View Full Version : Help with housetraining, please!

5th March 2007, 10:25 PM
Lately, Ruby has really gotten upset with the whole crate thing. She cries more than before, and I'm worried about separation anxiety. Whenever we say "kennel up", she kind of whines and moans at me. She usually still goes in, but then she howls at me like crazy. I've tried keeping chew toys and giving her treats when she goes in, but as soon as she eats the treat, she cries. Also, the frozen peanut butter in the Kong toy only lasts about 10 minutes. Since my husband and I both work, we've tried to give her a "nursery" area with paper and such so that she doesn't have to hold her bladder so long, but she always seems to escape no matter what we do. The kitchen is out of the question because we have 2 doorways, and she's such a good escape artist. Today, I tried our 1/2 bath downstairs with paper, water, toys, her crate, etc. and left the door open with it barricaded so she wouldn't feel closed in. She FREAKED. I went upstairs instead of leaving just so I could see if/when she stopped crying. She cried for about 15 minutes and then stopped. I thought she must have gone to sleep, so I crept downstairs to get my purse to run to the mailbox. The little stinker came running up to me!! I took her out to potty and put her back in there a few minutes later, with a few minor corrections to the barricade. I ran about a 15 minute errand, and I could hear her crying when I got out of my car. When I walked in, she was absolutely shaking. I feel like I'm traumatizing her or something. She's in her crate right now in the living room, and she's sleeping soundly, but I'm concerned about her when we're at work. She's done fine in the past, but I've been on vacation for about a week and a half. (I've still crated her plenty while I've been off.) I hate to leave her in the crate, but I'm afraid she's going to hurt herself trying to break out of "jail" if we confine her any other way. My husband comes home to let her out during the day, by the way. She doesn't stay crated for like 8 hours or anything. I've read lots about crate training, but I just don't know what to do. Any suggestions??? Please help!! I'm worried about my baby!

5th March 2007, 11:46 PM
Have you tried feeding her her meals in the crate? Is it comfortable? Have you tried bringing it into the main room with you in the eve, say, and leaving a (different) selection of toys and chews in it every day and letting her get used to running in and out of it while you're there, without being shut up?

Just thoughts... Was the pup not using crates at the breeder's?

Cathy Moon
6th March 2007, 01:00 AM
I've always felt a crate is too confining and boring for a puppy to be left in. When mine were pups, I set up an x-pen in the kitchen, and put the open crate in the xpen for a bed. Then I put down wee pads, a bowl of water, and safe toys such as nylabones and kongs. With this set up, the puppy is happy to go to sleep in her crate, because she is not too confined. :flwr:

6th March 2007, 01:07 AM
Her crate is in the living room, which is where we are probably 95% of the time. We also take it upstairs into our bedroom at night in hopes that she will sleep ok in it. I don't know about an x-pen because she has gone nuts when we've confined her in the kitchen with baby gates.(The kitchen is right off of the living room, so she could still see us and all.) She goes in it some without me confining her, but she doesn't stay long. Oh, and strange thing... ever since this afternoon when she freaked out in the bathroom, she hasn't said a peep from her crate. We put her in it while we went to pick up dinner, and she stayed in it while we ate. Not a sound. She went right to sleep. Maybe she's happier in it than in a nursery-type place. I have fed her in it a few times, but when I do, should I close the door?? She is a sporadic eater during her 15 minutes of mealtime and likes to kind of run around a little. I closed the door on the crate once while she was eating and all she cared about was getting out. Thanks for your suggestions....I'll try some new toys, feeding, etc.

6th March 2007, 01:25 AM
Kodee is the same age. I use the crate for night only or 1.5 hrs at most. She has never disliked it because it is not used for daytime confinement. I use an xpen in kitchen or gates on the 3 kitchen doors. I started by staying with her in the kitchen making dinner etc.. she would crawl into her crate and sleep and i'd go elsewhere. Eventually the time increased on her own in the xpen or gated kitchen.

If you used the xpen or gates for work day, she can be with you while your in the living room while home. Try a bed in the living room so you dont have to move the crate about so much. That is what we have for then den. When we are home she wanders from den where her bed is to kitchen where her crate is freely as its not that large a space and I can see her. I just let her out about every 1.5 hrs and she is fine.

