How to keep my puppy from going to the bathroom in her crate?

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caliam34: How do I keep my puppy from going to the bathroom in her crate.?
My 8 week old puppy is eliminating in her crate. Due to work, I have to keep her crated for up to 4hrs. I am trying to mat train her, but am having very minimal success. It seems as though she prefers going in her crate than on the mat. Any mat training advice? Especially for those who work during the day. Thanks.
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Answer by wuuzle
Are you sure the crate isn’t too big?

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  1. Chakra says

    4 hrs is a long time to keep the puppy in the crate. You might want to get someone to dogsit your puppy. Also, how big is the crate. If you could, adjust the size of the crate smaller (enough for her to sleep on and not walking around). Dogs usually will not pee or poo on their bed place. But don't keep him there too long, they can't hold it. Also, instead of mat training (its a big no no from pro dog trainers), take her outside, at one spot, to do it. Choose a specific time to take her out so that she will be trained to go at certain hours. Every time she makes a mess in the house, point your fingers at her and say 'bad dog!', then, take her outside at that spot and be patient. She'll soon get the idea, that she cannot do it inside. Once she's done her business outside, praise her and give her lots of pats on the head, saying 'good girl', and reward her with her fav treat.

  2. Lola H says

    Maybe your crate it too large. typically they do not use the bathroom where the sleep or eat. I would say downsize the crate and ad a dog biscut. I have 4 dogs that roam the house when I work 8 hours a day and I had to use that method with my female pit bull. Also let her out right before you leave and as soon as you walk in the door. If you're incistant on mat training, get the ones that are grass scented. They are a few bucks more but super effective. It reinforced the out side message

  3. melissa k says

    I 100% agree with Ibbibud. The pup is too young to be confined to a crate for any longer than about two hours right now. It doesn't matter what size crate you have, she is going to pee in it if she is in there for four hours.

    Confine the pup instead to an area with a pee pad in one corner and the open crate in another. She can get used to sleeping in the crate but come out of it to eliminate on the pad. Once she is about four months old you can try keeping her in the crate for four hours.

  4. T brown says

    I also work during the day and have to leave my dog inside. When he was smaller I had the same problem. The first thing you must do is elimanate the smell from the create. Resolve pet stain remover is the best comerical product I found or lemon jucie works well too. Remember that just because you can't smell it dosen't mean she can't.

    Second rememeber that a puppy can only hold it their age in months plus one hour. So a two month old puppy can hold it for 3 hours, a 4 month old puppy for 5, a 5 month old for 6, ect. Most of your problem will go away when she can hold it long enough for you to get home and let her out of the create.
    Also putting a blanket or towel over the create encourages them to rest while you are gone and can by a little time.

    As far as mat training goes, Bear (my dog) took about 5 months to understand. It wa like a light came on one day and he hasn't had any problems since then. One trick I thought helped was that during this stage a dirty mat that smell of his unirnation is avalible him encourages them to find that place. When I thought he was getting the idea I would put a clean one over a dirty one so the smell was still there but he got the idea of the mat. Then I moved to just clean ones. It seemed to help.

    Good Luck

  5. curious_boricua_soul says

    Puppies need to go outside every 4 hours to go potty. Use water and bleach in her crate and she won't do it there anymore. You have to take her out every 4 hours and show her where she can go. She is old enough to understand what you want her to do so put it to practice now. It's a bad idea to train her inside your home to go potty. Do what I said and trust me she'll be fine and she'll also be able to hold it for up to 7 hours eventually and you won't have a problem anymore. Good Luck!

  6. Bonsai Guy says

    It is a shame so many people are misinformed about crate training. Done properly, crate training is no only NOT CRUEL, but it can have very positive effects on your dog in the long-term. Even the humane society recommends crate training for gosh sake!

    Our dogs (two boxers) love their crates, which became their own little "fortresses of solitude" when they want a little private time (we no longer confine them to their crates, and removed the doors after they were housebroken). They both love to take naps in their crates (although they prefer sleeping with us when we're in bed), and anytime they are given a new toy, they run straight to their "houses" to play.

    Keep in mind that puppies under 4 months of age have little bladder or sphincter control. Puppies under 3 months have even less. Very young puppies under 9 weeks should not be crated, as they need to eliminate very frequently (usually 8-12 times or more daily). As such, your puppy is probably much too young for crate training.

  7. dogwalker says

    Puppies bowels/bladders are very small & still developing, & therefore cannot hold nearly as much as adults. The key is to keep a very strict schedule with her while she's still learning. Here are a few steps that almost always produce results:

    #1: Most importantly, make sure she goes both #1 & #2 BEFORE you crate her. This leaves her system empty, with less chance for accidents.

    #2: Make sure she's had her breakfast & drink at least an hour before you have to crate her. DON'T let her drink or eat AFTER she's gone potty- only a small treat & if you'd like, give her a couple of ice cubes to quench her thirst & exercise her teeth. If she chooses not to eat her breakfast in the AM, then she'll have to wait until you get home…if she's hungry enough, she'll figure it out very quickly.

  8.*` says

    The crate may be too big. Make sure it's just big enough for her to sit, lay down, and turn around. Also, four hours is too long for an 8 week old puppy to hold it. Can you get someone to let her out while you're at work? If not, you kind of have to expect to have a mess when you get home.

