Rescue Dog Pooping in the House. A Helpful Guide

Adopting a rescue dog is an act of charity but it could also be fun. However, keep in mind that you will have to house train him. Never assume that your new dog is house trained at first. We will also discuss how to stop him.

The new environment will trigger stress in your dog. It is because of the new scents, new houses as well as new faces. Therefore, you must be patient with him as he slowly adjusts into your home

Before you go ahead to housetrain your dog, you must understand why he is pooping inappropriately. 


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Reasons why my rescue dog won’t stop pooping in the house

  1. Never been housetrained before
  2. Incomplete house training
  3. Anxiety
  4. Underlying medical issues
  5. Improper training methods used



In most cases, rescue dogs face different challenges in their lives. Some of them have never undergone housetraining. Others were house trained in their foster homes or even rescue centers. Rescue dogs experience problems with house training because of the following reasons:


He has never been housetrained

An adult rescue dog who hasn’t been house trained can be problematic. House soiling tops the reasons why people give up their dogs to shelter. You will not have to do that as you can be able to introduce housetraining to him. 

It takes time to train a puppy let alone an adult dog. Therefore, you will need to be very patient and consistent with successful results.


Incomplete house training 

In some cases, you might feel lucky to get a dog who is already potty trained. While this is good news, do not assume that he is fully trained. 

As mentioned above, it takes up to a year to completely housetrain your dog. It could be that your rescue dog is pooping in the house because of incomplete house training. And to make it stop, you will have to start from scratch



Once you bring your rescue dog home, it is normal for him to be anxious. I mean, the new environments, as well as a new owner, will be a little confusing for him. Understand that your rescue dog is probably traumatized. 

As we have previously indicated, rescue dogs move from one residence to another. This can cause a lot of unrest and stress leading to house soiling.

A rescue dog might need more attention than any other dog would. 


Underlying medical issues

Sometimes your rescue dog will soil the house because he is sick. Various medical conditions are likely to lead to house soiling. For instance, conditions such as diabetes and weak sphincter may cause house soiling. 

Consider taking him to the vet for a checkup if you suspect your dog is ill. 


Improper housetraining method

You will need to determine the best training method that will work for you. There are three main methods of housetraining a dog. They include crate training, confinement, and paper training.

For a rescue dog, I would recommend that you use crate or confinement methods. This way you can be able to set a flexible schedule for both of you. Also, it is going to minimize the chances of house soiling. 


Housetraining a rescue dog to stop pooping in the house



Once you determine the reason why your rescue dog is pooping in the house, it is time to correct that. The following steps will guide you to completely housetrain your dog:


Visit your vet

If you observe any signs and symptoms of an illness, you should rush to your vet. Your vet will be able to run some tests and determine whether he is ill. 

Observe for signs such as voiding of his bowl unaware and the inability to hold it. 


Establish a Schedule

Once you bring your dog home, establish a schedule immediately. The schedule should include feeding and potty time. At first, you might have to use a crate to ensure that your rescue dog does not poop in the house

Make the crate, of the confinement room his safe space. It should be big enough for him to stand and turn. At the same time, the crate should not be too big. When a dog has more room than he needs, he might turn one corner of the crate into a potty place.

Always take him to the potty place every morning upon waking up. Also, dogs will have the urge to poop 20-30 minutes after each meal. Take him outside to potty right before bedtime to ensure that he does not poop in the house at night.

Now, most dog owners do not struggle with establishing a schedule. However, remaining consistent with the same schedule might be challenging. Note that when you adopt a rescue dog, you might need a few days off to take care of him.

The upside of this is that dogs adjust to schedules quite fast in the right environment.


Manage his environment

As we discussed in the earlier section of this article, the change of environment is a possible cause of anxiety. You, therefore, have to manage the environment before you bring him home. For successful potty training, you need to confine him at all times. Only take him out for two things, potty breaks, and exercise/playtime.

Ensure that his confinement is clean and also offer clean water and a few treats throughout the day. Do not allow him to poop in the crate or anywhere else other than the potty area.


Supervise your dog

A new rescue dog will need constant supervision, especially when you let him out of his crate. When you allow him to roam around the house freely, he might find a corner and poop. Well, you will also need to look out for the signs when your dog wants to eliminate it.

If you want him out of his confinement, consider putting him on a leash. When moving around the house, tug the leash on your waist so that he is always with you.

house training a new puppy may require you to take a couple of days off. This way you can be able to set up your house and get your dog on the schedule already. Some dog owners will also use a bell on the collar so that they can always tell where their dog is.


Pick a regular potty area

When you pick a potty area for your dog, you must remain consistent. For instance, if his potty area is in the backyard, choose, and stick to one spot. On the other hand, if you live in the high rise apartments, you can choose a potty area near your bathroom. You might need to use paper pads for training in this case.

You will also need to be consistent. Do not let him choose a place to potty otherwise your training is going to be unsuccessful. Use the same route while going to the potty area so that your dog can associate it with the activity.


Clean up accidents

During potty training, accidents are going to take place. This can be quite disappointing especially when he soils your sofa or bed. However, you should clean after him right away. Ensure that you get rid of the smell as well as the stains of the dog poop.

Remain consistent with your established schedule as well as potty training.


Reward good behavior

Dogs associate their behavior with a positive outcome. Therefore, rewarding your dog when he eliminates successfully is a great way to encourage your dog. Note that a rescue dog pooping in the house may not know he is doing the wrong thing.

Whenever you take him out to his potty place, stay with him until he is done. Praise him or offer him his favorite treat for doing a good job.


Do not punish your dog

You should never hit, or make a dog smell his poop for having accidents in the house. Like I said earlier, your dog has been exposed to different environments. Understand that he is not doing so to hack you off, rather he doesn’t know that it is wrong.

Furthermore, punishing your dog is only going to make him fear you. I mean, he might not poop when you are there but he might go to the infrequently used rooms instead. This will lead to incomplete potty training.


Make potty training easy

As we have discussed above, house training presents a few hitches. You need to make it clear for your dog that going outside means potty time. By reinforcing the training you are associating potty breaks with a positive outcome, and your dog will love it.

At the same time, your dog needs to understand what you expect from him. It is more of giving and take on this one. When you take your dog out to poop, do not engage in any form of play. Always take him back inside immediately he is done. This will confuse him as he may not know the difference between playtime and potty breaks.


Watch out for suggestive body language

In addition to supervising your dog every time, watch out for signs that he is about to poop. Your dog might start circling, especially if he is in the crate. He might also go to the door and start scratching.

If you watch your dog closely, he will stop whatever he is doing abruptly, even if he was playing.




In conclusion, if you are adopting a rescue dog, be sure to take some time off work. You might need to stay with him constantly as he adjusts. If you have already started potty training your rescue dog, you are on the right path. However, if he does not seem to improve, you might need to visit your vet.

If your rescue dog is pooping in the house, do not give up. The above-discussed tips should guide you. However, ensure that he is on a schedule. Feed him at the same time every day. This way, you are always going to be able to predict the time he is likely to eliminate.

You should keep your dog in confinement for the period that you are going to be house training him. This way, you minimize his freedom to move around the house. He will not sneak into another hidden room to poop or urinate when you are not looking. It will take some time and thus you need to be patient with him.

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