Cathy Moon
6th March 2007, 01:29 AM
Kodee, I remember doing the same thing! In fact we spent much more time in the litchen than we ever had before puppy. :lol:

6th March 2007, 01:33 AM
I wouldn't be crating a puppy or an adult when away at work. In my opinion it is just too small for such a long time, no matter how big it is. Sorry if it offends, but to me that is a miserable existence for a dog. Crates are great for night time & for short periods through the day.

If possible choose an area that is not carpeted & then buy some child-gates to confine her to that area. Put a nice bed in that area, or her crate with the door left open, & some nice soft bedding in it. She may put on a stink for a while, but she will soon learn that this is her area while you are not at home.

It is still a good idea to continue with her crate training however. If you have a sick dog, need to travel, or have some other emergency on your hands, a crate can be a life saver & a sanity saver.

6th March 2007, 01:42 AM
Kodee, I remember doing the same thing! In fact we spent much more time in the litchen than we ever had before puppy. :lol:
Gosh, (I was tempted to use another word) I spent the first 2 wks ON THE KITCHEN FLOOR! :lol: So glad she has graduated from 24/7 lap time!

6th March 2007, 03:06 AM
I hate crating her while I'm at work because of the small space because I know it cannot be fun for her, but it has been the only way that is doable so far. She escapes EVERY time we put gates up in the kitchen. We have a small L-shaped kitchen (we live in a condo), and we can only figure that she must have climbed the gate the last time we tried it because there were no holes or gaps anywhere. I just don't want to risk her hurting herself trying to get out. Also, if she gets out, then we have stairs, and she ran up them one night and almost fell backwards down them. Jason just happened to be running after her and caught her as she was falling. As far as an ex-pen goes, one wouldn't fit in our kitchen, and the rest of the house is hardwood floors. I suppose I could try that, though....Will confining her in a larger space with paper undermine the whole housetraining process?? I only work 3 days a week, so we've really been working on that, and she's doing so well....

6th March 2007, 03:54 AM
I have "how to crate train your dog in 7 days" book. I looked up the schedule for a puppy 4-6 for working owners (I'm home all day so it gives different advice for me) and here is what is suggests:

7 wake up and out, then free period in kitchen
7:30 Food. Unlimited water during day
8:00 Go out - owner leaves, confine dog (not in crate for entire day but small blocked off area in kitchen or bathroom). Try to come home for lunch or arrange for someone to come in.
6 Go out as soon as owner returns, free period in kitchen
6:30 food
7 go out
7:15 confine
9 Small amount of food and water
9:30 Go out
9:40 free period in kitchen
10:30 go out and confine overnight

Also if Linda pops by she has to use her living room and had a great picture posted at one point. They bought a piece of inexpensive vinyl floor (the size of the xpen) and laid it over the rug, then set the xpen on top of it. But if your puppy is climbing out of a gate - you'll need a very tall xpen. Or these gates shoud work - they're nothing to climb on and extra tall.

http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444181 6220&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302035806&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023689&bmUID=1173153050286&itemNo=6&In=Dog&N=2035806&Ne=2

http://www.petsmart.com/global/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=84552444181 0068&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302035806&ASSORTMENT%3C%3East_id=2534374302023689&bmUID=1173153051061&itemNo=23&In=Dog&N=2035806&Ne=2

Here is an xpen that comes in 45" high.

6th March 2007, 04:07 AM
As far as an ex-pen goes, one wouldn't fit in our kitchen,

Most x-pens come in small panels & you can arrange it in any size you want. Unless your kitchen is only 2' by 2', then an x-pen will fit.

Will confining her in a larger space with paper undermine the whole housetraining process?? I only work 3 days a week, so we've really been working on that, and she's doing so well....

She has to be able to pee & poo somewhere, so if you aren't home to let her out then I guess paper is the next best thing. I sure wouldn't like to have to hold on all day. Some adult dogs can & do hang on all day, but it is a big ask and there are going to be times when it is just an impossible thing to expect.