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Hi there,
I am a first-time dog owner of a 6 month old boxer/lab mix puppy. He is house trained in the sense that he will not go to the bathroom in the house and sleeps 8-10+ hours through the night without going potty. Usually, there is someone home with him during the day while I am at my 9-5 job, however the last couple of weeks we have been trying to crate train him as no one has been home.

For the first few days, he was doing good - no pee or poop in the crate. Then - feeling sorry for leaving him home alone so much - I got him enrolled in doggy day care. I brought him to day care for two days in a row, then had him back in the crate for a day. When I had him back in the crate, I came home to poop and pee in the crate. I felt SO awful that he had been sitting in his own feces for hours, that I was brought to tears. Since then, he has peed in the crate twice. I have stopped putting blankets/pillows down, because I've had to wash so many.

I have done extensive research on how to crate train and have been following all directions. Such as, allowing him to enter the crate on his own, giving him special treats and tons of praise when going in the crate, and easing into the amount of time he's been in there. What am I doing wrong?

If someone could please assist me, I'd REALLY appreciate any input!

Thank you.
-Brooke
 

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Hi. When my dog was a pup, he was great about not going in the house but started to poop in his crate after being left home while we went to work. I was told to only give them enough room to turn around/lay down. If there is a divider in your crate, make it small. They won't want to poop in their space... My dog didn't want to poop in his kennel and would go THROUGH the wires! lol it was such a pain... Besides them just growing up and realizing not to poop in the kennel and maybe making it a smaller area, I don't have many suggestions. My dog just quit doing it eventually. Potty training can be tough. Good luck.
 

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Yup, provided you're not setting the dog up for failure by asking him to be in there too long (and it doesn't sound like you are), the issue is almost always that he simply has too much space. People, more often than not, get a crate that is too big.
 

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It sounds to me like it is not an error in the strategy of crate training, but that he just simply has to go after that amount of time. I have read that a puppy ideally should be fine alone for one hour longer than the number of months old they are, so if he's six months, he should be good for seven hours. (Even that seems like a long time to me.)

I know I don't go eight hours without going either #1 or 2, so it's not surprising a puppy doesn't either. So, I think he's going in his crate not because of some error in crate training, but just because he cannot hold it that long. If you are working from 9 to 5, it must be over eight hours that he is in the crate.
 
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