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Help before my husband makes me get rid of our boxer

January 16th, 2008, 02:17 PM
We rescued a white boxer back in april 07. He is a beautiful, friendly, affectionate, he learns tricks well. But i think he has been abused before we got him. He was severly underweight(you could see all of his ribs). We have got him to put on weight.

The issue we are having is he pees in his kennel. I thought most dogs don't pee where they sleep or eat.

I am in the process of trying dog diapers on him, and i have a appt for the vet next week for him to see if he has a infection.
We both work during the day, but we let him out at lunch, there is never a span of more then 4 hours.

How do we break this habit?

p.s we don't know his age, somewhere between 1-3

January 16th, 2008, 02:29 PM
Welcome to the forum Saphron83 :). Thank you for considering a shelter dog.

If he was kept in a crate for long periods of time before you brought him home, he may have learned that it's ok to eliminate there. I'm also thinking separation anxiety. Is there any way you could videotape him while you are out of the home? You'll know for sure if you can see what goes on when you're not there. These are issues that can almost always be worked out with patience and understanding.

Has he been peeing in his crate since April of last year?

January 16th, 2008, 02:55 PM
I'm also wondering if either of you would have the possibility to take him with you to work. I know some employers allow it, and whether it's a question of anxiety or not being able to hold it, you'll be able to help him either way.

January 16th, 2008, 04:36 PM
How much room does your dog have in the crate? He should not be able to go in one corner and pee and then lie down on the other side? Typically they should be able to stand up and turn around. Also you should look at his water intake? perhaps cut back the amount he has before going into the crate? Does you dog get crated when your sleeping? and if so does he pee in there then or just when your away from the home?


January 16th, 2008, 09:38 PM
we down sized his kennel. He has to duck to get in, then he can stand in it.
This hasn't helped.

He was in the shelter for almost 2 months.
He pee's even when were home. or when i push him away (eg so i can go to the bathroom in peace) he will go to his kennel and pee

I can't take him to work with me, and my husband is a contracter so he is in other peoples homes all day, so that doesn't work either.

I know he has some issues with anxiety, but i don't know how much more cleaning up we can do. its almost daily, and he's not learning. My husband asks me on a daily basis to get rid of him, but i keep saying its gonna get better.

I was just hoping maybe someone had any ideas

January 16th, 2008, 09:49 PM
A lot of shelter dogs suffer from Separation Anxiety. Have you consulted a trainer to see if they can help?
If your husband only wants to get rid of him instead of help him, that's not going to help with the poor dogs anxiety.


January 16th, 2008, 09:58 PM
He pee's even when were home. or when i push him away (eg so i can go to the bathroom in peace) he will go to his kennel and pee

Well then I would suggest you stop pushing him away !!! What he needs is positive reinforcement. But if your husband doesn't want to help , doesn't want that dog anymore , I would suggest you find a good rescue that will take the dog and care for him.

January 16th, 2008, 10:04 PM
i don't push him away unless i'm in the washroom.

He cuddles with me quite a bit. He is a sweetie, and has a great temperment.

I'll give him a complete year with us, see how it goes.

I realise its gonna take time.
I'm just happy he's healthier now.

I really hope i can get him straightened out.

January 16th, 2008, 10:14 PM
it sounds like you are really trying, keep it up, this is the board to come to for help as there are so many people here with ideas for you to try, so you can keep him with you. I don't think I have seen a white boxer before. please post some pics of your adopted puppy. patti

January 16th, 2008, 10:17 PM
I really hope i can get him straightened out.

As an owner of dogs with very special needs (yes, shelter dogs as well), I quickly learned that as owners, we're the ones who need straightening out, for lack of a better term, in order to help them out. Are you willing/able to consult with a qualified behaviorist? There are so many things you and your husband can both do to help your poor dog, but you have to seek them out. He will not "straighten out" by himself without your help :shrug: . He will not heal and learn on his own within a certain time frame.

January 16th, 2008, 10:28 PM
i live in a small town, i'm lucky if they even have obedience classes. I haven't come across anything like that.

January 16th, 2008, 10:41 PM
" I don't think I have seen a white boxer before. please post some pics of your adopted puppy. patti"

it wont let me add a attachment yet, but you can see a silly picture i just uploaded to my profile. i love this trick. i started it out with little treats on his nose and make him stay. Now you can put almost anything. he loves the rewards after, especialy if its chicken, or anyother left over meat.

January 16th, 2008, 10:44 PM
Sound like this dog needs a lot of love, attention and training. Doesn't sound like this is much of a problem though.

Why are you still using the crate? By keeping the crate there he's going to keep going to it to go to the washroom. Especially if he was in a shelter he had no choice but to go where he was in a cage/crate/kennel... and who knows before that.

I really feel for this dog and I think with the right dedication, direction and love you'll have a pal for life there.

Give him a big hug from me will ya! Also even if you live in a rural area there are always obedience trainers around, because they tend to help farmers train herding dogs or farm dogs or other working dogs so I suggest you look a little harder. Perhaps there are others on thsi forum from where you are and can help you.

Maybe you could post a new thread and title it :

Looking for obedience trainer in Xtown Sask.

Of course xtown you'd replace your town name. :thumbs up

OR if you request maybe a moderator will change the name of this one for you to the above.

You may also want to get him together with other dogs and let him play. What type of exercise do you do with him? Boxers love to play and are highly energetic. Does he run off lead outside with you, ball, frisbee, hiking ??? Other dogs?

January 16th, 2008, 11:04 PM
The reason we started to kennel him was to help with peeing and he insintivly will go through the garbage and has figured out how to open the fridge. He apparently loves to eat what ever he can get his hands on. He has a self feed and water, that he can always go to. And we give him lots of meat as treats and snacks.

He just goes for walks in the winter, and we take turns in the summer taking him on bike rides. Unfortunitly he doens't like the cold that much.

I don't take him off lead, he loves the dog park when we take him to winnipeg. He hangs out with 2 beautiful american bulldogs, and gets along great with them. (If we do end up having to give him up I'm tempted to send him to this home if we can't get results, he has done wonders with his american bulldogs, and even has a way with my dog, even though he still pees while staying there too, and he loves Apollo just as much as me. Maybe he could get results)

January 17th, 2008, 12:28 AM
He's that intelligent that he opens the refrigerator? Well then it seems to me you have a very smart dog on your hands and he will learn very fast.

I would get rid of the crate, put a chair or something in front of the fridge when you go out and move the garbage can to under the counter type or somethign. Its not a big issue really. THats a common things most dog owners deal with.

The self feed in my opinion is a poor idea. You should feed him yourself (by the way what type of food are you givnig him?) Feed two or three meals a day and use this time to show him how to be polite and wait for his food. You would tell him to sit and then you would put it down and then tell him 'ok' to eat it (thats the basics) Never yell or scream at him just remove the food and tell him to sit and stay until he sits nice to wait for the food. You then praise him and say 'good boy good boy' in a happy voice.

How often do you go to Winnepeg?

This dog needs some off leash time to run and play , he's bored and getting no exercise this is mentally and physically unhealthy. Where can you go nearby to let him do this? Do you live in a house/apt/what?

Sounds to me like you've already given up on him with all this talk about getting rid of him or giving him away to someone else. Forgive me for being frank but maybe you dont' 'want' to spend the time and effort to encouraging the positives of his personality.

How often does he go for walks? Where do you take him to use the washroom every day, several times a day. How does he get any exercise if he's not off leash any of those times? I'm sure you have other dog owners in your small town, and pet stores, vets and things.

Are you an experienced dog owner or is this your first?

So does he know any basic commands?

He apparently loves to eat what ever he can get his hands on.

He is bored, underexercised, intelligent and frustrated with nothing to do.

January 17th, 2008, 12:31 AM
Who is home with him during the daytime or is he alone a lot of the time and locked in the crate?

January 17th, 2008, 09:43 PM
This is my first rescue dog. but not my first dog. i've never had issues like this before. I've never had to crate a dog before either. No other dogs I have had have been distructive.

