My 12 1/2 yr old dog has started having bowel movements on her crate AND in the house on occasion. In her defense her sibling, who was euthanized due to multiple medical issues (1 month ago), had been doing the same thing for about 1 year before he was put down so I think this behaviour was learned from him.

She's always been a clean dog. I was hoping that after we let him go that she would stop the behaviour but she hasn't. I've reduced the size of her crate to give just enough room to stand and turn around (it would be cruel if I went any smaller with it). She'll also go in the house if she's not let outside every 3-4 hrs. This part I can deal with since I have someone home during the daytime while I'm at work. It's the pooping in the crate that is trying my patience. She doesn't do it every night, but at least 2-3 times per week.

I know how to train a dog. I've had many, but it seems nothing is working. She's going out before bedtime, etc. The only thing I haven't tried (which I just started today) was feeding her in the morning as opposed to suppertime. If this doesn't help I'll be at my wits end. Any other things you could suggest I try to break her of this nasty habit? She is healthy otherwise. She is on prednisone daily for a cough issue but other than that she has no other issues. Help!

1 Answer 1


I too, had a potty trained dog that suddenly started having issues, and lasted for a few years. It died some time later. The accidents were due to a medical issue that I never got checked out.

I think you need to take your dog to the vet. Dogs are very reluctant to poop in their crate, so it's very likely this isn't a discipline or training issue.

In the mean time, you need to take her out more often. You said accidents occur every 3-4 hours? Take her out every 2. Set a timer if you have to. You could also look into installing a doggie door, or even a temporary faux doggie door that sits on sliding glass tracks. I understand that most people are not at home all day, so on work days, look into taking her to a doggie day care (some are extremely affordable), or perhaps having a neighbor come over often, at home pet-sitting, or staying with a friend who is home.

  • Hi. Thx :-). No i said that i do have someone at home during the daytime so she is taken outside every 3-4 hrs. A doggy door is not an option. My home
    – Lisa
    Jul 31, 2015 at 0:50
  • Hmm that reply didnt seem to go thru. My home has all exterior storm doors so doggy door is not an option. Ironically i am a vet tech who works in a vet hosp. My dog has been checked out medically and this is deemed behavioural.. A learned habit from her sibling who became incontinent during his last year of life. At least if this was medical it could be treated which is why im so frustrated since going back to the basics isnt working. She is also currently on a herbal medication for Cognitive disorder but thats not helping either :-(
    – Lisa
    Jul 31, 2015 at 0:58
  • It takes a lot of time to train it back out and it eats at your patience! Try your best to get the smells out each time. I had a lot of luck with the 'treat room' technique
    – rlb.usa
    Jul 31, 2015 at 15:38
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    Given the dog's age, I would definitely check wit vet. It may be something correctable... or it may just be senescience, in which case you have to accept it and decide how you're going to handle the situation. I know someone whose elderly-and-incontinent cat spent its last year or two of life isolated from the parts of the house that had carpets; I know of another case where they simply decided that they were willing to live with this to give the old lady the best quality of life they could. Admittedly cat waste is less odorous than canine, as well as smaller quantities.
    – keshlam
    Aug 1, 2015 at 0:53

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