If you're constantly coming home to find a smelly surprise in your puppy's kennel, don't ignore it, because a bigger problem might be to blame. Although kennels are often used to housebreak puppies, there can be many reasons why your pet companion does his business right then and there -- medical conditions, lengthy confinement and incorrect kennel size can all be to blame. With some small adjustments and a healthy dose of patience and determination, you can have a housebroken pup in no time.
Check that the size of your pup's kennel is correct. He should be able to lie down, turn around and stand up in the kennel. Avoid using a kennel that's too big, because he might poop on one end and sleep on the other. If you do have a large kennel, use a piece of plywood or thick cardboard to partition it and make it smaller. When you use a kennel that's the correct size, your dog won't want to poop in it, because dogs dislike messing up areas they sleep and eat in.
Create a routine for your puppy so he takes walks, sleeps, plays and eats at the same times every day. A set schedule makes it easier to predict when he needs to go potty. Always walk him first thing in the morning, after playing, after meals and before and after confinement.
Clean your pet companion's crate with an enzymatic cleanser to fully eliminate the scent of his poop. If your pup can smell his own feces, it might motivate him to poop in the same location again.
Determine how long you can realistically confine your pup and avoid going over this time limit. Use his age in months as a guide -- a 2-month-old pup can be confined for no more than two hours; a 3-month-old puppy can be confined for a maximum of three hours. If you're not able to come home, have a friendly neighbor walk your pup to avoid accidents.
Clap your hands or stomp your feet if you catch your puppy squatting and about to soil his kennel. This will stop him in his tracks and gives you a chance to take him to his outdoor potty area. Once there, tell him to "go potty." After he finishes going potty, throw a little party for your pet companion. Hug him and give him treats immediately so he associates eliminating in this location with getting lots of attention. It'll motivate him to repeat the behavior.
If your pet companion keeps defecating in his kennel, bring him to a veterinarian to rule out medical conditions that might trigger the behavior.
Avoid yelling at your puppy or pushing his nose in the mess he made -- reprimanding him after the fact is confusing and might only make him fear you.
Items You Will Need
- Plywood or thick cardboard
- Enzymatic cleanser
- Dog treats
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