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Crate Training a Puppy

Crate training is an important step in training an inside dog. Undertaken properly you pup will come to love its crate and see it as a secure, cozy den. The crate training also becomes an integral part of house training. This is a guide about crate training a puppy.
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By 0 found this helpful
July 21, 2011

I have a 14 week old Pitbull puppy that we are trying to crate train. He has made some progress, but he is still messing in his crate. My husband and I work all day and do not have someone to take him out in the afternoon. Is it still possible for the crate training to work even if he is in it for 8 hours at a time? Also, he gets let out every 3 hours at night, and still messes in his crate then. Please help!

By Kimiko

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July 22, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

You wont be able to crate "train" your puppy unless you can let him out at least every 3 hours. You are not "training" you are confining the dog. He is growing up confined to a crate. I agree with Jilson that confining him to a room with a potty area may be your best bet. As for training him to go outside that will require you to take him out every couple of hours. Don't forget he needs toys and things (music, radio) to occupy him when he is alone all day.

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July 24, 20110 found this helpful
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Everyone here is assuming you have someone to come in and take the dog out periodically. Not everyone is that lucky! And no, you aren't a bad puppy mommy because you have a job. Dogs do get accustomed to being alone through the day. I have 2 small dogs and periodically through their lives I have had full time jobs too. They are used to it. They know that they will go out last thing just before I leave, and first thing as soon as I get home. I would suggest though that you or your husband come home at lunch time and take the dog out.

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8 hours is an awfully long time. Also those puppy pads are a good idea, and now is a great time to start training your dog to use them (believe me it's not so easy once they are grown and completely house trained).

Also, the idea of a pet sitter coming in every day is a really bad idea. If for no other reason than they are sooo expensive! It would cost less to board her than it would to hire a sitter! I know, I've checked into it extensively!

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January 24, 2011

I have a 10 week old female Boxer that may have anxiety in her crate. We have trained on this consistently. She will freely go in to eat or get a toy, but the moment the door closes she gets anxious. I have sat in front of the crate and talked to her and fed her treats. She starts to drool heavily. When I return from school I find bedding soaked with clear liquid. Is she vomiting? Or drooling? What should I do?

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By Amberly Garcia from Greenville, TX

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January 26, 20110 found this helpful
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No, crating is acceptable. It is not a form of punishment. You put babies into a crib to keep them safe? This is to keep your dog or puppies safe when you are gone. It makes housebreaking faster and easier. I have crated all of my dogs when they were puppies. Most dogs accept it as a safe and secure and never outgrow the use of their crate. My boxer mix would automatically go into her crate as soon as I picked up my purse to leave. I always thought It was cute and funny that she did this.

Your dog may have separation anxiety. That has nothing to do with being crated. Talk to your Vet and see if he recommends some mild sedation to ease her anxiety while you are gone. I think if you don't control the anxiety now it may get worse as she gets older. Hopefully she will outgrow it in a few months. Good luck with your new puppy and keep her safe.

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful
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Hello again, Amberly. I wrote a long post a few days ago in response to your question and somehow managed to delete it into the infinity of cyberspace. "xintexas" basically summed up my lengthy post as she is so correct in stating that crate training is not punishment, and just like you wouldn't imagine a crib as a jail cell for a baby you shouldn't consider a crate a puppy prison. Like a mother wolf that won't allow her pups to leave the den until they learn some of the survival rules, a pet parent needs to define the rules (via crates) for his/her domesticated puppy before he or she is allowed full roaming privileges in your home.

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As I've said in other posts, crate training is not a life sentence and the ultimate goal is an always open kennel (safe place) for the dog to retreat. I've used crate training for all of my canine pups and all learned "the house rules" (potty training) within three to four months. Honestly, the only accidents they ever had over five months of age were due to illness, not misbehavior, and that is quite acceptable.

Yes it will break your heart as young puppies cry at night crated in those early days. But it will break your heart into many more pieces should you raise a spoiled puppy into a dog that you can't control or care for on a regular basis. Remember: You, as the owner of a instinctively pack orientated canine, are the Alpha animal. Act accordingly.

