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Dog pees in crate

May 21st, 2005, 10:37 AM
Can anyone offer any suggestions as to what to do with a dog who pees in her crate? She used to use her newspaper very reliably and so this is a new problem that seems to have come from nowhere.

The crate isn't too big for her.

She actually seeks it out now as a place to pee, the way a cat would with a litter box!!

Does anyone know what to do?

Lisa ~ up to my eyeballs in laundry

May 21st, 2005, 10:53 AM
How old is this dog?
I need a bit of clarity on the paper issue. Are the papers in the crate? Is she confined in an x-pen with papers and a crate? ?????
If this is about pottying in the crate (without papers) she might have been left in too long one time or just had to burst so she went and it felt good when she releived herself so she was rewarded immediately. The bedding absorbed the mess and she wasn't bothered a bit.
I would wash the crate with a diluted bleach solution, let it dry in the sun and don't put bedding back in until she starts to show that she can hold it again. Go back afew steps in your training (since she has), and start monitoring her better (shorter times in the crate) and make sure you are not letting her load up on food/water just before you put her in.

May 21st, 2005, 06:46 PM
Thanks for your thoughts. Washing with bleach sounds like a good start... I haven't tried that. (ratio 1:10?)

To clarify, the dog is an 8 month Italian Greyhound. She has a large X-pen (4X4 feet) and her newspapers are on one side and her crate fits in the corner of the X-pen. This arrangement used to work well. She would sleep in the crate, go to the bathroom on the newspapers, and never the twain did meet!!

Then, all of a sudden she started peeing inside the crate. After hours of playing outside the X-pen (we leave the door open so she can go in freely when we're home) she actually started going into her crate to go to the bathroom as though it was a litterbox! Exasperating!

When we go out, we leave her in the X-pen with the crate door off so that she can come and go freely from her crate within the X-pen. So there's no issue of "holding it". This is definitely a conscious choice on her part!

She did have a very thick blanket and a pad at the bottom of the crate for sleeping, both of which are quite absorbant. I've removed the blanket, but cannot leave her with nothing between her body and the plastic crate because of her body type. (It's actually quite uncomfortable for Italian Greyhounds to be on a hard floor like that.)

She still manages to use the newspaper from time to time, and when she does we do the clicker/treat thing. But, more often than not, lately, she seems to prefer the crate. She doesn't try to pee in the corner and sleep in another corner. She pees right in the middle of the crate and then happily lies in it!! I've never heard of such a thing.... figures I'd pick the one dog in the history of the canine world that enjoys sleeping in pee!! :yuck:

May 22nd, 2005, 07:24 PM
Try to get a liner that has cushioning for her body type but also is water resistant so that when she makes a mistake it is uncomfortable for her to lie in it.
You are also going to have to go backwards in your training and start montoring her better - like a tiny puppy again. Sorry, I know thats a pain in the neck.

May 22nd, 2005, 08:14 PM
Also, make sure you take her to the vet to make sure there isn't a problem like a Urinary track infection first!

May 23rd, 2005, 10:10 AM
Well, last night after reading these suggestions, I washed the crate in a bleach solution and threw away the old fleece blanket. I managed to find a new crate-liner that isn't exactly water-resistant, but it's made of polyester so it's a LOT less absorbant than the old cotton one. I also made sure she'd peed on her newspaper just before bed.... and guess what? She made it through the night without peeing in the crate! She used the newspaper!! That sound you hear is a choir of doggy-trainers singing Hallelujah for me.

Of course we want to keep her on the right track here and so we're monitoring her much more closely again to make sure things keep going the way they're supposed to... but wow, what a relief to think this problem can be solved! Thanks so much for the great suggestions!

~Lisa, finally in a position to catch up on the laundry :thumbs up

May 23rd, 2005, 12:07 PM
Congratulations! Now don't expect perfection, but you are on the right track - keep up the good work! :thumbs up

June 6th, 2005, 02:01 PM
I'm very happy that you posted that you have an Italian Greyhound. You'll find this *very* interesting!!

Also, you don't have the only dog in the world that *likes* to lay in it's own waste. I have a Maltese X who loves to lay in his own urine AND feces. Actually, I don't think he likes it, but he doesn't seem to care one way or another, and given the choice, will pee or poo on his blanket rather than next to it. I've been struggling with this for months and have yet to find a real solution. I would litter-train him, but he's still not even house-trained and has separation anxiety, so I've decided to just deal with one problem at a time.

Hope that link helps.
Good luck,

June 14th, 2005, 04:24 PM
Melissa, thanks for directing me to this article. Very interesting!

When we got our pups, we thought about litter training them and even bought the litter tray and litter pellets. But, the little boy pup was just so terrified of the litter tray that we kind of gave up without spending a lot of time on it. He was pretty quick to catch on to the newspaper thing, so we never went back to it. I'm tempted to try again with them in summer when I'm on holidays. I'm a teacher, so I'll have a couple of months off to devote to focusing on it!

Also, now that the pups know us and aren't so nervous around us, perhaps they'll be easier to work with. They're smart little things, but skittish about stepping outside their comfort zone!!

Lucky Rescue
June 14th, 2005, 06:20 PM
They're smart little things, but skittish about stepping outside their comfort zone!!

Yes, skittish and often VERY hard to completely housetrain.

June 15th, 2005, 02:24 PM
Yes, skittish and often VERY hard to completely housetrain.

Yes, I have heard that. It was something we were prepared for when we got them, knowing that they might have accidents all their lives.

For this breed, I guess it's possible to teach them to go outside, but certainly difficult since they have so little hair and almost no body fat to keep them warm! We opted for a large X-pen with open crates to sleep in and newspaper for a bathroom. When the pups are roaming free in the house, we leave the X-pen door open so they can go inside and use the newspaper when they want to.

We have had a couple of accidents, but I think much of that had to do with replacing our carpet and the critters feeling they needed to get their smell back where it belonged. :p

We're finding that giving treats (and sometimes clicks instead ~ we clicker-trained them) helps to reinforce good bathrooming habits...

Funny, though. The girl has figured out that when she pees she gets a treat. So, instead of going all at once, she does several tiny efforts throughout an evening to maximize on the treat value! Hilarious!

August 23rd, 2005, 10:01 AM

I didn't want to start a new thread on the same topic so I figured I'd post in here to see if I get any response.

I have an 10 week old puppy who also goes in her crate. Fact of the matter is she was trained to use training pads in the house, then has decided that my carpets would be far better for her to pee on. Once disciplned on that, she has yet to pee again on my area rugs and she isn't using her training pads as much. now. which is great.

But since I work during the day, she's left in her crate for a good 8 hours if not a bit more. I understand this is a long time in a crate for a puppy but I do what I can with what I have. At some point she was peeing a lot in her crate during the day. This until i decided to control the amounts of water she drank (she constantly drinks.. excessive amounts of water!) So in the morning I let her have her drink, then take her out for a walk before i leave work and she is peeing less and less in the crate but has started to #2 in there. I know it will be a hard habit to break. But once she's done her things she starts howling because she wants out and according to my neighbours this lasts pretty much til i get home.

How can I help her break the habit and stop the howling?

I've considered giving her to a family who will be able to take care of her during the day as I cannot afford another warning from my landlord. Is there anything I can do or would i be better off giving her?

August 23rd, 2005, 10:15 AM
But since I work during the day, she's left in her crate for a good 8 hours if not a bit more.

a 10 wk old pup should never be left for 8+ hrs. that said, you have other options, doggy daycare, hire a dog walker to stop in for her, have a friend or family member stop in for her, or drop her off at your family member's house while you are at work and pick her up on your way home. We all realize it's hard to manage puppies and work schedules, but if you make the commitment to have a puppy, you should be able to adjust your schedule accordingly, or make other arrangements.

My 5 month old could never go 8+ hrs in his crate. I never leave him in it for longer than 4 hrs. a good rule is how many months old = how many hrs. 10 wks would be 2.5 to 3hrs, tops.

Lucky Rescue
August 23rd, 2005, 11:32 AM
Leaving a 10 week old puppy in a crate for 8 hours a day and expecting her to hold in urine and go without water is unrealistic and inhumane.

I've considered giving her to a family who will be able to take care of her during the day as I cannot afford another warning from my landlord. Is there anything I can do or would i be better off giving her?

If this is a good home, that would be the best solution.

August 23rd, 2005, 11:59 AM
Leaving a 10 week old puppy in a crate for 8 hours a day and expecting her to hold in urine and go without water is unrealistic and inhumane.

Thank you for making me feel cruel and unthoughtful. I am not expecting her to stop urinating nor am I punishing her for it. I'm looking for ways that will later help me break the habit.. as well as ways to make her stop howling during the day as it disturbs my neighbours.

Now you may think that I am inconsiderate. You are free to do just that but My first dog was crate trained within a couple of weeks. He did have accidents once in a while which to me is only normal. But he DID NOT howl the way Bailey does.

In any ways, please keep in mind that I am doing my best here and came here for advice on how to make things better for my pup while I am at work!

August 23rd, 2005, 12:48 PM
Reasons why a puppy has accidents in crate. The crate is too large. Puppy is able to go to the washroom at one end and sleep at the other w/o touching it. Puppy is left in the crate for a longer period of time than what they can hold. A puppy of 10 wks should not be kept in the crate for any more than 3 hrs at a time.
A puppy that is 2 months can hold themselves aprox 2 hrs, 3 mon- 3 hrs, 4 mon- 4 to 5 hrs, 5 mon- 5 to 6 hrs, and 6 mon getting close to 8 hrs. The time needs to be built. A puppy can usually hold themselves longer at night than during the day. They are not as active during the night.
Your puppy will need to relieve themselves between 5-20 minutes after eating. The meals should be scheduled and not left out. Give no more than 20 minutes to eat at each meal. They will need to go as soon as they wake up from a sleep/ nap and during and after play.
Until your puppy can hold themselves for an entire work day they should be enclosed in a safe room. You can use an x-pen, washroom or kitchen area. The floor should not have carpet. It is much too hard to clean properly and remove smells. Purchase enzymatic cleaner to remove all the smells of urine and feces. Any product that has amonia smells like urine to a dog and household cleaners will only mask the scent to you, not to the dog.
The safe room should be set up with his/her crate with the door open. Don't leave bedding in there that a young puppy may chew and swallow. Have a place that is acceptable for puppy to use as a washroom area. A puppy pad is a better choice than paper because it has plastic on the bottom so the urine does not soak into the pores of the floor. It also has a scent that attracts them to that place to use. I would get the frame for it so your puppy doesn't drag it around the room. Paper does not absorb anything, the ink gets spread everywhere and the urine soaks into the floor, nothing to stop it. More importantly if you use the pad, once the training is done the product will be gone and nothing else will be around that is similar. If you use paper it is possible that there may be a time that someone leaves one out and your puppy uses it.
There should be a few safe toys that your puppy can't ingest and a source of water. Water needs to be supplied at all times and if you are worried of it getting spilled you can get a water bottle designed for dogs. You can attach it to the crate. When you come home the pad should be removed and resume your training outside. The only time the puppy pad should be on the floor is when you are not home.
A 10 wk old puppy can't be left in a crate for 8 hrs. It is possible for them to get a urinary tract infection or other related health issues. This can happen when a puppy tries to hold it in and is not physically developed enough to do it.
During adolecence your puppy may back track again with potty training and other behaviours. They usually go through this around 5-6 months.
When you are not home, play talk radio in the room.

August 23rd, 2005, 12:55 PM
I'm looking for ways that will later help me break the habit.. as well as ways to make her stop howling during the day as it disturbs my neighbours.

Don't let it become a habit in the first place. Pups that young need you - they rely on you, for food/water, potty breaks, and socialization/bonding. You can't expect a 10wk old pup to not howl when she's left alone for so long, or to go without food/water or potty breaks. Lucky is right, it's unrealistic and inhumane. Please do right by this pup, adjust your schedule, or put her with someone who can properly care for her.

August 23rd, 2005, 01:45 PM
In any ways, please keep in mind that I am doing my best here and came here for advice on how to make things better for my pup while I am at work!

The only way you can make things better is to have someone come in and let Bailey out.8 hours is way to long for her to be in there.You do know that at her age she needs to be fed 3 times a day?And 8 hours is to long for her to go without food and water.She is just a baby and is lonely.That's why she is howling.

Please have someone come in and let her out to drink and eat,take her out and play with her.

I also suggest you get an Xpen.Or have the kitchen blocked off.

I never crated any of my dogs when they were pups.Past or present.I had the kitchen blocked off and puppy proofed.I had papers down.And I had water and dry food put down.Sorry,but I refuse to deny water.I had toys and a Kong.And I had the radio going.

Please don't take this the wrong way,but If you can't have someone come over,and you can't have her anywhere else then the crate for 8 hours,I would honestly think of adopting her out.Sorry,but that is just how I feel.And trust me,if people complain enough about her howling,you may have to rehome her.

What breed is she?

August 23rd, 2005, 01:52 PM
If you live close enough to where you work, maybe you could come home for lunch, spend a half hour with the pooch, let him go to the bathroom.

We did this with our pup so she was only ever left for 4 hours until she was about 6 months old. Luckily my BF was less than 10 minutes from home so it worked out nicely.

Good luck!

Lucky Rescue
August 23rd, 2005, 02:35 PM
I'm not trying to make you feel "cruel and unthoughtful" merely stating a fact. Not everyone knows what is inhumane and what is not.

A 10 week old puppy should not be left alone for 8+ hours a day. If someone cannot come in during the day to take her out, it's better to rehome her. That's all.

August 23rd, 2005, 02:43 PM
Thanks guys. I hope I don't sound like I don't care for her at all. I've had a long talk with a friend of mine (dog groomer) and i admit I have been thinking about finding a better home for her.

It breaks my heart though - but then again I thought i could manage it and its not good for the puppy. I'm taking this hard because if it weren't for apartment living then I could have better arrangements for her. (Our dog Mozart was often in his crate when we were away but he was equaly gated in the dining room where he had access to a doggy door).

I understand this is not in her best interest. I am looking for a new home for her. I just thought i'd get some advice to see if there was a way around that but there isn't. sigh.

Thanks for your advice. Sorry if I have frustrated any of you. Cross your fingers for me. a co-worker of mine may be interested.

August 23rd, 2005, 02:55 PM
Why is it not an option for you to set up a safe room for her. Many other dog owners have the same type of schedule and manage just fine.

August 23rd, 2005, 03:10 PM
Because I had tried that before and its worse with the howling. I've gated her in the kitchen before and because the entrance door is right next to the kitchen, she cries at ever little sound of people going up or down the stairs. I've tried putting on the radio to block the noise but she cries even more w/ the radio on.

walls are really thin where I live. Ever night after work I get a behavior report from my neighbour. Its so bad that he knows the difference between Mozart's and Bailey's cries.

Their crates are in my bedroom because i don't have neighbours on that side of the apartment. I semi close the door and turn a fan on high to circulate the air and block out the noises from the hallway. But even then the upstairs neighbour and the guy who lives next to me can hear her.

PS. Stacey.. i'm also in Ottawa.

August 23rd, 2005, 03:26 PM
What about blocking her in the washroom. I really hate to see people have to give up their puppies. We would all like to help you out with whatever we can to help you keep her. I won't be opening up my doggy daycare for at least a couple of months but there are some in the area as well as dog walkers. I am sure they don't charge all that much. Also make sure she gets plenty of exercise to tire her out.

August 24th, 2005, 08:07 AM
well it turns out the both families who were interested in Bailey aren't interested anymore. So looks like I'll be keeping her, which I am relieved.

Now.. Would a big wire crate do? Would anyone suggest that? If its big enough to put a training pad or paper in one corner, a bowl of water attached to the wireing and a nice soft cushion for her to sleep and play on. I think she'd be much happier with that no?

She's gated in the washroom today. we'll see how that goes until i get that huge crate.

Thanks a lot for your help! I really want to do right by this puppy.

August 24th, 2005, 08:55 AM
well it turns out the both families who were interested in Bailey aren't interested anymore. So looks like I'll be keeping her, which I am relieved.

Now.. Would a big wire crate do? Would anyone suggest that? If its big enough to put a training pad or paper in one corner, a bowl of water attached to the wireing and a nice soft cushion for her to sleep and play on. I think she'd be much happier with that no?

She's gated in the washroom today. we'll see how that goes until i get that huge crate.

Thanks a lot for your help! I really want to do right by this puppy.

no, a huge crate is not a solution. It will just encourage her to eliminate in her crate - please don't do that. If you are keeping her, your best solution is what Stacy suggested, blocking her in a room (or x-pen) with the crate open, so she can eliminate away from her crate. A 10 wk old pup will spill a water bowl attached to a crate, I use, and recommend the water bottles for dogs. My pup got the hang of it in about 5 minutes, and it doesn't spill. regarding a soft cushion, it's a nice thought, but remember 10 wk old pups who are left alone get bored and chew - a cushion will be unstuffed and ingested in no time.

Let us know how it goes with her in the washroom, but I still strongly suggest adjusting your work schedule, hiring a dog walker, or enrolling her in doggy daycare. She shouldn't be left alone for 8+ hours, in a washroom or a crate.

August 24th, 2005, 09:00 AM
No, you don't want her to start using the crate as a washroom. I would pick up a x-pen instead or continue to use the washroom as her place.

July 11th, 2007, 10:41 AM
I am having problems with my dog peeing in his crate. I have very recently acquired a new dog. He is almost 4 years old. He is a Jack Russell Terrier/Pitbull Mix. We have very strong reason to believe he was at the very least beaten by previous owners. He is house trained and we have no problems with him peeing in the house. However when we put him in his crate, immediately he pees in it. He is only in his crate while we are gone to work or go out. The time doesn't matter, I went out to the gym for an hour and had let him out to go pee before hand and he was soaked with pee when I came home. So I don't think it is so much that he can't hold his pee but more of a fear of his crate of some sort possibly. I am very patient with him but my partner is quite fed up and upset with this behaviour. I am not sure where to start to fix/stop this problem. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions please let me know. The poor dog has been through enough I just want to be able to help him and solve this problem as he is an incredible dog besides this problem.

September 28th, 2007, 11:39 AM
We have the same problem with our 3 yr old beagle. The problem started shortly after getting a new puppy as a companion. Both are kept in crates for 8 hours at a time (work and sleeping), but the beagle had previously been able to hold it that long. We noticed he loads up on water so we've limited that. we've been to the vet and ran almost every urine test and microbiologic test possible with no physiologic causes. We did get antibiotics several times, and they actually seemed to help for a while, but that could have been psychologic, and while we were giving the antibiotics, we were being super vigilent to make sure he peed outside before going into the crate. In the end, the vet said that the excessive drinking was likely psychologic. I agree with eariler threads that talked about the "instant gratificiation" from them peeing once when they had to go badly. If you can keep the bladder empty before going into the crate, that can help keep that down. I think we're going to try taking all bedding material out and go back to basic potty training techniques. If anyone has any medical reasons for this behavior, I'd love to hear about it.

September 28th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Stressedoutdog, maybe the former owners :evil: in addition to beating him, left him for long periods in his crate, when he would have no choice but to go at some point (and perhaps out of fear). Someone on the board suggested making the crate a positive place for the dog by feeding him there, tossing in treats, a Kong stuffed with something tasty, toys. Maybe someone will come on and confirm this.
Poor boy, thanks for rescuing him.

