understand her mindset.

Please update and let us all know how things roll out.

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By 1 found this helpful
November 2, 2010

I have a Sheltie that is about 11 months old and she is going poop in the house after I have taken her out. Sometimes she is out a long time, but won't go! She has been potty trained for a while! I work night shift and I am going through a divorce. Could she be stressing herself? If so what do I do? She is a very playful puppy and we all play with her! How do I take care of this problem?

By Linny from Park Hills, MO

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November 2, 20100 found this helpful
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Most of the time, when an animal is house broken, and then begins urinating or defecating in the house, it is an indication that they are desperate need of attention. With you working the night shift, and going through the divorce, she may feel like she is on the back burner. In the urination aspect of it, it could be a Urinary tract infection. I also found that if I minimize the amount of water that my dog consumes overnight, as well as his food intake, he is less likely to go in the house. I usually leave food out all day and night, along with water to allow my dogs to munch, and eat/drink at their leisure. When my animals began urinating and defecating in the house, I would take their water level down to about 1 1/2 cups overnight, and take their food down to about 1/4 of a cup.

Some animals get "bored" when their owners are sleeping, and are up & down all night, eating and drinking. When I moved into my new place, my animals knew that it was absolutely against the law to go in the house! I adopted a cat from my local shelter, and the pooping and peeing began. I corrected them, even locked them in my bedroom with me, or blocked them off from certain rooms, and it has stopped. The animal will not look you dead in your face and poop on the floor. They are waiting for the first chance when they are alone, and they will do it. You need to make sure that you correct them! Do not hit them, but you need some sort of way to tell them that it is not acceptable. Smaller dogs are very hard to potty train, and when it finally happens, they do forget sometimes, and need some reassuring.
Another alternative is the new indoor "grass" pad. It is elevated enough of the floor and has a urine run off storage container underneath. This can be used overnight, or when you are at work or out of the home for the day so that you can minimize the cleaning products that you purchase! Good Luck!

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2017

My Chihuahua Yorkie breed is trained to go outside, but he continues to poop on the beds in the house. It's not just one, it's all three beds that I have. Also his hair is falling out by his bum area, but it feels as if it was shaved but it wasn't.

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January 29, 20170 found this helpful
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Sometimes this is a sign of anxiety. If your schedule has changed and you work more hours, the dog may miss you. If a dog relieves himself in your bed, he is looking for the human scent to comfort him.

It could also be as simple as the bed is more comfortable than going outside, where it could be too hot, too cold, or raining.

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July 8, 20120 found this helpful

I was wondering why that my older dog is starting to potty in the house. She is 14 years old, but this just started like 3 weeks ago. How can I stop this? She is housebroken and has been for years. Can you give suggestions to help? Thank you so much.

By Patricia

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July 9, 20120 found this helpful
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If I were you I would start with a trip to the Vet. It could be any number of physical things. Once that is taken care of you can begin to look for behavioral reasons.

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December 3, 20140 found this helpful

I have a 9 year old wire-haired Dachshund that was successfully potty trained as a puppy and has not had any issues with that until recently. Last summer she started to behave strangely until in September she completely lost her eyesight and was diagnosed with SARDS.

After this the problems started. She has somewhat learned to move around the house again independently and has gained a lot of activeness back, but she has also started doing her business in the house when we are at work or during nighttime. We take her out in the morning before work and right after getting back and she eats one meal a day around 6pm. Then she gets out once or twice in the evening, at least right before we go to bed. She doesn't ask to be taken outside at all anymore like she used to before. Recently she has pooped inside a couple of times even when we are home. She doesn't seem to have trouble pooping and the poop looks normal to me. There have been no notable dietary changes either.

I'm out of ideas what to do with her and my husband is starting to get fed up with this and wants to get rid of the dog. Any tips or guesses what could be wrong would be really helpful!

By Hanna from Finland

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December 3, 20140 found this helpful
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Try taking your dog out on leash walks around his own yard. Let him "mark" the boundaries of his own yard. Do this during a time when there is little traffic activity (not rush hour and no school buses) and nobody is using a snowblower.

