How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Oliver’s Mom Your Own Question
Oliver’s Mom
Oliver’s Mom, Prof Trainer & Behavior Counselor
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 283
Experience:  20 yrs Trainer/Behavior/Rescue focus:dog/cat-human relationships;dog/cat behavior modification metho
Type Your Pet Question Here...
Oliver’s Mom is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

english bulldog: my 2 yr..yr old..uses the bathroom in his crate

Customer Question

my 2 yr old english bulldog uses the bathroom in his crate and didn’t do this until after i had him fixed, i have tried everything from spanking and telling him no, to cutting back on his food, colon pills, changing his food to eukanaba fp, and nothing is working. he was completely potty trained until the surgery. help!!!
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.

How long ago was the neuter and was there any problems with the surgery?

You mentioned he is on colon pills - for what reason?

Is he peeing and pooping in the crate?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: Hi,
Thanks,for replying to my problem. Yes, he does pee and poop in his crate. His testicle was wrapped around his intestine, therefore when he started doing this in the crate the vet thought perhaps his system was confused and put him on the pills they helped control his bowels for about two days then back to the other. He isn't on any pills now that was for the first week after surgery. I think it was in Sept. I have put his divider back in his crate only enough room for him to lay down. However, he is very smart and pulls his blanket back and uses the bathroom and then covers it back up and will lay on top of his pillow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.
 Regarding the surgery he had - you stated 'his testicle was wrapped around his intestine' - does that mean he was cryptorchid (meaning the testicle did not drop or become visible) therefore they had to perform abdomenal surgery versus a routine neuter?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: yes,one of his testicle never dropped and we wanted to wait til he was over a year to see if it would drop on it's own. the vet thought it would be a routine neuter. however, once he started he found that it was more intense and that was when he discovered it was wrapped around the intestine. the breeder i got him from is very educated on english bulldogs almost as much as the vet and she thought maybe there was nerve damage. however, the vet doesn't think so since his surgery went well. the was lots of swelling after the surgery and the vet put him on inflamation medicine afterwards. the breeder has never heard of any dogs that will do this kind of bathroom behavior espically bulldogs. thanks,
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 11 years ago.

In the absence or any better theory as to the cause of Tuffy's problems
I would assume that there is nerve damage.  Making that assumption
I would further assume that there is no real cure or treatment for the
root problem -- except (perhaps) natural healing over time.

However, I think symptom management may be possible.  Since Tuffy
has enough warning to get his blanket out of the way before relieving
himself, he must have some -- perhaps diminished -- bowel and bladder
sensation and control.

I suggest further expermenting with his diet (timing, type and amount
of food and water as well as adding a fiber supplement to firm up the
stool) all with the Idea that he will at least defecate at times when
you are there and he is not in his crate.  Perhaps you can also
hire a pet walker to come halfway through the day to give Tuffy a potty

Good Luck!



Expert:  Dr. Vamvakias replied 11 years ago.

 To add to the discussion...I can't say that I totally agree with a "nerve" problem.  It takes many neurological branchings to posture and defecate...and you would see someother disfunctions with a true spinal or main branch failure with the nerves...

I would start over in the training department,  And I am sure OliversMom or others can assist. I think being a bulldog, you need to re-evaluate behavioral type issues as well as anxiety issues.  You may be overlooking anxiety of being left in the crate as a physiological defecation issue. Neutering can be upseting for reasons of separation and pain...and he may need to deal with that issue.

This may sound crazy, but it sounds like you gave the other things a shot. I will ask that one of the trainers make some recommendations on some natural antianxiety help and a "retrain" approach to your dog...and lets give that a try before the neurological issue is totally accepted.


Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.


I have to agree with Dr V on this one and side with a behavioral problem versus a neurological/surgery related issue.  I also want to point out this type of problem IS seen in dogs of all breeds.  I've worked with a few bulldogs and the last one was a real bugger when it came to change  of any sort.  He would react with behaviors the owners never had a problem with before the change.  He wasn't crate trained however during this time he did pee/poop inappropriately.  As I'm sure you are aware, these guys are stubborn, they live in a world that revolves around them, and they are as adorable as they come - you can't help but love them!  At two years old he is also continuing or ending his adolescent stage - and this stage itself can bring on many behavioral issues not seen before.

