I have to say that besides bites, dog waste is one of the most disliked dog behaviors you can ever discuss. Its incredibly strange that it has become like this considering how natural it is, and most abnormal behaviour is caused by us humans in changing something in the dogs world.
Of course if you get a rescue dog, you might have anxiety or just a complete lack fo house training even in an adult dog. It is usually when a dog begins soiling (pee and poo) for the first time in the house or intermittently in the house that concern for a medical or mental condition should be raised.
Assuming there is no medical condition (physical or mental) then the following changes to the dogs environment are often the cause:
- a change in schedule or routine of the owner or the dog causing anxiety
If you are a good dog owner, you will take your dog out for at least one big off lead walk per day. Not the piddly little excrement stop walks. A dog that isnt walked like this will eventually give up, be bored, turn to fat, be scared and anti social. Not necessarily a killer abut a former shadow of itself or what it could become if it were giving such a small amount of freedoms that it earns by the right of being alive and owned by a human.
You might fret or be upset if you lose a job or a partner or any number of things, but you can have friends, grief counsellors, alcohol or any number of ways to deal with it, A dog is fully at your mercy. So since you cant speak dog and explain it to them, a major change in dog walking schedule or otherwise can provide a great deal of fear for a dog, not knowing what else will change around them.
- a change in housing (territory change)
This is massive one for humans and dogs. The big dog house is being sold. Dogs normally would roam the landscape in packs and kill for a living. They would be in control. They would make do with different living accommodations.
In urban life we give a dog a fixed address usually. They become very used to it If you don’t walk your dog regularly at different places it will not learn to expect the unexpected so major changes will really stuff most dogs up. Remove their big kennel, what else do they have to be secure about?
- being left alone for unusual longer periods of time, causing separation anxiety
This is a whole other issue that I have discussed at length previously on this site. Untreated separation anxiety can lead to a lot of dog healthy problems including self harm.
- or any change in the pet’s home that might lead to anxiety. Including new people in the house or less people. New pets, changes in room design etc
My dog is one of the most social dogs on earth. But he freaks out when we bring new objects into the house. He makes sure they are dead and no threat to the pack. When I visit new houses with him he methodically checks the rooms for cats or any other threats. Humans miss people as do dogs. Their scent their ways, their voice. Even if someone the dog is close to has gone on holiday, the dog doesn’t know that. You will need to make ways to ease their pain.