A crate-trained dog comes to think of his crate as his home. The space provides a sense of security where your pooch sleeps or chews fun toys while you're gone. Urine and pee pads -- which signal bathroom to a dog trained on them -- don't belong in the crate.
A crate offers a second home for your dog, recreating a cozy den environment that draws on your dog's natural instincts. One part of this instinct is the desire to keep the den or sleeping area clean. Putting a pee pad in the crate contracts this natural tendency and can confuse your pet. You don't want him to pee in the crate, and he doesn't want to pee where he sleeps. Don't introduce the pee pads.
How Pee Pads Work
Dogs also enjoy relieving themselves in the same area, whether that's a specific corner of the backyard or a certain pee pad location. That's why dog training experts like Cesar Millan suggest placing the pee pads in the same area each time. Introducing a puppy pee pad into the dog crate puts the dog's natural instincts in conflict. If your puppy has accidents in his crate, a pee pad isn't the right answer.
Why Dogs Pee in Crates
There are time when dogs do pee in the crate despite their instincts. Dogs left alone too long might not be able to hold it any longer. Pups with urinary tract infections or other medical issues cannot control their bladders. Puppy mill dogs may have grown used to peeing in the crate at the puppy mill. Dogs who are anxious about being in the crate can pee from stress. If pups or older dogs have occasional accidents in the crate, that's fine. Repeated crate peeing is cause for concern.
If your pet pees in the crate, make sure he's had a bathroom break before he goes in there. Avoid feeding or giving water right before crate time, since this means your pooch will need a bathroom break. Offer bathroom breaks throughout the day to teach your dog that you will provide the right place to pee.
- The Housebreaking Bible: You Dirty Dog! What To Do If Fido Has Accidents in His Crate
- How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond; Melissa Jo Peltier and Cesar Millan
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