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Defecation in the House

Dear WOOF:

I am fostering a dog, Scout, that does not wet in the house, but does poop in the basement. The rescue said that he's used to pooping on cement from being in the kennel so I am working with him but not having a great amount of success. Also, our other dog still has not warmed up to him. We can foster him and keep trying to work with him. We don't want to see him go back in the rescue kennel because all of the work we've done so far will be lost.

Please Help!


The way to resolve Scout's housesoiling in the basement is to prevent it entirely from happening, and to make sure that the only place he does go is outside where you want him to.

When you let him out of his crate, he should not be allowed down into the basement unless you are with him to supervise - or you're absolutely sure that he's already gone #2 outside.

Take him out to the same place for #2 each time, this will help him build the habit more quickly, because in that area, a scent post will build and he will continue to attracted back to that spot for #2

If you take him out at a time when you suspect that he has to go (keep track - if he eats at regular times, he is likely to have to do #2 at fairly regular times as well) keep him out for 3-5 minutes only...if he does not do his #2 in that amount of time, bring him back in and either actively supervise to prevent a mistake (DO NOT ALLOW HIM INTO THE BASEMENT OR ANY OTHER #2 TARGET AREA) or crate him, and then try again in another 15-20 minutes. The prevention part is key. By doing this, the feeling of having to go #2 is building, and we're providing him with the opportunity to succeed as he goes in the right place!

When he does go outside #2, be sure you're there so that you can reward the behavior with food immediately.

If you follow this advise, Scout's behavior will improve - who knows, maybe you'll be able to adopt him!!!

Should you have questions, or need any further help, feel free to write. You may also want to visit for and information that may be of help to you.

Good Luck!
Lisa Patrona,  Dip. CBST, CPDT-KA, ACDBC, AABP-CDT

The follow up:

Dear Lisa:

I took your advice and he's stopped!!!! We have decided to keep him!! I was wondering if I could find out details of your training program. Scout is so smart and I would like to learn how to train him. Just when the next class starts and the prices. Jackie from Critter Connections really thinks highly of you and has told me a lot about your program. Let me know!


Hi again:

What wonderful news for Scout and your family!!!!

Regarding classes, we have them starting all the time. Please either visit for time and date information. The cost for the class is usually $259.00 for 1.5 hours per week for 6 weeks. Since Scout is rescued, you are entitled to a $25.00 discount.

Thank you so much for sharing your is the reason that we do what we do, It is so rewarding when things go well and the dog gets to stay in a loving home.

Let me know if you have questions.

Take Care,

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