Started peeing in the crate again


  • Hi all,

    My B is one and a half year old now, and have been housebroken for well over a year.

    She sleeps in her crate in the living room, while we leave the door open to the bedroom.

    During weekends, we usually pick her up in the morning and allow her to sleep a few more hours together with us in the bedroom. Lately, we have even picked her up at night if she has cried in her crate, whereas we have discovered in the past few weeks that she has actually peed in her crate before crying.

    In order to correct this behavior, I went back to scratch regarding crate training and slept a few nights on a mattress besides her crate. The first night she peed, and I was able to clap my hands and firmly tell her no.

    The next night, and a few nights after this she began sleeping through the night again without peeing her crate.

    So, I started sleeping in the bedroom again with great success as she continued to sleep through the night and be dry.

    However, over the past two nights she has started peeing in her crate again. Where I have removed and replaced her blankets before putting her in the crate again.

    I am considering sleeping next to her again, however, I'm afraid she will make a connection that if she pees, I will join her in the living room.

    Any recommendations on dealing with this?

    PS. I have cleaned both her crate and blankets with a dog urine killing liquid.


  • @stianolini said in Started peeing in the crate again:

    Hi all,

    My B is one and a half year old now, and have been housebroken for well over a year.

    She sleeps in her crate in the living room, while we leave the door open to the bedroom.

    During weekends, we usually pick her up in the morning and allow her to sleep a few more hours together with us in the bedroom. Lately, we have even picked her up at night if she has cried in her crate, whereas we have discovered in the past few weeks that she has actually peed in her crate before crying.

    In order to correct this behavior, I went back to scratch regarding crate training and slept a few nights on a mattress besides her crate. The first night she peed, and I was able to clap my hands and firmly tell her no.

    The next night, and a few nights after this she began sleeping through the night again without peeing her crate.

    So, I started sleeping in the bedroom again with great success as she continued to sleep through the night and be dry.

    However, over the past two nights she has started peeing in her crate again. Where I have removed and replaced her blankets before putting her in the crate again.

    I am considering sleeping next to her again, however, I'm afraid she will make a connection that if she pees, I will join her in the living room.

    Any recommendations on dealing with this?

    PS. I have cleaned both her crate and blankets with a dog urine killing liquid.

    Sleeping on a mattress beside her crate isn't the beginning of crate training, in fact, it isn't part of crate training at all.

    Also, I'd be weary of reprimanding her for peeing.

    It's seems that your crate training problem is a handler error, respectfully.

    To begin, you're being inconsistent with putting her in the crate and then taking her out to sleep with you. If I were you, I'd pick one and stick with it (at least, until she has been properly and truly house trained), either with you or in the crate, not both. (I would recommend simply putting the crate in your room and keeping her in there until you get up, that way she's included but not on you or in your bed).

    If she cries in the crate, the last thing that you want to do is "pick her up" or in any way coddle her or reinforce that behavior.

    That being said, in (very) early puppyhood, when the puppy cries in the crate, I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt the first time, and take them out to see if they need to pee, but immediately return them to the crate afterwards, whether they go to the bathroom or not. However, at 1 and a half years old, she shouldn't be crying in the crate (or peeing in the crate). In your case, since she isn't crate trained, I'd take her to the bathroom the first time she cries, then put her back in the crate right after and ignore the crying after that if it continues.

    Also, I would get up in the middle of the night and take her to the bathroom, then right back to the crate. You want her to know she'll always have the chance to go out. This helps greatly in teaching them to hold their bladder.

    In addition, I would recommend not putting anything soft in the crate, because that will make her want to pee on it and it can possibly stimulate her too.

    Finally, I would work on crate training when she's not going to be using it, i.e. throughout the day do crate drills with high value food.

    All the best.


  • Thank you for good advice @Scagnetti. I am fully aware that this is on me, so none offence taken 🙂

    Most of the advice you have outlined here is stuff we have already implemented.

    We now only leave her in the crate at night, and if she cries I check up on her once, clean the crate and change blankets if needed, and then ignore her cries for the rest of the night.

