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. Our puppy is 14 weeks old today, she was doing really well when we first brought her home with not weeing in the create during the night and we got up three times in the night, the last two weeks even though we get up she is still weeing, we have taken the blankets out and the crate is the right size but she doesn’t seem bothered to lie in it. we have a three year old daughter as well who gets up early so the lack of sleep is becoming to become really frustrating when you feel like your not getting anywhere. It’s our first puppy 🐶

  2. My puppy is dry of a night & generally doesn’t goes through for 5 hours (I’ve set my alarm for half four so she doesn’t have any accidents) sometimes more.
    My husband only works part time and our grown up son is usually home before my husband so our puppy is only left for 2-3 hours but she goes to the toilet in her crate. She is and has always been regularly taken out to go to the toilet and gets rewarded for it every time she goes outside (even if it’s a tiny wee), she will take herself outside to go to the toilet while we are here and knows where to go. Her feed before my husband goes to work is 2&1/2 hours before he goes and her next is when he gets back ( she has three meal times a day as recommended by our vet). She is played with and taken out for a walk before he goes as well.
    She is four months old, we need some advice please. What can we did to help her to manage herself while he’s at work?

    1. Congratulations on your new puppy! The best thing to do would be to contact a certified professional dog trainer to assess your situation and give you recommendations. Based on what you’ve written your puppy may be experiencing some anxiety in the crate. As a general rule of thumb I would expect most 4 month old puppies to be okay for 2-3 hours in the crate during the day. However, every puppy is different and she may be in the crate too long during the day. A couple things I’ve done with my puppies that may work for you are shorten the amount of time she’s in the crate during the day by having a friend, family member, or pet sitter let her out and play with her. Try using the crate for short periods when you are home. This way she will know that going into the crate during the day doesn’t always mean she’s going to be left home alone. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your puppy!

  3. 4 hours is the max that the puppy can be left alone in crate. the crate always helped me with my puppies. I have 4 dogs as of now. The husky I have made me work hard the most with crate training. But now everything is settled and going smoothly.
    All the best to the dog lovers out there with their training sessions 🙂

    1. How did you get your Husky to stop peeing in the crate??? Our dog is 8 months old and she still pees in the crate during the day, if she’s left in it more than 2 hours. She does perfectly at night but during the day has been our biggest challenge. She also pees if my husband is sitting at his computer or we are in the shower and we don’t take her in the bathroom with us (even if we just took her out). But she’s not afraid of the water at all. In fact, she will crawl in the shower with us. We’ve been doing our best to stay calm and consistent but man it can be frustrating. She is a fantastic dog otherwise!

      1. Brittany we are going through the same thing with our Rottsky. We will take her outside to potty for up to 30 minutes and she won’t pee, but once we crate her to take a shower/use the washroom she whines and pees. It is so frustrating because she is not taking the opportunities to go outside. Let me know if you have managed to break this habit.

  4. My puppy is 4 months old. I was reading a good way to crate train is to feed the pup in the crate. FYI Just got him last week and I’m pretty new to raise a puppy alone. Well, he peed in his crate literally seconds after eating in there. I was shocked! He did near the same thing last week when he ate out of a bowl in the kitchen and ran over to his big boy bed in my bedroom (just for lounging purposes now until his potty trained). I take him out A LOT. I got home today and took him out to his normal spot just under 3 hours from his last visit then we went to the dog park. I’m thinking maybe after his nap he needed to release again but that was under an hour too. Any ideas folks?

  5. I have a 10 week old husky. She is doing very well with very few accidents in the house but every time I put her in her crate even for just 30 minutes she pees and lays in it. When I got her she was in a kennel with 4 other puppies and they were all covered in pee. How can I break her out of peeing in her crate?

  6. I have had many pugs over my life time and they all have potty trained in a timely manner. Last September I got my first girl pug and it has been a trial to potty train. At about 8/9 months she stopped having accidents in my condo. But she still has them in her kennel. We could be outside 20 min and nothing come in and she runs to her kennel to pee. Or she pees or poops in her kennel while I am at work. She will be 1 years old next month. What can I do to help speed this along. I walk her before I leave for work but she still has accidents. And the kennel is the proper size so she has no issues sitting in it. She goes when ever we are on a walk so I don’t know what to do. Also I have a dog camera on her to see if she is stressed. She is not it never alerts to whimpers or barks. And any spot checks she is fine. Please advise.

  7. We have a 5 month old labradoodle. She was doing just fine in her crate. Wouldn’t have accidents, until our scheduled changed a little and now she pees and poops and has no problem laying on it. She is hardly in her crate because we got passed to hard crate training. But it feels as though we are back to square one! 😕

  8. My puppy will go outside and do her business. There has been a few occasions when I let her out, which she goes then I put her in her kennel so I can go to town quick. In a half hour she has pooped and made a mess. What can I do? It is driving me nuts. She sleeps with us at night and can hold it for about 6 hrs and then wakes me up to go potty. Is she doing it to get back at me for putting her in the kennel?

    1. It’s tough to tell. If she’s doing it every time then I’d guess she’s having some anxiety in her crate. If this is the case then you’ll have to step back and work on her crate training. Here’s an article that talks about stopping barking in crate, but some of the suggestions may help with anxiety: https://puppyintraining.com/crate-training-puppies/ Good luck with your puppy!

  9. I rescued a 4 month old male blue nose pitt & honestly I’m starting to regret it . I’ve tried every method of crate training but he still poops in his cage & he has no problem of laying in it , which stresses me out . He is outside all day from 9am to 11pm & is taken out every hour after . But I am becoming exhausted & it’s showing in my face iWork from 11 am – 7pm .. am I doing something wrong ? Help meeee 🙁

  10. I have a 7 year old cockerpoo that I adopted along with her 7 year old brother (havanese). They are used to being crated together by previous owner so i also crate them during the day together. Not to large of a crate, but I believe it is the cockerpoo that has decided to urinate both at night and during the day while we are gone. I do have soft bedding (what I would want) in the crate. Should i have no bedding to prevent these episodes? She also has urinated on the sofa twice, while we were home and door is open for her to go out anytime. I feel bad for her brother in the crate, should i separate them? All advice appreciated.. Brian

    1. We usually work with puppies and don’t usually crate two in the same crate. That being said a few things I’d try are first try separate crates. Second, try removing the bedding. Third, I wouldn’t allow the dogs on the furniture until they know the rules of the house. Fourth, even if they were potty trained when you got them I’d put a little bit of work into teaching them exactly what you want them to do by starting from the beginning with potty training. Here’s an article that might help: https://puppyintraining.com/how-to-potty-train-a-puppy/ If they were already potty trained they should pick it up pretty fast. Hopefully that helps. Good luck with your training!

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