How to Potty Train Your Dog

Canines have a natural tendency to always keep their den, and by extension, dog crate clean.  However, a puppy won’t have full control of their bladder at the age of eight weeks, so keep your expectations realistic!  Read on for information on how to potty train your dog.

What Can Cause Your Dog to Eliminate in Her Crate

Before we go on, let us look at some of the factors that could contribute to your dog eliminating in her crate, especially at night.

The crate is too big

If your crate is too big, your puppy will often use one side for peeing (her bathroom) and the other side for sleeping (her bedroom). A crate should only be big enough for your puppy to stand and turn around, bigger than that, and you could have a few accidents.

In order to avoid this issue, look for a crate with a divider that allows you to adjust the size of your crate as your puppy grows.

She learned to pee in her crate

Generally, puppies won’t urinate where they sleep, but there could be reasons your puppy learned this before you brought her home. If you adopt, your puppy may have learned to urinate in his kennel or other sleeping areas. You never really know, but somewhere in her past, she may have learned to pee in her crate.

She has a health issue

If your dog is having frequent accidents, a visit to the veterinarian may be called for.  The veterinarian can make sure there isn’t a medical issue at the root of the problem. Your vet can also advise you on food options if that could be the cause of your dog’s elimination issues.

How Can I Potty Train My Dog?

1. Employ Proper Potty Training

Before crating a dog for an extended period of time, your pet should be house trained.  Crates can still be used while training a dog, but only for a short time.

2. Check Duration of Crate Stay

House-trained dogs have their scheduled times for bathroom breaks. You should never keep the dog in a crate for too long.

The age of your dog also plays a role in this. Adult dogs can hold it longer than puppies. The recommended maximum time for a dog to remain in the crate is 4 hours for puppies under 4 months old, up to 5 hours for puppies around 6 months old and up to 6-8 hours for adult dogs.

If your dog has accidents in the crate during the day or at night, make sure to shorten the amount of time your dog spends in the crate.  Only increase that time once she is having a successful time in the crate.

3. Exercise Your Dog Very Often

A lot of exercise benefits a dog in a crate in more ways than one. It makes the dog tired so they are less likely to whine, misbehave and eliminate in the crate; they just go to sleep.

Regular walks, playtime, and exercise also help the dog’s mind connect routines, and potty habits match the other routines like walking and meals.

4. Check Your Dog for Anxiety

Aside from all other health concerns, the dog may eliminate in the crate because something is making him anxious.  Crate anxiety is real and not all dogs can tolerate crates due to fear of confinement and/or loneliness.

Watch for signs of stress after crating your pet.

5. Study Their Feeding Times

Routine is crucial for dogs, so feed your dog at the same times throughout the day.

Many dogs tend to eliminate waste about 30-60 minutes after their meal, so don’t put your pet in a crate earlier than that post-meal bowel movement. You should also refrain from keeping food in the crate until you are sure your dog can “hold” it long enough.

6. Watch your Dog Food and Treats

Make sure the food and treats you give the dog are in harmony with his stomach.  Some dog foods and treats can upset a dog’s stomach, cause diarrhea, or otherwise mess with a dog’s toilet schedule.

If you leave a peanut butter filled KONG toy in the crate and your dog has an accident, peanut butter could be the cause.

8 Choose the Right Crate Size

Dog crates should be chosen based on a dog’s age and size. choosing the right crate size for you dog will help greatly in preventing her from pooping and peeing in her crate.

This is because when a crate is too big, dogs can treat part of it as a backyard – defecate on one side and sleep on the other. Small crates can be uncomfortable and cause stress or anxiety in the dog, which can result in defecation.

What to do when your dog won’t stop eliminating her crate?

If the above methods and techniques did not prevent your puppy from eliminating in her crate, the only way to solve this problem is through training that requires more time and patience. However, in the meantime, you’ll need the following dog crate supplies.

Dog Training pads

Buy some training pads to crate them. This is a temporary solution but will help you limit the mess and make the cleaning process easier.

Diapers for pets

An appropriately sized set of pet diapers can also help temporarily as these are often used on puppies and older dogs with incontinence. Keep in mind that most dogs are not comfortable wearing diapers so this should be used as a last resort and only for a short period of time.

Dog daycare or dog walking

If the reason you are crating a dog is that you are leaving the house, it may be a more humane solution to arrange for daycare or a walk.  You can book a dog walker for specific times of the day, and there are plenty of easy-to-use apps and services for your convenience.