He goes to the bathrom in his own, built off of our deck, fenced in outdoor kennel area.

He is home for about 3 hours byhimself in the morning. Then between the two of us on our lunch breaks he's out of it for 2 hours hanging with us. then he is by himself for another 3 hours.

He knows basic commands. he learns tricks well. He is trained to sit at the door when he comes in, and to sit and wait for food. He balances treats on his nose to teach him patience.
He has a great personality, he is stubburn thou. I have to get him to submitt to listen to me sometimes, then he's fine for a few days, then he listens again.

I'm not concerned on how we treat him, he's in a loving, caring home, we don't abuse him, we care for him, and play with him, and spoil him. I'm guess I have a little thin skin because some of the comments make me feel like i'm not worthy to have him as my puppy/friend. I just was wondering if anyone else had this problem, and what steps they took to correct it.

January 17th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Perhaps you could try placing the crate next to the door :shrug:. That way you would possibly get him to ask to go outside instead.

I was also start feeding him in his crate. Sometimes that will make the difference for keeping it clean.

Good luck.

January 17th, 2008, 09:59 PM
Perhaps you could try placing the crate next to the door :shrug:. That way you would possibly get him to ask to go outside instead.

I was also start feeding him in his crate. Sometimes that will make the difference for keeping it clean.

Good luck.

Great suggestions TeriM.

Having had a destructive/anxious dog, I can't stress enough the importance of exercise as well. Is there any way he can get a good 1 hour brisk walk in the morning? And then another hour at lunch (split b/n you and your husband)? If he's really tired and gotten the exercise he needs, chances are he'll sleep while you're out. Stuffing a Kong toy with kibbles and peanut butter or dry cottage cheese and giving it to him in his crate when you leave will also keep him busy for a little while and not focussed on your absence. When you arrive home, don't just let him outside but go with him immediately. When he eliminates, praise him profusely.

January 17th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Thanks, I'll try those last couple.

January 17th, 2008, 10:09 PM
Gee, what a crappy reason to get rid of dog (excuse the pun!)....

But really, it doesn't seem like that big an issue to me. Geez, put alot of newspaper in his crate or some weewee pads and the cleanup will be alot easier! And always try to clean up BEFORE hubby sees it (he can't bitch about it if he doesn't see it!!)....

Being the smart dog he is, he probably learned that if he pees in his crate, mommy/daddy will have to let him out to clean it. So to him,
peeing = freedom! And it's also a way for him to get attention, even if it's negative. It's very unusual for an adult dog to do this, especially an intelligent one like him. You really have to go deep into his little doggie mind and try to figure out what he's thinking and hopefully you'll be able to resolve this problem soon! Good luck!

January 18th, 2008, 08:10 AM
I would go right back to the beinging, pretend he is a brand new puppy again.. forget about the trick...

Start retraining all over again. back to basics....

sheduled walks, pee time,play time feeding time..and of course cuddle time..

January 18th, 2008, 09:30 AM
" i love this trick. i started it out with little treats on his nose and make him stay. Now you can put almost anything. he loves the rewards after, especialy if its chicken, or anyother left over meat.

In other words, he's a smart boy and wants to please you by doing what you ask of him.

I would go right back to the beinging, pretend he is a brand new puppy again.. forget about the trick...

Start retraining all over again. back to basics....

sheduled walks, pee time,play time feeding time..and of course cuddle time..

I agree. With a puppy I'll go outside every half hour or so, obviously with your dog every hour will suffise, his bladder is mature after all.

Get him a coat and boots for the winter, they don't just make them for tiny dogs anymore!

And when the spring and summer come ... see if there is somewhere you can teach him flyball! It's really a lot of fun, and easier to learn than agility and such (at least, from the looks of things, I've never actually tried either). He'll just run straight to a box, press a pedal/lever with his paw and out pops a tennis-ball that he grabs and returns to you - and gets a treat of course.

Could be he just needs more bondign time with you, feeling that you won't leave or abandon him. Have you ever taken him on longer day trips or overnight trips? Basically, to show him that he's coming back to his home after every outing, even by car. Might help.

January 18th, 2008, 09:57 AM
But really, it doesn't seem like that big an issue to me. Geez, put alot of newspaper in his crate or some weewee pads and the cleanup will be alot easier!

please don't do this. this goes completely against what crate training is all about. do not encourage the dog to eliminate in the crate. this WILL make the problem worse.

that said, to crate train you need to start with small time increments. you can't just put a dog in a crate for and hour (or more) and expect him/her not to eliminate or freak out (i'm certainly NOT assuming you did that). did you start slow?

When i started to crate I didn't even close the door. I tossed in a toy, my dog went in to get the toy and came right out. when he went in the crate, I said the command "kennel". I repeated this for a bit, then tried closing the door for 30 seconds. reward when IN the crate, then release. next, try a minute. then 5. then 10. then 20, work up to an hour, then work up to 2 hrs. it's a matter of building confidence and security (in addition to bladder control) in a positive manner.

if you put him in the crate because of peeing issues, is it possible the crating was done in a negative fashion? if so, this can make the dog dislike the crate, hence the bad behavior. again, please know I'm not trying to assume you said or did anything in malice, but if you crated the dog in an angry mood/tone this can make the dog see the crate as "negative".

the crate must always and i mean ALWAYS be kept as a positive happy place or it really doesn't work as it's intended. I think of my dog's crate as his "room". it's his happy space, he's never sent to the crate, or put in the crate if he's done wrong.

Personally to solve peeing in the crate issues, i'd either ditch the crate altogether or start over w/ the crate training.

btw, be sure to thoroughly clean the crate w/ an appropriate cleaner. if the dog can still smell the scent he may continue to eliminate in it.

January 19th, 2008, 07:30 AM
i agreee completely with everything jessi said. when she emlimantes in the crate make sure to clean it throughly. and start with small time i threw treat in and said "crate" and he went in got the treat and came back out.(for a couple times) then i threw a treat in the crate and said "crate" and closed the door ( but didnt lock it ) and i reopened it after about 5 seconds. then build up to one minute and then try locking it and walking away for the minute and is he makes any sounds, dont say anything or do anything just stay where you are. and as soon as you hear quiet go and open the door, that will teach her that when she is quiet ( and you are home ) she can leave, and it will just help her to relax in general in her crate. hope this helps.

January 19th, 2008, 07:51 AM
Although I've never had a problem exactly like yours, I have had a dog before that was difficult to potty train. What eventually did the trick was positive reinforcement. I would go outside with her and give her a tasty treat when she did her business, and praised her. Then, there was no praise or treats if she went in the house (no scolding either, unless caught in the act). She caught on very quickly to this and eventually you don't have to go outside with them anymore. I hope you are able to train the dog, it sounds like a tough one, going in the crate and all. I sort of agree with the others who said ditch the crate, at least for now, until the dog is trained to go outside. good luck! :fingerscr

adding one more thing - i've heard of others having good success by also training the dog to go on command, so when you are out with the dog, say your chosen command while the dog is going (like 'go potty' or whatever), and eventually they will come to associate the command with going to the bathroom. When my current dog was a puppy I did this and he learned pretty fast. I only used that during training though and don't do it anymore. it does help when they learn this to get them to go while you are on car trips and such, takes less time to wait for them to go.

January 19th, 2008, 08:10 AM
Has his hearing been tested? Sometimes white dogs are deaf or hearing impaired. I know you said he is learning tricks and commands but dogs pick up on body language pretty quickly. If his hearing is even partly deficient it might make it just a wee bit harder for him to unlearn something that has become an ingrained pattern.

I think I would try ditching the crate too. Could he have a bed somewhere not in the crate? Is there a safe room he could be left in instead? With his bed in the safe room of course.

