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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20173
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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2 year old dog started to and poo in house

Customer Question

2 year old dog started to urinate and poo in house
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,

My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. I am sorry that no other expert chose to answer your question earlier.

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

Was Bobby previously house trained?
If so, how long has he been eliminating inside?
Did you have any pet visitors before he started this behavior?
Have you caught him in the "act"?
Is he jumping up and using stairs?
If you have seen him do this, is he assuming the normal posture that dogs assume when eliminating?
Has he had any injuries or illnesses that your are aware of?
Did you house train him as a pup?
Is he neutered?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 4 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,

I was hoping to get some responses back in response to my request for more information. However, it has almost been 2 weeks with no reply so I'll go ahead and give you my thoughts on the subject.

If your dog only just started to eliminate in the house after previously being house trained, it might be that you need to clean with an enzymatic cleanser letting it soak in well to break down the proteins and totally remove all the odor. If even a small amount of odor remains, it will draw the dog back to eliminate their again.

However, your breed, shih tzu, is one of the long backed breeds which are prone to disc issues. Disc issues can cause a dog to have a harder time controlling their bowels and bladder. So the first thing I would do is clean thoroughly, then have a physical exam asking the vet to specifically rule out a disc issue or try a short course of anti-inflammatory medication to reduce any swelling which might help your dog control himself a little better.

If there isn't a disc problem, then you will need to re train him preferably in the same manner as you did originally. It worked the first time, so is the first choice for retraining. However, crate training is also very effective. You can read about that on the following site.

Unfortunately, the site does not allow me to make clickable links, so to view the supporting websites, you will need to copy and paste the link into a new browser window or tab.

If this happens when you are home, you can keep him leashed to you so he can have time outside the crate. It also helps as you can catch him "in the act" and give a short tug and firm "NO" so he understands that you find him eliminating inside unacceptable. Reprimanding after the fact just teaches them that you don't want to find it so they hide it the next time.

If he avoids stairs and jumping recently that would point more toward a disc issue.

I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .