Stop Rubbing Your Dog’s Nose In It!

So you came home and found your dog relieved himself in the house. There are many reasons why this can happen and none of them warrant you rubbing your dog’s nose in it. Rubbing your dog’s nose in their own feces or urine does nothing but teach them to fear you. A scared dog is a dog that is apt to bite. You are breeding fear in your dog when you do this. This DOES NOT train him or help him learn. The only thing he is learning is that you are mean to him and this will result in him hiding from you or biting.

Lets explore some of the reasons a dog will relieve himself in the house.

Reason 1: You have not successfully potty trained him yet. Dogs are like children. They are self-aware, they feel shame, they feel pain, they can read your moods, and they feel acute sadness. If you are potty training your child and she wets herself, do you shove the wet underwear in her face and yell at her? No! And you shouldn’t do it to your dog either. Be patient. Be kind. Treat your dog as you would your human child. They learn the same.

Reason 2: There may be an infection or organ failure. This is especially true in older dogs. There comes an age when their bladders and kidneys simply can’t hold their urine for very long and sometimes will wet even when they aren’t aware of it. This signals the end stages of your dog’s life. Be loving and kind to him. He can’t help it. If you were caring for an elderly parent or grandparent and they wet themselves, you would not scream at them and shame them and rub their nose in their soiled clothing. Don’t do it to your dog either.

Reason 3: Separation anxiety. Many times dogs that are not exercised properly or taught to deal with you leaving will suffer from separation anxiety. This means they miss you terribly and don’t know what to do with themselves. They have a concept of time; an internal clock, but when their human deviates from their schedule, such as going out for dinner, the dog only knows that you left when he wasn’t expecting you to. He is scared. He is full of anxiety. He is terribly sad. If you came home to your child telling you “Mommy/Daddy, I was so scared when you left and I didn’t know where you went or when you were coming home that I accidentally went potty in my pants,” would you scream at your child and rub her diaper or underwear in her face? Of course not! If your dog could talk, that is what he would tell you. “I was scared. I didn’t know if you were coming back. You are my whole world. Please don’t leave me!” You can train your dog to handle the temporary separation better…just like you would teach your child.

Reason 4: You left him alone too long. Dogs don’t have giant bladders. They cannot hold it forever. If you are gone for long periods of time and come home to your dog’s feces or urine, then shame on you for leaving your dog alone that long. Expecting him to hold it for long periods of time is ridiculous. Would you expect that from your child? Would you expect that from yourself? Of course you wouldn’t. Don’t expect it from your dog.

So why are you expecting your dog to behave in ways he simply can’t? None of it is your dogs fault. If you want to know why your dog is relieving himself, look at the way you are training him. The blame lies squarely on your shoulders, not your dogs. If you can’t understand that rubbing your dog’s nose in it is deliberately cruel and barbaric and teaches him nothing but to fear you, then perhaps you need to give your dog to someone who knows how to take care of him. Dogs don’t deserve this type of treatment. Learn about how a dog’s mind works. Learn to be patient. Learn to be kind. If you can’t do those simple things, then you shouldn’t have a dog.


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