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Accidents are going to happen in the dog crate, especially with puppies that haven't been housebroken. So make sure you keep a clean, washable towel inside the dog crate on top of the dog's bed. When the puppy has an accident, clean it up as soon as possible. Clean the cage with a pet odor neutralizer (remember, if the dog smells its own waste odor, it will likely do it again in the same place). Then replace the towel with a fresh one. Do not use ammonia-based cleaning products ever, since the odor is similar to urine. Never punish the puppy for having an accident in the dog crate.
Older dogs and housebroken dogs are different. First, their natural tendency is to not want to go where they sleep. So any dog inside a dog crate is likely going to let you know when it needs to go. So if you're dog is locked inside a dog crate and is making noise, it probably means he needs to go. Pay attention and don't ever leave the dog in a dog crate without being in earshot for more than an hour or two. If an accident does happen more than very occasionally inside the dog crate with a housebroken or older dog, it means one of two things: Either you didn't pay enough attention to the dog's signals that it needed to go, or the dog is having a problem and needs to be checked by the vet.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|