How to Train Your Dog to Not Poop in His Crate

Easy
1-3 Weeks
General

Introduction

You’ve brought the cutest little puppy into your home, he fits snugly in your hands and he forces even the grumpiest of individuals into a smile. While he is adorable and everything you imagined he would be, you don’t enjoy coming downstairs in the morning to the smell of excrement. It just isn’t the way you want to start your day! It might be manageable if it was just once in the morning, but when you’re regularly greeted by the sight of a stool when you open his crate, then well, something needs to be done.

Apart from the obvious offense to your eyes and your nose, having all that bacteria sit next to your puppy isn’t good for his health. Puppies immune systems are vulnerable and having excrement in the place where he sleeps only increases the chance of him contracting an illness.

Defining Tasks

Every puppy goes through a transitional stage when they move into a new home and get used to their crate, so going about his business in there isn’t uncommon. Thankfully, training him not to defecate in his crate is relatively straightforward. While you will need to use some straightforward obedience commands, training centers more around adjusting his environment and creating a routine.

Puppies are so receptive when they’re young that they quickly get the hang of training and many dogs stop going about their business in their crate in just a few days. Even if he does prove slightly stubborn, you can expect results in a matter of weeks. 

Getting this training right is essential for the health of your dog. You don’t want him picking up early illnesses and you definitely don’t want the hefty vet bills that come with medical problems.

Getting Started

Before your toilet campaign kicks off, there are several things you will need to get hold of. A leash will be essential as you introduce your dog to his new outdoor toilet. You will also need treats or his favorite food to incentivize and reward him.

A quiet place, free from distractions where he feels relatively comfortable will also be required. You may also need to invest in a new, better-sized crate for one of the methods below and some new bedding.

Once you have collected the above, set aside some time each day and just come with a can-do attitude and you’ll be ready to get to work!

The Crate Alterations Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
The right size
Head over to your crate and make sure it is the right size. If his crate is too big then your dog may feel there is enough space to defecate in the corner rather than going outside. The crate should be big enough for him to stand up and turn around in, but it shouldn’t be much bigger.
Step
2
A new crate
If your crate is too big, order a smaller one online or head to a local pet store to buy a new one. Measure the crate before you go and have an idea of what sized crate you need before you head out to make a purchase. Often a simple crate change can stop the habit on its tracks.
Step
3
Feed him his meals in the crate
This may seem odd at first, but dogs don’t want to go to the toilet in the same place they eat. So place his bowl in the crate and leave the door open. It usually takes just a day or two before he will associate his crate with an eating area and will look elsewhere to defecate.
Step
4
Change the crate bedding
Introduce some new blankets and bedding into the crate. Dogs don’t usually like going to the toilet in an area they enjoy sleeping in. If he currently poops and hides it under the bedding, remove the bedding altogether. Not having somewhere to hide it may well deter him from defecating there in future.
Step
5
Deal with accidents promptly
If he can smell previous stools, he will feel more comfortable going to the toilet there again. So quickly remove him and clean the area thoroughly with antibacterial spray. You don’t want him associating his crate with a suitable toilet area.
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The Consistent Schedule Method

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Step
1
Meal routine
Feed him meals at the same time each day. By creating a regular schedule, you will be able to predict when he will need to go to the toilet, enabling you to remove him from the crate before he gets a chance to go.
Step
2
Take him out regularly
This is particularly necessary for puppies who need to be let out every hour if they are under 12 weeks old. It is always worth taking him out within 20 minutes of him eating a meal as this is the time the bowels are stimulated.
Step
3
Head back home
If they do not go to the toilet as expected, take him in for 15 minutes and then head back out. If you know a number 2 is likely to be imminent, don’t be put off if he doesn’t go straight away, simply head back out again promptly. It is crucial you always have your dog outside when he needs to go, this will get him into a habit of only going outside.
Step
4
Timing
As your puppy gets older, increase the time between taking him out. When he is about 6 months old he will only need to go outside every 3-4 hours. Ensure this still ties in with taking him out after meals. This will slowly train his body clock to tie in with your toilet schedule and soon he won’t ever need a number 2 when he is in his crate anyway.
Step
5
Never punish
Don’t punish him when he does defecate in his crate. Dogs do not respond well when they are terrified. He may even start defecating in his crate out of fear, so simply take him out of the crate when he does have an accident, clean the mess up thoroughly and return him.
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The Postive & Negative Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Be treat ready
Arm yourself with treats whenever you take him outside. To start with, you need to be prepared to shower him with praise and treats whenever he doesn’t go to the toilet in his crate.
Step
2
Reward promptly
When you’re outside, give him a treat within 3 seconds of finishing his business. It is important he gets the treat as quickly as possible otherwise he won’t associate the treat with going to the toilet. Also make sure you don’t stare at him waiting for him to go, puppies in particular will be nervous to start with and need to feel comfortable to go about their business.
Step
3
Lose the treats
As he starts to poop outside regularly, slowly reduce the frequency of treats. When you are confident he is getting the hang of the toilet training, it’s important you reduce the treats and praise, you don’t want him piling on the pounds!
Step
4
'NO'
When you see him about to poo in his crate, say ‘NO’ loudly and firmly. Use your body language and voice to convey your disapproval, but be careful not to overdo it, you don’t want to terrify him. Only do this if you catch him about to go to the toilet, if you tell him off hours after the deed he won’t make the connection between the behavior and your angry response.
Step
5
React swiftly
Take him out until he has have gone about his business. As soon as he has, be sure to praise and reward him as part of the positive reinforcement outlined in the steps above. Using a combination of both positive and negative reinforcements will quickly teach him where it is and isn’t acceptable to go to the toilet. His days of going to the toilet in his crate will soon be over!
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Denton
Husky
2 Years
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Question
0 found helpful
Denton
Husky
2 Years

Denton goes potty outside every morning and then I finish getting ready for work. He is then placed in the kennel I will normally get hone and try to let him out during lunch time. However, he has defecated in his kennel. And this happens even if I leave him in there for a 5 to 10 minutes. I think he suffer from separation anxiety. Cause when I’m home and he is in the kennel he is fine. It’s when I leave and he can’t hear me what should I do. Any advice

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Elizabeth, First, make sure he is actually pooping after eating breakfast in the morning and not getting distracted while outside. Most dogs will need to go potty again 30-45 minutes after eating so plan his morning routine accordingly to make sure he has a change to poop first and hasn't learned to hold it until it's quiet in his crate. Take him potty on a leash and slowly walk him around outside on the leash to keep him focused. Tell him to "Go Potty" and give a treat for peeing. After he pees, tell him to "Go Potty" again and walk him around at least twice as long, and reward with several treats or pieces of dog food if he poops - to teach him to poop quickly when you tell him to go potty. If the issue still happens despite pooping outside before you leash, it could be separation anxiety. There are a couple of routes you can take with the separation anxiety. The first step is to work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time for some dogs. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar should be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead, since he will need something to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

We have a now 8 month doberman puppy that we are really struggling with. We followed these instructions the first time with her and her sister. Her sister got it within a month and is completely potty trained— but for her , for months, every night at 3 am — or some time when we are sleep .. she decides to go to the bathroom despite our training. We were told to start over and put her in a crate again to do all of this. We feed her in the crate, we have given her blankets and her favorite toys and bones. And she has despite all our efforts continued to poop on her food bowls and on her pillows, blankets, and toys. We changed her diet back and forth and we have done every schedule known to man. We have packed lunch and gone on long hikes in the woods. Outside for the majority of the day and giving treats to her when she poops but we get home and fall asleep she poops in the crate. She lays in it which can not be good for her health and most of the times she does this all night because we are not aware unless we do a morning bathroom run(which happens at 3 am mostly) . We do not know what else to do. We have trained both dogs the same, and for a month— we could leave both out. But she started regressing and pooping and now that she’s back in the crate it is an every morning chaotic mess. What should we do? It’s been 8 long months of taking this advice and trying this schedule or that schedule and changing diets, but she still goes every early morning and makes a routine out of it for us to the point that there is: bath, and return to clean crate. It’s almost like she expects us to just do this every night/ early morning now that shea back in crate. Like she has grown into this habit and we do not know what to do. Please help us, we are at the breaking point.

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Ares
Husky Jack
8 Months
0 found helpful
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Ares
Husky Jack
8 Months

We got Ares when was 4-5 months from a shelter. Who knows what habits or where he was before then. When we first got him home he was super well behaved and things were looking up. After a month he seemed to get comfortable and started peeing and pooping in his crate. We thought maybe it had to do with the shelter or wherever he was before. We would take him out before we left anywhere and sometimes he’d still go. We take him out between every two hours but everything I’m reading says at 6 months it should be every 4 hours and he’s 8 months..
The habit of him going in there has never stopped. Most of the time he’ll even EAT his poop to dispose of evidence 😅 what is our problem you think?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Sydney, First, just to rule a few things out....Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to stand up, lie down, and turn around and not so big he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big won't encourage a dog's natural desire to hold it in a confined space. Second, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate like a soft bed or towel - that can also sabotage efforts - check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent type bed. If it's not either of those things, then it is very possible be has lots his natural desire to hold it in a confined space because he was kept in such a space too often and forced to potty there - he may even associate it with pottying and think he is supposed to go there. If that's the case you need to potty train a different way. Check out the tethering method from the article linked below and follow that method whenever someone is home: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you have to leave, unless he has a safe, cool space to stay outside, you will need to create a durable exercise pen or dog-proof room and train him to go potty on a real-grass pad in that room, using the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below. Set this area up somewhere that you can block off access to later when he is fully potty trained because eventually you will want to be able to just leave him in the main area of the house and because of the tethering method and the main area of the house not being associated with pottying - like the room with the pen or dog-proofed room is, he should hold his bladder while you are gone - this probably won't be an option until he is past the chewing phase too though....check out the Exercise Pen method below and use a real-grass pad instead of a litter box (or create your own out of sod and a shallow, plastic storage box), and don't phase the exercise pen away like the method mentions - since you will eventually just transition to him only going potty outside and getting rid of the grass pad entirely later. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad - not astroturf: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Lucy
Bulldog
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lucy
Bulldog
5 Months

