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    My puppy poops & pees in crate

    Asked Oct 11, 2006, 08:09 PM 12 Answers
    My 7 month old shih-tzu puppy continues to poop & pee in his crate.

    We had a crate that was too big, which we used for the last few months. We just got him a smaller crate, more appropriate for his size, and now he's pooping in it more than he did in the large one. He continues to pee in it every day & night. How long should a dog his size & age be able to hold it? He seems to want to pee every hour.
    Sometimes he will go to the door and stand in front of it when he wants to go outside, and other times he'll just pee right in front of us, with no warning. Oh, and when he goes in the house, he pees a LOT... when we take him outside, he'll lift his leg for a split second, and barely anything comes out.

    Any tips?? Please Help, he's driving us crazy!

    Last edited by beckee22; Oct 11, 2006 at 08:18 PM.
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    The WB's Avatar
    The WB Posts: 78, Reputation: 6
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    #2

    Oct 11, 2006, 08:46 PM
    You may have to leave him out a little longer. My dog squirts all over the yard. It might help if you get him on a schedule. In the morning, when you get up, let him out. Is he in the house while you are at work? When you get home let him out. If you can come home for lunch, let him out.
    When he starts sniffing around continuosly, he is looking for somewhere to pee. Put him out. If you can catch him when he is in mid pee inside the house, scare him somehow to make him stop and put him out.
    There is something at your local pet store probably called "potty pads" or something to that effect. They help train the dog to, at least, pee in one spot if he can not get outside.
    If you get him trained right now, you will have little or no problem later.
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
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    #3

    Oct 12, 2006, 07:26 AM
    This is a complicated mess that may take a while to sort out. Start with a vet visit. If he has a bladder infection, no amount of training will help. Also have him neutered if not already.

    You can buy grids to go in the crate, but they are expensive and hard to find. I have used cheaper alternatives. The closely space closet shelving I used for years fell apart a year ago with my last puppy. I picked up stacking kitchen bin and drilled holes in the bottom to start Holly a month ago. She actually only had one accident in her crate, doing very well. The grid does not solve the problem, it only makes it easier to cope with plus introduces the dog to staying dry.

    Any puppy over 2 months should be making it over night. Usually by that time, they are OK half the day too. My wife or I have always been able to make it home at lunch to give the puppy a break mid day. If that is out of the question, you need to look at alternatives, having a neighbor or a professional dog walker give him a break. Another alternative is doggy day care. This could be a big help allowing him to stay dry and clean all day. With his housebreaking problems, it may be hard to find a day care to take him. I doubt you will be able to fix the problem if you are leaving him all day in the crate.

    I see many similar questions. It sounds to me like the dog is doing it deliberately to protest being left in the crate. That is at odds with the conventional wisdom. However, many dogs don't seem to have read the parts about avoiding fouling their sleeping area. Dogs see all the people and dogs in the household as a pack with each having their own rank in the pack and a top dog. Life is much easier if the 2 legged pack members outrank the 4 legged ones. You can learn to play the role of top dog by reading some books or going to a good obedience class. A good obedience class or book is about you being top dog, not about rewarding standard commands with a treat. Start at http://www.dogsbestfriend.com/ Here are some other things you need to be doing to take over as top dog, http://www.dogbreedinfo.com./topdogrules.htm The top dog has the right to leave the lower status one confined when it isn't around. The neutering I suggested goes a long ways to reducing challenges to your status.

    The best answers come from people that have had successful experience solving the problem. My 10 week old Lab Holly is the 15'th small puppy I have housebroken since 1991. I never had any problems with them fouling their crate except right at first. I meet monthly with others doing the same, and none of them ever bring up such a problem. If you do a search here, you can see where I have given the same advice to other people in the past. Unfortunately, nobody seems to post back saying what if anything worked. About 6 years ago, my daughter had a problem at first with a little terrier mix. A grid plus her experience with being top dog quickly took care of the problem.

