The Facts of Life


My husband and I got our blue merle Border Collie two weeks ago. He is now 9.5 weeks old. However, after his mid-evening walk (8pm) and playtime, 30-45 minutes after being returned to the crate (during which time he is normally playing with a chew toy), he urinated in it. Currently we have him in a crate for a dog as big as 40 lbs with no cordoning off (i.e. he has the full crate area available to him). What do we do?


You need to learn the puppy basic facts of life. Puppies do 4 things in life and four things only - eat, sleep, play, and go to the bathroom. And they do them in this order:

1) sleep
2) go to the bathroom
3) eat
4) go to the bathroom
5) play
6) go to the bathroom

and repeat. You need to let your puppy out immediately after play to go once again. Remember, their bladders are small and exercise helps "move things along". They might appear to need to go to the bathroom every 20 minutes (and basically they do) but they aren't adults and can't hold it for very long.

Eliminating the possibility of going in one end and sleeping in the other should help. Cordon it off so it's only big enough for him to turn around in. But do still get him outside immediately after play - it's only fair.

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Page last updated April 30, 1997. All material Copyright 2004 Border Collie Rescue, Inc. and Dr. Nicholas B. Carter
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