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How To Stop A Dog From Peeing In The Crate

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Dog Training By Kayla Fratt 11 min read November 3, 2019 58 Comments

dog peeing in crate

Many dog aficionados recommend using a crate to potty train your new puppy. This works wonders for many dogs and is the technique that I personally use. But what do you do when your dog continues to have accidents inside the crate? This troubleshooting checklist will help you learn how to stop a dog from peeing in the crate.

It’s not uncommon to struggle with potty training your new dog. If you’re using a crate and still having problems, there are a few big potential issues that could be at play. The “steps” below go through some of the most common potential problems that could be involved when a dog is peeing in the crate.

If you haven’t even crate trained or potty trained your pup yet, you’ll have to do that first – that’s a prerequisite! For a quick recap, see our guides on how to crate train your dog and how to potty train your dog.

Step 1: Rule Out Medical Issues

The number one step to take when your dog is peeing in the crate is to make sure she’s healthy.

It could be that your beloved pup is suffering from a canine urinary tract infection (UTI) or other medical condition. I have a friend whose dog’s back condition led him to pee and poop in his crate well through his first year of life.

This is especially important to check on if your dog previously was fine in the crate, but is now suddenly having accidents. If your adult dog, potty-trained dog, or crate-trained dog starts peeing in the crate out of the blue, don’t waste time with PetMD or internet forums. Just schedule an appointment with your vet.

dog vet visit

Before going to the vet, take note of:

  • How often your dog is peeing in the crate
  • Any unusual odors
  • Whether or not the urine seems dark or bloody
  • Whether or not you’ve changed anything in your dog’s diet
  • Any new medications or supplements for your dog

Your vet will probably ask you these questions during your checkup. Anything out of the ordinary probably points to a medical reason for your dog’s in-crate accidents. Older dogs are especially at risk for medical issues that can cause incontinence or other urine-related issues.

Step 2: Make Sure The Crate Isn’t Too Big

Crate sizing is imperative potty training success. If your crate is too big, there’s a good chance that your dog is using one corner for lounging and another for peeing.

Your crate should be large enough for your dog to stand and turn around, but not much bigger. This might seem tiny to us humans who love our space, but it’s the best way to prevent your dog from peeing in the crate – and it’s actually what dogs tend to prefer.

Why Crate Sizing Can Fail:

Even with the right size crate, some dogs will continue to have accidents. There are a few reasons that this could be happening:

Habit. If your dog is already accustomed to peeing in the crate, downsizing might not help. This is why it’s so important to get the right size crate the first time around!

Puppy Mill Dogs. Dogs that were rescued or purchased from a puppy mill or pet store are morel likely to struggle with peeing in the crate. That’s because they’re used to dividing up a tiny space and using it as a bathroom, since they had to in their previous situation.

Tiny Dogs. Anecdotally, it seems more common for tiny dogs to pee in their crate.

This could be because:

  • Tiny dogs are more likely to come from puppy mill situations.
  • Tiny dogs have smaller bladders and therefore can’t hold it as long as big dogs
  • Owners might not notice accidents or hold their tiny dogs to high expectations

The bottom line is that sizing your crate appropriately is important, but it’s not a catch-all. If your dog has medical issues, can’t hold their pee for 10 hours, or doesn’t understand the concept of potty training, you’ll still run into problems. (That’s why we’ve made this whole list instead of one long crate-sizing article!)

Step 3: Take More Bathroom Breaks

Many dogs that pee in their crates are still puppies or adolescents, while others are simply small dogs. This means that the majority of crate training problems come from dogs with tiny bladders – puppies don’t yet have fully developed bladders, and small dogs will always have a smaller fuel tank.

Small bladders can’t contain pee for very long – those tiny bladders need to be relieved often.

This points to a simple and common flaw in your crate-training regime: your schedule.

The solution? Take more potty breaks. A good general rule for puppies is that they can hold their pee for their age in months translated to hours. So a 6-month (24 week) old puppy should be able to hold her pee for six hours.

An important note: this rule only holds if your dog knows that he’s supposed to hold onto her pee! Dogs do not naturally know not to pee inside. Most will hold their pee inside of an appropriately sized crate, but there are always exceptions.

If you think your schedule may be the problem, your first step might be exploring options for letting your pup out while you’re at work. (The main reason that I don’t have a puppy right now is because I work 10 hour days and can’t afford a dog walker or doggie daycare)!

happy dog

First, try taking your dog out for twice as many potty breaks. For example, we said above that a 6-month puppy should be able to hold her pee for six hours. If she’s having accidents, try taking her out ever 3 hours instead!

I suggest creating a schedule and setting timers on your phone. If this stops your dog from peeing in the crate, then gradually start to increase the time intervals.

Step 4: Adjust Your Expectations

It’s important to know what’s reasonable to expect of your puppy. An adolescent chihuahua won’t be able to hold her bladder for as long as an adult labrador – so don’t expect her to.

Keep in mind the general potty hour per month rule, but this only goes up to about 8 hours or so. Some dogs can’t even go that long. I know plenty of adult small dogs that simply can’t hold their bladders for longer than even 5 or 6 hours.

If you’re routinely pushing your dog past her limits, you’re setting everyone up for failure.

Step 5: Use More Treats

What do you do when your dog exits the crate? Do you just open up the screen door, let her do her business, and call her back inside for dinner? If so, there’s a good chance that your dog still doesn’t fully understand that she’s supposed to cash in her pee for payment.

While you’re struggling with potty issues, it’s imperative that you follow your dog around outside until she pees. You must immediately reward her for peeing with some high-quality treats. If you wait until you’re back inside, she probably won’t make the connection. So yes, this means carrying treats with you whenever you go outside.

treats

If you’re good at this, you might start noticing that your dog tries to fake you out and squat for treats. That’s fine. Just wait until she actually starts peeing before rewarding her. She’s really catching on if you start to see her trickery!

I still do this with my adult dog – potty training is really important to me. Although I don’t carry treats with me as religiously as I do with a new puppy, I still like to pay my dog for peeing outside. This is especially helpful since I’m training my dog to go to the bathroom on command.

Step 6: Film Your Dog For Behavioral Concerns

One of the most concerning reasons for a dog to pee in her crate is separation anxiety or isolation distress. At Cognitive K9, I often ask my clients to set up a video camera (you can use your phone, laptop, or a fancy dog camera that even shoots out treats) to see if the dog is suffering from some kind of extreme anxiety that is resulting in urination.

Set up your spy-cam and watch your pooch while you’re gone. If she normally doesn’t have an accident unless you’re gone for more than 30 minutes, then make sure you watch her for more than 30 minutes.

Many folks set up cameras like this to see what their dog is up to during the day. This dog’s activity is fairly normal, but some owners may witness their dogs expressing extreme anxiety.

Contact a professional dog trainer (check out the IAABC or CPDT for reputable trainers) if you see your dog is:

  • Digging or chewing at the crate
  • Crying or barking for more than a few minutes
  • Panting even if it’s not hot
  • Pacing
  • Licking herself excessively

You probably want to talk to a trainer if it looks like your dog spends more than half of her time doing things other than sleeping or playing with her toys. If your dog isn’t relaxed enough to sleep or play, she’s probably very stressed by being alone.

Peeing in her crate is a common side effect of this distress.

Your dog is not doing this because she’s mad at you. She’s not trying to get back at you or express her displeasure at being left alone. She’s scared and upset – or doesn’t understand the rules. That’s why you should never punish your dog for having accidents.

Many, many dogs show signs of being distressed when left alone. For dogs like these, it’s a good idea to look into alternatives to being left alone in their crate. While there are heavy-duty crates designed to keep dogs with separation anxiety safe (some panicked dogs will hurt themselves trying to escape flimsy crates), the root issue is best addressed. While a stronger crate will keep your dog inside, it won’t make her feel less stressed when alone!

Separation anxiety and isolation distress are really, really tough problems to crack. Speak to a professional dog trainer if you think that your dog struggles with either of these problems.

Step 7: Consider Alternatives to Leaving Your Dog In Their Crate

If you’ve tried all of the above steps and are still struggling with how to stop a dog from peeing in the crate, it’s time to look into other options.

While these options won’t fix the core problem of peeing in the crate, they will help reduce your cleaning and keep your dog happier! Who wants to come home to a sad, pee-covered dog every day?

You might want to explore other options beyond leaving your dog in their crate if:

  • Your dog is a small breed or puppy and you work long hours. Remember that they might simply be unable to hold their pee for as long as you’re gone.
  • You suspect your dog suffers from separation anxiety or isolation distress.
  • Nothing is helping to stop your dog from peeing in the crate.
  • Your dog has a medical issue that’s causing the accidents. You might need some other options while she heals up, or the medical issues might be an ongoing lifelong issue.

There are lots of options beyond leaving your dog in her crate all day. Some options will work better for some dogs. For example, getting a midday dog walker won’t help if your dog’s crate is too big and she doesn’t understand the concept of potty training yet.

So what are your options if you can’t figure out how to stop a dog from peeing in the crate?

Doggie Daycare. Your dog will get plenty of exercise and social interaction, coupled with regular potty breaks. Doggie daycare does have its downsides. It can be expensive and some doggie daycares are better than others. Doggie daycare also isn’t a good option for ultra-shy, very high energy, or aggressive dogs. Be sure to shop around to find an option that works for you, your budget, and your dog!

Potty Pad + X-Pen. Another option is to set up a solid potty pad and x-pen setup. Teaching your dog to use potty pads is a great option for young or small dogs if you can’t afford doggie daycare. The basic idea is to use an X pen to keep your dog in one general area of the room.

The potty pads, placed in the X pen, give your dog an appropriate place to use the bathroom. Your cleanup will be easier, and your dog can have space to sleep, play, and pee. It doesn’t exactly stop the peeing problem, but it does give your dog an appropriate place to go while she’s home alone.

Dog Walkers. There are so many options available for dog walkers, it’s hard to keep track. I’ve personally used local college and high school students, Wag!, Rover, and HikeDoggie. HikeDoggie is Colorado-based, though there are other similar services available nationwide. You can also read my guide comparing Rover vs Wag for a better comparison!

This is a great option for dogs that don’t do well at daycare. Dogwalkers can take your dog out once or twice a day, giving a much-needed potty break to dogs who just can’t hold it long enough for you to come home.

What step helped you breakthrough and stop a dog from peeing in the crate? We want to hear your success stories – and your struggles!

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Written by

Kayla Fratt

Kayla Fratt is a dog behavior consultant and freelance writer. She is an Associate Certified Dog Behavior Consultant with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and is a member of Dog Writer’s Association of America. She travels full time with her border collie Barley and her boyfriend, Andrew. Before coming to K9 of Mine, Kayla worked at Denver Dumb Friends League as a Behavior Technician. She owns her own dog training business, Journey Dog Training and holds a degree in biology from Colorado College. When she’s not writing or training Barley, Kayla enjoys cross-country skiing, eating sushi, drinking cocktails, and going backpacking.

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Amanda

I have a 5 month old puppy who cannot hold his pee for longer than 2 hours. He has taken to peeing in his crate the second he is left alone or wants to come out. I give him treats when he is quiet in the crate and take him out religiously every two hours and he will still pee in his crate or inside. How can I correct this?

Reply
Ben Team

Hey, Amanda.
You may want to try placing him in his crate, but remaining in his sight line. This may help give him the confidence/comfort he needs to prevent him from peeing.
From there, you could likely use positive reinforcement to help gradually increase the length of time he’s in the crate, as well as your distance from the crate.
Best of luck!

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laura

Hello – we have a 15 week old puppy we believe may have come from a puppy farm type scenario – we started crate training yesterday and he chews at the crate and today he has started peeing in the crate – it the appropriate size and is doing it more from what appears to be a behavioural reason – he will spend an hour outside then when tethered to us will go in his crate stand there and pee…any suggestions?

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Ben Team

Hey, Laura.

Don’t panic yet — give him a week or so to try to get the hang of things. I would also recommend checking with your vet just to be sure he’s healthy — a UTI can cause dogs to pee in inappropriate or unusual places.
If he gets a clean bill of health and he’s still peeing in the crate a week from now, you should probably speak to a trainer or behaviorist.

It’s obviously not easy to get a trainer or behaviorist to come to your home in our current situation, but Journey Dog Training offers long-distance options.
Best of luck!

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Kim steckbauer

My husband and I have been loving our recued Old English Bulldogge’s and English Bulls for many yrs..We have now taken in a beautiful little girl that was used for breeding..this is new endeavor..problems with potty training..plz help us help her..

