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Help! My new 2 1/2 yr old dog pees in her crate!

Lili
June 25th, 2008, 09:53 PM
Hey everyone!

Well, I'm puzzled as to what to do... I got a 2 1/2 year old Australian Shepherd on June 14th, and since then, when I leave her for more than 5-6 hours at a time in her crate, she pees in it! The breeder from which I got her told me that she could go almost 12 hours alone in her kennel when she had her.

Note that she does not have access to water when in her crate (based on the breeder's recommendation).

My guess is that this is probably due to the stress she is feeling from now living with me. She used to live with 30 dogs, and slept with 2 in one large kennel. She must be lonely… :cry:

My vet told me to get up (around 4:00-5:00 am) when I hear her whine, to let her outside, and have someone come take her out mid-day when I'm at work. (I've tried ignoring her during the night, and when I did that, sure enough, she peed in her crate). My vet again thought this seemed like a behavioral problem rather than physical.

Maybe I could do what the vet suggested for a week or so, and then gradually try to lengthen the amount of time she is left in her crate?

Any views on how I could resolve this situation and/or how long it could take?

Thanks a bunch!

Lili :)

clm
June 26th, 2008, 06:54 AM
It sounds to me like this was a kennel dog and never properly housebroken, in which case you're almost starting from scratch.

Has she been crated before? I know you said in a kennel with 3 other dogs, but they can be substantially larger than a crate.

No dog should ever be denied access to fresh water, so please don't leave her in there for 5 or 6 hours without it.

Take her out right before you go to bed and make sure you take her out first thing in the morning. Learn to watch for signs that she may have to go.
If you heard her whine and ignored it and then found out she had peed in the crate, then she was whinning because she had to go. I'm sure she'll catch on quickly, but you're going to have to catch on too. Don't think that sleeping in on the weekend is something that you'll be able to do either, she's not going to know it's the weekend, so get up and let her out.

Cindy

Lili
June 26th, 2008, 12:14 PM
It sounds to me like this was a kennel dog and never properly housebroken, in which case you're almost starting from scratch.

The breeder said she could go almost 12 hours at a time before she would be sent outside... And she allowed the dogs, in turn, in her house (on her main floor - the kennels are in her basement). Maybe that was not long enough though for this dog to learn proper house rules.

Has she been crated before? I know you said in a kennel with 3 other dogs, but they can be substantially larger than a crate.

She was kept in a 4' x 6' kennel with 2 other dogs, while I'm keeping her in a 2.5' x 4' crate. (She's only 32 pounds). I would think this crate is more than large enough for her.

No dog should ever be denied access to fresh water, so please don't leave her in there for 5 or 6 hours without it.

That was my thought as well...

Take her out right before you go to bed and make sure you take her out first thing in the morning. Learn to watch for signs that she may have to go.
If you heard her whine and ignored it and then found out she had peed in the crate, then she was whinning because she had to go. I'm sure she'll catch on quickly, but you're going to have to catch on too. Don't think that sleeping in on the weekend is something that you'll be able to do either, she's not going to know it's the weekend, so get up and let her out.

I'm doing all of that. My only worry was that if I let her out everytime she whines, won't that encourage her behaviour - therefore, how would I reach the 8 hours period where she can be left alone? On the other hand, if I don't let out out, she'll be swimming in her own pee.... :o

Cindy

Thanks for your input!

jessi76
June 26th, 2008, 01:59 PM
you should just build up time gradually if she absolutely NEEDS to be crated for 8 hrs. Although I realize some dogs are destructive, I think crating for long periods of time, on a regular basis, isn't great. (and I'm a supporter of crate training) I do think it should be broken up though. My dog is 3 now, and I would NEVER leave him crated for 8 hrs. In fact, I don't crate him anymore, although the crate available for him to use (we leave it open). That said, when he was locked in, the longest was 5-6 hrs.

but like i said, if you MUST, then build up to it. increase slowly by 20-30 min over time. you'll reach the 8 hr mark soon enough, and by going slow you'll train the dog to be able to hold it that long.

clm
June 26th, 2008, 11:50 PM
I don't use a crate either, but wherever they're confined, it needs to be a pleasant experience for them. Put a kong stuffed with peanut butter in with her as a special treat when she goes in her crate, never put her in there as a punishment.
Lot's of patience and she'll get there for you. Can't wait to see lots of pics of her too.

Cindy

Lissa
June 27th, 2008, 11:41 AM
Will she eliminate in her crate every 5-6hrs at any time of the day or only at night time?

This is a tough one to call... I personally wouldn't be surprised if your Aussie has figured out that whining gets her outside... But clm has a good point about being properly crate trained/housebroken.

Assuming this isn't a health issue and you know that that she cannot be in her crate longer than 5-6hrs, you need to start taking her out 4 or 4.5hrs after being crated. The idea is to let her eliminate LONG before she whines so you aren't encouraging her behaviour but you are also giving her the benefit of the doubt. Then you slowly increase the length of time you expect her to wait.
You may also want to train pee/poop commands. Also, one fatal mistake that people make is letting the dog out in the backyard. While its convenient it can create issues - ie: the dog will not eliminate on-leash or the dog will take its time or play catch me if you can or the dog asks to go out constantly. So at first, you will need to get your shoes/coat on and take your dog on-leash to eliminate. You need to make sure that this is an elimination break - not a walk or sniff time. Always take her to the same spot and whenever she does her business, reward her - only put it on command when she is doing it reliably.

Some dogs are trained to ring a bell when they need to eliminate - but you will get the extra smart dogs who will just ring it constantly...:laughing:

katherine93
June 27th, 2008, 11:59 AM
what we have done :

Half of our basement is done up for the dogs. we have six 4x7 Dog pens rigged up going acroos one wall and 6 on the other(like you would see at some animal shelters. They each have their own and we have toys/food/water ect. in with them at all times they are in there crates. They arent in it very often, most of the dogs sleep with me/mom/brothers in our beds. But we give each of them 1 hour of penned up time a day (so they dont overwork them selves and when mom cleans up the house she needs them out of the way.) We've only had a feww accident even when they are in there kennels over night. And weve even left Matrix (120 lb German shepherd) In his crate for 8 hours while we were all gone to my nans house and he didnt have any accidents, He used to pee because he was lonely and scared, but we fixed it by keeping something lik an old t-shirt with my senct on it in with him to keep him calm. The more room for the dog the better, and water is a MUST. would you like to be in a keenel all day with no water?- You can get bads to line the bottom of the cage to soak up her pee so she isnt lying in it so badly.


Good liuck with your doggy