Our dog has started pooping in the house during the night?

Our somewhat-recently adopted shelter mutt has been pooping in the house almost every night for the past few weeks. We potty trained her when we first adopted her, and she was okay at it. Now, she is pooping on the floor most nights when we are asleep. She is fed around 5 o'clock and goes in and out until bedtime. We do have a crate, but we've never used it. What should we do and why is this happening?

Asked by Ellie on Oct 26th 2013 in Other Behavior & Training
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I'd start crating her at night. I would also think about recent changes that night contribute to bathroom issues. Has anything changed that might be causing extra stress? I'd also use an enzymatic cleaner to remove the potty smell from the areas where she's going. Maybe she's designated that the potty area out of confusion. Does she need more attention, exercise, mental stimulation, or dog interaction? Try addressing those issues. If that doesn't do it, you may be looking at a medical issue.

I want to point out that my dog did crazy stuff when transitioning to my home. Indoor pottying, eating the window treatments, going through windows, and just general separation anxiety for a few months before she realized I would be coming back every time. She's the best dog now. The best dog. None of those behaviors persisted. I say this to encourage. Don't give up!

Libby answered on 10/26/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


Crate train your dog.

Dogs by nature are a den animal. They like the security of a place in which they can be and feel safe. This can help adjust them to your home and new atmosphere. Crates can come in a variety of sizes, allowing your companion the space they require. Crate training allows a dog the comforts and security of their own personal spot that they are in charge of. During the first few weeks of their new life with you, giving them time to retreat and stay in their crate can help to build a bond with their home. Feeding and sleeping are recommended within the crate because of the safety it provides for a pup. Because of the nature of a dog, they will not want to relieve themselves where they sleep and eat. Crate training offers a very helpful hand in potty training a pup. Just make sure that you take them out when it is time to potty. The crate is beneficial to training your pup in all aspects of life.

Member 1166037 answered on 10/31/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer

Tasha (in memory)

If you are not a fan of crates for big dogs like me, start from square one when it comes to potty training. Setbacks are normal, especially for teenage dogs. Dogs, like people, will behave in the manner which they think they can get away with. Also, she might have been in a kennel for awhile, so until the area where she is having accidents is scrubbed and cleaned with an anti-pheromone and marking treatment, if she can smell her own poop, she will continue to soil there. You both can do it! ^_^

Tasha (in memory) answered on 10/31/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


No matter what the cause, go back to training her like she were a puppy until she is more reliable.
You may find that when you take her out, she isn't going to the bathroom.
Make sure the yard is picked up. Many dogs refuse to step out in a "mine field".
She may be afraid as it's getting dark earlier. New animals in the area can make it scary.
A good brisk walk will encourage her to poop before bed time.

Sonny answered on 10/31/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer