The first thing you need to do is rule out health-related problems and consulting your vet is the best way of doing that. You next need to consider whether it could be age-related. An old dog pooping in the house might just be getting a little incontinent, while a young puppy could be struggling to get to grips with the whole house-training thing.
Also, on the agenda of things to consider why does my dog poop so much? is how long you leave your dog without access to the outside because it may just be a little too long for your dog to hold it all in and they may not be very good at telling you when they need to go out!
However, if you’ve ruled out these possibilities as the cause of your dog pooping in the house, (which all have pretty straightforward solutions), it’s time to look at what else could be behind this unwanted behavior.
Why Else Would a Dog Poop in The House?
A dog’s behavior is a clear indication of what’s going on in their heads and a healthy dog that starts pooping in the house is probably trying to do one of the following 3 things:
- Grab your attention
- Challenge you for status as leader of the pack
- Cope with dog separation anxiety
I’ll go into a bit more detail so you can understand each of these fully. Firstly, a dog who poops to grab your attention is a bit like a teenager using anti-social behavior. It might be a bit extreme, but they don’t care if they’re in trouble – just as long as they’ve got your attention.
Secondly, a dog can use pooping as a direct challenge to its owner. A bit like saying: I’ll choose where I poop because I’m in charge here.
Dogs have to be clear about leadership, that’s part of their makeup and this can be just one way they find out. The clearest challenge I’ve ever heard was from a dog owner who asked me why does my dog poop so much? the dog waited until he was watching before pooping on the carpet!
The third reason is slightly related to the second in that separation anxiety is caused when a dog believes itself to be the pack leader. They will generally poop when you have left them home alone or with very anxious dogs it could even be as soon as you are out of sight, like in another room where they can’t see you.
Separation Anxiety in Dogs is Often Misunderstood
Interestingly, this is the most misinterpreted piece of dog behavior I’ve come across. I’ve listened to so many owners tell me that they think their dog does it on purpose, almost like they are being punished for leaving the dog home alone. The first bit is true – your dog is doing it on purpose, but they’re doing it for a different reason altogether. Separation anxiety in dogs causes them to panic and this is a way of letting you know where you should come back.
In the wild dogs use this method both to mark their boundaries and let their pack members know where they are and it works because of their highly developed sense of smell. They just haven’t worked out that humans aren’t the same as them.
Taking Action to Stop Your Dog Pooping in The House
You must get clear about the reason your dog might be pooping in the house before you take any action because if you deal with it in the wrong way, you could make it worse. Observe your dog closely and use the information in this article to help you decide why it might be happening and if you’re still not sure consult with a vet or behavior specialist. Only if you’re clear about what lies behind your dog’s behavior you can then go out and look for the most appropriate solution.