Your dog is learning to "see" with his nose and ears. Dogs can learn to live quite happily this way. But he might be skittish at first, which is perfectly normal. It may seem to him easier to go in the house right now than to face the outdoors blind. You can help him gain his confidence back.

Whatever you do, don't "baby" him more than you did before he was sick. That will give him reason to believe something is really wrong. If you act like nothing is wrong, so will he. That means no picking him up and carrying him, even if he runs into things. He won't know where things are if you pick him up. He can sense your husband wants to get rid of him now, and it's just making the problem worse. I hope the two can make a truce.

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September 19, 20120 found this helpful

I have a wiener dog who is about 5 years old. He never use to go potty in the house except for very rarely. For about 6 months now every few days he will go in the house. I will let him outside along with my other dog many many times during the day and night. We have had both dogs for over a year and they are both adult dogs. They play together and everything so I don't think that it's any problem with the other dog.

I will let the dogs outside and leave them be out there for 20 minutes to a half hour, sometimes longer. Both dogs have had free range of the house until recently. We have gotten a kennel for the wiener dog. He goes in his kennel only when he is naughty, otherwise we allow him to go all over the basement and kitchen (no carpeted areas). They get let out at about 8am and every 2-3 hours during the day and the last time at night is around 2-3am. He doesn't do it at night. Just during the day when we are all home. Sometimes he will go out and come in and within 10 minutes he goes on the carpet.

I don't know what to do. I have tried all the potty training tips that I have used on all my other animals. I give him lots of praise when he goes outside, along with treats. I don't think that it's a medical issue because it's not just pee or poop, it's both sometimes. I'm debating on getting rid of the dog because I can't get him to stop. Please help!

By Amanda

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September 21, 20120 found this helpful
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I imagine you are talking about a Weimaraner and this sudden out of character behaviour can certainly need Veterinary advise. And do you mean they are "crated" and let out to run in a basement because no mention is said about out side in the back-yard? The poor animal could have any number of medical issues that can cause this and the only person qualified to answer this is your Veterinarian.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 23, 2016

My 11 month old Yorkie, Minnie, is pad trained in the house since winters are too rough on her; she can't take the cold. Lately she has been leaving her poop either on my couch or bed. I don't understand why she all of a sudden started doing this. She would pee no problem on the pad, but never poop on the same pad. So I have been trying to train her to poop on the same pad or a different one, but just pad training to pee on the pad took a long long time and just this week she pooped twice on the couch where I sit a lot and once on the my bed. She does sleep with me in my bed, but had never done this ever before! Why is she doing this?

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful
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You may have to go back to crate training her, or else make a point of training her to not do it.

Unless something happened in your home to make her upset, or unless she is sudeenly ill (vet would check for that) most likely what happened is one day she just did it, it seemed easier, she received no feedback from you that it was inappropriate, and the habit stuck.

The thing to do would be to catch her in the act, and with a firm but gentle voice startle her out of it (such as by saying NO!) and then quickly take her to the pad where you want her to defecate.

When she successfully completes the poo, give her praise and a treat.

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October 4, 20120 found this helpful

My nearly 4 year old Labrador who has been fully house trained for years now has suddenly decided to poo (3 times!) and wee in the kitchen when I had gone to bed. He is acting normal apart from the obvious and I haven't changed his diet, and cannot begin to think why he has done this. Can anyone help me please?

By Katie

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January 24, 20140 found this helpful
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This is happening because most dogs suffer from seperation anxiety because to the dog you are a member of its pack so it wants to be with you all the time so its best if you let the dog sleep in the same room as you.

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June 8, 20120 found this helpful

I have a three year old Shih Tzu, who is potty trained with full access to the backyard all day. It has been over a couple of months since she started to pee and poo around the house. At first the accidents would happen when we would leave her door closed or when it would be raining, and she would do only on the carpet. This week, she began going on the tile, that she has never done before. I don't know what is going on with her, sometimes I think she needs to be reminded of who is the boss. Another thing is that I am pregnant, and I wonder if she senses that and somehow is reacting to the soon to be here new member of the pack.
Please help. I'm thinking about going back to square one of the training with her, leaving her crated while at work, giving some tough love, etc. Am I on the right path?