Our new puppy was housed in a crate where it was OK for her to poop and pee. How to we break the cycle of this since she only will poop and pee in there? She thinks we are crazy when we take her outside. She will, literally, wait to go in her crate to pee and poop. She will step in it and be content. HELP!...please

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kristina, Unfortunately, you will need to use an exercise pen to contain her when you cannot supervise her while potty training, and use the "Tethering" method from the article linked below to teach her to go potty outside. When she gets older and is potty trained, you can then use a crate instead of an exercise pen so that it will take up less space. When you get to that point, I suggest a crate that does not resemble what she used the bathroom in - for instance if she was in a wire crate before use a plastic one. If she used a plastic enclosed one before use a wire one later. Ideally you would be home to take her outside every hour to potty train and tether her to yourself. If that's not an option, set up an exercise pen in an area that she will not have free access to later, like a heated basement or guest bathroom, and put a disposable real grass pad in there for her to go potty on. The real grass will be more consistent with the grass outside. I do NOT suggest using pee pads for this. Real grass pad: https://www.freshpatch.com Tethering Method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Suki
Labradoodle
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Suki
Labradoodle
6 Months

Suki sleeps in the crate at night and was doing well, sleeping until 7am. I would let her out to pee/poo with no issue.
Now that some family members wake up earlier, she must hear them and is now pooing in the crate, even if no one is up early. I'm not sure what to do! HELP!

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Angel
Mixed breed
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Angel
Mixed breed
1 Year

I have a new dog and she is about a year old. She has recently began going going to the bathroom in her crate. She covers it with her blankets and lays down next to it. She does this while we are sleeping or away at work. She didn't do this before and we have had her for about 3 weeks. Is this something for concern? We live in an apartment and go on frequently bathroom walks but she has suddenly refused to go to the bathroom. Thanks for the help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ally, First, remove anything absorbent from her crate and make sure that the crate is only big enough for her to lie down, stand up, and turn around, and not so big that she can have an accident in one end and stand in the other end to avoid it. The blankets alone may be the issue. Check out www.primopads.com Look for something non-absorbent to give padding for the next year. Pee and poop should sit on top of anything in the crate with her and not absorb or drain into anything at all, to motivate her to hold it. Second, it is possible that something happened that lead to her not wanting to go potty outside - pooping is vulnerable for a dog and if they feel afraid they may not want to go. She could also simply be distracted. If she isn't going potty outside, then she may be having the accident in the crate when she physically cannot hold it anymore. She also may have learned that she prefers going poop in her crate so she isn't going outside because she is holding it until she gets to her crate intentionally. Whichever one comes first, the crate needs to be adjusted to make it a less enticing place to poop and she needs to be encouraged to poop outside more. When you take her potty, bring a few small tasty treats with you. Tell her to "Go Potty" and when she goes potty, give her one treat for pee. After you tell her to go potty, walk her around again for a few minutes, tell her to "Go Potty" again, and if she goes, give her five treats, one at a time, for going poop. Pay attention to her environment, is it super distracting? Does she seem scared? See if taking her potty in a different area helps her focus or feel more secure. Be sure to take her on a leash to avoid her getting too distracted to go potty. Insist that she goes potty again after peeing every time by telling her to Go Potty again and walking her around slowly on the leash, encouraging her to sniff and taking her away from anything she gets too distracted by. Many young dogs will not go poop on their own when you take them because they are so distracted, and need for you to insist that they go potty again each time they are taken. They will not have to poop every time, but if she hasn't pooped recently, take the time to insist on it in case she does need to go - she will often surprise you by going sometimes when you insisted, even though you didn't really think she had to - making you glad to took the time. If she is pooping more than three times a day, seems in pain when she goes or is constipated - which can cause her to hold it until she isn't able to anymore, or doesn't seem to have control of when she poops, then visit your vet. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leo
German shepherd mix
2 Years
0 found helpful
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0 found helpful
Leo
German shepherd mix
2 Years

Me and my husband adopted Leo in January and have dealt with training problems. We were told when we adopted him that he knew how to act in the home and in a crate. We came home one day after being gone for maybe an hour and he destroyed the house. We left him in a Crate for about an hour and he chewed through the tray at the bottom. We moved the crate into our room and he sleeps in it just fine and goes into it on his own accord. When we are home he never goes to the bathroom in the house. We leave him to roam the house sometimes when we leave and he always poops. We leave him in the crate when we leave and sometimes he poops, sometimes he doesn’t. He has a strict eating schedule and walking schedule but still does this. I don’t know what to do at this point. I don’t want to come home to poop everyday.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello, First, pup definitely needs to be crated when you aren't there to supervise right now. Also, make sure the issue isn't related to the crate set up or schedule. Go with pup outside to go potty and make sure that he is actually pooping when he goes out before crating him. Be sure to feed meals at least 45 minutes before you will be crating and give an additional potty break 15-45 minutes after food, even if he already peed recently. Many dogs will need to poop after eating, but the urge to go can be a bit delayed, so if you feed then crate right away - you often get an accident. Make sure the crate is the right size. Large enough that pup can turn around, stand up, and lie down, but not so large he can potty on one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big and it won't encourage potty training. Make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate. If you want to give a bed, check out something like www.primopads.com and use the included zipties to secure the pad edges all around the crate so that he can't pull it up to chew as easily. The issue might also be a form of separation anxiety. If so, work on building his independence and his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open. Change your routine surrounding leaving so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is hard for him to deescalate from, and be sure to continue to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a dog food stuffed Kong to chew on); this is the general protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time on its own for some dogs. Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omg5DVPWIWo Crate manners: https://thegooddog.net/training-videos/free-how-to-training-videos/learn-to-train-the-good-dog-way-the-crate/ Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction. Who is extremely knowledgeable about e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol too. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety more firmly. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of his life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator or Garmin Delta Sport or Dogtra for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator and Garmin should also have a vibration mode) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh and the smell - punisher lingers a long time so the dog continues to be corrected even after they stop the behavior). The vibration or spray collars are less likely to work than stimulation e-collars though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with your pup’s end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM A modern, high quality collar will have so many levels that each level should be really subtle and he will likely respond to a low level stimulation. It's uncomfortable but not the harsh shock many people associate with such collars if done right. Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours or days if you can (take it off at night to sleep though). Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave. Spy on him from outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or two more levels on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. For example, if his level is 13 out of 100 levels on the Mini Educator, don't go past level 16 right now. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar will probably be low to medium, within the first forty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog, sprinkle several treats into the crate without saying anything, then leave again. Practice correcting him from outside when he barks or tries to escape, going back inside and sprinkling treats when he stays quiet, for up to 30 minutes at first. After 30 minutes -1 hour of practicing this, when he is quiet, go back inside and sprinkle more treats. This time stay inside. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around and get stuff done inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does is in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. First, he probably needs his anxious state of mind interrupted so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once it's interrupted, give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate for him to relieve his boredom instead of barking, since he will need something other than barking to do at that point. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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London
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks
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London
Shih Tzu
7 Weeks

Poops in his crate in the middle of the night. I take him out every 2 hours but he seems to be going in between. He will only poop once a day. Help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katrina, I suggest a trip to your vet first. Pooping more than three times in 24 hours could suggest a medical issue. Most puppies need to be dewormed several times before 10 weeks (I am not a vet). Check out the tethering method and Crate Training method from the article linked below and pay special attention to teaching the "Go Potty" command, taking pup potty on leash, keeping him moving and focused while outside to encourage the urge to poop, and rewarding after he goes potty to help him learn. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Also, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate, including a soft bed or towel - something soft in the crate will encourage pottying in the crate. Check out www.primopads.com for a non-abosorbent bed idea. Make sure the crate is not too big. It should only be big enough for him to stand up, turn around and lie down. If it's big enough he can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it, it won't encourage potty training. A crate divider can make a bigger crate small enough without having to re-buy a crate. Rule out potential medical issues if he is pooping frequently though - because he won't be able to stop the pooping no matter what you do if there is a medical reason behind it that needs addressing. Don't give any food two hours before bed until time to wake up in the morning. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bujee
French Bulldog
1 Year
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Bujee
French Bulldog
1 Year

I have had my dog since 4 months old and had her on schedule using the bathroom every 4 hours. She was doing great and not using the bathroom in her crate as much at the start. Forward to 6 months later. All of a sudden she number 1 and 2 inside her crate on a regular and seems to be nothing i can do to break her off that problem. She seemed to have been create trained where my other dog wasn't and now the other dog does not use the bathroom in crate but she does.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Erick, First, take a look at her crate. The crate should only be big enough for her to lie down, stand up, and turn around, and not so big she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big of a crate won't encourage her natural desire to hold it while in there. If you went up in crate size that could be to blame, or she may have just realized how big is was all of the sudden. There should also be nothing absorbent in the crate - including a soft dog bed or towel. If you need to give her a bed, check out something like www.primopads.com that is non-absorbent but still has a little firm padding. Second, if the crate smells like pee or poop that's confusing to her. Clean it thoroughly with a cleaner that contains enzymes. Only enzymes will fully remove the smell for a dog's sensitive nose - and any remaining smell will encourage a dog to go potty in there again. You may even need to buy a different type of crate at this point since she now associates it with pottying - if you have a plastic closed in viri-kennel then buy a wire one, and vice versus. If she is being left in crate for too long that could be to blame. If it's less than 8 hours and she is having accidents, then I would check with your vet for a medical condition that could make it so that she can't hold it for very long - forcing her to have an accident. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Baxter
Yorkshire Terrier
Eleven Months
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Baxter
Yorkshire Terrier
Eleven Months

