Crate training your dog is a great way to help him adjust to a wide range of situations. Crate training not only keeps your dog safe when you are away from home or sleeping in another room, but it can also provide him with his own space to go when he wants to relax.
Your adult dog should never use his crate to poop in. If he does, it can be a sign of several things including poor training, behavioral issues, medical issues, anxiety, or recent injuries. If your puppy poops in his crate, it may simply be due to the fact that he has not yet been fully potty trained.
There are a couple behavioral issues that can lead to a dog pooping in his crate. The first is related to the size of the crate itself. A crate should be only big enough for the dog to stand in and lay in comfortably.
If the crate is too large, the puppy or adult dog may be able to poop in one area, and sleep comfortably in another area. This confuses the dog and may inadvertently teach them that it is okay to poop in their crate.
In order to fix this issue, look for a smaller crate for your puppy or adult dog. Make sure they do not scrape their back or head when they stand, and ensure it is wide enough for them to lay down in. But it should not be large enough for them to designate a sleeping spot and a pooping spot.
Anxiety is another issue that can lead to a dog pooping in his crate. If your dog gets anxious when you leave him alone in his crate, he may display a wide range of undesirable behaviors including barking, whining, chewing on the crate, and pooping.
Dogs can show signs of anxiety from being confined, or being left alone, or from past trauma they may have been subjected to. Working with your veterinarian or a dog behaviorist may be your best option in solving your dog’s anxiety issues and preventing stress-pooping in his crate.
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Medical issues can be much more varied than behavioral issues, and will require the help of your veterinarian to properly diagnose and treat. Some of the possible medical causes for a dog pooping in his crate can include:
- Intestinal parasites
- Bowel disease
- Nerve damage
- Partial paralysis
Re-Training Your Dog
If your dog has the right size crate, does not seem to suffer from anxiety or other behavioral issues, and does not have a medical condition that affects their bowel control, it may be time to consider re-training your pooch.
Going back to the basics of crate training might be the best way to reinforce the purpose and usage of a crate. Even older dogs can be successfully retrained with a bit of patience on your part, or with the help of a professional dog trainer.