How to Punish & Discipline a Dog for Pooping in the House

Dog Pooping Outside

Let’s get one thing straight. Don’t punish your dog if he poops in the house. This applies even when your dog has been potty trained. No dog is the same. Some will get house-trained much quicker than others. If you find yourself in a situation where your dog constantly poops in the house then the responsibility falls on you to guide the dog in the right direction.

Instead of disciplining your dog for pooping indoors, what you are going to do is to reward your dog for pooping outside. More dog owners need to understand that positive reinforcement is an essential component of dog training and it works really well for the poop of a situation you are in.

Why is the Dog Pooping in the House?

Before we get to the fix, it helps to understand why your dog is pooping in the house. Here are some common reasons that may cause this behavior.

Dog’s age: it’s more common for puppies to have indoor accidents because they are yet to be fully housebroken. It can take anywhere between a few months to a year for a puppy to be house-trained. Young puppies also don’t have enough muscular control to hold their feces and urine.

Adopted dog: did you adopt the dog fairly recently? The indoor pooping behavior could be caused by stress and the dog’s unfamiliarity with the new environment and new bathroom schedule. Give the potty training some more time and make sure you use plenty of positive reinforcement.

Stress: did you recently make a lifestyle change? Did you move to a new home, redecorate the house, or start a new job? Your dog can get stressed out any time there’s a change that disrupts his usual lifestyle. Stress can lead to some unusual behavior from your dog.

Medical issue: if this behavior came out of nowhere then it could be worthwhile to take your dog to the vet. Medical issues can cause your dog to lose control of his bowels.

How to Stop Your Dog from Pooping Indoors

Try the following steps once you have confirmed that the behavior isn’t caused by a medical issue. Please note that this isn’t an overnight fix so you will have to be patient until your dog gets it.

1. First step is to be able to detect when your dog needs to go for a toilet break. Common signs include: sniffing the floor, turning in circles while sniffing, whining, and standing by the door.

2. If your dog shows any of the above signs and looks like he is about to do his business then interrupt him with a unique one-word command, then take him outside as quickly as possible.

3. Stay with your dog until he finishes his business. Once he’s done, give him some treats and praises. You can now let your dog do whatever he wants.

For puppies, you might want to take them outside once every hour, even if they don’t show any signs of pooping. Puppies are less predictable with their pooping behavior so you want to increase your chances of getting the puppy to poop outside by letting them out more frequently.

Using a Bell for Potty Training

Some dog owners take potty training a step further by introducing a bell. The goal is to train your dog to use the bell anytime he needs to go outside to do his business. Bell training is a three step process.

Step 1: Touch the Bell
The first step is to get your dog to become familiar with the bell. You are going to hold the bell in front of your dog’s nose and encourage him to touch the bell. When the dog hits the bell, say a command then give him a treat straight away. The command serves as a marker to tell the dog he did the right thing.

Step 2: Touch the Bell at the Door
Once the dog is familiar with step 1, you are going to place the bell by the door and have your dog touch it. When you have your dog’s attention, point at the bell then say “touch”. If the dog touches the bell then repeat the command from step 1. Again, give him plenty of treats immediately after he touches the bell.

Step 3: Touch the Bell for Pooping
The last step is to teach your dog that the bell is to be only used for pooping. Any time your dog shows signs of wanting to do his business, lead him to the door then say the “touch” command. Next, let the dog outside and wait for him to poop. Once done, give him another treat.

With enough repetition, your dog will eventually learn that he will need to touch the bell any time he wants to go outside to poop or urinate.

John at My Pet Child

is the Founder of My Pet Child, where he shares his tips on living with a dog in an apartment.

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Helen Jervis
Helen Jervis

We used the bell to train our then 3 month old Westie, Fudge. She was so good with every part of her training except potty training,. We tried everything, nothing worked. My lovely husband went on line and read-up about using a bell tied to the door, and within a week Fudge was fully house trained. It even works when visiting, friends and family, the bell just comes with us.

We now a a Jack Russell pup and will be using the same training method.

Danny
Danny

This is b*******. I only give my dog treats when she goes outside but she is still pooping inside. Your theory sucks and is not valid