6 month old pooping in crate

Discussion in 'Bernese Mountain Dog Training Forum' started by Bailey, May 3, 2016.

  1. Bailey

    Bailey New Member

    Hi - I am baffled at my 6 month old's overnight behavior and want to know if anyone has any suggestions as to what I should do.

    My puppy has been crate trained and is quite happy to go into her crate and she has been sleeping through the night since she was 16 weeks old. She used to bark/whine if she needed to go out and we would promptly, always attend to her needs. The past few weeks she has had accidents overnight but has not barked or whined to let us know she needed to go out. She just poops then scratches at the tray in the crate. The scratching wakes us up and then we see the mess and deal with it. This has happened at least 4 times and usually around 3 AM.

    She eats about 2 cups twice a day at 7 AM and 7 PM. Her stools are fine, she is in good health and she gets plenty of exercise/walks during the day and is not crated during the day very much at all. Her last potty break before bed is at around 11:30 PM and she used to make it through until 6 AM.

    We tried making her crate smaller and feeding her in her crate, but still, the night-time poops keep happening. We also tried taking her out at 2:00 AM last night but she wouldn't budge from the crate (she wanted to sleep) and then had the accident at 3 AM.

    Should I feed her more in the AM and then just a small meal before bed? I am also considering keeping her out of the crate overnight so she can "ring" the bell at the back door as she is trained to ring the bell during the day, but I am not comfortable about her loose in the house or even closed off in our mudroom (safest place). Plus, like I mentioned, she seems to like her crate and I always planned to keep her there until she was finished teething.

    I am baffled and don't know what to do. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. summersnowbr

    summersnowbr Active Member

    You should possibly have your vet check your puppy out to rule out a possible physical problem. It's very unusual for a dog to soil the place where one sleeps. If it's sick, or has a digestive problem, it may not be able to help itself. At 6 months, your puppy should be completely housebroken, so maybe it is a medical issue and not a behavioral issue. If the vet says everything is okay I would make its sleep area smaller and see if it stops. Or if it always seems to do it at 3:00am get up about 2:45am and take your puppy out to see it that helps.
  3. Bailey

    Bailey New Member

    Thanks. I did make the crate smaller and even fed her meals in the crate. Her poop was checked by the vet and she was fine. The vet suggested I feed her less at night, so we are back to 3 feedings a day temporarily. I am feeding on a 3-2-1 ratio: biggest meal in the AM, followed by a moderate lunch and a small dinner. This has worked for the last 2 nights (no poop in crate! Yay!!!) so maybe she just couldn't eat as much in the evening. Still doesn't solve the puzzle as to WHY she was all of a sudden having an issue (she has been on 2 meals for over 2 months) and WHY she is not barking/whining to let me know she needs to "go" but I am attributing that to the fact that she is still very much a baby. Who knows. I wish she could talk! LOL.

    Our trainer feeds her dogs at 7 AM and then at 4 PM. Eventually, I will get Bailey back to 2 meals a day and will probably do her latest meal at 4 PM and not 7 PM.

    Sounds like a bit of trial and error but at least perhaps my story will help someone else with similar issues.

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