Behavior Tip of the Month
Doggie Urinates Outside, Defecates Inside
A client writes in that her six month old Cairn terrier urinates outside but defecates inside even though he's taken on long walks. She's had him two weeks and needs help.
There are many reasons why a dog could have housetraining problems. This dog in particular has spent six months with the breeder and has been housetrained in a completely different environment. Therefore, he's probably bewildered and confused. Everything is different. He really needs to be retrained to your environment. Here are a few suggestions.
1) Find out from the breeder where he defecated in her environment and try to simulate that surface. If he went on concrete, try to take him to concrete, at least for a few weeks till he gets the idea.
2) Before you start your actual walks, take him to the place he likes to urinate outside and walk back and forth a few feet while saying, "Get busy". If he starts to urinate, say, "gooooooooooooooooood" and after he finishes, give him a goodie IMMEDIATELY. Then do the same thing and try to get him to defecate. If he doesn't go in five minutes and you're sure he has to go, take him home. Don't go for a walk. The walk should be a reward for urinating and defecating outside, until he gets housetrained. When you get back home, keep him on leash. Tie the leash to you and don't give him any freedom of the house. Alternatively, you could put him back in his crate. After 30 minutes, take him outside again. Repeat waiting 5 minutes and only go for a walk if he defecates. Do this procedure until he defecates outside. When he does, be deliriously happy and give him a treat.
If you want the procedure to take a shorter time, you can buy an infant suppository, cover it with Vaseline and let nature take it's course. Your dog will think he's defecating and it will make him go outside so you can reward him. I use this for drastic cases.
You haven't said in what room he's defecating in the house. If it's in the living room or in a little used bedroom, it could be because he doesn't think these rooms are part of the house. Put his food and water dishes over the spots in which he has been defecating.
Also, odor neutralize the spots with an enzymatic cleaner or he'll keep coming back to the same spots to defecate.
Please don't punish him for the housetraining mistakes. He needs training, not blaming. Punishing him will only erode your relationship with him and raise his stress level. Dogs who are stressed have housetraining accidents.
Be patient, enjoy your puppy and best of luck.
Woofs and Wags,
Best Friend Behavior Counseling and Training
San Diego, Ca.
"Positively teaching pets and their people since 1977"
Do you have a question for Carole? You can reach her at this email address - firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps she will use it in an upcoming article on this Web site.
The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.