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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My vet is out of answers. I have a 10-month-old bichon. He used to poop in his crate about every 5 weeks or so, and now it is just about every night. I'm almost positive this is behavioral. What can I do to stop this?

We have switched his food to Hill's Prescription Diet i/d for digestion issues. We take him on one to two walks a day. He poops outside when we take him. In fact, we usually take him out between 9:30-10:30 at night. Last night he pooped at 10:30 and we woke up again to a poopy crate. GEEZ!

I've looked on the internet and all the people are saying is to reduce the size of the crate (we've done), reward him when he does his "business" outside (we do... our neighbors probably think I'm nuts), give him social interaction with us(we do), walk him regularly (we do), reward him with praise when he enters in the crate (we do)...

I almost wish he had a little bug and I could fix it with medicine. I can't seem to figure out how to break a habit in a bichon... The vet tested a fecal sample and all is fine.

He is only fed dry food -- no wet. I have in fact noticed he is pooping less since he's been on this for the last day or so. This would be fantastic. I've also resorted to just feeding him in the morning. We've weaned him off his afternoon (2:30 p.m.) feeding to help prevent the middle-of-the-night mess.

Can I give him a "consequence" for pooping in the crate. Since he poops sometime during the middle of the night, I usually clean it up when I wake up (around 6:30 a.m.). He's not crying, barking, or seeming to want to get out. Wouldn't leaving him in his mess longer just perpetuate the issue? He usually sits outside of the crate while I clean it up. I don't let him go and run outside. I do bathe him after I've cleaned it up and taken him out to go potty. There's no way anyone would want to handle that messy doggie... he's got it all over his feet and face.

He doesn't poop in his crate during the day if I'm out and about. Sometimes he can be in there for as long as 4-5 hours.

I'm ready to have a happy household.:)
 

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I would go back to going out with him a couple of times a night, like at 1am and 4 am, like with a puppy. Are you able to hear him at night to see if he is whining or anything to let you know he needs to go? If he was whining/asking before and you couldn't hear him then maybe now he has got the idea that at night you aren't coming back for quite a long time (10.30-6.30 is 9 hours, which is double the time you say he is alone during the day).
 

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maybe he's just tired and lazy in the middle of the night and doesn't want to go out. lol.

or maybe he doesn't want to sleep in there at night and it is behavioral. not sure. wish i could be of more help.
 

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If this were my dog, I would

1.) try to find something for him to eat that was better quality than Hill's Prescription Diet i/d (if possible)

2.) double check to be sure he is not being overfed

3.) remove anything absorbant from his crate

4.) feed him as early as possible in the morning

5.) take him out as late as possible in the evening

6.) set an alarm to take him out in the middle of the night, then work on gradually lengthening the time between the late night and middle of the night outings towards the morning potty break as the dog is successful.
 

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If this were my dog, I would

1.) try to find something for him to eat that was better quality than Hill's Prescription Diet i/d (if possible)

2.) double check to be sure he is not being overfed

3.) remove anything absorbant from his crate

4.) feed him as early as possible in the morning

5.) take him out as late as possible in the evening

6.) set an alarm to take him out in the middle of the night, then work on gradually lengthening the time between the late night and middle of the night outings towards the morning potty break as the dog is successful.

All very good ideas !
 

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He is only fed dry food -- no wet. I have in fact noticed he is pooping less since he's been on this for the last day or so. This would be fantastic. I've also resorted to just feeding him in the morning. We've weaned him off his afternoon (2:30 p.m.) feeding to help prevent the middle-of-the-night mess.

Can I give him a "consequence" for pooping in the crate.)

Part of your problem is the feeding schedule. If you're feeding in the morning, he needs 16 hours to digest that food and eliminate it. If you're feeding at 8:00am. that means he will have to move his bowels around midnight.

Wet or moist food takes about 12 hours to process and eliminate and a RAW diet takes about 5-6 hours.

That's the general guideline but, it varies day to day based on the amount of exercise, water intake and sleep schedule.