My 11 month old yorkie is in a crate at night and during the day while at work. He will hold his bowel movements and urine during the night until morning. But he will not hold it during the day. I come home daily to him defecating in his crate. He walks around in it and lays in it. So daily bathes and crate cleaning are normal. What can I do to stop this behavior? His crate is doesn’t have much room for him to walk around in. It’s about as tall and long as him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Misty, A couple of things could be going on here: 1. He was left in the crate too long and forced to have multiple accidents in it so he lost his natural desire to hold it in a crate. At night most dog's digestive system shuts down so many dogs don't need to go potty during the day like the do at night. This can happen with puppy mill puppies, pet store puppies, rescue puppies that are crated too long, or if owners don't let them out frequently enough. 2. He is holding during the day due to a medical problem, distraction while outside, a lack of understanding that he should be pottying outside, or fear of pooping outside for some reason - pooping puts a dog in a vulnerable position so they often don't want to go if they feel unsafe. When a dog holds, at some point they can no longer hold and involuntarily poop wherever they are - even if they don't want to make the crate messy. After this happens enough they typically loose their instinct to keep the crate clean in some cases. I suggest doing the following: 1. When he take him potty, take him on a leash. Tell him to "Go Potty" and whenever he pees, give him one treat. Whenever he poops outside, give him five tiny, tasty treats, one treat at a time. Walk him around slowly, encouraging him to sniff and keeping him on task, tell him to "Go Potty" again after he pees and walk him around again for 5-10 minutes. Most dogs need to be kept focused to poop - pee is usually easier. The rewards and movement should help get his digestive system going, and the treats motivate him to go. 2. If he doesn't poop, he needs to be attached to you with a six foot leash to keep him from wandering off to poop while you are home, and taken out every hour until he poops. Always take him out within thirty minutes of him eating because most dogs need to poop after eating, even if he just peed before being fed. 3. If you have to leave him, place him in an exercise pen with a real grass pad (NOT pee pad) in a room that he does not normally have access to. Check out the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below. Practice that method while you are home until he will start going potty on the grass, then only have him use the grass pad while you are gone and need to put him into the exercise pen, and reward pottying outside so the focus is on outside potty training more than the grass pad. He will be learning to go potty on the grass pad AND in that location, which is why the exercise pen needs to be in an area that he normally won't be allowed so that he doesn't have accidents there later once you remove the exercise pen and have him go potty only outside. Do not phase the exercise pen out like the article mentions. You want to keep using it just to keep your home clean right now since you can't use a crate, then remove it completely and not let him into that area anymore when he is fully potty trained in the rest of the house and will hold it while you are gone. The article mentions litter box training, but use a real-grass pad instead - the steps are the same regardless of which you use. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy You won't be able to use a crate again until he is fully potty trained because right now he associates it with going potty. 4. Address any fear of being outside if he seems afraid while outside, or take him somewhere calmer is he seems too distracted and you are currently walking him somewhere with a lot of distractions. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Piper
cockapoo
16 Weeks
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Piper
cockapoo
16 Weeks

Our 16 week old puppy had been doing really well with not pooping in her crate from 10 weeks old. Then at around 14 weeks and continuing, she poops in her crate. Now, she poops in it every night and every time we leave. We give her plenty of opportunities to outside before we put her in the crate. Why is she going backwards with the potty training and what can we do to fix it?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, Some puppies will get more distracted when they get older. When you take her potty outside, take her on a leash, tell her to "Go Potty" then walk her around to find a place to pee. When she pees, give her one treat. After that tell her to "Go Potty" again and walk her around for another 10 minutes, keeping her focused on what she's doing and redirecting her attention back to sniffing if she starts to get distracted. When she poops, praise her enthusiastically and give her five treats - one treat at a time. Keep the treats by the door so that you will remember to grab them on your way out the door. Many puppies and some dogs will just quickly pee outside so that they can get back to exploring and playing, and they need to be kept focused and kept on task in order to poop too. is she is holding her poop outside, then eventually she will just be forced to hold it wherever she is - such as the crate at night or the middle of the day. If you are letting her into the yard by herself to go potty that is likely to blame. Just not keeping her focused enough or walking her around long enough after peeing could also be the issue. After she eats, make sure that you are taking her back outside to go potty because most puppies need to poop within 15-45 minutes of eating, even if they just went out right before eating. If her poop looks loose or she is having more than 3 poops a day, then I suggest visiting your vet. There may be a medical issue like an infection or parasites that is messing up her GI system and needs to be addressed. (I am not a vet though) Take a look at her crate. The crate should only be big enough for her to lie down, stand up, and turn around, and not so big she can poop in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big of a crate won't encourage her natural desire to hold it while in there. If you went up in crate size that could be to blame, or she may have just realized how big is was all of the sudden. There should also be nothing absorbent in the crate - including a soft dog bed or towel. If you need to give her a bed, check out something like www.primopads.com that is non-absorbent but still has a little firm padding. Finally, if she is afraid of something outside, pooping puts a dog in a vulnerable position, so she may be refusing to go because she is nervous. If that is the case, she needs help overcoming her fear of whatever is making her nervous outside. Being distracted is a lot more common than fear though if you are only taking her potty in your own yard and she was previously fine. Watch her body language for signs that she is tense or nervous. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Denim
Shitzu
14 Weeks
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Denim
Shitzu
14 Weeks

Denim has been with us for 1 week . I have to work so I need to leave him in the crate for about 7 hours until I return home . I take him to potty and he does before I leave . When I get home from work he’s pooped his crate . Also when I leave him for short periods less than a hour he poops in his crate and cries the whole time . He doesn’t poop or Lee in his crate at night. What should I do ?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Debra, A puppy can only physically hold their pee and poop for the number of months they are in age plus one - meaning that at about 3 months old he physically cannot hold it for longer than 4 hours and thus was forced to go potty in the crate. When this happens often enough a dog will loose their natural desire to keep a confined space clean and will simply learn to potty in that space - making it so that you cannot use a crate to potty train anymore. The above is likely what has happened after a couple of weeks. Puppies also often need to be taken potty 15-45 minutes after eating to poop, even if they just peed before being fed. The food gets their digestive system moving. Make sure you are taking him potty far enough ahead of time after you feed him before you leave to give him a chance to poop outside. At this point you will need to switch to another method besides crate training because he has learned to associate the crate with pottying. Set up an exercise pen in an area of your home where he normally doesn't have access to, like a spare bedroom or bathroom. Place a disposable real-grass pad on one end of the pen and use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below to teach him to potty on the grass pad. Do not use pee pads for this or that could lead to peeing on carpet and rugs. You want him to only learn to pee in that one room on the grass-pad in the pen if your end goal is outside potty training. The method below mentions using a litter box, I suggest using a real-grass pad instead to more closely resemble outside, and not to phase the exercise pen out but keep it where it is until your pup is ready just to be free in the rest of your home and hold it all day - at which point you will just leave him out or confine him to another dog-proofed room, and not crate (you can try reintroducing the crate later once he is fully potty trained to have it as an option during travel). Exercise Pen: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real-grass pad options on amazon too: freshpatch.com doggielawn.com porchpotty.com Use the exercise pen while you are gone or cannot supervise him. When you are home, use the tethering method from the article linked below to teach him how to hold his bladder in the rest of the house so that you can eventually transition him to pottying only outside even while you are gone off when he is 8+ months old and can make it 7-8 hours without an accident by then. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bailey
Shihpoo
11 Weeks
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Bailey
Shihpoo
11 Weeks

We adopted Bailey at 9 weeks. Potty training during the day is going well, but at night, he will poop in his crate. We set alarms & take him out every 3 hours overnight. He will have one completely successful night, then the next night will have pooped every time we go to take him out. We've made the crate small, then he poops in his bed. We took away the bedding, then he cries all night. We do know he loves his bed, he likes his crate & will voluntarily go in during the day to nap & have a snack in there while we eat. We leave his door open all day & only close the door when he's there for bed or for us to run out. He's had no accidents when we have left him during the day. We keep the crate in our family room away from the bedrooms. He does not cry at all, except if he does not have his bed. Could it be separation anxiety? Or is he just young & we just need to be patient? Currently: we are exhausted with getting up only to find he's pooped.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kara, The issue is most likely the bed (for the crate to work there needs to be nothing absorbent in it until fully potty trained) and his daytime routine. Pooping at night is not typical digestion-wise. Is he also pooping outside during the day? How often is he pooping total during 24 hours? You want to get all of the poops "Out" during the day so that his digestive system sleeps at night too. Many puppies get distracted while outside. Follow one of the methods from the article linked below to focus more on getting him to poop 2-3 times during the day when you take him out. Make sure you are teaching him "Go Potty" - which will help him learn to focus better, giving treats for pottying, taking him out on a leash to minimize distractions, and walking him around and keeping him focused well on pooping ("Go Potty" again) after he pees each time. Most puppies just quickly pee, then move onto playing or going back inside and don't stop to poop; you have to insist that he stay focused longer and try in case he needs to. Also, most puppies need to poop 15-45 minutes after eating so be especially vigilant at those times. Movement can help get things going, as can poop scent or attractant sprays. Make sure you are feeding dinner at least two hours before bedtime - you can try moving the meal even a little earlier if it tends to help you. Pooping outside article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If he is pooping more than 3-4 times in 24 hours, I suggest a trip to your vet to get things checked out. 2-3 times is typical for a puppy. After every meal is also pretty common. For the bed, check out primopads.com. It won't be soft but it's not absorbent and offers a little padding still so can be the in-between of soft and nothing until older. I don't suspect separation anxiety this young - just adjusting still. It shouldn't hurt him to cry. Let him work it out as long as you know other needs are met. When he cries and you know he is just adjusting and doesn't need to go potty, don't let him out until he gets quiet. If you let him out, he won't learn to adjust and will be rewarded for crying so will continue to do so. If you are really consistent expect it to take him up to two weeks to adjust, with 3 days being the normal. Another good reason to remove the bed is most puppies will go through an additional more destructive chewing phase around 6-8 months - this phase is when bedding and toys are often ripped to shreds and pieces can be swallowed because jaws are getting strong by then. If he starts to destroy things at that age, then you will end up having to remove the bed then anyways for safety and training, and it will be harder to do so then than now once he is really used to it. I generally withhold all soft bedding until after fully potty trained and past all the destructive chewing phases. To get him used to being in the crate with the door closed, you can also practice the methods from the article linked below some during the day - especially focusing on the Surprise method. Do not give food at night though because that can lead to more wakefulness and pooping. Crate Training: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Pebbles
Shihpoo
4 Years
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Pebbles
Shihpoo
4 Years

Pebbles is 4 years old, and I just got her from a home where she was trained to go potty using puppy pads. I am transitioning her to going potty outside and she has been mostly successful peeing outside, but not pooping. Her old family left her in her crate for a while during the day I believe, and today I went out for a few hours and left her and my other dog in their crates (after taking both of them out this morning). When I came back, she had pooped in her crate. This was her first time in her crate here for that long during the day while I was gone so maybe that is part of the problem. All of that to say that I want to know how to train her not to poop in the crate (or in the house at all).

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jasmine, First, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate - including a soft bed, towel, or stuffed toys. Use something non-absorbent like www.primopads.com if you want to give a bed in the crate and need something else. Second, make sure the crate is the right size. It should be big enough to turn around, lie down, and stand up, but not so big she can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Companies make crate dividers for wire crate if you need to size down without buying a new crate. Third, work on getting her to go potty outside. Check out the crate training article linked below and specifically the tips about using an attractant spray, teaching the "Go Potty" command, walking around again after she pees. Scent, movement, and helping her stay focused can help her poop outside. Be sure to take her outside 15-45 minutes after she eats also, even if she just went out before eating, because many dogs need to poop after being fed. Crate Training method - since she is older she can hold her pee for longer. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Work on the above the help her poop outside. If she consistently poops only in the crate despite doing the above well, then she may have lost her natural desire to hold it in a confined space because of how she was raised. Once a dog looses that, they don't get it back, so you will need to take another approach to potty training. When you are home, use the Tethering method from the article linked below: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you have to leave the house, have an exercise pen set up in a room that she doesn't have access to normally - like a guest bathroom, room in the basement, laundry room, ect...One one end of the exercise pen put a real grass pad and use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below to train her to potty on the real grass pad. Use a grass pad because it more closely resembles grass outside, put the exercise pen somewhere away from the rest of the house that you can block off access to when she isn't in the pen - so that she only learns to potty in that room and not other areas of the house, and adjust the exercise pen method to use a grass pad instead of the mentioned litter box, and not to phase out the exercise pen even since your goal is outside potty training and not inside pottying. When she is completely potty trained in the rest of the house, then you will simply keep her in the rest of the house while you are home instead of crating or confining in an exercise pen - you can use baby gates to confine to the kitchen or somewhere to prevent chewing. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - use real grass, not astroturf to help transfer to outside: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com Once you are a year past crate issues and she is fully potty trained, you can try reintroducing the crate to see if she will hold it in there now. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Millie
Labradoodle
4 Months
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Millie
Labradoodle
4 Months

Millie is pretty far along in her potty training, but very recently she began pooping at night and in her cage when we leave, even for short errands. I am not sure what more to do. The cage is the right size, I’m consistent with feeding, she’s up to date on vacs and was just at the vet with a good bill of health. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jody, At four month of age she may be getting more distracted and excited while outside - this can be normal. If she is overly distracted then she might be holding it and not pooping outside when she needs to, then when she comes inside and things are calm she poops in her crate. First, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate with her, including a soft bed or towel - that can cause issues. Use something like www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Second, whenever you take her potty outside, tell her to "Go Potty" and give one treat if she pees, then tell her to "Go Potty" again after she pees and slowly walk her around for twice as long as you did for peeing, encouraging her to sniff and redirecting her attention away from anything that begins to distract her. When she goes poop, give four small treats and praise. Work extra hard on this 15-45 minutes after meals, after she is running around a lot, and before crating her or putting her to bed. This has to be done on a leash - she won't be ready to stay focused enough to poop off leash yet, that comes later if you have a fence. Expect to take extra time outside for this. I know you probably don't want to walk around for longer to make sure, but when in doubt make sure you are giving her a really good chance to poop outside. If you can consistently get her to poop outside with the extra effort, then as she matures and focuses better it should eventually get quicker again with age. Pay attention to how many times she is pooping in 24 hours, 2-3 is normal at this age. If its more than that, something like a change in food, probiotic, or re-visit to your vet may need to happen, especially if it is 5+ times. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Nova
Chocolate lab
2 Months
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Nova
Chocolate lab
2 Months

Hey there! We just picked up our puppy a week ago. During the day she doesn’t have accidents inside and lets us know when she needs to use the bathroom, usually by going to the door and barking. My problem lies when she is crated for the night. I’m not sure if it is possible, but I feel like she poops in her crate on purpose. Never any pee. She will poop up to 8 times in one night, and the consistency isn’t the same as during the day, it is usually solid, whereas at night it’s more or less diarrhea. Looking for pointers on what I might do to nip this in the bud fast? I’ve tried getting up every two hrs, making the crate smaller, putting a little bed in there for her, etc all with no luck. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zach, This doesn't sound behavioral unless she has other signs of extreme anxiety (not the normal puppy crying but shaking, drooling, trying to escape to the point of injury, totally shutting down, ect...). I would consults your vet, there could be something with digestion going on that's worse at night, a hormonal issue that fluctuates then and effects things, or something she is eating at night or a few hours before bed that's causing it. Try keeping her in an exercise pen at night and taking her potty still (expect accidents in the pen like what happens in the crate - this is just an experiment and not what I recommend long term). If her pooping habits are completely fine in the exercise pen at night, in contrast to how they are in the crate, then it could be anxiety related to the crate. If things are still diarrhea in the pen then I would look for a medical cause that has a connection to her evening routine or the changes in her body that happen at night. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Josephine
Labrador Retriever
9 Weeks
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Josephine
Labrador Retriever
9 Weeks

Josie has been having trouble pooping in the crate. I adjusted the size to the specifications that your site suggests and she eats in there now. My question is should I leave rhe clean bowl in the crate with her when she is sleeping and throughout the day.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Eric, If making those changes has stopped the accidents, I suggest keeping the bowl in there for about two weeks, then removing it once pup has hopefully developed a habit of keeping it clean in there, without needing the bowl. If pup starts to have accidents again, you can return the bowl to there for a few weeks longer. You can feed pup their meals in there long-term also, but take the bowl out after meals once potty training is better - to make it more comfortable. If you want to experiment with taking the bowl out sooner, you can after a week as well - just be ready to return it again and continue feeding meals in the crate if accidents return. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Melo
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
15 Months
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Melo
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
15 Months

Melo uses his crate as a bathroom. We adopted him and have only had him for two months and can not get him to stop using his crate as a toilet. I’ve had many dogs and he is the first to do this. His crate is the right size, he has no medical condition, and he is on a bathroom schedule. I’ve been doing the treat and positive praise when he goes potty outside, which is only making him go quicker, because he is easily distracted when outside and will take forever to go pee/poo. We always make sure he does both pee and poo before we go back inside the house and before we leave for work or school. After we leave, 30 minutes or an hour later I will check the camera and he has gone pee/poo in his crate. We stopped putting him in his crate because I would have to bathe him everyday because of his bathroom mess. So he roams free in the house but returns to his crate to pee/ poo. He is usually alone for 4 -5 hrs at a time. Many times only 2 hrs and he still will use the bathroom in his crate. When we are home he can hold it until we take him out and he can hold it all night until morning. We take him out between 9:30- 10:00pm before bed and then at 7 am. We also have been giving him a special bone with peanut butter when leave and he only gets this when we leave. Yet, still goes bathroom in his crate when we leave the house. We have added playing calming music when we leave the house. We also play this when we are with him in relax state so far no changes. Is putting a pee pad in his crate encouraging him to use it as a bathroom? I do this for easy clean up because if nothing in there he will still go pee/poo in there.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Zenna, First, the pee pad definitely encourages pottying in there - a pee pad is typically scented to actually attract a dog to going potty on it, BUT it sounds like this was already a full blown issue long before you added the pee pad. Since you don't know his past, there is a very good chance he was actually taught to go potty in the crate and views his crate the way a pee pad trained dog would view a pee pad - when he is pottying in there it's because he actually thinks that that is the toilet and is where he should go, so has no motivation to hold it for 6-8 hours until you get home - when he could feel relief by going in the toilet crate after two hours. Some dogs are intentionally taught to potty in their crates on pee pads. Many are simply crated so long as puppies that they are physically forced to go in their crates regularly and they eventually loose the natural desire to keep it clean and begin to learn to go potty in there routinely. You most likely won't be able to use a crate for this dog - definitely not right now but possibly never. However, you can use something like an exercise pen instead just to keep pup in a safe area of the house if pup isn't trustworthy left free. If you remove the crate, will pup have an accident in the house or wait until you get home to be taken outside? If pup will wait, then you can either leave pup free, confine in an exercise pen, or lock in a safe room of the house and not have to worry about accidents - just simply get rid of the crate. If pup will still have an accident in the house if the crate is removed, then you will need to teach pup to use a designated toilet while you are gone. I would actually create something similar to a big litter box for this...Purchase a large shallow plastic storage container - so it looks like the bottom half of the crate or litter box and put a piece of grass sod or a real grass pad bought online, into the container. Teach pup to use this instead of the non-absorbent/messy crate while you are away. Confine pup in a room that you can close off when you are home, with hard floors, and place the new toilet in that room for pup to use. When you are home, maintain normal potty training with your supervision and frequent trips outside - Only using the new toilet when you can't work on potty training with pup. Real grass pad brands - most also found on Amazon: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com - you can also just buy the sod replacement tops here I believe. After enough practice keeping the rest of the house clean without accidents, pup should eventually be able to be left without a toilet and still be able to hold it for up to 8 hours without accidents (while not in a crate). I would not expect to be able to use a traditional crate again though - since pup believes that it is a toilet and the habit appears to be ingrained. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Benedict
Labrador Retriever
2 Months
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Benedict
Labrador Retriever
2 Months

Benny gets really upset when I put him in his crate every night and in between potty breaks. He barks and whines throughout the night causing me to lose sleep. When he gets really upset he ends up pooping even thought he crate is small enough. I can’t seem to find the balance between taking him out and letting him cry it out since it seems like he poops every time he gets really upset. Any help would be much appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katherine, First, what you are dealing with isn't too unusual, so don't panic. Since pup is so young, I am assuming that you just started the crate training process during the past week. It takes most puppies about two weeks to adjust. First, practice the Surprise method from the article linked below during the day to help teach pup to be quiet and calm in the crate during a time when everyone isn't so sleepy. This should help pup with nights too, but don't give treats at night. You will just have to ignore the crying at night - practice the method as often as you can for up to an hour when you are home during the day with some freedom out of the crate between each session whenever you can. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate In the evenings, watch puppy's schedule. Be sure to take away all food and water at least 2 hours before bedtime. You may need to feed pup even earlier than that too. Pup's digestive system needs a chance to clear out before bed. During the day how often is puppy pooping. If puppy isn't pooping 2-3 times during the day, he is likely getting distracted while outside and not finishing - resulting in him needing to poop at night when he can no longer hold it and he is finally calm enough to go. Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below, and specifically the sections on walking pup around on a leash slowly, teaching "Go Potty", rewarding with treats to motivate, and always walking pup around slowly again after he pees to encourage him to poop - especially 30-45 minutes after he's had a meal or run around a lot. Finally, at this age pup will need to be taken outside during the night a couple of times most likely - especially during the crate training phase when he stays awake longer fighting sleep. A puppy can hold it for longer if asleep, but at this age 3 hours will be his maximum if he stays awake or wakes up. If it's been at least that long and he cries, take him potty. Just do it on a leash, keep it super boring (no treats at night), and put him straight back into the crate without playing after he finishes. You don't want him to think night trips are fun and wake up more to play later. If he wakes up sooner than three hours, ignore him - unless he soiled himself. If he pooped, you will need to clean it up, but keep the entire thing as boring and uneventful as possible. You may even want to see if someone has another crate you can borrow during this transition so that you can simply open the crate, wipe him off, and put him into the other crate while you clean. I am so sorry it's been so hard. In most cases it does get easier within two weeks. Some puppies can be a lot more dramatic than others, but I wouldn't give up on crate training yet - a couple of hard weeks can yield a dog that's able to be safe, learn good manners, and earn more freedom later. If you aren't seeing any improvement within two weeks, check back here with detail about what you tried and for how long, or hire a professional trainer, who comes well recommended by their previous clients, specializes in behavior issues, and has a lot of experience with puppies, who can assess the situation in person to tailor a solution to you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Winnie
Dachshund
9 Weeks
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Winnie
Dachshund
9 Weeks

We have had Winnie a week and she did well overnight the first few days, but then made a huge mess of her crate one evening when we were out to dinner. Not diarrhea, but smeared it around everywhere- maybe like she was trying to bury it? And then the night three nights, she has pooped in her crate- not a huge mess again- but not in a neat little corner either. She is on a good daytime schedule- she poops outside 1 hour after she eats (3 times) and again just before bed. I fed her supper at 3:30pm yesterday to make sure she had an empty system at bedtime, and she went after supper and before bed, but still also in her crate at night. I take her to pee once at night- I could stay out longer and get her to poop too- but I am wondering why she is going at night at all when she wasn't before. The only thing that has changed is she didn't eat much the first couple of days while stressed and is now eating well. Her crate is small, we have changed out soft bedding. Should I leave her crate door open at night with a pad or grass area so she can get out and go? Or make her poop at 3am? Thanks for any help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Julie, I actually suggest a trip to your vet. Most puppies poop about 3 times per day. It sounds like she is pooping pretty often, and since the increase is more recent I suggest getting her check by your vet to make sure there isn't an infection or she doesn't need to be wormed again (common) or something else going on. (I am not a vet so really can't give medical advise here - but I suggest speaking with your vet). Once you have ruled out or dealt with anything medical going on, clean her crate really thoroughly with an enzymatic cleaner that will fully remove the smell. Look for the word enzyme or enzymatic somewhere on the bottle. Natures Miracle has one, Whip It is one, and there are other...Just make sure you get one with enzymes - even bleach doesn't tackle the smell well enough for a dog's sensitive nose. Check out the article I have linked below and follow the Tethering method and the Crate Training method - it sounds like potty training over all is going well, but compare the schedule below with what you are doing and make sure you aren't missing something, like not taking her potty frequently enough. At this age 2-3 hours during the day is her maximum time she can hold it in the crate. Anything past that and she physically can't hold it - if she is forced to potty in her crate by being left for too long too many times, she will start to loose her natural desire to keep the space clean. Avoid that!! It makes it much harder to potty train if that happens. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside At this age she will need to go potty 1-2 times during the night. Most puppies will wake and start crying - and you will take them then so that you don't have to wake them up. If pup isn't waking you up when she needs to go during the night, you will unfortunately have to set an alarm and get up to take her for a few weeks. You can push back the time you take her at by an hour every month she is older, until she doesn't need to be taken at night at all around 4.5-5.5 months (typically, it can last a month longer or be a couple weeks sooner that she can hold it through the night) As unpleasant as it is to wake up during the night, I suggest avoiding the grass pad and crate being open at night if you can. That is a good backup solution if the entire setup is still in an exercise pen to keep her from chewing things and wandering at night, but adding any type of indoor potty training for a dog who you want to exclusively outside potty train long-term could cause a lot more work and need for extra potty training in the long run. In my opinion overall it is FAR easier to wake up during the night to take her potty for another few weeks, but then have a fully potty trained puppy within a couple of months, than have to undo certain indoor habits and work on potty training for a lot longer overall. I generally tell people to be really strict and put in the hard work with potty training up front to do it right - and they will be done and have far less frustration in the long run, than the person who put less work in and spent less time on it at first - but took a year to potty train their pup. I can tell you are dedicated and doing a good job, keep learning and keep up the good work. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Shihpoo
7 Months
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Luna
Shihpoo
7 Months

Luna has been regressing in house training and having accidents in my apartment while I'm out so I'm trying out crate training again (had stopped a couple months ago). She got two walks today while I was at work, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., and when I got home around 4:30 she had pooped in her crate. Her crate is small, no room for her to walk around, so she was covered in poop. I'm not sure what else to try!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madeline, When you took her potty did she go potty? The issue might be her getting distracted while outside and not actually finishing. If that may be the case, I suggest teaching the "Go Potty" command and rewarding with a treat after she goes. Also, make sure you are taking her somewhere more boring to go potty - where there are less distractions if that's an option. Walk her around slowly on the leash, encouraging her to go and telling her to "Go Potty". When she goes potty, give her a treat. You can also use a potty attractant spray, such as "Go Here" or "Hurry!", which can be sprayed on the ground in the area you want her to go in to also encourage her to want to go potty there. If she went potty when you took her outside and is still having regular accidents that soon, I suggest a trip to your vet. There might be something medical going on like an infection or parasites that is leading to more frequent accidents. Having an accident 1.5 hours after pottying outside (if she went then) isn't typical so I would get that checked out if she is pottying that soon after despite the confined space of the crate. Be sure to clean the crate thoroughly with a cleaner that contains enzymes to full remove the potty smell either way. Even bleach won't do it well enough, it needs to be enzymes. Look on a pet cleaner bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rigby
Goldendoodle
13 Weeks
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Rigby
Goldendoodle
13 Weeks

Any suggestions?
We have a 13 week old goldendoodle who poops in her crate at night about 2-3 times per week. We have a crate with a divider in it set to about 8 spaces back. Just big enough so she can lie down and turn around. She is GREAT during the day in her crate. She NEVER poops then. But in the morning when we wake up it’s always a gamble. She is in her crate at the same time every night and wakes up at the same time every morning. She will bark to let us know that she’s up at 6am and we immediately come downstairs, but never know what we are walking into. She poops about 3x a day already. And is doing much better with going outside except in the crate at night. The only thing she has in her crate is a chew toy and a small blanket. But she doesn’t even try to cover it up. She jumps in it and grinds it into her fur and paws making for a disaster trying to clean her up. Our breeder recommended not giving food in the crate but at this point I’m open to anything to help. Her feeding schedule is consistent and so is her bathroom schedule so we don’t know what else to do to fix this problem. I feel awful every time I have to clean her up out of her crate since it is so dried to her I almost have to power wash her in the bathtub and then she sits and shakes afterwards. And we are using an enzyme cleaner to help destroy the scent. How do I avoid trauma but also clean her? How do I stop this from happening all together? We are losing our minds....

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Karissa, First, remove all food two hours before bed and don't give anymore until breakfast in the morning. If you are leaving food with her overnight or dinner is too close to bed, that alone might be the reason for this. Second, as unpleasant as this is, this might be a case where you need to temporarily set an alarm for the middle of the night or early, early morning to take her potty outside, then put her back into the crate. If you do this, take her on a leash, keep the trip super boring with no treats or play or verbal interaction - you want her to stay as sleepy and bored as possible. After she goes potty, take her straight back inside and into the crate, ignore any crying when you put her back in (she will probably cry the first couple times because she thought you were getting up for the day, but after some consistency she should learn just to go back to sleep). The goal with these trips is just to get out of the cycle of accidents long enough to establish some new rhythms. Third, when you take her potty after dinner and before bed, really work on helping her focus on pooping. Each time you take her potty, tell her to "Go Potty". If she pees, give a treat, then walk her around slowly again and tell her to "Go Potty" again. If she poops, give three treats, one at a time. By doing this you are teaching her the Go Potty command and making sure she is really finishing pottying in the evening and not holding her poop after peeing because she is excited or distracted. Fourth, if pup is pooping more than 3x during 24 hours you may want to consider a trip to your vet to make sure their isn't a GI issue such as needing to be wormed again, an infection, ect... (I am not a vet). Such issues could lead to nighttime pooping accidents if her eating schedule isn't causing it. The goal is to stop the incident from happening at all so that the baths aren't needed. I would focus on that the most. Another type of haircut might make the cleanup easier too, but that would be a question for your groomer since you also don't want her to be cold. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Yummy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
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Yummy
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

My dog just turned a year old. We have tried too many house training techniques to list. We have a proper size crate, we don't over feed and we take her out regularly, yet she has no compunction against pooping in her crate. She generally will not pee in there, but poops in her crate often. I am at my wits end because nothing seems to work and at a year old, I would think house-training would no longer be an issue.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Adrienne, At one year of age pup probably has already lost her natural desire to keep a confined space clean - which is why a crate isn't working no matter how you adjust it. This means that a crate will not be an effective means of potty training for you right now. There are a couple of other routes you can take. You can either place a disposable real grass pad in a small confined space that she stays in while you are away - such as a bathroom with the rugs taken up, and teach her to potty on the grass pads while you are gone, then while you are home, keep pup tethered to you with a 6 or 8 foot leash to prevent her from sneaking off to poop - thereby stopping accidents in other parts of the house so that she is being effectively potty trained again. You could install a doggie door if you have a fenced in yard, and create a small enclosed area right by the doggie door - so that she will be close to the doggie door to go outside to go potty. You will need to spend time teaching her and rewarding her for going through the doggie door while you are home - don't expect her to use it without training first. This option would also limit her access to the rest of your home so help with potty training. If finances are flexible, you could pay someone who is home all day to dog sit her and keep her tethered to them to work on potty training during the day while you are gone - as a daycare/pet sitting option. If you have a safely fenced yard and she will not disturb neighbors - depending on the safety and seclusion of where you live, you could provide a shaded, safe temperature area outside with access to water and have to stay outside when the weather permits, then tether her to yourself inside when you are home to work on potty training while you are there - stopping accidents inside while you are away so that potty training can progress while you are at home again. Whichever method you choose, know that it needs to stop the accidents from inside from happening as well as possible, then provide enough supervision while you are at home for her to only go potty outside during those times too - and not be able to sneak off to poop then. Accidents need to stop as much as possible for potty training to be successful, then pottying outside should be rewarded with treats as well to help pup make that connection too. Clean up any accidents that you are aware of - old and new with a cleaner that contains enzymes - look on the pet cleaner bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic. Only enzymes will fully remove the smell and the smell needs to be removed for your home not to smell like somewhere pup should go potty any more. Another option that is a bit of a long shot but certainly might be worth trying, is switching which type of crate you are using. Sometimes pup will have associated pottying just with their particular crate and not with all confined spaces - allowing you to crate train still using a different type of crate. For example, if you are using an enclosed Vari kennel type crate - switch to a wire crate. If you are using a wire crate - switch to a Vari Kennel enclosed type crate. You may even want to see if a friend or family member has one that's the correct size that you could borrow and clean well with the enzymatic spray to see how pup responds before purchasing your own. Finally, spy on pup with a camera - does pup show other signs of separation anxiety - such as panic, barking that lasts for hours, trembling, lots of salivating that doesn't stop, trying to escape the crate to the point of injury - if so the pooping could be related to separation anxiety - in which case addressing the separation anxiety should stop the accidents also. True separation anxiety is not super common so I would make sure pup has several signs of it before going that route, since separation anxiety is a bit harder to address than other things listed above - but could help a lot with your issue if you find that is the reason and it is addressed.. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Migo
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks
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Migo
Yorkshire Terrier
10 Weeks

How do I...
1. Get him to stop going in his crate? I thought they didn’t like to mess in their bed?
2. Make him go in one spot? How big should that area be?
3. Does he need to get a treat for peeing and pooping? Or just one treat when he has completed both?
4. If he goes potty in the house, what is the best way to correct him? Should I immediately take him out? Kennel him? Not sure.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mandi, First, make sure the crate you get is only big enough for him to stand up, turn around, and lie down. Too big and he will have accidents. You can also save money though by purchasing a wire crate with a metal divider and blocking off the back of the crate to make it the correct size, then adjust the size as he grows. Second, how long are you crating him for? At his age, the maximum amount of time he can hold it for during the day is 3 hours - after that he will be forced to have an accident because of his age and abilities. Third, make sure there is nothing absorbent in the crate like a towel or soft bed. Check out www.primopads.com for a non-absorbent bedding option. Anything absorbent in the crate will encourage peeing. Fourth, was a medical condition by your vet? Are his poops normal or runny and are they more than 3-4 times per day right now. I am not a vet so consult your vet about that. Fifth, what is his history? Was he kept in a small confined location as a young puppy and forced to go potty in that location - if so he may have lost his natural desire to keep a confined space clean. This is common with pet shop puppies. If that is the case, you will need to set up an exercise pen in a room you can close off from the rest of the house (so that he can't go potty there while you are home and working on potty training), and place a disposable real grass pad in the exercise pen and a non-absorbent bed like primopads or a cot on the opposite end and have him sleep there at night. Don't use pee pads because they resemble carpet and spend time teaching him to go potty on the grass pad some during the day while you are home when you first transition to using the grass pad - only use this option if a crate won't work - crate training will be easier in the long run if he hasn't lot his natural desire to keep a confined space clean. Exercise pen method for potty training - you will use a real grass pad instead of a litter box and you won't phase the exercise pen away since you are training him to go potty outside and not in the house during the day, but this method will demonstrate how to teach him to use the grass pad while in the exercise pen at night if needed. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - also on Amazon: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com Sixth, are you taking him potty on a leash and walking him around slowly to encourage pottying through movement and smell, and to keep him from getting too distracted while outside. Some puppies have accidents in their crates because they were too distracted while outside to finish going - when that's the case, more effort needs to be put toward helping pup finish pottying completely outside. Walk pup around slowly on a leash, tell pup to "Go Potty". When he pees, praise and give one treat. Walk him around slowly on the leash again, keeping him sniffing and looking for a spot and less distracted, tell him to "Go Potty" again. If he poops, give three treats - one at a time. Eventually, you can just do one for the entire outings but while he is still learning and struggling with poop, give extra treats to teach the "Go Potty" command so that he will learn to pay attention when he should be pottying, and to help motivate him to poop better. When he has an accident. If you catch him mid-squat clap your hands two times, then quietly rush him outside on the leash to finish going. Once outside, if he goes potty, all is forgiven - give a treat (even if you are still mad pretend because puppies live in the moment and what he is doing right then outside is correct). Go back inside and quietly clean up the accident without scolding. If you find the accident after he has done it - watch him better next time. It's too late to discipline. discipline only works if it's mid-squat. The goal with potty training is to avoid as many accidents as possible though to encourage a habit of cleanliness inside. Potty training is all about creating habits. Careful supervision, crating when you can't supervise or pup's bladder isn't completely empty, and taking outside frequently are the goals with potty training - this is one area where punishment doesn't work great - prevention is 1000% better and goes much quicker. Too harsh corrections can teach a pup to hide for accidents or not go potty in front of you outside. Corrections after the incident is over aren't connected well enough to the incident to pup for them to learn from it. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Casper
Bully Basset
10 Months
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Casper
Bully Basset
10 Months

We have had Casper for about 3 months now.. He had a few accidents here and there which is normal but goes regularly outside on a leash. He poops about 3 to 4 times a day sometimes. Only time he is in the crate is when we leave to take kids to school or appointments so maybe 1 to 3 hours tops if even that. He is very clingy when we are home then knows when we are going to leave. When he is in his crate he poops and sometimes in multiple spots.. He will even lay in it or roll in it like it's nothing to him. I've tried leaving him out the crate while gone but then he decides to grab things to chew on or just poops on the floor in multiple spots also. I'm jot sure what to do.. We've tried giving him a bone to chew on while in his cage, toys, he goes to potty reguarl3, he gets fed once in the morning after we return from school drop off, and sometimes again around 4pm depending on if he ate it all or not. I'm so tired of cleaning the mess every single day and can't figure out how to help him. It feels like it's separation issues but I can't fix that. Please help.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
66 Dog owners recommended

Casper is a pretty handsome guy! Thanks for the question. Has Casper been exhibiting this behavior since you got him or is it new? How big is Casper's crate? Sometimes when a crate is too roomy and gives a dog extra space, they will use it for bathroom duty, too. There are a few things you can do such as feeding him in his crate - dogs don't typically like to eat and poop in the same location. As well, when you take him for walks, reward him with a treat when he poops and perhaps he'll associate pooping with treats outside only. Another option is to try him with an exercise pen and a grass pad (to be as similar as outside as possible, so not pads). This may allow Casper to relieve himself in a clean environment when you are not home and he is unable to hold it. The exercise pen method is well described here: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy I do think that once you have Casper trained to use the grass pad rather than his crate, you can eventually stop using the grass pad and have him go outside all of the time. He is young yet and may be having a hard time getting things under control. Make sure that he gets a few long walks each day, too especially before you have to leave for a while. Enjoy Casper and good luck!

