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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we're now on day 4 of having beautiful frank with us. we've had one good night where he slept right through and waited to go to the toilet until we took him out in the morning. but the last 2 nights he has done a wee and poo whilst in the crate:(

we left our bedroom door open purposefully so we could hear when he starts whining, but i don't know whether we're not getting to him quick enough when he starts whining, or whether he is so desperate when he wakes that he has to go straight away.

we've had a chat and we're wondering whether we should leave the crate door open at night so he has access to his puppy pad within the puppy pen. or whether we should keep the crate door shut and hope that as he gets older he stops messing in the crate. we've tried setting the alarm in the middle of the night to take him out, but he wasn't happy at all and ended up crying for ages. we will do this again though if that's what you all suggest.

he is learning, he does amazing things like walking over to the door and looking out when he needs to go. but after that one step forward, we seem to take two steps back and he wees & poos in the middle of the kitchen floor when there's two eager humans looking at him ready to take him out! frustrating, but i probably expect too much from such a young puppy.

your advice would be appreciated. the bedding is on the washing line again! v thankful for this sunshine! xxx
 

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I think the one step forward and two steps back is a pretty universal thing. It's like with toddlers - there's no magic button to press that means they are suddenly toilet trained, it just seems to be a long process (coming on for 18 months long with my daughter at the moment!). Rosie (the puppy) gets us all excited when she goes for ages without an accident and then has a couple of days with loads of accidents - just the same as my daughter. But Rosie's only been learning for 2 months!

How big is your crate? Have you made it small enough that he can only poo and wee right where he sleeps? If not, you should definitely do that as that is the whole point of crate training. If it's big enough that they can create a toilet area, then you've lost the point of the crate. From what I've read, you need to do this quickly, as the puppy can lose its instinct not to soil where it sleeps.

If you've already made it small enough (just big enough that Frank can lie down comfortably in it), then I have no idea! Someone on here will though!

Rosie had a few accidents in her cage, but this was when she had diarrhoea when she was ill. Is Frank having normal poos? If they are really runny, it may be that he just can't hold on to them and you should take him to the vet. Other than that, make sure he's not having his dinner too late (Rosie eats at 5pm) and he's not drinking a lot in the evening too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thank you for your reply louise :) i've always thought his crate is too big but my boyf liam doesn't think so. i think it's medium sized, but because he is a puppy obviously it looks big.

frank got really distressed both times he messed his crate, so he really didn't like it even though it was on the other side and he has space to move away from it. so i don't know whether it is the crate being big, or whether he's just desperate/can't hold it.

after reading advice on this forum he's fed at 5pm, and don't let him have too much water before bed. he still seems to need to go loads though. the poo seems normal, if anything a bit soft but as far as i'm aware it's not abnormal.

do you think it's a bad idea to leave the crate door open tonight? i'll speak to liam about perhaps putting a divider in the crate to make it smaller xxx
 

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I do think that is the problem. The whole point of crate training is that you confine them in an area that they don't want to soil, so that they learn to hold on to it. If he has an area he can soil in that is not the bit he sleeps in, then he will just do it there (but obviously it still upsets him a bit, poor thing!).

I was very cynical about the cage and was worried I'd made it too small. But Rosie was fine and, like I say, apart from when she had runny poo that she physically couldn't hold on to, she didn't soil it at all. Have you got some vet bed in the cage? It soaks up the pee so that if they do have an accident they're not lying in it all night. It's also really quick to dry. They sell it at Pets At Home, but make sure you measure your cage first - it's a bit cha-ching (£15-30), so you don't want to have to buy bigger than you need!

I used cardboard boxes to make the cage smaller, and a big bit of cardboard up against the boxes, which I cut slightly taller than the cage and then put notches in to it, so I could feed the excess through the holes in the top of the cage and bend them over the bars and back down, if you get what I mean. Then I could just flip the piece of cardboard up and take the boxes out when I was changing her bedding. She did eventually chew through, but I only had to replace it once and the next time I realised she was big enough to take it all out.

Try not to be frustrated, as I think you have to accept that it will take a long time. Like I say, my 3 1/2 yr old still has accidents and she's apparently the same species as me! She only tells me she needs the loo about 5 seconds before the point at which she is so desperate that she pees herself. In comparison to that, I do sometimes think we expect a lot from our non-speaking, non-human babies!
 

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I agree with Louise about making the crate smaller so that the only space is sleeping space but this may mean that you do need to check him him in the night to ensure he can go to the toilet if he needs to.

