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

Dog Having Diarrhea

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.

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6 Comments

  1. Helen Jervis November 29, 2019 at 11:58 am

    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.

  2. Danny February 9, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    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

  3. Charlene October 29, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    I have a dog door and 5 1/2 fenced acres. My four month old pit bull puppy knows how to use it. I have been giving him treats for going outside. He will often go outside to do his business on his own and I follow him to give him a reward. But if it is cold and rainy he would rather pee and poop in the house. The treats do not outweigh the desire to not go outside in the rain and cold. Even when I put a little jacket on him. What do I do? How do I get him to stop peeing and pooping in the house? I keep reading not to punish him but there seems to be no downside for him to pee and poop in the house.

  4. Maureen O'Donnell November 11, 2020 at 11:04 am

    My 5 month old pup is so easy to train except for peeing and poos. He has started to poo more in the house. Its easy to say dont get cross but it is so frustrating! I know when he normally poos and put him out , he comes in and poos. I know we will get there but when? He is a small dog cross between a pug and pomeranian. Both hard to train apparently.

  5. Danny Jones December 1, 2020 at 10:49 pm

    This is bs. I found a dog as a stray and contacted the owners and they said they didn’t want her anymore because she is old and they dont have time for her. I pet sat her at first because my mom didn’t want a dog, but we ultimately ended up keeping her. They told us she was completely house trained and for the first month and a half she had no accidents whatsoever. However now she pees and poops every wear no matter what we do. In the beggining we took her to the same spot outside and she would go, but when she starting going in the house she would refuse to go to the bathroom out side. Now she will go a few hours without going to the bathroom and she spends about ten minutes outside just trying to find a place to pee and poop. When she finishes doing both she sprints in the the house and IMMEDIATELY looks for anything possible to pee or poop on. I understand she is an older dog, and she may not be able to hold in her business, but this is ridiculous. The fact that she had no accidents whatsoever the first month and now she goes to the bathroom outside and runs in the house specifically to go to the bathroom again is unacceptable, and nothing we do works. We tried giving her treats when she went potty out side and then she began to refuse to go outside. we punish her when we see her squatting to pee or poop in the house and she continues to do it.

  6. JzzE1 December 29, 2020 at 11:35 am

    This dog is young, yes, BUT she knows where outside is and what it’s for. She will go out and stay for hours, come inside and poop and/or pee. She will go out do some business and save some for inside cause she comes in and almost immediately will pee and or poop.

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