Housetrained but loves to poop in the basement - help! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Housetrained but loves to poop in the basement - help!

Macy is a now almost one year old rescue that Iíve had for 8 weeks now .... sheís doing great in so many ways but for some reason she sneaks down to the basement and poops .... shes very quick and quiet about it! After we first discovered it we kept the basement door which is right off the kitchen, closed for a few weeks and I really thought we had resolved this but this morning I see she has pooped down there again ..... she is very private about her bathroom duties and has never been able to pee or poop on a leash .... she will now pee in front of me ( not on leash) but never poops in front of anyone .... we literally go out in the yard and count them to make sure sheís going lol! Stools are firm and plentiful and no stomach issues .... I donít know what her background about elimating is, but does anyone have any advice - short of keeping the door closed for the next 10 years? It is a finished basement with family room and bedroom, bathroom etc and we are up and down there frequently.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 04:25 PM
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My guess is that in her former life she was harshly corrected for potty accidents so in her mind it's not in her best interest to relieve herself in view of a human.She's actually doing as she was trained in the past - bodily functions must be accomplished privately!Keep the door shut for the time being and offer low key praise and even a treat when she relieves herself outside.It will take as long as it takes.
I had a rescue dog a few years ago that was the same.It took months before he could go in my presence.And no eye contact ever,lol

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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That is encouraging thank you! I do praise her when sheís peeing outside - with her back to me of course lol. Iíve never corrected her for it bc I donít find it until later ..... she goes to the farthest room down there so itís a little more effort to check it... and Iím truly amazed at how silent and swift she is doing it ..... she is literally not out of my sight in the house for more than a few moments lol.
I just put a gate up in front of that particular bedroom - if I keep the door shut it starts to smell basement-y
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 06:09 PM
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IME, most dogs like their privacy.

Eliminating is an involuntary action. They don't go outside and do their business just because they were let out to do so. Sometimes it takes them a while to feel the urge to go. Are you giving her enough time? Can you secure her outside and give her at least 20-30 minutes alone to answer nature's call? Do you have a quiet place to do so? Exercise can bring on the urge, perhaps if you took her for a walk?

You might want to try letting her out, giving her some time and then bringing her in and crating her for a half hour and then letting her out again.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I agree they cannot really poop on command - my last guy could pee on command, but this girl is much more sensitive ....Iím going to put her out for 30 minutes after eating no matter what .... itís difficult to tell if sheís gone after dinner as itís dark and it would take a lot of looking lol..... keeping the door shut again should prevent it .... so far she Doesnt give any signals to be let out so Iím always trying to be aware ..... Iím also wondering if spending some time in the room she poops in would help her recognize it as a living space like the rest of the house?
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Nursejulie View Post
Iím also wondering if spending some time in the room she poops in would help her recognize it as a living space like the rest of the house?
Tht is a really good idea. Also feed her on the accident spots or sprinkle some treats there. I would not make it a big deal when she poops outside as it can put too much emphasis on the issue. I think in her case it helps when things remain calm. Just mark it with "Go Potty" (or some command you prefer)in a normal voice when she does it. It is about creating a new habit. In the meantime restrict her freedom by keeping her with you on leash or crated when you can't leash her. It is back to puppy 101. Good exercise also keep her gut active. She will have to poop at some point. Good luck with her. She is lucky you took her.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-29-2018, 11:18 PM
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A few years back they sold motion activated plastic animals that made a noise when the light beam was tripped. If you can find one of those, it could tell you when she goes down to the basement (or maybe startle her away from it). Another alternative is to put the gate at the top of the stairs (and also to get some of those absorbent packets to get rid of the "basement" smell). Or some other devise that would altert the humans when the dog goes down to the basement.


I wonder if installing a dog door to the outdoors would help since she is reluctant to announce her needs.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 09:44 AM
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I would put up a gate also because this is becoming a habit. They have a lot of nice gates. As she gets more comfortable she will be better going around you. I would also crate to sometimes you do have backtrack to more restrictions when they are learning. She is new and learning the rules of the house now. I find they do like there privacy also. I always turn my head on walks lol!


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 10:26 AM
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Whats wrong with this title. "" House trained but loves to poop in the basement "" - help!

I believe she is NOT house trained. When raising a young puppy you never let them out of your site.
Close the basement door..
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-30-2018, 10:53 AM
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If you aren't doing this already, when you clean up the poop in the basement, make certain that you clean it well with an enzyme cleaner, otherwise the scent will still be there. Also it may help (before using the enzyme cleaner) to bring a poop that was already done in the basement out in an area of the yard that offers privacy. The poop from the basement will have odors from the basement that she is already familiar with.

I'm just kind of thinking outside the box and a bit from her perspective with the knowledge of how powerful their sense of smell is and the reactions that are caused (illicited) when their nose is at work. It may help her feel more at ease to go outside.
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