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Q&A: My dog pees/poops in the house when no one is watching?


by MrsEds

Question by Katrina G: My dog pees/poops in the house when no one is watching?

I adopted a 2 year old “completely house trained” dog 2 months ago. He is crate trained and is in the crate whenever we are not home. I let him sleep in the bed at night, and he used to be perfectly fine, but now he has gotten into the habit of pooping on the floor in the middle of the night when no one is watching him. And then if im watching a movie and not keeping a direct eye on him, he will go and pee somewhere. If we are watching, then he won’t do this. How do I train him to be OUT OF HIS KENNEL at night and not go to the bathroom in the house? My goal is to allow him to be out of the kennel even when not home (like my other dog).. but how can I train him if he never poops/pees when im watching? I know “Keep him in the kennel whenever you cant watch him”.. but my goal is to never have him in the kennel at all…. How can I stop this problem ?
We take him outside RIGHT before bed, and we never sleep longer then 7 hours.. if he doesnt poop while outside, then he will just do it in the middle of the night in the house.. My other dog the same age will just hold it until morning if need be, but I can’t seem to get him to hold it!
I feed him twice a day. He did have a schedule where he would poop during the day. He would poop once a day around 1pm. But then one day last week he pooped twice (once late at night), and that threw his whole schedule off.

Best answer:

Answer by Morgan F
Some times dogs do these things to get attention even if they have alot already. or there could be somthing medicaly wrong or he found a spot he really likes and just keeps doing it.

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  • thatts normal my dog does that all the time all wat needs to happen is the dog needs to get trained

  • If he always poops/pees in the same room or spot, try to start feeding him there. Dogs wont poop or pee where they eat. Also try to avoid feeding him after 6 pm and if at all possible not letting him drink after 7 pm. Also make sure you clean the spots very well. Especially if he is a boy, sometimes they like their scent at will continue to pee by where they have peed before. Also some dogs pee or poop when their owners are gone in an attempt of “revenge” for leaving him. My dog has never been able to be left out when were gone for this reason. After a while he learned to like going in the crate especially if he gets a treat, so I don’t feel so bad. But Good Luck!!

  • in the past the dog has been told off for toileting inside and so hides when he is doing it, he is still unsure whether to trust and so would rather do that than in front of you if he can than face being told off for doing the toilet.
    The timing of his feeds means he needs during the night. He is scent marking since he is not the only dog.
    Clean anywhere he has toileted in the house with a biological cleaner.
    Change his feeding time to last thing at night, just before bed, so he needs during the day.
    Take him for a 30 min walk in the morning before leaving, then put him in his kennel with a stuffed Kong toy. Someone needs to let him out in the afternoon and walk him for 20 mins plus then back in the crate. Same at tea-time, another 20-30 mins. By now he should be happy to just sleep when you are watching a film (shut the door so he is closed in will also help) You need to check and see if he can go a size down in his crate, there shouldnt be room for him to poop without lying in it, and they dont usually want to do that. Continue with the walk last thing at night too.
    ANY time he poops or does a pee outdoors, give him TONS of praise and play with him. This is to reinforce that what he is doing is great, when its outdoors, as when he does it indoors you will ignore him for 5 mins. He will over the next three weeks make the connection and the routine will also play a big part as he will get used to ‘going’ at those times, which means he will need when he is going outdoors anyway.

  • Is he neutered? I’ve found unneutered males will urine mark in unfamiliar surroundings. Since he is still new to your home this could be a concern.

    The key here is that he is having inappropriate elimination when he isn’t being watched. Crate him when you can’t give him your attention. You are sleeping–crate him. You are watching a movie, try using the umbilical leash method. Put him on his leash (6 foot or so) and tie the other end to your belt loop. If he wanders off to pee or poo, grab him and rush him outside. You need to restart his house training from step one. Take him out every one to two hours and do not let him have an ability or chance to go in the house. I suspect that is won’t take more than 2 or 3 weeks to get him back on track. And make him earn his way out of his kennel. Again, a few weeks of diligence will give you a life-time of rewards.

    Also, make sure you are cleaning his pee and poo spots with an enzyme cleaner such as Nature’s Miracle or Simple Solution. If he is still smelling where he went, he is more prone to repeat.

    Note, I’m not giving you a neuter lecture, just saying this could be a factor.

    One more thing, if he is pooping at night, try altering his feeding schedule so that he will poop in the daytime. Scheduled feedings equals scheduled poops. You didn’t mention if you free-feed, so this can also affect when a dog poos.

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