To address your concerns of wet bedding being drooling or vomit, I highly suspect it is drool. At ten weeks, teething issues could be the culprit. Consider buying her serious chew toys, such as the "Kong" toys that can be filled with peanut butter or treats. As a Boxer, she will most probably be able to destroy Kongs when she is full grown, but as a puppy with possible teething issues, the toys will give her hours of entertainment. Then again, our grown Mastiffs still treat their Kong toys kindly as we still use them for treat dispensers! :-)

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Separation anxiety is to be expected of a puppy that has just moved away from his/her mother. Please don't even consider medicating a young puppy for this naturally distressful transition. Wrap a wind up clock in a towel and leave overnight in the crate; keep a routine "bedtime" "wake-up" time schedule; say "Good night" sweetly and "good morning" energetically. Again, in a matter of weeks, you will be glad you did! Good luck, Amberly. Best wishes for you and Luci.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2017

I have a 7 month old Ridgeback Mastiff Pit Bull mix. He is fully potty trained, but poops and pees in his crate daily. The crate is the right size for him as he is big. But he will poop and lay right in it. It doesn't matter how long he is in there he poops. I have tried one of my t-shirts, I've tried nothing in there, I've put his dog bed there, and he poops on it.

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What can I do? I have two other dogs that are 4 years old and 3 years old and aren't in crates and I never had this problem with their crate training.

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November 26, 20170 found this helpful
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Put him on a strict routine walk him for 15 to 20 minutes before he goes in the crate.

Spray some vinegar and make sure the crate is clean. The dog may be used to living in poop if the mother dog wasn't clean.

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December 10, 20140 found this helpful

My Chihuahua is 3 months old and I have been trying to crate train him. I work during the day 8-5 and go home at lunch to let him out. He no longer has accidents in the house while I am home and does not squeal as long as I am in sight. He does pee and poo outside frequently, but even crating him just to take a shower is long enough for the screaming to start and usually followed by me coming back to find he has gone (most of the time poo). And it doesn't matter if a bone and toys are in the crate at all. To him all that matters is the doors closed and he is in there.

By Brad J

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December 11, 20140 found this helpful

I know what the problem is. You are forcing a baby dog to spend 9 hours a day alone in a crate. Puppies require companionship, socialization, and lots of love. This is WAY too long for your puppy to be alone even with a lunchtime visit. All you've managed to do so far is make him afraid of his crate.

When my kitten was 3 months, I left her home only long enough to go to the grocery store. Eventually I worked my way up to more hours until now that she's 9 months I can leave her the whole day, but I only do that very rarely if it is unavoidable.

You do not have time to properly care for and train a puppy, and apparently there is no one in your house that stays home. Please return the puppy.

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December 16, 20140 found this helpful

I am curious as to why you would crate the puppy to take a shower. Given that he is crated while you are at work, why crate him while you are at home? You are really asking too much of this puppy. Keep the crating to the minimum, and spend a lot of time enriching this pups' life. Seems to me if he tolerates crating while you are at work, he is doing more than most puppies would do. Make sure your expectations for this puppy are realistic or you may have more problems coming.

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December 21, 20140 found this helpful

He doesn't "tolerate" crating while the owner is at work. He is in puppy jail and can't get out.

If you Google "crate training" it will take you all of 5 minutes to get the correct instructions from reputable websites. They will tell you: 1. Start with short training sessions, like 15 minutes per day. 2. Don't shut the door at first and 3. It is very important that the puppy never feels like it is being put in jail.

A 3 month old puppy is an infant. You wouldn't put a human baby in a playpen and then go to work, stopping back in at lunch to feed it and change its diaper.

