Dog keeps pooping in the house even after long walks outside

My 5 month old female goldendoodle will not poop outside when I walk her. She will urianate at least twice and even after an hour walk she will wait to poop inside the house. Is there any way I can change this behavior?

It sometimes takes a little more structure to ensure that a proper ‘bathroom routine’ is established. This should be established by 6 months of age but for some that develop bad habits, it can take a little bit longer.  It is important to use your dog’s own biology to your advantage when housebreaking. The best type of schedule to start and to stick by revolves around mealtimes.  For example, when you get up first thing in the morning, take her out and she will probably only urinate. Be sure to take her out to the same exact location every time, and make this her ‘potty spot.’  The more she frequents this area, the more she will be drawn to it by smell and habit.  When she eats breakfast a short time later, the process of eating stimulates her digestive tract. Many dogs need to poop within half an hour of eating.  Take her out shortly after eating and take her to the same location every time. Longer walks can often distract young puppies from “doing their business.”  When she does poop in the ‘designated potty area,’ praise her and reward her with a small treat. She will learn that when you go to that location that it is time to ‘go’. At 5 months of age, your pup should be eating 2-3 times a day.  After each meal, repeat the walk ‘to go toilet.’

When you are in the house with her and she has not pooped yet that day, be sure to watch for clues that she needs to ‘go.’  Being allowed to roam the house alone and unsupervised can predispose puppies to finding a favourite spot to repeatedly poop or pee. If she seems restless or is seeking out a corner, or trying to leave the room, take her immediately out to the ‘potty spot.’  Also, be sure to thoroughly clean the locations where she poops in the house.  Enzymatic cleaners such as ‘Anti-Icky Poo’ spray (I’m not kidding – its great and you can buy it on the internet) will help to get out the smells that draw dogs back to the spot.

If the pooping happens while you are at work, crate training or restricting her space significantly can prevent pooping in the house. When in a small space, dogs want to keep tidy and typically will not poop where they are lying. The crate only needs to be big enough for her to turn around in, stand up in without hitting her head and stretch out a little. Keep the flooring bare to prevent chewing. Most dogs become very bonded to their crates and treat it almost like their “den” – a place where they feel safe.  Many owners report that crate training makes a world of difference in successfully housebreaking their puppies – you should give it a try!