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Messing Crate

November 9th, 2007, 12:32 PM
I think we've created a problem!

Ok, here's the stats:

We've had Molly, our 16 week Westie, for 8 weeks now. During the day she's in her crate (approx 9 hrs) - We can't get home for lunch to let her out! The evenings she's free to roam our kitchen and in the Living Room with our supervision, as the Living Room has carpet. We used pee pads for her to do her business on when she was out of her crate, which was pretty successful. At night she sleeps in her crate beside our bed and she does not wake up at all, or mess her crate during the entire 8 hours, and this is even after feeding her only 1 hr before bedtime. We let her outside to do her business first thing when we wake up and right when I get home from work, then periodically thoughout the evening. She does go first thing in the morning, and right when I get home. But during the evenings it's more difficult to get her to do her business outside, and because of this is why we stopped using the pee pads, because we thought this was deterring her from going outside.

Here's the problem....

While she is in her crate during the day, we fold over her bed to allow some space for her to do her business. We do this because we know that with her being so little, it would be impossible for her to hold it in that long. This was working very well, I'd come home from work and she'd done her business on the appropriate side and her bed would be clean. About 2 weeks ago, she started doing her business right on her bed. I don't know why all of a sudden the change? I'm thinking that maybe we've taught her that it's okay to mess where you sleep - which instintively their suppose to know not to do!?!?!

So now what I've been doing is laying her bed out flat so that it occupy's her entire crate, hoping that her instinct will kick in again of her not wanting to mess where she sleeps...but of course this isn't working either.

HELP!!! How do I fix this problem I created.

November 9th, 2007, 02:02 PM
Oy. Well, you're going to have to start over completely with the housetraining. I strongly suggest reading these two articles first:

The big issue here is that puppies should not be confined in their crate for that long. Instead, you need to set up a long-term confinement area for when you are at work, as explained here:

When You Are Not at Home

Keep your puppy confined to a fairly small puppy playroom, such as the kitchen, bathroom, or utility room. You can also use an exercise pen to cordon off a small section of a room. This is your puppy’s long-term confinement area. It should include:

1. A comfortable bed
2. A bowl of fresh water
3. Plenty of hollow chewtoys (stuffed with dog food)
4. A doggy toilet in the farthest corner from her bed

Obviously, your puppy will feel the need to bark, chew, and eliminate throughout the course of the day, and so she must be left somewhere she can satisfy her needs without causing any damage or annoyance. Your puppy will most probably eliminate as far as possible from her sleeping quarters—in her doggy toilet. By removing all chewable items from the puppy playpen—with the exception of hollow chewtoys stuffed with kibble—you will make chewing chewtoys your puppy's favorite habit, a good habit! Long-term confinement allows your puppy to teach herself to use an appropriate dog toilet, to want to chew appropriate chewtoys, and to settle down quietly.

The Purpose of Long-term Confinement:

1. To confine the puppy to an area where chewing and toilet
behavior is acceptable, so the puppy does not make any
chewing or housesoiling mistakes around the house.

2. To maximize the likelihood that the puppy will learn to
use the provided toilet, to chew only chewtoys (the only
chewables available in the playroom), and to settle down
calmly without barking.

November 10th, 2007, 01:56 AM
This is far too long to leave a pup home alone by themselves. I suggest doggy daycare or hire someone to come in during the day to let the pup out and spend some play time. Daycare would be ideal, even a home daycare at someone elses home in your neighbourhood who is home during the day. Put a poster up in a local store or ask local pet shop/vet or even local obedience trainers. A home with another dog to play with during the day would be an evern bigger bonus.

Your pup is bored, scared, alone and very lonely all day with nobody there.
Any negative behaviour other then normal active learning puppy behaviour will be because of the boredom, fear, and lonliness. This pup can't rely much on instinct as it's locked in a crate for 9hours doing 'nothing'.

So if you consider, 9 hrs in a crate, then how much one on one time playing and walking the pup and training and loving? Then another what, 8/9 hours at night away from you again? Is she alone all through the night as well, also locked away from you?

Please please reconsider the length of time you are leaving this young baby alone, it's so very unfair to this little soul.

