HELP! Dog using open crate as bathroom


Boxer Pal
Hi all! I'm hoping someone has some advice. We have had our nearly 2-yr-old boxer mix, Stella, for about 5 months, and house training has always been a challenge. We recently moved about a month ago, which is certainly a stressful event for her, but she now has a yard and a mom who works from home, so outside time is plentiful and readily available.

Recently, Stella has taken to using her crate as a bathroom. She will do it when she's in the crate while we're not home, and she will do it equally as frequently when we are home and the crate is open (sitting 4 feet behind my desk, keep in mind). One suggestion I saw said that too many blankets could be producing a "diaper effect" where she doesn't feel the moisture, so I removed all but one thin blanket -- next day, another accident.

She makes no noise and gives no other indication that she has to go out. We have a routine of when she goes outside for yard or walk time, so it's not as though she doesn't know when her next potty break will be. I have gone to town on all of the bedding, as well as the crate itself, with Nature's Miracle to keep her from smelling her past accidents, and I praise her lavishly when she goes outside.

I don't believe it's a UTI -- she isn't urinating with increased frequency or squatting without producing urine -- this seems very behavioral to me.

I am at my wit's end. Any ideas?!