No punishment for messing the crate....fix the schedule.
 

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Im down with Ruby Love. I would force yourself to take him out at a set time at night time. I think if you do this, you will notice the poop in the crate will go away. Somehow, he has not learned the correct way and maybe pulled from the mother too early so he doesnt know much about his den and that he shouldnt deficate in it. This would be my guess but I havent read any of your other questions to follow along.

I think everyone provided great answers and I just wanted to say you will have to start with a over night schedule. I feed my dog Science Diet Lamb and Rice Meal the puppy one and havent had a problem with my dog. But, boy did I hate those days.... Good memories.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you so much for all these great tips!

His morning feeding is at 6:30 in the morning. We've eliminated the afternoon feeding to help with the evening digestion.

Any recommendations out there on what dry to feed him? I'm not looking for something I have to special order or drive all around town to get. I'm also on a budget and don't want to sound cheap, but I can't justify spending more on my dog's meal than my own. I've seen several brands out there that are very expensive.

I love my dog and want to take great care of him, but I also have three girls (10, 7 and 3) so I need to have a reasonable compromise.

I would have thought Hill's Prescription would have been a good choice.

Thought I might enclose a pic of our cutie-patootie!


he has not learned the correct way and maybe pulled from the mother too early so he doesnt know much about his den and that he shouldnt deficate in it.
We got him at 14 weeks... he didn't always do this. It was about once every five weeks we would have poop in the crate, but the last two weeks, it has been every other night, and now moving to every night...
 

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We got him at 14 weeks... he didn't always do this. It was about once every five weeks we would have poop in the crate, but the last two weeks, it has been every other night, and now moving to every night...
Oh ok. Just seems weird to have this issue with all the steps you have done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We're two nights poop FREE! YAHOOOO!!!

I have noticed his stool production is much less. He poops about three times a day (not as much when he goes) instead of five to six.

He also seems to prefer the Hill's Prescription Diet i/d over the Iams Puppy. He picked it out this morning and left the Iams.

I know some have said that is not as good a food, but it seems to be working for now. I don't think I'm going to mess with a good thing -- at least so his system can calm down.

We are a much happier household! :)
 

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What a beautiful dog! I feel you're pain my 9mnth old pup will pee in her crate if I leave a nice absorbent blankie in there for her! It's so hard to leave her without something soft to lay on at night but...... I've also had to prematurely take away her 2nd and third feedings very early she was very difficult to train also no water after six have seemed to help. I'm sure she will come around good luck:)
 

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What a beautiful dog! I feel you're pain my 9mnth old pup will pee in her crate if I leave a nice absorbent blankie in there for her! It's so hard to leave her without something soft to lay on at night but...... I've also had to prematurely take away her 2nd and third feedings very early she was very difficult to train also no water after six have seemed to help. I'm sure she will come around good luck:)
is this true that if you feed earlier in the evening that they will have to go potty less during the night? because my puppy won't want to relax and fall asleep without something warm in her belly. but then she wants out a bunch during the night. and she's on prednisone right now so she wants to eat and drink more which makes her go potty more. :confused:
 

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is this true that if you feed earlier in the evening that they will have to go potty less during the night? because my puppy won't want to relax and fall asleep without something warm in her belly. but then she wants out a bunch during the night. and she's on prednisone right now so she wants to eat and drink more which makes her go potty more. :confused:
My first answer would have been:
My suggestion would be a fixed eating and drinking schedule. They will learn to consume what they can and it also makes you the alpha by controlling their food. You will have to take it away at night until it gets older and can control it's bladder.

However, after looking up prednisone, I think you should talk to the vet and find out what is best for your puppy.
 

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We had problems with our dog also. He used to pee or poop inside of our house all the time when left alone. Both my husband and I work a lot and had no time to take our Pringles to dog training classes. We asked one friend who works in foster care (he is always surrounded by dogs) what we should do. He has recommended me this http://bit.ly/1Tm6XWg online dog trainer. . It's cheap but it delivered the needed result, we are not ashamed to invite some guests over anymore.
 
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