Dog Pooping in Crate? – Crate Training 101: Back to Basics

Got a dog pooping in crate out of the blue? Normally when a previously crate and house trained dog suddenly starts pooping in his crate, it means that something has changed. A dog can sense changes in the home – whether that change is people moving in or out, a new baby, the furniture being rearranged or even new paint on the walls. 

When this happens they start acting out in one of two ways. One they can poop or two they can pee. You’ll need to first determine what has changed in the home. 

Is there a new animal? (even the new hamster in billy’s room), did an animal die recently?, did a new person come to live there or did a person recently leave? All of this can affect your dog. Once you understand the change; that will be when you can start to fix the problem. 

You’ll need to retrain the dog to go outside all over again. 

 

When Things go to Poop…

  —  Provided that the crate you got for him is not too big, crates make going potty uncomfortable.

  —  If you pee or poop in your crate; you are going to have to lay in it until someone comes along and lets you out.

  —  And, let’s face it, as long as you keep your dog clean, chances are he is going to desire to be clean.

  —  Almost no dog wants to sit in his own urine or excrement.

  —  And, once he has an accident in his crate, he realizes this, and it gives him motivation and teaches him to hold his bladder etc.puppy in crate

  —  Please note that he has to be old enough to hold his bladder. It is unfair to crate young puppies for long durations because they are incapable of being potty trained when they are little infants.

  —  And, if you crate young puppies until they poop or pee on themselves… it simply desensitizes them to being clean. They learn that being dirty and stinky is just part of life!

  —  Be sure to get puppies out often! And, it is recommended that puppies only be crated one hour for however many months of age they are plus one.

  —  So if you have an 8 week old puppy (2 months old) he should only be crated a maximum of 3 hours.

This means you need to correct a destructive behavior STAT, before it gets out of hand.

Whatever the reason, this article will help you find out how to brush up on crate training an already crate trained dog.

Tough Love/Truth Bomb: Maybe you’ve slacked off on being consistent with your dog training efforts… Yes, once he’s gotten the grasp of crate training or housebreaking, you still have to do your part if you expect him to do his.

 

What is Crate Training?

I am so embarrassed! I have been a dog trainer for over 20 years and I recently got a phone call from my niece. She has acquired a long haired Chihuahua and she was in need of some potty training advice. Potty training is one of those subjects that I have written most, well not most, but MANY articles on so if you need help click here.

But along with regular potty training advice, I recommended crate training.crate train

I think I almost had a stroke when she asked what crate training was, and how to do it… I guess I just take certain things for granted and assume they are common knowledge.

Leave it to family to take the wind out of your sails, knock you down a couple of rungs and teach you a little humility.

So, I figured if my niece didn’t know anything about crate training, there are probably others out there with some of the same questions!

As I said, we are going back to the basics here so you can hopefully pinpoint what needs to be improved in order for your dog to return to being a good canine citizen in your home.

Or if you’re new to this whole thing like my niece, you can follow the steps below and get off on the right paw! 

Crates are essential tools for helping pet parents keep dogs safe and content. With proper and consistent crate training, your adult dog’s crate will become his home within his home, his safe haven, and his happy place.

The specifics of how to crate train an older dog may be slightly more difficult than crate training a puppy, but it is still fairly easy if you employ the right tactics. 

Some adult dogs have had negative associations with crates in the past, and some have simply never seen a crate. Either way, most adult dogs are “crate-able” and benefit from crate training.

 

Choosing an Appropriately Sized Crate

The first step is to select a crate that is an appropriate size. 

No matter what type of animal you want to crate, the one rule to follow is that the crate (aka kennel) needs to be large enough for the adult dog to comfortably stand up, turn around, and move freely.pick the correct crate size for your dog

Trying to crate your adult dog in a kennel that’s too small is going to make the process take much longer and is really not kind to the animal.

Don’t get a kennel that’s too big, either! Kennels that are too big make it harder for you to potty train your adult dog (but potty training is an article for another time).

