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Posted : 12/23/2008 3:11:48 PM
I have a 3 year old black lab/beagle mix named Bodacious (Bo) that I have had for a little over 2 years now. Within the past month, he has started pooping on the floor when he is home alone by himself. He started doing it in the unfinished basement, so I started closing the basement door thinking it would stop him but now he has been going on the main floor in our sitting room. My reasoning for his choice of the basement is that the cat will poop down there if she gets locked down there, and afterwards Bo will lead me down there and show it to me, so I thought maybe he started thinking it was OK to poop down there or something. That is obviously not the reason because neither of the other two dogs or the cat poop anywhere else in the house.
There have been no diet changes either in food or schedule of feedings, no new animals in the house, nothing out of the ordinary and this has seemed to come out of nowhere. In most cases, he has pooped by noon and my sister is the lucky one that finds it and gets to clean it up on the days she comes home for lunch.
After the first couple days of him doing it, we started putting him in the crate when we would leave. He didn't poop in the crate at all. After about a week, we let him stay out again and he was good for about week, then went back to the pooping. It is almost always right in the middle of the floor so he's not trying to hide it, and I can always tell when he has pooped because he will have his ears down and kind of slink over to me when I get home. We get up for work at 6:30, let them out to potty, feed them, and then let them out again an hour later before we leave for work.
I am really at a loss as to why he would start pooping in the house out of nowhere when he hasn't done it since we got him. I need some suggestions because I really like leaving him out as home security when we are gone. Please help!
Posted : 12/23/2008 3:51:00 PM
A few things come to mind on reading your post. What struck me the most was the comment that you can always tell when he has pooped because he will have his ears down and kind of slink over to you when you get home. Dogs are great at picking up on our body language. If you drive up and think to yourself "Wonder if he pooped on the floor" you then get some negative vibes going because after all no one wants to be greeted by a pile to clean up. You walk in the door and he can tell you are upset, he is reacting to you, not feeling "guilty" about pooping because dogs don't really have the capacity to feel guilt. Never scold him for an accident, clean up with an enzymatic cleaner and move on.
When you let the dogs out in the morning are you making sure that he is going poop? He most likely was holding it in the crate because dogs don't like to foul their sleeping quarters if they can avoid it. If he was yelled at for pooping in the basement or in the sitting room it could be that he now feels that he has to hold it until he is unobserved to avoid getting in trouble. So he waits until everyone is gone and then relieves himself. This is why it is so important to make absolutely sure he is going before you leave in the morning. I would start treating him like a new dog or puppy when he poops outdoors. Yummy treats, big happy praise for him. Every time he poops outside, not just the morning one.
I might think that something in the household has upset his routine but you say you don't think anything has changed. Some dogs are very sensitive to even emotional tension in the house. But the reason is not as important as the management. I would go back to crating him when you leave and do that for at least three weeks. This is long enough to break the habit he may have developed.
Dogs are really amazing animals in their ability to adapt to our world with all of it's crazy rules.LOL
Posted : 12/23/2008 4:22:02 PM
Thanks for the reply. I really don't think its my body language. I usually come home excited to see all the dogs and will sit down and see them for a little while before I go looking for the poop. My main question is more why this problem has seemed to come out of nowhere.
Posted : 12/23/2008 4:38:04 PM
The answer to that can only come from your dog and he's not talking...... LOL
Posted : 12/23/2008 5:00:39 PM
Don't mean to sound rude but I guess I just don't always feel it is accomplishing anything to try and figure out why dogs do some of the things they do. I know it's strange that he is suddenly going in inappropriate places when he has been housetrained for a while but since the obvious changes that might cause this have been ruled out by you, then no one can possibly know the reason.
I think there is probably a reason and I gave you my ideas and that is all I can do at this point. I'm sure some others will come along with some more ideas soon. Good luck.
Posted : 12/24/2008 11:36:55 AM
I agree with JackieG that you don't really need to know the whys to fix behavioral problems. But I think any sudden behavioral change in a dog warrants a vet visit.
Posted : 12/24/2008 12:06:00 PM
I agree--vet visit. And a very careful analysis of not only food, toys, routines, but also extra stress, etc. My 5 year-old began peeing in the house, on the carpet (he was great to move aside pee pads so as not to ruin them), and he did it twice a day. My conventional vet was sure he had a UTI; I was not. I was sure it was a newer supplement (he'd been taking it for 2.5 weeks and had another 2 to go). She insisted on tests and when they turned out negative she shrugged her shoulders and told me to monitor his water intake, which I was. (Believe me.)
After he got off the supplement it took a couple of more weeks for things to turn around. He's OK now, but man, the work I went through to clean that mess and the stress I felt--yep, I showed I was looking when I came through the door, even when I tried not to. Having a petsitter stop in didn't even help.
Good luck--leave nothing unturned.
Posted : 12/24/2008 2:05:00 PM
I have to agree, and with hounds, don't discount the "comfort freak factor". They don't like to feel uncomfortable, so will sometimes "forget" their house training skills if the need to go becomes urgent. Anything can cause it, including stress, a different feeding time, new food, parasites, infection, etc. But, any sudden change in behavior at our house warrants at least a phone call to the vet, and perhaps a visit, just to make certain that all is ok. One cheap thing to do is bring a stool sample to the vet to check for parasites, and do review what the dog has been getting for food & treats. Even a different bed time can change things...
Posted : 12/26/2008 1:15:46 AM
i agree... get him checked by the vet first. it might be nothing, but it's well worth it to have it checked out... you just never know!
then, yes, treat him like a puppy you are housetraining.
as for reasons... could be anything. like spiritdogs said, could be that once or twice he needed to go, and found a place to hold it. then he realized it works quite well. you havent answered the question asking if you make sure he poops in the morning? it might be, that he doesnt like to go in the cold/snow, and just realized its sooo much better to go inside. and a week of crating him was likely just not enough...
for me, i had that problem earlier this year. moca started pooping in the house, at times even in front of me. thing is, living in an apartment, i take them out on leash and i KNEW she was pooping outside as well, so it was just MORE pooping that was the problem, and she simply couldnt hold it anymore. turns out it was her food. i had been feeding it for a bit over a year and within a few weeks it seemed like she couldnt absorb the food at all anymore. she was pooping 5-6 times a day and at the same time loosing weight. so i switched food (after visiting the vet and having her cleared) and the constant pooping stopped, and she finally started putting some weight back on... i was still careful about leaving her out of my sight for about 2 months, just to make sure she hadnt gotten into a habbit, but she was fine...
Posted : 9/9/2009 3:03:47 PM
there spray you can buy helps they wont go the furniture and on the floors we did works great. we had trouble with our dog pooping on the basement floor did everything and was aggravated my mom told me about it works wonderful they dont even want to go down steps just spray it and it work give it try.spray on floor to. and furniture or just were your having troubles. good luck
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