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joe

this is all common sense and not helpful

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Utah Mom

If you are still responding to comments, I would love your suggestions. I have tried Everything with our younger lab. She is 15 months & I am certain has separation anxiety, isolation anxiety. She is happy as can be to play with other dogs. She comes home tired, but we can’t realistically do playdates or doggie park everyday as I work and have children. As a single mama, I have really enjoyed how my older dog is very good at telling us when he needs to go out and rarely has accidents so I never even crate him when I am gone anymore. He has a room with a tile floor just in case when I am gone but he is a superstar at holding if I am out all day. Our 15 month old however can’t seem to make it through the night or even a short couple of hours. She pees and poos every where. I would love to let her run around the backyard more freely but my neighbor seems to think that is cruelty and I have had several animal control visits. She loves to be outside & is pretty well behaved out there but the neighbors are making that Hell. She barks less and is happier to run free. In the house I absolutely insist on trying to (aka beating my head against the wall) crate training her. Every day – often every time we crate her she will have used the potty in her crate. She Does have separation issues – I think it is related to my oldest daughter moving out when she was a few months old. My daughter helped with her often and now she is out of state. This poor dog starts her barking fit if she can hear but not visually have us in her sight. We’ve tried prozac and that makes her pee more frequently and that is hell with crate training. She is becoming VERY barky! That is making us all crazy too because we don’t see it as a sign of needing to be let out, she has shown no correlation. My old guy almost never barks – except for knocks on the door LOL. Both dogs are the same breed, both from breeders directly. I had small kids when my old guy was a puppy and he still managed to learn to not piss and shit in his crate pretty quickly. I don’t know why this one just is Not catching on! I have tried four different crate sizes, going out on demand, setting a schedule, more exercise, diet, vet (which is how we have tried Prozac)…and Nothing! The trainers say – start with crate training… but we can’t get pass that, we’re stuck! She is kind of a turd! My kids are attached and I can’t bear to give up on her. I am really at a loss…Need more recommendations that don’t cost thousands – Yep looked at that too (on one income with rare child support, that is outta my budget). I really thought we could train a puppy because our old guy has turned out to be awesome. This one is making me Nuts!! Help if you can please!

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Ben Team

Hey, Utah Mom. So sorry to hear about your struggles with the pupper!
I’m not sure if Kayla will have time to respond, but we didn’t want your comment to go without a response.

It certainly sounds like you’re doing everything you can, so the lack of results is obviously frustrating. I’d recommend double-checking with your vet first, to ensure there’s not a medical problem causing his issues. Normally, a 15 month old dog should be able to go quite a while between bathroom breaks. If your vet gives her a clean bill of health, I’d recommend trying to find a behaviorist or certified trainer to work with. I know that’s not the cheapest solution, but it may be the only way to get to the bottom of your pup’s issue.

Best of luck! Let us know how it goes.

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Hannah Williams

hi kayla! my boyfriend and i are both full time students and just adopted a german shepard/blue heeler mix to help with our 2 year old australian shepard’s separation anxiety and aggression towards humans. they get along well, but now our problem is her potty training. we’ve had her since she was 9 weeks old and she’s now 3 months, and it has barely gotten better. she’s gotten better at holding until we go outside, only 3 accidents per day rather than 15, but is now peeing in her kennel. we’ve made it small enough that she only has space to turn around and lie down, but we still come home to a stinky house, blanket, and puppy. please help!!! thank you 🙂

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Christopher Locascio

Kayla – Good day and thank you for the article. Cathy and I rescued a 5 year old neutered Dandie Dinmont Terrier. Sam is our third DDT and we rescued him after Oscar passed at 15. Our girl Button is 11 year old and also a DDT and get along well with Sam. During the week he and Button are day boarded together and they get plenty of outside time and attention. But even after getting walked he is peeing in the crate. We crate him at home while we are out because he is a wild man and gets in trouble. While we are out, Button is not crated but is gated in our bedroom with Sam. She does bark while we are out but otherwise fine. We tried separating them while out and have been feeding Sam in his crate which has done well with. This past weekend we tried an x-pen but he pushed the pen across the room and yes, peed. The vet is checking his urine but Sam sleeps in our room and has no problem holding it for 8 hours so we can’t under understand why after being crated for 2 hours we have a mess. Sam was originally from a Mill and then went to an elderly couple who could not manage Sam, his sister and others. He then when to a kennel for about a month before we rescued him. How can we break him of this learned habit? Your input is appreciated, Thanks Chris

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Victoria hamer

I’ve read the tips on potty traing for crates but mainly it’s day time problems. my rescue pup shows no vocal signs of anxiety when put in her crate at night but it’s soaking wet in the morning but does not smell of wee any help would great

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Gerry

I have a 3 month old mini pin. Who us nit only pooping and peeping in his crate. But also in his bed. Please help n. Looking forward to hearing from you.