Amy P
January 19th, 2008, 08:34 AM
I have heard of an "air freshner" type of thing that you can find at Pet smart and other pet stores that emits a calming pheromone. You would plug it in just like the glade ones near the crate and when the pheromone is emitted it is said to have a calming affect on the dog. Helping to reduce the amount of anxiety he has while you are away. I don't know if it works but it might be worth a shot. Also I have a friend that has a boxer who has alot of energy!!!!! So they decided to try him on the treadmill one day because of the weather. Well, IT WORKED!!! The dog loves running on the treadmill. So when they can't get out for a good long run they put him on the treadmill to help him burn some energy. They start him of walking slowly until he gets his bearings and then speed it up to a jog.

Good Luck:fingerscr

January 19th, 2008, 09:26 AM
CHANGE THE CRATE! :thumbs up

If the crate you have is the same type of crate he's used to from the shelter, then it may be a learned behavior associated with the crate type. ( i.e. metal crates are often used in shelters).

Try a plastic pet carrier. It's a different material and shape and doesn't already smell like his pee...

This worked for me.

January 19th, 2008, 01:14 PM
Has any ever suggested to have a urinalysis done? It can test if he has a bladder infection. The reason I suggest it, when i got my boxer 3 years ago, she was a four month old puppy, the first owners had sold her as they couldn't get her housebroken (they bought her at 8 weeks) by the time she was 1 year old, she was still unable to hold it for longer then 4 hours at a time, and she would pee in her crate if she was left alone for too long, I thought that I was just training her improperly however, one day she just jumped up on the couch (this was after just having been let out) looked at me, gave a little tail wag as she started to come towards me and then all of a sudden just squatted and peed. That was when it hit me, this is absolutely not normal, next day we took a urine sample in and sure enough she had a pretty bad bladder infection. Vet said it was entirelly possible that she had it from the time i got her (about eight or so months before) boxers are very smart intelligent dogs who want to please their owners, so for a dog to have an issue like that, i would strongly suggest having him checked by a vet to see if there is any medical reason for this to occur.

January 19th, 2008, 01:37 PM
Has any ever suggested to have a urinalysis done?

I think it's a really good idea too. Our dog had a couple of accidents when we first brought her home (she wasn't properly house trained yet) but then was fine for 2 months in the house. Just after Christmas she peed in her crate once or twice at night, had an accident in the basement and 2 in the upstairs hallway, one of them only 10 minutes after having been outside. Took her to the vet on January 2nd and sure enough she had an infection, which I have a hunch had been there a while. Looks to be cleared up now - no problems in the house at all. I almost think she had it all along. I don't think the vet checkup at the rescue shelter had included urinalysis.

January 19th, 2008, 09:05 PM
That's a very good point about the urinalysis... the dog I described earlier who had problems with training, well, I found out later she had chronic kidney disease, and was probably born like that. She is no longer with me.. :rip: Sydney. I hope your dogs problem is only behavioral.

January 21st, 2008, 10:07 PM
No accidents in the last two days. We have tried feeding him in his kennel. We'll see how that works. And I phoned and got him a vet appointment. They have a free spot on friday, i just have to find a way to catch some pee now. this is gonna be interesting.

It would be a blessing if it was just a bladder infection that can be fixed with drugs and not a behavioural thing.
We'll see friday aft, we'll keep you posted

January 21st, 2008, 10:30 PM
if you can take him to your vet with a full bladder they can take some with a ?needle" Sasha had some cyrstals in her urine and ours was able to inject carefully into the bladder to take a sample. pbp

January 21st, 2008, 10:33 PM
When you go outside and he goes to lift the leg just hold a clean disposable container under the stream. I've done it many a time.

January 21st, 2008, 10:33 PM
this is apollo on a road trip with us just two weeks after we got him. Look at those sad eyes. They go red and so does his nose when he`s tired

January 21st, 2008, 11:18 PM
lol, any time our boxer gets her feelings hurt, her eyes go really red, you can always tell when she's upset

January 21st, 2008, 11:29 PM
She is beautiful I would also get a hearing test done as well. Deafness is common in white dogs or slight hearing loss. There have been some good suggestions from our members. I hope all goes well at the vets and it helps. Definitely more exercise for a boxer they have energy too burn. A tired dog is a happy dog

January 21st, 2008, 11:45 PM
OoOoOo don't remind me about energy to burn lol, why dont they make miniature boxers that are the size of toy poodles ????

