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By billyen
November 30, 2008 8:43 AM

My 8 month Lab was very good with her crate manners, and for a few months had no accidents. (She is crated at night and spends the day outdoors where she has a very large yard to run around in.) She likes her crate and seems eager to go into it at night. Lately she has forgotten all her training, and poops several times a week at night in her crate. I've tried everything: made the space smaller so she can't get away from her mess, I take her out at night before bedtime, and she does her elimination before bed, I don't feed her late in the day, I'm not over feeding her. She is a happy dog who gets a daily walk of 30 minutes to an hour, and she socializes very well with dogs and people. Sometimes she will even poop in the morning while I'm taking her from crate to the outside door. Her droppings are firm, she doesn't seem to have diarrhea. She never gets hit as punishment, and I only scold her if I catch her in the act. I've talked with my vet and with the teacher at the dogie kindergarten class where I took her - no solutions that worked yet. One interesting fact is that she doesn't seem to have the same problem with peeing - she doesn't pee indoors.
PLEASE HELP, I NEED SOME GOOD SUGGESTIONS!
 

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How many hours is the dog crated at night? A dog that poops while being led out the door is desparate to go... I assume when you go to her crate to let her out you immediately put a lead on her and hurry her out the door.. no stopping.

When she poops in the appropriate place do you reward her with food and praise and treat her like she just produced a pile of solid gold? That is very important. You need to be present EVERY TIME she poops and feed her several small treats and praise her.. and don't worry.. the neighbors already KNOW you are crazy.. :)

When do you walk her? I suggest you feed her in the morning AFTER she has pooped and again in the afternoon no later than 5:00PM. Take her out for a good LONG walk and play with her about 1 hour after she eats. When I mean a good long walk.. I mean out for an hour... at least. Before going to bed, take her out again.. be WITH her and don't forget the copious happy high voice kind of praise when she goes (this goes for pee too, FWIW).

I also suggest you get up in the morning and walk her at least 1/2 hour.. and yup.. in the dark with a flash light. I do it every day (nights too). It is highly inconvenient but dogs are not always convenient. LOL

Be sure to have a set schedule for this dog.. both the feeding and the poop/pee walks. You need to be punctual and your neighbors need to be able to set their watches by when you walk your dog.

Does anyone interact with her during the day? Is she brought in at all during the day? Who plays with her during the day? A dog outside all day in MA in the winter in a yard is not acceptable. It is too cold this time of year, unless she has access to a heated indoor area.

When she is in during the evening when you are home, she is inside with you, right? You play with her and give her lots of attention? I only say this because it never ceases to amaze me the number of people who crate their dog every minute it is indoors. I am not saying you do.. just mentioning it in case you do.

I would say for this dog to soil her crate she is telling you something and that something is she is REALLY desparate to go.
 

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Elana55, Thank you for your reply. I see it's important to be very encouraging when she does it right, I'll do more of that.
In my situation, it's hard to do the walks at the same time each day....but I do get her out every day.
During the day, again it's not the same every day, but she comes inside for awhile with me and not in the crate, she's allowed to be in "her corner" and play with her toys. And I allow her to wander around a bit when I'm supervising her.
 

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With her being outside more during the day than at night, I would feed more of her ration to her in the morning, and a smaller meal at night.

In my case, my dog is crated during the day. I used to feed once a day at night, but now I feed 1/3rd of her food in the morning after her walk then feed the larger meal at night when I am around.

The schedule is VERY important. If your schedule is not regular, can you get someone to come in and walk the dog to insure she has a schedule? Just an idea.
 
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