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Dec
25
2012

Dealing with a dog pooping in the house isn’t easy, whether you come down to it in the morning, or come home from work or shopping to find it waiting for you.

Now, if you are dealing with a young dog, that’s okay for a while, and the same thing is applicable to a poorly or old dog, but when it happens on a constant basis, it can signify a different kind of problem altogether.

Ineffectual Methods to Stop Dog Pooping

There’s a variety of accepted approaches that could be used when a dog poops in the house, but ironically two of the most generally used are potentially the least effective, and could even make things worse.

The 1st is to make an enormous fuss and bellow at your dog and scold them to show that you’re angry with their behavior. But while shouting at your dog could make you feel better, this approach can backfire and actually make your dog likelier to do it again for the attention they get! That is because some dogs would instead rather have your attention, even if you are angry, than no attention at all.

The other approach is to rub their noses in it to teach them a lesson. But given what dogs are quite happy to sniff at and even eat, I can’t see this is much of a punishment. This technique is also unlikely to work if they have done it several hours earlier as a dog lives in the present, so if you come home a couple of hours after the event and rub his nose in it, he is unlikely to relate it to the fact that he shouldn’t have done it in the 1st place.

So Why Is Your Dog Pooping in the House And What Must You Do?

When you disqualify age problems or medical reasons, we want to go back to a dog’s nature to realise why it may be taking place.

We all know that dogs will scent mark their territory. In the wild this is typically done by the leader of the pack for two reasons. The first is to warn off trespassers who could be a threat and the second is to give their own pack members a unique way to find their way back to the den. Remember, dogs use their sense of smell much more than people so this is a useful system in nature, but isn’t appreciated in our world!

You might find that the most typical place that your dog poops is at a main door to the house, because that’s where you leave from and the outside world comes in.

Separating Dog Anxiety From Attention Seeking

Some dogs will poop in the house for the attention they get, even though it is not going to be positive. They’re likely to do it where you can see them, so the best way to react is to take no notice to the dog when it happens. Do not look at them directly, or speak to them. Instead put them out of the room where it has occurred and clear up without making any fuss. If your dog gets no attention for this behavior they will after some time stop.

Nevertheless if your dog only poops when they’re left alone, this points towards separation anxiety in dogs as the cause. Basically, in your dogs panic at not knowing where you have gone, the best they can do is scent mark the house as they would do in the wild, in the hope you are going to be able to sniff your way back to the den.

Separation anxiety can be tougher to handle than attention seeking behavior, but if you think this is what is driving your dog’s behaviour, a good de-sensitisation training course and a lot of patience will stop this taking place. Anxious dogs particularly benefit from you being leader of the pack, so learn how you can do that too.

Author Venice Marriott first learned about dog anxiety with her own rescue dog Sherlock, and has been finding out about the effect of anxiety and the most useful methods to reduce it ever since. Get more information on how to stop your dog pooping in the house when you visit her blog.