    One question, though. You say you would recommend taking her out the first time she cries so she knows she can go. The problem is that most times, she has already peed. Would you recommend taking her out regardless?


  • Check for a possible UTI, since this has just recently begun. She may cry because she needs to go out. Is she showing a need to go pee more often in the daytime? If she doesn't show any signs of separation anxiety (which can definitely result in inappropriate peeing!) and doesn't have a UTI then yes, it's a training problem. My Basenjis, once past the initial housebreaking period, were never crated when I was at home, or for that matter when I went out, and the only time I had issues was with advancing age and physical problems, but mine usually slept with me. Can you perhaps teach her to sleep in a dog bed in your room if you don't want her sharing yours?


  • @stianolini said in Started peeing in the crate again:

    Thank you for good advice @Scagnetti. I am fully aware that this is on me, so none offence taken 🙂

    Most of the advice you have outlined here is stuff we have already implemented.

    We now only leave her in the crate at night, and if she cries I check up on her once, clean the crate and change blankets if needed, and then ignore her cries for the rest of the night.

    One question, though. You say you would recommend taking her out the first time she cries so she knows she can go. The problem is that most times, she has already peed. Would you recommend taking her out regardless?

    Yes, take her out regardless. And to clarify, I said take her out in the middle of the night to show her that she is going to be given the opportunity to go to the bathroom, so that she can start learning how to hold it.

    I only take them out when they cry after immediately going in the crate, when they are very young puppies. I do this as the initial part of crate training, because they aren't familiar with the physical crate itself or with the feeling of being locked up (having their space restricted). Pretty soon, they understand what the crate is, and understand that they'll be given a chance to go to the bathroom. Your dog isn't in little puppyhood anymore, you may wish to just ignore completely.

    Also, I would not "check up on her". I would only go to the crate initially to take her outside to the bathroom and then immediately return her to the crate and walk away until it's time for her to come out.

    Again, I would advise against blankets or anything soft in the crate. If you leave her alone with anything soft, she will pee on it, and possibly tear it up. Several companies make crate liners made of rubber, I would suggest these.

    And I would suggest putting the dog in the crate, when it's NOT her bed time, so that she's used to going in. If the only time she goes in the crate is at night when she's in there for 8+ hours, then she's most likely going to hate the crate.

    All the best.


  • @stianolini - Agree with eeeefarm that make sure there is no medical reason for peeing, such as UTI.


  • @stianolini said in Started peeing in the crate again:

    She sleeps in her crate in the living room, while we leave the door open to the bedroom....
    During weekends, we usually pick her up in the morning and allow her to sleep a few more hours together with us in the bedroom....

    While there are many reasons for your girl to cry at night, there are some simple ways that you can alleviate related stress/anxiety issues.

    • If space allows, move the crate into your bedroom and/or leave the crate door open so that your girl can choose whether to join you in bed or not, and
    • Create the atmosphere of a den by draping a blanket or towel over the top and three sides of the crate.

    If your girl needs to go out, she will find a way to tell you she needs to go out. (doodle jumps onto the bed and runs across it just above my pillow... repeatedly! "What? I'm awake!")

    If your girl is lonely for her pack, she'll get on the bed and practically push you off it because she needs to feel you against her body.

    If your girl is anxious about the thunderstorm you don't even notice, she might want to curl up in her dark little cave. Or she might get in bed with you.

    (note: I am not saying you shouldn't look into a UTI or other medical reasons, I'm only suggesting that it might be something as simple as she wants to sleep with you.)


  • I edited my post to make it more legible. I wrote this half asleep. All of the information is sound.

    As for the medical aspect, there's no reason not to get that checked out. Always good to cover all bases. Usually 1 year and a half is when pet owners realize that their dog isn't actually trained like they thought, which is why I mention the training component.


  • Just thought I'd share an update on this.

    I removed the blankets from the crate and replaced them with a mattress. We have been strict about her only staying in the crate at night. When we have had accidents I have cleaned up, with a dog urine killing spray, and placed her back in the crate.

    Everything is progressing smoothly, not had any accidents for over a week now. So it's been a rather quick turnaround, lovely to have her properly crate trained again.

    Thank you all for sharing advice on the situation.

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