View Full Version : Crate Training

25th July 2006, 08:22 PM
I started crate training my puppy about two weeks ago. Before I would leave him in the kitchen while I was at work and he would go to the bathroom everywhere. Not a good idea! It worked with our Golden but he is so submissive that he was potty trained in a week! Anyway, I started leaving Charlie in his crate while I was at work. The first week he did really well and did not have any accidents and he also has slept in his crate for about a month and had no accidents except for the first night we had him which is understandable. This week he has had many accidents. I think one probably everyday. I don't know why this just started happening. The crate is small so he has to sit right by his mess and I know dogs don't like that. I just don't know why he won't hold it now.

Any suggestions?

25th July 2006, 09:11 PM
And he is 12 weeks old? I'm sorry but there is no way that a 12 week old puppy can hold his poop or wees for long.

We've had loads of posts about crating pups whilst people are at work. How long is he in his crate? You've already just said that the crate is small and he has to sit next to his poop so really the crate is TOO small for him.

I'm sorry to sound hard but if you are working all day and then shut him up at night as well, why get a puppy? It seems nothing short of cruelty to be putting a Cavalier in a cage all day and all night and only taking them out for a few hours. cavaliers are social animals and need people around them, especially at 12 weeks - he's only a baby :(

If you have to leave him all day then please put him in an x-pen in the kitchen or something and get someone to call in on him a few times a day.

Ask yourself this question. When you were a baby, how long could you hold your poop and wee.....?

25th July 2006, 09:25 PM
Whoah! That was harsh. My vet recommended that I do this. Charlie is out for two hours in the morning and then has to be in his pen for 3 hours. My husband comes home early for lunch and lets him out and then I come home so he has another hour and a half of play time at lunch. Then three hours later I come home and he is out for the rest of the night playing with the golden retreiver. I'm sorry but he is young and sleeps a lot! so I don't think it is cruel to leave him in a crate for 3 hour periods. He has about 7-8 hours a day to play which I think is plenty and my vet also agrees. The other thing about the crate being too small is wrong. You can read anywhere that you are not supposed to get a large crate because the dog will use the bathroom in it. It is supposed to be their home where they feel safe and I know Charlie loves his Kennel. I've read probably 15 publications on this because I was worried about leaving him in his kennel. I feel ok about since my vet gave me the go ahead.

25th July 2006, 09:37 PM
I know people have stong opinions about crating but this is what is working for us. When we left him in the kitchen with a pad he would just pee on the pad and then poop everywhere else. When we would let him out at night he would run all over the house and use the bathroom. We were getting no where and it was very frustrating. After reading articles on house training and talking to my vet we thought this would be the best solution. It is working too. Now everytime he comes out of the kennel we run to the front door and go outside and he does his business. Then when he needs to go again he scratches on the front door. I truly believe if we continued just leaving him in the kitchen he would never be trained. Of course when he gets older and has learned not to go in the house he will just stay in the kitchen or outside when it is not so hot. Hopefully he will sleep with us at night too but he is not ready for that. Sorry I'm defending myself so adimantly but I got advice from an expert (my vet) and I believe what he tells me especially since he is my godfather and loves the puppy as much as I do.

25th July 2006, 09:39 PM
Generally the maximum amount of time is an hour per month of age, that a puppy can be expected to hold itself (except at night when it is sleeping). For a young puppy it is better to have it in an x-pen and with papers it can go on, til it gets a bit older and then people can work on housetraining using the crating method. Otherwise the risk is always that the puppy cannot hold itself, has to go, and keeps going inside the crate. This will make it nearly impossible to properly crate train.

Overall, there are many reasons a puppy could be going in its crate. This could be anxiety at being in the crate, or frustration, or boredom; it could be a urinary tract infection; it could be that he needs more time to be actually crate trained (eg just putting a puppy in a crate doesn't crate 'train', it just crates the dog). Usually you start with just small increments of time, like 5, 10 to 20 minutes, on and off during the day; and you work to make sure the crate has nothing but good associations -- eg you feed inside the crate, leave toys there, toss treats into it, etc. Only after a gradual period of acclimitising will the puppy see the crate as a place to keep clean. If the puppy sees it as a place of punishment or caging, it can be very stressful for the pup to be left inside and this could be one trigger for accidents. If this is the case you need to start over from the very beginning to slowly crate train (as opposed to putting the puppy into the crate). I would first make sure there are no medical reasons for the problem.

Crate training: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2513

Again, just a caution on breeders, as I am not sure how you found yours and if she was someone you could meet and thoroughly check out -- if you did not actually see where the breeder keeps her dogs, and how they are raised, there are breeders who cage them and the puppy will then see the crate as a place to defecate and wee as it will not have had any associations of it as a clean place. There are many very unscrupulous breeders out there, unfortunately. They will have websites that say the right things and a few pics of the dogs in their house and they always say 'raised with the family' -- but the reality is often far different.

