Puppy poops when hes mad at me
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    Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Hey guys

    I am in the process of potty training my pup and it's going well, except for the fact that he poops when hes mad at me.

    While driving, he always jumps on my lap so I built a thing to go between the seats so he can stay in the back. Now if I put him back there, he'll poop in the car. He ONLY does this when I put the gaurds up... even if he has pooped only a couple minutes before.

    Also, if he doesn't want to be in the crate but I put him in anyway, he'll poop in it then freak out because he doesn't want to be by it. Any other time, he won't poop in the crate. I can't just ignore it either because it is the WORSE smelling poop that stinks up the whole house.

    I know it's not an "accident" as it ONLY happens when I do something that he doesn't like. How can I teach him that this is NOT acceptable behavior??
    Last edited by funkypup; 05-12-2010 at 06:57 PM.

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    Senior Member RBark's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    It is, indeed, not an accident.

    You are however, misinterpreting his behavior.

    Dogs will submissively urinate or defecate. He is pooping because of stress, not anger. Instead of searching for a way to punish him for showing stress the way dogs do, perhaps you can teach him to be more comfortable in that situation so that he is not stressed enough to defecate.

    That means taking small steps and teaching him that these confined areas are happy, fun places to be. Grab a bag of the yummiest treats you have, and slowly introduce him to the confined areas. Give him rewards constantly, give praise exaggeratedly, and show him it's a happy place.

    If he starts getting anxious and refusing treats, then take a step back. There's no rush, you have his entire life to habituate him to the area. Take weeks if you have to, but every time he's in a position to get stressed, you take two steps backwards. So it's best to avoid that.

    01-09-2010 12:18 AM OMG! Brilliant post! You are like...a total genius *swoon* <3 <3 <3
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    Syl Stormblessed - Dec '13

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    Senior Member infiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by funkypup View Post
    Hey guys

    I am in the process of potty training my pup and it's going well, except for the fact that he poops when hes mad at me.

    While driving, he always jumps on my lap so I built a thing to go between the seats so he can stay in the back. Now if I put him back there, he'll poop in the car. He ONLY does this when I put the gaurds up... even if he has pooped only a couple minutes before.

    Also, if he doesn't want to be in the crate but I put him in anyway, he'll poop in it then freak out because he doesn't want to be by it. Any other time, he won't poop in the crate. I can't just ignore it either because it is the WORSE smelling poop that stinks up the whole house.

    I know it's not an "accident" as it ONLY happens when I do something that he doesn't like. How can I teach him that this is NOT acceptable behavior??
    Have fun with this one ... you won't find many people in here who are supportive of the "spiteful pooper" theory. My dog ONLY poops in the house when she's upset with me, too, but no one believes me. My dog, however, is 2.5 years old, definitely knows better, and we "discuss" the situation afterward, which will usually put a stop to it for awhile, until I REALLY irritate her again (she's very passive-aggressive!). So ... I try not to irritate her too much. LOL

    Anyway ... with regard to the smelly poop ... what do you feed your pup? I really recommend a high quality dog food. They are more expensive, but the benefits really offset the cost, IMO, and I think you will notice that the poops will have a less offensive odor. I currently feed Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul (it comes in puppy formula too), but am about to switch to Taste of the Wild. My dog's poop has no odor to speak of.


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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    He's doing it because he's an upset puppy who has little or no control of his bowels. When dogs are stressed (and people too...) their bladder and bowels are stimulated. It's STRESS not "getting back at dad", so give up the idea that he's doing it on purpose. He's not.