A baby dog needs socialization with humans of all ages and other animals (including dogs and cats), play, exercise, and affection. It must never feel like it's been abandoned or is unloved. If you don't have another person at home while you're at work, you can't care for a baby, human or otherwise.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 28, 2016

We have a 4 month old Great Pyrenees/Maremma puppy. The place where we got this pretty female pup was on a farm. There were a few pups in a closed shed with no windows. The guy had to put a towel over her head so she didn't bite. He put her in our truck. She was so quite and good for the truck ride to her new home, but when we tied to take her out of the truck she bite my husband's arm so then we put the towel over her head.

Then she was OK and we took her to the fenced in backyard to see if she had to go to the bathroom before we took her inside. When we got her to come in the house with us we gave her some water, but no food, it was late.

Then I took her back out while my husband set the crate up for her to sleep in. She was okay for three hrs. I got up, took her out, and walked around the backyard with her. I told her she was so pretty, I petted her on the head and told her she is was such a pretty girl. Then I told her to go pee. It took a few minutes. I said her what a good girl she was and told her to go poo. She whined it must hurt she to go number two every time. She has no worms at all.

She will not go in the dog kennel at all. She sleeps right at the door all day long. She has her bone to chew on and a blanket to sleep on. She doesn't get into anything at all. She never walks around the house to see what we are doing like other dogs do in other families. She stays right at the front door.

The farm where she came from must have abused the pups. They were never around people or kids. When I take her outside when she hears other dogs bark, all I do is say "no" in a low voice and she doesn't bark back at all, which is good.

How do I get her to know we love her to pieces and be not a afraid of humans and learn to stay in her kennel when we have to go away for a few hours?

She is 4 months old and weighs 50 pounds right now. We let her sleep by the door all day while we are home, even when we sleeping at night time. I just don't know what to do when she won't go in the crate when we go out to appointments or shopping. Also I don't know why she whines when going number two.

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March 30, 20160 found this helpful

Do you feel it's really important to crate train her at this point? As long as she is behaving, does it matter?

The problem is, she was probably shoved into a cage or box as part of her abuse. You're going to bring up bad memories by trying to get her to go into a crate now.

Perhaps the bathroom or the kitchen with a pet gate will suffice to contain her for now. At least you could clean the linoleum if there is an "accident" or a water spill.

I think your dog will learn to trust you and then you can start training her. She has to realize that not all humans are bad.
For now, try clicker training. It is a positive rewards only system. It's ideal for abused dogs. Here's a link to a popular system. http://www.clic  com/dog-training

As far as the whining, I believe she does it because someone yelled at her or struck her for pooping in the wrong place while she was being toilet trained. So she is afraid.
Luckily the dog is still very young and hopefully will not remember what happened before she came to live in your home. I got my rescue cat when she was 3 months and now she is 2. I'm certain she thinks of me as the only mommy she's ever had.

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March 30, 20160 found this helpful

I think you are right that this dog was not properly socialized. It will take time for her to learn to interact with all of you. Be patient and help build her confidence. You may want to change her diet to help her bowel issues. Dry food can be constipating. I would gradually move her to canned food and see if it helps. You could learn a lot from a trip to a good local Vet. I would guess she did not have her vaccinations or proper worming. Many dog worms can't be seen. Do an internet search for poorly socialized dogs and get some help for her. I am sure there are many folks who have had similar experiences to yours. Because she was not properly socialized as a puppy you will need to work with her now. Crate training would be part of that new training for her. But you need to go slow, so she does not become stressed. When she is stressed she cannot learn. Come up with a plan soon, as the younger she is, the better she will do. Good luck.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 28, 2016

I have a Bluetick Beagle, that is about 4-5 months old. I've had her since she was weaned and have been trying to get her in the groove of using the bathroom outside since then. Recently, I decided to try crate training. I only put her in the crate at night or if I'm cleaning. The crate it only big enough for her to turn around and lay down. The past 2 nights she has pooped in the crate and then laid on it smashing it. She usually would hold it, but now she poops in the crate even if she's only in it for a short amount of time. What tehnique should I try now? Or how should I change what I'm already doing? Also, how do I get the dog smell out of carpet? Thanks.

