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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little over a month ago, my roommate and I adopted a 5-year-old shih tzu from a local animal shelter. He was already housetrained, learned his new name quickly, and tolerates baths and grooming very well. At first he whined every time one of left the room, but that behavior slowly went away as he adjusted to his new home. For a couple of weeks, everything was fine. Then he started pooping in the house while we were at work. We figured he just couldn't hold it for extended periods of time and made an effort to come home sooner to let him out. The accidents stopped. Now he poops in the house anytime we are not at home. It doesn't matter if we're gone for five minutes or five hours. Sometimes he poops even if we're only in the yard or the basement. Last night he pooped on the hallway carpet because we wouldn't allow him to enter our bedrooms. He is soiling the floor anytime he can't be near us. He no longer whines or cries; he just poops. We've been very careful not to accidentally "reward" this behavior by showing him attention when he does it. We don't scold him. We just clean up the mess and ignore him, and occasionally put him outside. As this dog is already five and we both have jobs (i.e. not a lot of free time), crate training is off the table. He didn't do this when we first adopted him, and there have been no changes in our daily schedule, yet this problem is escalating. What is a fast, effective solution? We can't have a dog that craps on the floor every time he's alone for any length of time. My patience is almost exhausted.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

P.S. It isn't a health issue. The vet gave him a comprehensive exam and said he's healthy as a horse.
 

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Dogs can get upset tummies from anxiety but usually the poop you see is unusually loose and runny.

More commonly, people potty train their dogs by disciplining them for doing business indoors. The dog in turn learns that it's not okay to poop inside-- IF people are present! Invariably the dog either winds up holding it til their owners are not present or even running off and hiding somewhere to poop.

This can be reversed, but you will want to start from scratch. This is a good resource: http://www.dogforum.com/housetraining/house-training-how-tos-2135/ Emphasis on not making a big deal if the dog poops in front of you (just quietly whisk them outside, even if only to finish things up) and making a really huge fuss when they go potty in the desired place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for replying! The stool isn't loose or runny; it's a normal consistency. We just figured this was related to some type of separation anxiety because he only does it when we're not home. Oftentimes the poops are very small, because he has already gone outside during his regular potty breaks. He has no issues pooping outside when he's supposed to. The house poops are additional poops that he leaves as soon as we go somewhere. They're deliberate. We've already begun retraining him anyway, but it isn't doing any good :-/
 

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Try kenneling or confining him when you leave. It's very possible that this is a habit carried over from his previous home, or even the reason he was given up to begin with. Dogs are naturally averse to their own urine/feces, though, and unless they have been given no choice (ie neglect or botched training has left them used to living in close quarters to their own waste) they will refrain from relieving themselves in their kennel/pen/bed.
 
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