Crate training a puppy

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rachandjoe's picture
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Joined: 2014-04-02

We adopted a adorable fawn doberman about 4 1/2 weeks ago. She picked up "going potty" very quickly and heading to the back door, I am sure it helped that we have a american bulldog. Riley has only had two accidents in the house which is great, but we crate her during the day while we're away at work. We treat the crate as a good thing never ever as a bad thing. She is put away around 8:30 am, food and water is usually cut off around 7:30 and is put out multiple times in the morning. We have a family member that comes around 12:00 ish and stays for a half hour to an hour. I usually get an update on what has happened in her crate. It is usually none or a small amount of pee that gets cleaned up. My fiance comes home 2 1/2 hours later and he comes home to lots of pee and yesterday poop everywhere, even outside of the cage!!!! The crate is very large but we section it off so there is just enough room for her to move and lay down. I put a blanket and a nylabone in there for her to be comfortable and stay busy.

Our other dog just floats around the house because he is five years old and is potty trained.

Is she having separation anxiety from us, or are other dog? We're doing everything right according to our vet.

She is out of her crate by 3:30, outside all the time, playing with our other dog and being a puppy. She is very smart and has caught on to all of our commands very well. She basically sleeps through the night next to me in bed and gets up only once to go "potty".

side note: she had come down with either pain from either growing or a side-effect from her vaccination. The emergency vet put her on clavamox, persidone for 14 days. This is the first week she has fully been off any medication. I am not sure if all of these accidents are because her body is adjusting to not taking the medicine.

I hope that someone can offer us some valuable information!!!!!

Oz Dobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-03-25

Hi rachandjoe,

I'm fortunate enough to be home all the time, therefore not needing to 'crate'. We do have a crate, but the door stays open all the time at present. Its more like an inside kennel.

If your dog is pooping outside her crate from the inside, I would take your dog back to the vet or to a different vet. My dog had diarrhea (not sure if that is whats happening for your pup) as a pup due to a serious case of enteritis and my vet wouldn't vaccinate until she had fully recovered with weeks of antibiotics. The vet was concerned that her immune system was under strain and that vaccination would overload her immune system. My vet was very concerned. Enteritis can be a serious issue, so I'd check it out asap.

I've never had a dog with separation anxiety, but from what I've read about it, I think you'd have more signs of distress than just the toileting issues.

All the best. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

Rob_103's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-18

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When my puppy was that age he would go potty every 1.5-2 hours. It was pretty annoying because that was the same schedule throughout the night and I would do the same and cut off water and food at a certain time. You may be in a situation that you need someone there to take the dog out more often. My wife was staying home at the time so it was a little easier for us. It might be beneficial to find a find that might be home all day. Since you can't be home all day I know some people are against this but you may want to give her a little more space in her kennel and put a pad down. if she cant hold it she can at least have a place to relieve herself and not have to sit in it until someone gets home. Over time she will learn to hold it longer and longer. Just make sure during the weekend if you not working that you take her out side everytime she has to go. I read several different things about confusing the dog because of the pads but, if this was a perfect world I would do what ever I wanted all day get paid and if I decide to get a dog would spend all of the time I wanted training him/her. The truth is we have to work and also want our four legged friends. I did both the pads and used the weekend to reinforce him going outside to use the bathroom. My wife was home most of the time but the days she couldn't be there the pads were great. I had a big cage with the divider and would make it a little bigger so that he can pee of the pads and sleep on his bed. Good Luck

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

Puppies are small people, small bladders and short intestines, things go in and come right back out fast!! at 4 1/2 weeks this is a baby baby, and expecting her to be able to hold anything for any length of time is setting her up to  be a failure at potty training and stress her with other areas of her life; she needs to feel confident in herself. And by having her soil her sleeping area she will learn that that is ok and will not understand when it becomes unacceptable later.....

By all means have someone stop in every hour or so, this is just too long for a baby to go....she is managing to poop outside the crate while in it cause she doesn't WANT to poop inside where she is but she can't get out to go out......so she does the next best thing......

rachandjoe's picture
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Joined: 2014-04-02

She wasn't four weeks when we got her she was almost 8 weeks, yes someone comes to let the dog out daily. My problem is that she is getting older and still soiling in her crate, weather it be pee or pooping. Not sure what to do anymore. 

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

still sounds like she's not getting enough "out" time how old is she now? and at what times does this happen, after a meal, only after having been outside and done nothing? after a certain number of minutes or hours???

You could try something I had to do with my cats - I got a "spy camera" from amazon for around $49 I can share the info with you if you want on it, but I used the spy camera to see what cats were fighting with each other, it worked and now I have better control over my cats - you could set the camera up to see what bothers her in her crate, to see her behavior, does she try to get out to go potty and give up, or does she just stand up and go with no concern over being in the crate that type of thing, if she is trying to get out go then you know for certain she is not getting  close enough potty breaks. If she is doing this shortly after being put in the crate maybe she is doing it out of crate anxiety lots of things could cause it, but you need to SEE her reactions and behavior to diagnose what is bothering her.

So I would get the spy cam and see what comes of that, it should direct your next steps to help her.