making mess in crate

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howsefrau32's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-27

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We have had our puppy for almost 3 weeks now, she will be 14 weeks old Friday.  She was doing OK in the crate, not great, but it was getting better.  The first time we crated her, we came home, she had pooped in her crate.  The crate is not too big, in face, we will need a bigger one, we got one for up to 70 pound dog, and it just looks like it barely fits her now.  Whenever I giver her treats, I crate her, it has a nice comfortable blanket. The second time, same thing, she made a mess.  I tried crating her at home every day for an hour or so, she screamed bloody murder, tried to eat the bars, I ignored her, it seemed to get better.  We had left her twice for an hour and a half both times, came home, she was quiet, no mess, no distress.  Now, all of a sudden, last two times we have come home to a poop mess.  I didn't make a big deal out of the mess, but every time she does it, I leave her in it until I get the shampoo and towels ready, and we are in Florida and I wash her outside with the hose, which she is not crazy about.  I didn't yell at her, I know she is a baby still, wondering if this is normal, or I am doing something wrong.  I try to do all that I have read on here to do.  I don't pay attention to her when we leave, and ignore her for a few minutes when we come in.  Try to get her to do business outside before I put her in the crate, try to play with her before putting her in there.  I do admit that this last time, she didn't go to bathroom before I put her in, though we did try to get her to, and we tried playing with her, but it was so hot she just wanted to sit in the grass and roll around, and she had just been asleep for several hours.  I thought to myself, she has been sleeping for 3 hours and now she is all peppy and we are going to crate her, this is gonna be bad, and it was.  We have a gated off area in the kitchen I could put her in, but I have a feeling she could get out of it if we were gone, or at the very least, she would chew up the gate.  Should I just stick with it and hope she eventually gets that if she craps in her crate she is gonna have to sit in it til we get home, and then she is gonna get a bath with the hose outside? I know she is a puppy mill rescue, I think this is why she fears the crate, but she went into rescue at 10 weeks old, and she was in a big pen most of the time with her 4 other siblings.  I should say, don't know if this is a mistake, but we don't crate her at night.  She sleeps in a dog bed next to us and she sleeps until we wake up at 5:30 when we let her out, so she is able to sleep from about 10:00 pm to 5:30 with no accidents.  I figure there is probably something I am doing wrong. 

AlphaAdmin's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-18

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Hi howsefrau32,

She's still very young and not in full control of her bodily functions.

Quote:
Should I just stick with it and hope she eventually gets that if she craps in her crate she is gonna have to sit in it til we get home, and then she is gonna get a bath with the hose outside?

Yes - you should stick with it, but she's 14 weeks old. There's no way she will put that string of logic together. Right now anything can stimulate her little bowel. Being a rescue, she is also at high risk for separation anxiety. This may be the problem although these are not signs of a severe case.

It sounds like you're doing everything right. It's definitely a good idea to get her confidently crate trained. It's important to her safety and will help her deal with certain anxieties. Essentially it's like a den. I would try to work on it more, including at night. Anytime you're not playing with her or otherwise directly supervising her, put her in the crate. Once she gets accustomed to it you can start leaving it as an option at night.

The messing in the crate should fix its self as she gets more mature, probably in the next couple weeks to a month. She's still at the age where she's not sure whats going on back there - and certainly not mature enough to know she had anything to do with the stinky pile you have to clean.

She's a cute little girl though. Her coat looks healthy, that's a great sign. I know she can be a hand full - but that's the price we get to pay for having such a great dog once they grow up.  ;)

howsefrau32's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-27

Your advice is much appreciated.  I figured if she could hold everything all night, she could hold it for a few hours in the crate when we were gone, but thank you for reminding me that she is still only 14 weeks old.  Sometimes it's hard to remember she is still such a baby since she is almost as big now as my last dog was full grown.  I think like you said it is probably separation anxiety as well.  Next time we will try to wear her butt out before we have to leaver her.  You have lots of great info here, I have been reading it and trying to take it all in.  I'm still spinning from going to springer spaniel owner to doberman owner, but I have to say, I am liking this breed. Thanks for providing such good information! 

sems_yates's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-20

I did read once not to ever feed them anything before crating because when food is consumed it begins the bowel movements- being that she is so young its harder for her to hold. 

She is gorgeous! I didnt have my dobes ears cropped either- r u planning on doing that?

AlphaAdmin's picture
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That's very true sems_yates. With out puppies, just scattering them some food on the floor to sniff out would cause some pooping withing minute - literally.

sems_yates's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-20

yeah... puppies are extremely sensitive to that.

BlueNemo's picture
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Joined: 2008-07-22

My pup, when I got him at 8 weeks old, had been kept in a crate and didn't know that he wasn't supposed to poop in it. We had a heck of a time crate training him, I did what you are doing eventually, and let him sleep on a pillow next to my bed and he did fine. If I crated him at night, he pooped everywhere. Eventually he got the point and is now crate trained, took about a month, by the time his ears healed he was crate trained, now is also housebroken (he's now 9 months old). Good luck!

howsefrau32's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-27

I was laughing looking back at this post, seemed so long ago that I was concerned about Greta messing up her crate.  Well, I am happy to report that she is long since over that, she maybe did it 3 times.  She is now 8 months old and as I hear puppies that age described on this board as "truly awful", I concur with that statement, she is a little devil, at times.  We still love her though.  She is the most stubborn dog I have ever seen, if she doesn't want to do it, she is not going to do it, so I mostly don't put her in the position of having to do something I know she is going to disobey.  She is getting better though.  This is my first doberman, my husbands second, and I am so completely and madly in love with this dog, I can't imagine not having a doberman.  She loves other animals, especially little dogs (ankle biters we call them), she is still a bit skittish around men but is much better around people in general than she was in the beginning.  I seriously cannot wait until the puppy stage is over though, and she is a calm.  I just had to comment on this post since I remember when I first posted it I was so worried about her messing up her crate and now it seems like so long ago, I am happy to say. :)

eerised12's picture
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Joined: 2008-06-25

Hello,

I just wanted to say that that little puppy is so adorable! Can't wait to get one of my own ... *sigh*