September 29th, 2007, 11:13 AM
STRESSEDOUTDOG: my suggestion would be to re-train him for the crate, just as you would an 8 week old puppy. I think all dogs should be used to going in and staying in a crate. Even if you dont keep them there overnight, it is best to have them stay in one while you are away, to keep them and the house safe, and while traveling. It is much easier to get them used to it slowly at home so if they need to stay in one at some point, they will not be too stressed. This is how I tell my buyers to train their puppies. It is a long process, but works very well.

Start by playing near the crate, at a distance the dog is comfortable with. If he seams to get anxious, move further away. Slowly move closer to the crate, playing and giving treats. You can use this time to do some basic obedience too, like sits and downs, with lots of reward. Only do this for a few minutes, but several times a day, they have short attention spans and can get bored/stressed easily, and you want this to remain positive.

Once you are playing right next to the crate, start tossing the ball/toy/treat just inside the door so all the dog has to do is stick their head in to get it. Do this a few times, then stop. If the dog shows some stress, stop and continue next time at a spot where he was comfortable. Do not push him, let him go in on his own, the treat or play is the reward, and as long as he is having fun, he will not think about the bad things that happend in the crate.

Continue training this way until you are able to have him go into the crate to get the ball or treat with no worries. Once you are at this point, DONT GET EXCITED AND CLOSE THE DOOR, this will only enforce the fear he has. Instead, try to keep him in the crate for a few seconds. Feed a treat, then call him out. Keep extending this time in the crate WITH THE DOOR OPEN until he is staying in it for 20 or 30 seconds. You can practice some sit/down/stay while you are doing this. Not only will this keep his mind off of the crate, you will get a fairly obedient dog too.

At this point you can now slowly close the door, talking to him, but do not latch it. Once it is closed, open it again, treat and let him out. Try not to let him burst out of the crate, you will appreciate this later. Over time you will be able to latch the door, and even leave him for a few seconds, then a few minutes. I keep a crate in the living room when I am training a pup, this way I can put them in it for a few minutes several times a day and they can still see/hear what is going on around them.

Once he is no longer afraid of the crate you can leave him for longer periods. I would suggest a chew toy or kong with peanut butter to keep him busy. If at any point he seems to get anxious, stop and back up a step or two.

Do not expect this to happen overnight. Give yourself a few days. If you work at it for 5 or 10 minutes every hour, you will be able to accomplish a lot in a weekend. Just remember to keep it positive.

A few more thoughts on peeing in a crate. A friend of mine mentioned that her dog pees in his bed as well, her vet told her it was like a toddler who wets their bed. There were medications for him, but that would be for the rest of his life. The vet explained that he just sleeps so well, he totally relaxes, resulting in a wet bet/crate. It is not every night, but they just keep him off of their bed, and wash his bedding frequently. Sometimes it is something they also grow out of, just like kids.

Hope this helps someone.

October 7th, 2007, 11:13 PM
What about when you have two dogs?? First dog is completely reliable in the house (resident dog for 3 years). New dog is 3-4 mos old. Crated at night. Plan to put pup in bathroom during day if not home. Will that work if the first dog has free run of the house??

October 10th, 2007, 04:14 PM
here is a link to a process that can be varied as needed.
i would always have a pup vet checked if several methods fail.

Hope it helps


April 24th, 2008, 12:44 PM
Hi, I actually have a question regarding bathrooming in the crate. I'm unsure of what size of crate to have. I have a 7 month male chihuahua (Tucker) and I work during the day so I put him in his crate. I come back every lunch hour though so he is only in it for 4 hours at a time. But he is going to bathroom in it. The crate is probably about 2.5' x 2.5' x 2.5'. During the night he'll just pee in it too(sometimes poo) but the crate is big enough he'll do his business in one end and sleep in the other. Also..he has alittle habit of eating his poo as well(which I have been reading up on possibly ways of breaking this). So I'm curious as to what size of crate he should be in.

November 11th, 2008, 12:41 AM
That crate is too big - 2.5 feet? It should only be big enough for him to lay down, turn around, stretch out. I would imagine that a much smaller crate would allow a chihuahua to do that.