Over the last 6 months we have been crate training our dog. The crate is the perfect size for him. Just over the last month, he has started barking almost the entire night. He has also recently started to pee a little in the back of the crate. He did fine for so long, but now it seems like a total regression. It is so hard to be happy with a dog that barks all night and pees himself. Please, does anybody have a solution?

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  1. Amy V

    You might want to consider taking him to the vet and testing for a urinary tract infection.
    Once any health problems have been ruled out… You could try withholding food & water after, say, 8 pm. (Hey, if I drink a glass of water before bed I have to get up and pee in the night, too!) This may seem obvious, but make sure you let him out right before crating him in the night.
    As far as the barking goes… Make sure you don’t go running to him every time he barks, or you will only teach him that barking gets him what he wants! Also, some dogs like blankets in their crate and some don’t. I don’t know if that’s why he’s barking but it’s worth a shot.
    The type of crate might make a difference too. Our Schipperke had a little plastic crate that she couldn’t see out of very well and would whine in the night. We started putting her in an all-metal crate – the kind with the bars, that she can see out of – and it made all the difference in the world.
    Last but not least, if the dog is lonely, you might want to think about putting the crate right in your bedroom. You didn’t say how old the dog is, but regardless of age you might want to try these suggestions.
    I really hope this helps… it sucks not getting any sleep at night!

  2. crazydeb

    I was gonna ask the same thing as DP…. do you watch to make sure he pees before you bring him in… my dog used to go out and play for a long time, and not pee… don’t let him in unless you are sure he did…
    don’t go to him when he cries, it teaches them to cry, and make sure the crate is like a home… bed, a safe toy or 2 (ensure the crate is not too big, they will pee in it if it is)…. and make sure there is nothing scaring him, like sounds or other anything….
    my dog did this for a little until she learned not to…. it can take a little while, make sure you clean the crate also with not just cleaning solutions, but specific things to get rid of the scent they may look for that ammonia or bleach can not get rid of… like hormones….
    now if all this does not help…. he could be sick… but remember, he is still kinda young…. it takes time.

  3. animal_a

    Have you taken him to the vet? It is possible he has a bladder infection or some other medical issue going on.
    Also… one of the things everyone should know about crate training is NEVER respond when the dog makes a fuss. From the dog’s point of view any attention (even yelling) is better than no attention.
    I work with a group of friends.. we trade off young dogs for a week or two and call it “going to camp” where they learn a few social skills (I’m known for teaching them basic manners). You may want to consider a weekend sending him to a friend’s or a kennel and then bringing him home with a renewed emphasis on training… as well as a plan.

  4. gringo45

    Is he locked in his crate for a large part of each day as well? Do you use the crate to punish him? Does he get taken out and you wait for him to do his duty before he is locked in the crate for the night? Is he in your room or in another part of the house all alone?
    All of these or any combination could be contributing to his unhappiness at being locked in the crate.
    Feed him in his crate with the door open. Give him his treats in the crate, with the door open. If his crate is not in your room, try putting it there where he can see you.
    Without more information, this is about all I can offer.