    Your pup should be crated in the car or in a harness for safety. He may be getting upset not being near you because he finds the car scary or nausea inducing. Conditioning him to a crate properly, ie teaching him going in the crate is a GOOD THING by training him to go in on cue and rewarding him with a treat and a kong stuffed with food will help towards accomplishing this.
    When going in the car, start with short trips AFTER you know he has had a bowel movement and give him something to chew/suck on as well. If he is getting stressed/nauseous you can talk to your vet about anti motion sickness meds and dosages.
    I have to ask about the crate at home thing. If he's only pooping in the crate when you've had to FORCE him in, what time is that? Before you go out? At nighttime? Did you condition him to the crate? Has he been out and eliminated before you put him in?
    Does he crate up overnight no problem? How old is the pup and do you have him on a feeding schedule?
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Senior Member Cracker's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniti View Post
    Have fun with this one ... you won't find many people in here who are supportive of the "spiteful pooper" theory. My dog ONLY poops in the house when she's upset with me, too, but no one believes me. My dog, however, is 2.5 years old, definitely knows better, and we "discuss" the situation afterward, which will usually put a stop to it for awhile, until I REALLY irritate her again (she's very passive-aggressive!). So ... I try not to irritate her too much. LOL
    Yep, having fun with it.

    Why is she upset with you? It is STRESS that causes these behaviours in a housebroken dog. Passive aggressive bullpucky.
    Maggi and Cracker, Dog about Rosedale


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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Thanks for the replies. He is 3 months old and eats on a regular schedule. I do make sure he poops before getting in the car, but will still go if I confine him to the back seat. He is OK with the crate at night, but if I have to do it in the daytime so I can get things done without a second shadow, he will do it.

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    Yep, having fun with it.

    Why is she upset with you? It is STRESS that causes these behaviours in a housebroken dog. Passive aggressive bullpucky.
    The last time she did it was about three weeks ago, I think.

    She has a sense of routine, of course, and as a matter of our routine, she knows that during the week I go to work and she can't go and doesn't "ask". She knows when I am home from work in the evenings, and when I leave for whatever reason, she will always "ask" to go. She has a sense of weekends as well, and knows that is "our time" and knows that I don't go to work at all and that is our running around time.

    That particular Saturday, we didn't do any running around. She didn't get to go to Petsmart or for any car rides as per usual; we just stuck around the house. We went for a couple of walks, played tug and fetch in the yard, played toss the fuzzy bone in the house, but no errands. My daughter took her on a quick run that night to a drive-thru for takeout dinner.

    When my other daughter came home later that night, she came into my room and asked me what I did to piss off Bella. This was late, and Bella and I were cuddled up, settled in for the night. I asked what she was talking about, and she said Bella had pooped in the living room.

    You know, while I respect all the collective knowledge and experience of tried and true dog owners, trainers and experts here on the forums, I have to say that not everything is truly understood about human psychology, so I seriously doubt that everything is truly understood about animal psychology.

    And while I am by no means an expert, and have never once professed to be (I consider myself a professional student in the subject of life in general!), I have to say that I have an extremely well-adjusted dog that absolutely amazes just about everyone we meet with her wonderful temperament, her excellent behavior, her gentleness without being submissive, her sweetness, her confidence without being dominant. She is just an all-around well-rounded dog. I have never once gotten angry, frustrated, or irritated with her. I honestly couldn't ask for a better dog.

    Her bad habits are limited to:

    Pulling on the leash when excited by other dogs in the area
    Rarely getting into the kitchen trash
    Pooping in the house when she's irritated with me (3 times in a year)
    Sometimes having to be told a second or third time to sit, down or stay

    I can live comfortably and easily with those.


    "No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich." -Louis Sabin







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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Which only really proves our point. You strayed from routine, and many dogs with a rigid routine get stressed when it's not adhered to. They don't always defecate when done so, because every dog is an individual. Yours does, no big deal. Kobe whines like a baby when his routine is changed. Nobody's saying it's a bad dog or that you're a terrible owner. You can say it's because she's mad at you, whatever floats your boat. It doesn't change the fact that she's stressed from the routine change, and defecated as a result.

    01-09-2010 12:18 AM OMG! Brilliant post! You are like...a total genius *swoon* <3 <3 <3
    Kobe the Fluffy Tail - Mar '05
    Syl Stormblessed - Dec '13

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by infiniti View Post
    You know, while I respect all the collective knowledge and experience of tried and true dog owners, trainers and experts here on the forums, I have to say that not everything is truly understood about human psychology, so I seriously doubt that everything is truly understood about animal psychology.
    And of course, that means dogs have a concept of spite, revenge, and "getting even", right?

