View Full Version : Puppy pooping in crate

Apr 2, 2004, 11:37 AM
My 10 week old puppy is doing really well with training during the day, but he poops (sometimes twice a night) in his crate. His last meal of the day is at 6:45 and he usually poops twice before he goes to bed at 11:00. We get up at 3 am to take him out and he has usually gone by then. He has been to the vet and received a clean bill of health. At first when he would go in the crate it would really upset him - but now he seems OK with it. I don't want him to make a habit of it. We have been told that he may just grow out of it - but I need help now! Any advice?

Apr 2, 2004, 03:23 PM
The vet check you did is the first step in any behavior problem. It is only natural that a puppy resists its crate at first. What the puppy wants more than anything else is to be others, you, anyone else in the
Household, and any other pets. In our modern society, even if we are home,
Other things distract us from the attention an uncrated puppy must have. The
Only real solution is to crate the dog when you aren't around. Many books and experts insist that dogs will not deliberately foul their sleeping place. Perhaps some dogs skipped that chapter. Maybe it isn't intentional. You know when people are unhappy about something they can't control, they say ''I could just (word Labman doesn't use).'' You can buy racks to put in the crate, but they work much better on urine than bowel movements. It might be worth a try. Try taking the dog out and giving it a brisk walk just before bed time. The exercise may cause it to have an accident, leaving its bowels empty for the night. It may also be tired enough to fall asleep. Put it in the crate, and lay down by it like you are going to sleep. Speak soothingly, maybe even sing. It may be enough to get it to go to sleep. Might not hurt to repeat at 3 AM. A 10 week old shouldn't need that, but you may have to.

My feeling is that dogs do use fouling to avoid things they don't like. Give in, and you may be doing what the dog wants for the rest of its life. I also think the smaller the dog, the worse they are about this. I would start obedience training now. The 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/.

Apr 5, 2004, 07:17 AM
Well - we've had some progress. We put his crate in our bedroom overnight and he had no accidents. I think it is anxiety related. But this morning I woke up and took him out and then had to put him back in while I got ready for work and he pooped. Is there any way I can make him realize that being in the crate is only temporary? He seems to get really nervous when left alone. We went out for 2 hours the other night and came home and he had pooped all over the place in the crate. It is blocked off to be smaller so that he can't go in one place and sleep in another. He is only about three pounds. I feel terrible about ever having to leave him because he gets so nervous, but I do have things that I have to do. Has anyone else had this problem??

Apr 5, 2004, 08:30 AM
You are right, dogs hate being left alone. Unfortunately most of us have jobs we can't take the dog along. Being left in a crate by himself will never seem right to him, but alone in a crate is better than alone in a big scary room or the whole house. You might try the radio tuned to a talk station, or even a recording of yourself.

Other people have the same problem. None of my puppies have really done it, but my daughter had the same problem with a Lhasa Apso/Min Pin mix. They left him shut in the bathroom while we went out for dinner. Adding insult to injury, we took my German Shepherd monster with us. She had a service dog tag. When we came back, the bathroom was a shambles. He had knocked a ceramic Kleenex holder off the toilet tank, breaking it and shredded the Kleenex. He also shredded the toilet tissue, pulled the towels down, and left a pile of poop. While she cleaned up the mess, my son in law and I went out and bought a rack to go in the bottom of the crate. In a few days the puppy gave up and started keeping his crate clean.

Apr 5, 2004, 08:55 AM
Do you mean a wire rack for the bottom of the crate? Right now, the crate has a plastic tray at the bottom that we put a bath towel on to make it more comfortable for the puppy. How exactly is the rack supposed to help?

Apr 5, 2004, 12:16 PM
They make wire racks to fit the bottom of a crate. I start young puppies on a piece of closely spaced wire closet shelving. Thus accidents fall through so the puppy isn't soiled. I have never tried it, but wonder if the cedar shavings sold for gerbils would help too. One big bag might last until the problem goes away. You are going through a very difficult time, but if you stand your ground, it should go away before too long. Otherwise the dog has learned it can get its way if it wants.

Apr 12, 2004, 09:41 AM
This problem has not occurred in the last five days! :D We heard of a product called Rescue Remedy - for anxiety and stress - and our vet told us it is safe to use. We have been giving the puppy four drops a day with his breakfast and it has made a huge difference in his stress level. He no longer whines in the crate for more than a minute and has not pooped in there since we started this treatment. It is completely natural and it works! He still has plenty of energy and seems as happy as he ever did. I feel much more at ease when I have to leave him alone now that I know he'll probably remain calm for time we are gone.

Apr 20, 2004, 08:42 AM
I too am having this problem! I have a 13 week old Westie and the last two nights he went to the bathroom in his crate. He also does not seem to like going to the bathroom outside. I am not sure what to do to make him understand that he has to go outside, not inside. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Apr 20, 2004, 09:39 PM
There are 3 things you need to do. Go out with him. Being put out by himself may be the worst thing that ever happened to him. Rave about what a good dog he is if he does anything. Make him walk around. Keep walking him around and repeating any thing you have chosen as a command for elimination. If he doesn't go, put him in the crate and try again before long. Although some will do it as a protest, most dogs do not like to foul their crate. You can also use a short chain restricting him to a limited area in place of the crate. Crates really work best for most dogs.

A 13 week old may still need a 3AM break, but most puppies can go over night by then.

Apr 21, 2004, 06:53 AM
Thanks for your reply. We always go out with him and we do say over and over again "go potty" (our neighbors probably think we are nuts!). Do you think it just takes time for it to "click in" with him.

For example, this morning I fed him and took him out 10-15 minutes later. He sniffed around, but did nothing. I brought him in and put him in his crate and went to brush my teeth and by the time I got back, He pooped in his crate! We have only had him less than a week, and I know that it will take time. I only ask, because I don't want to do anything wrong and traumatize or make him feel uncomfortable.

Apr 21, 2004, 08:33 AM
The mothers do their best to teach the puppies not to foul their den. Unfortunately their owners sometimes make it very difficult, keeping the mother and puppies shut up in a small area. This is part of the reason I strongly recommend the puppies going to their new home at 7 weeks. They are highly trainable at that time and have not developed bad habits to train them out of.

You may have to spend more time outside with him after he eats. Keep him moving until he can't hold it any longer. When that happens, make a big fuss about what a good dog he is. Given a chance, he should quickly decide a clean crate is much nicer than a fouled one.

Apr 21, 2004, 09:41 AM
Thanks for your help. I will definitely try your suggestions.

Apr 26, 2004, 03:17 PM
I have a 11 week pug puppy that did really well the first 2 weeks I had her, but this past week she has pooped in her crate almost every day. She gets it all over her! I even take her out 2 times during the night after 11 and at 7 am she's pooped in her crate again. Then I immediately take her outside. The thing is she poops in 3 different places while I am outside w/her and it confuses me because I never know when she is done. I am really glad that I came across this site because I didn't think about her being stressed out. I am going to try the all natural drops that you said worked for your puppy. I'm just not sure how much longer I can handle this. I don't want it to become a pattern and she feel comfortable with doing it because bathing her 2x or more a day is getting really frustrating. Also, her stools are solid so I know she doesn't have diarrhea. Why does she poop so much and when do I know she is through?
Thanks, Susan

Apr 26, 2004, 05:06 PM
Some dogs really like being outside, the smells, the sounds, grass, your attention, etc. It is possible that she is seeing being taken back in as punishment for the bowel movement. Try lingering a little longer after the last one. In a few minutes, she will have forgotten about the bowel movement and not connect going back in the house with it.

I am slow to suggest medication, but this may be a good case for it. Pugs can be difficult little dogs. I have a friend that is very good with dogs, and she struggles with the Pug she has.

Apr 7, 2005, 05:50 AM
If you are on a proper schedule, and the puppy has ample opportunities to poop, he/she will only do so in their crate if they have separation anxiety.

To solve the problem, there are exercises you can do to eliminate this issue. Type "puppy separation anxiety" into your browser, and you should find some solutions.

Good luck.

Jun 6, 2005, 05:37 PM
My puppy is 7 weeks old, we've had him a little over a week, and he's pooping in his crate also. Almost all the time - once a night and whenever we go out. I attributed it to the fact that he's so young, but is separation anxiety really the case? Also, what of this Rescue Remedy that dsmart was talking about? Does anyone know anything else about it? Thanks.

Jun 6, 2005, 09:29 PM
Separation anxiety strikes me as psycho babble for the idea that dogs naturally are pack animals and instinctively fear being alone. I think your puppy's main problems its age. Go back early in this thread where I suggest a rack or wood chips. They will help keep the puppy from having to live in its own filth until it can go overnight without a bowel movement. I hope you are able to give it a mid day break and a meal too.

