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Crate training question

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Most of you will remember I began crate training Brody last month. This has gone extremely well. We let him run free in the house when we are home. We take him out often and he has not had any accidents inside. He stays inside his crate when we are not at home, and also when we are sleeping. His crate is in our room and he seems content to be in there.
I started something new this weekend, leaving the door to his crate open at night when we are sleeping. I thought he might enjoy being able to walk around a bit, and I thought enough time had passed for him to know that he is supposed to go outside to use the bathroom. Friday- Sunday night everything was fine. He stayed in the crate the entire night despite the door being left open. He showed no interest in getting out. This morning though, I woke up at 4:30 and heard him walking down the hallway. I got up a few minutes later and he has pooped on the carpet near the door and peed nearby as well. I think that since his door was open he felt like he could just go near the door just because he had to go.... If his crate door had been shut he would have held it. During the week I go to bed around 10:00, he goes outside before I go to bed. In the mornings I get up at 4:30, and he goes out as soon as I am up.
Can I teach him that he needs to hold it, or at least wake me up if he has to go? Or since he is crate trained should I just leave it at that and keep him in the crate all night?
post #2 of 13
How old is Brody again? When he potties in the house tell him no, bad dog as soon as he does it. If it has been a while since he did it, don't yell at him-he won't know what he did. Immediatly scoop up the poo or take a paper towel and sop up the pee, and go outside-IMMEDIATLY- tell him-this is where we poddy- drop the poo/pee, let him smell it (don't shove his nose in it, I hate when people do that!) and hang around outside for a while. He will most likely not have to go again, but he will get the idea Some people reccomend that you take him to the same spot everytime you go out so that he associates that spot with poddy. i like them to associate outside (period) with poddying (is that a word) If you want an easy transition from crate-outside, take the newspaper or whatever he goes on in the crate (soiled) just like the poo/paper towel trick. Take the soiled paper outside so he understands he is supposed to pee/poop out here now. Good Luck

P.S.- I almost forgot!!!! Praise him really GREATLY when he does go outside, I would even use a treat the first few times. Tell him good boy, and give him a good petting
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for that info!
A few things though, Brody doesn't poddy in his crate at all. In the beginning I went home every day at lunch, or set the alarm for the middle of the night to take him out so he didn't have to wait so long. But now, he is fine making it through the night or day without having to be taken out.
I like the idea of taking the mess outside and dropping it in the grass so he realizes he is supposed to go there. He does go to the door when he is out of the crate in the evening, so he knows that is where he is supposed to go.
I think the problem is at night when we are sleeping, and aren't letting him out every couple of hours.
I am wondering if once dogs are crate trained, is there a point where you start letting them out of the crate at night or do they always sleep in it?
post #4 of 13
We always wake up at night and when we do we take China outside. I know, I wouldn't be able to hold it, and I believe it is unfair to ask a puppy or a new dog to hold it as well. Try and keep on a certain schedule with Brody as far as potty breaks and play with him after he goes, so he knows he is a good boy.

I would also let him out more when you are at home. Put him on a lead and harness and keep him with you, but don't lock him in the crate all the time. China is right now on lead, lying at my feet. I have just fed the cats in the kitchen and she would go and dive into their food if I let her run loose. Once they eat, she will be released, and only go to her cage if we get a client over, or have to do something where she can't just join in. Puppy pads are also good to use for training, and pick up a bottle of Anti-icky-poo when you can, sounds like you need it.

I also know that smaller breed dogs can potty in litter boxes, the dog litter is bigger than the cat litter- more pellets than anything else.

Brody has never had this type of attention before, I am willing to bet. Owned by a neglectful owner, he is bound to have accidents. Take him out after he has been playing in the house, after he has been sleeping and after his mealtimes.

Find a special word that he hears only when he is pottying. Use it over and over in a special good voice.

Hang a large cowbell on the doors to the backyard. Make the bell down to his level and train him to push this with his nose when he has to go potty. Reward him always when he has eliminated in the backyard.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks MA!
Brody is always out of his crate when we are home. He is only inside the crate when we sleep and are at work. During the weekends he runs around the house all day free.
I did keep him on a lead around the house during the first few weeks of having him, but after "training" on how to behave in the house he does extremely well.

