Does it seem like you and your dog are on two completely different pages at times? When it comes to crate training or potty training, you’re continuously taking one step forward but two steps back? You thought that they had this whole thing down pat. Now, suddenly, your dog keeps pooping in their crate.
This type of dog regression in crate training not only leaves you feeling completely disheartened because you thought that you and your dog were actually getting somewhere with this but now it seems like you need to move right back to square one.
Unfortunately, training takes time.
It is not a game for the swift trainer but rather one for the persistent.
Training a puppy or dog takes time and a ton of repetitive action and positive incentives that come in the form of training treats. These are just some of the basic core fundamentals of dog training.
Here, we’ll attempt to answer the questions some of our weekly readers and subscribers have sent in such as “Why does my dog keep pooping in their crate”, “Why does an older dog suddenly start pooping in their crate” and “How do I get my dog to stop pooping in his crate.”
Why does my dog keep pooping in their crate?
For most dogs, pooping or peeing in their crate or kennel will seem taboo. A forbidden practice that should not even be thought about.
For these types of dogs, you will notice that they hardly ever pee or poop in their crate.
Only under extreme circumstances that they are locked in their crate or kennel for long hours and their bodies will not allow them to hold it in any longer is when they will defecate in their crates. But, even if they do have an unfortunate accident, you will never see them laying on or near their pee or poop.
They will choose to stand until their owner comes to let them out and take care of the spill on aisle 9.
On the other hand, there are dogs out there that find no problem lying next to, or even sleeping in their poop.
Some dog owners even complain that their dog keeps pooping in the crate and eating it. This is not so unusual for dogs to do but it is an unhealthy practice, nonetheless.
Some of the major reasons most dog owners find that their dog keeps pooping in their crate is due to:
Separation anxiety is when an extreme feeling of anxiety is provoked when dogs or puppies sense that they will be separated from their families or their owners. You will notice your dog will react by barking, loud cries, whining, causing damage to objects in your house or by excessive defecation.
This is basically their cry for attention.
This can be seen easily in dogs that spend a large majority of the day being in their owners’ presence.
Sleeping in the same bed, going for car rides, spending time on the couch throughout the day are all activities that lead dogs to become dependent.
This dependent behavior in dogs does not train them to become useful, helpful, members of the household. Rather, owners should be teaching their dogs to be independent and not so reliant on their owners.
Urinary & Bowel Incontinence
Incontinence, according to the Mayo Clinic is “the loss of bladder control”. This condition can also affect the ability to hold and control bowel movements.
Incontinence can be quite common and problematic in humans, but did you know dogs can suffer from this as well?
Though it is more common to see older dogs become incontinent.
Whenever an older dog keeps pooping or peeing in their crate, nine times out of ten it will be due to this reason. It is also important to remember not to punish or bash your older dog if they happen to poop in their crate.
Incontinence is uncontrollable, inevitable, and comes with age. There is very little successful reversing treatment for this condition and is ultimately impossible to train an older dog to snap out of it.
Though, there are supplements such as Cran Bladder Health by PetHonesty (link to Amazon) that can help to prevent incontinence, and support both urinary tract health and kidney health. Some dog owners have even seen instances where their incontinent dogs decrease the rate at which they did poop in their crates.
One tip that I can recommend to dog owners with older dogs that tend to have more frequent accidents is to line and cover the floor of the dog’s crate with potty pads.
The pads will allow you to easily clean up the mess when it happens and will also avoid your dog’s entire living space from smelling like dog pee or poop.
You will notice that the dog keeps pooping in their crate at night when they’re asleep or when they suddenly cough or sneeze while in their crates. These actions are also uncontrollable and will likely worsen as your dog continues to age if steps are not taken to control it.
Do not hesitate to visit your local veterinarian to take your dog in for a checkup as the issue may continue to worsen over time due to urinary tract infections or to some other underlying health concerns.
Dog Regression in Crate Training
Although making backward progress sucks, sometimes it is a necessary wake-up call to most dog owners.
Revisiting crate training lessons can help a dog to refresh them on the purpose of their crate so that they do not continue to poop in it.
It is not uncommon for a well-trained dog to start pooping in its crate suddenly. In fact, many dog owners find that their dogs will poop in their crates once or twice a month just out of nowhere.
Dogs need a ton of repetitive training in order to fully master a new trick or lesson that you are teaching them.
It is also important to remember whatever you teach to your dog it must be practiced as often as possible so that your dog does not forget it shortly after.
