Achieving Balance and Harmony

DOG CARE

Crate Soiling

Dear Cesar,

My husband and I have a male, 12 month old Cocker Spaniel/Pomeranian mix. We have been crate training him and he has virtually no problems at night.  But since we've been crating him during the day for the last 2 weeks, he ALWAYS soils the crate in some way.

It doesn't seem to matter whether there's bedding in there or not.

We both work far from home, and he's in his crate for 10-12 hours a day.  Our female, 4 year old Toy Rat Terrier does fine, and has for years.  Is our 12 month old still too young? How can we stop him from soiling his crate during the day?

Thanks,
Abi


Dear Abi,

A change like this can be very dramatic for any dog, especially a young dog. If you don’t slowly ease a dog into a new routine, he can react in unpredictable ways. Also, dogs are daytime animals, so they’re definitely going to pee more often during the day than they are at night. If you’re going to leave the dog in a crate during the day for 10 or 12 hours, you have to make sure that every 4 hours somebody comes and takes him out, then brings him back. Then eventually what you can do is extend those 4 hours to 6 hours, and then 8 hours, and so on until he gives you exactly the kind of behavior he was giving you before. But remember, it is his nature to be more active in the daytime. Just as he has to adapt to your new schedules, you need to be mindful of his!

Stay calm and assertive,

Cesar Millan

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