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My puppy hates her kennel. Any advice?

April 21st, 2009, 12:02 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and I know this has been covered before, but I felt my case was a bit different, as I seem to already have done everything recommended by posters and nothing has worked. I've read a lot of dog-training books and articles, and they all say the same thing -- so I'm looking for some more unique tips.

I recently brought home an eight week old golden retriever puppy. She's been great so far, minus the troubles we've been having putting her in her kennel. I thought I might post here to get some advice.

We purchased a large kennel for her and put it in our room. We put up a divider in the kennel so that she wouldn't have any accidents. She was never put in a kennel before, and her first night home (almost a week ago now), she cried and barked so loudly and was VERY upset. We of course had to take her out after several minutes, as she would have woken up the entire neighbourhood! The first night, she slept in bed and didn't make a peep after she'd been let out. Since then, however, she's warmed up to her kennel a bit, and will sometimes go in there throughout the day to take a nap. I leave treats in there for her and have her food and water dishes in there, along with toys and a stuffed animal she likes to cuddle with. I work 8-4, and take her for a run in the morning and kennel her. I put a blanket over the kennel and make sure the room is dark. The second I close the door, she starts to bark and whine and cry Ė very loudly. She has been known to keep crying and barking for a half hour or more, and it breaks my heart. I come home every couple of hours to let her out, and she cries every time I put her back in her kennel.

Iím at my wits end. I canít kennel her at night because she cries and barks so loudly, so when we wake up, she has peed on the floor during the night (even though I wake up every couple of hours to take her out). I feel like Iím taking two steps backward when it comes to housebreaking her.

What should I do to get her to like her kennel and stop barking/crying? People say sheíll get used to it, but Iím not so sure. I feel awful hearing her, but we canít be home all day with her, and she is too young to be left unsupervised. Plus, I donít know any other way to housebreak her. Have any of you tried other methods to housetrain your puppy?

Thanks in advance!

April 21st, 2009, 12:33 PM
I have never used a kennel before with house training. But if you really just want them to go potty in one spot in the house there is a special scent that the dog is drawn to and goes potty there. It is what my fiance's family used to house train their poodle. For me our dogs learned quickly with the whole time out and leading them to the scene of the crime and saying BAD and NO. It took a couple weeks and constant keeping an eye out for the signs of i GOTTA GO. Now a days the dogs will start jumping or pawing us to get us to take them out or just hold it if we are not home. RARELY is there an accident unless they are sick. Also what we do is after Dinner(and getting their last drink in) no water out till morning. Just to avoid pee accidents. And walk them at like 11pm to get the last water pee out. (we sleep late)

Sorry I am not much help with the kennel I always let my dogs sleep with me or on the floor by me (they usually didnt like the bed because I tend to move and kick in my sleep so they would be launched to the floor)

I am sure there are ways to kennel train the little one but well to potty train well these tips were my family's ways of doing things (they were family dogs)
In the beginning there will always be accidents. Just gotta be up and ready to deal till they learn. They will learn!!!

April 21st, 2009, 02:31 PM
How old is she now, 9 weeks? She's still really young, so accidents are to be expected. When they're in a new place like that, it can be pretty scary. I don't think it's a great idea for you to put her in your bed, as I don't agree with having dogs on the furniture or in the bed, but there's nothing wrong with being near her in general. When we brought puppy home for the first time, he slept in the kennel (same kind as yours). We didn't put his food in there, but we put a blanket in there that smelled like his mom. Hubbie took off work the first week, me the second. We have the kennel in our room, so he can hear where we are at night. For the first week, there was some whining, and some accidents. When he whined, we took him out of his kennel and outside to pee, then straight back in. No talking, no playing, just out to do business then back. Sometimes puppies take time to do their business, so maybe she just wasn't done yet when you took her back in.

When she starts to whine, and you absolutely know she doesn't have to go, give her a quick interruption, saying, "no noise", or "bedtime". The other thing you can do to ease her into the kennel sleeping, is to either make it so she can see you from the kennel, or lay down beside it for a while when it's time for bed. But unless she has to pee, don't take her out when she's whining, as you will only reinforce the behaviour (that's why you don't talk or anything when taking her out to pee).

April 21st, 2009, 09:56 PM
Hi Sadie Grace and welcome :thumbs up

When we brought our Golden Retriever home (14 years ago), a kennel just wasn't in her cards. We tried and she HOWLED with the fact of being in it. We did the exact same thing that you did and let her sleep in the bed...just one night though.

My family also had work and school so, we cordoned off the kitchen area instead of the crate. Left a radio on (nothing to heavy, NPR talking was good) and left her with lots of chewy toys. If you choose this method, make sure you "puppy proof" the area first. Absolutely nothing should be left 5 feet under (books, magnets and papers on the fridge, garbage, etc.)

We bought her a new dog bed and that is where she slept for 14 years. Goldens are just too smart, loving and sensitive to try and crate train--that's my opinion.

As far as the very vigilant and slightly stern. We took both our puppys outside at least every half hour during the evening and reduced their water intake at 8:00 p.m.

You may not know this but you are very special to have the love and affection of a Golden Retriever. They will be your bestest friend for their entire life :cloud9: