Why These Everyday Methods to Stop Dog Pooping In The House Don’t Work

2 methods that won't stop a dog pooping in house

Dealing with a dog pooping in the house is not pleasant, even for those with a strong stomach!

And if you’ve had to give up walking around in barefeet for fear of what you might come down stairs to or discover on the carpet, you know exactly what I mean.

Now, if you’re dealing with a puppy – thats forgivable for a while, after all we put nappies on babies for a reason. Equally with an unwell or old dog pooping in the house, you can understand they may be getting a little incontinent.

It’s the regular parcels when you get up in the morning, or return home from work or shopping, that indicate a more enduring problem.

Methods to Stop Dog Pooping in house

There are a range of techniques that are generally used to stop a dog pooping in the house and I want to talk to you about two that are used regularly but rarely work and can even make things worse. You’ve probably heard of them yourselves.

The first is to make a big fuss and shout at your dog to show them you are displeased and that it is not acceptable behaviour. Now, shouting at you dog may initially make you feel better, but this approach can backfire and actually make your dog more likely to do it again for the attention they get! Some dogs would rather have your attention, even if you are angry, than no attention at all.

The other method is to rub their noses in it.  Not pleasant and that approach to ‘teaching them a lesson’ is highly unlikely to work, especially if they did it a few hours earlier. A dog lives in the moment, so if you come home a few hours after the event and rub his nose in it, he’s not going to relate it to the fact that he shouldn’t have done it in the first place.

So Why Is Your Dog Pooping in the House?

Once you rule out age related or health reasons, we need to go back to a dogs nature to understand why it might be happening.

We all know that dogs will scent marking their territory (that’s what lamposts are used for!). In the wild the scent marking is predominantly done by the leaders of the pack with two functions in mind. The first is to warn potential intruders that they live here so keep away, and the second is to give their own pack members a beacon so they know where to find home. Remember, dogs use their sense of smell far more than we humans do.

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

So a dog pooping in your house is a way of both throwing down the gauntlet to others and making sure that your “doggie GPS” knows where Home is. This is a brilliant system in Nature, but in our world it is not appreciated.

If you’ve been putting your dogs pooping in the house down to bad dog behaviour, you can start to see that there is more likely to be a reason behind it.

Dog Separation Anxiety or Misplaced Attention Seeking Behaviour

If they’re doing it for attention, they are going to be doing it when you’re around, and the best way to deal with it is to pay no attention to the dog when it happens. Don’t look at them directly, or speak to them. Instead put them out of the room where it has happened and clear up without making any fuss.  If your dog gets no attention for this behaviour they will stop it (though it may take them a little while to get the message).

However, if the mess generally only happens while you’re out,  or have left your dog alone in a room, this points towards a symptom of separation anxiety in dogs.

Separation anxiety comes about as a result of your dog deciding that they are leader of the pack and so responsible for you. The trouble comes when you go out and your dog can’t fulfil their duties of keeping you safe.  They panic and the best they can do is scent mark the house in the hope you’ll be able to sniff your way back to the den.

Separation anxiety can be  more difficult to deal with than attention seeking behaviour, but if you believe this is what is driving your dogs behaviour, it will also make sense that to stop it you need take on being leader of the pack. When it is no longer their job to keep you safe and try and help you find your way home they will relax and trust that as leader you can do it for yourself! Convince them that they can trust you and the separation anxiety will disappear and the pooping should simply stop.


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  1. Kay
    12 months ago

    Hi there!

    I have a 2 year old shelter dog that we have had for 7 months. He can go some days for 8 hours while I’m at work without having an accident but sometimes I come home (after the same amount of time gone) and there will be a mistake downstairs by the door we usually take him out of. Are these just accidents because we can’t hold his bladder?

    Also, he’ll go downstairs to play since we’ve been trying to give him his space and he’ll go to the bathroom. I can understand why he poops down there because it’s by the door that we take him out, but how do I get him to stop peeing and pooping in the house. He has no problem going outside when we take him. Crating is not an option–He has some anxiety and it’s not worth the trouble. Thanks!

    • Venice Marriott
      6 months ago

      Hi Kay. It’s not easy to tell exactly why it happens as 8 hours can be the limit for some dogs. However if he is already showing other signs of anxiety that could be part of the problem. Doing it right by the door where you come in and go out can suggest anxiety because if he thinks he’s in charge he could be scent marking so you know where to come back to! That’s what they do in the wild. Watch the the free videos on this site to find out more about anxiety and how to take on leadership yourself. You don’t need to be the strongest to do this just be consistent about the way you interact with him. Try it – it really does work.