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September 23, 20170 found this helpful

You have just introduced crate training to your dog and didn't start this when you first brought him home. He is not happy right now being confined to this crate. Here are a few things you can try.

  1. When introducing your dog to the crate for the first time, don't force the dog inside and close the door. You should leave the door open and show the dog the crate. You can put a small treat inside the crate to entice the dog to enter.
  2. Leave the door open and allow the dog to go in and out of the crate a few times. If need be add a small treat now and then to let the dog understand that the crate is not because you are mad at him.
  3. After one or two days when you have the dog walk in his crate for a treat close the door. Don't leave the dog, but sit there with him. Leave him in the crate for 5 minutes and then open the door.
  4. Each time you leave the dog a few minutes longer, but when he comes out you give him a treat.
  5. At night before you put the dog in the crate you need to take him for a long walk. Make sure you exercise him good and he is tired when you arrive home. During his walk make sure he pees and poops as much as possible. When you come home coax the dog into his crate for the evening and close the door.
  6. With small puppy's it is not a good idea to leave them in a crate more than 3 to 4 hours.
  7. If the dog is unhappy they will make a mess in their crate. Normally dogs will not pee or poop where they have to sleep. Your dog is angry and he doesn't care if he soils his crate or not.
  8. With a small puppy you will need to watch the clock after he has eaten. Half an hour or so after he finishes eating you need to take him out for his walk.
  9. Always exercise or play with your dog until he is very tired before putting him in his crate for the night.

As for the smell in your home, here is the solution for getting out the order. Follow the instructions for removing pee and poop orders in your home.

http://spotremo  mell-from-carpet

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By 0 found this helpful
December 6, 2015

I have a 12 week old puppy that poops in his cage every time we put him in there. It is never longer than 3 hours and as short as 30 minutes. We make sure that he only has enough room to turn around, that he has pooped and peed before he goes in, and he actually likes his cage. Does anyone have any ideas how to break him of this?

Thanks!

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December 11, 20150 found this helpful

Can you tell me a little more?
First, what brand of food are you feeding?
Also, when you crate him, do you leave the house? Or do you sometimes crate him and stay home?

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By 0 found this helpful
May 25, 2013

My 6 mo. old puppy doesn't want to be crated anymore. How do I get her to stay in her crate? She has been crated since she was 9 weeks old and has done really well, until 2 nites ago. Now she barks and cries continuously. I washed her blankets and she has her special toy. What do I do now? She weighs 4 lbs and I don't want her out at nite to get hurt or in trouble.

By memaheff from USA

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful

I would try giving her treats when she goes into her crate herself. Do it a few times a day, then maybe you won't have so much trouble at night. Always leave the crate open during the day, so it is a place she can go back to when she feels like it. And try to avoid using the crate as a punishment for a while.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 21, 2014

How do I stop my dog from chewing up his bed? Everything I put in his kennel to keep him warm he rips up. I don't know what else to do. Please help.

By dbab23

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January 24, 20110 found this helpful

I just recently got a Yorkie puppy, as cute as a bugs ear. But when I put her in her pet taxi at night and through out the day she whines and whines till she wears herself out. Then she is quiet for about an hour then she starts all over again. I have tried everything I am looking for other suggestions. Please help.

By Rebecca from Blakesburg, IA

Answers:

Crate Training a Puppy

All day and all night is too long for a puppy to be in a crate. Your puppy needs several hours of exercise and companionship a day. You might consider two puppies and a safe place for them to be free to run and play during the day. Doggie day care is another option. Pet sitters will come in daily to walk your dog and give it some attention, or you may be able to hire neighborhood children to do it. You are expecting a great deal of a puppy. (10/05/2010)

By Lizzyanny

Crate Training a Puppy

It just breaks my heart to think of dogs of any age being stuffed in a crate all day and then at night too. If you don't want a pet to share your life and home, don't get one. If you want something to play with a couple hours a day, buy a toy. (10/05/2010)

