Top Crate Training Tips to Prevent Your Puppy from Pooping Indoors

You’re smitten by your adorable new puppy, but not so much with the little surprises they’re leaving around the house. It’s a common issue faced by many new pet parents. But don’t worry, you’re not alone and there’s a solution to this messy problem.

House training your puppy doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With patience, consistency, and the right techniques, you can teach your puppy where they should be doing their business. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps you need to take to stop your puppy from pooping in the house.

So, let’s dive in and start turning those accidents into a thing of the past. Because let’s face it, life with your furry friend should be filled with cuddles and playtime, not constant clean-ups.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand the root cause of your puppy pooping indoors. It could be due to stress, health issues, poor diet, or lack of adequate potty breaks.
  • Establish a consistent daily routine for your puppy, including timed feeding, playtime, and regular potty breaks to help control their digestion and bladder.
  • Implement positive reinforcement strategies by rewarding your puppy with praise, treats, or playtime when they do their business outside. Never punish them for indoor accidents, instead wipe them up calmly without drama.
  • Close supervision of your puppy can help you interpret signs they are about to poop indoors. Swiftly and calmly take them outside to their designated potty area. Consistency in reaction to accidents indoors will help your puppy understand where they should relieve themselves.
  • Implementing crate training can aid house training your puppy. Ensure the crate is a comfortable size for your puppy, and never use it as punishment. Regular bathroom breaks based on puppy’s age should be scheduled to help develop regularity in their bathroom habits.
  • Patience and consistency are key throughout the house training journey. Even though there might be occasional mishaps, each day can be a learning opportunity to cultivate better habits in your puppy.

Understand the Cause of the Issue

To effectively end the cycle of your furry friend pooping inside, you first need to understand the root cause. Recognizing ‘why’ is pivotal before progressing to ‘how to stop’.
There could be several underlying reasons disrupting your pup’s bathroom habits.

Stress or Anxiety

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from stress and anxiety too. A new environment, changes in your home, or absence of a beloved family member might cause your puppy anxiety. If your pup is pooping inside, it might be a sign of their unsettled nerves.


Health issues can also prompt your puppy to poop indoors. Intestinal parasites, diarrhea, or other severe health conditions might be provoking this unwanted behavior.

Poor Diet

Just as in humans, diet plays a significant role in a puppy’s digestion and bowel movements. A poor or inconsistent diet can cause issues, leading your puppy to relieve itself indoors.

Not Enough Potty Breaks

Puppies are similar to small kids; their bladders aren’t fully developed, meaning they need frequent potty breaks. If you’re not providing enough opportunities for your pup to head outdoors, there’s a greater chance you’ll find unpleasant surprises waiting for you at home.

To address these issues, consider seeking professional advice if you suspect health or diet-related concerns. For stress or anxiety, a calm environment and comforting routine can work wonders. With the problem defined, you’re ready to move forward with effective solutions. Remember, your little buddy is counting on you for support.

Establish a Consistent Routine

Developing a consistent routine can be your best defense against your puppy’s indoor accidents. Dogs thrive when they follow a familiar routine. Once your puppy is accustomed to a routine, they begin to understand what is expected of them and when.

Start off by establishing fixed times for potty breaks, meals, playtime, and bedtime. Consistency is key here. By feeding your puppy and taking them out for potty breaks at specific intervals each day, you’re helping regulate their digestion and bladder control.

However, puppies have smaller bladders and high metabolisms, requiring more frequent trips outside. It’s recommended to take your puppy out:

  • First thing in the morning
  • After a meal
  • After playtime
  • After waking up from a nap
  • Before bed

That’s not all. Routine extends beyond just feeding and potty breaks. Include playtime, training sessions, and walks in your daily routine as well. The more structured your puppy’s day is, the less likely they are to have accidents indoors.

However, keep in mind that things may not always go as planned. Your puppy can still have accidents despite your best attempts at scheduling. It’s important to remain patient and flexible. Adjust the routine as needed and remember, every puppy is unique!

Some may take longer to understand the schedule and still poop indoors occasionally. Don’t fret, that’s part of the learning curve. Understand and anticipate their needs, and with time, you’ll notice a significant decline in indoor accidents.

Remember that your puppy’s health and comfort should always be the priority. If you notice any behavior that seems unusual or any signs of distress, never hesitate to seek professional help. Puppies are resilient but they count on you for their well-being.

In a way, establishing a consistent routine is not only helpful for housetraining your puppy but also for building a stronger bond between the both of you. Keep these points in mind, and you’ll gradually help your puppy adjust to indoor living with minimal mishaps.

Use Positive Reinforcement

If you’re in the process of housetraining your puppy, positive reinforcement plays an essential role. The concept is straightforward. Reward your puppy for good behavior, and they’ll be more likely to repeat it.

On the flip side, it’s equally vital not to punish your puppy for accidents. Remember, they don’t understand the rules yet, and punishment would only lead to fear and confusion. Instead, wipe up accidents calmly and without drama. Keep in mind that mistakes are an inevitable part of the learning process.

So, what does positive reinforcement look like?

  • Praise and attention: When your puppy does their business outside, make a fuss. Give them plenty of praise and pats.
  • Treat rewards: Also, consider giving treats as a reward immediately after they’ve finished their business.
  • Playtime: Another way to reinforce good behavior is playtime. Once they’ve done the deed where they’re supposed to, a few minutes of playtime will show them they’ve done a good job.

