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Potty training - Keep the crate?

Peawinkle
January 14th, 2007, 12:24 AM
I adopted a rescue dog the day before Thanksgiving. Dante is a toy poodle and about one year of age. My previously adopted rescues have all been older dogs and ones that were already house-trained, for the most part. House-training is new to me! When I first brought him home I'd take him outside every 1-2 hours but have slowly increased that to about 4-5 hours when I'm home. He has been doing very well and doesn't pee while I"m home with him.

When I first brought him home I crated him when I left the house but stopped doing that a couple weeks ago because he hadn't been peeing in the house. I was away from the house tonight for 6 hours and he pee'd everywhere. I cleaned up at least 6 places where he pee'd. He also pooped in the house. I do have another dog so some of those puddles might be PJ's ....just joining in the pee party.

I guess I'll have to go back to crating Dante while I'm away from the house. This may be silly but I feel bad crating Dante when my other dog isn't crated! This is the first dog I've ever crated so I'm not sure if I'm creating problems by crating one animal while the other dog and 2 cats are allowed to roam free around him. I warned you it was probably silly!

I guess my question is: once you start crating a dog will you always have to crate him? It breaks my heart because he cries like a baby when I put him in the crate and leave the house. He doesn't cry if I leave him out with my other dog. Also, is house-training just taking him out constantly and praising him when he goes? Should I be doing something else ?

Thanks for your help!
Elaine

TeriM
January 14th, 2007, 01:28 AM
Don't feel bad for crating. I crate my pup (8 mos) even though the other is allowed free run and they are fine with that. If he cries like that I suspect that Dante may have a bit of seperation anxiety which could account for the multiple pee spots. I would suggest continuing to crate for the time being until Dante is more assimilated to the household routines. You could then try weaning him into full house privileges by using baby gates and just gating him into a room that would be easy to clean up.

TeriM
January 14th, 2007, 01:30 AM
BTW welcome to the forum and congrats for adopting rescues :thumbs up . I believe that the US Thanksgiving is actually late Nov so it really hasn't been very long for the new dog. Crating doesn't mean forever in most cases unless the dog is very destructive.

jessi76
January 14th, 2007, 05:38 PM
I guess my question is: once you start crating a dog will you always have to crate him? It breaks my heart because he cries like a baby when I put him in the crate and leave the house. He doesn't cry if I leave him out with my other dog. Also, is house-training just taking him out constantly and praising him when he goes? Should I be doing something else ?

no, you don't always HAVE to crate, but I choose to. My dog is crate trained, and we only close the door when we're going to be gone for longer than and hour or so. otherwise, the crate is always set up, but the door is left open. it helped to potty train, but it's more of a security for my dog. he sees his crate as his "room", or his "den". he's comfortable there, feels safe there, has less anxiety in there. He often chooses to lay in it on his own - very rarely do I ever have to ask him to go in. He just does on his own.

even when I get ready for work, about 5 min before I'm out the door, Tucker runs in his crate, and lays quietly. it's a trained behavior now. at night, I say "bedtime" and he runs up to our room, and straight into his bedroom crate.

I felt bad too when he was younger and I could hear him cry as I left the house, but my trainer assured me most dogs don't cry past 15 min after you're gone (obviously dogs w/ severe seperation anxiety are a different case). I found leaving my dog a stuffed KONG toy really made a world of difference. he no longer cared I was leaving, he had a yummy treat-toy to focus on!

I also made a point to crate my dog when I was home, so that he didn't think that the crate always meant that I was leaving. I crated him while I mopped the floor, when I did some laundry, during dinner, I'd throw a toy across the room and into the crate for him to get, I'd toss treats in, etc... even now, if I come home w/ a new toy or bone, I put it in the crate for him to find.

I'd say until this dog is 100% housebroken (and reliable) continue crating. Then do "test runs". See how he does with 10 min free in the house, 20 min, 30 min, etc... work up to longer periods.

as for housebreaking... a steady routine, alot of praise, supervision, and a lot of patience, work best IMO.

~michelle~
January 14th, 2007, 06:53 PM
crate training can be helpful it stops them from pooping and peeing on the floor, as well as chewing things and such. I stopped crating my crew for a while, and it went well, but then they started to poo and pee on things, sometimes it can be a form of separtion anxiety or a jealousy behaviour because they dont like you leaving the house. my crew gets mad at us when we leave the house for extended periods of time, so we're going to go back to crate training for while and then try to slowly build them up on their own again
best of luck

Peawinkle
January 14th, 2007, 08:00 PM
Thank you everyone for the advice. I like the idea of putting him in the crate when I mop or vacuum and putting treats and toys in so he'll like being there. I checked with my neighbor today and she told me she can hear them crying after I leave but it doesn't last too long. What's crazy is she lives across the street and she can hear them crying from that far away!!!

When I was crating him I wouldn't give him treats or put water in the crate since I didn't want him to pee or poop until I got home. I'd put toys in there but that's it. Should I give him treats? Will that not make him thirsty?

Spirit
January 14th, 2007, 10:42 PM
From the day I brought my little guy (golden retriever) home, I would crate him while I was home (and in the room), for short periods of time (while I did dishes, cleaned the floor, etc). If he fussed or barked, I'd leave and only come back when he's quiet. He learned very quickly that quiet meant I came back. Of course he'd get excited when I'd come back so instead of leaving, I would stand (or sit) where he could see me, and wait until he was calm. If he fussed or barked again, I would leave again.

When he turned 4 months old, I would leave him alone (uncrated) in the living room for just a few minutes, then come in and check on him. Maybe a few minutes of CALM play (important not to create excitement), then I would leave again to go into my bedroom (and close my door).

By the time he was 6 months old, I could leave him alone (uncrated, with all the bedroom doors closed) for 1-2 hours at a time, and trust that nothing would be destroyed.

This worked for me, but there are different techniques that may or may not work for you. And since this is a rescue dog, I assume a trust issue is a factor as well (I apologise for assuming, but I don't know where this dog previously came from - I only speak from experience). And if that's the case, then leaving the house (and coming home) has to be even less of a big deal, but with bigger rewards (to start). And a LOT of patience on your part.

The peeing could definitely be caused by stress or nervousness. For now, I would keep the crate, or buy an Ex-Pen.

jessi76
January 15th, 2007, 08:17 AM
When I was crating him I wouldn't give him treats or put water in the crate since I didn't want him to pee or poop until I got home. I'd put toys in there but that's it. Should I give him treats? Will that not make him thirsty?

dogs need access to water - even in a crate. I've used the Lixit water bottle since my dog was a pup. and I LOVE IT. and he LOVES IT. my dog had a habit of knocking over water dishes, so we opted for the water bottle. It's also great because the dog can't drink sooo much that they have to pee alot. I HIGHLY recommend it. and honestly, it took my dog less than 5 minutes to figure out how to use it. and there is no mess! here's what it looks like, and it's available at most pet supply stores. It clips onto the crate.