I love the cow bell idea! That would give Brody a way to let us know if we don't happen to see him staring at the door.
post #6 of 13
Willy was crate-trained when he was a wee pup. But since he was about 5-6 months he has had free rome of the house day and night. So we totally did away with the crate once he started to get the whole poddy outside, and be good in the house alone thing down. My parents go to bed by 9 and get up @ 4:30am then they go outside so thats 7 1/2 hours at night they hold it, and everyone is gone during the day from 7 am to 3 pm and they are good dogs. So really its up to you if you want to keep the crate-training active, frankly we got tired of the big thing in the way all the time, and could not wait until he learned the rules.
post #7 of 13
I know of a couple how adopted a 15 year old toy poodle(his mommy died) with health problems from the HS. He was crate trained, but being old he had bowel troubles. They put up a baby gate in one room(linoleum). He got his crate, toys, food, water, & a puppy pad. They knew he couldn't hold it all night or during the day. They made sure he went out frequently & did what they could. I don't know if there is a room in your house where you can set up a place for Brody to have a room of his own? If he is in your bedroom at night & you leave the door open, can you leave a puppy pad somewhere(on linoleum) for him? Did Brody seem sorry for going potty in the house? One of my dogs is spay incontinent & she looks at you like she wants to kill herself for going potty in the house. It is often devastating for a housetrained dog to have to go potty in the house.

I think, from what you said, that Brody is fully crate trained, he simply cannot hold it sometimes. Offer him a safe place to go potty so if he can no longer hold it & you are gone/sleeping he has a safe place to go potty.
post #8 of 13
Originally Posted by white cat lover
One of my dogs is spay incontinent & she looks at you like she wants to kill herself for going potty in the house.
aaawwww poor thing.
post #9 of 13
Hmmm...some dogs get confused when they don't have boundaries. I have to put a baby gate up so Rain and Pedro can't go out into the living room at night. They are gated in one half of the house with my bedroom, the kitchen and bathroom, and they sleep in the bedroom with me. The rest is off limits at night. They will both eliminate inappropriately if their boundaries are not set, like it's too overwhelming for them. They also have to be crated during the day for the same reason. Their crate is large and they have plenty of room to walk around, and their not in it more than 6 hours without getting a break. (I come home at lunch time) I don't know why this is, I didn't have either of them from puppyhood, so they may not have been trained properly, but I find this arrangement suitable, and they seem fine with it too.
post #10 of 13
It sure sounds like Brody understands that the outside is where he needs to do his business - if he got out of his crate and messed by your door, he clearly understood where he should be going.

The cow bell is a great idea, or some type of signal to you that will let you know he needs to go outside. Mine will come up and place a paw in your lap and give a whine when they have to go. Not sure how we developed that signal but it works for us. If you aren't yet confident that he knows how to tell you he needs to go out, or he can't yet make it thru the night, then by all means crate him for a while longer.

Dogs are so willing to please you! Mine almost "potty" (pee) and "go poops" on command, but I had to work with them for a while to get them there. They do it to please me, and in return they get rewarded with lots of love, affection and biscuits!

Mine are now 2 years old and we have lost the crates entirely. They have the run of the downstairs (they aren't aware that they have the capability of climbing stairs) and haven't made a mess in the house for over a year (unless ill). They like the sofa much more than their crate and they can hang out with their "pack" (the cats) all day long.
post #11 of 13
Originally Posted by squirtle
I love the cow bell idea! That would give Brody a way to let us know if we don't happen to see him staring at the door.
You'll be surprised how incredibly quickly he picks this up, too. He'll love it - dogs love anything that helps them communicate with us better. Ring it just before you take him outside every time, and he'll start to associate the noise with going outside to potty. DON'T ring it when you take him outside for anything else, though - food or play etc - or you'll end up with a pup that rings the bell all the time just for fun!
post #12 of 13
Bogey and Hilton both have their own little "houses" that they go into and they don't have any accidents... Except for that one time though. Last night they both went into their crates for nite nite without even being told to.
post #13 of 13
First off, Tanya, you are doing great, and are an angel to have taken Brody! Second, yes, I wholeheartedly agree with MA's advice, as she was very instrumental and coached us when we first got our Sandy puppy girl (who is now just under a year). Sandy's first 3 weeks with the crate were emotional - she cried but then, at week three, something just kicked in and she loves her crate now. It's been six months for her crate and it's her very own private space. We put three or four fluffy, washable comforters in there and pushed them up the sides so it felt like her mama's womb. We also covered the top 3/4 with a dark wool blanket to keep the warmth in, and we have a radio playing softly for her all night. I must say, she knows more Country Western Top 40 than any other puppy we know.

She is in the crate from 11 pm to 9 am ONLY she won't have anything to do with it ouside of those hours. She sleeps through or she'll softly yelp when she needs to pee and Eric gets up to take her if he's home (cuz she's daddy's girl), or I do, but it's only 1x per night. We give her a tiny treat on the way back in and she just goes right into the crate. She doesn't seem to sleep much during the day - her entire world is play, run, swim, jump, play play play, so at night she's really ready for her private time.

In the house, we followed our trainer's rule: if you wouldn't leave a toddler alone to run the house, don't leave your puppy or a new dog. We had her on a lead for 8 months and now she's completely unleashed inside when it's raining or icy or cold, or just in the evenings to be with us, and she only wanders as far as her original lead was to begin with.

It took awhile - 8 months - but she's so sweet and obedient, it takes time and you will be rewarded.
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