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Basement "bathroom"

ShiroPower
July 2nd, 2009, 02:07 PM
Our 1 year old dog (lab/ great pyrnees mix) has this little issue with our basement. He's been fully house trained, then when we moved to this house he decided that our basement is just as good as the outdoors.

I clean up after him, I use the odor eliminating cleaners from the pet store, but he still does it. I try to keep the stairs barricaded at all times (baby gate) but sometimes I forget or I run up to get the baby or answer the phone, etc, and he goes down and does his business on the floor.

I don't know what to do. He will go outside and then come in and poo/pee in the basement. I offer frequently to let him out, he often refuses. I never catch him in the act, he always does it when I'm busy.


I am at a loss and am getting VERY irritated ... suggestions?

Thanks!

bendyfoot
July 2nd, 2009, 02:17 PM
One of our dogs will go potty in the basement if she's not feeling well and IF she has access to it. Why? No idea. Best guess would be that she considers the main "upstairs" part of the house as her "den", and doesn't want to soil it when she's got an upset tummy. The basement, which is unfinished, is a part of the house she hardly ever goes in, is damp and not very den-like. I would interpret is as a natural attempt to keep her house clean. But she won't got down there if the door is closed.

I think the simplest solution for you, since she's not soiling anywhere else in the house, is to get a door for the basement or be more vigilant about the baby gate. It's like having a dog that you KNOW gets into the garbage and makes a big mess...if you leave it accessible, and it gets shredded all over your living room, it's your own fault for leaving it in the open (been there, done that too:rolleyes:)

If the baby gate you have is one of those fussy, fiddley ones that you have to tighten to the door frame every time, maybe consider buying or building one that swings on hinges. I recently built one for the bottom of the stairs for our dogs, and it cost maybe 15$ in materials, mostly for the nice hinges. It's simple to open/close and looks like part of the stairs.

cell
July 2nd, 2009, 03:06 PM
Is the basement finished? Maybe try feeding and adding a water dish down there so it becomes a feeding/watering area which is taboo to soil in the animal kingdom. You could also make it a playing place or hangout spot to discourage the basement seeming like a bathroom spot. Adding a gate really just makes it physically impossible to soil the area and doesn't solve the underlying issue.

ShiroPower
July 2nd, 2009, 03:18 PM
It's half-finished and half-storage/ laundry. We use it occasionally (when i'm in the mood to watch TV) and since we don't have A/C now that summer is here the basement is the only cool room, so we'll be using it more often. I'd like to have him there with us and have it open as an accessible space for him so he doesn't overheat, but not if he's making a mess of it.


I'll feed him there tonight (and clean up with vinegar, thanks bendyfoot!) and see if that starts to change his behaviour at all.

Thanks for the suggestions!

bendyfoot
July 2nd, 2009, 03:22 PM
I agree that if it's a space you want him to use, then it's best to get him accustomed to spending time there (feeding, playing etc. as suggested). In our case the basement is for storage only, and there's no need for the dog to ever have access to it, so restricting access is the best solution for us.

You may want to consider using an enzymatic (not just "odour-eliminating") cleaner on the spots where he's soiled otherwise the smell will actually remain on the floor and encourage repeat offenses.

Something else you may want to consider is keeping him on a house-leash, tied to you, when you're distracted and busy, so you can keep an eye on him and prevent him from sneaking downstairs. Also, then if he has an "accident" you can catch him in the act and correct him immediately.

lia12
July 2nd, 2009, 03:24 PM
My cousin had a similar problem when they moved into their house.She found out that the previous owners owned two dogs that used the basement as a potty area and her dog picked up on the smell and was going there to try to mark it as his own territory. They barred the dog from the basement and used a javex solution and soaked the entire floor 3 times, letting it dry between applications. Then they sprinkled some repel on the floor and it ended their problem. If the basement is totally finished they might have to pull up the carpeting. Could be the previous owners had a cat that marked also, maybe they could ask the neighbours if the previous owners had animals.

ShiroPower
July 2nd, 2009, 08:54 PM
My cousin had a similar problem when they moved into their house.She found out that the previous owners owned two dogs that used the basement as a potty area and her dog picked up on the smell and was going there to try to mark it as his own territory. They barred the dog from the basement and used a javex solution and soaked the entire floor 3 times, letting it dry between applications. Then they sprinkled some repel on the floor and it ended their problem. If the basement is totally finished they might have to pull up the carpeting. Could be the previous owners had a cat that marked also, maybe they could ask the neighbours if the previous owners had animals.


The previous owners did have a dog (a vicious pomeranian, don't get me started on that!) but they ripped up the carpet so the finished part of the basement is laminate. But if the dog peed on that then it could have soaked down into the padding under the laminate, but there's no way for me to deal with that. He just has to get over the fact that it smells (if it does) and learn NOT to do anything there, regardless of how tempted he is. I hadn't thought of it until you mentioned the carpeting, but that could be the problem.



Bendyfoot, I like the umbilical suggestion. I don't think he'll be impressed, but he can deal with it. The cleaner we have is the enzymatic stuff (I had to go look at the bottle) but if it's in the underpad then it's not going to do any good.


Thanks for the suggestions from everyone so far, I've got ideas which is more than I had before!

Gail P
July 2nd, 2009, 11:25 PM
I've had the same problem here with some of my dogs sneaking off to the basement for that purpose (how is it they can creep downstairs without any sound at all and only make noise on the way back up?:shrug: ) The people that used to live here had dogs too that I think must have used the basement. Anyhow, I just keep the basement door shut unless I'm down there and if I'm downstairs in the office the dogs come in with me and I shut that door to keep them in most of the time. I find that when the dogs access to the basement has been restricted for a while they learn it's off limits. Seems to only be a problem when the dogs are younger in our house and then they learn. Our basement is mostly unfinished as it gets damp and floods a bit during heavy rains and spring melt so we just use it for storage (keeping stuff up off the floor and away from the walls in the end that gets wet) and made the office in one corner of the drier end. Back when we had cats we used to leave the basement door open since the litterbox was downstairs, but we had a baby gate across to keep the dogs upstairs, and for safety when our daughter was little. We had the kind of gate that has brackets you mount on the wall and it swings open and shut, needing just one hand to operate.