General Question

laureth's avatar

How can I stop the dog from crapping on the floor?

Asked by laureth (27145points) February 27th, 2010

Our dog, Digger, is a (circa) 15 year old Manchester Terrier. He was an abuse case rescued by my husband long before we met. Lately, however, he’s taken to using the floor as a toilet. He pees randomly, especially during dinner if we don’t feed him table scraps. Most recently, though, he’s starting to crap on the floor, most often right as soon as he comes in from being let out to do his business, almost as if he’s saving it for us. It’s not as though we don’t let him outdoors.

Digger is otherwise in fine health, and still able to romp and play, with a fine appetite. I know the answer is “take him to the vet,” but I was wondering if anyone here has been successful in convincing their incontinent old dog to stop doing their business indoors.

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33 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It sounds like age-related incontinence. Formerly house-trained dogs are very uncomfortable soiling the home. There is probably something wrong.

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laureth's avatar

Thanks for that, @ChaosCross. That’s valuable advice.

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Dog's avatar

[Mod Says:] Please stick to the topic folks. If you have nothing beneficial to add to the conversation please resist the temptation to post and move on.

Joke and personal quips will be removed.

judochop's avatar

@ChaosCross
Sarcasm does not cross the internet as well as you would hope it to all the time. This is one of those times. As much as I like some of your answers I will gladly ask and hope that you apologized in a comment to @laureth.
I know if someone asked me to put my dogs down after asking for advice on how to care for them it is your favor that we are not neighbors.
@laureth – I grew up with dogs, against better judgement my folks bred their dogs for sometime and as some of them grew older we encountered this.
The best advice I can give you (I am not a vet at all) is to take your friend outside more often than before and be understanding. IF this is something new for your dog then it most likely is age related. Try changing his diet slowly to a better food for his digestive system and tell him no, only if you catch him in the act. From what I have seen it is not like the dog wants to crap on the floor at all. Best of luck to you.

laureth's avatar

Thanks, @judochop. When we are here and awake, he goes outside 4–5+ times an hour, just because he asks. We don’t have any crap problems overnight or while we’re at work at all, just while we’re in the room.

We understand that old age is probably most of it, but would like to minimize it if we could.

judochop's avatar

@laureth is your dog fixed?

laureth's avatar

@judochop – Yes, he was neutered shortly after they adopted him.

judochop's avatar

@laureth
Have you visited the vet yet? Have you thought of changing his food for something more gentle on the stomach?

laureth's avatar

@judochop – Vet said about the urination that Digger might be unable to completely empty his bladder, since it was usually happening right after he came inside. She gave us some pills to give him, and he stopped peeing while he was on them and didn’t resume for a long time after being off of them – not until recently.

We feed him kibble and are probably a little too generous with the “people food.” What foods would be “gentle on the stomach?” We’re not into using Iams, but willing to consider some other options.

syz's avatar

At 15, I would be suspicious of dementia. Animals can become senile, just as in humans. Usually you will see an increasing cascade of behaviors (incontinence, random vocalizations, forgetting how to exit a room, etc).

thriftymaid's avatar

Put him outside.

laureth's avatar

@syz – we’ve been watching for that sort of thing, but in all other respects, he still acts half his age. Still enjoys Frisbee, the dog park, walks on the leash, etc.

@thriftymaid – He gets put outside anytime he asks, when we’re home – several times an hour if he wants, where he loves to go sniff the perimeter, pee on the tree, etc. – yet when he is home alone for lengths of time, there are no accidents. Odd!

knitfroggy's avatar

Has anything changed for the dog, like a new animal brought into the house or something? It sees odd that he can hold it all night or while you are gone during the day. Poor guy sounds like he is just getting old. Good luck.

laureth's avatar

No other animals for many years- almost a decade. No changes at all. That’s why it’s so confounding. Mr. Laureth thinks it’s that he’s angry about something and is pooping to make a point, but Digger is very old.

knitfroggy's avatar

@laureth That was my thought…he poops when you are there to see it. Who knows. Too bad you can’t just read his mind!

dpworkin's avatar

I don’t think he’s angry; just getting old. I’m not sure how you control it, though. Sorry. It must be kind of a drag. @Syz might know.

Dog's avatar

I agree with @dpworkin (and have two old dogs and cleaned up a mess right after you wrote this question and one yesterday too.)

It is sad to see them age. They are wonderful companions.

dpworkin's avatar

Hi Dawgie. Why don’t you know how to fix it?

Dog's avatar

I wish I did. I think with the old Labrador his arthritis makes him reluctant to travel far and it has been raining outside. There is a line in a Kipling poem “Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware of giving your heart to a dog to tear.” :/

YARNLADY's avatar

I would resort to putting down training pads again, and perhaps try the normal training routines that we use with puppies; say no, and take him out again.

snowberry's avatar

Get him doggie diapers. Either he’ll hate ‘em so bad, he’ll NOT go while he’s wearing them, or he’ll go in them, and you’ll just have to clean him, and wash the diapers. I had a friend whose dog refused to go outside to do the job, but diapers cured him. I told her put the diaper on him BEFORE he comes in, and take it off him AFTER he’s outside. He was potty trained in a few weeks. By the way, sanitary pads work wonderfully in them.

But seriously, because of his age…this sounds like age related stuff….

Maybe doggie dementia? LOL

chian's avatar

take it outside, non stop until it understands, i would take my bullie out ten times a day, it eventuallu worked, if your at a 9–5 job put it in crate until you get home and then immediately walk…

snowberry's avatar

@chian And if he’s in a crate, make sure it’s small enough for him. If not, he’ll just turn one end into a potty anyway. Healthy dogs hate to poop/pee in their bed. If he goes in it, and the crate fits him, that’s a good indication the behavior is age or health related.

laureth's avatar

Part of his abuse when he was young was being kept in a crate all the time. Not a big one – one of the carry-on ones. He won’t go in one – at all. But he doesn’t have a problem when we’re gone, thank goodness!

Thanks for all the responses. I realize that he’s just a dog that’s getting old. I guess I was hoping that there was a way to help old dogs with this problem.

snowberry's avatar

It sounds odd that he only goes when he’s inside and with you…At least check with the vet before you write off the behavior. It’s gotta make you crazy cleaning up all the time, not to mention the damage to your carpet.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I wonder if it’s a fear of abandonment. If he only goes while you’re in the room, he may be trying to say, “Hey, don’t forget about me!” I’m not sure what to do about that, other than to give him plenty of love and reassurance. Which I’m sure you’re already doing.

laureth's avatar

We’re trying. On the other hand, sometimes it’s hard to be loving and understanding when, like last night, we have to clean up three (3) pee “accidents” in the span of time it took me to cook dinner. Ugh.

Thanks everyone for the input!

snowberry's avatar

Where do you live? If it’s cold outside, he just might be frail enough that coming inside after being in the cold will make him go when he gets in. Or…Doggie dimentia?

laureth's avatar

We live in SE Michigan. It’s cold, but he goes out for a long time when he wants – sniffing the air, checking the perimeter, looking for other dogs, wandering around as far as the lead will allow, that sort of thing. Also, the peeing happens in warm weather as well, but the crapping is new. (Sorry to be so gross.)

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