My dog ONLY goes to the bathroom in his crate?

About 3 weeks ago my husband and I got a 4 month old Bichon Frise/Maltese mix puppy. The breeder kept him in a single room in their house and never took him outside. He went to the bathroom on newspapers. My parents bought him and kept him at their house for 2 or 3 weeks until we could come get him. They started taking him outside and crate training. He would go to the bathroom outside after 15-20 minutes of sniffing around and NEVER went in his crate.

When we got him we continued crate training, he again NEVER went in his crate. The crate we have is the right size, just big enough for him to sit, stand and turn around in. He liked going in his crate and never barked or whined more than a few seconds. About a week after we got him he got really sick with vomiting and diarrhea. Before we realized he was really sick we left him in his crate a couple of times and he had accidents in the crate because he just really couldn’t help it. We took him to the vet and he’s back to full health BUT…

Now he will ONLY go to the bathroom in his crate. He absolutely will not go outside. He hasn’t since before he got sick and he’s not even having accidents on the floor anymore. For the last two weeks every time I come home or wake up I have to clean up a mess in the crate and on my dog. Last night I tested him by taking him out for five minutes and when he didn’t go bringing him in for 10 and repeated this three or more times. He wouldn’t go. I put him in the crate for bed. About 5 minutes later he started barking, whining and scratching frantically at the crate door. I went to check on him and he had pooped in his crate. Today I continued with the outside for 5 minutes, inside for 10 (with his leash still attached and ignoring him so he knows it’s not play time and taking him out to the same spot every time) and he didn’t go. I did this, only stopping for an hour and half to allow him time to eat and digest, from 8:30am until 12:00pm and he did not go to the bathroom. At 12 I finally decided to take a shower so I put him in his crate for 15 minutes. When I came back he had pooped and peed in his crate and was covered in it. This has been going on for nearly 2 weeks! I can’t take it anymore and I have NO idea how to break him of this. Today after he went in his crate I dumped the contents outside at the potty spot thinking maybe if he sees and smells the waste there he will begin to associate that spot outside with going to the bathroom, but I have no idea if this will work.

Again – he will literally ONLY go to the bathroom when he is put in his crate. He will hold it all day long and not go at all until the minute he is put in his crate. He also does not try to get into his crate during the day to go to the bathroom. Someone help me!!!

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2 Responses to “My dog ONLY goes to the bathroom in his crate?”

  1. jtodd.melody15 says:

    I have to agree, keep him out of the crate. I have a rescued boxer who is terrified of his crate. I would even try puppy pads to save your floors.

  2. JenVT says:

    im think the obvious answer here then, is don’t put him in a crate. Get an ex-pen and give hr a little space to be in. This is a common problem in puppy mill puppies because the only place they know is the crate. Give him longer outside and actually walk him for about 10-15 minutes. Once he understands he should go outside, worry about training him to a specific place. One step at a time.