Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?
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Thread: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

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    Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    We have had our puppy for 2 months and we are crate training and get up several times a night to take him out when he cries. This week, we have noticed several nights that when he cries in the middle of the night he has already urinated in his crate. Then, we noticed that a couple of times during the day, he walked right over to his day bed (separate from his crate) and began to urinate without even going to the door or making any sound. Up until now, during the day, he has been great about going to the door when we wants to go out during the day or whining in his crate before he has to go. I work at home so he is only in his crate at night. Any advice? Thanks. We are so happy to have him and we don't want to miss an opportunity to steer him in the right direction.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Six months is still a baby, when it comes to potty training. Lots of times, people think the potty training is done, but, really, there can be set backs. It's an ongoing process.

    You say you work from home, so he's not crated during the day. But, is he closely supervised? The thing is, even if he had been really good at going to the door when he wants out, he's still a puppy, and might occasionally get distracted by playing or napping, and forget to ask to go out until it's too late. Then, the accident.

    It's just like a toddler who is busy playing or whatever, and then, boom, all of a sudden they have to pee and they have to pee NOW!

    So, I would say, if he has started to pee in his crate and bed, then he isn't COMPLETELY potty trained, even if he had been doing good!

    Any time he is out of his crate he should be supervised. If you can't closely supervise then he should be tethered to you with his leash so he can't go off somewhere and pee. Or, he should be crated when you can't closely supervise. Only give him limited freedom when he's "empty", meaning you've seen him pee/poop.

    Of course, since this seems to be a recent thing, you should also consider getting him to the vet to check for a UTI.

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    Senior Member hanksimon's Avatar
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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    A few more additions:
    1. Anywhere that he has peed, you have to clean with vinegar or enzyme cleaner, otherwise it retains the smell... making it an OK place to continuing to go.
    2. If he does not have his adult teeth in, he may be teething painfully, which can affect some of his training.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    I have a 6 month old german shorthaired pointer and he is peeing in his crate. Even if he's only in there for 30 minutes, he pees. We've tried EVERYTHING. Taking him for longer walks, letting him out longer, extra praise for peeing outside, playing with him a lot more outside, etc. He does not pee in the house, and we keep him with us in the living room for a couple hours without an outside potty break, no problems. So, we are totally confused. I clean the crate every day, I've tried leaving him in there after he's peed (since he only cries AFTER he pees, not before) to make him have to "live" in it and it doesn't make a difference. We thought he needed more attention perhaps, so we've given him a ton of extra attention with training him and treats (which he does very well with, he already sits, stays, lays down, shakes, and leaves treats). Then what happens? He goes to his bed in the living room and PEES! He hadn't ever done that. So, I don't know what is going on. He was just in for a check up and had no problems, and he is neutered. It's getting very frustrating.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by tylar View Post
    I've tried leaving him in there after he's peed (since he only cries AFTER he pees, not before) to make him have to "live" in it and it doesn't make a difference.
    Well, I certainly don't recommend that. Not only is it unkind, but it's only likely to make him more comfortable "living in it" and could set him back further. What does your dog's attitude seem to be to the crate? Will he sleep in there on his own if the door is opened or does he steer clear? You want the crate to be a positive place, so if you're using it for punishment, this could be the root of your problem.

    As someone mentioned to the OP, your dog is still a toddler at 6 months. Work on positive training (doxiemommy's post is great info) and understand that it will just take some time for him to become totally potty trained.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Yes, I would highly suspect that he's having stress when crated and this is creating the need to pee. Stress makes everything move a LOT faster, so if he's a dog that doesn't crate HAPPILY you need to work to change that. And please don't leave him to sit in his pee, it's unfair to the pup and can create skin issues and infection. Dogs don't learn that way, except that the crate sucks, which makes the whole situation worse not better.

    Google crate games and try reinforcing the crate as an awesome place. Feed him in his crate too if he will eat..if not you have your work cut out for you...

    There is also the case that some dogs simply do not crate well, often due to early crate trauma..in that case maybe a gated off area instead of a crate is an option.
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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
    There is also the case that some dogs simply do not crate well, often due to early crate trauma..in that case maybe a gated off area instead of a crate is an option.
    I agree completely! Gracie will not eat in her crate and will whine/cry/scream/unrinate/defecate if left on her own in her crate. If you can, you may want to try giving the pup a bathroom or something similar for a few hours and see what happens.
    Gracie: 3 year old old husky mix, CGC, Therapy dog with TDInc
    Garmin: 1 year old ACD/husky mix, pain in the rear
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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    In following the sticky's suggestion on the "First Time Dog Owners and Basic Questions" board, I will post my question here, on this thread, even though it's a few months old.

