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I have a 4 month old Rottweiler puppy, and she’s outside quite often as she’s very energetic and loves to run around and play. The problem I’m having though is that even though she is outside for hours, as soon as I let her inside, about 5 minutes after she will poop inside. I understand with her weeing because she can’t help that, but it’s like she holds it in and does it inside on purpose. I try to punish her, like tell her off, put her in time out. But nothing is working! We recently went to my in-laws’ place and while we were there, she was confined to a house most of the time as we were moving furniture from their old place to their new place, and she didn’t have any poop accidents at all. She held her poop in all day and then when we got back we let her out and she went potty outside, but as soon as we come home she went back to holding it in, so she can poop inside here.

I’m so confused as I’ve been told she could be thinking it’s okay for her because she watches my cats go in their litter tray and she always goes near their tray usually, but I clean my cats tray regularly, and scoop their poop daily and my in-laws had cats aswell, yet she didn’t do it there. I just don’t know what else to try; please help and advice is greatly appreciated!

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Yes, your dog learned that inside your home is the correct place to go potty. The reason why she assumes that is irrelevant. You must tell her in a language she can understand that she is not correct.

Since her behavior is very predictable, you need to keep watching her constantly from the moment she enters your house to the moment she squats down to poo. Immediately tell her "NO!", grab her by the collar and lead her out the nearest door. Once there you praise her with your voice. Turn your body away from her to give her an opportunity to poo without being stared at, then praise her again if she does her buisnes.

If she refuses to poo for a few minutes, go back inside and repeat the same process again. Don't let her out of sight for even a second and pull her outside as soon as she squats down.

It's important that you intervene as early as possible. Once the buisnes is done, it's too late to punish her. She may understand that she is sent into timeout because there is poop lying around, but she cannot connect the fact that there is poop lying around with her past action of pooping. You must catch her as soon as she squats down.

Some things that might help you:

  • Keep a collar on her to be able to lead her out. You could even leave a short leash dangling frim the collar to intervene quicker.
  • Instead of telling her what she did wrong, you must tell her what you want her to do. Sending her into timeout won't teach her where she is supposed to poo. You must show her by leading her to the right place.
  • Be very clear in your tone of voice. When she squats down, tell her "no" in a very stern voice. As soon as she moves towards the door to go outside, praise her in a very happy voice. If that means playacting and changing voices in a second, so be it. This makes it easier for your dog to understand what you want.
  • Do not cause her any pain. Don't pull her hair, use a collar instead. Don't yank the collar, gently pull her outside.

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