    "I didn't go to Petsmart this Saturday, so I'm going to poop in your living room to get back at you."

    You're right, I have a hard time believing a dog is capable of that kind of thought process.

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    Senior Member infiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by RBark View Post
    Which only really proves our point. You strayed from routine, and many dogs with a rigid routine get stressed when it's not adhered to. They don't always defecate when done so, because every dog is an individual. Yours does, no big deal. Kobe whines like a baby when his routine is changed. Nobody's saying it's a bad dog or that you're a terrible owner. You can say it's because she's mad at you, whatever floats your boat. It doesn't change the fact that she's stressed from the routine change, and defecated as a result.
    I won't totally disagree with this, and perhaps that's all it was. However, our routine isn't all *that* rigid. Remember, I said she's only done this maybe 3 times in the year I've had her. We don't go out EVERY weekend, although we have been doing it more often here lately that the weather has gotten warmer, so maybe she's gotten more accustomed to it. And the incident occurred after she'd gotten the car ride with my older daughter. If it was stress, it was short-lived, because there were no other signs of stress, and she happily sat with us while we ate, then cuddled with me at bedtime.

    And she doesn't get mad at me; I said "irritated", but that was for lack of a better word to describe my interpretation. I've never seen anger in this dog. The only emotions I have seen in this dog are sadness (pouty), excitement, exuberance, happiness, and grumpy, but never anger.

    I will not discount your explanation, RBark; however, I will steadfastly stand by my argument that no one can possibly know 100% about what goes on in anyone's mind, not even a dog's. But I do, indeed, like and respect your explanation.

    And you're right, it's no big deal to me. I try not to upset her too much, try not to stray from routines, try to make her life happy and fulfilling, and her great qualities far outweigh her few bad habits. I think she's absolutely perfect for me in every way!

    To the original poster ... sorry to hijack your thread. It is really very important that you make your puppy's experiences as positive as you possibly can. Make sure that the car rides are as positive as possible. Rather than putting a barricade between the front and backseats, may I recommend a seatbelt harness instead? This will keep him in the backseat, and also ensure his safety in the event of a crash. It will also limit his movement so that pottying is difficult. You can train use of this in a positive manner with lots of yummy treats and praise, starting with rides of very short duration and working your way up. Always be sure he potties before going in the car, though.

    Also, begin working the crate in a more positive manner as well so that he doesn't see this as an isolation from you or as a punishment, but as a positive place and as his own special place.


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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by funkypup View Post
    Hey guys

    I am in the process of potty training my pup and it's going well, except for the fact that he poops when hes mad at me.

    While driving, he always jumps on my lap so I built a thing to go between the seats so he can stay in the back. Now if I put him back there, he'll poop in the car. He ONLY does this when I put the gaurds up... even if he has pooped only a couple minutes before.
    Condition him to love the car. Start with getting him a car harness that fits well; I have a basic "Easy Rider" brand from the pet store ($15) and they come in sizes small enough to fit a friend's 5 lbs toy poodle up to Great Dane size. Never attach a seat belt or any restraint to his collar, this is dangerous. The harness disburses the impact of a sudden stop or accident across the whole chest rather than just the neck.

    Then, put on his harness and give him a treat. Walk him around a bit in the yard or house with it on and give him a treat. Let him sit there a bit wearing it and so long as he is calm and not trying to chew on it etc, give him a few treats. Then put him in the backseat of the car (I recommend passenger side so you can see him while driving) and buckle him in (follow harness instructions). Have the window rolled down and sit in the back seat with him. Give him a treat. Sit quietly a bit. Then get out of the car and go for a walk or play a game (whatever he likes).

    After a day or two of this, go for a short drive. Have the window partially down in case its carsickness (the fresh air usually helps). If possible, have a helper sit in the backseat with him and give a few tiny treats (like pieces of dry dog food). Have the drive end someplace really great to him like the park or a friend's house.