For some specific guidelines checkout this resource or watch this video:

Next, determine which type of crate you would like to utilize. Crates come in all shapes and sizes, from plastic crates that are darker inside, to wire crates that allow the dog to see more, to steel or aluminum crates that are impossible to break out of and often used for police and working dogs. 

Most often, I have found that dogs prefer the darker environment of a plastic crates as opposed to their wire crate counterparts. Plus, when you crate at night, darker crates offer a more inviting space for your dog to cozy up and relax in compared to those big open ones.

Dogs go into their crates because it’s a space to chill out and take naps, and a darker crate is usually more conducive to leaving the cares of the world behind. Fearful dogs often dislike wire crates because they feel trapped while being visually overstimulated by the outside world.

 

Conditioning Your Dog to LOVE His Crate or Kennel

Next, it’s time to acclimate your adult dog to his crate using positive reinforcement.

The best way to do this is to make your dog’s crate the place where all his favorite things happen!

Start feeding your dog his meals from inside his crate, along with his water and all his treats.

 

POWER TIP: Don’t close the crate door during this phase of crate training.

put a comfy bed in the crate

If you have been feeding your dog treats (scraps) off your plate after meals, put that plate into his crate (this is actually the first step towards getting dogs to stop begging, which we’ll cover later).

Put a nice comfy bed or blanket inside so it’s the most comfortable place for him to sleep.

Basically, anything you can think of that is good should happen inside the crate (like a favorite toy and treats). This is about positively reinforcing your dog that good things happen in crates, so he won’t put up much of a fight when we get to the stage where we ask him to be in his crate for hours at a time. We want your dog to think of his crate as the ultimate “Happy Place”; where he goes when he wants to feel safe, is sleepy, or wants to relax.

 

POWER TIP: Give your adult dog what we call ‘Foraging Toys’ inside his crate. These Foraging toys turn up the value of treats giving, because, by hiding food inside, they take a dog a long period of time to consume. They’re like SUPER treats that keep on giving – sometimes for hours!

 

dog Kong toysOne of the best is foraging toys is the KONG toys.

I like to get several Kong toys at a time and make my own treats with some fun meal recipes I have included below.

Now these aren’t recipes you or I would like but dogs love them.

Take something sticky, like peanut butter, and mix in a bunch of other tasty things, then stick them in the freezer. Then when you’re feeding them to your dog, he thinks it’s the best treats and you’re the Pet Parent of the Year!

Check out these awesome recipes:

Spend the little extra time it takes to make these treats, and it’ll turn the crate training process up a notch.

The fact that it’s both sticky and frozen adds to the length of time it takes the dog to get the goodies out of the middle… which has the side-effect of increasing the time of enjoyment for your dog while he eats these in his crate! It’s a little trick for helping condition him to stay in his crate longer and longer.

If you would like even more recipes, try these:

Kong Toy recipes

 

Now That Your Dog Loves His Crate, Get Him to Stay There Longer

Once your dog is feeling great about his crate it is time to get him comfortable with staying there for longer and longer periods of time without having separation anxiety. We will turn his crate into his “Happy Place” using a schedule.

A schedule like this can work well to get you started:

  —  Once your dog is comfortable going into his crate to eat, close the crate door while he eats. Then, as soon as he’s done, open the crate door and let him out.

  —  Next, throw a Kong toy in your dog’s crate and close the door. These can take longer to consume, so grab a magazine or just dedicate some time to checking out Facebook and sit within eyesight of your dog while he eats his Kong in his crate (at least 5 minutes). Then open the door and let him out.

start crate training with 5 minutes  —  When your dog is okay eating his Kong for five minutes, with you in sight, for a day or two in a row, give him his Kong and leave for a minute or two. See if your dog can eat his Kong for 5 minutes with you out of sight (again, being sure to open the door and let him out after 5 minutes). Don’t try to push him to be in there too long, too fast, that can lead to isolation distress or separation anxiety. 

