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How to Punish Dogs for Pooping in the House?

Living with a dog means you get unconditional love. But it also means there’s fur to vacuum and drool to mop up. And poop to scoop after your dog’s done his business outside. The problem arises if your dog poops inside the house on your kitchen floor or living room rug.

This is a frustrating and annoying problem that needs to be addressed. Whether it is an occasional occurrence or a regular feature, how you handle your dog pooping inside the house can make all the difference in overcoming the problem or creating even more issues with bathroom behavior.

Punishment is a strong word. Dog behaviorists do not recommend punishing a dog for pooping in the house. However, there are ways to train your pooch to do her business outside and prevent accidents inside your home. This involves using a kind approach and positive reinforcement. Using harsh or inhumane methods to force toilet training on a dog can backfire. It can make your dog afraid of you and might even lead to more pooping and peeing accidents in the house.

Please keep reading to find out why dogs might suddenly start pooping inside the house, how you should handle an accident when it occurs, and what you can do to prevent your dog from pooping in the house.

Why is my dog suddenly pooping in the house?

There could be a simple explanation for your dog pooping in the house, such as:

Not enough time

You took your dog outside, nothing happened, and you came back in, impatient to get back to chores. Your dog wasn’t quite ready to poop when you were outside and ended up doing his business on your kitchen floor.

Tip: When you take your dog for bathroom breaks, be patient and give your dog some extra time if he hasn’t gone in the first 10-15 minutes.

No bathroom break when needed

Your dog whines in the middle of the night and you say “quiet” and go back to sleep. The next morning you wake up to smelly poop on your bedroom floor.

Tip: Pay attention to your dog’s whining and crying at night. She may be needing a bathroom break. If you’re not sure what’s going on, try taking her outside. If she poops or pees, acknowledge it briefly but don’t make a big deal out of it. Otherwise, your dog might think midnight potty breaks are fun. Keep a journal to see how often this is happening. Try taking your dog out for a short walk just before turning in.

A distracted dog

You took your dog outside and he ran around and played, chased after squirrels, or got distracted by toys or children. Then he came back inside and pooped on your new carpet.

Tip: Don’t allow your dog to get distracted until he’s pooped. Don’t talk to him or play with him and don’t give him any attention until he’s done his business.

A formerly abused dog

Dogs that are kept in cages for long periods of time are forced to urinate and defecate in the same place where they sleep. This can become a habit.

Tip: If you have a rescue dog, try to find out if he or she was abused. If not, take her to the vet to rule out any medical issues that could be leading to poor bladder and bowel control.

Health issues

Sometimes, it’s more than just behavioral issues that are causing your dog to poop in the house. For example, if your dog poops in the house at night and it is accompanied by digging the bed or pacing, this could be from separation anxiety. Other things that can cause your dog to have accidents in the house include:

  • Age (senior dogs may not have the best bowel control).
  • Dietary changes.
  • Not enough bathroom breaks.
  • Attention-seeking behavior.
  • Intact male dog marking territory (neutering may help).
  • Health issues like parasites, stomach flu, and other infections (schedule a vet exam if your dog suddenly starts having accidents). If the vet rules out medical problems, they might refer you to a dog behaviorist to get to the bottom of it all.

It’s important to remember that your dog is not pooping in the house because she likes to. She’s doing it for reasons that are out of her control. Rather than punishing your dog for pooping the house, it’s your duty to find out what is causing the accidents and fix the underlying cause.

How do you discipline a dog for pooping inside?

Before you discipline a dog for pooping inside, it’s worthwhile understanding normal dog behavior. A dog does not instinctively know not to poop inside the house. For them, the only place off limits is where they sleep. Everywhere else is a bathroom as far as dogs are concerned. So, it takes toilet training to reinforce the idea in your dog’s brain that pooping and peeing inside is not something they should do.

Secondly, if your dog has an accident and you rub her nose in the urine or feces and shout at her, it will only make her fear you. This might cause her to hide when she needs to go. You may find yourself discovering smelly poop in odd places around the house.

Whether you’re toilet training a puppy or re-training an adult dog, patience is key in helping your dog understand the routine.

Should you scold your dog for pooping in the house?

