House training puppy

Posted by colette-o'connor
Feb 26, 2013
We bought a labrador puppy 2 weeks ago. She is now 12 weeks old. We are having problems toilet training her especially for poops. She has picked a spot outside of our bathroom door and will go there even if she has only been outside a few minutes prior. She may then eat it, or carry it and play with it. I am at my wits end trying to keep her from doing it. We do not scold her after an accident, so I don't know why she may be exhibiting this behaviour.She is taken out approx every 2 hours during the day, and straight after meal times and waking up etc.(She is fed 3 times a day at approx 6.30am, 12pm and 5pm) She is confined to the hallway of the house- sleeps, eats (and now poops here!). Can you please offer us some advice?
Posted by Preethi KOP
Apr 8, 2013
Hello Colette!

Your problem isn't an uncommon one. A lot of dogs exhibit both the behaviours you mentioned, so don't feel too stressed, they are both easily solved.

For her favourite poop spot:
- clean the area very well and put on a strong disinfectant, one that will remove all odours.
- you could even try rubbing the skin of a citrus fruit on the spot after you have cleaned it, just to mask the odour completely

As for coprophagia (poop-eating):
- The best remedy is to pick up poop right away so she doesn't have a chance to get at it. A good poop-routine is an easy way to ensure this. Take her out immediately after each meal and encourage her to go. Lots of praise the minute she starts urinating/defecating is a great way to habituate her to this.
- You could also try adding pineapple/zucchini to her diet or consult your vet on commercial products available to add to food in order to decrease the appetence of the poop (Yes, some dogs find poop appetizing!)
- There are suggestions in the literature that this behaviour results because of a deficiency of some sort in their diets, so ensure that she is getting all the nutrients (esp. vitamins and minerals) a growing pup needs.

On a side note. A firm loud "NO" or a loud clap is a good way to get her to realise defecating indoors is unacceptable. Pick her up immediately and take her outside. Once outside, do not chide her, encourage her to poop instead.

I hope this helps. Make the most of whats left of her puppy-hood, she will grow in to a fine young dog before you know it