I have a Maltipoo, now 4 1/2 months old. I got her (from a breeder) when she was 9 weeks, and have been crate training. I take her out faithfully every 3 to 4 hours, and she does go outside. She sleeps from around 9pm until 6am when I take her out for the first time each day. I have her crate inside an ex pen in my kitchen, she spends most of her time either in the ex pen or outside with me, when I'm home. When I'm not home, she's in the crate. That worked just fine but the last few nights I have found Poop inside her crate. I know it's the right size....it's a metal one with a divider so it's not too big...she can turn around, stand up inside it. I make sure the poop is completely gone, then spray with Nature's Miracle to eliminate the odor. This evening for instance, I took her outside after her dinner and she peed and pooped outside, then a half hour later she actually went inside the crate whose door was open, and pooped again in there. In desperation, I removed the crate completely from the ex pen and she's sleeping in the ex pen now on her bed. I want to be able to still use the crate for times when I can't be here, but now I'm afraid she has associated the crate with "it's okay to poop in there", no matter the time of day, then comes out to the ex pen. Since she's still being house trained, she does not have the freedom of walking around the house, and also because she's a small, very hyper, excitable puppy and I have two (pre-existing) cats that I need to keep safe from her over exuberance. Any ideas as to why she suddenly has decided it's okay to poop in the crate?? And what can I do to stop it (short of temporarily removing it, which I have done)? Also my vet told me not to use the bed that was in the crate as she was chewing it and he said don't give her anything to sleep on that she tries to eat, that it's better to have nothing on the floor of the crate. For some reason, she doesn't chew the round bed in her ex pen so I've left that in there. Thanks in advance!