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Crate Training

Scrib
November 5th, 2003, 02:44 PM
I am trying to crate train my puppy and have a question about the sucess of crate training.
The puppy is only 6 weeks, and I know this is very early to take him away from his mom, but this is the way things fell into place.
We have been keeping the puppy in his crate over night (while we are asleep), making sure to take him out when we hear him get up. The first night he would whine when he first got up but he no longer does this, and we aren't able to alway catch when he wakes. When he does wake without catching our attention he often goes to the bathroom in his crate. Sometimes when he wakes and we go to take him out, he steps outside the crate and poos, without giving us a chance to take him outside. He is also going to the bathroom in his crate when we leave him there during the day (most of the time he is only in his crate for short periods, but two days a week we have to leave him there for 4-5 hours). Right now he is on about a 1hour "business" schedule. That is, he has to go out about every hour, sometimes less. I should mention that MOST of the time he pees outside, he got that in the first few days, its mostly just his number twos that happen inside and we are having difficulty teaching him.

My Questions are:

1. I'm wondering if the pooing in the crate will make it impossible for him to be crate trained, if it is impeding the process, or if it is simply part of the training process that most puppies go through.
2. Will he learn that he has to wait to go to the bathroom outside when we take him out of the crate? How do we stop him from going just outside the door or the crate.
3. Are we making any glaring mistakes in our puppy crate training that might prevent him from ever learning to go outside.

Carina
November 5th, 2003, 04:58 PM
Well - first, at his age he really can't quite hold it for 5 hours. Depending on what size/breed he is, it may be another month or more before you can reasonably expect him to hold it. Is there anyone who can come by and let him out midday? That would be ideal - if not, as he grows he'll most likely stop going in his crate because he simply won't want to. Especially if he gets lots of praise and encouragement for going outside. :)

I guess if you simply pick him up and whisk him outside before he has a chance to go when you let him out, he won't go right by the crate door. He may actually be trying to hold it until you get there.

I think it's marvellous that he's doing so well, actually! I know people who have to go through 101 nights of mournful howling before the pup gets used to the crate.

Many, many people have to leave a pup all day - either confined to a safe room, or in a crate. It probably does take a little longer to house train them because they have to go inside during the day - but they do learn, trust me!

Here's a handy article - this whole site is good, actually:
http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/cratetraining.htm

Lucky Rescue
November 5th, 2003, 07:56 PM
A 6 week old puppy should still be with his mother, has almost no bladder or bowel control, and needs to "go" about every hour.

Puppies, by nature, do not wish to lie in their messes and will try to avoid doing so.

If you are going out for 4 - 5 hours, the only humane thing to do is make sure his crate is large enough so that he can eliminate on papers at one end and sleep at the other end.

Yes, it will take longer to teach him to go outside this way, but if you don't do this and the puppy is forced to lie in his own waste, you may end up having a puppy with "dirty dog" syndrome who will be virtually impossible to housebreak.

After he wakes up, eats, drinks or plays, pick him up and take him out to the place you want him to go. Major praise when he does - you want him to think he's done the best thing in the world.

Overnight, if you don't want to get up every hour, use the paper at one end method I mentioned. And be very patient and never ever scold him for accidents. He is a tiny baby, and it will take awhile for him to be able to "hold it" even for a few hours.