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Why does my dog poop on the couch?

If your dog has been peeing or pooping on the couch, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about it.

So, what does my dog poop on the couch? Likely reasons why your dog poops on the couch are that your dog has an illness, separation anxiety, fear, boredom, not getting a chance to poop or not enough training.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog pees or poops on the couch. However, there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog poop on the couch?

Below are likely causes and what would make them more likely.


It could be the case that your dog is not able to make it through the night or cannot hold it in while you are away due to an illness. This would be more likely if your dog has started doing it suddenly and if they have been showing other signs of illness such as vomiting, fatigue or diarrhea. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Separation anxiety

Dogs can get nervous just like we can and it can also cause dogs to do unusual things such as pooping in places that they should not. A dog who suffers from separation anxiety may be prone to getting so worked up that she poops and pees uncontrollably. It would be more likely that your dog has separation anxiety if they do things such as cry or pace when you are leaving.


Believe it or not, pooping on the couch may be more frightening of an experience for your dog than it is for you! Many dog experts have linked pooping in bizarre areas around the house to emotional issues, such as fear and it might be the case that something has been causing your dog to be fearful. Examples can include fireworks or loud noises or other dogs or other people that your dog does not like.

Not enough training

Did you ever house-train your dog? Were they house-trained as a puppy or an adult dog? By you or by someone else? It could be the case that your dog needs to be trained some more so that they can remember how they are supposed to behave.

First, if they’ve never been house-trained, it’s certainly time to do this. Pick up a book or watch a series of videos on YouTube on how to house-train a dog. There are also classes that can help.

If your dog has already been house-trained but they seem to be regressing, you can do a bit of an update training as well. There are articles and videos about this online too. You are basically reminding your dog of the house-training rules you set at the beginning of your relationship.


Bored dogs who have pent-up energy may end up pooping in strange places, such as on the couch. Certain breeds need to expend more physical energy throughout the day. For example, border collies and golden retrievers need to be taken on at least three or more walks every day. Ideally, they will have a place to run around and play freely throughout the day.

If you have one of these breeds or another breed that needs an especially high amount of physical energy expenditure every day, you need to find a way to get your dog more exercise. This might mean going for more walks, having a penned-in area where your dog can run freely, or taking your dog to a local dog park. Some people even get babysitters for their dogs if they’ll be home all day at work or school.

Not getting a chance to poop

In some situations, the problem is your dog hasn’t been able to go outside frequently enough, and therefore, they’ve had to go to the bathroom for a long time and simply chose to do it inside on the couch.

Why on the couch? Probably because it’s comfortable, and they like to lay there. If you think this issue may be the core problem of your dog pooping on the couch, it’s up to you to fix it. You’ll need to find ways to let your dog out more often.

Keep in mind that if your dog is elderly or getting on the older side, their bathroom habits may have changed, and they may need to go outside to go to the bathroom more often than they used to. You need to adapt to this, and take them for more frequent walks or let them out in the yard more. If they can be out in a gated area, consider installing a doggy door so that they can go in and out as they please.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider to help figure out the main cause.

If your dog has always pooped on the couch

If your dog did not always poop on the couch, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started. If it started happening suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as illness, something causing your dog to be fearful or suddenly having to be alone for long time periods.

The timing of when your dog poops on the couch

A common reason for dogs pooping in odd places around the house is thunderstorms. Many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms, and they may run around in circles frantically, pace, pant, hide, and do other strange things during them. It’s not unusual to find an unpleasant surprise in the corner of the basement, or the bathroom, or — you guessed it — the couch after a big storm.

Of course, like thunderstorms, firework displays can also distress your dog, as can guns going off and other loud noises inside or outside. If you are having work done on your house, for instance, this can also set off your dog’s fears.

How to get my dog to stop pooping on the couch?

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Get help

If your dog has started doing it suddenly and it seems likely to be due to illness, the best option would be to take them to a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to deal with any illnesses.

Limit reasons why your dog might be anxious

If you believe fear, anxiety, and general nervousness could be linked to your dog’s incontinence, you have several options as well.

First, if you think it’s an ongoing problem that you can’t handle with changes to your and your dog’s behaviors and environment, talk to your veterinarian. There may be a medication that they recommend your dog take to loosen their nerves and relax more.

In addition, on your own, think of ways you can comfort your dog and alleviate some of their anxiety. This could simply be creating a nice little area in your living room or kitchen where they can lie down and be warm and comfortable. Give them a few special toys. You can also give them treats more frequently (if their diet allows) or a better grade of dog food.

Give your dog a chance to relieve themselves

We all want our dogs to immediately tell us when they need to go to the bathroom so that we can let them outside right away or take them for a walk. But this isn’t how a lot of dogs operate.

Dogs aren’t always able to tell us when they have to go to the bathroom. And even if you’re used to taking your dog for frequent walks, again, their elimination habits may have changed over time. When this happens, you need to adapt with them and help them out.

For example, you might start by seeing if you can take your dog for more walks. If you’re not there during the day, get someone to come over and take them on a walk or at least let them outside a few more times. If you have an outdoor area where they can go, set up a small fenced-in area where they can run freely.

The extra time outdoors and energy expended can greatly help with incontinence issues in your dog.


It would also help to encourage your dog to poop and pee outside by rewarding your dog whenever they do so. It would also help to try to avoid giving your dog rewards when they do poop on the couch.