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My dog pees in the crate

No.  They don’t.  Read any of the dog training books and they will tell you in plain simple English “Dogs don’t pee where they sleep!”


Well, so.   Around THIS neck of the woods we have dogs who don’t read the dog training books and not only pee but poop in their crates.  Then roll in it.  Wheee!!!


I don't pee in my crate, but I chew everything I can reach when I'm in there!

So what do we do if your dog/puppy does pee in the crate?  Pees where they sleep.  Doesn’t seem to care?

Well, there are a few things.  In the case of a brand new dog or puppy – one who has been in your household only a few days, we basically ignore it.  New house, new people, new food sometimes, different water…stress!!  We just go with the ….umm…sorry…flow and let it go for a few days.  Crap happens.  (Sorry)

But we keep track.   Sometimes our dog/puppy can’t hold it as long as we think they ‘should’ be able to.  I get a lot of puppies who have been, literally, raised in a barn, and think they take one or two steps away from the sleep area and that is where they go.  So that is what they are doing.  They haven’t learned to hold it.  So we have to teach them to hold it, to stretch those little bladders.

What about barking in the crate? Do we want to talk about that???

There are older dogs, breeder dogs whose only option was to pee in the crate, who learned that is where they are to go.   Then, again, other dogs who have never been housebroken who just…go…willy-nilly, no matter where they are.

So, yeah, sometimes they DO pee in the crate.

Sometimes the crate is too big.   If they can take a step away from where they sleep, they will pee there. Why not.  No skin off their nose!

Sometimes they are fine till they hear us come in, then they pee all over themselves.  In delight.  I’m sure that’s why.  Really.

Delight! Yes, that is the right word!

Sometimes a dog who usually doesn’t pee in the crate will if they are ill.  Something to think about it your dog suddenly starts – bladder infection, upset tummy.

So – what to do.  First rule out any physical cause.   Make sure they are well.   Vet visit.

Then we start feeding our dog in the crate.   Stick the food about halfway in there, and don’t shut the door on them while they are eating.  Leave the food in there for about ten or fifteen minutes and then pick it up.  Sometimes they won’t pee where they Eat.  I KNOW – they eat poop – so what’s with that??  Its a dog thing.

Give them yummies in the crate.  Some chewy bone or bone toy or biscuit they only get in the crate.   Same reason.

Toss in a treat at random times, let me go get it! yay!

Make the crate as small as is humane.  Walk in, turn around, lay down, period.  No room to walk away and pee. With certain dogs or breeds, every time we make it bigger as they are older – they will revert for a day or so. Then settle down again. Silly dogs.

Look at your scheduling.   When are you letting them out?  How long are they in there?  Sometimes its just too long and its not their fault.   When are you feeding them?  Maybe change the schedule on that.

Sometimes accidents happen – I’ve had people ALL Upset saying “he peed in the crate!”  When asked – it was one time two weeks ago and they still haven’t gotten over it – doomed they are, doomed!!  Chill, people.  Dogs have accidents occasionally just like people.  Once two weeks ago might have been stomach issue or the kids snuck him something he shouldn’t have had or just…take a deep breath, and just get over it.

Was it really an accident? Sure! I don't pee 'cause I'm mad!

Peeing when they see you is not really a housebreaking issue.  More of a management issue.  Take it as compliment….and practice your comings and goings.  Pop dog in the crate, leave, back out the driveway, come back in.  Lather, rinse, repeat, over and over.   Keep both the comings and goings low key.  Calm.  Ignore the dog other than a quick, “lets go outside!”  You can love on them all you want – after they do what you want them to do.  Which is, of course, pee outside.

So – despite what you read, dogs DO sometimes pee where they sleep. But we can fix that. What other issues do you have with your dog – either housebreaking or crate issues? Leave me a comment or email me and I’ll do my best to help!


