Puppy Training Problems

If crate training won't work for your puppy, try paper training.


Q. I have a Golden Retriever puppy. We got her when she was 8 weeks old and now she is 14 weeks old. We both work, so we have to crate train her. The problem were having is she keeps pooping in her crate. Yes, we bought her a small crate with just enough room to lie down. The other night we took her out and she peed like she was supposed to but would not poop, so we put her back in the crate and went up to bed. Within 5 minutes, she barked so my husband went down to see if she had pooped and she didin the crate! I have a neighbor bringing her out around 3:00 p.m. but when my neighbor gets there she has already pooped in her crate. When my neighbor cleans it up and takes her out--she will only pee. She'll put a clean towel in the crate and by the time my husband gets home around 5:30 she had pooped again. When she does poop outside, we reward her with treats.

Please help us. We were told that dogs will not go to the bathroom where they sleep. Does this mean she doesn't like her crate?

A. I am sorry to hear about your housetraining problems with your puppy. It is unusual for a puppy to defecate in her crate, but it sounds like you have an exception.

I would abandon the crate training and try something more conventional, such as paper training. Leave out a large area of newspaper leading up to the back door, and reward your puppy when she poops on the paper. Gradually make the area of paper smaller until it is just in front of the door outside, and finally remove it when your puppy waits by the door to go outside.

In the meantime, continue to take your dog on short walks after she eats, and give her small rewards when she goes outside.

Once your puppy is housetrained, you can then reintroduce the crate if that is where you prefer that she stay when you are not home. She may do better overnight if she's left out of her crate and allowed to wake you up to go outside.

Jon Geller, DVM

- Get More Advice From Dr. Geller -



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Sue   Kuala lumour, International

2/20/2016 11:43:33 PM

I have a 7 month old bichon that I have just had for 3 weeks

The breeder was allowing him to do his business in the morning around 9am and evening 6pm... As I work long hours I have put him in a play pen which he also sleeps in at night.. Now I take him out at 6am and 7pm after bus meals but he still has accidents sometimes in the play pen and also on the way to his peed pad outside the house... Any advice would be greatly appreciated

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Avilamom   Tulare, CA

2/10/2016 11:12:35 AM

I have a 13 week old deaf pit bull puppy that I adopted from an animal rescue. She had a UTI when I first adopted her, along with giardia and ringworm. The UTI and giardia are now cleared up. However she continues to have accidents urinating. I take her outside where she will urinate. She will then take a few steps and urinate again, just a few drops. She will repeat this process about 5 times each time. What can I do? I have taken her to the vet. There is now explanation for this.

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7/28/2013 7:06:21 PM


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Shelley   Washington, Illinois

4/25/2013 2:28:14 PM

Hi. I tried the newspaper lining as was suggested!! My two 2 month old collies had great fun ripping the paper apart!! Is there anything else I can use? I've tried pee pads but still rip those apart! I live in a home built in 1905 so there is not a laundry room except in the 1905 built basement (horror). As far as bathrooms go, there are two and believe me they're put to good use in the morning! Please help! The puppies are taken out at least every two hours during the day, but still mess in the "butler" pantry which is off the kitchen. They howl if I put them in the crate during the day but do fine at night. I have to have the crate close by to hear them bark (take them out) otherwise they pee in the crate. Believe me when I say-I need at least one night of uninterrupted sleep! It's only been a week since we brought the boys home!

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