Crate Training Puppies – Puppy Defecates in Crate

We recently purchased a 9 week-old puppy and are having some difficulty keeping her crate clean due to her defecating inside of it. According to your input and so many others, they are not supposed to have accidents inside their dwelling place.

What am I doing wrong? I have been diligent about training her by taking her outside as much as possible and also using your command, “Get busy.” She does a great job outdoors, but this crate problem has got me stumped. Is she stupid? Please help.

Thank you, Tina Nunes Dear Tina: No, it has to do with the way your breeder kept the puppies confined. It’s likely that they were kept on cement or some other solid surface where they were allowed to play and sleep alongside there feces for hours at a time.

More experienced breeders construct kennel enclosures that allow the waste to drop through slats in the floor. Or the pups are at least kept within enclosures where the waste drains outside of the kennel set-up, so that the little guys don’t get trained to feel comfortable laying and walking through their feces. This makes all the difference in the world, when it comes to housebreaking. Pups who’ve come from experienced breeders can be pretty much housebroken in three days.

Pups that come from less experienced breeders can take longer. (And usually do.) The best way to fix this is to set up an enclosure in your yard, on the grass. Let the dog spend a lot of time in the enclosure (use common sense regarding water, shade, heat exposure, etc…) and the dog will become conditioned to WANT TO ELIMINATE on the grass rather than in the crate.

Also, make sure that you get the dog out of the crate ASAP after she messes in it. Hang on. You’re going through the toughest part of the game right now.