How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Peeing In Her Crate?

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We often get puppy questions through our blog, email, and social media channels and recently we’ve been receiving the same crate training questions over and over again.  The basic question we’ve been getting is “How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Peeing In Her Crate?”

Before we brought home our first puppy we read several books about how to train puppies.

One of our favorite books that we suggest for any new puppy parent to read is Puppies for Dummies. In fact, Puppies for Dummies was the first book I read before bringing Linus home from the Carson Animal Shelter.

How can I get my puppy to stop peeing in her crate?
How can I get my puppy to stop peeing in her crate?

We wanted to learn as much as we could about puppies before diving into puppy ownership.

Now 10+ years later we continue to read books about puppies and dog training. It might be a good time to put together a list of our favorite puppy training books…stay tuned.

We rescued Linus from the shelter, fostered dozens of puppies and dogs, raised 11 guide and service dog puppies, and puppy sat countless dogs and puppies.

Maybe we’re not experts, but we do think we know a little more than the average bear.

We get hundreds of questions every month about puppies, dogs, and puppy dog training. 🙂

Over the years we’ve kept the answers in the comment section, but starting this year we’re going to highlight questions and answer it right here on the blog!

Our hope is to build a resource section and help answer some of the most common puppy training questions.

QUICK ACCESS: If you’re having puppy training problems then you should join our Puppy Training Tips email list and get instant access to our New Puppy Owner Checklist PDF. To get started CLICK HERE.

So without further adieu…

How Can I Get My Dog To Stop Peeing In Her Crate?

Crate Training Dublin
Dublin didn’t have any potty problems during crate training

We hear this question several times a month in it’s different variations.

Maybe your dog is peeing in her crate or maybe your dog is pooping in her crate either way your question is in one way or another:

“What can I do to get my dog to stop having accidents in her crate?”

The original crate training question we received this week is below:

Question

“Hi I am crate training my 9 week boxer puppy. She is peeing and pooing in the crate overnight and then whines to be let out. what should I do if she doesn’t cry when she has to go?”

Answer:

You have to remember that a puppy as young as yours (around 9 weeks of age) probably does not yet have full control of her bladder.

She may not always know when she has to potty, but there are some things you can do in your situation.

Your goal is to not allow your puppy to potty in the crate anymore.  At some point in time, she learned that it was okay to potty in the crate.

If she’s having accidents in the crate during the day and at night you need to make sure you reduce the amount of time she spends in the crate and over time incrementally extend the amount of time she spends in her crate.

Let’s start off by speculating why your puppy is peeing/pooping in her crate.  There could be several reasons why a puppy has an accident while in the crate:

1. The crate size is too big

If your crate is too big then your puppy will often time use one side to potty (her bathroom) and the other side to sleep (her bedroom).

A crate should only be large enough for your puppy to stand up and turn around any bigger than that and you might have a few potty accidents.

If you’re looking for a crate we recommend the MidWest Life Stages Double Door Crate which has a divider allowing you to adjust the size of your crate as your puppy grows.

2. Before you brought home your puppy she learned to potty in her crate.

In general, puppies will not potty where they sleep, but there could be reasons why your puppy learned to do this before you brought her home. 

If you bought from a pet store (please don’t buy from pet stores as the majority of these puppies come from puppy mills) your puppy probably learned to potty where she sleeps. The same could be true if you purchased from an irresponsible breeder.

Responsible breeders will often times start potty training their pups before they go home with their new families. If you adopted, your puppy may have learned to potty in their kennel or another sleeping area.

You never really know, but sometime in her past, she may have learned to potty in her crate.

3. She has a bladder infection or some kind of health issue

A trip to the veterinarian may be in order. You might want to consider this as an option if your puppy is having unusual potty accidents.

Basic Crate And Potty Training

Make sure you read through these two articles:

Since your puppy is peeing/pooping in the crate overnight without any whining to alert you then you should consider setting your alarm clock 2-3 times spread out through the night, wake up, take your puppy to her potty spot, have her potty, then take her right back to bed.

Another thing you should do to help avoid future puppy potty accidents in crate is thoroughly clean your crate using an enzymatic cleaner like Rocco & Roxie Stain and Odor Eliminator.

Your puppy’s nose is thousands of times more powerful than yours if she can smell the urine in the crate then she might go there again. Moving forward, anytime she has an accident make sure you thoroughly clean the crate again.

