Old Jack Russell defecates and urinates in house

Dear Your Own Vet’s Behaviorist,

why dogs poo inside on the carpet

My daughter’s dog has started defecating on my living room carpet. Three different areas seem to be his favourite locations. I know he has to be urinating somewhere, also. My daughter can take him outside and he does his business. But not when I take him outside. I have even stayed outside with him for fifteen minutes without him doing his business. And when I’m not seeing him, he does his business on the carpet. My daughter goes to work. I do not whip or abuse animals, and have yelled at him for defecating. But I stopped yelling when I realized he misses my daughter. What can be done to stop his in -the-house urinating and defecating?

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old jack russell messes in house

Hi there,

With regards to your daughter’s Jack Russell Terrier and his defecating in the house:

Firstly you need to take this dog to the vet and make sure there is nothing medically wrong with him. At 14 years of age, he is now a senior dog and many older dogs start having problems. You cannot start on any behavior modifications until you know there is nothing medically wrong with the dog.

You haven’t mentioned if this was a recent thing or he has been doing this for all 14 years of his life!!  If he has been doing this all his life, this is a now a learned behavior and not something that you going to be able to correct very easily.

You need to go back to basics and pretend that this dog is a puppy. You must take it outside as soon as it wakes up, before and after eating. Sometimes waiting fifteen minutes can be too short – patience is necessary when house training or breaking.  Always take the dog to the same spot so he learns where it is you want him to go. Praise him a lot when he does do it outside.

When you clean up inside do not use household cleaners, as they are ammonia based and attract the dog back to the same spot. I suggest you use surgical spirits to clean the area.  You can never get angry with a dog, as this can only cause more problems.

I somehow think that this is a medical problem because if his age. Medical problems include bladder and fecal incontinence, enlarged prostate gland and arthritis in the spine and back legs causing pain so it is easier for them to go inside. If his medical check up is all clear, then try to find an animal behaviorist in your area to work closely with you.


Kathy Clayton


Accredited Companion Animal Behaviorist and Professional Dog Trainer

011 783 3042 082 454 1750




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