By Roberta from Austin, TX

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June 9, 20120 found this helpful
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Housebreaking can be so frustrating, and it's not a once and done deal. Take your dog to the vet to be sure it's not a urinary infection. If everything tests clear, then yes, go back to square one with housebreaking. Crate when you're not home, limited access to the house when you can supervise, and ample opportunities to potty outside. Good luck!

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April 1, 20120 found this helpful

I recently moved and brought my 7-8 year old Lab/Pit mix with me. He has been moved a few times before and has never had this problem. About a week or so after moving he started peeing and pooping in the house. I corrected him with a spanking and making sure he went on even longer walks in the mornings and evenings, because that is his routine.

He stopped for a week or 2 and then I decided to get a kitten and now it's worse than before. I can walk him and 15 minutes later if I don't watch him 24/7 he will pee or poop in the same spots in my living room. I have tried changing his feeding routine, longer walks, and cleaning the carpets, and now he has to be confined to a bathroom when we leave and I don't like it =( Anyone please help me figure it out.

By Andy

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April 3, 20120 found this helpful
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First of all, spanking a dog after the fact never does any good. They don't understand why you are hitting them. They don't associate going to the bathroom with corporal punishment and it only makes them more fearful - exactly what you don't want to happen.

It could be that there was a dog inside your new house that peed everywhere and now that your dog is in the space, he is trying to get rid of that scent by replacing it with his own. Again, all "normal" dog behaviors. Adding a cat just made the urge to stake out his territory even stronger.

You should try to clean the carpets and any places he goes with a good cleaner that breaks down the enzymes in the urine so all traces of smell are removed. Good idea about the longer walks - the will certainly help. Also, when he does potty outside, praise him big time "Good boy! Good boy go potty!" so he starts to understand peeing/pooping outside is pleasing to you. You might even have to involve treats at first.

And, as frugalsunnie said, make sure to get him checked out by a vet to eliminate any medical conditions like UTI.
Good luck - don't give up on him - he is worth it!

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July 19, 2011

My dog is potty-trained and does really good, the only thing is when I take him out right before we retire for the night, he simply will not poop, no matter how long we sit out there or how many times I take him out to try. Then, in the morning, I'll find poop on the carpet. How do I fix this problem? What can I do? Thank you!

By Stacey Silva from Eagle Mountain, UT

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July 19, 20110 found this helpful
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You could regulate feeding time earlier in the day, so the dog can empty before the end of the day OR take the dog on a long walk of an evening. This helps to get things moving and the dog may well empty before your journey has ended. We take our dogs around our field and they love the evening walk and do all their business before going back into the house for the night. Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 27, 2011

I have a 11 year old female golden Lab, who over the last few months has been urinating and pooping in the house. This is since my daughter has moved back in the house with her boyfriend and baby. Could this be psychological or her age? What can we do?

By Chris from Chicago, IL

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful
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It could be stress related for the dog especially at the age it is. Also, just a coincidence maybe that a health issue is present near the same time the household change took place. I'd check with a vet just in case.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 6, 2016

I have a 2 month old puppy that is being potty trained, so naturally he has accidents inside the house. I dog sit my aunts 3 year old dog once in a while and he is house trained, he sits at the door and barks when he wants to go out side to do his business. Now this is the first time I had the 3 year old with my new puppy and as soon as he walked in the house he started peeing everywhere, which I expected, but what I didn't expect what that he started pooping inside too. So what I want to know is if the older dog is pooping inside because of the puppy or not?

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August 18, 20160 found this helpful
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Yeah, it is. This is territorial behavior. I think it's important to let him know this is really unacceptable. Clap your hands loudly, say No! and take him out.

I would also suggest taking both dogs out to poop and pee together and for walks together. Get them on the same "team," so to speak. Dogs are pack animals and should get used to each other quickly.

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