    After a few "conditioning" drives, chances are that you'll have a dog that starts bouncing around out of happiness when he sees the car harness.

    Make sure that at least the first dozen drives are short (under 30 minutes or so) and go someplace FUN.

    If you think he is getting carsick in the car, talk to your vet and also check with the vet about giving him a little bit of ginger snaps before rides.

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    Senior Member Robrowe's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Dogs are not capable of spiteful thought processes.
    Stress induced is not an isolated incident. Pooch needs to be desensitized to the environments. Early socialization and exposure stops this before it starts. Pooch should never just be wandering around the car, they should be crated or restrained with a harness in the back, never the front.

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    My dog also poops in the house when she is "mad" at me. I have owned many dogs, and I have never had this experience before. I disagree with those who say it's related to stress. My dog was adopted, and there was evidence of significant abuse and neglect prior to her adoption. She was a submissive peer, and by some miracle has overcome that. (My experience previously was once a submissive peer, always a submissive peer.) Given her ability to overcome submissive peeing adds to my belief that she poops out of anger. Two examples:

    1) Today, I let her ride in the car with me to take my children to school (about 1.5 hours round trip). She loves to ride in the car. When we got home, she was outside for the next 4 hours. I left to pick up my kids again, but this time did not take her. She shifted her eyes, but wouldn't turn her face to me when I left and told her she had to stay and "pass auf" (pay attention). My older son came home within 2 hours, and she had made on the carpet.

    2) Once, we were away for 2 weeks -- I know-- a long time, but we left her with our older dog, and our cat. According to the dogsitter, who came 4 times a day, she pooped in the house almost every day.

    I can see how you could debate that the second situation could be due to stress, but no way today's. There are other similar situations over the past 3.5 years. (We adopted her when she was 1, and she will be approx 5 in Oct.)

    Is there anyone else out there who has a similar situation and has been able to "fix it?" As I said, this is the first dog I've owned that has behaved like this, and I have had about enough of cleaning my oriental rugs.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

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    Senior Member Duckie1009's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    my dog is however narcissistic at times and self-conscious of his hair when we go out can you imagine if dogs had problems like we do? vets would be rich.
    Duckie - Boy - Golden Mix - Born Oct 2009
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    Senior Member infiniti's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by katiebugblue View Post
    My dog also poops in the house when she is "mad" at me. I have owned many dogs, and I have never had this experience before. I disagree with those who say it's related to stress. My dog was adopted, and there was evidence of significant abuse and neglect prior to her adoption. She was a submissive peer, and by some miracle has overcome that. (My experience previously was once a submissive peer, always a submissive peer.) Given her ability to overcome submissive peeing adds to my belief that she poops out of anger. Two examples:

    1) Today, I let her ride in the car with me to take my children to school (about 1.5 hours round trip). She loves to ride in the car. When we got home, she was outside for the next 4 hours. I left to pick up my kids again, but this time did not take her. She shifted her eyes, but wouldn't turn her face to me when I left and told her she had to stay and "pass auf" (pay attention). My older son came home within 2 hours, and she had made on the carpet.

    2) Once, we were away for 2 weeks -- I know-- a long time, but we left her with our older dog, and our cat. According to the dogsitter, who came 4 times a day, she pooped in the house almost every day.

    I can see how you could debate that the second situation could be due to stress, but no way today's. There are other similar situations over the past 3.5 years. (We adopted her when she was 1, and she will be approx 5 in Oct.)

    Is there anyone else out there who has a similar situation and has been able to "fix it?" As I said, this is the first dog I've owned that has behaved like this, and I have had about enough of cleaning my oriental rugs.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
    I honestly do believe that situation #2 was undoubtedly due to stress. Your dog was stressed at a major change in routine (family was gone from the home; no one home at night; visitor coming in only 4 times per day to assist). That would be a MAJOR stressor, especially if she was fairly new to your home at that time.