There are two lines of thought about this. The first is, if you find poop in the house, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just ignore the accident. Dogs crave attention from their humans, and if you react strongly to your dog pooping in the house, this can send the message that it is a way to get the attention your pooch craves. Simply move your dog to another room and clean up the mess and go about your day normally. Perhaps be a little aloof with your dog, so it sends a message that pooping in the house gets them the cold shoulder.

The other line of thought is that if your dog poops inside, calmly point out the poop and immediately take him outside (to the yard if that’s where your dog usually poops).

How do I stop my dog from peeing and pooping in the house?

Here are some of the best ways to toilet train your dog:

Start training early

House training a puppy should start early, at around 12-16 weeks of age. Give your pup a special treat every time they pee or poop outside. Be consistent with this positive reinforcement at every potty break.

Ensure enough supervision

It’s also important to supervise your dog during toilet training. This way you can consistently reward outside pooping and interrupt accidents. Watch for signs like squatting, sniffing, circling, or keeping the tail straight out – these are signals that your dog is about to poop. If you are regularly discovering a mess inside the house, it means you need to supervise your dog more closely.

Interrupt an accident

If your dog is in the process of pooping inside the house, interrupt him and get him outside as soon as possible. Carry him if needed. When he finishes doing his business outside, praise him. This works better than simply opening the kitchen door and letting your dog out into the yard to poop.

Designate an outside area for pooping

If your dog poops in the yard, have a designated area where you want your dog to poop. This will stop your dog from getting into flower beds and destroying your plants.

Once in the designated area, walk in tight circles or pace back and forth. Use a command such as “go potty” to tell your dog he needs to go here. Praise him when he’s done and have a treat handy. Then, allow him to play, run, or explore.

Set a feeding schedule

Stick to a feeding schedule to help regularize your dog’s bowel movements. Remove any uneaten food after 15-20 minutes so that your dog does not snack around the clock. If you’re feeding your dog at different times every day, he or she is going to poop at different times every day, and this can potentially include pooping inside the house. Keep track of your dog’s normal pooping schedule so that you know when something’s off.

Schedule bathroom breaks

If your dog is not being taken out for regular, scheduled potty breaks, it could lead to accidents inside the house. A dog’s routine can be quite predictable. Puppies usually poop immediately after they wake up or eat. Older dogs may not poop for several hours after eating (here’s how long it takes dogs to digest food). Set an alarm if you tend to forget scheduled potty breaks. If your dog is successfully pooping outside, you can try to gradually increase the intervals between potty breaks. However, if you notice your dog is pooping inside the house, schedule more frequent bathroom breaks.

Prepare for the weather

If it’s snowing outside or the rain is pelting down, can you blame your dog for not wanting to go out? This can sometimes make a dog pee and poop in the house. Make sure your dog is dressed for the weather. A warm coat and boots can make cold weather potty breaks less uncomfortable. Some kind of shelter in the backyard in the designated potty area can help keep your dog dry during bathroom breaks when it’s raining.

Clean up quickly and efficiently

It’s very important to clean up quickly and completely after your dog has pooped inside the house. Use disinfectant soap to remove all traces of dog poop odor from the area. This is not only for your own good but also to train your dog. Dog’s have 100 million sensory cells in their noses and are very quick to pick up scents. And they are attracted to urinate or defecate in spots they’ve used previously. If your dog smells poop anywhere inside the house, he or she will think hey this is the bathroom and poop again in the same area. Consider investing in a special pet urine cleaner that can more completely remove the smell of dog urine than the usual household cleaners.

Use chemical attraction

You can use your dog’s accident to your advantage. Instead of throwing away the poop, take it outside to the designated potty area. Or take the wipes used to clean urine and place them on the ground outside under a stick. This will trigger your dog’s sense of smell and he or she will associate the area with the place to pee and poop.

Change pooping surfaces

If you live in a city with hardly any green areas, your dog might be pooping in the house because she’s only finding asphalt or stone outside and no comfortable pooping surfaces like grass or dirt. Try driving her to a dog park to see if it makes a difference. It will be an effort but it might fix the pooping-in-the-house problem.


Punishing a dog for pooping in the house can backfire. Try to get to the bottom of what is causing the problem in the first place. Either ignore n accident or take your dog outside to the designated pooping area if he or she has pooped in the house. Use the above tips listed above to prevent further accidents.

21 January, 2023