    In addition to the above you need to follow good housebreaking practices. Forget the pads, they only confuse the issue. Forget schedules too. Learn to read him as explained below.

    Housebreaking starts before you get home with the new puppy. If you don't have
    A crate, buy one. I prefer the more enclosed, den like plastic ones. Skip the
    Bedding. At first it gets wet, and later it can be chewed into choking
    Hazards. A wire rack in the bottom will help keep the puppy up out of
    Accidents at first. They are available with the crates, but a piece of closely
    Spaced wire closet shelving from a home supply place is cheaper. If you
    Already have a metal crate, covering it may help. Just make sure you use
    Something the puppy can't pull in and chew. Dogs that start in crates as
    Little puppies, accept them very well. Never leave an unattended puppy loose
    In the house. If nobody can watch it, put it in the crate. I suggest letting
    The dog have its crate all its life.

    Choose a command and spot you want it to use. The less accessible to strays,
    The less chance of serious disease. If it is a female, choosing a
    Non grassy spot will avoid brown spots later. When you bring it home, take it
    To the spot and give it the command in a firm, but friendly voice. Keep
    Repeating the command and let the puppy sniff around. If it does anything,
    Praise it. Really let it know what a good dog it is and how much you love it,
    And maybe a treat. Note, being out there not only means you can praise it,
    But it also keeps it from being snatched by a hawk. If it doesn't go, take it
    Inside and give it a drink and any meals scheduled. A young puppy will need to
    Go out immediately afterward. Go to the spot and follow the above routine.
    Praising it if it goes is extremely important. If it doesn't go, take it back
    Inside and put it in its crate and try again soon. Do not let it loose in the
    House until it does go.

    At first it is your responsibility to know and take the puppy out when it
    Needs to go. It needs to go out the first thing in the morning, after eating,
    Drinking, and sleeping. If it quits playing, and starts running around
    Sniffing, it is looking for a place to go. Take it out quickly. You will just
    Have to be what I call puppy broke until it is a little older.

    By the time most dogs are about 3 months old, they have figured out that if
    They go to the door and stand, you will let them out. The praise slowly shifts
    To going to the door. Some people hang a bell there for the dog to paw. If
    Your dog doesn't figure this out, try praising it and putting it out if it
    Even gets near the door. A stern "Bad dog!" is all the punishment that is
    Effective, and only when you catch it in the act and are sure you didn't miss
    It going to the door. Clean up accidents promptly. I mostly keep the little
    Puppies out of the carpeted rooms. Still I need the can of carpet foam
    Sometimes. First blot up all the urine you can with a dry towel. Keep moving
    It and stepping on it until a fresh area stays dry. A couple big putty knives
    Work well on bowel movements. Just slide one under it while holding it with
    The other. This gets it up with a minimum of pushing it down into the carpet.
    This works with even relatively soft ones, vomit, dirt from over turned house
    Plants, or anything else from solids to thick liquids. Finish up with a good
    Shot of carpet foam. Note, do not let the puppy lick up the carpet foam.
    Once the dog is reliably housebroken, your carpet may need a good steam cleaning.

    Many people strongly strongly push cleaning up all evidence of past accidents. I am slower to suggest that. Dogs will return to the same spot if they can find it. When you see one sniffing the spot, that is your clue to run it out.
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    clvassallo's Avatar
    clvassallo Posts: 18, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #4

    Oct 24, 2006, 10:04 AM
    He needs attention. You're not bonding with him. You don't stick him in a crate and expect him to act like a human when you want him to. Take him for long walks, rides in the car, etc. He'll do what you want him to do.
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    beanster's Avatar
    beanster Posts: 69, Reputation: 2
    Junior Member
     
    #5

    Oct 25, 2006, 12:33 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by beckee22
    My 7 month old shih-tzu puppy continues to poop & pee in his crate.

