Dog Pooping in House

by Billy
(Madison, WI)

Reader Question: Training That Pees Outside But Poops Inside


We have a Jack Russell/Miniature Rat Terrier mix. Her name is Meeko. She is 20 weeks old. She has a crate for sleeping, in a 1/2 bath off the family room. She isn't allowed in the rest of the house except for feeding. She has a piddle pad in the 1/2 bath, which is gated at night.
She will use this piddle pad to pee.

We have been working with her to pee in a special place outdoors. She goes out first thing in the morning and pees there. Sometimes she pees on the piddle pads indoors.

But, for some reason, she thinks that she has to poop indoors, and not always on the piddle pad. Just anywhere she wants. She almost always poops when we turn our back, but for some reason, we just can't get her to poop outside. We've tried suggestions from a lot of books, but nothing seems to be working.

Any suggestions?

Vet Training Suggestion for Dog That Poops In the House

Hi Billy,

The trick to potty training dogs is to be with them every time they “go.” This is not as daunting as it might seem. I prefer the use of a crate over a gated bathroom. Crates work by making use of a dog’s natural disinclination to lie in their own waste, so you need to make sure that any crate you use is not too big. Your dog should be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably, but the crate should not be so large that she can urinate in one corner and sleep in another.

Use a tether when your dog is out of her crate. Essentially, attach yourself to your dog (a leash looped around your waist or through a belt loop works well). In this way, she cannot sneak away to poop in the house without you noticing. The only form of “punishment” you should use is a firm no when you catch her in the act of pooping in the house. Anything more severe can cause fear which often makes the situation worse. When it’s time to go out, you stay with her to praise her and give her a treat when she goes where you want her to.

As her behavior improves, you can start reducing the time the two of you are connected; at first limiting it to right after she’s urinated/defecated.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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Oct 19, 2014
Puppy Training NEW
by: Izzi

Thanks for the helpful comment as I am about to start toilet training my Jack Russell as he has now had all his vaccinations and so can get out properly.

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