If you’re putting blankets or towels in the crate I would consider removing these.  Puppies usually like going potty on soft surfaces as opposed to hard surfaces.

As mentioned earlier make sure you have the right size crate.  If you bought a large crate to allow your puppy to grow into it I would either purchase a smaller, proper-sized crate or use a divider to make the crate the correct size.

Keep your puppy on a consistent feeding schedule.  Try to make sure you feed your puppy at the same time every day.  You’ll notice:

  • Consistent Feeding Schedule = Consistent Potty Schedule.

You should start keeping a daily puppy potty schedule to keep track of every time your puppy pees, poops, eats, and drinks water.

You’ll notice that your puppy is very predictable as to when she potties in relation to the times she eats, drinks, plays, etc.

Make sure you feed your puppy at least a couple of hours before you put her to bed for the night.

Make sure you take your puppy out to potty (and make sure she goes) right before you put her in her crate for the night.

By the way, we’ve had puppies potty outside and then immediately potty again inside the house.  If you are having this problem check out this blog post.

Talk To Your Veterinarian And Local Dog Trainer

It’s always a good idea to speak with your local professionals. If you don’t already have a local veterinarian or dog trainer then you should start doing some research to find some good ones in your area.

Having a good vet and trainer will be a great resource for you and your dog today and into the future.

You should also consider enrolling in a puppy kindergarten which will give you a chance to socialize your puppy, learn basic obedience, and have a professional dog trainer to ask questions.

Not only that, but you’ll find that you may be experiencing similar frustrations with your puppy as others in the group. What’s the saying? Misery loves company. 🙂

It always feels better when you realize that you are not the only one experiencing these puppy training and behavior problems.

QUICK RECOMMENDATION: Real-world training like puppy kindergarten is invaluable, but if you’re looking for some solid puppy training foundations then check out Puppies for Dummies (I know we mentioned it earlier, but it’s worth repeating). It’s a good book for learning the basics of raising and training a puppy.

I hope this helps to answer your question: “how can I get my dog to stop peeing in her crate?”

What about everyone else out there?

Have you had any problems with crate training your puppy?

Did your puppy use to potty in her crate?

If so, tell us what you did to solve the problem.

A quick recap of three big takeaways if your puppy is having accidents in her crate:

  1. Don’t overuse your crate. – we are advised to not crate our puppies for more than 3 hours during the day. Overusing your crate can result in your puppy having a pee-pee accident in the crate.
  2. Keep your crate clean – Make sure you thoroughly clean all pee and poop accidents. We recommend Rocco & Roxie for removing stains and urine odors.
  3. Keep a schedule – Keep a consistent feeding schedule and you’ll notice a consistent potty schedule. Make sure you write it down!

That’s it, folks! Good luck with your puppy training. Let me know if you have any questions.

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puppy sitting in his crate with colorful background
How to stop your puppy from peeing in her crate

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302 Comments

  1. I have and 8 month old beagle who does great in his crate all night but when I have to leave to run errands during the day he never fails to pee in his crate. I am gone no more than 4 hours and replace his bedding with a towel and leave a couple toys for him. I also take him out prior to me leaving, any advice please?

    1. A few things I would try if this were my puppy are remove both the bedding and towel from the crate. I’d try leaving one chew toy that is not digestible so he doesn’t choke on anything while I’m gone. I’d start from the beginning with his crate training by crating him for a short period of time so he’s successful then slowly increasing the amount of time he spends in the crate until he can stay in it during the day for 4 hours without an accident.

  2. I have an 8 week old puppy , I got her 4 days ago. Fortunately she doesnt poop inside the house but she seems to have no control over peeing. I have to leave her in her crate for 2-3 hours while im gone to work in the morning and afternoon even in that time she pees in her crate even if I get her to relive herself right before putting her in the crate (her crate is just enough for her bed and a toy- i do leave blankets and towels , I will start removing those). I got sitters to come walk her in that 3 hour duration too but she had peed in her crate already. Can you please suggest how can I curb this? Am I expecting too much of an 8 week old puppy? Is it just that she needs more time?

