In some cases, puppies and dogs will toilet in their crates. This can happen for a variety of reasons and it is important to know how to appropriately deal with these situations. Because dogs in general do not toilet in areas where they sleep, a dog or puppy toileting within their crate is a signal that your crate training methods are not quite right, or that your dog has some other sort of house training problem.
If your dog has toileted within her crate and on her bedding, you should first and foremost thoroughly clean both the bedding and the crate itself using a good all-purpose cleaner and odor neutralizer. This is very important, since dogs will tend to toilet on areas in which they have done so before via the smell of an area. Next you need to identify why your dog toilted in the crate. Did you leave her in the crate for an unrealistic amount of time, expecting her not to toilet while you were away? Did you remember to take her to the toilet outside prior to putting her in the crate? If she has been in the crate over night, did you remove her access to water? Have you ignored her cries to be let out to toilet during the night because you perceived them to be cries of wanting to be let out of the crate rather than cries of “I need to go”? Finally, a dog’s early development may have something to do with the problem. For example, often store bought puppies will have some difficulty with crate training since they must eliminate in their cages, which can be quite small, when they are in the store. Changing the expectation can be confusing for them.
By running these possible causes through your head you should be able to come up with a justifiable reason to why your dog has been toileting in the crate. If you cannot come up with a reason as to why this may be happening, your dog may have a congenital or disease related problem in which case you should refer to the section “House Training Problems – Congenital and Disease Related Problems” in the Ultimate House Training Guide as well as consulting your local veterinarian. Please also see “House Training Problems – Toileting in the crate/kennel” in the Ultimate House Training Guide for more information.