Once your dog is okay with a Kong for 5 minutes at a time without being able to see you, you’ve done a great thing! You’ve taught your dog to understand that he’s not being abandoned, and that you always come back to let him out. Once your dog is comfortable in his crate, we need to train him how to handle hours at a time.

  —  To teach your dog to be in his crate when you have to leave him at home for hours, start by randomizing how long you leave him in his crate. For example, leave him for 5 min, 10 min, 3 min, 12 min, 15 min, 1 min, 16 min, etc. 

Do you see what I’m doing? I’m slowly increasing the periods of time that I ask the dog to go into his crate two times in a row, but on the third time, I let him out really quickly. This strategy for increasing the length of time your dog waits to be let out, which we call “Random Rewarding”, keeps the dog guessing as to when he’ll be let out. And, it is much better than simply increasing the time your dog has to be in the crate each day. Do this until you can leave your dog in his crate up to an hour at a time.

When you see your dog sleeping through the night in his crate, you know he is totally comfortable with his crate. Sleeping takes up nearly half of an older dog’s daily activities, so it’s a perfect thing to condition your dog to do in his crate.

 

How to Handle Crate Whining During This Phase

For more games that get your dog’s impulses under control, check these out!

If your dog starts whining or barking at any point during this stage where we’re trying to get him to be capable of staying in his crate for over an hour, here’s a video that shows you a clever game to help handle this. We call it the Peek-a-Boo game.

It is crucial during this phase that you balance the length of time you need your dog to stay in his crate with the reality that your dog might need to work on not just barking every time he feels a little anxious or wants to get his way.

Pet parents often accidentally create a ‘Bad Barking or Whining Habit’ by trying to crate train their dog, but then letting their dog out every time he barks.

This is NOT allowed in my house.

Just like I don’t let my children get treats they want when they whine, I don’t let my dogs, either.

My dogs can’t bark to get ANYTHING they want in their life. And neither should yours.teach your dog to stay

You should teach your dog that barking for food, to go outside, to be let out of a crate, buys them another minute of NOT getting what they want.

But I get it…

Sometimes you feel bad for your dog, because he might be feeling anxious about how long he’ll be locked in his crate, especially in the beginning of this crate training process. That’s what the Peek-a-Boo game is all about. It’s a way to handle the balance of a dog wanting out of his crate and you not accidentally training your dog to run you over.

If you find yourself having a hard time getting your dog comfortable with the amount of time he needs to spend in his crate, I would strongly consider finding a local pet sitter that can help you. Pet sitters are an INCREDIBLY underutilized resource for raising well-adjusted dogs. The value they bring by giving your dog time to interact with other dogs is reason enough why you should consider them. Dog sitters are also a great tool you can use to prevent the overwhelming boredom some dogs feel when adjusting to longer periods in the crate.

 

POWER TIPS For Helping Your Dog be Less Bored

Tip #1: When crate training older dogs, you’ll have more success if you spend a little time exercising your dog before he goes in the crate. And when I say exercise, I don’t just mean a walk around the block; that’s not exercise.

I’m talking about sleep-inducing exercise!exercise helps crate training

This is what I mean by sleep-inducing:

Another good idea is to use something like a Chuck-it, which throws a ball way better than your arm (especially if you have an old baseball injury like I do):

 For more tips on how to really exercise your dog, check out this post.

Dogs are athletes.

Athletes don’t walk.

If Chuck-its are not an option for your dog because he struggles to retrieve, read this article.

Tip #2: Mental games are often MORE tiring then physical exercise. That’s why one of the things we created here at the dog training secret is our Trick Training Guide. It’s a bunch of fun games like this Beer Retrieve trick that stimulates his mind while also being fun for posting on Facebook!

Also think about Puzzle Toys to give your dog outside of his crate, as they can give his brain a workout without you having to be involved.