In my opinion, I think we need to go back to housebreaking 101 and a bit of modified behavorial training.  I am more than happy to guide your through this and how to handle the crate/potty problem however I would like you're okay with it first.  This is your baby - maybe your intuition is telling you it's something other than a stress/anxiety or training issue.  If so, I don't know if what I have to offer will help you.  It's hard to commit to something if you don't agree with it - so I just want to be sure this is what you want and agree is the problem.

I hope to hear from you soon, hugs to Tuffy -

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Vamvakias's Post: i have tried the re-training and he doesn't seem to respond. i take him out in the morning before work and he goes, i come home on my lunch break and he goes, but he still will go in the crate before i return in the evening and i don't feed him at lunch. therefore, he shouldn't have anything in his stomach to make him go. on my days that i'm off he very seldom will go in the crate. before the crate i let him run free in the kitchen while i was gone. however, he chewed major holes through the drywall and that was when i tried the crate again. thanks,
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Oliver’s Mom's Post: yes, any suggestions on this problem would be greatly appreciated since i don't want him to be in any distress. my son says he is treated better than he is. and i agree they are a very stubborn breed. i have replied to the dr's comments with the reply that i can't leave him out of the crate while i'm at work due to him wanting to chew the house down. that was very unusual out of a dog also by chewing the drywall all the way through. i know it's probably not the attention he gets because he gets plenty. he gets a bath twice a week and has his own bumper pad in his crate just like a baby so he is very well cared and gets more attention than anyone in the house.when i was potty training him i would let him smell of it when he didn't go on his pad. however, i have also tried this with it in his crate and it doesn't seem to phase him. and i thank you in advance for the help and advice on how to retrain him.
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.

Let's start with the crate first.  Once a dog has used the crate for potty purposes I suggest you switch your confinement method to stop the association occuring again. The best method to use is an exercise pen.  This is a wire enclosure that can be adjusted to different sizes.  You can find ex pens at most pet supply stores or on line.  Within this pen, you place a new different style crate for him to use as his bed; he can also have his toys/chewies in there; and you will feed him inside of the pen also.  You don't want to allow too much room for him - just enough room for his crate, toys, and space to lay down other than in his crate.  If he should have separation anxiety, the confinement of using only a crate will make matters worse so another reason why this method works well.  I would not give him any blankets/towels/bedding during this first stage either.  Use these items can be a problem because the dog can get hot, the smell of the pee/poop will stay on them to send him back to use again, and he also has figured out how to hide his waste from you by using these things.

Starting over with housebreaking you use the same method as if he was a young puppy.  Routine is key.  He needs to eat on a scheduled, meal basis, go outside on a scheduled basis, play on a schedule basis, etc.  Dogs thrive on routine and will be better behaved from living with it.  Supervision is another factor.  He cannot be allowed free access to the house until he shows he can be responsible.  So meanwhile, he needs to be confined when you are busy or tethered to yourself or heavy piece of furniture while you are there.  Go out the same door for potty breaks and highly praise him when he does potty outside - going to the same outdoor area and teaching him the word "potty" can teach him where to go and also be your command. If he should have an accident, there is nothing you can do UNLESS you catch him IMMEDIATELY.  Dogs only have 2 seconds to associate an act with a reaction, so if you are more than 2 seconds late, the association is gone.  If it is too late and your bring him back to the 'crime', he'll only know 'mom is bringing my butt back over to this spot where I pee'' The association is gone.  This immediate timing holds true for any training/discipline situation.

In my opinion the majority, if not all, of his behavior problems have to do with him thinking the world revolves around him, incorrect or inconsistent teaching and discipline, and lack of leadership on your part.  I am not implying you cannot spoil your dog, love him and care for him - you can IF you go about it the right way.  Dog's in many ways are not any different than kids - the more lenient and unstructured the household, the more problems the kids tend to get into.  You stated it's not getting the attention that is causing the problems - I feel it actually IS the attention he is getting - the wrong type.  You really need to learn how to become a leader to your dog.  This isn't unusual for pet owners so don't feel you're alone!  A great way to start teaching him you're a good leader is to have him EARN whatever it is he wants.  For example, if he wants to eat, play, go for a walk, be petted, if he wants ANYTHING, he has to earn it first by sitting or complying to a basic obedience command for you first.  If he doesn't, you simply walk away or ignore him.  Wait a few seconds and ask him again, repeat until he complies.  Trust me, this works wonders for any type of behavioral/training issues dog's have.  You MUST be consistent - if he get's away with anything he will not learn and the problems will continue.  I would look into hiring a in home or private trainer that trains primarily through positive reinforcement methods - and only this type of method.  Anyone that teaches you to become a leader by physically harming or over powering the dog will make matters much worse, guaranteed.

Exercise needs to be a huge part of his daily routine. Lack of exercise IS the number one reason for bad behavior in dogs.  Bullies are smart dogs and they need to have a purpose in life, a job to do.  Setting up a exercise regiman by the advice of your vet will improve everything greatly. I suggest talking to your vet about this because of his previous medical ailments - want to be sure he is ready.  When or if he is ready, a walk around the block won't cut it - he needs a lot more than that at least 2 x's a day.  Neighbor dog playmates, doggy day care, training clubs are all outlets you can utilize.

The lack of exercise or his boredom result in destruction like chewing on the drywall.  I see this specific behavior ALL the time in situations like this - so it is very common.  I'm sure he has enough toys but if they are strewn all over the house he will not learn what household items are his and what are your's.  They become all one.  We allow our dogs to play/chew with maybe a dozen or two items in the entire house and so it's important to teach him what is his and what is yours.  Do this by keeping his toys in a basket/box - always showing him what toys are his to chew on if he should pick up one of your items.  If he gets one of your shoes, don't chase him - this will only encourage him to do it again from the attention he's getting.  Instead, pick up one of his toys and exchange the shoe for the toy.  If you haven't done so, purchase a couple "kongs" ( - fill these with goodies and it works well to keep dogs occupied for quite a long time.

I'll stop here for now and let you take this all in.  Thoughts? concerns?  I'll wait to hear from you -  

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
thanks for the info. do they make the playpens strong enough to hold him in?he weighs about 70 lbs. and is very strong. he pretty well is on a scheduled routine. he eats around 6 am and 4:30 pm and only gets his dog bones after that time. we do go outside for walks, however he can't endure long walks he gets short winded. do i need to purchase the pee pads and let him use those of the day? i live in a very rural area where we don't have trainer or obedient classes for him to go to. if he does get into something that isn't his, i get the newspaper out and tell him no and he will leave it alone.when he is out of the crate he doesn't use the bathroom in any part of the house he will come and get you to take him out when i'm here with him. his crate is in the kitchen where the tile is and there isn't a lot of room for a play pen. do you suggest that i put his gate back up and see if he will go out on the pee pads and maybe he won't eat on anything in the kitchen and leave his crate door open for his sleeping.thanks,
Expert:  Steve -- a.k.a. Oreport replied 11 years ago.
Nerve problem or not, I think diet management may be part of your
solutiion for Tuffy.  Specifically, is twice a day feeding really
necessary?  If Tuffy ate once daily at 4:30 pm  he should
(especially with excersise) 'do his business' in the evening and/or the
next morning before you leave for the day. 

Perhaps Oliver's Mom or Dr. V can address that question.  I know
that I have had many dogs that ate (and pooped) once a day and did very

Good Luck!


Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.

I'll address each of your questions or concerns:  you do want to look for a quality made ex pen to hold up to your dogs size and strength.  This is one product that fits into "you get what you pay for."  They also come with an additional top piece if you chose to have that also.

Great job on the scheduled routine!  Keep it up! Regarding the two meals a day versus one - I prefer two meals.  I think it is better healthwise and it alleviates any displacement behavior from being hungry all day.

If you chose to use pee pads, he may end up depending on them for the rest of his life. If your goal is to have him potty 100% outside, using pee pads creates an extra step - teaching him to potty on those and then go potty outdoors. If you are gone more than 5 hours a day, it's preferable to have someone come to let him outside. If not, then it may be reason enough to use the pee pads. 

His endurance for walking - if there is not a medical reason stopping him from longer walks or more exercise, you will need to build up slowly to longer or more energetic type excercise.  Just like us, a little training first needs to be done before we start increasing to reach our desired goals.

Is there any trainer that will come to you?  I believe he would do better working on some behavior/training methods at home before working in a group environment.  If you like to read, a book I highly recommend for pet owners is called "Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson.  It's written for the average pet owner to understand and is filled with fantastic information from gaining leadership to basic obedience lessons.