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Kayla Fratt

Gerry, what have you been able to try so far? Were you able to start some of the suggestions in the article above?

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Adele Mitchinson

My Great Dane puppy was dry all night from 10pm to 6am and dry while I was at work. Then one day that flipped. I’d come down in the morning to a flood of pee in her crate and then there were a few accidents during the day. The day accidents seem to have stopped (Touch wood) but she’s peeing at night and I have no idea where the pee is coming from she must have been out at least 6 times before bed last night but again I wake at 4am and she’s sitting in her pee. She is 19 weeks on Sunday 3 March. I’ve tried feeding her earlier, I’ve tried her sleeping in my room and I’ve tried walking her earlier too.

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Kayla Fratt

How old is your puppy? How long has this been going on? It’s a bit odd, so I’m afraid I can’t say for sure without more information.

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Christina

What is the best thing to do/response when you catch your pup peeing in the house ?

Also, will a puppy that pees in its crate be able to break the habit? Should you wake up every few hours during the night to take it out ?

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Kayla Fratt

Hi Christina. If you catch your puppy peeing, take her outside and reward her when she finishes outdoors. The whole article above outlines the steps to help a dog break of the habit! 🙂

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Beth

Im having issues potty training my female, 30lb Australian shepherd. Shes 9 months old. She gets plenty of exercise for her breed but is actually a very low to medium energy dog. she’s on a feeding schedule. Goes out every 3 to 4 hours. She poops and pees on these trips. She has good dog food. Science diet. Doesn’t eat or drink before bed time. She’s 100% healthy. I’ve given dog treats that are supposed to help her bladder. I’ve scolded her when catching her in the act. Ive made loud sounds or completely ignored her. She is crate trained. She loves her crate. Ive read and followed veterinarian, dog training, and other potty training advice since she was 11 weeks old, But here I am, at 10am after she went to the bathroom at 6am, cleaning up a huge pile of dog poop and looking at a huge puddle of piss in her crate. I can’t take it anymore. :/ its a massive problem. She knows all of her commands and extra ones. She gets long runs, walks, and Swims. But she will potty herself anywhere from3am to 9am and 3pm to 8pm with no warning or reason.

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Rachel

Science Diet is a mid grade dog food.
https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/hills-science-

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Lisa

I have two sibling puppies, 4months old 5pound Shipoos. Their Mother died and they were hand raised by breeder. They do not know not to pee in their crate/sleep space. I’m home with them all day. Take them out hourly. Walk them 3-4 times a day. Keep them in a play pen. And they still pee in their pen. I’m hopeless at this point. Any advice?

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Kayla Fratt

Hi Lisa. An hour in a play pen might be too long for 4-month-old puppies. You might need to take them out separately and/or more often. I’d also suggest reading up on littermate syndrome, as you’re at serious risk of developing some behavioral issues raising siblings together.

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Corri

Hi, I have a 6 year old mix shih tzu/Japanese chin and have never used a crate. I stay at my boyfriend’s 2-4 days every week and take my dog. The first few times we had to go out to events or shopping and he has gotten up on tables and counters. Tore down curtains and furniture trying to get out. So we tried to leave him in a room next time we had to shop and he dug at the door a wrecked that so now we use a crate. We leave for an hour to up to 5 hours depending on the function we attend and I bring him out to go potty and make sure he goes before putting him in the crate. And I’ve trained him to go in the crate by himself by just telling him to. And rewarded him with a treat. The first couple of times hes peed or pooped in the crate. But now will lift his leg to pee out of the crate. The neighbour has said he barks the whole time were gone and sometimes the crate is moved and he is drooling so much he looks like hes foaming at the mouth and I know that is separation anxiety. My question is how do I train him to relax when we go and not to pee in his crate?

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Kayla Fratt

Hi, Corri. It sounds like your dog is suffering from pretty serious separation anxiety, and it’s time to get help right away. You might want to check out Malena DeMartini’s Mission Possible course ($100) or reach out to me for private training. One of my trainers LOVES helping people with separation anxiety, and she’s got availability! We’ve got a separation anxiety guide coming soon here, but it’s not ready for reading yet!

