Gus has developed a really bad habit in the last month.  He is pooping on my bed.

Gus is 20 months old and up until about a month ago he had been almost perfect with his house training.  He went in the house 3 times between January and the first of July.  And those 3 were really my fault for skipping scheduled potty breaks.

I don't remember exactly when but a couple of months ago I started letting Gus get up on the bed with me when I was reading or watching TV in bed.  

Then about a month ago was the first time he pooped in my bed.  Now it's gotten to the point where I can't leave him alone in the bedroom without him hopping up on the bed and pooping.

One factor that may be affecting things is that I've been sick recently and had to be hospitalized a couple of times (I'm hopefully out of the woods now).  Both times I boarded Gus for over a week.  And even when I've been home haven't given him as much attention as usual.

For now I'm keeping him out of the bedroom when I'm not around and not letting him up on the bed at all.  Is there anything else I can do?

Does anybody have any idea what started this behavior?

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How did you clean the bed after the first time? Sometimes if they can smell something we can't they will use the same spot after one accident.
I washed the sheets on my washer's biohazard (i.e. sanitary) setting and used Nature's Miracle on the mattress.

I could have missed part of the mattress though since I didn't do the whole thing. I should probably flip it and see if that helps.
This is a little extreme but I would try feeding him on the bed for a little while. It works with cats that are going in the house. They usually won't poop where they eat.
That is a little extreme but I think it's a good idea and worth trying.
He probably got upset during your hospitalization (hope you're better!) and will probably return to normal with a return to the old routine. In the meantime, keeping him off the bed is the best way to go. :)
Thanks, I'm doing much better now.

Gus could definitely pick up on the fact that I was sick. Dogs are amazing in their ability to empathize with us.
I'm almost positive that you're right and that it's anxiety that's making Gus use my bed as a port-a-potty.

As soon as I can I'll get Gus back to basics but I'm still recovering so it's going to be at least a month before I'm up to doing long walks.
Hi Gus's Dad! When there is a relaspe, go back to the basics. It is normal for dogs to have relapse up to 2 years old. His organs are now fully developed and able to hold, but he will need a refresher course and adequate exercise. Outdoor on leash walking for 45 mins daily. Fetch / dog park / backyard play don't count. Once his mental and physical needs are met, he'll do much better. Good luck!

You may want to get 6 bottles of hydrogen peroxide and properly clean your mattress, if the mattress is 5+ years old, it's time to for a new one.
Sam - I've seen you say that fetch/dog park/backyard play don't count towards a dog's daily exercise (or at least, don't replace leash walking). Can you elaborate on why that is? Just out of curiosity, what's special about leash walking that 45 minutes of off-leash walking or playing doesn't offer?
Hi Carla! We have 2 dogs at home and we take on 1-2 fosters a month. If you take a look at the official blog last year, you'll see how my home is a revolving door :) In order to make my home a stable refuge for my own and my fosters, we take the "exercise, discipline, affection" approach. Exercise being number one and in that order.

Walking is the most basic form of mental / physical exercise, I lead them, the dogs walk on my side, they pay attention to me. It is a special bonding time for us, to solidify my pack order, to allow the new fosters to learn what a stable home is like, they learn to follow me, respect me. When the dogs are walking, they don't have time to stop and fight, they learn to follow, to keep up the pace of the pack and watch my lead. If you have served in the military, you'll realize marching drills and exercise is always number one. It's there to train you mentally and physically. Same concept.

Always discipline with the right timing, a tired corgi is a broken down "well behave" corgi. Always set up your dog to succeed, have a united front across all family members. Make it short and easy so that whenever they follow you will always result in positive outcome. That's why discipline comes second.

Affection is something that we already know how to do, playing a game of fetch is fun, going to the dog park is fun, playing in the backyard is fun. We must have structure, learning time followed by fun time.

The reason why the dog park experience is such a mix bag - is because of the owners failing to provide their dogs with exercise and discipline. Without walking on leash for 45 mins a day, your dog is serving an involuntary house arrest sentence for 17 years with prison backyard privilege. A healthy stable dog deserves to be free and socialized the right way, they need to go out and get fresh air and not become a secondary AC filter at home :)

As dog owners we cannot be lazy, we need to exercise our dogs properly, discipline them at the right time, then reward them with affection.
Thanks Sam,
I think it's time for a new mattress anyway. It's definitely more than five years old.


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