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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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Dr Harry,I have a dog who is one year old, he is toilet trained

Customer Question

Dr Harry,
I have a dog who is one year old, he is toilet trained and never does anything at home,, but when we visit my sons house, who has one older dog and a eight month pup, Max, my dog will go and poop in one of the kids rooms and pee in the main bedroom. We know their dog Murphy has also done something in these rooms, but why does Max do this when we visit? He can go outside, there is no reason why he should do this. He doesn't do it any where else we visit. Max and Murphy are great mates and play all the time. First we didn't know who was doing it, but it seemed to be Max. Can you help with some suggestions beside locking them out. We usually close the bedrooms doors, but occasionally we forget, and it just seems to happen when Max and I visit, so we presume it is Max.
Hope you can give us some ideas on this behaviour.
Jill Johnston
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jill, I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works exclusively with dogs and cats. I'm sorry to hear that Max might be the culprit for the accidents in the house. I will do my best to help. It could be that Max is picking up a scent in that room from one of the other dogs having gone there. When we have urine and poop in the house that is normal (ie: not diarrhea, no blood in the urine or straining to urinate), then it's more likely a behavioral issue than a medical one. It's likely that Max is comfortably house trained in your home but changing the scenery (a new home) mixes things up a bit for him and he has a lapse in his house training. It's likely that he doesn't understand that the same rules apply in your son's house as they do in your own home. This is especially true if he is catching the smell of previous "accidents" in those areas. The easiest thing to do would be as you have done - block off the areas and keep him closely supervised when you are visiting. He shouldn't have the opportunity to "sneak off" and have an accident. The more difficult way but more durable would be to embark upon house training him as if he's a new pup all over again - only this time doing it in your son's house as well as refreshing it at home. There are two important parts to house training a dog: the first is the ‘training’ part and the second is complete and absolute supervision. Let’s start with training - You can, and should, train a dog to pee or poop just like you can train them to sit. Go outside with your dog, (take cookies!) walk around the yard with them and tell them to ‘go potty’ or whatever word you want to use to teach them to go - just like you’d tell them to sit if you wanted them to sit. When they do go to the bathroom, keep using your 'key phrase' (in my example, I'd say 'good potty!) over and over, then as soon as they're finished, give them the cookie. It's important the the reward happen RIGHT AFTER the behavior (in this case the peeing). If you wait until they come inside, then all they learn to do is come back inside, not necessarily to pee or poop. Depending on how fast they pick it up, you can have your dog pottying on command within a few weeks.The second part of house training is the supervision part. Max can't be allowed to be out of your sight where he might have an accident. I know this is really really tough, but it's really important that you catch him before he has the opportunity to make a mistake, then give him the opportunity to do the right thing, followed by LOTS of praise. If he's been punished for peeing or pooping in the house before, often the 'take home' message is 'don't pee in front of the humans, they get angry and yell at you' which results in a dog that then sneaks off to pee where you can't see. It helps to have them drag a leash around the house attached to their collar so that if he starts to go to the bathroom you can calmly pick up the leash and lead her outside. This is less likely to scare them than you reaching for the collar to 'drag' him outside. Always make sure that once you get outside, you're prompting him to go by using your key words and rewarding her as soon as he's done peeing outside.I hope that at least some of this is useful. Please let me know what questions I can handle for you.~Dr. Sara ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------My goal is to provide you with the most complete and accurate “five star” answer. If my answer isn’t what you were expecting, it’s incomplete, or you have more questions PLEASE REPLY to let me know what information you are looking for BEFORE giving me a negative rating! If my answer has been helpful to you, please show me by giving me a favorable rating. Thank you so much :)