    We had a crate that was too big, which we used for the last few months. We just got him a smaller crate, more appropriate for his size, and now he's pooping in it more than he did in the large one. He continues to pee in it every day & night. How long should a dog his size & age be able to hold it? He seems to want to pee every hour.
    Sometimes he will go to the door and stand in front of it when he wants to go outside, and other times he'll just pee right in front of us, with no warning. Oh, and when he goes in the house, he pees a LOT... when we take him outside, he'll lift his leg for a split second, and barely anything comes out.

    Any tips??? Please Help, he's driving us crazy!
    I have no idea why you keep him in a crate.This is not natural for a dog.I grew up with dogs and had dogs all my life and never had them in crates.Dogs need execise at least three times a day and socializing with humans and other dogs to be emotionally healthy.Your dog feels caged and that's what he/she is.So the way how I got my dogs housebroken was simply take them out many times a day and reward them with a little something to nibble whenever they did their business outside and look out for warning signs in the house like restlessness and sniffing in areas that they would like to use and take it out right away and again-reward when successful outside.You dog will quickly learn if yo are consistent.
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    clvassallo's Avatar
    clvassallo Posts: 18, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #6

    Oct 25, 2006, 05:00 AM
    Keeping a dog in a crate is bad if it's a substitute for the dog's natural instincts to be social animals, pack animals. Some people crate the dog as a substitute to training the dog and bonding with the dog by doing things together. A crate, when used appropriately, is appropriate. Only the owners know how and why they're using the crate. I crated my dog but took the dog for long walks, on and off the leash. Over time, he got the message because he wanted to please me and the rest of the family. There's no substitute for attention to the dog. None.
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    beckee22's Avatar
    beckee22 Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #7

    Oct 25, 2006, 10:04 AM
    Thank you for your comments.

    I have read only positive things about crates, and I believe that it's a good place to place puppies when you are not home. A lot of people work full time, and cannot spend every waking moment with their dog. My husband and I work 40 minutes away from home, so letting him outside during our 1/2 hour lunch break is out of the question.

    We were having my mother-in-law come and give him a potty break, but she ended up injuring her knee a couple days into it (while at our house! ), and was in a brace for 2 months.

    After writing this e-mail, it occurred to me that his problem isn't solely a housebreaking issue... he has separation anxiety. He is sooo attached to us. He follows us from room to room. If I put him in his crate for 20 minutes while I'm in the shower, he can't take it.. he's barking up a storm! (even if I give him treats / rawhides to keep him busy) He hates being outside alone. He'll run from the door to the deck, and back and forth until we come out to get him.
    He is especially attached to my husband. He licks his face (I've read it's submission)
    He gets very very excited when he comes home , and when my husband leaves, Brownie will go to the bottom of the stairs and pace back and forth in front of the door.

    I believe his soiling the crate is due to him getting so worked up when we leave.

    One example... we took him for a walk before we left. He did not want to do anything.
    We put him in his crate, did not make a big deal of it, walked out of the room and he FREAKED OUT!! 30 seconds later, we opened up the crate, and he had already pooped in there!

    So, now I need advice on separation anxiety. Ugh... our dog needs therapy ; )

    Thanks for your help

    Ps... we do play with him , take him on walks. We don't neglect him.
    And he IS getting better with the potty training. He's doing a better job of "asking" to go out.
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    Sharashe's Avatar
    Sharashe Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #8

    Oct 25, 2006, 03:25 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by beckee22
    My 7 month old shih-tzu puppy continues to poop & pee in his crate.

    We had a crate that was too big, which we used for the last few months. We just got him a smaller crate, more appropriate for his size, and now he's pooping in it more than he did in the large one. He continues to pee in it every day & night. How long should a dog his size & age be able to hold it? He seems to want to pee every hour.
    Sometimes he will go to the door and stand in front of it when he wants to go outside, and other times he'll just pee right in front of us, with no warning. Oh, and when he goes in the house, he pees a LOT... when we take him outside, he'll lift his leg for a split second, and barely anything comes out.