Tip #3: Dealing with Nature Calls

In many ways, crate training older dogs is easier then crate training a puppy, because older dog’s bladders are stronger. But remember, asking your dog to hold their bladders too long is not comfortable for them. If you’ve ever been on a long road trip and had to hold it longer than you wanted, you know what I mean.

Asking a dog to hold his bladder longer than he wants is going to hinder your crate training progress.

Make sure that your dog does his business before his crating, and that you arrange to give him potty breaks on a schedule that makes sense.

Ideally, this would be at the same time every day, as dogs love consistency.don't overuse your crate

By teaching your dog to count on when he will be let out for play and exercise, you’ll have a much easier time getting him to like his routine of spending longer amounts of time in his crate.

Remember crate training is like any other kind of dog training, you must teach them through good experiences!

Practice!

Practice makes perfect!  So I crate train my dogs even when I am home.

I don’t want them to associate my leaving with crate training or spending time in their crate, or this can create fears or bad feelings with my leaving.

Instead, I crate my dogs before I train with them (so that crating is associated with something positive) and I also crate them periodically during the day.

This way I can hear what they are doing, and I can reward good quiet behavior and just get them used to it on a consistent basis.

Want to Potty Train Your Dog FASTER?

Learn How To Potty Train Your Dog In 5 Days With This

 

Crate Training is Important

It keeps your dog safe, your things safe and it gives your dog (who is a den animal) a safe place when you travel or no matter where you go!

And, if you do it right, you will find your dog crating himself throughout the day and night!

For more on Potty Training click these articles

I Used to Teach to Pee and Poop in the Bathtub

My 9 week Old Puppy is Potty Trained  

For indoor potty training, The Grass is Always Greener INSIDE the House

Teaching Your Dog or Puppy to Ring a Bell for More Successful Potty Training

 

What Other Questions about Dog Training or Health do You Want Answered?

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Comments

  1. Susan Ellsessor says:

    Minette,

    I just read the crate training article and I want to share something. I probably bought the wrong kind of crate( a wire one) but I had the same thinking on purchasing a crate the size for my puppy to fit in when she would be full grown and save on money. Well my little puppy got her mussel caught in between the wires somehow and it was a very traumatic experience for her and me and it happened because the squares on the crate were larger in the big crate and she was able to fit her nose where it should not have been. So my thinking now is to buy the appropriate size for age even if it does cost more in the long run or buy a plastic crate…

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    That is another reason I like a plastic crate.

    It is like buying a crib for a baby, make sure parts can’t stick out and get stuck!

    [Reply]

  2. Tena says:

    I rescued my dog who has a ton of bad habits. Before we could get her spayed she got pregnant. I adopted out 3 of the 5 puppies but will have 3 of them until they are 3 mos. Old. We are keeping 2 and my daughter is coming from out of state to get hers. The mom has her appt for spaying. She is crate trained we had a plastic crate for her and ended up giving her a wire crate. It was too much stimulation for her until I wrapped it in a heavy blanket leaving only the door part uncovered. She loves her den♥♥ I am now crate training the puppies. Funny thing is that they started training themselves to puppy paper at abt 5 wks of age! They would whine or bark at 4 or 6 am so I would let them out of mommy’s crate to potty on the paper. They take 3 naps a day in their own crate now and sleep in a puppy plastic crate. They’re very small pups so I let them sleep together for another 2 weeks. They do still have accidents, but I figured out that they don’t like their puppy paper to get very soiled…once it does they potty on my hardwood floor. They will be limited to our livingroom for quite some time. I understand training the pups to go potty outdoors, but we have very little grass. We are nestled in the woods with a lot of fallen leaves and a sandy frontyard. I am going to aim them toward the sandy sideyard. Any tips?
    Thanks,
    Tena

    [Reply]

  3. sakura says:

