separation anxiety soiling

by Christine
(Lancaster UK)

We got our rottie Bruno from a rescue centre and have had him for 5 weeks.

He is a really well behaved dog and is rarely left alone, however when he is he has chosen the spare room as his toilet and urinates and defecates in there.

However he does not always do it – maybe 3 out of 10 occasions. Can you give me any tips on how to stop this?

Thanks Christine

Hi Christine
I’m not sure how old Bruno is, or whether this is actually separation anxiety or just the fact that he hasn’t really figured out that he’s not supposed to eliminate indoors yet.

I’d strongly recommend that you get a crate and start crate training him. It’s the best way to housebreak a puppy, or a dog of any age, and you can contain him in his crate while you’re gone (how long he can be in there depends on his age and level of bladder/bowel control) and he will be unlikely to soil – unless it’s true and severe separation anxiety. If that happens, I’d suggest checking out this article Separation Anxiety In Your Dog for advice.

Dogs are creatures of habit and as he’s now started the habit of using the spare room to eliminate indoors you need to prevent him from being able to do that until he ‘un-learns’ this habit. Using a crate, closing the door to that room, and supervising him whenever he has free run of the house are all essential.

Housetraining a pup takes a lot of time, patience and consistency… and if he’s an older pup or adult dog it will take a bit extra effort. But by using a crate and being very vigilant there’s no reason why Bruno shouldn’t get the hang of it soon.

Best of luck with him.

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Dec 31, 2010


Cleanup to help you …
by: Annie in WA’s Rott’n Mom


The best cleaning agent we’ve found is at Pet’s Mart, called ‘Nature’s Miracle’. Saturate, rub in any spot that has been ‘used’. Let set for a bit and then spray again and scrub in.
Close the door forever to that room or contain the pooch. (Best idea!)

How old is the dog? How are you feeding it? Free feeding or structured, morning/evening or 3 meals if a pup, per day?

When you free feed (leave food out all day for it) you will never know when he needs to go. On a 2 to 3 set times a day … feed and then immediately take him outside to the same spot and say GO! Actually it’s like mantra 🙂 Leave him on leash while doing this. Walking him round in a circle will quickly teach him to go on command. Yes it works.

We have numerous dogs as my husband is a dog trainer and we have rescued for years. ALL of our dogs go in this way. The procedure is especially helpful when traveling. Do not let the dog off leash until he goes.

Judy in WA

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