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Dogs/Confused Dog?



I just recent re-located from Michigan to North Carolina with a 6 year old maltipoo.  We never had problems with him going the bathroom in the house.  Since we have moved, he will not leave the porch and when he does he sits in the grass and stares at me.  He won't pee or poop....until he gets into the house.  We are in more of a rural area, you can hear crickets,etc at night.  Wondering why the sudden change and if you have any suggestions?


Hi Christy,

Moving can be pretty traumatic for dogs, and house training issues after a move are fairly common. It can be a two to three week adjustment period for your dog after a move.

Even though your dog is 6 years old, going back to the routines you followed when he was a puppy and you first house trained him will help him now. Namely constant supervision, containment when you can't be watching him, and plenty of praise and reward when he finally goes to the bathroom during leashed walks. Luckily, your dog just needs a reminder of the house training lessons, so this shouldn't take as long as it did the first time around.

Clean the areas where your dog has soiled in your home with an enzymatic cleaner, such as Nature's Miracle or Simple Solution, so he won't be attracted (and tempted) to go to the bathroom in your home.

Just as when your dog was an untrained puppy, at this time he can't have the unsupervised run of your house because he can't be trusted. If you come back from a walk and he didn't do anything outside, you know he really needs to "go", so put him in his crate or tie his leash to your belt loop so he's not out of your sight. In 15 minutes take him outside again for another try. Crate times should be brief, and should even be supervised, if you don’t know for sure that your dog won’t soil while being crated.

Take your dog outside as often as possible, whether he looks like he needs it or not (try to remember that this is a short-term inconvenience!) If there are other dogs in your neighborhood, walk your dog in areas where they frequent so that the other dog's scent markings might entice your dog into going to the bathroom. The smell of a place on which any dog has urinated or defecated as a big sign to your dog that says “BATHROOM!”

When your dog does relieve himself outdoors, give a memorable "high value" treat - one he usually doesn’t get such as tiny bits of hotdog or cheese, along with plenty of praise, petting, play, etc.--let him know how pleased and happy he's just made you! Repeat this every time your dog goes to the bathroom outside for at least two weeks.

If accidents happen in your home, don't punish your dog. Dogs don't learn by punishment, in fact it can make the problem worse. Clean up the mess without fanfare or shouting, and try to supervise your dog more closely and take him out more frequently as a way of avoiding future accidents in the home… just like you'd do with a puppy.

I hope I've been a help.
Best of luck,



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To date, I've owned 7 dogs, all of which have lived into old age. Having cared for them in all stages of life, I feel I can offer sound advice to other pet owners, and people considering getting a dog. I am knowledgeable about the AKC (American Kennel Club) dog breeds, training and exercise, caring for sick and elderly pets, feeding, as well as many holistic treatments pets can benefit from. My only request is that you write me using standard English and punctuation.


My life experience in this field is more like "on the job training" rather than an actual degree in animal welfare. You may benefit from my experiences over the past 30 years. Aside from the dogs I've owned, I'm also involved in "breed rescue" and have fostered several dogs, all of which have been adopted to wonderful "forever homes". I find helping people who want a dog very rewarding.

Real life experience, based on over 30 years of dog ownership.

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