    Thanx to u guys my puppy is finally potty trained.I got him when he was abt 10wks old and for the first few months it was terrible as i didn’t know how to train him… a few months back I found this blog in the internet n ever since I have had better control of my puppy. He is now 9mths old(german sheperd-boxer mix)and is completely potty trained.
    I admit crate training is the best.Potty accidents drastically decreased as soon i got him a crate. He did have few peeing accidents(not accidents really, i would say he did that on purpose)few weeks back, to get my attention.
    Here is what he did and this is how i corrected him.
    As soon as I took my other dog (mountain terrier 9yrs old)out for the walk,my new puppy would start barking (which i ignored) so by the time I was back he would have relieved himself in his cage even if I had just taken him out before taking my other dog out.. At first, I thought I didn’t give him enough time to relieve himself so i started giving him longer breaks to relieve himself but then he would just fool around n would just pee a little bit once or twice. I would get tired n take him back to his cage. He too would sit comfortably in his cage(as long as he couldn’t see me) but as soon as i open our main gate to take my other dog out he would start yelping n barking n peeing. so one day I literally cut short my other dog’s walk so that I could reach my puppy before he peed in his cage..
    THAT’s when it clicked me… I was unknowingly encouraging the puppy.. coz everytime he yelped or barked i’d go check on him n on seeing pee in his cage i would again take him out for another break thinking he needed more breaks.
    So from next day, I just gave him specific time to relieve himself (no extra time) and I completely ignored him when he started his tantrums.. I didn’t even go to check on my puppy after completing my walk with my mountain terrier..and when to him only on my own time like for dinner or for playing but never in between. Yes, he did pee in his cage for a few more times.. but then now, it has stopped completely. no more peeing in his cage, althou he still yelps whenever i take my other dog out.. but i know very soon he will stop that too. 😀
    I guess now I have finally started to think like my puppy n I am able to understand him better. All the credit goes to u guys. 😀

    [Reply]

  4. Angelo Gentile says:

    My Havanese pup goes to the door when she needs to relieve herself, however, at night she is peeing and pooping in her crate. How can I train her to wait until morning?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Try feeding and watering her earlier…

    But she may just need to go out in the middle of the night, depending on how old she is.

    [Reply]

  5. Maxine says:

    My minPin is about 8 yrs old and has never been crate trained. Is it too late to try it now?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It’s never too late!!!

    [Reply]

  6. I used crate training to train my dog. She seems calmer in her crate and now I let her roam my apartment without being confined and she still seems to go lay in the crate when I leave. Creature of habit I guess 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    [Reply]

  7. Linda Berger says:

    Hi I got my min pin. and she was already put in a cage when young.She now potties in her cage and her bedding. She is fixed and over a year old almost two. I cant brake her from potting in her cage she will do it the min i go inside the house. She is in the garage right now because im staying with my daughter and no room for cage. She will also potty in the house if i leave her alone cant trust her at all. I have to watch her all the time and then she will not potty. What to do? Linda

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    i would crate train her and get her out as often as possible, if you get her out often enough and watch her eventually she will go potty outside, it just takes a lot of effort.

    [Reply]

  8. Pat Kleindl says:

    We have a 9-week old English Golden Retriever. We have a small kennel for her where she goes when we sleep or gone. She keeps peeing in her kennel. I left her for 2 hours and she peed in the kennel. She was very tired when I put her in there and fell fast asleep. Any suggestions on breaking this? Thanks.

    [Reply]

  9. patty says:

    I have a 12 week puppy. Got her when she was about 8 weeks. I didn’t have a cage for her when I first got her. So I would put her in my spare bathroom at night. She would pee everyone even on her blanket. I got a cage about a week ago and have and got her a dog pillow. And she still pees on her pillow. I was always told that don’t go where they sleep but this one does.

    How can I get her to stop with out having to get up all hours of the night to let her out. PS I don’t give her water before she goes to bed and I don’t leave food or water in her cage. Just a chew bone and a toy.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I’m guessing she equates the pillow to a potty pad or where she is suppose to go potty. I would take it away, no pillow, or blanket or anything else and get her out at least every two hours or so!