Many dog owners go into crate training their dogs for about 2-3 weeks or at least until they think their dog has mastered the lesson.
Unfortunately, they are soon reminded that once a dog learns a new trick that it is not permanent. They must practice at least 2 – 3 times a week.
There is not really a specific time to teach a dog a new trick for them to know it forever, this is an ongoing process.
How do I get my dog to stop pooping in his crate?
It is very easy to get tired of cleaning up your dog’s poop several times a day. Trust me, we have all been there.
When it all comes down to it, there are essentially only three reasons why a dog might continuously poop in their crate.
- Improper Crate Training
- Being caged up for way too long
- A simple cry for attention
Improper Crate Training
Crate training, although it can sound like a very simple concept for a dog to grasp and easily understand, this activity is far from easy.
Many dog owners, with very little knowledge about dogs, will try to take it amongst their selves to train a dog even if they don’t know the first thing about what to do.
Knowing the core fundamentals of properly training a dog, what to train first, how often to train, and others are just some of the things dog owners do not pay much attention to or even try to consider.
I always recommend to new dog owners that if they do plan on training a dog then taking them to a certified dog trainer should always be their #1 option.
Though a lot of individuals find it hard to take their dog to training sessions every day and this can become overwhelming.
This can be extremely powerful simply due to the fact that you as the dog owner will be spending a lot more time with your dog by training them, as opposed to taking them to a dog trainer who will most likely form a deeper relationship with your dog than you do, depending on the hours spent together during these sessions.
If you are a new dog owner, consider looking into utilizing the Brain Training 4 Dogs program as it will take you by the hand and walk you through the process of training your new best friend. It uses Certified Dog trainers with years of experience and know-how.
They also break down most strategies, methods, tips, tricks, and techniques that make it easy for people that have never owned a dog before to understand.
Being caged up too long
Unfortunately, most dogs only poop or pee in their crates when they have no other option. Instances like this occur when dog owners leave the house for a few hours while leaving the dog locked up.
Whenever you plan on leaving the house for an extended amount of time and you just do not trust your dog enough to let them roam around the house in your absence, you should always take them to go potty right before you plan on leaving.
Taking your dog to the potty before leaving the house seems like common sense, but you would be shocked to know that in a recent poll conducted by Smarter Pup Training, we found that only about 68% of dog owners even consider taking their dogs to go potty before leaving the house for work.
Coming up with a poop schedule for your dog will make it easier for you to remember to take them outside often and will make your dog happy because they won’t have to lay in their crate full of poop.
Many owners think that it is cookie cutter for all dogs that they only need to go potty three times a day. One in the morning, one at noon, and one more at night.
In fact, this potty schedule is only optimal for much larger dogs.
Smaller dogs have smaller bladders and less of a willingness to hold their poop for as long as a larger dog can.
You can follow the poop schedule below which takes your dog’s age and weight into consideration to help you determine how often they should be going to the potty if they are on a normal feeding schedule.
Dog Potty Schedule
|Dog’s Age||>10 Lbs.||<10 Lbs. >25 Lbs.||<25 Lbs. > 50 Lbs.||<50 Lb.|
|>8 Weeks||All the time||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|<8 Weeks, > 6 Mos.||Minimum – 6 times per day||Minimum – 5 times per day||Minimum – 4 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day|
|<6 Mos. > 1Yr.||Minimum – 5 times per day||Minimum – 4 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day|
|<1Yr.||Minimum – 4 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day||Minimum – 3 times per day|
This potty schedule should help in lessening the chances that your dog poops in their crate.
A simple cry for attention
When your dog keeps pooping in their crate after you leave the house, or they are left alone this is usually caused by separation anxiety.
A quick, easy, and simple solution to solving this problem is by utilizing Zesty Paws Anxiety Calming Bites (link to Amazon).
These treats support your dog’s stress levels, soothes fear and tension, helps with anxiety, and reduces hyperactivity. It uses proven, organic ingredients that manipulate your dog’s hormones to keep them calm and relaxed.
It is not recommended to allow a dog to continue to display disruptive, aggressive, and damaging behaviors just to get your attention.
A dog will use this tactic to their advantage every time they want your attention and you as the dog owner continue to give it to them.
If a dog keeps pooping in their crate, this can say a lot of things about their training methods, their health, their ability to be alone for extended periods of time, and the owners’ ability to take them to go potty on a regular schedule.
I hope that this article has been informative, enlightening, and has provided you with the knowledge and information necessary to help you to get your dog to stop pooping in their crate or kennel.