    1. Congratulations on your new puppy! One thing I always say is a new puppy requires patience, persistence, and consistency. At 8 weeks old most puppies don’t have full control of their bladder and can have accidents because they don’t know they have to go or they didn’t “get it all out”. Regarding the crate, if your puppy is consistently having accidents in her crate then you’ll probably need to re-train her by using the crate for only short periods of time making her successful and then slowly incrementing the amount of time in her crate until she can stay in it for 3 hours when you’re out during the day. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  3. I have a dog that just turned 1 & is not potty trained. I can’t keep living like this.! I work & am gone 8 hrs. My dog is a boy & he pees outside his kennel & on the edge of his it. (So I either clean it up there or wherever he goes in the house.) He is an emotional dog & my husband says he does it when he hears me come in, but not sure about that. I will start practicing leaving him for a few minutes & then letting him out &!see if that helps. But I feel like I need to start at the beginning with him. We quit putting him in the kennel at night because we could not deal with the crying. Do we just ignore it? I feel terrible when I hear it & cant sleep. What should I do?

  4. My 4 month old puppy keeps peeing in her crate every morning. I take her out at night before I go to work and she is fine but every morning when she hears me come home from work she will whine and pees in her crate before I can even get to her. She splashes her urine everywhere and gets all dirty. I come home everyday at the same time to take her out but she can’t seem to wait til I get there and makes a mess in her crate right away. Please tell me what I should do.

    1. That’s probably an emotional pee, she’s probably happy you’re back and pees… she’ll grow out of it eventually but to make it quicker, I advise you don’t celebrate too much when you come back, maybe after you walk in the door, do some stuff and only after 5/10 minutes you go in the room where the crate is, so she doesn’t get to anxious and has the time to calm down before you greet her.

  5. My 9 week olds pee in the crate intentionally. They literally stand up on their hind legs and pee all over everything almost as if they are marking their territory.
    They know they get rewarded for going outside and we don’t let them ever go more than 3 hours unless they are asleep. They go out the minute they wake up or bark but sometimes they just stop playing to stand up and pee without warning.
    Help!

  6. My 15 week old male, wheaten/poodle mix is able to sleep through the night and keep his crate clean. However, he cannot keep it clean while we are out at work, for the same amount of hours during the day. He also has random accidents inside at other times. We have shortened the crate and taken out soft padding. He definitely knows that outside is where he gets rewarded for making. Please help!

  7. Hello!! I have a 7 year old dog that we adopted (he was house trained) and we have had him since March, then we moved across country in June. He kept his house trained mode when we brought him home but since we have moved he has been peeing and pooping in the house. (We showed him where to go potty when we moved there and how to use the new dog door.) So now we leave him in his crate and he is peeing in his crate when we are gone. We took him potty before we left and then came home to a mess so we crate him. We take him potty before we leave and put him in his crate. We are gone for an hour or less and come home and he has peed in his kennel. He knows how to get outside to go potty because he does it when we are home, but when we are gone is when he goes in the house. When we leave he comes out of the dog door too, so I know for sure that he knows how to use it. He gets to go through the garage to get outside and before we crated him we have come home to pee and poop in the garage, feet away from his dog door that leads outside.What do I do?

  8. Our puppy is doing the same thing – she goes overnight with no problems but as soon as we leave the house for work in the morning, right after she’s been outside to potty, she pees in her kennel. Would love to hear suggestions, as it sounds like separation anxiety more than bladder issues.

    1. I am having the same issue with my puppy and she is 14 weeks. Did your puppy ever stop, have you found solutions?

  9. I have a one year old Wheaton terrier and every time we leave the house he pees in the cage no matter if we take him out right before he goes in the cage. If I’m gone one hour or four hours, he pees. He is never in there more than four hours a day. What do I do?

  10. I just rescued a chiweeni.not sure of her age,she was rescued by someone else from a drug house,but she around 9 to 11 weeks old.i have had other puppiws before and I’m usually pretty good at house training and kennel training.she has the kennel training down until the morning.she screams like a banshee when she hears us moving around,but I like to keep her on a schedule of being out of the kennel at 8:20 am every morning.during the day I put her in the kennel just to keep her used to it and she has no accidents.at nigjt she goes pee and poop in their,without a sound and does not care about laying in it.im having to bathe her everyday.and I have a small kennel with the divider in place,does not help.shes a white dog,until morning,then shes yellow and stinks.i had a chichi before and never had this much trouble.but this is the first time ive had a dog from a bad situation like a drug house.plwase help.

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