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24 July 2008 @ 09:46 pm
Help!  
A few weeks ago, our little guy started peeing in his crate.  The first time he did it I was totally surprised because we only leave him in there for about four hours at a time (he goes in the crate in the AM and I come home at lunch to let him out and then he's let out when we get home).   We have literally tried everything by the book.  We take him out on a very strict schedule, restrict his water (only four times a day and never less than four hours before bed) and praise him like CRAZY when he goes outside.  However, he can't seem to understand this potty thing.  He's doing very well with the other obedience training that we've started (he is doing very well with learning commands) but he just can't seem to get the potty thing down.  And now he's just going in a place that every book, trainer and dog person tells us he won't go: in his crate.  I've read that this can be a sign of a psychological problem (i.e. when he was a very small puppy he was left alone and forced to eliminate in his crate all the time).  We're not sure what we could do to prevent this from happening.  For weeks after we got him he held it just fine but now I know he's going in the crate because whenever we go outside, he just doesn't have to go badly... he kind of waits around instead of having to pee like mad.  Should we remove the bedding?  I feel bad just making him sleep in there all night for hours without having anything but a plastic floor to lay on but I don't know what else will help him stop doing this.  The worst part is, he doesn't even seem to mind the pee... the other morning when I woke up it was all over the little pillow he rests his head on and he was laying his head in it!!!  I couldn't believe it.  I feel so bad that he thinks he has to pee in there... we take him out often (during the day every 1-2 hours) and literally right before bed.  He can't even hold it as long as a dog his age should be able to.  All the books we've purchased say a puppy should be able to hold it the amount of his own age (so a 3 month old puppy should be able to hold it for three hours).... he's almost 12 months and can't (or possibly refuses) to hold it for more than two hours unless he's sleeping with us in bed (or sleeping on the couch or something).  However, we can't just trust him to have free reign of the house all night while he should be sleeping because I know he'll go in the house.  We are seriously at a loss. 

Also, important to note: we just took him to the vet yesterday and they did urine/fecal tests that were all totally clear.  So he doesn't have some kind of bladder infection that would be forcing him to pee all the time.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 
 
(Anonymous) on July 25th, 2008 10:30 am (UTC)

Here's a response from the NEBTR on the same issue. Maybe it will help you:


"For the crate training you sometimes have to switch to a plastic crate so that the dog cannot try to pee outside the sides. It also sometimes has to be the smallest crate possible since any bigger will allow the dog to go in one end and relax in the other. Also if the dog is dirty it may not care about soiling itself. Thus, a good bath is often necessary to improve crate training success.



Also as was suggested in earlier emails, you want to treat the dog when he does do his business outside and praise him for doing the right thing. If he is taken outside and he does not go, he needs to be put back in the crate and the taken back out a little while later. He keeps getting put back in the crate until he goes outside. When he goes outside you can assume he is can handle a little while in the house without making a mistake. Then once he has been out long enough that there is risk that he might go again he goes back into the crate and the whole process starts over again.



This all assumes that he is not just marking, in which case the belly band that was suggested earlier is the way to go."
Rory and Charleyseethewizard on July 25th, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
PS That was me above. I forgot to log in.
miserable, arrogant old bat: jimcottonmanifesto on July 25th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
yes, remove the bedding.

dogs have to learn to 'hold it' - if he has a long history of not holding it, then he just hasn't learned how. you haven't had him for very long, i'd guess - since you're effectively re-training, that it could take up to 6mos for him to be consistent.
jreid4 on July 25th, 2008 12:11 pm (UTC)
Should we remove the bedding 24/7 or just during the day? I feel bad taking it out while he's supposed to be in there all night sleeping.
miserable, arrogant old bat: jimcottonmanifesto on July 25th, 2008 01:04 pm (UTC)
it's only temporary! i know it feels kind of cruel, but the absorbency of the bedding can encourage a dog to eliminate on it. when he gets more consistent, you can try the bedding again.
The s is for sucks_inveigled on July 26th, 2008 03:32 pm (UTC)
How old is your guy? Cooper had some of the same issues when he was younger and potty training. He did really well for awhile and then for whatever reason started peeing and pooping in his crate. We didn't crate him overnight--only when we were away during the day. We couldn't figure out what was going on because he wouldn't go to the bathroom inside when not in his crate. We did take his bedding out, and we were giving him baths constantly. Unfortunately I don't have much good advice to give you, since we eventually just stopped crating him because he wasn't chewing anything up and he wouldn't go to the bathroom inside when not in the crate. However, Cooper also had some issues with going to the bathroom while waiting for the elevator (we live in a building) and I think it was just something he grew out of. Once he hit 6 or 6.5 months, he stopped having all of the accidents and problems. Good luck!