poops in cage

Posted by lkmoorthi
Dec 10, 2009

I brought home a 6 month purebreed Dobe few weeks back. Though we have a good progress on leash, sit, stay, come, we are not able to make him pee and poo in a designated place.

to give a background - we have a compund wall all around and we leave the pup free most of the time, since he enjoys to run around. We made a big cage for him (4x4x5) in front of our house. the moment he gets in the cage he poos. how can we change his thinking that this is the place to do his business? at night we need to put him in the cage and in the morning it is all a big mess!! We cleaned the cage thoroughly and deouderised and let him in only after it was completely dry and clean. Still he pooed inside the cage within a short time.

we adjusted his food timings to 7AM 12 Noon and 4 PM. he has a short walk outside in the morning and evening and rest of the day he is really free to roam around in the compund. he is very active and very playfull. we spend good time in the evenings playing with him and he enjoys that.

we took him to a corner of our cpompund and he pooed there after his meal couple of times. we wanted the cage only to confine him when it was needed. but the cage has become his toilet! we are at witts end not knowing what to do. Since i am away at work travelling for long periods of time, my wife and daugther tend to his needs.

any suggestions?

thanks in advance.

best regards
Posted by kjd
Dec 10, 2009
Hi, ikmourthi,

A crate should only be large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. When the proper size, he won't want to poop in it because he will then be living with his poop. Your kennel is entirely too big for that. There are several things you could do: Section off a much smaller area for him to sleep in. He doesn't need a huge amount of space for that -- in fact, he will feel more secure in a smaller area. Or get the proper size crate (a pet-store employee should be able to help you with that) and place it in his kennel. When you want to confine him at night, put him in the crate. I think you will find he chooses the crate to sleep in and continues to use the rest of the kennel as a toilet.

Let us know how it goes,
Posted by lkmoorthi
Dec 11, 2009
Thanks for your advice. I shall reduce the space and observe for a few days. Shall revert with my findings. I think this should work.

Posted by lkmoorthi
Dec 14, 2009
Hi kjd,

your advice is working. We reduced the spce in the cage and he has almost stopped peeing and pooping in the cage. In the last 5 days there has been only one instance of his peeing in the cage. Now he has started giving us signals when he wants to go to toilet and we take him to a designated area. Since he is always overjoyed when released from his cage, he does not go potty immediately and starts to play; hence we tether him near the designated area and observe from the back window. within few minutes he does his business and starts barking to let us know he is through and we go and release him.

Earlier he was most of the time free to raom around the house. Now we are keeping him in the cage in the nights and times other than his play time and training timings. In the evenings he happily mingles with us and we enjoy each others company. He made a big fuss initially for staying inside the cage and now has mellowed down. We painfully ignored his barking for attention, so that we could slowly increase the cage confinment duration. As it was mentioned in the book, the cage has to become his abode when we need.

I shall keep sharing my experience in this respect for the benifit of all.


Posted by kjd
Dec 15, 2009

I am so glad the smaller area worked. I thoroughly understand the "painfully ignored his barking" bit. We had a dog that used to bark in the night to get my father to come down and stay with her. My mother "painfully ignored" her barking for about 3 nights; then my father wanted to go down and quiet her. She responded "I've been up 3 nights and you are going to ruin it if you go down now!" He listened to her and that was the last night the dog barked for company.

When you take your dog to his toilet area, you might try holding the tether and ignoring him until he starts to use it -- then give him a toilet command and praise him when he is finished. When he realizes this is what he has to do before there is any playing, he might be quicker at going. Having a dog that will go on command can be very helpful. Suppose you are in a hurry and the dog hasn't been out in quite a while. You can let him out and give the command, doing in a few minutes what might normally take the dog 5 or 10 minutes.

Whether you do this or not, I am very pleased you have your dog's pooping under control. Cleaning up a mess first thing in the morning or when you first get home is not pleasant. Do keep sharing with us.