Crate training is an excellent way to provide your dog with a safe place to rest when you're not able to keep an eye on him. There are plenty of best dog crates that can be valuable tools, but a pet crate isn't a full time babysitter for your pet, but rather a tool that should be used until your dog has been completely housetrained. Learning how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate is an essential part of crate training your pooch.
The last thing you want to do when you get home from a long day at work is to clean up a pile of dog mess from all the cracks and crevices of a crate. Not to mention the fact that your whole house will stink of dog poop by the time you get home to clean it up.
There are three things that you have to do if you want to learn how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate, besides arming yourself with poop bags just in case. You'll need to:
- ensure the crate is the right size for your dog;
- get Fido on a feeding and bathroom schedule;
- and, don't leave him in his crate for too long.
Let's discuss each of these in more detail, so you can understand exactly how to stop a dog from pooping in a dog crate, and how to train your dog fast and effectively.
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How to Stop a Dog From Pooping in a Crate
As I explain in the video guide above, it's important that the crate you select is the right size. If a crate is too small, your dog won't be comfortable. If it's too large, he'll have room to defecate in the back of the crate and curl up to sleep in the front of the crate.
When you select the right size crate, your dog is comfortable, but there is not enough room for him to poop in the crate and have space to lie down as well.
This can be a bit tricky if you're trying to select a dog crate for a puppy. You'll need to do some research in order to accurately estimate the size of the crate your dog will need when he's fully grown.
Instead of buying a small crate for the puppy and then having to purchase additional crates as he grows, find a crate that will be the right size for him when he's an adult and use a divider to section it off while he's still small. As I demonstrate in my video guide, many kennels come with these dividers, but wire kennels are the most common.
For more detailed information on selecting the right size dog crate, check out my video below or read the guide on how to select a dog crate of the right size.
Begin a feeding and bathroom schedule
Picking the right dog crate isn't the only key; timing and schedule are vital. Without a consistent schedule, how will you know when your dog needs to use the bathroom? He'll go at random times throughout the day, and you'll never know when to expect it.
If you feed your pet at the same time every day, he's going to need to use the bathroom at about the same time every day. When you keep a consistent schedule, you'll be able to ensure that you (or someone else) are home to let your dog out when he needs to go.
The example that I share in my video guide is about owners who feed their dog before leaving for work. If you wake up and feed your pet first thing in the morning, his body will have time to digest the food before you leave for work. If you feed Fido when you put him in his crate or just a few minutes before you walk out the door, he's going to need to poop before you get home.
If you want to learn how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate, you need to work on feeding him consistently every day and allowing him the time he needs to use the bathroom before heading out for work. It's best to feed your dog 1-2 hours before leaving the house.
Try taking him out 30 minutes after he eats. If he doesn't poop, try taking him out 1 hour after he eats. Eventually, you'll figure out his body's schedule. Once you figure it out, stick to the schedule that your dog requires to ensure he doesn't poop in his crate.
Don't leave your dog in his crate too long
If your dog does not have the physical ability to hold his bladder or bowels for a long period of time, it won't be his fault if you leave him all day and he has an accident. According to The Humane Society of the United States:
Puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for that long. The same goes for adult dogs being housetrained. Physically, an older dog can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
Adult dogs should never be left in a crate for more than 8 hours at a time. No matter what age your dog is, you need to work your schedule around his needs. You can't expect a dog to hold it longer than they are physically capable of holding it.
If you cannot come home to let Fido out, you'll have to ask a friend, family member or neighbor to help you out. If no one else is available, paying a pet sitter or dog walker to take your dog out to use the bathroom is a MUST!
When learning how to stop a dog from pooping in a crate, the responsibility falls on you. If your dog defecates in his crate, it's no one's fault but your own. If you ensure that the crate is the right size, your dog is on a feeding and bathroom schedule, and that you don't leave him alone for too long, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
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