Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Puppy keeps toileting in crate(6 Posts)
We have a 12 week old spaniel who we are trying to crate train. We did the usual positive introduction to the crate (letting her investigate in her own time, not closing the door at first, treats when she reacted well to it and so on), the crate is the correct size with just enough room for her to turn and to stretch out, it’s nice and cosy and is in our bedroom at night. She happily takes herself off into her crate during the day, but she does a poo almost every time we shut the doors, never a wee though. She's always taken outside beforehand and during the night, she doesn’t get visibly upset when in there, and gives no indication of needing to go out (she’s very good with toileting and alerts us that she needs to go at all other times). I just can’t understand what we’re doing wrong here, even if she’s just done a poo outside she’ll still manage one in her crate, we never react... even when she walked all over it and got it matted in her coat 😭! Quite apart from anything else, bathing her so often can’t be good for her skin and coat! She’s literally just done it again, so now it’s 2am and my bedroom smells like dog sh*t 🙄.
We’ve crate trained 5 dogs in the past and we’ve never had this so I’m stumped. Any advice?
Are you cleaning it enough? She may be attracted to that one spot if she can smell it.
Do you have a command word for the toilet? Can you train her to go on command so you know when she's been and not going to need to go again - but I know in your post she's going and then going again. What's she like when she goes outside, is she excited? Maybe she's not doing it all because she's too eager to carry on playing?
Does her walk stop once she's been? Maybe she doesn't want to go outside properly because then that's the end of walkies
Is the crate definitely not too big - maybe she feels like she's got space for a toilet corner still
Otherwise I don't know
Maybe she isn't as happy as she seems.
Try shutting the door when you know she definitely doesn't need to go, very quickly open it again and reward her for not going??
I guess she's locked in. She poos. She gets to come out?
Thanks for the suggestions, greatly appreciated! She already goes on command - honestly, other than this crate issue she’s a toileting dream! Walk wise I try to get toilet done as soon as we get to the beach, then playtime after, she’s not an overly excitable pup but it is possible she’s rushing in order to get to playing, although her last toilet trip and those during the night are only to our garden with no play time. The treat if she doesn’t go suggestion is a good idea, although she does it any time from 20 mins to 2 hours after going in there. I’m totally stumped, when she does it she just stands there wagging her tail and looking pleased as punch! It’s never in one spot either, she does little bits all over the place. It’s honestly exhausting me, I purposely put her in our room so she wasn’t alone and scared, she could only be closer to me if I got in the bloody crate with her! I try to avoid making a fuss of any kind when cleaning up in order to avoid her thinking she gets attention from doing it too. I use an enzyme cleaner each time on everything in her crate, so I’m almost certain I’m cleaning it all thoroughly.
She’s such a good dog in every other way, bless her. There must be something I’m missing and I strongly suspect you hit the nail on the head there with the whole ‘she pops she gets to come out’, but how do I fix that? Christ, my 5 kids were easier 😂! It’s a good job she’s cute!
*poos, she definitely never pops.
Might be worth trying a puppy pen as opposed to a crate to see if that makes any difference ie no lid and a bit more room to move .
‘she pops she gets to come out’, but how do I fix that?
I don't know whether a 12 week old puppy's bowels are under that kind of control tbh?
I wonder if she's just got into the habit?
Toilet training is almost totally habitual. Dogs never really learn to go outside, instead they have enough experiences of it that it starts to only ever feel right to do so.
I wonder if your pup seems to be learning that inside the crate feels right to poop. If so, the trick will be to figure out exactly what about the crate she has linked pooing with and change it. I'd be tempted to try to change the bedding for something totally different (colour, texture, smell, material) to see if that helps break the habit.
Then, upon the change, I'd put her in and take her out after 10-15mins to the garden. Repeat that kind of interval during the day to try and reduce any chances of her pooing in the newly decorated crate. Stretch out the timings once she's consistently clean.
Overnight I might be tempted to set an alarm for every 1.5-2 hours (whatever you think she can cope with) and take her out. Just for a few nights until you manage to get consistently clean, then stretch out the timings. It'll be a bugger but worth it, imo.