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Belle
Husky
7 Months
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Belle
Husky
7 Months

We have had Belle for a month now, she is a shepherd/husky mix and 7 months old. I wake up with her in the morning and let her and my other shepherd out to go the bathroom. She always pee's right away, sometimes poops right away, other times she takes forever to go poop. I have her on a leash, due to our yard not being fenced and having 6 acres. She watches our other shepherd go right away and then he goes back inside. She also keeps pooping in her kennel. She wont go in her kennel all night, but when we leave for work and she is only in her kennel about 3 hours, we always come back to her and poop in kennel... I am rewarding her with a treat when she goes outside, just not sure what else to do! I have never had this issue with any of my other dogs!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alexandra, First, I suggest checking the size of the crate. Make sure that it is only big enough for her to stand up, turn around, and lie down - and not so big that she can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid the mess. Too big and she won't be motivated to keep a confined space clean. If you have a wire crate, you can purchase a metal crate divider to make a larger crate smaller temporarily until she grows into it - without having to buy a whole new crate. Second, remove everything absorbent from the crate and keep it that way consistently for a while. Check out www.primopads.com if you would like to still give her a non-absorbent bed in the crate to give a bit of firm padding. Third, the crate needs to be cleaned thoroughly with a cleaner that contains enzymes - the smell needs to be fully removed to not encourage future accidents and only enzymes break that down to the level that needs to be done to ensure even a dog won't still smell it. Clean the crate really well, then use that type of cleaner for any future accidents anywhere. Look on a pet cleaner bottle for the word enzyme or enzymatic somewhere - not all pet cleaners or general cleaners contain it. Also, avoid cleaners that contain ammonia, because ammonia smells like urine to a dog. Fourth, make sure that pup is pooping after eating before you leave. Even if pup already peed right before you fed them, eating and lots of movement will trigger the need to poop. Often a puppy will need to poop 15-40 minutes after eating, opposed to right away, so adjust the feeding and bathroom schedule to accommodate that last potty trip before you leave for work. Fifth, taking pup potty on the leash is actually good for potty training right now to help with focus. Walk pup around slowly on the leash - the movement can help stimulate the need to go. Encourage sniffing to find a spot. Begin telling pup to "Go Potty" and praise and give a treat every time after she pees - give three small treats or pieces of dog food, one piece at a time, after she poops each time! Doing this will help pup learn the "Go Potty" command, teach better focus, and hurry the process along - but it will take repetition and consistency doing it to teach the command to see results - keep a baggie or bowl or small treats by the door that you exit through to help remind you and make this easy. Sixth, how often is pup pooping in 24 hours? If it's more than 4 times, I suggest a trip to your vet to get pup checked out for an infection, parasites, ect... That might be making it hard for her to hold her bowels. A food that doesn't agree with her, switching to a food too quickly, or a specific food ingredient allergy could also be to blame. I am not a vet though so consult with your vet for anything that could be medically related. Finally, if the issue is anxiety, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below, and the crate manners exercise from the video linked below. Also, keep departures and arrivals SUPER boring - basically ignoring pup during both for several minutes - it can seem mean but by keeping pup's arousal level low you are conditioning the habit of pup staying calm during those times - which can also decrease anxiety levels. Practice both methods calmly when you are home for an hour each day - or more often on days when you are home all day, with breaks between training. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Crate Manners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5HTiryZN8 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Simba
Yorkie
10 Weeks
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Simba
Yorkie
10 Weeks

Hi I think my 10 week pupp has confinement anxiety he doesn’t signal he needs to go potty but when I put him on the pee pad if he has to go he will . He pooped in his crate over night but sleeps in the room so I can hear him in case he has to go why is he pooping in his crate and how can I stop it effectively and fast

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Brandon, At 10 weeks most puppies do have to go potty during the night 1-2 times still. Most puppies will cry when they wake up needing to go, but if the crate is too large or there are absorbent things in the crate- such as a soft dog bed or towel, or you are sleeping through the crying, pup will likely just go in the crate instead. First, make sure that the crate is only big enough for pup to turn around, stand up and lie down. Not so big that they can go potty in one end of the crate then stand in the opposite end to avoid the accident. Too big and the crate won't encourage a dog's natural desire to keep a confined space clean. You can purchase crate dividers for wire crates - to make a bigger crate temporarily smaller until pup grows into it, without having to buy a new crate. Remove all absorbent bedding, towels, and other fabric from the crate if present. Check out a bed like www.primopads.com fo use while still in the process of potty training. Soft beds can be used later when pup is fully potty trained and past destructive chewing phases. If pup is still having accidents and not alerting you after adjusting those things as needed, you might be sleeping through crying or pup simply might not be letting you know - most puppies will cry, but occasionally a puppy won't and will just hold it quietly until they physically can't anymore, then will have an accident. If either of those things are the case, you will have to set an alarm to take pup out at night on a schedule. As a general rule puppies can hold it for the number of months they are in age plus one. If pup stays asleep the whole time, that number increases by a couple of hours, once pup wakes up they will have to go potty if it's been that long though. For a puppy 10 weeks old, I recommend taking pup potty every 3-4 hours at night, sooner if pup tends to have an accident sooner than that. As pup gets older and bladder capacity increases, you can push that time back by an hour each month, and try not waking pup at all to see if they can make it completely through the night by 5 months - occassionally a pup can make it through by 4 months also, but most puppies can do it by 5 months. When you take pup potty, take pup on a leash, keep the trip as sleepy and boring as you can - no treats, no play, minimal talk or affection, then put pup straight back into the crate after, go back to bed, and ignore any crying in the crate - knowing that they don't have to potty since they just went and simply want attention. Ignoring the crying will help pup learn after a few nights that they should just go right back to sleep and not expect to get up yet. Know that pup probably doesn't have true separation anxiety if the accidents are not happening as soon as you crate pup, but rather sometime during the night. What you have described is normal for a puppy, in terms of needing to potty at night - pup just may not be alerting well. True separation anxiety this young is extremely rare. Some level of adjusting to the crate still is normal, and continuing with the process of crate training while young can actually prevent true separation anxiety later. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Diosa
Yorkshire Terrier
19 Weeks
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Diosa
Yorkshire Terrier
19 Weeks

I am crate training my puppy, but she spends the whole tome in the crate crying and barking, so the other people living in the house ask me to put her in the garage while crate training. It is her 3 rd day and she keeps consistently pooping in the crate, even when it’s only been an hour. How do I stop her from barking the whole time and pooping in the crate?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rose, First, what is the consistency of pup's poops. Is pup pooping more than 3 times a day when not in the crate also? Are the poops soft or watery? If so, pup might have a digestive issue that needs to be checked by your vet, and you won't be able to effectively crate train until pup is feeling better. (I am not a vet, so consult your vet about anything medical). If the pooping is only anxiety triggered, and pup is not being left in the crate for longer than 5 hours at a time, and is being walked around slowly on the leash, taken potty 30 minutes after eating, and after running around, to ensure pup is having the opportunity to poop while outside, then I suggest the following. Crate Training method - these times can be adjusted since pup is older. Adding an hour to each time mentioned for potty breaks, freedom out of the crate, and when to take back outside after refusing to go potty when you take them. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If she is not already used to a crate, it is normal for it to take up to 2 weeks for pup to adjust. When she cries and you know she doesn't need to go potty yet, ignore the crying. Most dogs will adjust if you are consistent. You can give her a food stuffed hollow chew toy to help her adjust and sprinkle treats into the crate during times of quietness to further encourage quietness. If she continues protesting for long periods of time past three days (which it sounds like it's already been), you can use a Pet Convincer. Work on teaching "Quiet" but using the Quiet method from the article linked below. Tell her "Quiet" when she barks and cries. If she gets quiet and stays quiet, you can sprinkle a few pieces of dog food into the crate through the wires calmly, then leave again. If she disobeys your command and keep crying or stops but starts again, spray a small puff of air from the Pet convincer at her side through the crate while saying "Ah Ah" calmly, then leave again. If she stays quiet after you leave you can periodically sprinkle treats into the crate to reward her quietness. The rewards will help her learn to calm down in the crate and be quiet. The corrections will help her become quiet long enough for you to have the opportunity to reward and interrupt her highly anxious and aroused state that may be leading to the pooping. Quiet method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Surprise method - details on how to reward quietness: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Only use the unscented air from the Pet Convincers - don't use citronella, it's too harsh and lingers for too long so can be confusing. Again, be sure there isn't something medical like worms, a food allergy, or infection causing the pooping - if so that will need to be addressed with your vet to see improvement with the crate training also. (I am not a vet) Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Simon
English Setter
21 Months
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Simon
English Setter
21 Months

He’s regressed and now poops in his crate.

