Q: Why do dogs go potty in the bathtub????

August 30, 2008 | By Throwback682 | 6 answers | Expired: 2707 days ago


After the crate not working so well, we started keeping our puppy in the bathroom. He has a bed, toys, etc. in there. He was going potty on the floor which I expected. Then one day... I go in and find poop in the bathtub! Now he poops AND pees in the bathtub all the time. Even when he's not locked in there, he will come from someplace else in the house and if the bathroom door is open he'll go in the tub and poop. It's the weirdest thing.

I've heard other people talk about even their adult dogs doing this, like if they're not home and the dog has to go, it will go in the tub.

What the heck is it that makes dogs do this??!?!?!! I sure did not teach my puppy to do that and I don't think most other people do either. So strange. Just wondering if people knew what instinct it is that causes this weird phenomenon!!

Readers' Answers (6)

Aug 30, 2008

My best guess why your dog does this is that you unconsciously trained him to do it. When you kept him in the bathroom, he did not get corrected as harshly, or you did not see in time to correct when he went in the tub. Since he got in (bigger) trouble for going on the floor, he figured out that if he went in the tub it was 'ok'. Easy solution, keep the bathroom door closed, and make a BIG deal when he goes outside and potties. Reward and praise EVERY time he goes outside, and correct him when you find him trying to use the tub. If he goes that way, and you suspect you know what he's going to do, follow him. If you correct him in the act, he'll get it. He's a smart dog if he figured that out.
My husband and I accidentally trained Tahki to go in the tub when he has to vomit. When he was a puppy, whenever he started to hack we would pick him up and put him in the tub, where it would be easier to clean up. Now if he has to vomit he goes in the tub or at least the bathroom. We praise him for this, because he would end up puking on the bed or carpet otherwise. Dogs are smart, and they can tell the difference between bad, better and best. If you correct in a way they can differentiate, they will behave as such.

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Nelson M.

Aug 30, 2008

First thing... take a fecal sample to the vet because your dog might not be able to hold his poop which may be indicative of parasites.

Next... if it is all clear, consider wee wee pads. Dogs poop and pee in a "comfort zone" sometimes. You need to close the bathroom door, get your dog on a walking schedule, and teach him after each accident that indoor pooping and peeing is unacceptable.

Immediately take him out after an accident and when he goes outside, praise him a lot, and give a small treat.

He also may need basic structure which may include crating whether he likes it or not. Make sure crating is not punishment (toys and treats in the crate).

Another idea that I do with fosters is tethering. Yes, I tie my dog to me whenever I am home, and it learns that he eats, sleeps, and poops when I want him to. When I am not home, the animal is crated. In three to four days, I untether the dog, and it is usually house broken.

Remember: Exercise - Structure and training - praise

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Aug 30, 2008

I agree with Nelson that tethering is actually a wonderful tool used to train puppies. They bond with you and you always have an eye on them to determine their potty habits. You just tie the end of the leash around your waist or clip to a belt (give him enough space that you don't step on him) and when he has to go potty or acts like he needs to "go" tell him a cue word such as "outside" and take him outside. When he eliminates praise him well and you can give a treat too. It helps more if you train him what "outside" means, for instance say "outside" or "out" everytime you take him out. They shouldn't just hear "no!" but also--immdiately--what to do so they have clear instructions.

Keeping the bathroom door closed is good but of course that won't always happen. You can also put something in your tub that will make him stay out, such as an inch (no more for saftey!!) of water. This works great on cats not sure if it will help a dog. It seems he decided he didn't want to potty on the bathroom floor as he is a clean little fellow and it was better to use the tub.

Thumbs Up: 1 | Thumbs up!

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