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My puppy has started to poo in his crate :(

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by RedRen, Aug 21, 2013.


  1. RedRen

    RedRen PetForums Junior

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    Hello :)

    I'm hoping for some advice regarding my new pup - he's my first ever puppy so I'm a bit clueless!

    He's 12 weeks old and we've had him about a month now. For the first few nights when we brought him home he slept in his crate in our bedroom. He would bark to let me know when he needed the toilet and I'd whip him outside - gradually this got later and later until after about five nights he started sleeping through. After this we started leaving him to sleep downstairs in his crate. So far so good :thumbup1:

    Well now the past three mornings I have woken up to find he's pooed in his crate during the night :confused: Last night I brought him back up into our room because I thought he was maybe crying to be let out and I wasn't hearing him, but again he went to toilet and didn't make a sound.

    Now obviously I know he is only very young still and I'm not expecting him to be house trained for a long time, but I'm concerned because he's going in his crate and I've read that that's very bad. His blankets in his crate are dry so he isn't peeing, and when I leave him in the crate during the day he's always fine (although obviously he isn't in his crate for very long).

    Any tips or advice on what I should do?

    Thanks :)
     
  2. Lizz1155

    Lizz1155 PetForums VIP

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    Since he's only 12 weeks old, he's got at least another two weeks before he actually has any control over his bladder and bowels - at the moment, he's essentially incontinent. At 12 weeks, he doesn't necessarily realise he needs to go, so he can't tell you that he needs to go out. To be honest, I think so far you've been a bit lucky that he has sometimes told you he needs to go out - it's an indication he should be easy to housetrain, however you still need to give the pup time to develop adequate control over bladder and bowels.

    Toileting in the crate isn't a good habit, and dogs will avoid soiling their sleeping area if they can help it - however a 12 week old pup can't really help it. At this age, it's better to schedule their toilet breaks rather than relying on the pup telling you that it needs to go. A few accidents shouldn't have a long-term impact upon housetraining and crate-training, however they are best avoided.

    With my pup, I scheduled his bathroom breaks during the night, because he didn't always woof to tell me he needed to go out. Waking to find he'd pooped in his crate was horrible, and cleaning up mess in the middle of the night was also pretty grim, so it was easier just to set an alarm clock. Until he was 14 weeks, I took him out at 3am - even if this meant waking him up and carrying him out. (He would always poop when he was out there, even when I had to wake him). From 14 weeks onwards, I gradually increased the time he was taken out until he made it through til morning. Now thankfully he sleeps through til 8.30am and is housetrained (although I still escort him to the toilet and make sure he gets a reward for toileting outside, since if my dog is ever old and incontinent, I still want him to try and go in the right place).

    It also helps a lot to make sure that the puppy's last feed is fairly early (5.00 to 5.30pm), and making sure that they've pooped before bed - my pup didn't always want to poop before bed, however I discovered that a really short walk (just down one road, luckily it's where a dog-poop bin is situated) was enough to make him realise that he actually needed to go.

    Lastly - if a pup has a dodgy tummy, housetraining will be far more difficult. Until you can predict when your pup will need the toilet, be pretty careful about the amount of treats/new food you give. And if the pup eats something which it shouldn't, keep a close eye on them in case they urgently need the loo.
     
    #2 Lizz1155, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  3. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Have you changed his meal times, number of meals his having or the food at all? If you have then that may be why he is needing to go through the night again. If they have a pattern of set meals, quantities and times, then the digestive transit time and needing to go often developes a pattern too.

    Other then this Im wondering if he did cry when he started being left downstairs and you didn't hear him, he toileted and now even though you have tried him with you again, he isn't bothering as its become a habit so to speak. Only thing I can suggest is actually set an alarm once or twice and pop him out in the night for a few days, lots of praise and treats if he does it out there, to try to get him back on track, or if he needs to go he will tell you again.
     
  4. RedRen

    RedRen PetForums Junior

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    That's what I'm worried :(

    Nothing has changed, food, meal times, everything is the same as it has been. The only difference I can think of is that previously I'd been sitting out in the garden on a night so he had plenty of opportunity to go to toilet, whereas it's been cold for the past few nights so we've been inside and I've just let him out before bed. Well I've just stood outside with him for a good while and he has done a poo so hopefully he won't need to go during the night now.

    I'll probably have to do the setting of the alarm clock although can't say getting up at three in the morning to stand in the garden fills me with joy :D

    Thanks for the replies :)
     
  5. Lizz1155

    Lizz1155 PetForums VIP

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    Yup, it's not a pleasant thing to do - I've spent a lot more time standing around the garden at night in pyjamas than I did before I had a dog. Luckily it's a stage that soon passes :) At least your pup will have outgrown night-time toilet breaks by the time it's winter (then you get to laugh at people who are doing night-time toilet breaks with puppies in winter :p )
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Could be that he hasn't been going then and got caught short in the night instead, maybe just try and ensure he goes by making sure he stays out a decent time before bed again. If he does go, then maybe just try a few nights and see if he does go through. Maybe only take him out in the night if you know he hasn't gone before bed anytime. it will get better as they grow and their capacity gets better to hold themselves for longer it does resolve itself usually.
     
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