    Any tips??? Please Help, he's driving us crazy!
    I have had the same problem with one of my Shepherds. She was just not a clean dog and did not mind sitting in her own pee and poop. I would have him checked for a urinary tract infection first. Then if you must, go to an even smaller crate for less periods. How old is this puppy? They sometimes do it because of stress therefore the less time. Sometimes they do it for spite. Keep this pup at 2 feedings a day and hope fully he will ougrow this. I feel your frustration.
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    labman's Avatar
    labman Posts: 10,580, Reputation: 551
    Uber Member
     
    #9

    Oct 25, 2006, 04:49 PM
    In addition to my own 17 puppies, I have been meeting with a dozen others every month for years that are crating young puppies. None of us are having problems like that. The only instance I remember was a mixed terrier my daughter got several years ago. She had some trouble with him at first. I helped them fit a grid to the crate to keep him up out of it, and with proper leadership from them, he quickly quit fouling the crate. Much of the problem may come from the breeder confining the mother and puppies in too small of an area. Given a chance, the mother will keep the puppies from fouling their bed.

    It is very tough to say just why dogs do things. The crate fouling could be due to several things, stress, spite, protest, etc. My advice usually consists of the grid or rack and proper leadership and bonding. I wish I saw more feedback on what does, and doesn't work.

    I think there is a skewed view of the problem here. There are some things I don't like about this site, but the management invests heavily in marketing. Although I see more dog questions on other sites, I see more on crate fouling here. The search engines seem to direct people here.

    As for crates in general, I think anti crate views come for two reasons, misuse, and poor understanding of the difference between dogs and people. Crates are misused. No dog should be left in one all day without a break. And leaving it in one all evening then is only worse. Whether you use a crate or not, if you can't spend time with it, you shouldn't get a dog.

    Dogs and people are different. I cringe when I read dogs are just little people in fur coats. I have had reading The Cultural Clash by Jean Donaldson on my to do list for a long time. Great title. They are wired differently than us. Men may be from Mars, and women from Venus, but dogs are from Pluto. Some people react more strongly than other to being confined in a closed space. Dogs love the security of a den. Look at some of the places they choose for a nap, in a corner, under the furniture, perhaps in your foot space at you desk, etc.

    It is also much easier to manage some dogs than others. I can almost imagine leaving my 12 week old Holly loose in the house, but none of the other 14 Labs we have raised. Many people expect all dogs to be like the relatively easy ones they have had. Holly follows 3 other fairly easy dogs. It is not that we are doing that much better, they are just easier dogs. Some of the ones we puppy sit are hellions like we have had in the past. Sadly a few easy dogs lead some people into thinking they are great dog trainers.
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    RiseUp's Avatar
    RiseUp Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #10

    Dec 1, 2009, 11:01 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by beckee22 View Post
    My 7 month old shih-tzu puppy continues to poop & pee in his crate.

    We had a crate that was too big, which we used for the last few months. We just got him a smaller crate, more appropriate for his size, and now he's pooping in it more than he did in the large one. He continues to pee in it every day & night. How long should a dog his size & age be able to hold it? He seems to want to pee every hour.
    Sometimes he will go to the door and stand in front of it when he wants to go outside, and other times he'll just pee right in front of us, with no warning. Oh, and when he goes in the house, he pees a LOT... when we take him outside, he'll lift his leg for a split second, and barely anything comes out.

    Any tips??? Please Help, he's driving us crazy!
    Hi, My Name is Victor, I was reading you blog or post, and I am having the same struggles. Wonder if you ever made any progress. I have a 17 week old Yorkshire Terrier and she is going in the crate too. I can spend hours with her and trying to get her to go in the litter pan, or pads, she has goone on them several times, but when I put her in the crate, she goes always.. It is maddening! I just wonder if you got any help and made any progress that you can help me with now! Hope so
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