2 yr old randomly pooping in cage

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sourced from: https://www.reddit.com/r/Dogtraining/comments/fkosnu/2_yr_old_randomly_pooping_in_cage/

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Hi guys,

So first off, I have an almost two year old (2 in May) Corgi who the last three nights in a row has been pooping in his cage. He sleeps in an exercise pen with a crate inside which he absolutely loves. So he typically sleeps in his crate, we leave the door open so he can go in and out as he pleases. The last three mornings (I work nights this week) I have come home and there has been poop inside the pen, but not the crate. He has not had an accident in a very long time, I'd say since maybe 8 months old or so. At first I thought it was some bully sticks he's been eating lately (they aren't new to his diet though) so I didn't give him one yesterday, but still this morning he pooped inside the pen.

The first morning he had his accident it was not solid stool, very loose so I figured he was sick. That morning we walked and he pooped 3 or so times and all very loose and not good. Yesterday his poop was good, solid, but still went in his cage. This morning same thing, solid but in the cage. Any idea what could be causing this odd behavior? Totally unlike him and out of the blue. He is eating good, drinking lots of water, hasn't eaten anything bad to my knowledge this week.

I'm also wondering since he has now pooped multiple times in the same area (where he sleeps every night) is he now developing a habit of thinking it's okay? Perhaps he smells it still on the floor and is thinking he's 'allowed' to go potty here now? It's never been pee, just poop and always early morning I'd say around 06:30 or so. He doesn't bark according to my gf who has slept through it each time until I come home. What can I do to try and fix this? I don't want him to think this is okay after continuously getting away with it. He is behaving 100% normal so I don't think he's ill. Anything I can try? I have been doing my best to completely clean the carpet of his stool but of course I won't get everything.

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