    As for the other situation today ... call it spite, stress, irritation ... it's semantics. The dog wanted to go. The dog didn't get to go. The dog pooped out of some sort of frustration, no matter what emotion induced the frustration.

    My suggestion? Don't stress, irritate, frustrate, or piss off your dog. That's what I try not to do. That's the best I've got.

    Quote Originally Posted by Duckie1009 View Post
    my dog is however narcissistic at times and self-conscious of his hair when we go out can you imagine if dogs had problems like we do? vets would be rich.
    Visit Hollywood ... some people think their dogs DO have the same kinds of problems we do, but it's not vets getting rich off of it, it's animal psychologists.

    My dog is actually OCD about poop, ironically. If there's poop in the yard when we are playing fetch and her ball lands near it, she will no longer play fetch. Even if I pick up ALL the poop in the yard, she refuses to resume the game until the next day. She also squats AND lifts a leg when she pees, then quickly hops away! lol
    Last edited by infiniti; 05-25-2010 at 10:19 PM.


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    Super Moderator RonE's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    I'd highly recommend Patricia McConnell's For the Love of a Dog. Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend.

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    my Dad is picking me up this morning for a small outpatient surgical procedure I have to have done today. If he says anything to irritate me, I swear I'll take a poop in the back seat.

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGruber View Post
    my Dad is picking me up this morning for a small outpatient surgical procedure I have to have done today. If he says anything to irritate me, I swear I'll take a poop in the back seat.
    From a human, that would be a meaningful display of displeasure.

    But dogs don't think poop is disgusting. It's perfectly natural. How many topics on dogforums have titles like, "HELP! My dog eats his own poop!" and few dogs can resist a roll in a nice cowpie or some fresh skunk poop.

    The range of opinions about emotional responses from dogs is extreme: from "dogs experience no emotions at all" to "my dog spends his waking hours contemplating the meaning of life and anticipating his reward in the next one."

    We get ourselves, and our dogs, in trouble when we assume that a dog is responding exactly the way we would to a particular situation.

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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by RonE View Post
    From a human, that would be a meaningful display of displeasure.

    But dogs don't think poop is disgusting. It's perfectly natural. How many topics on dogforums have titles like, "HELP! My dog eats his own poop!" and few dogs can resist a roll in a nice cowpie or some fresh skunk poop.

    The range of opinions about emotional responses from dogs is extreme: from "dogs experience no emotions at all" to "my dog spends his waking hours contemplating the meaning of life and anticipating his reward in the next one."

    We get ourselves, and our dogs, in trouble when we assume that a dog is responding exactly the way we would to a particular situation.


    absolutely. People are people, and dogs are dogs. There is really no reason to assign humanistic behavioral traits to a certain behavior, because it just isn't the case.

    I still think it'd be funny to poop in my dads car though.

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    Senior Member TxRider's Avatar
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    Re: Puppy poops when hes mad at me

    Quote Originally Posted by funkypup View Post
    Hey guys

    I am in the process of potty training my pup and it's going well, except for the fact that he poops when hes mad at me.

    While driving, he always jumps on my lap so I built a thing to go between the seats so he can stay in the back. Now if I put him back there, he'll poop in the car. He ONLY does this when I put the gaurds up... even if he has pooped only a couple minutes before.

    Also, if he doesn't want to be in the crate but I put him in anyway, he'll poop in it then freak out because he doesn't want to be by it. Any other time, he won't poop in the crate. I can't just ignore it either because it is the WORSE smelling poop that stinks up the whole house.

    I know it's not an "accident" as it ONLY happens when I do something that he doesn't like. How can I teach him that this is NOT acceptable behavior??
    I am wondering if you have not inadvertently taught the dog that whenever it is separated from you behind a barrier that pooping is the best way to get your attention and get back to you and not have the barrier between you?

    "aack I can't get to master, barrier I can't get through! but if I poop master will come to me and I get attention!"

    It could start as stress reaction, and then become a trained behavior as pooping when behind a barrier earns a reward of being with master and getting attention.
    Last edited by TxRider; 05-27-2010 at 07:27 PM.
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