  • By Alanda, April 17, 2010 @ 6:47 pm

    We have a 8 month old boxer who goes into his crate to pee, and also pees at the drop of a hat where ever. He has no indicators as to when he needs to go out, and I take him out frequently. I don’t know what to do. He has gone today alone 3 times in his crate, twice on the carpet and it is only 745pm. I have taken him out 4 or 5 times, and on a long walk/run to play. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks

  • By Janina Luciano, June 6, 2010 @ 9:22 am

    Hello, Kate. I have a 15 mo old labraheeler (43lbs) that keeps peeing in his crate. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks so we have been through the trials and tribulations of housebreaking and puppy training. He actually stopped peeing his crate for months (4-9months). Since January, he just seems to not mind it anymore. He doesn’t really PEE, as in let it all out. He goes a little. Enough to lay down on top of it , soak it up with his fur and show signs of wetness if you really check for it. I’ve brought him to the vet a couple of times to get him checked out and have urinalysis done when he started to pee a lot in the crate but $400 later (FYI: they didn’t find anything wrong in his urinalysis and wanted to exploratory exams $$$$$$)….he’s still going, albeit a lot less in quantity after some antibiotics that they prescribed just in case. His crate is the right size. It’s just big enough for him to move around in but cant really walk back and forth. We’ve even tried leaving him in a crate that was too small for him (he could still stand up, turn around and lay down) just to test out whether he would still go….and he did. He also tends to pee on the edge and out of the crate. We are desperate. He is a really good dog otherwise. But we can’t keep a dog that just keeps going in his crate/room. We’ve done EVERYTHING. He is on a schedule. He gets a lot of exercise and training. He gets praise for going outside (he used to get treats too). Everything is a routine so he can tell a pattern. But he still goes a little in the crate and then pees the rest out when he’s let outside. He doesn’t hold it for 8 hours (which is overnight) and sometimes no more than 5 hours. I’ve actually bought a surveillance camera to try and see what is going on (I’m still waiting for it to arrive in the mail). Its often disheartening to see others with dogs that are already housebroken but aren’t trained past that. I tried everything and read everything and asked everyone. I even wrote on the forum for Victoria Stillwell but got nothing but the positive reinforcement technique of praise and treats outside, which I have done from day one (13 months ago). I have a dog that is trained enough to leave cats and bunnies alone while off leash by command, can walk off leash in a big city (which I actually don’t due to leash laws but he can), but can’t be housebroken for the life of me. By the way, he only pees in his crate and in the room we keep him in when we aren’t home or sleeping. I’d appreciate any help because I’ve exhausted all my options and am afraid that I might have to get rid of him.

  • By Kate, June 6, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    Janina – I’m going to comment on this in a blog post in the next day or two , okay?? Hang in there. I’ll do whatever I can okay??? Keep an eye out and bring your questions and comments to my ‘solutions’ and we will see what we can do.

  • By Lanna, June 15, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

    I have an 8 year old Doberman who has suddenly starting peeing and pooping in his crate – even when he is left for a short period of time (2 hours). We take him outside just before crating him so he should have a need to do so in his crate. He has not done this since he was a very young pup and is accustomed to staying in a crate when we are not home. I don’t believe it’s a separation issue because I am off for the summer and I am home more now than when I was teaching during the school year. Could he need more exercise? I am thinking this is not a bladder infection given that he is pooping in the crate too. Our Doberman has also started going to his bed in our bedroom on his own during the evening and sometimes during the day – previously he had “hungout” with us and our other dog (who is 2 years old). Could he be “depressed”? Any ideas?

  • By Zusiqu, July 25, 2010 @ 8:48 am

    I have a comment that may not apply to all, but may apply to SOME instances: I found a delightful dog years ago and couldn’t find her people and couldn’t keep her so I placed her at the home of a friend. She behaved PERFECTLY with me and peed on EVERYTHING at their house (especially in the crate.) Turned out the wife was washing everything in ammonia. Ammonia smells like PEE! Scent wise, they were telling the dog to pee in the crate.

  • By Danielle, May 24, 2011 @ 6:58 am

    I have a 6month old coonhound mix…he has been crate trained since I got him 3 months ago. For the most part, he did well and only had a few crate accidents. He was doing well so I allowed him to roam the basement (finished) while I was away at work, he didnt have any accidents but e began chewing the baseboard, so back to the crate it was. He pees in his crate now everyday, even when I’ve just taken him out! I know he can hold it and thats not the issue. I’m lost and dont know what to do now, any suggestions?

  • By Kate, May 25, 2011 @ 5:47 am

    Need some more information – but if its a new behavior, I always suggest a vet visit first. Might be some kind of bladder infection or something. Training won’t help a bladder infection.
    Other than that – are you sure his bladder is empty – at 6 months he could be going through a growth spurt – eating more, etc and needs to go more than he was. Are you crating longer than you were? Did you change food? what is in his crate – lots of question to ask and be answered – do the vet check first and then get back to me and we will go from there…!