January 22nd, 2008, 12:09 AM
Good idea there to get eyes/ears tested for genetic issues because of the colouring. Pups very cute! You gotta work at this one, a keeper for sure. :cloud9:

January 28th, 2008, 09:46 AM
Apollo went to see the vet on friday. He is healthy. Its purely behavioral. We'll just have to keep working and start training over completly treating him like a puppy.

He has only pee'd once in his kennel this past week since we have started to feed him there.

And on Sunday Morning, he barked for the first time when he wanted to go out. Normally we just have to recognise the look and take him outside to pee.
We have been trying to make the door bell ring and ask him if he wants to go outside. So it looks like he's starting to learn. I sure hope so, since he never really barks.

February 28th, 2008, 09:37 AM
Just to pitch in some suggetions:

1) Get the urinalysis done, bladder infections and crystals are both major sources of 'elimination' problems. Possibly, get blood panel done too just to check other possible medical sources. Its not that expensive.

2) Control the food AND the water access. For example: Put water down at both mealtimes until 30 minutes past eating and during the mid-day break or only put water down when you are home and put it away by 7:30 pm. This way you can control the elimination schedule just as you would with a puppy

3) Get a good odor neutralizing product and use it immediately after the accident. Don't use anything with ammonia, it smells like urine to dogs.

4) Continue feeding in the crate and change the surface texture. If there it is bare plastic, put down a blanket. If its a blanket put down a piece of carpet or a pillow, or a cut piece of linoleum or a plastic tablecloth. Change the feel of the surface under the dogs paws.

5) Have a drink yourself:thumbs up , take a deep breath and repeat "Patience is a virtue" even if you have to grit your teeth when you do it

Just a few thoughts

February 29th, 2008, 01:45 PM
OoOoOo don't remind me about energy to burn lol, why dont they make miniature boxers that are the size of toy poodles ????

They're called puppies! :laughing:

My boxer pees in his crate too- he wont go in the house at all though.

If you find out how to break him of this habit, let me know, and I'll let you know if I can find a way to keep my pup from peeing in his!

January 22nd, 2009, 12:10 PM
I have a two year old white Boxer as well, only mine is a female. My husnband and I have had her since she was 6 weeks old. She is a very well tempered dog, but extremely rambuctious!!!!! It is due to my husband and I working quite often, but she gets a lot of exercise too.
Anyways, Lily has always had an issue with peeing in her crate. She has done it ever since she was little. We have done everything....Introduced slowly when she was little, not put there when she's bad, have changed crates thinking she could still smell it....I don't know what else to do. I think it's just when we put her in there and lock the door she freaks out. Doesn't matter if we are standing right next to her or leaving and going to work. Now I have noticed that if I am the one who puts her there and not my husband she is great, no accidents. But when he puts her away it's a guarantee everytime she will pee. My husband is a very high strung person, and honestly I think a lot of dogs problems is learned behavior from their owners...Believe I am not saying by any means you are a bad owner. I just mean it doesn't take much to set certain dogs off of their comfort zone. I am continuing to work with Lily, trying everyday to decipher what goes on in her little doggie mind :) And hopefully it gets better. My husband wants to do the same, he wants to get rid of her too...I think his negative attitude rubs off on her, and she can sense that he doesn't care for her the way he cares for our little shiu-tzu. I love her to death, shes a great guard dog. But my husband has also taught her another bad habit....He likes to rough house with her, play biting the whole nine yards and them he yells at her when she comes in from playing outside and she's all wound up and shes starts "play biting him and jumping". But I don't know, if you can come up with any remedies let me know :shrug: Thanks, :pray: hope all is going well with yours.
P.S. - I have done the urinalysis too....

January 22nd, 2009, 12:30 PM
Reve, this thread is almost a year old. No harm done, but it's better if you start your own.