    We recently adopted a male german shepherd mix puppy, Bruin, who is now 14 weeks old. We've been having problems with him peeing in his crate. We originally had a pad (made to fit the crate) in there for him, to make it more comfortable, but once he peed on it, we removed it and placed a small bed in there (which took up more room, something I figured might make him feel more confined and less likely to urinate). Unfortunately, he peed on that too. He's only crated at night or in the odd hours when neither I, nor my wife, can be here (between when I get out and she goes to work, etc.) but generally never more than 3 hours. At night we get up every 2.5-3.5 hours to take him out and he rarely has problems. But in those odd hours when he's left alone in his crate, it's almost a guarantee at this point that he will have peed.

    What I'm thinking is that there may be a couple things going on: 1) he is very stressed/excited when left alone and this increases his need to pee. 2) We have been washing and placing his bed/soft crate pad back in there with him. We did pretreat it with Nature's Miracle spray before we washed it, but maybe it's still leaving some of the scent behind, making him associate it with peeing?

    My problem with my first theory is that, today for instance, there was only a 2.5 hour gap between when my wife last took him out before she went to work and when I got home from work this morning. Now, I know for a fact that he does not need to go out every 2.5 hours unless he has been very active during that time. He has easily made it 5 hours before (without even waking up) with no incident. Is he thinking that if he pees in his crate someone will come along and take him out of it? Am I just being paranoid, suspecting my pup of having such devious plans? Probably.. In writing this I think I answered my own question: he's probably hyperactive and stressed when left alone in his crate, causing him to have to pee.

    Should we just work on getting him to enjoy his crate more? I've seen him go in there out of no where and lay on his bed on a couple of occasions(something which surprised me greatly since he's usually somewhat reluctant to go in), granted we were in the room with him at the time.. I also think we're gonna try having him in there with no bed or anything for a while, because he other thing I see him do is pee on the soft pad we put in there and then kick it up into the back corner of the crate. I'm also getting concerned that simply laying in it (something he also does) doesn't seem to bother him that much.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Yes, derekc06, I think the puppy is stressed in the crate, thus the peeing, since that's really the only time he has an accident. I agree that you shouldn't put anything in the crate while he's still having trouble peeing in it.

    Also, some pups that have more anxiety when crated do better when they are in a bit bigger area, for confinement. Like, you could use an ex-pen in a corner of a room, or baby gate a small room off. Sometimes, the ability to have a little bigger area, and feel less isolated can help the anxiety.

    The other thing that can help is to tire him out before you have to crate him, so he is more likely to be calm and maybe even nap. Just like exercise can help relieve human stress, it can do the same for dogs, so add a walk, some vigorous play, or a training session, or combination of those.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    In addition to the other things suggested, if the pup was fully crate trained, doing well on potty training, and now is not, a trip to the vet for a urinalysis is not a bad idea. Sometimes it's a physical problem, not a behavioral one. I always want to rule that out before I look at ways to fix it behaviorally.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Hi I have an 11 month old male Papillion. He is doing great with house training, but I am also having the problem with him peeing in his crate. He only has enough room to lay down, and I wash his linens everyday. He is only in the crate at night and for short periods during the day. I always thought that dogs would not go in their crates until I read all of you are having the same problem. My issue though is that unlike your dogs, mine does not seem to be bothered at all by the fact that he is going in there. He does not cry and he goes in the crate even when I am home with him. The only reason I noticed that he was going in there was because I started to smell it. Also he does not seem to have any anxiety either.

    Any information or ideas would be great cause I'm in a small area and the smell is really irritating.

    Thanks all in advance for your time.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    It's hard to say without knowing more info....how long have you had him? Where did you get him? Breeder? Rescue?

    With rescues, lots of times, they DON'T have a problem with peeing in their crates, it doesn't bother them at all, because they have had to pee in their cage or kennel at the shelter or rescue. In those situations it can be a hard thing to deal with....they've had to pee wherever they were when they had to go, so it's hard to train them out of it.

    How long has he been doing this? It might be that he's been doing it for quite some time, and now he thinks that his crate is an acceptable option when it comes to peeing. I mean, he may just think, "yeah, I can pee outside, AND I can pee in the crate".

    When you wash the bedding, I'd suggest adding some enzymatic cleaner. Regular detergents don't necessarily break down the enzymes in the urine....and even with the "perfumy" smell of detergent a dog's sensitive nose could still sniff out traces. I noticed that a doggy bed I had JUST washed still showed a stain when I looked at it with the black light.

    If you could maybe give us more info we could help you more, unearth777.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    I have had him since November of last year. I bought him from a local pet store, which gets the dogs from a breeder. I believe he has been peeing in his crate since I got him. I was having a very hard time house breaking him when I first got him, because it was winter and he would not go outside and then even when the weather was nice he would refuse to walk on his leash, so until about a month ago we mainly used the pads. I just moved to a place where he can run around outside and he has not had any accidents in the house since, just the incidents with his crate. He seems to be a very quick learner. I did not think about using an enzyme cleaner, that may be the problem. Do you know where I would find something I can use in the washer, or the name of it.

    Let me know if you need any other information.

    Thank you so much for your time.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    I have a 4 month old Maltese mix. I adopted him from the people who hold adoptions at Petsmart.

    He's getting the hang of doing his business outside, but lately he's starting peeing on MY bed (and his).

    He'll deliberately jump up onto the bed and pee. I'll run over and catch him in the midst of it and firmly tell him "NO" but it doesn't seem to work. I use Nature's Miracle religiously to clean any mess he leaves.

    He also sleeps on my bed at night. He's usually pretty good about waking me up to go outside, but lately the peeing on the bed has been a different story.

    Any suggestions?

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Don't let him on the bed till he's potty trained. And, don't let him out of your sight. Puppies that age sometimes pee wherever and whenever they have to, as they are too young to have developed control of their bladder.

    When our puppies were young, we'd follow them around when they were on the move, like you do when a toddler is learning to crawl, to make sure we could see what they were doing.

    So, basically, prevent accidents by watching and following them, and taking them out more often than you think you need to. And, don't let them on beds and such unless you trust them 100%.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Some use vinegar and baking soda for clothes/ bedding washing. And a friend of mines uses the Natures Miracle and then washes it.with regular detergent. Good luck

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    ok so my 16 week old pup peed in his crate today. I was totally worried as I've never had a dog soil it's own crate before. But this thread gives me some things to consider that I'd not thought of before. Washing the bedding with enzymatic cleaner. And The anxiety issue. I leave a recorder on when I am out. The pup was in the crate for 3 hrs today, he wines for a minute after he'd finished the peanut butter kong. Then when I return home its a full on barking fit. I ignore him when he does this and dont' even enter the room until he is quiet. I'm guessing that during the barking was when he pee'd. My catch 22 is that I don't want to let him out when he is barking so I wait for him to be quiet. Not taking a breath quiet, but quiet for a full minute quite. A urinary infection is also a possibility. But of course it's memorial day weekend so I may have to wait til Monday to see a vet.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Or, maybe you have to shorten your requirement for quiet time before you let him out of the crate, not a full minute, maybe start with 5 seconds. I mean, seriously, when you really time out 5 seconds, that can be a long time to a puppy that is barking and freaking out. And, if it prevents the accident in the crate, it may be worth it.
    Then over a couple days, you can increase the quiet time before you let him out to 15 seconds, then 30 seconds, etc.

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by doxiemommy View Post
    Or, maybe you have to shorten your requirement for quiet time before you let him out of the crate, not a full minute, maybe start with 5 seconds.
    I know exactly right? Your advise is spot on. Change something stupid. I'm such a Taurus about things. Potty training isn't a linear thing, it's amorphous. But I get stuck into thinking that This IS The Way To DO Things....I have a hard time being flexible. He'd been fine with my methods (waiting for a quiet) up until yesterday. And actually no problems today, but the longest I was out and he was created was under 2 hrs.

    I paper trained him when I got him at 11 weeks. (he's almost 18 weeks now I did the math wrong in my post yesterday) I've only had experience with crate training older pups and dogs for potty training, so I probably made mistakes on the paper training. I think that I just trained him that it was ok to potty in his ex-pen or in the dog room. But he was an 11 week old puppy and I had to be able to leave him for 3 hours every other morning. I didn't think it fair for a pup to go 3 hrs in a crate and hold it that long. But after 4 weeks I took up the papers and started the crating. In that 4 weeks time I had done lots of crate games, c/c and +R for the crate so he had a positive association with the crate before I started shutting the door on him. (crate is attached to ex-pen on vinyl flooring scrap duct taped to the hard wood floor... so when he's house trained the vinyl gets thrown out and no pee stains on my floor... ok he did pee a few times on the hw floor outside the ex-pen area but totally my fault for not watching him like a hawk)

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    Re: Why is our 6 month old puppy suddenly urinating in his bed and crate?

    update to say it's not happened again. I did try leaving him the ex-pen with the crate open. For one 2 hr period he was dry. For another session he pee'd in on the floor in the pen. I'm stumped as to what to do when I'm gone for 2 hrs or longer (up to 3.5 hrs) SHould I crate or ex-pen and let him pee in the ex-pen. So I've started videoing him when I am out. I crated him for the first 2 vids and will next video him in the ex-pen to see if there is a difference in his behavior. Then i'll run the videos by my trainer and then my vet (who's a behaviorist) and see what they think. What I see is a puppy who periodically is unhappy and circling in the crate while barking. Is he unhappy b/c he's confined to the crate? OR is he unhappy b/c owner is gone? Or a little bit of both. The older dog next to him is SA to a mild degree.... after finishing her kong she looks for owner, howls softly then sleeps.

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