    [Reply]

  10. Debbie says:

    I have a Bichon Frise who is a year old. He was fully house trained you could leave him all day in the house would never go on the floor.We also have our old dog but 1 year old was fine with that. Now have a bichon puppy and 1 year old who was fully house broke is now pooping on the floor never pees on floor . Now have gone back to crate at night because this is only happening at night. Want to have him back in bed with us but I don’t know how to stop this. Have you any ideas why he is doing this. Puppy is in crate old dog is not but sleeps down stairs.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/suffering-doggy-accidents-night/

    [Reply]

    Neil Reply:

    If it were me, I would just leave him in the crate at night. My dog sleeps in her crate, in my bedroom every night. Give her a few treats when I put her in at night and see is fine. Go for a walk with her first thing in the morning and she does her business outside then. A dog sleeping with you in your bed is more a comfort for the owner, usually, than for the dog. They are fine in their crate once they get used to it. At least mine is. She slept with her former owner but now seems to be fine in her crate at night. Don’t feel guilty for making your dog sleep in his crate at night. He may be fine with it once he gets used to it.

    [Reply]

  11. LoRae says:

    Ok! Wait a minute. I have an 8 mo. Neutered, Havanese. Sleeps through the night with no problems. During the day I have no guarantee of no messes. Some days good some not so. I leave my sliding glass door & screen door opened 7″. He goes in and out but I do not follow to see what he is doing. Its winter and even in California we have cold windy days and also at night. Ok. CRATING….I’m tired of cleaning up. Do I leave the door open or closed? How long is he to be in the crate? And if door closed do I let him out only yo go potty and then back in the crate or?…
    Help me please, I want to try but don’t understand the procedure.
    Thank you sincerely.
    LoRae

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Crate and shut the door unless you are watching him.

    You MUST go outside with him for a while when you let him out to know what his schedule is like. It’s cold here too, it was -7 in Detroit last week and I still went outside and let my dogs out, went with them, and even played with them so they got some exercise and mental stimulation. Sometimes we have to be a little uncomfortable to give them what they need.

    So lock him in, let him out and go with him and if he goes potty he can have more access to your house, but still keep an eye on him for several months until he hasn’t had an accident for a very long time

    [Reply]

  12. Michi says:

    I have a 9 week old puppy we got at 7.5 weeks. He has taken well to holding his potty in for up to 4 hrs at a time. We were taking him out overnight (when he is fully crated) every 2 hrs and have incrementally increased that time to every 4 hrs. We keep his crate in the bathroom and sometimes leave the crate open when we are gone for long periods of time. He would consistently pee at two spots in the bathroom (which we now always have potty pads there) and only poop in 1 of 2 spots that is most hidden from sight.

    From this we know he wants to hide his poop and keep things clean. My question is, are we regressing in our potty training whenever we can’t watch him and have no choice but to leave him out so he won’t be forced to soil his crate?

    Should we move him to another part of the house where we could hawk eye him all the time when not in crate and just keep taking him out when he looks like he will potty? Is that better reinforcement? And then for those times when we are gone 4+ hrs to just put him in the bathroom with crate door open?

    He has also yet to love his crate. We put toys, treats in there but he associates the crate to us leaving him with the gate closed so he will try his best to not stay in. Though we have been diligent to put him in when he’s tired and to not shut the gate when he’s not relaxed. I’ve tried putting his meals inside the crate for more positive association but the bowl moves around when he tries to eat out of it from there and it scares him! Do you have suggestions for other ways to make it so we condition him to love that little plastic den? I am aware of the kong idea and will try this when we are out for dinner tonight! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    you need to use his crate more and crate him with the crate closed when you are HOME so he never knows when you are home or away. Leave loud music or tv on in the room with his crate so he can’t hear you and work on leaving him small periods of time while you are home so you can reward him for good behavior.

    I don’t use potty pads because they are confusing, I use my crate if I am gone or can’t watch my dog!

