Dog Peeing and Pooping in the House

We are considering rehoming a 7 year old Jack Russell. But since coming into our home he continues to pee and poop in the house despite the previous owner reporting that he is trained. Is this behavioral or is it possible to train/retrain this dog to go outside? We have been addressing the issue as if he were a puppy but with limited success after 2 weeks.

Veterinarian Suggestion Regarding Reasons Why A Dog Might Be Peeing and Pooping in the House


Before you assume that your dog’s problem is behavioral, you need to rule out the medical reasons for urinating and defecating in the house. Your veterinarian will need to perform a physical examination, urinalysis, fecal exam, and possibly some blood work to ensure that he is not ill. It is possible that the stress of moving to a new environment has led to disease.

If your veterinarian gives your dog a clean bill of health, he or she can then discuss behavioral modification techniques that can help reestablish house training. In general, you want to ensure that you are with your dog every time he needs to urinate or defecate (you can do this by making use of a crate and/or tethering him to you with a leash), taking him outside at the first sign that he needs to go, and praising him lavishly when he behaves appropriately.

Punishment should play no role in housetraining. If anxiety is an issue, therapeutics like dog appeasing pheromone, antidepressants, or complementary medicines might also be appropriate options.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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