My House Trained Dog Poops in the House, What Should I do?

June 24, 2012 by Venice Marriott  
Filed under Pets

If potty training for your dog was never a problem, the 1st time the dog poops in the house can cause a bit of alarm. So lets look at the best way to sort it out and keep it from occurring again.

Stay Calm With Your dog

Punishing your dog, or shouting at them won’t stop it happening again, so stay calm, however revolted you are at having to clear up after them.

Most people agree that an angry response isn’t effective, and could even have the reverse effect of making them more likely to do it again.

And when it comes to wondering why they did it, please don’t believe the common myth that your dog did it on purpose out of spite or revenge for leaving them home alone. I’m surprised how often I hear it said. Dogs are not human, and there will be a logical reason behind it (well from a dogs point of view anyway), so lets look at a few of them.

House Training Problems

If its a puppies behaviour in question, the answer could be that they are still a bit young and a little slow to learn. If you come done to find your puppy has pooped in his crate overnight it’s most likely that its just a little to long for them to hang on.

By the time your puppy reaches five months they should be able to manage overnight and until then, you may have to take to getting up a little earlier to let them out, or during the day take them out more frequently especially in the 20 minutes after they’ve eaten.

Dogs are unlikely to either poop or urinate in a small, confined space, so if it does happen in their crate, it is highly probable that they just couldn’t hang on any longer. That, or the dog is struggling with other issues like dog separation anxiety.

On the other end of the age spectrum, older dogs can also start to need to toilet more frequently and some may become a little incontinent with age. The only way to deal with this is to take them outside more often. If you have any concerns about your dogs health though we would recommend a trip to your vets.

Your Dog’s Diet

One unmissable reason for a do pooping in the house is diarrhoea. This can be due to what the dog has eaten either in the house or more likely what they picked up when out for a walk. Diarrhoea can also be caused by contact with toxins, or parasites and if you are at all woriied you should pay a visit to your vet.

But, while a health or diet related problems could cause your dog to poop in the house, but it shouldn’t persist once the health problem or diet is dealt with.

Look closely at your dogs diet. Have you made any changes recently, like changing the brand of food you give them? It can take their systems a few days to adjust to new food and vets often advise changing the food you give overtime, mixing the new in with the old to start and gradually increasing the proportion of the new food.

If you have not made any alterations to what they eat lately, you could try keeping the food they get to bland things and cut out any extras they get like the leftovers of dinner. You could also look into hypo-allergenic dog foods, which could be the answer.

What is Different in Your Dogs Life?

So, if neither your dogs food, or your dogs health, or their toilet training is the reason your dog poops in the house, what else could it be?

Has anything major changed for your dog recently? Has someone new arrived in the household (like a baby or another dog), or has someone left? Have you moved home or made major changes within the house. Have you just thrown out the old dog bed and bought a brand new, un-smelly one?

Pooping in the house could simply be your dogs way of showing that they are unsettled by any changes that are going on around them. If you stay calm and don’t react strongly to their mistakes, they will eventually adjust and the problem should go away. Unfortunately, an extremely anxious dog may not be so easy to reassure.

Dog Anxiety

Dog anxiety can be caused by changes in the dogs life, and pooping in the house is one of the signs of separation anxiety in dogs. But the reason they do it is probably not what you think.

To understand why they do it we need to look at a dogs natural instincts. In the wild their poop is used in three ways; as a way of scent marking their territory, as a warning to others to keep away and as a way of finding the pack den (remember that a dog sense of smell is up to 200 times better than our own).

So your dog, panicking at you having left the den (home) and not knowing where you have gone, is showing you in the only way they know, how to find (or scent) your way back home – they just haven’t worked out that our noses don’t work as well as theirs do.

A dogs anxiety comes about as a result of worrying about you, so the way to get rid of it is to look at who is the top dog in your household. It’s often the case that anxious dogs have assumed that they are pack leader and if this is what has happened, they will continue to get anxious every time you leave, because the pack leader is responsible for keeping the rest of the pack safe – which they can’t do if you shut them in the house and disappear!

Learning how to show your dog that you are leader of the pack, that they have nothing to worry about and can trust you, is the best thing you can do for a dog suffering from anxiety. Deal with the anxiety and the dog should stop pooping in the house.

If you would like to know some more about Dog Anxiety we’ve compiled a useful, free report to help you spot the symptoms of anxiety in your dog, as when a dog poops in house, it could simply be the start of anxiety problems, so catch it and stop it fast.

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