A reader asks…
Hi Anne, I need help please… two mornings in a row now Zeus has gone outside – been out there for between 15-20 min and then come inside and pooped on the floor. The only time he has ever had an “accident” in the house prior to now is when he peed on his bed right after we got him (we didn’t know the signs yet and promptly took him out). I have no idea what brought this on or what to do to make sure it doesn’t happen other than stand outside with him until he poops. Any advice you have or directions you can point me in would be much appreciated.
I responded with a follow-up question: Has anything in his diet or appetite changed?
He got a smoked femur bone on Friday night, as a treat while we brushed a whole other dog out of him. And he didn’t eat breakfast this morning before we went to the dog park (sometimes he wont eat first thing in he morning) but otherwise no changes.
It could be a couple different things. Sometimes, dogs learn that as soon as they poop/pee, they are taken back inside and fun outside time is done. Is that a pattern that could explain this new problem?
Another explanation could be something medical, but that’s more common with peeing issues than pooing issues. You could take a fecal sample to the vet and have them double check.
To help Zeus stop doing this, we’ll want to watch him when he’s outside and cross our fingers that he poops. If/When he does, then give him lots of treats and if he loves a certain activity (eg fetch, tug, etc) then do that outside for a bit. This can help change the pattern and going poo starts the fun times rather than stopping them.
If you’re able to catch him in the act in the house, then interrupt him with an ‘uh-oh’ and rush him outside to finish. If he finishes outside, he gets treats/fun etc.
10 Days later, Julie updates me on the situation:
I don’t want to jinx it … but there’s been no further accidents!!!! Thank you so much for all your continued support!!