    [Reply]

  13. BobFinkelstein says:

    I have a 5 yr old female shepherd/lab recently acquirex from a rescue. Appears to have been mistreated by prior owner. Will not get in to t8he new plastic crate. Left in garage with crate open for 2 hrs then 3 hrs with door to house blocked. Made her way to and chewed and scratc hed wood and paint off 3ft of door trim. Will try kong to get her in. Thanks, Bob

    [Reply]

  14. Donna says:

    I just adopted a 7 week old miniature dachshund. Amazingly, he is great at not going in his crate. We take him outside often, and he goes almost immediately. My problem is nighttime, or if we have to leave for several hours during the day. It’s not a problem at night to get him to go to sleep in the crate because he’s usually worn out. It’s the waking up at all hours of the night that is just horriffic. The first few nights, I thought he was crying because he needed to potty, so I would get up and take him outside. He will usually potty, but I think the crying is more about being alone. I don’t rush in to him when he cries, but this little guy will whine, wimper and bark for over an hour until I give in because I need sleep! I am hoping this is just a temporary thing since he’s so young and just misses his siblings, but if you have any helpful hints, I would really appreciate it (and probably my neighbors, too!) I definitely do not want him to hate his crate.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    In human terms you are speaking of an infant. Would you expect a baby to hold it’s bladder or control when it needs to go potty? Imagine how small his bladder is? At 7 weeks he undoubtedly needs to go out a couple of times at night. And every 2 hours during the day

    [Reply]

  15. Debbie says:

    I have a 1 year old Bichon and want to crate train him. hes been a outdoor dog due to staying at my mums but now moving I want him to be a indoor dog how to I make the change . Thanks

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Look up crate games articles and make it fun.

    [Reply]

  16. Ashley says:

    Hi! I have a 7 month old cattle dog rescue that habitually poops in her crate. I let her out, watch her do her business and then even if I crate her for 20 minutes she will poop (never pee) in her crate. The worst part is, she also sometimes eats her poop, but you can tell she’s had an accident by the smell if she’s eaten the evidence. I don’t know what to do anymore, i’ve tried every trick in the book and she willingly goes in her crate by herself, so i’m not forcing her.

    Please help!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dirty-puppy/

    [Reply]

  17. Crystal says:

    Hi I’m getting a little 8month old Pomeranian on Friday I was hoping to have the puppy sleep in the bed with me so how should I go about crate training

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Puppies shouldn’t sleep in bed. Start with crate training and once the dog is completely crate and potty trained then you can entertain the idea of the bed.

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  18. i have adopted a toy poodle. I have not used a crate with her and have had her about 9 months. She was supposed to be potty trained but definitely wasn’t. She usually lets me know she wants to go outside for pee pee but does bm on carpet. It is a firm stool and so far hasn’t done any harm but I must take care of this problem. I have a wire crate and can cover it . Is it too late to train her with it and if not please give suggestions. She was supposed to be about a year old but the vet says at least 5. I’m not thinking. Of getting rid of her as she has been abused enough. Thanks for listening and hopefully helping. Barbara

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    You can crate train a dog at any age, it may just take a bit longer for them to acclimate. Read the article, make it fun, keep the dog on a leash in the house so she can’t sneak off and poop and treat her like you would a puppy until she is completely house trained.

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  19. Marylee Dobbes says:

    Is there ANY way to get my Lhasa to quit pulling ahead of me on her walks. She hates her nose leash but that seems to be the only way to control her.
    She also goes after anything that walks by! HELP and thank you!

    [Reply]

  20. Lois says:

    I purchased my Chihuahua s crate when she was 8 wks old. She is now 7 yrs and still pees and poops in it. She is outside most of the day with the other dogs she gets family time is let out before bedtime and I keep her clean. I dont get it??

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I think you answer this when you say she is outside most of the time. I think because of that she never learned to hold her bladder or potty train. When you are outside constantly you can potty whenever you want, you never have to hold it. And, at 7 years it is such an ingrained habit that it will be much more difficult to fix http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/bad-habits-hard-break/

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  21. Jessica says:

    Me and my boyfriend found a little long haired chihuahua and decided to keep her. She poops in her kennel every night, we’ve only had her for about 2 weeks. I take her outside before bed I just don’t understand why she poops where she sleeps… How long does training normally take? Are there any ways to help prevent her from doing that?

