April 30th, 2011, 11:18 PM
I have a seven month old rescue dog. She is husky mix. We got her when she was three months old. She is housebroken and it only took about three weeks to do that.
However, she will pee and poop in her cage when left alone. She has done this from the beginning of her time with us. It does not happen all of the time and it does not seem to be linked to the amount of time she is left in the cage. She has been left for as long as five hours and she was fine in the cage. She has pooped in her cage when left for as little as one half hour.
We are retired so, she does not get left in the cage often. She gets walked often and she gets a lot of attention. We have taken her to training classes so, you can see she is a busy dog. The problem doesn't seem to be lack of mental or physical exercise.
She has been sleeping all night long without having to be taken outside to potty for about two months. Since she began to sleep all night, I have not put her in the cage at night. I started by putting her in the cage but, leaving the door open. She would stay in the cage for a few hours and then spend the rest of the night elsewhere. Now, she sleeps in her bed that is outside of the cage all of the time.
I figure she is having some kind of separation problem but, I would like to know what everyone thinks we should do about it.
Every other dog that we have had over the years, from childhood on were allowed to have the run of the house when we left. I would like that for this dog, too. But, I am at a total loss. It seems that as I search the net, I have done things right but, not gotten the right results.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
April 30th, 2011, 11:30 PM
Hello Max2 :).
Can you leave a video recorder on to see if your puppy is experiencing anxiety when left alone? Probably it's the only way to know for sure. How much exercise is she getting before you crate her? Are there certain times a day that she usually eliminates? Would these be the times that you sometimes have to leave her? By any chance, do you know her prior history? Perhaps she was kept in a crate for too long periods of time when she was just a wee puppy and learned that it was ok to potty there?
If she never has accidents in the house, you might want to consider leaving her in a safe gated area. Perhaps a kitchen or a spare room that's been perfectly puppy-proofed.
May 1st, 2011, 09:35 AM
What a good idea to leave her out of the cage and yet confined in an area of the house. Why didn't I think about that? Thaank you. I'll try that.
To answer your other questions. I did try the video recorder three times when I had her caged. All three times were times when she did not leave me any surprises in the cage. Like I told you, I never know when it will happen. I guess, I could just record her every time I leave until I catch her. I stopped after three times trying because I thought she was over the problem. There have been times that she has gone so long without this problem that I thought we were done with it.
I don't know her history. I, too, thought she may have been kept caged for too much before I got her. If that was the case, I was hoping for ideas to try to overcome her past. You gave me one idea to try and some others may have other ideas.
One of the very last things that I do before I leave and cage her is to take her outside for a walk. Ususally, not a long walk but, long enough for her to relieve herself.
While cleaning her cage after she uses it for a potty isn't what I'd like to do, it isn't that big of a problem for me since it doesn't happen every time. Certainly, this dog could have much worse problems than that. I'd like to see this cleared up for her sake and not mine since she would not have to be caged any longer at any time if I could do that.
Any more suggestions from anyone else?
May 1st, 2011, 10:05 AM
First thing you want to take notice of is the size of her crate. Even if she is a large breed dog, you do not want to put her in a large sized crate while she's a puppy. It's just simply too big.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that it should accomodate your puppy comfortably, but it still should not be much bigger than allowing her to stand up and turn herself around.
I did try the video recorder three times when I had her caged. All three times were times when she did not leave me any surprises in the cage.
I don't think is quite what LuckyPenny was referring to - when you video taped her, regardless of whether or not she soiled her cage, was she experiencing any type of behavioral anxiety?
May 1st, 2011, 10:49 AM
I started with the cage down to a size where she can lay down or stand to turn around. That did not work. I tried giving her the whole cage with her bed in about 1/2 of the cage and nothing in the other half. The thought behind that was that if she was going to potty in the cage she would not have to do it on her bed. That didn't work. She used her bed. So, we went back the the small cage.
She did not show any signs of unusual behavior or distressed behavior when I taped her. She worked for a while to get the food that was put into her kong (or whatever that thing is called). She chewed on what was provided and she played with a stuffed toy. Then she slept. Repeat this three times and you have the videos.
I have to leave for a short time this morning. I am going to try the first suggestion and leave her confined but, not in the cage. I intend to keep everything else the same--like her kong, her toys and her chew things. Even if nothing happens that I wouldn't want her to do that doesn't mean that it won't happen the next time or the time after that. However, it is a beginning and something new to try.
Thanks for the suggestions, again.
May 1st, 2011, 10:58 AM
I started with the cage down to a size where she can lay down or stand to turn around. That did not work.
In this case, I would have to agree and say that she most likely was kept in a cage and this became learned behavior.
Let us know how the confined area goes. :thumbs up
May 1st, 2011, 12:33 PM
We left her for one and one half hours this morning. I did not have time to set up a video camera before we left. I did exactly what I would have done if I had caged her except that I did not close the cage door. I told her to get into her cage and gave her the things I would normall leave in the cage. Then we left.
When I got home all of the things that I had left with her in the cage were outside of the cage. She was asleep in her usual spot for sleeping during the day which is outside of the cage. She didn't seem upset. In fact, after she greeted us, she went back to sleep.
I'm hoping that the answer is that I don't need the cage. I really appreciate the help. Sometimes things seem so complicated and they are really so simple. I am hoping that is the case with Panda.
I will check in here to see if anyone else has anything to add to this thread. I will, also, come back and let everyone know how our dog, Panda, is doing.
May 15th, 2011, 04:07 PM
It's been two weeks since my first post here. As you know I took the advice given and I'm back to tell you that things are going fine, so far.
Panda has graduated from a small confined area to the run of the house when we are gone. Her behavior when we are gone is fine. I don't have even one complaint.
Keep you fingers crossed for me that this continues. :pray:
Thank you for your help. Besides giving me the help with my dog, you gave me a funny story to tell my friends. My story is about how I was making something so hard out of something so easy. :rolleyes::D