  9. Hannah P says

    if i were you i would get a smaller crate because she will use the bathroom in one corner and sleep in the other.if you get a smaller crate she cant do that.

  10. mairin says

    I am guessing you mean mat training as in pee pad. I would get a good size crate so that one side can contain a bed with toys, food and water available and the other size has a pee pad on it. Dog generally do not like going where they eat and sleep so she will probably learn pretty quick to go over to the pee pad side. The disposable pee pads have a scent on them that tell a dog it is the place to eliminate so if you have cloth ones you may want to invest in the disposable ones so she gets the idea you want her to pee/poop on the pad in the crate. It is not a big deal that she goes in the crate as long as you set it up for her to have the separate sides. It will probably help you with her potty training because you can place another pad in your bathroom (or wherever you intend for her to use it in your home).
    By the way it is fine that you are crate training your dog. A crate can be a safe place for your dog when she gets older as well. And having a crate barely big enough to turn around in is not good. 4 hours is a long time to expect an 8 week old puppy to hold it.

  11. ~.:Unknown:.~ says

    Good job on making the choice to crate train and on the length of time you are crating her. Four hours is about the limit of how long you should crate a young puppy. You need to make sure that the crate is only big enough for her to turn around and lay down in. You should not have a potty mat in her crate. If you take her outside and ask her to "potty", or whatever word you chose to use, before you go to work, and take her out as soon as you get home, she should be able to hold it for four hours if she is a large breed dog. By the time she is full grown, she should be able to 'hold it' for a normal eight hour workday. I do not recommend using mats for her potty spot. Whatever you chose, good luck!

  12. Tigger says

    Poor baby!

    And indeed, she is just a baby. You're simply going to have to keep working on training her. And don't give her food or water for about 2 hours before you go to bed, or wherever.

    Good luck!

  13. LX V says

    4 hours is obviously too long to keep her crated. Believe me, she desperately wants to NOT pee in her den. Is there a friend you can have check on her after two hours? For a puppy that small, every two hours wouldn't be unusual. (Is her pen too big? If you got it for a full sized dog then she thinks she has room to do her business in the corner. Block off part of her den with a divider or a box)

    Don't give her any water an hour before putting her up and walk her right before you do. That will help.

    And seriously, just don't bother with mat training. Skip right to 'outside is the place we do our business'. (Keep the pee pads down though, under the theory that if it must be in the house, on the pad is better than off)

    As your pup gets older her bladder will get larger and she will be able to hold it longer.

    Bambis, there is absolutely nothing wrong with crating when it is done properly. A dog regards her crate as her den and safe place.

  14. munnyme says

    Maybe you should take your puppy outside. Usually a dog won't go to the bathroom where the sleep. Maybe you can use the method that I use to train by puppy Brody. When I brought him home I had brought a wee- wee training pads they have drops that you can buy. One your puppy pees on the pad don't change the pad. But the pad where you want them to go. I actually praise my puppy when he went on the pad. Try it it worked for me. Good Luck

  15. ibbibud says

    I would buy her a bigger crate. One that allows a bed area, kitchen and toilet. I put the bed in back and the pee pad in front by the door, which is usually where the pup will go as it is closest to "out". This arrangement allows the pup a clean area to rest, otherwise, it won't be able to tell where's a spot to go as all spots will seem to smell right. At 8 weeks, they don't have a 4 hour bladder, so have to make do. Or put her crate in the bathroom, papers all around, but crate is made up as a bed. Pups that don't get the space to potty away from their beds wind up not minding where they go at all. Natural instincts have them designate a toilet away from the bed area. The ideal being that the whole house becomes the "bed", with outside becoming the toilet when she is old enough…you eventually move her pad outside by degrees, or set up an area in the house for her toilet. Mine has a room right by the door for her "can't wait, gotta go nows".

  16. Tess says

    Are you using the divider in the crate? Make the crate area small for her, because they will try to not soil their "home" if the don't have a huge crate with a corner they could go in and still not have to sit in it.

    My dogs have big crates, big enough to fit both of them in, and they only have to go in there if we absolutely cannot take them with us or they are being punished, and in the beginning we did have a few accidents in the crates and it was always off in the corner where they could sit away from it.

  17. bambis_revenge says

    DO NOT CRATE THE DOG. DO NOT… DO NOT…If you do not have the time to spend with your puppy, you have no business having one. You are creating tons of problems by crating your puppy. You need to understand canines and that they are PACK animals. They do not do weel psychologically if they are crated AND left alone for long periods of time.

    PEOPLE WHO CRATE THEIR DOGS OUGHT TO TRY IT SOMETIME. CLIMB INSIDE FOR 4-8 HOURS, THEN YOU WILL UNDERSTAND. Didn't realize there were so many clueless people out there.

    • Brian says

      Don't be ridiculous! Every dog trainer I have every spoken with or whose book I have read has no issue with crate training as long as it's done right. Sure they need alot of work in the beginning and @ibbibud a crate should never be used as a form of punishment. If it is then when you need them to go in for GOOD reasons then they think they are being punished! A crate is a good way to aid your pupp in training. If not then they would simply roam free in your home doing their business everywhere anytime your away.

  18. sophylakes says

    what size pup? a toy breed 8 week old pup will NOT be able to control its bladder for that long.. if the crate is too big,, the pup will pee on one side and sleep on the other…. besides,, you are training her to pee in side anyway,, with those mat things..

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