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So my dog is about 4 years old. When I got him as a puppy I started crate training him but he ended up getting parvo (long story) and so I got really scared of losing him and overcompensated by spoiling him and letting him sleep in my bed. Now circumstances have changed where he needs to be sleeping in the crate at night. These circumstances are that he's constantly eliminating all over the house at night. This has always been a thing but it's gotten progressively worse with age. What used to be a like, once a week thing is now daily. He won't do it during the day and only at night. I don't feed/water him past 6. I take him out before I got to bed at 10. He doesn't even attempt to let me know he needs to go. Just walks over to a spot and does his business and goes back to bed. I've got to confine him somehow during the night because my carpet (and my sanity) can't take anymore. I do clean the spots thoroughly with proper cleaners. It's not just one area. It's just wherever he feels like it.

Anyway, I started out by just leaving the crate open and around just there to get him used to it. Then I started putting his food dish in there. But he's like terrified of it. He'll go in to eat but only if I'm not in the same room. If I try to encourage him into the crate to have a great treat (turkey) he immediately goes submissive. Tail between his legs, body hunched down low, peeing as he slowly slinks away. I have NO idea why he's doing this. I mean, the behavior isn't unusual for him (he does this in other situations too) but in this case I don't understand why. I've had him since he was 8 weeks old so I know it's not past trauma. But this training attempt has all been over the course of about 2 weeks and there's been no change in these behaviors. How can I make any progress if I can't even get him to come near the crate when I'm around?
 

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it's unusual for a 4 year old dog who is house trained to suddenly start defecating/relieving in the house.

My first impulse would be to suspect that there is a medical issue at play that you might not be aware of. Take him to the vet before doing anything else.

As for crate training an older dog, you're probably going too fast (taking steps that are too big). Without seeing *how* you are doing this, it's hard to say much more than that.
 

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Well he didn't just start doing this. He's always had 'accidents' at night but it was mostly only like once a week and so, while annoying, wasn't a huge issue. But he's been doing it more and more lately so now it's nightly. He has seen a vet and there's no medical issue that's been able to be found at least. He's a small breed dog so that doesn't help.

As far as what I'm doing, I left the crate open and just there for about five days. Then I began putting his food dish in there. Went ok but like I said, won't eat if I'm in sight. That's when I tried to encourage him into the crate while I was near it with the treats. I tried dropping it just outside the crate and he'd take it but the moment I put it in the crate, cue the cowering. He's just...such a weird dog. I've never had a dog that is so fearful over...seemingly nothing.
 
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