25th July 2006, 09:43 PM
I'd also strongly advise buying this:


Excellent book on crate training to housetrain. :thmbsup:

25th July 2006, 09:53 PM
Thank you for all the suggestions. I guess since he is 3 months old then 3 hours is not too long. I'm going to follow the advice of my vet that has had more than 40 years of experience with animals. He knows what is best for Charlie and I trust him. I know I can read a couple of books but I believe that house training is a case by case thing. It is really working for him. I mean when we first started he went all over the house and after one week of crate training he goes to the door. Yay for Charlie! I'm taking him to the vet to see if he has an infection since this just started going in his kennel two days ago.

25th July 2006, 10:01 PM
Well, the article I link to, which is from the SPCA -- would consider three hours too long for a puppy -- they generally recommend an hour maximum crating AFTER you have actually crate trained, and to instead enclose the crate inside an x-pen , as I noted above. I'd think three hours would be the very limit of what a three month old could manage and would be putting him under some stress to achieve repeatedly, two or three times a day. Cavaliers are also very small breeds and do not have the same capacity as larger breeds. Vets may care deeply about animals but are not always giving advice appropriate to all breeds, all situations, or current thinking, and it is important to consider numerous perspectives (some vets still think it is best to let a dog have a litter before she is spayed -- though not one vet college has taiught such an approach in deacdes and it goes against all that is known on dog health now). Also with all due respect, he probably did recommend crate *training*, as opposed to simply crating. You can see from the link that the training bit takes some time. Many vets, breeders, trainers and dog behaviouralists internationally recommend the Kalstone book as one of the best for training using a crate, as it offers numerous sample schedules, lots of advice, including advice for just the kind of situation you are dealing with right now and asking for advice on :). If your vet is able to give you detailed guidance on how to do the training part of crate training and has already done this, then you are in good hands.

Also, if your puppy is indeed actually under 3 lbs, he is only the size of a 6-7 week old pup, and would really be struggling to be crated for so long. It might be a good idea to check his weight and consider that into the mix.

25th July 2006, 10:13 PM
Thanks for putting the calm rational edge on it, Karlin. Yes Mmitc, maybe I was harsh but I am seeing it from that poor pup's point of view.

Whatever advice we give there are always people who would rather do their own thing and take advice from others who probably are not Cavalier owners and don't know the breed as well as we do.

Is your Uncle, the Vet, a Cavalier owner? Does he know the breed well and has lived with one or more of them for a number of years?

I also again ask, would you expect a baby to hold its wee and poop when it needed to go? A Cavalier should not be expected to have full control of its bladder and bowel until it is at least a year old. That's not to say it isn't trained but sometimes it just won't be able to hold it.

You may not like what I say but I do have plenty of experience of Cavaliers and house training them.

25th July 2006, 10:21 PM
Don't worry I'm in good hands. I promise! The vet actually had 5 cavaliers in the day that I took Charlie. I will try to have the neighbor let him out one more time after lunch while we are gone even though most of his mess ups have been at night. I also think I will put the kennel in the bedroom again to see if anything is keeping him awake. Charlie usually sleeps in the kitchen but I put him in our room a time or two to see what his sleep pattern is like. He usually sleeps throughout the night and we get up early and go out to potty. I wish he could sleep in the bed with us now but he never wants to settle down but of course when he goes in the kennel he falls asleep in five seconds hahaha. I'm ready to cuddle!

25th July 2006, 10:24 PM
There are always several perspectives -- but I always think there's only one right answer in some cases, which is to first make sure there isn't a medical reason for a problem. :)

Some people do feel very strongly on some issues, so asking for advice always risks feedback that might not be wanted and advice people don't want to hear. 8) And that our own opinions aren;t wanted. :lol:

But many in this community have indeed had dogs and cavaliers for decades -- and certainly many of our UK members will have had the breed for far longer than it has been anything but a very rare breed in other parts of the world. The cavalier is the single most popular toy breed in the UK and Ireland and has been for many years, and vets are very familiar with them. By contrast, most US vets will not have a single other cavalier in their practice, unless they work in a large urban area. We all think they are a special breed and like all breeds, have unique breed personalities and optimal care requirements. And those of us with them are always happy to pass along some of our experience in bringing up puppies and caring for adult dogs for others to consider, when asked. But each member has the right to disagree with advice offered too. :thmbsup:

Remember, I always encourage debate and discussion, including productive arguments. It's in the Getting Started section on guidelines for using the board. :)

25th July 2006, 10:27 PM
Thanks for your help!

I know that y'all are great people that are looking out for the puppies! We need more people like that.