I remember from Betty being tiny that the first few nights I did have to take her out in the middle of the night for the toilet, then she got used to sleeping through til 5am ish and it took a couple of months for her to sleep past 5am without needing the toilet. And as for not being able to hold it in, I had to pick her up and rush her straight outside when she was tiny, if I even tried to do anything (like pop to the loo myself) she would have an accident. I know some people set an alarm for about 3am for the first week or so to go and check on the puppy and pop them out for the toilet if they need it.


Betty used to be penned into the kitchen when I went out when she was tiny, and the only time I came home to a mess was when she'd had to poo on the puppy pad and being penned in where she had poo'd seemed to send her nuts as she had trodden in it and there was mess all over the tiled floor! Lovely!!!! But I was talking about it to a friend, its a bit like being locked into your bathroom with an unflushed toilet and given how sensitive dogs noses are, I can't imagine its too nice!!

They learn very quickly but the first few weeks are all trial and error about what works for you and your puppy.
 

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They learn very quickly but the first few weeks are all trial and error about what works for you and your puppy.
Yes - I completely agree with this! Take all the advice that you can, but always remember that he's your puppy and he has to fit into your life/family. You'll soon find the advice that works for you and then you can ignore all the rest!
 

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Yes - I completely agree with this! Take all the advice that you can, but always remember that he's your puppy and he has to fit into your life/family. You'll soon find the advice that works for you and then you can ignore all the rest!
I spent the first few weeks trying to do exactly what the books said and then stressing as my dog wasn't doing what the books said. When I went with my instinct it all started working out far better!!!
 

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My crates were made smaller, just with boxes did nt buy a divider, and both Wilf and mable had accidents weeing during the night during the first couple of weeks (not every night) ... they cried and we just did nt get there on time.. but yeh it was quickly get them out and they just get where they can hold it x
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for your replies, we've decided to make the crate a bit smaller, and after some handy work by liam he's halved the crates size. ive attached a photo of the new look, and frank seems quite happy with it :)


 

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we're now on day 4 of having beautiful frank with us. we've had one good night where he slept right through and waited to go to the toilet until we took him out in the morning. but the last 2 nights he has done a wee and poo whilst in the crate:(
We always left Flo's crate open with a puppy pad nearby as their instinct is not to mess in their 'bed' so I always thought it must be quite distressing for them if they can't hold on and go in the crate. Flo had an upset stomach one night a few months back and did a poo in her crate - she was so upset and tried so frantically to clean up that she grazed all the skin of her nose.

If the crate is in a pen with a puppy pad I would leave the crate open at least until old enough to hold on all night.
 

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I do what Mandy does if I can't have the pup in a small crate next to my bed.

I agree that shrinking the crate is a good idea, but truthfully I still think it's too large for what you're trying to teach. It looks like he could easily potty on one side and avoid it on another. If I were you, I'd either half it again (long wise) or open it up to his play pen and pad.

Good luck. ^_^
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
dividing the crate really didn't work at all - he pood TWICE last night. we put him back to bed at half4 after clearing his crate of all the old blankets and putting clean ones in. then came down to him crying this morning to see he had messed his crate again. it's crazy - he isn't eating tons - in fact when he's full he'll leave a bit in the dish - so it's less than the recommended amount. and the only time we give a tiny treat is when we take him out and he goes. i don't understand where this poo is coming from in that tiny body!

i know we're to blame, and we didn't make the crate small enough using the dividers like enneirda says. but i certainly don't want him to get in the habit of messing his crate and getting distressed, so rather than risking another night in a smaller environment the crate door will be left open tonight.

i keep telling myself it's trial & error. and error, and error, and error! we'll eventually get there...i hope! poor frank xxx
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If the crate is in a pen with a puppy pad I would leave the crate open at least until old enough to hold on all night.
mandy, what age was flo when you started closing the crate door? how did flo cope with that at first? xxx
 

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I never did close the crate door at night, she stopped weeing and pooing in the night by about 4 months without being closed in a crate. I did put her in a closed crate during the day (which I would cover with an old blanket) for about an hour or two at a time when she needed a rest so she would do a wee before going in then I'd take her straight out to the garden again when I got her out of the crate. This made sure she rested properly and also got used to being in the crate and also be left along in the quiet. She never minded a closed crate as she was always in need of a sleep or rest when put in.

We are lucky as we have a large utility room where we used to put her crate and where she goes at night. Now she is older she doesn't sleep in a crate but we still put her out in the utility room each night at 11.00. We then let her out when we get up between 7.00 and 8.30.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
i can't wait for the day he's toilet trained! thanks everyone for advice & encouragement, crossing my fingers for a good night xxx
 
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