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
66 Dog owners recommended

Hi there, do you mean overnight? Or while at work? There could be a few reasons for the setback. I would have Simon checked at the vet first, to rule out any underlying medical issues that could cause this to happen. Are there new changes in the house or in your backyard that could be causing stress and anxiety? Are you away from home more often than normal? Make sure that Simon has the same amount of exercise time that he always did so that when he is outside, he doesn't forget the reason for being out there due to excitement. If there is something in the yard that could be causing Simon to be afraid, be sure to reassure him when outside. Dogs love routine as well, so try and keep Simon on a schedule that allows him to go potty when he is used to (like after meals.) This is a great article that outlines the reasons I have mentioned, as well as many more.Please take a look: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Why-Would-a-House-Trained-Dog-Start-Pooping-in-the-House. You may need to train him again from step 1. See the crate training method here: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Good luck!

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Rocky
Boxer
10 Weeks
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Rocky
Boxer
10 Weeks

Hi! Rocky seems to have a strong bladder for such a little pup. We have a designated area with pee pee pads for him to go, but whenever we put him in the cage when we eat dinner, he poops and pees in there, even though we've had him in his area. He does not go overnight though. How can we go about this? The place we got him said he should not go out yet. Thank you!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katie, First, I would check with your vet about recommendations on whether to take him outside yet. Where you live will largely effect how risky that is. If you live in an apartment where other dogs are on the grounds, the risk is much greater. If you live in a home with a private yard -especially a fenced one, most vets would advise that you can begin potty training outside safely before shots are completed. Consult your vet about these matters. I am not a vet. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior's statement on socialization and vaccines. https://avsab.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Puppy_Socialization_Position_Statement_Download_-_10-3-14.pdf I also recommend the following article and e-book: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/puppy-classes-when-to-start/ After You Get Your Puppy free PDF E-book download: www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads If you are in a situation where you need to or choose to continue indoor potty training, I suggest switching to a disposable real grass pad instead of a pee pad - so that pup will be better prepared to switch to outside potty training later. Pee Pads can create confusion with other fabric material, like carpet and rugs, if you remove them later. Disposable Real Grass Pad brands - also on Amazon: www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com As far as the pottying in the crate, first, make sure that the crate is only big enough for pup to stand up, turn around and lie down, and not so big that pup can go potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it - too big and pup won't be encouraged to hold it in there. Many wire crates also come with or you can purchase dividers for - to make the crate temporarily smaller, so that you don't have to purchase an entirely new crate. Second, make sure that there is nothing absorbent in the crate at this age, even a towel or soft bed. Check out www.primopads.com for an example of a non-absorbent bed to use while pup is still learning. If the crate is too big or anything absorbent is in it, that can lead to accidents. A puppy this age typically has a maximum bladder capacity of 2-3 hours while awake - that number usually increases at night if pup stays asleep. If pup isn't being taken out at least every 2 hours - 1 hour ideally for learning purposes, that can lead to accidents too. Also, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below, to help pup adjust to being in the crate and learn how to be calmer. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If pup still has accidents in the crate despite all of the above, some breeders will put pee pads inside crates - which results in a puppy learning to go potty in the crate, which could be the issue. If pup came from a rescue or pet store where pups where kept in cages and went potty in the cage, that will also teach a puppy to go potty inside a crate. Some rare puppies simply do it despite best efforts to avoid it. If pup has lots their natural desire to keep a confined space clean for any of the above reasons and the above tips are followed to set the crate up in a way that encourages good potty habits, and pup is still having frequent accidents in the crate, then you may not be able to use a crate for potty training and may need to switch to the Exercise Pen method combined with a disposable real grass pad, and reintroduce the crate later - once pup is already potty trained. Check out the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below - this method mentions litter box training but pee pads or disposable grass pads can also be used instead and the steps are the same. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy If you vet feels it's safe to immediately switch to outside potty training with your particular situation, check out the Tethering method or Crate Training method from the article linked below. If adjusting the crate fixes the crate pottying issue, I suggest the Crate Training method or a combination of the Crate Training method and the Tethering method. If using the crate isn't an option despite adjustments, I suggest using the Tethering method and setting up an exercise pen with a disposable real grass pad inside, in a room that can later be closed off once pup is fully potty trained - since pup will be learning to go potty in that general area as well as on the actual the pad - you don't want it to be a main area of the home - but a bathroom, laundry room with appliances off, guest room, large closet, or other area with a door that is temperature controlled. Crate Training and Tethering methods: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Duke
Bouvier des Flandres
9 Weeks
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Duke
Bouvier des Flandres
9 Weeks

Our bouvier has been with us for a little over a week, and we've been implementing the crate for the last 4 nights. The first 3 nights in the crate he cried for an hour and each time I went out to check on him (thinking an hour was more than plenty to try the "cry it out" idea), he had pooped in the crate. And it was a big mess, so I didn't have him spend the rest of the night in the crate. This was unexpected because he had pooped after dinner and before bed on all three occasions (he's generally doing very well with potty training). So we've been more diligent about making the crate an enjoyable place, he's spending time there in the day for short bursts of 10-30 minutes, but I'm worried the pooping is anxiety-related, and if so, how can we get that under control? His kennel is out in the family room and open to him all the time, he eats meals in there and has some of his favorite toys kept in there. During the day when he spends time in there with us in the house, he whines a little but does mostly okay. It's at night time that things seem to go south.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kameron, First, how often is he pooping in 24 hours? If it's more than 4 times I would speak to your vet. There could be something medical going on that's causing him to have less control over that and need to go more frequently - like needing another worming, an infection, or a food sensitivity. I am not a vet so speak to your vet if his poops are more frequent than that or very loose. Second, check out the Surprise method from the article linked below. Practice that method during the day - which is similar to what you are already doing during the day, but involved closing the door, rewarding quietness with treats, and how to extend out the crate time. At this age you want to get pup used to being in the crate for 1.5 hours calmly. After 1.5 hours during the day pup will need to be taken potty though. He needs to get used to not only being in the crate (which is where you start) but being alone while in the crate, so once he is doing well in the crate during the day practicing leaving the room and working up to him being in the crate in the room by himself for gradually longer periods of time. It's the time alone that is ultimately hard about the crate. Even though this feels tricky, I would encourage you to continue with crate training. It may take him a bit longer than some but if the pooping is anxiety related (rule out medical too though!), then that is a sign that it's even more important for pup to learn at this age how to be by themselves to prevent full blown separation anxiety as an adult - and crate training done correctly helps prevent the more intense adult separation anxiety often. You can also try adjusting pup's dinner schedule just in case it's a timing issue - and pup is a dog who simply needs to poop twice after dinner. Move dinner one hour earlier and see if that helps. Know that it's normal for the first two weeks to be hard with crate training, even with the best training. It's simply an adjustment for pup so takes practice. Instead of pup getting used to sleeping with you in the bed - making the transition back to the crate harder, if you can't have pup sleep in the crate just yet, have pup sleep in an exercise pen and not in the bed. Even if in a crate, it's normal for pup to need to be taken potty two times during the night at this age also. In a crate, a pup will normally wake up and cry when they need to go. If in a pen, you may need to set an alarm to take pup to prevent pup from just going on the floor - because they won't be as motivated to hold it in a less confined space than the crate. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Frankie
cockapoo
6 Months
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Frankie
cockapoo
6 Months

My puppy has realized at night when she poops before bedtime then she will be going into her crate so she has stopped pooping when I try to get her to and she will wait until she is in it and then poop to get my attention. Her crate is kept in a different room than where we sleep

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
66 Dog owners recommended

Hello, is there any way you can take Frankie out for a long walk about 30 to 45 minutes after she eats? She should have to go potty then and perhaps will not need to right before bed. Take a look here for excellent tips on potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. Also, when you get in from the last pee break before bed, perhaps give Frankie a treat toy when she is put in the crate (and wait a few minutes before putting her in, so that she does not associate the last trip out with crate time). Working on getting her to like a crate is a good idea, too. This is very helpful: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate. Good luck!

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chai
French Bulldog
9 Weeks
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chai
French Bulldog
9 Weeks

i have had chai for a little over a week and take her out to pee and poop every hour or so. if i leave and put her in the crate for an hour after she went outside i get home and she pooped in the crate. this has happened multiple times a day and in the middle of the night. she just walked into her crate to try to poop. i’m not sure why!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
620 Dog owners recommended

Hello Margherita, First, make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. Check out the Crate Training article linked below for tips on how to get pup to go potty while outside - which makes accidents in the crate less likely. After she pees, walk he around on leash for another 10-15 minutes, telling her to Go Potty calmly, and rewarding her if she goes. Many puppies will need to poop after running around a lot and 15-45 minutes after eating (there is a delay after eating, so you sometimes have to feed up, wait while supervising, then take potty again before crating). Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you are still struggling after applying the above suggestions, then unfortunately pup may have already lost her desire to hold it while in a confined space. This commonly happens when someone accidentally teaches pup to do so by placing something like a puppy pad on one end of a larger crate or confining a puppy in cage where they are forced to pee through wired flooring - like at a pet store and some shelters. There are rare puppies who simply do it anyway, even though nothing happened to teach that. In those cases you can try feeding pup her meals in there to discourage it but most of the time you simply have to switch potty training methods until she is fully potty trained - at which point you might be able to use a crate for travel again later in life. Having something absorbent in the crate like a soft bed can also encourage it - but if you catch that early, generally removing the soft bed will help. Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or enclosed balcony - once weather is a safe temperature are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold her bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so she won't go into there looking to pee, and take her potty outside only. Since she may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave her alone, be sure to leave her in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until she is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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