  5. American

    He’s probably upset because he’s locked up all alone! Dogs are pack animals and they need to be with their packs to be happy. I really don’t think there is much you can do to get your pup to be okay with being isolated from his pack at night, that can’t be a pleasant thing for him. I bet that’s causing him a lot of stress, which isn’t good.
    My husband and I own three APBTs, they all sleep in their crates at night and we have all three of their crates in our room beside our bed. Of course they did wine a little bit when we were first getting each of them used to their crates, but we just ignored them and it only lasted for a couple nights, we haven’t had a problem since then. They are in their crates, but they are still with their pack, so they aren’t alone. Now our dogs all love their crates and all we have to do is say “go to your crate” or “go home” and they happily run right to their crates, but if we put their crates in a different room, we have to drag them into their crates and listen to them bark all night long! My husband has horrible allergies to almost everything! He cannot breathe if there’s any kind of dust, pollen, etc around, so we did try to put the dogs crates in a different room one night, but as I said before, it did not work. Now we put a towel or blanket over their crates at night to help keep their fur in the crate as much as possible, I vacuum and dust in the bedroom every day and we have one of those air purifiers in our room that we keep on almost all of the time, and my husband has been a lot more comfortable lately! I also clean out their crates completely once or twice a week to keep fur from building up in them.
    As far as your dog going potty in his crate, that’s a little weired. Dogs normally won’t soil their crates because that’s like their den. If the crate is the correct size for your dog he shouldn’t have room to go potty “in the back of his crate”. Again, their crates are like their dens, dogs are den animals and their crates are supposed to be small like a den. They should have enough room to stand up and turn around comfortably, but no more room than that really. If his crate is really the right size, he’s probably going potty in his crate because he is so upset that he’s alone. A lot of dogs have bad separation anxiety and they will chew things up that they normally wouldn’t even think of messing with and a house broken dog will go potty all over the place. Our dogs are all wonderful, well behaved dogs. They are house broken and well trained, but they have really, really bad separation anxiety, so if we leave them home alone even for a few minutes they go nuts! If we go somewhere we have to put them in their crates for their own safety and our sanity! lol!
    If there is no way you can put your dog’s crate in the bedroom so he won’t be alone at night, I would suggest that you work with him to try to lessen the separation anxiety. You would need to put him up in his crate and leave, then come back and let him out in a couple minutes. Do that again and again, and each time stay gone for a bit longer. You will have to do this many, many times and you will need to work with him on this a little bit everyday for a while. This helps to show him that you aren’t abandoning him when you leave, it will help to show him you will be coming back for him. Also, do not make it a big deal when you put him up in his crate or when you let him out of his crate. I would also suggest that you give him a treat every time you put him in his crate to reinforce that his crate is a good place.
    Hope this helps some! Good luck! : )

  6. mama woof

    I agree with help. If you don’t want the dog to sleep with you then put it out before bed and kennel it at bedtime in a back bedroom where you can’t hear him so loudly.
    The easiest (and probably laziest) answer is to just let him sleep with you. They don’t pee on their beds, so he will be fine until he wakes you to go out in the early morning hours.

  7. Jennifer

    I don’t agree 100% with the whole crate/den thing. Dogs are pack animals, your family is their pack and your home is their den. They get to a certain age where they need to “grow up,” get out of the crate (it’s not a permanent end table), be a real part of the family, especially at night time (dogs/packs sleep together) and become responsible dogs. Be a big boy now, no chewing, peeing, jumping on furniture, stealing or begging for food. That all won’t happen in a crate. Of course, all depends on breed of dog, as some can be quite destructive for a long time, and you don’t want expensive furniture chewed up . . . It sounds like your dog might be ready to “grow up.”

  8. Help

    If your dog is 6 months old,you should let it out before bedtime to potty and put back in kennel,as most dogs love the security that a kennel cab gives them when it is time to sleep.

  9. Shadow's Melon

    Okay, the first thing you need to do is to see a vet to ensure there is not an underlying medical issue, like a urinary tract infection. If a dog has done so well and then suddenly goes downhill, especially going potty in his crate, I would seriously think that this is part of the problem. When he barks at nite and you take him out, does he go potty immediately outside? If he’s ill from something like a UTI, he can’t help it if he has to go more often.
    There are other things to do with a dog that is simply demanding to come out of a crate, but I don’t feel it’s appropriate to give details of something to take care of that since the dog is having accidents inside the crate. Other methods won’t stop him from having the accidents in the crate and that really does indicate there is likely something medically wrong here.

  10. Tara

    Maybe he really has to go out. Our German Shepherd did the same thing one night….(well, she didn’t pee in her cage, but here’s what happned…) She had been fine in her cage for a couple weeks, then one night, she just started howling… for like an hour. So we finally went down and let her out. She ran into the yard, peed, then went back into her cage and went right to sleep. She had to pee. Maybe he has to pee, and that’s why he’s barking and when he can’t hold it, he pees in the cage. Try picking up his water 2 hours before bedtime, and making sure he goes out right before he goes to bed. Try getting up and letting him out when he barks in the middle of the night. Send him out and see if he goes. Then put him right back to bed. I hope this works for you. Good luck ** The the guy above me- Dogs like crates. You like going to your bedroom, don’t you. It’s the same thing- it’s their space, they know they’re safe. It goes back to their natural instincts- it’s their den. That’s why dogs that don’t have crates, will sleep under chairs and tables- they feel safe

  11. DP

    When you let him out back to pee before bed, do you watch him to make sure he is actually peeing before he comes back in??

  12. jasong25

    Yea. Let him live outside of the box. How would you like being in jail when you did not do anything wrong.
    Crate training always sounded cruel to me. Sounds like the dog agrees.

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