  • By Brandi, September 20, 2011 @ 7:09 am

    Please help!! I have a 2 year old chiahuaha(spelling I know) mix. I’ve had her since she was a puppy. Housebreaking has always been an issue but she finally got the hang of it…. Well I started a new job about 2 months ago… I work night shift 7pm-7am. She can’t be left alone in the house because she chews everything up, and pottys in the house if I’m not home… Well since I’ve started this job, not only has she resorted to peeing in her crate, she now pees all over my house (brand new carpet!!!) I live alone so it’s just me and her… I feel bad for leaving her in her crate so long but I really have no other option. We go on an hour long walk in the mornings when I get off work but that doesn’t seem to matter. She also goes to my moms when I go to work. Mom brings her home and puts her to bed around 10ish at night… I don’t know what to do!!! Now when I come home it’s walk, bath, wash her bed then I can get a couple hours of sleep…. I’m going crazy and I don’t know what to do…. Please help! She usually pottys in her crate at least twice… And I’ve been noticing pottys in the floor by the door when I wake up, but she NEVER tells me that she has to go outside….

  • By Amanda, November 4, 2011 @ 3:31 pm

    I am desperate!! Having the same problems as Janina! I have a boxer she 7 months old. She stopped peeing in her crate for a while but has started again just te past month or so. I took her to the vet an they put Hebron antibiotics. That hasn’t helped! I’ve tried everything the rate is the right size, she isn’t in there for long periods of time and I am sure that she goes out to pee before I put her in it. Please help me!! I can’t deal with carrying a 50 lb dog in and out and to the. Ath tub a couple times a day and my house smelling like pee!

  • By P, November 29, 2011 @ 2:18 pm


    My dog is 8 months old. He tells me when he has to go whenever i am home. He sleeps in his crate very well and wakes up gingerly. Goes outside in morning for a walk and delivers all his fun. Then i put him in the crate before i go to work. 10 hours later i get home and he pees. Sometimes if i just leave him there for a quick 1 or so he could go and other times he might not. The ongoing joke in my house is that he has never gone more than 2 days without peeing in the crate. This happens only when I go to work or short store runs. Never at night, never when I am home. How do i get this dog to stop peeing in crate when im at work. He is in a small area where he can only lay, turnaround, and stretch. Thats is.

  • By ashleigh, November 29, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    Ok so I’m responding mainly for By Janina Luciano, June 6, 2010 @ 9:22 am – WHAT WAS THE OUTCOME? Your post is EXACTLY what me and my husband are going through.

    EXACTLY! We took our dog to the vet, turned out he had a bladder infection, took 2 weeks of pills and he seemed to be better. Now he pees over and over everyday in the crate.

    What was your end result? We keep saying at one year we are done…he is 8 months old now and do NOT want to get rid of him, we love him! PLEASE HELP!

  • By Todd, January 10, 2012 @ 11:32 am

    I have a 9mo. old Standard Poodle, ridiculously smart about absolutely everything and very intuitive, he housebroke almost immediately. He sleeps in his crate every night, he can be there for 8-9hrs and seemingly in no big hurry to get out and no accidents. If I leave during the day, for a 30min. run to the bank, he pees. He pees in the house or in the laundry room and even in his crate. I don’t get it. It has to be separation anxiety. It’s very frustrating.

  • By jcakes1, January 18, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    I hv a 11wk old Husky/Spitz mix. She pees in her crate and some times in the kennel. This is my second dog the first (yorkie/pom mix) I got rid of bcuz of house training issues. I let her out to potty as soon as I open the crate/kennel door and as soon as she finishes her food, I let her play around the house and try to monitor her and she will even potty right in front of me. I hv hard wood floors so I purchased a spray ‘Mark no more’ however she will find new areas to potty. I don’t want to get rid of her but I’m getn REALLY annoyed with this…

  • By hannah, July 10, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    I have a nine year old jack russell terrier. We put him in his crate with only enough room to sit. He pees in his crate every time! We can take him out right before and he will still pee in his crate. I think he does it because he doesn’t want to be in there. Help!!

