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Hello,

I have a 10 week old Chihuahua puppy who is eliminating in his crate, and he doesn't seem to mind laying in his own feces.

First we had a blanket in there for him, but he has would urinate on it, so we removed that. He has not since urinated in the crate.

Then I thought perhaps the crate was too large, and he was pooping in there because he had enough room to. So I made the crate smaller, with really only enough room for him to lie down in. Still, no luck. He eliminates in there, and by the time I take him out he is covered in poop.

When he is out of the crate his is very good about going to his wee-wee pads to urinate and defecate.

When he is eliminating in the crate, it is overnight. He is usually in there for 6 hours. Is this just too long to ask a puppy to hold it?

Also, he is on a scheduled feeding time, and he does not get any food or water while in the crate.

Any advice anyone has would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
 

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How long of a time period is there between when he is fed and when he is put in the crate? It may take a while for him to empty out completely. Six hours is a pretty long time for a pup, they can usually only hold it for 3-4 hours.
Maybe he is confused by the puppy pads and thinks that because he can go inside the house, that he can in his crate? That's the only thing I can think of, maybe move the potty pads outside or just teach him to go outside altogether.
 

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It seems to me that expecting a 10 week old dog to hold it for 6 hours is really, really asking a lot. If the dog absolutely has no place to go except the crate he's going to go there.
 

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He is being fed at 6 pm, he usually poops before going into his crate, at about 1 am.

I've never had a little dog like this, and it has been quite some time since I have had to train a dog at all. My last two dogs were German Shepherds, and I swear they practically train themselves!

I am going to start off by letting him out of the crate every 3 1/2 - 4 hours during the night and hopfully this will help. I just hope I didn't mentally ruin this lil pup by keeping him in there too long, and then he had to sleep with the poop.

Thank you all very much for the advice!!
 

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It sounds more like a potty schedule problem....not really knowing when he needs to move his bowels. I assume you're feeding 3-4x a day. That equals 3 or 4 bowel movements a day but, the bowel movements aren't tied to the meal times. By that, I mean it takes about 12 hours to process/digest and eliminate. So, approximately 12 hours AFTER each meal, he will need to move his bowels.
The tricky part is that that the amount of water, amount of exercise, metabolism rate and sleep will all effect the potty schedule. The best you can do is be sure that you're cleaning the crate with an enzyme cleaner and tweak the potty schedule around the crate time(s) making sure that he eliminates before going in the crate.
 

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My little girl Chi was messed up when I got them. She was about 6 months old and would pee in her bed and poop right next to her food. Fortunately she outgrew it and received appropriate housetraining. But I will add that Chi's REALLY need their blanket! I would give the pup a blanket and take her out more often during the night.

Even now sometimes my little girl Chi will wake me up because she has to go out. It happens with small dogs, I believe they have a much harder time holding it for a long time. Though I was told by most on this board I was wrong. I will have to say my experience with many large and small breeds tells me that the smaller the dog the more frequently they need to go out.
 

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Little dogs have their own potty training challenges... they often need to go much more often than a big dog while they're learning.

Also, since to a tiny dog a house is HUGE, it can take longer for them to comprehend that it isn't okay to mess in the house, cuz to them, it's harder to think of the entire house as their den. I'd limit her to one room only until you have her potty trained fully, and be sure you let her WALK outside herself, and not just carry her and drop her off outside, because that can interfere with them figuring it out for themself.
 
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