How to stop pottying in her crate?

  • Hello! I just adopted a 6mo old B mix from the humane society and am stuck on potty training. I take her out to the same place first thing in the morning, when I get home from work and at night. We have gone on long walks, played in the park and even went to the dog park. She will not go potty outside! (never even once). She is crated when I am not at home and at night and every time I find that she has used the bathroom in the crate… even if I took her out right before. I don't know if it was a bad habit from previous owners or if she is just scared. Does anyone have any tips for correcting this behavior and getting her to go outside?

  • First Basenji's

    no real magic on this issue. I had some of that too with my new girl….You may be right about what she was used to previously , are you able to find out details? anyway, you're being as consistent as possible. There is a crate where a space is provided for 'denning' and one for potty. If this is not possible, maybe you can put her crate in a small confined area, take off the grated door, and provide a potty area away from the crate made from an old cookie sheet, some sod like the grass you have outside (bury some scent from her previous potty urine and a stool sample on the sod so she gets the idea. This idea worked for a client of mine and a new puppy that had to stay home until someone came home, and it comes from a VHS tape from a UK trainer named Barbara Woodhouse....those new fangled potty pads are a take off of this idea too.

  • Are we talking both urination and defecation? If she will at least pee outside, that's good. For the poop, I would use a suppository (when you are sure she needs to go!), and hopefully that will compel her to do it outside, at which point lots and lots of praise!!! If it works, I would continue along those lines until she starts getting the idea. The best time to start this training is a time when you don't have to leave her for a long period, e.g. a weekend when you are home. (I had a friend with a cat that would only use the litter box, and would ask to come inside in order to use it, so if she has become used to going in her crate, it may just be habit, and it may be that she thinks that is the appropriate place.)

  • Try feeding her bran cereal (with NO artificial sweeteners listed in the ingredients!) softened in plenty of water an hour B4 a walk. This has helped me correct crate/indoor pooping issues with several puppy mill fosters by increasing the urge to eliminate; They poop outdoors, giving me a behaviour to reinforce. She might be a shy pooper, too–if you can, find her a screen of tall grass or brush for privacy, don't interupt her with praise or be loud offering it, and never yell or strike her for pooping indoors...many dogs won't potty within sight of their owners for fear of being reprimanded.

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