When we picked up our Bichon Frise pup, he had lived in a crate of shredded paper. They used it as the toilet area for the puppies. This has made it that my dog does not stick to the crate rule of not soiling where he sleeps. My dog becomes very distressed when in the crate, or shut away in an area, and will soil and wet all over his bed. He whines and howls terribly and I'm worried my neighbours will complain. Due to this reason, he has the run of our downstairs.

We have puppy pads laid down and hard flooring throughout, but he still goes on the floor. If I catch him, I tell him "no". I have a large garden and I take him out every hour to go to the toilet and praise and reward him when he does. I have tried several different approaches and nothing is working.

  • 2
    We have two questions (with answers) that I think are relevant. Here's one: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/1793/… and here's two: pets.stackexchange.com/questions/1276/…
    – Spidercat
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 14:59
  • How old is the puppy ? Did you notice a positive evolution ?
    – Cedric H.
    Commented Feb 21, 2014 at 10:19
  • Also, what do you use to clean up after him? Bleach and other ammonia-based cleaners (read: most household cleaners) smell exactly the same as pee to a dog, so he's more likely to go there again as it still smells the same. There are special cleaning products for dog and cat urine that will also get rid of the smell.
    – ThomasH
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 1:56
  • He is 13 weeks old. I use detol spray but he rarely chooses the same place. I only put the pads down during the night so he doesn't get used to them being down all the time. Some days he's quite good. We have a dog flap and he will go out by himself and hes been whilst going out on his own! Its just 9 times out of 10 its indoors. I spend most of my day taking him out or following him around to see if he starts sniffing the floor. I expected this when we got him but was hoping to crate train him but he just uses his crate as a toilet! At night his pads are down but he still goes in the crate!
    – user822
    Commented Feb 24, 2014 at 15:17

1 Answer 1


I think that you might want to give up on the crate, at least for a little while. If he whines and howls when he is in the crate, he is not happy in there. The point of putting a dog in a crate is that they go to their crate to feel safe.

Don't leave your dog in the crate too long. A dog that’s crated day and night doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a doggie daycare facility to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day.


Limiting his time in a crate may help him stop associating his crate with a bathroom. The source I used has step-by-step instructions on how to crate train a dog. I'm not saying you messed up, but perhaps you may have been over eager and gone too fast for your dog. There may also be another reason your dog is whining.

Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.

If the whining continues after you've ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.


Perhaps starting over with the crate training will help your dog and you solve this problem.

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