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Hello,

We have a female blue heeler mix dog of about 2 years that we got from the shelter a month ago. We just settled into our new apartment four days ago. Before that the dog was being kept at our parents' houses; moving back and forth. She was already potty-trained. She rarely went to the bathroom inside at either of our parents houses. There was always someone home at our parents houses, whether it was one of us or family.

Now that she is here living with us, we take her out to potty and she does fine peeing. She has never peed inside. But, she has only pooped maybe twice outside. She seems to hold it until we leave the house. Almost every time we leave the house for more than 30 minutes, there is a turd waiting for us at home. She knows it is wrong. The instant we get in and see it, she drops to the ground and puts her ears down. We punish her everytime and ignore her for a while. We try to reward her for peeing outside with treats and such, but we have yet to have the opportunity to reward her for pooping outside. We think she is punishing us for leaving her home alone. How do we fix it?
 

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Dogs don't understand that being potty trained in one house means that they can't go in ANY house. You kind of have to potty train her again (it will go a lot faster and easier). She doesn't know what she's doing is wrong.

She drops to the ground and puts her ears down because you punish her every time and ignore her. She knows something is wrong, but she doesn't know what. She is not punishing you for leaving. She just needs training.

You can fix it by re-potty training her. Without punishment.
 

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Hello,

We have a female blue heeler mix dog of about 2 years that we got from the shelter a month ago. We just settled into our new apartment four days ago. Before that the dog was being kept at our parents' houses; moving back and forth. She was already potty-trained. She rarely went to the bathroom inside at either of our parents houses. There was always someone home at our parents houses, whether it was one of us or family.

Now that she is here living with us, we take her out to potty and she does fine peeing. She has never peed inside. But, she has only pooped maybe twice outside. She seems to hold it until we leave the house. Almost every time we leave the house for more than 30 minutes, there is a turd waiting for us at home. She knows it is wrong. The instant we get in and see it, she drops to the ground and puts her ears down. We punish her everytime and ignore her for a while. We try to reward her for peeing outside with treats and such, but we have yet to have the opportunity to reward her for pooping outside. We think she is punishing us for leaving her home alone. How do we fix it?
Dogs do not punish people for things like that, they just don't have capacity to think that way as much as it seems like they do sometimes.

She also will not connect your punishment to the act of her pooping in the house, unless you catch her in the act.

Personally I would put her poop in the yard in an area, and take the time to take her out and show her and wait her out until she goes, exercise can help speed it up as well if she's holding it. I would spend hours to make this happen if that's what it takes.

As well I always repeat a command when they go too, every time, preferably when they are just about to go (circling and sniffing etc.) and then praise when they do. It will eventually get them to go on command which is quite convenient at times.

Crating would probably help if you want to go that route. Dogs won't usually poop in a very confined space unless they have to or have been conditioned to by long confinements, and take her straight outside after and wait her out.

Or if you want to try being sneaky you can fake her into thinking your gone, and catch her in the act, interrupt her and take her out then. I've used that tactic for a few behaviors dogs only did when they were left alone.
 

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The instant we get in and see it, she drops to the ground and puts her ears down. We punish her everytime and ignore her for a while.
A new dog, who doesn't know what you want, will act submissively when expecting punishment. This does not mean the dog understands pooing in the house is wrong. Unless you catch your dog in the act, your dog has no way of knowing what behavior you are punishing her for. So stop punishing her.

How do we fix it?
You absolutely need to find a schedule and opportunities to reward her for eliminating outside. If that means taking her for long walks until she does poo, take her for long walks. If that means regulating her feeding schedule, regulate her feeding schedule. If that means keeping a journal of when she poos, keep a journal and take her out at those times. House training a dog is not always easy, nor is what you need to do always obvious. Before blaming the dog hire the services of a certified professional to assist you in devising a plan.
 

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A dog that has been punished 20 times when you come home is going to act submissively, because by this time, she is expecting the punishment. The dropping to the ground/putting ears back/groveling/looking guilty are all doggy appeasement gestures and your dog's way of trying to calm you down so she won't get yelled at/spanked/etc.

Also, many dogs are even more sensitive to you, and can sense when you come home and are "looking for trouble." They will immediately start groveling because they sense that something is wrong, but do not know what it is.

If your dog poops and then you come home an hour later and punish the dog as you come in the door, the dog is going to associate the punishment with you coming home, not pooping an hour ago, and you don't want that.
 

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A couple of things:
This dog is a new rescue still, has been in two to three homes and since being with you has not been alone.
So, you move to a new place, AGAIN, leave her alone and expect her to not be a bit freaked by it all? Way to empathize. This is not punishment, it's anxiety.
Have you thought about the fact that the reason she won't poop outside with you there is because she has learned that POOP plus YOU =punishment? It's possible. Many dogs that are punished for housebreaking accidents learn to poo and or pee in hiding..they don't "get" that its because it's inside or outside, just that doing either in front of the owners is dangerous.
Your dog is upset, confused and not fully housebroken. This is not the dogs fault. Her history of training was probably not so great before she came to you.

Work out a food schedule to help figure out the poo sched. Exercise her before you leave in the morning, and if you find a poop when you get back just clean it up. No punishment, yelling or disappointment. Take away the fear of you coming home and the work on taking her out diligently until you get that magic poo finally happening and then reward her BIG TIME. This will take time and patience.

Give her the benefit of the doubt here. Dogs are NOT malicious.
 

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Give her the benefit of the doubt here. Dogs are NOT malicious.
lol... :)

thank you everyone. This gave me a new point of view on the topic. I understand now. Actually she just pooped outside right now; looks like things are getting better already. :)

The thing that made me wonder was the fact that when she was pooping outside on schedule (about noon) at prior home, she only pooped once. She still doesn't eat very much and she is pooping, sometimes, three times a day in our apartment. kind of wierd.

Well I will figure out this whole schedule thing and will stop punishing her for acts she has already done while I was gone. Thanks again for the help.
 
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