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There is something about the basement of our home that makes dogs want to do their business down there and we don’t understand what it is. Even before we got our 2 rescue dogs, we had some relatives visit with their dog and the first thing it did was run downstairs to the basement (it’s fully finished) and relieve itself on the floor. She urinated and pooped within minutes of each other. My relatives apologized up and down because their dog is fully housebroken and they claim she has never had an accident in the house. We knew that the previous owners of the house had dogs, so we are not sure if that is the issue. Then a couple of weeks after we got our first rescue dog and she was no longer afraid of going downstairs she started pooping down there. We didn’t understand it at all as she would often be outside just before she would head down there and poop - almost like she preferred pooping down there to going outside. It became a daily thing. We would have to watch her carefully and put her out if she was headed for the stairs to go down. We tried shampooing the carpets several times thinking that maybe there is a smell that is attracting her to poop down there. That didn’t work. We were finally able to break her of the habit for several months over this summer, but she recently and more randomly started again but it is not near as frequent. We got another rescue dog this last week and the same thing, as soon as she was no longer scared to go downstairs she went down and peed and pooped down there. Both our rescues came to us housebroken and have not had any other accidents in the house. Has anyone ever heard of this or had something similar happen to them?? We are getting a gate so that they cant go down there on their own, but would like to be able to put them in them downstairs when guests come over and when we need them out of the way, but would like them not to pee and poop all over the place if we do. Is there something we can treat the carpets with?? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Did you use enzyme cleaners to get rid of the smell? Regular cleaners don't get rid of the smell for dogs. You need stuff like Nature's Miracle to get rid of it entirely. For carpet though, urine might have soaked the floor underneath so you might have to take it off, clean what's underneath, and put new carpet on, unfortunately.

Other than that, you're going to have to go back to housebreaking 101 and praise them like crazy when they go outside. Do you have carpet elsewhere? One of my dog was housebroken but for some reason, as soon as she was allowed upstairs on carpet, peed on the carpet. I caught her and said no and it didn't happen again though.
 

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I treated spots with a lime enzyme cleaner and it didn’t help but could try natures miracle and see what happens. There is carpet in other rooms in the house and we have had no issues in that room. We do praise them for going outside, they will only get treats if they go outside and they know this. Thanks!
 

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Shut the basement off to them or be present when they are down there so you can get them outside and reinforce that it is not the place to go.

Dogs do not generalize well. A dog house broken in this house won't necessarily be broken in another house or in another area of a house.
 

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I may have an idea. When we got Daisy (a rescue dog) She had a habit of peeing once in a while inside of the house before we were able to get her to go outside. My wife and I tried a couple of different methods. The first one was to fill a spray bottle of a solution of white vinegar and water (1:1 solution) on the spot after we deep cleaned our carpets. That worked really well for us. And then when we moved down to Florida and began hanging out with her family and their dog had an accident in the house we used mixture of lemon juice and water. That seemed to work for them. The reason why these two things may help is because dogs have a heightened sense of smell and the acetic acids give the dog an ewwwwww sense to their smell senses.

Something else that you may want to try is rubbing alcohol. Not only is it a great disinfectant, but it also has antibacterial properties as well. Just use a 1:1 solution with water and apply everytime you clean your carpets.

I hope that this will help you out a little bit better than buying an expensive commercial product.
 
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