Why Won’t My Dog Poop Outside?

German Shepherd dog sitting on the lawn feeling sorry for not being able to poop outside

Your dog won’t poop outside, because they don’t like the feel of grass, the cold, rain, the dark, they are not at ease outside, or they’ve been inadvertently trained to use their bowels inside.

While having your dog consistently poop in your house can be extremely frustrating, it’s usually a fairly easy behavior to diagnose and correct.

In this article, we will look at all reasons why your dog may be pooping in the house, as well as some common solutions to these reasons.

At What Age Should My Dog be Pooping Outside?

It’s important to note that any dog under the age of 12 weeks is likely to have an accident or two in the house. It’s unrealistic to expect your dog to be fully house trained before they reach 12 weeks.

How to Tell If My Dog Has Inadvertently Been Trained to Poop Inside?

During your dog’s early years, it’s possible to train your dog to poop inside accidentally. You can tell if this is the cause of your dog pooping inside if you notice that they don’t seem to be overexcited by or dislike any specific weather patterns or any other triggers.

For example, if your dog only poops inside when it’s raining or when it sees other dogs outside those are probably the triggers keeping your dog from pooping outside.

How Did My Dog Accidentally Get Trained to Poop Inside?

It’s not often easy to tell exactly how your dog learned that it should poop inside instead of outside, but some common reasons include:

  • If you always take your dog inside right after it poops, it may associate pooping with the end of playtime. 
  • You didn’t clean up prior accidents with an enzymatic cleaner
  • You used pee pads during house training

How to Tell If My Dog Isn’t Pooping Outside Because of the Weather?

Just like people, some dogs don’t like to go outside when the weather is bad. If you notice that your dog tends to always poop inside when it’s raining or snowing, but not on nice days it probably just doesn’t like to get cold or wet.

How to Tell If Your Dog Isn’t Pooping Outside Because of Overstimulation?

Dogs spend most of their lives confined in the four walls of your home. While you may find it unexciting, a trip outside introduces new stimuli to the dog every time they go outside. 

If your dog seems really excited and gets distracted by every sound it may be too distracting to poop. When it gets back inside, it feels comfortable and relaxed, and ready to poop.

How Do I train My dog to go Poop Outside?

Once you’ve determined why your dog is pooping in the house, it’s time to correct the behavior. How you train your dog will depend on the reason your dog is pooping inside.

You may need to train them to poop outside, help make them feel more comfortable, or simply take them out more often.

How Does Learning My Dog’s Schedule Help Them Poop Outside?

Dogs are creatures of habit. Once they get on a schedule they usually stick to it, unless something gets in the way of them keeping to said schedule.

It’s important to learn when your dog poops. Most commonly dogs poop:

  • Within 30 minutes of eating
  • After rigorous exercise
  • After a long nap

If you learn your dog’s schedule you can anticipate when they need to poop and take them out then. Note that if you feed them something new or in abundance on a given day, their schedule may change.

What are the Tell-Tale Signs of a Dog About to Poop?

Another way to prevent your dog from pooping inside is looking out for the tell-tale signs that they are about to poop. While these are different for every dog, some common indicators include:

  • Pacing around the room
  • Doing a few circles
  • Furiously sniffing the ground

If you see their tell-tale sign while they are inside, make sure to take them out immediately.

How Do I Train My Dog to Poop Outside on a Leash?

One of the best ways to teach dogs to poop outside is to encourage them to poop while on a leash. This is a good strategy even if you do have a fenced-in yard.

You can train them to poop on a leash outside by taking them to a specific spot and repeating a pre-determined command to go to the bathroom. If they do go poop, make a point to give them extra praise, you can even give them a treat.

It’s essential not to take them straight inside after they poop. If you’re in an area where it’s appropriate let them run off-leash after pooping.

How Will Crate Training Teach My Dog to Poop Outside?

Crate training is another great way to train your dog to poop outside. Some dogs, especially puppies, will poop in the house while you are away.

Crating your dog gives it a space that is safe and comfortable while you are away. Dogs will be reluctant to poop in a small area.

It’s essential to take your dog out immediately after letting it out of the crate. That way, you allow the dog to relieve itself and reward it for not going poop in the house.

How Does Taking Your Dog Out Often Teach Them to Poop Outside?

The more your dog goes out, the more likely it is to poop outside and never even develop a habit of pooping inside at all. 

Although it may seem like overkill, when you first get your dog, you should take them out at least once an hour during the day. You can slowly decrease the number of walks and increase the time between walks as they learn to go outside.

How Do I Teach My Dog to be Comfortable Outside?

If your dog isn’t pooping outside because it’s overstimulated or afraid, you need to train it that it’s okay to be outside. 

Here are a few tips to help increase their comfort level outside:

  • Feed them outside
  • Give them treats outside
  • Walk them on a leash in a controlled environment (i.e. fenced in backyard)
  • Play with them or train them outside

How I Get My Dog to Poop in the Rain or the Cold?

If your dog won’t poop in the rain or when it’s cold outside you might need to look into getting some dog clothes. Sweaters, rain jackets, and boots can help your dog feel more comfortable in bad weather.

If that doesn’t work, teach them that it’s fun to be outside in bad weather. Praise them for being outside in the rain and give them treats when they do their business in bad weather. 

Should I Yell at My Dog When They Poop Inside?

Accidents are going to happen. It’s important to never yell at your dog for pooping in the house. This causes anxiety and will only result in further issues. 

You also should never rub your dog’s face in their own feces. It’s gross, and it teaches them absolutely nothing. 

What Should I Do If I See My Dog Pooping in the House?

If you catch your dog about to poop in the house, you should pick them up and carry them outside. It’s difficult for a dog to poop while you are holding them, and it will teach them that the right place to poop is outside.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to make it to your dog before they poop, then try making a loud whistle or shriek to distract them. This should only serve as a distraction, not a form of punishment.

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