Little gestures like these relay a clear message to your precious pooch. They begin to understand that going outside is a positive experience and – importantly – that they’re more likely to get treats and playtime.

With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, your little furry friend will learn the ropes in no time. It may take a few weeks or even months, but eventually, they’ll start to associate outside with toilet time, and inside accidents will significantly reduce.

Keeping up with your established routine for meals, playtime, and potty breaks will complement your positive reinforcement efforts. This dual approach provides your puppy with the structure they need to succeed. While accidents may still happen from time to time, these moments are great opportunities for learning and progressing.

Supervise and Redirect

Vigilance is key in preventing accidents. Close supervision of your puppy helps you spot the telltale signs they’re about to relieve themselves indoors. Common indicators include pacing, circling, sniffing the floor, and trying to sneak off to a quiet corner. When you notice these signs, it’s time to act swiftly.

Acting swiftly does not mean reacting in a rush. Stay calm, pick your puppy up gently, and carry them outside. It’s important to avoid alarming your pup, as this could make them fearful of toileting altogether.

Once outdoors, guide your puppy to their designated potty area. This reinforces where it’s acceptable for them to relieve themselves.

Another effective tool in your training toolbox is redirecting your puppy’s attention. Whenever you catch your puppy mid-accident indoors, utter a firm but gentle “no” and carry them outside. Celebrate their victories with praise, treats, and playtime when they do poop outside.

Pro-tip: Consistency has immense payoff. The more consistent you are in your response to indoor accidents, the clearer it will be for your puppy where they should do their business.

Creating a Bathroom Schedule

To promote regular, predictable bathroom breaks, it’s wise to establish a bathroom schedule. An average rule of thumb is that puppies can hold their bladder for one hour per month of their age plus one. So, a three-month-old pup could potentially hold it for about four hours. Make use of this guideline to set a routine that syncs with your pup’s natural biology.

Using these techniques, you’re on your way to training a puppy that knows where to go, and importantly, where not to. As you progress, remember that patience is a vital component of this process. Journeys like these are filled with mishaps and surprises. Utilize these moments as learning opportunities to help your puppy develop better habits.

Implement Crate Training

Another excellent tactic is to Implement Crate Training. A popular and highly effective method, crate training encourages puppies to view their crate as their own personal den – a place where they feel safe and secure. Since animals naturally avoid soiling their sleeping areas, you’ll find that crate training can facilitate quicker house training.

When choosing a crate, ensure it’s just large enough for your pup to stand, turn, and lay down comfortably. A crate that’s too large may lead your puppy to designate a corner for bathroom use. Optimizing the size eliminates this possibility.

An important aspect of crate training is never to use the crate as punishment. It should always be a safe and welcoming space for your puppy. So, when you’re not home or unable to supervise your puppy, the crate acts as a comfortable, safe space rather than a confinement.

Schedule regular breaks for your puppy to relieve themselves outside. Table below provides a general guideline based on age:

Puppy’s AgeFrequency of bathroom breaks
8 weeksEvery 2 hours
3 monthsEvery 3 hours
4 monthsEvery 4 hours
6+ monthsEvery 5 hours

Developing a schedule around these time frames can help your puppy develop control and regularity in their bathroom habits. It’s a win-win for both of you.

Remember, patience and consistency are vitally important in crate training strategy. It won’t happen overnight, but your consistent behavior and gentle encouragement will guide your pup towards the desired behavior in no time. You’re shaping lifelong habits in your puppy, so stick to the rules and watch your pup become a well-trained companion. Despite the occasional accident, keep in mind that your puppy is still learning, and these are all part of the process. Each day is a new day in this exciting puppy house training journey.


So, you’ve got the tools and tips to tackle this challenge head-on. Remember, crate training is your best bet for teaching your pup where not to poop. Make sure the crate feels like a safe, welcoming space—not a punishment zone. Keep those bathroom breaks regular and adjust them to your puppy’s age for a smooth process. But above all, patience and consistency are your strongest allies. It’s a gradual process, and there’s no need to fret over a few accidents. They’re simply stepping stones on your pup’s journey to becoming house trained. Now, you’re ready to turn those puppy messes into a thing of the past. Happy training!

What is crate training?

Crate training is a method of house training puppies by encouraging them to see the crate as their safe space or den. It helps in shaping their lifelong habits and accelerates learning.

Why use crate training for puppies?

Crate training is effective for house training puppies as it manipulates their natural instinct to avoid soiling their sleeping areas, ensuring quicker and effective house training.

How to choose a crate for training?

The crate should be appropriately sized. It should be large enough for the puppy to stand, turn around, and lay down comfortably. But not so large that they could soil one end and sleep in the other.

Should I use a crate as punishment?

Never use the crate as a form of punishment. The intent of crate training is to make it a safe, comfortable space for the puppy that they associate with positive experiences.

What frequency of bathroom breaks is recommended in crate training?

Regular bathroom breaks should be based on the puppy’s age. Generally, a puppy can control their bladder one hour for every month of age.

What should be my mindset when crate training my puppy?

Approach crate training with patience and consistency. It’s a gradual process with occasional accidents along the way—it’s all part of the puppy’s learning journey.