Our new Basenji doesn't mind soiling her crate?

Hi all!

I'm new to the forum - my husband and I just got Jiko (super adorable red and white girl from Dark Moon Kennels) about 1.5 weeks ago. We've been introducing her to the crate and she's been doing well with it (sleeps/eats in it, voluntarily goes in to lay down, plays with toys, etc). We have left the door open for the most part as she's still adjusting and hadn't previously been locked alone. The first night we locked her in, she pooped in it and then jumped around in it and got it all over the crate. We took her out, cleaned her and the crate very well and put her back. She did the same thing again. Both times were less than 6 hours apart. Has anyone experienced this - it seems odd given that basenjis are known for wanting to be clean? She didn't really cry that night either, so it was almost like she didn't mind being in the mess. Any thoughts? We're nervous to start a stricter crate training because we don't want her to be dirty or in a messy crate. On the flip side, we want her to be comfortabel in the crate and hope it would lead to better housebreaking. Is it worth trying to put her in there for a night and checking frequently (every 30 mins?) to make sure she hasn't gone to the bathroom? We've been taking her out several times before bed every night and she's been getting better about doing her business outside, but still manages to go inside overnight too. Any help is greatly appreciated!

I had a similar problem when my last dog was a puppy. She was a rescue, and barely 5 weeks old when I got her, so her ability to hold her urine or bowels was not a very long length of time. As puppies get older they can go longer periods of time between eliminating, but it's important to research (google puppy housetraining) lengths of time for your puppy's age, and work out a schedule for her accordingly. My puppy needed to be brought to the puppy pad and fed every few hours around the clock, and she was initially more work than a newborn baby.

As far as the crating goes… puppies are more likely to soil a crate that is too large for them. That doesn't mean you need to run out and get a new one, but rather you can make the used area in her crate smaller. When my puppy was little, I had a soft bag carrier that was small that I placed inside the crate and closed both so she got used to the big crate, but was also just in the smaller carrier bag. You could also use boxes to reduce the size but I would worry about the puppy getting wedged in between the box and the crate, so if you use a box or wood or whatever, make sure it is secure and your puppy can NOT wiggle between it and the crate.

Also, accidents will happen with puppies once in a while. They are like human toddlers who have very little control and are learning and gaining strength every day to become more and more house trained, so patience is key.

Hope these tips help!

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