I know nothing of whatever the Rescue Remedy is. I am in touch with people raising hundreds of puppies a year, and none of them resort to drugs. Unless they have been confined in too small of a place and forced to live in their filth, puppies quickly develop the ability to keep their crate clean. Get a rack designed for a crate, or improvise one. I think I have used them for about my last 10 puppies without any problems. Some puppies take a little longer, but at least this time of year, you can haul the crate outside and hose it clean. I am usually fighting the problem in November or December.

Six weeks is the very earliest a puppy should ever be removed from its mother and litter. If it was living in a pet shop by itself before then, it will be difficult to socialize correctly.

Jun 7, 2005, 06:13 AM
Thanks for your advice. This puppy was 6 weeks old when we got him, and I feel the same way about resorting to drugs, especially at this age. He was with his brother and mother in their own good-size pen when we got him from the breeder. I stay at home, so he goes out constantly. The only problem we really have is when we leave him for a hour or two when we go out. Otherwise, he seems to understand, at least a little bit, that when he's outside, its o.k. to potty.

We'll just stick it out. I'm sure as he gets older, it should get better. We have a vet appointment in a couple of days, so I'll get her opinion as well. Thanks!

Aug 3, 2005, 08:52 AM
I have two 13 week old doberman pinchers, who until two days ago did really well in their crate. For the past two nights they have pooped in the crate even though I fed them last at 3 in the afternoon and took them for a walk. We last let them out at 10:30 to eliminate. They are not more than 3 hours in their crate at a time and don't have any problems during the day. Any suggestions?

Aug 3, 2005, 09:28 AM
When you let them out, do they have a bm? How many? Puppies will usually bm after every meal, right away in the first few months and begin to hold it longer as they grow. Physical play (runnung, tumbling, brisk walk, etc.) will bring on bm. Any change in their routine can chage their potty cycle. Different feed or walk times, for example. They may also be a little upset at night, for whatever reason. It is probably a temporary problem. Puppies learn very early on with their mothers not to potty where they "live". If they are in a yard or run for a length of time during the day, they will poop at one end or area. Does the crate provide ample room for them to have a designated area? Try to take them out and let them run and play a few minutes before the end of their day to make sure they go. And make sure to keep them on an eating and potty schedule to get their bodies used to it. Good luck.

Aug 3, 2005, 10:52 AM
I have two 13 week old doberman pinchers, who until two days ago did really well in their crate. For the past two nights they have pooped in the crate even though I fed them last at 3 in the afternoon and took them for a walk. We last let them out at 10:30 to eliminate. They are not more than 3 hours in their crate at a time and don't have any problems during the day. Any suggestions?

Are the stools softer than usual? Puppies frequently have some sort of upset, often from something they found and ate or a bug. Even an older dog may have an accident with upset bowels. Clean the crate good and hope it goes away soon. If soft stools go more than a day or 2, check with a vet. Do not let the weekend catch you with sick puppies.

3 hours? Are you getting up in the middle of the night? At 13 weeks, they should be able to go over night soon if not yet.

Sep 21, 2005, 10:29 AM
I've had an 9 week old puppy for 5 days now, and he's developed a pooping in the crate issue for the last 4 days... at a minimum, it happens once a day. And now, we can't seem to get him to poop outside anymore. Our dog walker and our breeder has given us some advice. We're trying it now, so I'll let you know how it goes, but perhaps this "expert" advice will work for you:
- Clean the crate thoroughly with an odor neutralizer (my breeder recommends Nature's Miracle Odor & Stain Remover - made with natural enzymes). If the puppy can smell even a little of its urination or poop, that's trouble. I was using Hartz odor neutralizer (a baking sode solution), but it OBVIOUSLY doesn't work.
- If he's not pooping outside at all, my breeder recommended placing a sample of his poop where you'd like him to go. He should associate this smell with where he SHOULD go. Also, my dog walker suggested we take him to where other dogs have pooped so he can smell it and make that association(careful not to let pup touch or eat grass/dog poop, if doesn't have all shots yet).
Hopefully this advice will do the trick!
Let me know if it works for any of you. I'll do the same.

Sep 22, 2005, 05:10 AM
It is extremely dangerous to take any 9 week old to an area used by unknown dogs. Shots may not protect it from parvo. The following must happen before a puppy is protected by its shots: Any immunity passed on by its mother wears off. It gets the next shot. It then has about 2 weeks to build immunity. Thus there is a window where the best cared for puppy is vulnerable. See http://www.pressenter.com/~dvmvis/canparvo.htm

Your advice does not mention the importance of keeping the puppy moving to stimulate a bowel movement.