    [Reply]

  22. Katie says:

    Minette,
    I have read many articles that teach you to never “force” your puppy into a crate. While I have tried treating and positively reinforcing going into the crate, my puppy does NOT like his crate. We crate him overnight and during the work day, and during the day (since I work from home) I let him out every 3 hours. I do not see how you can’t “force” him into the crate when you leave, or when going to bed since if you didn’t, they would chew inappropriate items or relieve themselves inside the house. Any tips? My puppy is 8 weeks old and we have only had him a few days. I know this is a process – but I am concerned we are conditioning to fear/hate the crate. Thank you!

    [Reply]

  23. Jennie says:

    I took my puppy from a dog foster home about a year ago. I love him to bits; he has a great personality, and I feel that he loves our family so much. BUT, whenever I leave him at home he pees in the house: on the carpet, on the bed, on flowers..
    My husband and I were thinking about taking him to ‘doggy school’, but then again, it’s extremely expensive, and the nearest ‘doggy school’ is far away from us. Maybe you have some advice? THANK YOU!!!!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Crate train! And we have many products to help with training online

    [Reply]

  24. Jade says:

    I have a 6 month old cocker spaniel mix who I have had since she was 3 weeks old. I have struggled with potty training her since the beginning. Although she can hold it longer now she will still pee in the house whenever she feels like it even if I’ve taken her out recently.. She stays in her crate when I’m gone and overnight and should be able to hold it for hours but sometimes I come home to laying in her pee. In the beginning I put a puppy pad in there and she would almost always pee on it and then I tried transitioning to blankets and towels but would always come home to them soiled. Now she is just laying on the plastic and still peeing on it sometimes. It’s not every time I leave which is why I’m having such a hard time with it. Her crate is a puppy training crate so it’s not much bigger than her but she still doesn’t seem to care that she’s laying in her pee. And I don’t know how to get her to stop going on the floor and in the crate. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I need all the help I can get

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Unfortunately putting something in there that encouraged her to pee in there, likely confused her and conditioned her to that behavior which will make it very difficult to change. Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dirty-puppy/

    [Reply]

  25. darlene says:

    when ever we got a young puppy or kitten. at bed time we would get a wind up clock and put it under the blankets the ticking kind of sounds like a heart beat. helps with them not feeling all alone it comforts them

    [Reply]

  26. Tracy says:

    I’m crate training my 12 wk old standard poodle, she barks and cries when I leave her in at night.
    How to I get her to stop, she’s downstairs should I move her up to my bedroom
    ?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I always keep my puppies in my bedroom

    [Reply]

  27. Kalee Hunter says:

    Im having a really hard time crate and potty training my puppy. She is 8 weeks. I got her at 6. I think that is part of the problem she left her mom young and I think she was used to soiling herself. She was very smelly when I got her. I do work so she goes in the crate for a few hours a day but never really more than 5 because I have roommates and we all have different schedules. I tried the original idea of properly fitting crate but she doesnt seem to care about peeing herself. Even outside she kinda pees on herself. I bathe her alot and she hates it. But back to the crate. She is also a crate screamer. No matter the amount of play and how tired she is she will scream in the crate and pee even if only left for an hour so I can run to the grocery store. Im so lost as how to fix this. Is she a dirty dog who will need tons of time (which I feel horrible because I work and dont have the ability to stay home with her) or is she just still too young and I need to be patient? Should I do a bigger crate with a potty pad in it? Even though she pees even in the short times shes in there. Shes not afraid of the crate I fees her in there and she will go in to get toys she just gets soo upset when she is not able to get out.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    She is only 8 weeks she may not be able to hold it. Give her some consistency and time

    [Reply]

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