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Cat

I have 1.5 year old female GSP I took in 4months ago. I have tried everything from several trips outside, treats, smaller cage, corn silk, watching water intake, vet trip for UTI medication. And she still continues to pee every night and day while I’m at work. I’ve caught her drinking her own urine and I don’t know what to do anymore. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Kayla Fratt

Hi Cat. I’m sorry you haven’t found any solutions. This is odd behavior – especially the drinking of urine. My biggest suggestion was to get in to see a veterinary behaviorist or behavior-savvy vet to really rule out medical reasons for the problem. There are many things beyond a UTI that could be the cause. The vet can also help you determine if this is behavioral or medical. It may be both.

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Leah

I have a 13 week old goldendoodle. We have had her for four weeks, and she pees in the crate randomly. I am very concerned that she has picked up a hard habit to break. I haven’t been able to pick up on a pattern. She generally keeps the crate dry all night (one accident overnight in 4 weeks), and she has only woken us up once during the night since we got her to go out. Accidents seem more likely to happen during the day and within an amount of time that I would expect her to be able to hold it. The vet told me she should be able to hold it 7 hours during the day, which I thought was ludicrous at this age. My expectation at this point is 3-4. She seems to hate the crate and often whines immediately after we put her in for a while. Wetting the crate also happens right after whining, so we are always hesitant to take her out of the crate when she is whining for fear of reinforcing whining as a means to exit the crate. Sometimes she does great, and sometimes she wets. we have a crate with a divider, and she has VERY limited space (can turn around but that’s pretty much it). She has wet in the crate both with and without a towel. What are we doing wrong? See below for a typical day’s schedule:

6am-awake and taken outside as soon as she gets out of crate; pretty reliably pees and poops while on leash
Back inside for supervised play time
7am-feed her breakfast
7:30-outside; always pees and usually poops; sometimes a 15 minute leashed walk after breakfast; immediately back in crate
10:30 to 11-outside and some play time before back in crate
2-3-outside and then back in crate
6-outside for potty time and then back inside for dinner
6:30-outside again and then back in crate
10-last scheduled time outside for the night and then in crate until morning

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Kayla Fratt

Leah, thank you for all of that detail! I agree that more like 4 hours seems reasonable for a puppy that age. Glancing at the schedule, it seems like quite a bit of crate time for a young puppy. I’d actually recommend letting her out right away when she wines, letting her pee. That essentially rewards her for letting you know that she needs to pee, which is exactly what we want! It’s much nicer to live with a dog that warns you when they need to pee, isn’t it? If she doesn’t pee when you take her out, go back inside. No biggie.

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[email protected]

I think I failed to tell you she is put in the wire crate and holds herself just fine. No mishaps, gone 7 hours yesterday and nothing. This has been how she had done no accidents when gone for a few hours. So this is why I wrote. I’m 66 years old and never had issues like this.

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Kayla Fratt

Jan, at just three months old, your dog is just a baby. I would recommend a smaller crate and more potty breaks. Use a timer and reward her for going outside.

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Jan

My dog is 3 months old. I have never ever had an issue raising trying any of my many dogs. I did start out wrong with this one with a big wire crate. We did block it off and that didn’t seem to help.. the dog would pee then lap it up and if she pooped she would try and eat it. She was in a Florida room and I slept in a recliner for first few weeks. I wanted to get bCk to my den with my husband I bought a crate and blocked it off. She holds it fine all night unless I get up and if I do I always let her out also. I spend time with her outside throwing a toy and in front of me on lease. Any time whether she been outside or not so as she put in crate she circles a couple of times and pees. She is doing this on purpose. She was chosen by the breeder to be a good candidate for my service dog to train myself. This was a 6th generation breeding and she has had great success. She health test and X-rays hips.
What am I doing wrong?

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Jessica

I have a 7 month old pug puppy. I take her out to do her business but she is afraid of the grass so I’m using pee pad outside on my patio. She does her business on the pee pad but when I put her in the crate to go run an errand for an hour there is pee and sometimes poop in the crate. Any suggestions?

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Kayla Fratt

Jessica, I’d try putting her in an exercise pen with a pee pad in one corner. That way she can relieve herself outside of the crate. It’s really hard to potty train a dog once she learns it’s OK to pee/poo in the crate, so I’d do whatever you can to avoid letting her do that. Is she 100% “empty” before you leave for an hour? do you reward her when she goes outside? At 7 months old, she should be able to hold it for an hour. Finally, I’d try filming her to make sure she’s not in extreme distress. You can try using the pee pad on the grass as well to transition to peeing on grass.

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Jessica

Yes, she is fully empty I take her out and she does her business, before I leave and before bed time. I was going to put her in an exercise pen with a pee pad but she starts to eat the pee pad and/or shredded it. Also she is at the point of jumping out of the pen she stands up and can reach the top of it. But the filming part is a good idea and I’ll have to try it. Thank you

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Justin

Hey I have a pit bull puppy named kane ,he is a very handsome dog ,but I’m so stressed because he always poops and pees in his kennel. I admit when he messes up I spank him, but I thought that is what you were suppose to do. He is in a bigger kennel but he shares it with my older girl pit chloe and she has to lay in his urine and poop all day. We cant let him run around because he chews on everything and the pads didn’t work. I’ve tried going out with him, but he will stand there forever and come inside and In five minutes use it. If I put him in a smaller kennel by himself he loses his mind. I dont know what to do I’ve almost given up but my wife loves him very much….

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Diane

I have an almost 6 month Cairn Terrier that I was given to me at 5 months old. She does not know that it is wrong to pee inside the house or in her crate. The previous owner had her crated all day and she would pee in her crate. She doesn’t care. The crate was probably too big to begin with, but it is a good size now. She pees a lot and I restrict her water intake. When I first got her I swear she peed at least every 30 minutes. She will pee outside on demand when taken out by leash and she is taken out very often. She is hardly ever alone for any extended period of time. The vet did not detect any medical issue and she was checked for UTI. She often will sleep through the night without wetting her crate (7 hours). I believe it is behavioral. She is a smart dog. And there has been some progress, but I think I need to scold her at this point. She just doesn’t get that it’s wrong to pee inside. I’m also wondering if I should use pee pads, something that I’ve always avoided.

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Kayla Fratt

Diane, it’s really challenging to potty train a dog that has already learned to pee in the crate. Rather than scolding her, I’d recommend setting up a schedule of taking her outside every 30 minutes and rewarding her with food for going outside. Scolding her is more likely to teach her not to pee in front of you than to not pee in the crate.

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Erin

Your pup has no idea why you are “spanking” him. Even if caught in the act he won’t make the connection. Punishing has no place in crate training. Only positive reinforcement works. If he’s chewing things outside the crate you can throw a rolled up towel with rubber bands at him. That way he associates the chewing furniture with the bad towel and not you. Definitely separate the dogs in 2 crates and make sure it’s small enough. Good luck!

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Susan

I have an 11 yo female miniature dachshund. Within the last several months we have moved twice and during this time we also had to put her sister down. I’ve always crated the two of them together since they were puppies. Now she has started to pee in her crate when I’m gone. It is not medical and I’m sure it’s because of what she has been thru. She tears up the pee pads and seems to wiggle out of the diapers. Any other suggestions? Also are there any OTC remedies that actually work ? I don’t think it’s incontinence as she holds it in all night when sleeping with us.

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Kayla Fratt

It sounds like she may be suffering from separation anxiety, which isn’t uncommon in dogs that have had the sort of stressors she’s had lately. I’d recommend checking out the book “Don’t Leave Me” or “I’ll Be Home Soon” for in-depth help regarding this!

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Shirley Bodine

my sons puppy is about 9 weesk old, he is climbing up the inside of his cage and peeing on the outside, how can we correct this problem? Thank you

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Kayla Fratt

At just nine weeks old, your puppy does not yet have true control over his bladder. Keep him tired and occupied using puzzle toys and take him outside VERY frequently. Reward when he goes outside. He’s still extremely young!

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Donna L Elliott

Excellent article! Thank you!

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Lauren Buchanan

Helpful article thank you. My puppy pees in his crate when left for longer than a couple of hours (I know it’s not his fault) so I wanted to use a play pen and leave puppy pads for peeing but he goes crazy. I’m not sure what to do I feel he’s safer in the crate because he calms down eventually but doesn’t seem to in the play pen (attached to the crate with toys etc inside). Is it because it’s a bigger space than the crate? Is there anything you can suggest to help with this please. Thanks.

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Kimia

Hi, I have a 3 months old yorkie. When i first brought him i used to keep him in his crate and he had learned to use his pad. Two days ago he started to poop outside his pad so i made his crate samller and put his pad outside and take him for potty brakes but he doesn’t use his pat any more and hold on to his pee even for hours until i put him in his crate then he does his work. What should i do

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Holly

Hi,
I’m having trouble potty training my 4 month old German Sheppard rot mix. Some days she has no accidents and other days she will have 6! I’m a teacher and home all summer and trying to keep her routine and number of breaks consistent to potty train before school starts up. We even have a doggy door she can go outside whenever she wants… but it’s like she’s scared of it and will only go potty when I let her out the front door. She’s been peeing in her crate, I have to give her baths everyday. When we get up in the morning first thing we let her out of the cage and even though she peed in it, she will pee when you open the cage door before even walking outside…. I have been religiously rewarding her with treats when she does go outside and lots of praise. Starting to lose my mind cleaning her crate and bathing her everyday. And when I go back to school in two weeks I won’t have time for this… I already have a 2 year old and am 7 months pregnant… I’m going to get her a smaller crate to start, but how do I get her to not be afraid of our doggie door? Any advice is appreciated! PLEASE HELP!

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Kayla Fratt

Holly, that sounds really frustrating! How long is she in the crate for? I wonder if a vet visit to rule out a UTI is in order. I also would recommend finding a local trainer to help you troubleshoot, since you’re on a really tight timeline. You can find one at iaabc.org/consultants or petprofessionalguild.com/Zip-Code-Search

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Sian

She will be in a new routine when school starts again. Give it time they soon grow out of it. Keep rewarding as you are. For weeing straight outside the crate move the crate nearer a door and open the door for her to go straight out or open the crate and call straight to the door with a treat etc. She will smell the treat so that will keep her mind off weeing. My puppy won’t stop weeing in his crate but I know in the long run he will stop doing it. X

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Kayla Fratt

Thanks for the tips!

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Tena L Gallup

Our dog is 1.5 yes old and still peeing in his crate. He will prep outside the crate so it’s not on there with him. We are at a loss as 2 what to do. I’ve never had this problem before. HELP!

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Kristie

Please correct the typo in your article: the “U” in UTI stands for Urinary, not Uterine [it is quite impossible for male dogs to have a uterine infection 😉 ]. Thanks.

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Meg Marrs

Thanks for catching that Kristie!

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Dale

What about overnight? I’ve been taking my 8 week old outside to do his business at least half a dozen times each day (including immediately before bed) and he’s now woken me up soaked in pee for a second time in a row

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Kayla Fratt

At 8 weeks old, your puppy will still need to be going out multiple times per night. His bladder can’t hold it for that long!

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Chuck Taylor

Well, I didn’t read all of the article -but- the best way to stop your pouch from peeing in a crate is… just don’t use a crate in the first place. I know this will get a lot of flack -but- I have never used a crate and I don’t believe in them. My ‘Pup’ has complete run of the house and always has. Yes, house breaking was quite the challenge, especially cause of going to work… -but- when he was 17 weeks old he was house broke and used the doggy door. I had him for 12 of those weeks. So each to his own… Don’t know if the time frame for the task was good or bad but that is what we got.

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Kayla Fratt

I’m so glad that worked well for you! Crate training certainly isn’t for everyone – or every dog! That said, some people have to crate their dogs to comply with their lease. I personally crated my dog for a long time because he would eat non-food items and was putting himself in danger. You did very well housebreaking your pup! 17 weeks is impressive 🙂

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Alicia

Thanks Einstein. PS not using a crate was one of the points in the article, captain obvious.

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zanatra ambrose

You said your against a crate, you let him go freely about the house and at 17 weeks he was potty trained but you never offered a solution or your method. I dying to know how you potty trained your puppy after he shitted and Peed all over you house?

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Tonie

I’m just replying to person who is against crating. Some people don’t have the option of not crating. We have a small older dog and got a 7 mo. old larger rescue puppy. We wanted to crate when we’re not here, so they won’t hurt each other. The older dog is not crazy about the new one. It seemed he did better in the crate at first but now has peed a few times . I’m afraid our crate is too big, and of course I threw away the receipt. Thank you for your suggestions.

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