  2. Leslie Taheri
    1 year ago

    I adopted a shelter dog last week. He had been turned in as an owner-surrender, got very sick and was fostered for 1 1/2 weeks before returning to the shelter when I adopted him, so I do understand this little guy has had major upheaval in the past several weeks. However, the pooping the house is a daily occurrence now and I don’t know how to stop it. He shows no interest whatsoever in even attempting to poop outside. I walk him for approx. 25 minutes, 4-5 times a day and then he comes back in the house and poops. If I cannot stop this, I’m going to have to return him and that’s something I really don’t want to have to do. I also have 2 other dogs, they’re all little guys, under 19 pounds but seem to get along and accept each other. I really need some serious advice. Thank you.

    • Venice Marriott
      12 months ago

      Hi Leslie – sorry your comment got missed. Hope you’re hanging on in there with your dog. It does sound like anxiety and the problem can be sorted out with the right training. It’s not just the upheaval, but he has 2 other dogs to fit in with too. You need to consistently show him and your other two dogs that you are the leader – there’s more info on the site about that and I get the feeling that the ebook would really help – and would be worthwhile investing a little money in. Best of luck with it. You’re fantastic for taking on a rescue dog as you have.

  3. tanya
    1 year ago

    I got my parents a dog that is about a year, He goes outside, but then comes right back in the house and forces a little more poop in the house. It is random places around the house. He is such a good lovable dog they don’t want to get rid of him but they don’t know what to do, they cant keep having him go in the house.

    • Venice Marriott
      1 year ago

      Has he been doing that since he arrived or did it start suddenly? Has anything happened or changed recently to make him act like this? It could be that he’s marking territory. Does he show any other signs of anxiety, for example… Can he be left alone without barking or whining constantly – or does he chew things a lot. Watch the videos on this site, they will help you identify if anxiety is the problem and give you some ideas on what you can do to solve the problem. Please tell your parents not to get angry with the dog as it may make things worse. He will be doing it for a good reason (in his own mind anyway!)

  4. ange
    2 years ago

    my dog is house trained and he always tells us when he has to go out but all of a sudden he keeps popping in my daughters room hes not sick hes healthy there will be changes happening in our house were i will be going back to school it hasnt happened yet so there has been no changes in our house please help

    • Venice Marriott
      2 years ago

      Hi Ange, probably the first thing you should do is stop your dog having access to that room until the problem clears up. If there is anxiety amongst you or your daughter about the coming changes he may be sensing that and that could have caused the sudden problem. Watch carefully to see when it happens – is it always when you are out? Or does he do it when you can see him doing it? Sometimes a dog will do it to challenge you and work out who is pack leader. Both issues can be sorted out successfully using the methods we recommend on this site. Watch the video series to find out more about these problems.

  5. Elitelf
    3 years ago

    Great reading, no idea if it will work, but it made me feel better xD

    • Venice
      3 years ago

      Give it a try because it will make your dog feel better too! We offer a 100% money back guarantee on our anxiety eBook which means you can try it for 30 days and if you’re not happy with the results we’ll refund you in full. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot to gain! Regards. Venice Marriott

  6. fitgal
    4 years ago

    I want to add to the question about the.dog who popps while I sleep. She is 4 years old. She is jelouse of the cats. So could be she is leaving an opinion behind. Its going to stop her visits if I can’t fix it. Its sad I adore her.ideas?

  7. fitgal
    4 years ago

    The dog poop is happening at night when I sleep. She goes on a paper during the day. She is going near my cat box. This is a dog I dog sit once a moth about a week at a time. Do I scold when I find it?

  8. admin
    4 years ago

    At that age it’s likely to be a toilet training issue. Encourage them to go in the area you choose outside by taking them to the area (perhaps on a lead), when they are likely to need to pee or poop and then give them lots of praise and perhaps a treat when they do it where you want them to. Be consistent and they should learn this way. If they do it in the house or on the deck, make no fuss, don’t shout at your dogs or even look at them and just put them out of the way while you clear up, otherwise it could turn into attention seeking behavior. Hope that helps.

  9. Framcis Kenny
    5 years ago

    I have 2 puppys 20 weeks old and i cant stop them pooping on the drck outside and peeing in side can you help

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