November 10th, 2007, 06:56 AM
Would it be possible to set up a penned area? That way she would have more room to walk around and seperate sleeping, eating, potty areas? :shrug:

November 10th, 2007, 07:58 AM
WOW,this poor beautiful pup is in a crate 17 out of 24 hours(day/night),like Luba says that is just not acceptable.
A larger pen,a dogwalker or doggie-daycare anything is better than beeing caged for this long.
Hope you find a solution,your pup will learn nothing spending all this time caged upIMO...:dog:

November 10th, 2007, 01:56 PM
I don't know how big your kind of dog will get, and it is my opinion that the situation will get much much worse as time goes on. Are you willing to daily clean poop and pee after you get home from work in the years to come?

When you work hard, you want to go home to a clean home to relax and not have to deal with messes, right?

That's pretty much how it all started with the dog I just got on Nov 6th. Her previous owners would at first feed her in the morning and keep her in the house when they all left for work/school, then got ticked off because the dog went poo in the house, and began to tie her outside all day/night. It wasn't the dog's fault she went poo in the house. It was the fault of her human family. They probably meant well in the beginning, but became lazy and didn't do what was necessary for the dog and only thought of themselves. I'm not saying you're going to do that, but just using it as an example of what often happens in these types of situations.

Look on the internet for pet sitters and at least consider using their services. They are licensed, bonded people who love animals and will go to your home and tend to your pet during the day when you cannot and provide exercise, potty breaks, food and attention. Some will even assist in training.

Or take to doggie daycare. This might actually be the best idea for your pup, and would provide tons of socialization opportunities and work off tons of energy. An unsocialized dog might potentially create problems in future.

Or depending on where you work, some places allow employees to take dogs to work. But those places are rare.

November 12th, 2007, 10:39 AM
This weekend we tried what sugarcatmom has suggested and when I went out grocery shopping I left her out of her crate in a closed off and safe area (our kitchen) and it worked out really well. I came home and there she was sleeping in her crate and there were no messes. Today will be her first time going the 9hrs out of her crate, but I'm confident she'll do well. I left her fresh water, a few toys that will keep her busy and a pee pad for her to do her business on.

I've considered having someone come in to let her out during the day, but I wanted her to get used to being alone for those 9 hrs so that later on when she is potty trained and we no longer have someone come in during the day, that she dosen't have anxiety. I've had a dog growing up, and I know alot of people with dogs and they all leave them at home for 8-9 hrs straight while they are at work.

Once we get home, we spend the entire evening with her out of her crate...actually sometimes she'll go in on her own when she wants a break. She goes for a walk as soon as I get home and spends the entire evening with us right up until bedtime, in which she sleeps right beside us. Then on weekends she's pretty much out of her crate the entire time. Once she is house trained she will have free roam of the house and no more crate.

I should also mention that every Wednesday she goes to puppy classes, which allows her to socialize with other dogs. We also have become friendly with other neighbourhood dogs that we meet on our walks. I'm not concerned with her not being socialized.

November 12th, 2007, 02:22 PM
Glad you're rethinking the no crate thing. Who cares if the dog makes accidents, just clean them up.... but you should still try to get someone there to spend time/let her out or get her to a doggy daycare..something!
It's too long alone for a young pup. It would be like leaving a toddler (human) alone. See my point?

November 14th, 2007, 11:41 PM
According to everything I've read (and I've been reading a lot since I'm about to get a new puppy), dogs shouldn't be confined to a crate for longer than about 4-6 hours.

Have you considered litter training her if she's going to be alone for that many hours every day?

November 14th, 2007, 11:49 PM
Once she is house trained she will have free roam of the house and no more crate.

Just my :2cents: but when she is fully house trained I would still leave the crate accessable to her so she can go relax away from everyone if she is inclined to do so, as you say she is doing that now, it gives them a safe spot just for them to have some down time.

November 15th, 2007, 06:31 AM
We confined all of our dogs to the kitchen while we were at work and they were too young to hold it until we got home. They were all paper trained (pee pads would serve the same purpose), and it worked well. Once they were old enough to hold it until we got home and they were all eventually granted access to the main floor during the day.