This is a common problem. Your dog is just trying to protect you from strangers. I have found that, for the most part, this is an easy fix, but just takes time to implement. You start out by sitting with your dog and simply start tapping the floor and instantly treating him. Do this for a 5 or 10 times and then graduate to a louder knock, rinse and repeat. Then go to a door in the house (not front door), knock lightly and immediately treat your dog. See where we are going? Then tap harder and immediately treat your dog. I should point out that you should first exercise your dog but don’t feed him prior to this exercise. Next, go to the front door and start with a light tap, tap, tap, treat, and move up to a loud knocking (and treat).
The next part is to have someone on the other side of the door lightly tap, but you need to be ready to treat. If there is no barking, make sure you vocalize your happiness with your dog’s behavior. Then, if he/she is being good, tap more vigorously and treat. If, at any time, your dog regresses, you will have to take a step back in the process, even all the way to the beginning if necessary. If the doorbell sets your dog off, incorporate that at the end. Good luck!
My potty-trained dog sneaks away and poops in the corner
The first thing to check, unfortunately, is if there is something medical going on. Next, put yourself in your pup’s shoes – have there been any changes in his/her environment? If so, this may be causing some undue stress on your canine. Sometimes, dogs relieve themselves due to loss of control when they are frightened or stressed. The obvious solution is to reset the environment back to normal, but if you cannot, just be sure to his potty break schedule and things will get back to normal sooner than later. Most problems can be traced back to insufficient exercise. If that is not the case, you can designate when your pup eats and drinks and set a schedule for a walk/outdoor break at the proper length of time after eating.
Here are other reasons your dog may be pooping in the house:
Substrate preference – if your puppy was used to newspaper – take some outside for a while
Being inside too long – obvious answer
Poor diet – if all other conditions are ruled out, try changing the kibble
Old age – limit the old man/lady to fewer areas of the house, use pads or diapers, take outside more frequently
Changes in schedule – try to return to earlier schedule. If impossible, try to keep the new routine the same and keep a schedule of when it’s time for the potty breaks
Distractions during potty break – try different location. Be sure not to over-stimulate your dog prior to going outside – he has a job to do
Fear/Anxiety – You may need to work on desensitizing your dog to outdoor sounds. Try taking your dog out when there are no trash trucks or mowers around. Be sure to use high quality treats to reward
Past mistakes that were not fully cleaned – Dogs like to go and re-mark their territory. Try distilled white vinegar and baking soda.
Separation Anxiety – This is a big problem that requires professional help. If you go it alone, be sure not to leave your pup alone for more than 3 hours. Use a walking/sitting service. When you are home, be sure to properly exercise and feed your pup before leaving. Leave a puzzle toy or peanut-butter-filled kong in his/her crate or pen.
Changes in the environment – new dog/cat/family member. If only one new change, spend extra time socializing your dog. If two new members, socialize separately at first.