  • By Kelly, August 18, 2012 @ 6:20 am

    I have an almost 3year old chihuahua mix. There are 2 issues that we are having. First is she pees when she is excited, when she goes over to my friends house and she see her dogs. They all get a long great and she has known that since she was a puppy. But in the last year every time we go over there she pees. Any ideas how I can stop this? Second I recently moved and she has started peeing and pooping in her kennel it don’t matter if I am gone a few hrs or when I get home from work. The pee is cold so I know its been there a while. I have tried changing the size, giving her treats, and toys with a blanket. Giving her nothing and its been wet every time. We have there for a little over a month. She does have some anxiety issues more so when in unfamilar places. But seems comfortable at home. Please help. Willing to try anything.

  • By Emma, October 10, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    Hi Kate! My dog Lilly is 9 months old now. She has been perfect on peeing outside except for 2 days ago. She has been going in her cage since 2 days go and she has never done anythng like that before. She also threw-up and had diahrea in her cage. I need help!! she has been going in her cage at night and when we leave for work and we cant come in the moddle of the day because we work 40 minutes away and there are no trainy dog people near where we live…..HELP!!

  • By Emma, October 10, 2012 @ 6:21 pm

    oh and she is a cavachon

  • By Albert, November 2, 2012 @ 6:02 pm

    I have a 9 month old Ridgeback and a 6 month old full breed Shephard. The Ridgeback female is super smart. Had no problem with her until we got Sadie (Shephard). She knew sit, stay, come, down, search, alert, etc, etc. by the time she was 4 months old. I had her waiting to eat at 9 weeks. As house broken as a dog can get very early as well.

    When Sadie came home, we began having some jealousy issues and corrected them fairly quick. The problem we are having now has been a bear to deal with. Karma (Ridgeback) pees in her crate when we are at work. Now I know she sits in her crate for a long time. We are both in Emergency Medicine and work 12 and sometimes I work 24 hour shifts. The girls stay in their crates for as long as 14 hours at a time. Sadie has no problems. they go outside the moment we walk in the door and as soon as we get up. The alert us in the mornings if they need to go out and we walk downstairs and take them out at around 8 in the morning. The routine never changes much. Karma, on the other hand, pees in her crate while we are at work. We’ve tried making her space smaller. Taking her out and putting her back in for a day or 2. Treats in her crate when she goes to bed. Don’t put in when she’s in trouble. She has her corner. Plenty of exercise. Hiking, walking, dog park 2 or 3 times a week. She will not stop peeing in her crate. The other day she pooped but is was only one piece and I think that was more our fault than hers. Not a full poop. Looked like just enough to releive the pressure.

    Don’t know what else to do. Please help.


  • By Juan, March 2, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

    My 6 month puppy is well on his way in the training. She only poops outside and pees every time except in the morning. When I wake up to take her out side her create is dry but as soon as she sees I’m moving around getting ready to go outside she lets it go!! I don’t act excited nor does she to see me she just calmly goes!!

    I must mentioned we got her from a store where she would go thru the cage. Also, she’s only been with us for 10 days.

    Please help!

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  • By Stephanie Salazar, April 13, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    Hello. I’m ten years old and I’m DYING to get a dog. (A coton de tulear to be exact) My mom says we can have one BUT we go to malls and stuff on Saturdays and Sundays. And yeah… We have to leave the dog at out house. And the problem is that hen we leave the dog will probably want to use the restroom. In the crate. :/ Do you have any suggestions for us. (How could we leave a dog in the house without findin pee and poo all over the crate?). Thank you. -Stephanie :)

  • By Stephanie S., April 17, 2013 @ 4:09 pm

    Hello I’m stephanie…10 years old. My family and I are really looking forward to geting a dog. The only problom is that we go places on saturadays and sundays like malls,ect. Do you have a suggestion for us where or how do we keep a dog in our house alone without it going to the restroom in out house. Please help! :) Stephanie S.

  • By Mckenna, July 17, 2013 @ 7:32 am

    I have a 4 month old lab who I’ve had since 6 weeks old and she never would go in her crate… Until about a week ago she ate something bad and had diareah and would go in her crate in the middle of the night even when I had taken her out right before bed. At first I realized that she probably can’t hold it but now she keeps pooping in her crate. Could it be out of habit or should I get her checked out? I should note that sometimes it’s solid and sometimes not and its not ever solid when she does go in her crate. I’m at a loss at what to do

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