<<If he does get into something that isn't his, i get the newspaper out and tell him no and he will leave it alone>>.  This is a perfect scenario to remember when you discipline him ALWAYS follow through by showing him what is appropriate for him to be chewing or playing with.  The newspaper?  If you don't get it out to do the crossword puzzle then it really is of no value to you.  I bet you can get the same reaction out of him with your stern, loud voice "NO!"  This is an example of why I don't use many tools or equipment when training dogs - I want the OWNER to control and manage the dog, not the tool or adversive.  make sense?

That's great that he comes to you when he has to go potty!  Use this to your advantage to get him fully housetrained. Gingerly take him outside, stay with him, when he potty's make a 'party' out of it - show him with your voice/body language how happy you are!  Play with him, give him a treat, a massage, whatever he likes.  You may have to test your acting skills on being over-exuberant but it's important to express to him how RIGHT he was for pottying outside!  One thing I forgot to mention that can make a big difference in stopping him from using his crate as an 'outhouse' is to feed him IN his crate.  Place his food dishes way in the back so he has to eat while fully inside.  You can leave the door open.  The reason for this  - a very high percentage of dogs will not eliminate where they eat.

If he does not have destruction tendencies while you are away, the gate option would be fine to use, leaving the crate door open.  You may want to test this while you are gone for only a short time at first.  Just to be sure he won't tear your kitchen cabinets out.  Again, when you will be gone at least 5 hours and no one will be available to let him out, you could use the pee pads.  I don't know how much room you have once his crate is in the kitchen and the pee pads, but you don't want to much room or he may potty anywhere if he has to go.

There is one other thing I would like to address - do you feel he has separation anxiety?  I do not mean he cries/whines when you leave - there are three qualifiers that diagnose true separation anxiety, they are: nearly constant hysterical barking/whining/crying the majority of the time you are gone; moderately high to severe destruction behavior to the home or objects (usually the owners objects); and self mutilation and/or excessive salivating.  Dogs will chew or bite on a part or parts of their body and their blanket/bed/crate is soaked from salivating.  These three elements describe real separation anxiety - many times the term is used for completely different behavior problems.  There are lesser forms of this type of anxiety if one of the above should be displayed, and if this is the case, most times there are other reasons than separation.  The reason I ask is a kenneled or crated dog suffering from separation anxiety will suffer even further.  Hence, crating is not recommended if this problem is diagnosed as the problem.  I've seen a fourth element appear in some dogs with SA - and that is pottying in their crate.  Comments?

Customer: replied 11 years ago.
he is doing some better, we have had one good accident in the crate. i took out his blankets and that seems to help. yes, his pillow is wet from him chewing and slobbering on it. i think he sleeps most of the day, because when i come home at lunch he will be snoring and i have to wake him to get him to go potty, sometimes he just to sleepy to go. i will try the food in the cage and appreciate all the help.
Expert:  Oliver’s Mom replied 11 years ago.

 I'm so happy he is doing better - that's great news!  Yes - try the food inside the crate next. 

You're very welcome for the assistance!  Take care,

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
< Previous | Next >
  • I must tell you I found this site by accident and was amazed when I asked a question of the Veteranians online. I wish I could have found it sooner it could have made such a difference in the outcome of my pet's surgery. However, I am passing along the information to my sister-in-law (a cat-rescue person who is also a nurse), and perhaps it will help someone else who may experience the same problem. The doctor who answered my question was amazing, and while it didn't come it time to change the outcome of my situation, it is reassuring to know the caliber of Vets/Doctors that you have at JustAnswer. Thank you for being there. Alice H. Jacksonville, Fl.
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Andy

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2003 Graduate
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    2003 Graduate
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for 35+yrs. Small Animals and Fish
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary


    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Dr. Bruce's Avatar

    Dr. Bruce


    Satisfied Customers:

    15 years of experience in emergency, surgery and medicine
  • Anna's Avatar


    Pet Expert/Biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
  • Theresa's Avatar


    Voice for your pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    Veterinary Technician for 15 years
  • Cheryl K.'s Avatar

    Cheryl K.

    shelter volunteer

    Satisfied Customers:

    14+ years of shelter work/ vaccinations/ disease/ illness/ injury/ medical care