accidents when alone

Posted by STeicher
Oct 8, 2009
We rescued a year old boxer mix a year ago so he's 2 now. We instatalled a doggie door so that he can go out whenever he wants, it is fenced in and secure. He uses it all the time when we are home to relieve himself. However, when we are not home he has accidents all over the house. He is impossible to contain in any area of the house, as he opens doors and can jump over or break out of any area where we have tried to contain him. He is too big to stay in the largest crate for any period of time. We have instilled all the alpha techniques and generally he is a very good dog. Since he knows how to use the doggie door and knows what it is for I believe this is just spiteful behavior.
Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
Posted by LetsPlay
Oct 8, 2009
Hi there,

it's not in the nature of a dog to be spiteful. There is always an underlying reason for every behavior.
It sounds like he might have separation anxiety. If he tries to get out of every room you put him in when you are away than he is certainly not relaxed and chilled out, which indicates separation anxiety. Also the fact that he soils the house points towards that.

Having a dog door can be very handy, but it also lowers your status as the pack leader. Why?
Well, you should be in charge of when he goes outside. Outside is exciting, outside is where you hunt and play, so you should allow him access to that special area and he shouldn't be the one to choose.
Of course you have to be very responsible, when your dog shows you that he needs to go outside to relieve himself you should let him out immediatly. It's not nice forcing a dog to hold on for long periods of time.

You should try not to pay too much attention to your dog when you are at home for a while. There should always be times where you are in a different room and he can't get to you. That way he will learn that you being at home doesn't mean that it's always exciting times for him, in fact it can be just as boring as when you are not there.

Has your dog only recently started to soil the house indoors?
Was he house trained when you got him?
Have you had him vet checked to make sure that he hasn't got an infection or any other medical condition that coudl trigger the soiling?

Posted by STeicher
Oct 8, 2009
He wasn't housetrained when we got him. He's really not attached to us when we're home, he will often lay down or play in another room on his own. We know not to make a fuss when we get home and while we're away we give him peanutbutter kongs and stuff to amuse him.We work but I have someone in the house with him most of the day 3 days a week and a dog walker the other 2 days. At first we didn't have the door and he was having accidents so we put it in thinking it might help. he doesn't have medical issue and like I said as long as we're home he always uses the door.
Posted by KOPsarah
Oct 11, 2009
Hi STeicher and thanks for your post,
This is indeed a mysterious situation. Is it possible that there is something outside during the day that is scaring him or otherwise putting him off going outside? Is there a pattern to his accidents for example are they always in the same place or on the same objects? Is it possible to leave him outside in the yard during the day? Sorry for all the questions just trying to narrow down the possibilities.
Posted by STeicher
Oct 15, 2009
actually he usually poops in our bedroom, we tried keeping the dooors closed but he figures out how to open them and in the process scratches the doors. It wouldn't be a good idea to leave him outside all day. He also urinates sometimes too but in no particular place.It's very mysterious to us and I know that dogs don't know how to be "spiteful" but that is what it seems to be mostly
Posted by mpq
Oct 19, 2009

We rescued a 42 lb black lab at 6 months. Buddy is now 2 1/2 and 120lbs!
We also have a doggy door. At first Buddy was afraid of the door, and I used hot dogs to lure him in and out. Now he is just "leary" of the door, and would prefer I open another door for him. Does your dog go through the door willingly? At first, I would stuff a rag in the top of the door so it was partially open and not make that clacking noise when it closes. That helped a lot.
The problem with rescues is that they are [I]rescued.[/I] They come with problems. We don't always know what they have been through.
Have you tried feeding on a schedule? Another problem is getting any trace of odor out of the house so he doesn't think it's ok to go there.
Maybe training him to go in only one spot outside would help establish the rules more clearly for him.
My Buddy turned my hair gray for the first year. But he is the most loving
animal. I still have problems to work on, digging etc. But I just keep at it.
Please let me know how you are doing. Buddy is my 3rd rescue. I have 2 at home now. I know how upsetting this can be. but I'm sure it is fixable.
Posted by STeicher
Oct 21, 2009
Thanks for your response, he's not afraid of the door at all and goes out willingly when we're home. and knows exactly what to do out there,that's why it's so strange. He eats at the same time everyday and I have cleaned the rugs with neutralizer. He is very loving and a great dog (he does have some dog aggression issues also) so we're hoping he will outgrow this.