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If your dog has spent weeks, months, even years without having a potty accident, then suddenly dropped a log in an unexpected place… you might wonder if they pooped in your house on purpose.

After all, they know better, right?

The timing might make you suspicious. Maybe they had an accident right after you scolding them or they did not get their way.

I believe you when you say you are observing these patterns. I think that living with an animal gives you a special power to understand their motivations and communicate with them in a nonverbal way.

But sometimes, we rely too much on our experiences with humans when we judge our dogs.

And if you’re dealing with the same issues over and over, you’re going to get frustrated. The only way to see a change, though, is to think differently about your relationship with your dog.

Doesn’t My Dog KNOW It’s Wrong To Poop There?

Even the most solidly potty-trained dog does not know that she has a moral obligation to keep your floor clean.

Dogs don’t think poop is yucky. They think it is wonderful, useful, with a pungent aroma that is packed with information about the gifter.

So, your dog will never understand that you hate cleaning up poop. She will never understand how embarrassing it is for it to appear when you have guests over.

When you potty-train your dog, all she learns is that it is rewarding to go potty outside or on her pad. Successful pottying becomes a habit. Not a moral obligation. Not an act of compliance or respect for your security deposit.

Instead of asking our dogs, “HOW dare you?” we need to ask, “WHY dare you?”

Please don’t take those random poops personally. 

People do dumb things to get revenge. Dogs are pure. They just don’t think that way, and that’s why we don’t deserve them.

But if you’re annoyed, angry, exasperated… hang in there. This can be fixed so you and your dog can live together in happy harmony. And you won’t always have to pick up stray poops.

Do Some Dogs Just Prefer Pooping In The House?

Some situations might make pooping indoors more comfortable for your dog. For example, your dog might only have accidents in the winter or during rainstorms.

If you aren’t interesting in using potty pads part-time, you can teach your dog to poop outside in the snow.

Comfort and convenience can make your dog prefer pooping indoors, so you’ll have to motivate her to change those bad habits. At first, it’ll be an extra challenge, but your dog can and will get used to going outside to poop, even if it’s a little uncomfortable for her.

Who Isn’t A Nervous Pooper?

You ever have an upcoming date or job interview, and spend the whole morning pooping every hour?

No? Just me?

Stress and anxiety cause spasms in the gut. This causes the contents of the bowel to move faster, causing that EMERGENCY POOP feeling.

That’s why nervous poops aren’t that usual, “oh, maybe I’ll head to the bathroom in a few minutes,” they’re more like “OH MY GOD I HAVE TO GO.”

Dogs have a much shorter digestive tract than people. That’s why they seem to poop after every meal, or even more. Food moves through them really quickly.

That handy biological trait plus anxiety can make a previously potty trained dog turn into nervous random pooper.

That’s Why Dogs Don’t Poop For Revenge.

I keep hearing stories of dogs who were told off, and then immediately went and pooped on their owner’s bed.

The explanation seems pretty simple to me – your dog may even start acting up because they’re trying to get your attention to go potty. They might have targeted your bed because it’s drenched in the comforting scent of you… even if you’re not being very comforting to them at the moment.

Events like these are just one reason why I advocate for positive training – punishing your dog, or in the case of small, emotionally unstable dogs (most Chihuahuas and many others) even raising your voice can cause enough stress to make your dog poop somewhere unusual.

Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve ever yelled at your dog or overreacted to a poop. Dogs are imperfect, and so are people. They manage to love us anyway. You’ll do better next time, and so will your dog.

What Should I Do Now?

First, consider a vet appointment. If it’s actually a pee problem, your dog will need to get checked for a urinary tract infection.

How are your dog’s poops? They should be firm enough to roll around, not stick to the floor. A healthy poop is actually very easy to clean up and barely leaves a mark on the surface, though you’ll still want to disinfect the area.

If your dog does not have any health issues, make sure that her favorite forbidden potty spots are completely clean. That means using an enzyme cleaner like Nature’s Miracle to break down any trace of a lingering scent.

You can use crates and pet gates to keep your dog away from those forbidden areas.

If you suspect your dog is anxious, you can try Tellington Touch Belly Lifts, a simple exercise that helps calm nervous dogs and those with digestive issues.

There are a lot of variables when it comes to solving poop issues. You can leave a comment to discuss what’s going on with your dog. You may also want to enlist the help of a trainer or behaviorist who can figure out exactly why your dog is having accidents so you can find a real, lasting solution.

Lindsay Pevny
Lindsay Pevny lives to help pet parents make the very best choices for their pets by providing actionable, science-based training and care tips and insightful pet product reviews.

She also uses her pet copywriting business to make sure the best pet products and services get found online through catchy copy and fun, informative blog posts. She also provides product description writing services for ecommerce companies.

As a dog mom to Matilda and Cow, she spends most of her days taking long walks and practicing new tricks, and most nights trying to make the best of a very modest portion of her bed.

You'll also find her baking bread and making homemade pizza, laughing, painting and shopping.