By Ginnee

Crate Training a Puppy

Do you mean you put her in her crate off and on "throughout the day", or do you put her in it all day while you are gone? I think people would be more inclined to want to make suggestions if they understood what you mean. If you leave your puppy in a crate all day and all night, she is never going to enjoy being in it because she will associate it with being left alone and locked up all the time! My dog loves her crate because she associates it with love and security. (10/05/2010)

By Judy = Oklahoma

Crate Training a Puppy

No I don't leave her in her crate all day or all night. I take her to work with me and she has other dogs to play with, but I am trying to potty train her so I have fewer messes inside and she learns that outside is her potty not my house. I love my Bela to death I would never do anything that was wrong, but I can't leave her running free all night long because then she is more likely to have accidents in the house and she will never know where she is to go potty at. I take her outside to go potty every 2-3 hours. But she still whines when I put her in there for some peace and quite for herself because I have three children. So I figured she would want some alone time; I know I sure enjoy at least an hour of alone time. (10/08/2010)

By Rebecca

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October 5, 20100 found this helpful

I have a question about crate training. My 9 week old puppy will sleep in his crate at night time, but will not go into it during the day. I have tried and all he does is cry really loud and scratch at the door. I am worried that he will hurt himself, and because of this have not put him in it during the day.

He has only been with us for three days. I work midnights and need to use it during the day, while I sleep, so I need to resolve this problem soon. Any advice would be appreciated.

Murphy the Whoodle

By Rachelle and Chris McCandless from Windsor, Ontario

Answers:

Crate Training a Puppy

Do you expect your puppy to sleep all night in a crate and then be in the same crate all day while you sleep? That's a little much, don't you think? My suggestion is to get some baby gates, the kind that are tension controlled, and make a safe place in the kitchen. Anywhere there is a tiled or vinyl floor for easy clean up. Put the puppy there in the daytime, he needs room to stretch his legs, give him some toys, water, and a soft bed to lie down on. I would even put the radio on low so he has company. (06/22/2010)

By Deborah570

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June 21, 20100 found this helpful

My 8 month old Akita gets crated only when we go to work in the morning. Some days I find him out and about (he squeezed himself out of a very large heavy duty crate), other days he's in the crate calm and quiet, and other days he is in the crate, but very hyper. How do I get him to love being crated. Toys are destroyed and treats have been eaten.

By Mary from York, PA

Answers:

Crate Training a Puppy

I have a favorite site I go to, it is called leerburg.com. Check this link: leerburg.com

This link discusses crate training and other things related to housetraining. See his free podcasts, articles, and e books. Put crate training in the search bar of this site, also.

He is great, Ed Frawley trains German Shepherds, but has tons of podcasts and free articles on just this situation. Look at the free ebooks, too.

I would get a clicker at Petsmart, about 2 dollars, and then get a couple of hot dogs and cut them into little tiny pieces, the size of a green pea or a little larger, just so the dog can eat it within a second or two. When you throw one into the crate, a piece of hot dog, not the animal and the dog follows and eats, at the time he goes into the crate, click and reward with a piece of hot dog, again thrown into the crate. Get him to come out again by praising him and calling him. Once he is outside the crate, throw another piece into the crate and click when he walks into the crate. Throw another piece of hot dog. Keep repeating this, it is a game, no one can really make any mistakes, if he is not able to get it, put the hot dogs in the fridge and make a later play date for it.

This could be repeated however many times the dog is happy to eat a piece of the hot dog. The pieces have to be small so the dog can snarf it up in a second. After a while, the dog will try to figure out how to get the piece of hot dog. If the dog doesn't do what you want, don't scold, just don't click or reward. You might have to lure him into the crate a few times with the food, even after he learns that clicking means rewarding.

I would also put treats in his sight, into the crate and then walk away. He will start associating his wire crate, which is the best kind, with good things. I would buy treats, raw hides, those Kong things you can stuff with peanut butter and wash after they are through playing with it, and put them in the crate one at a time every so often. Most of the time if you put a Kong in the crate with him when you have to leave, it is a good thing.

They will usually act "snotty" about it at first. There is nothing wrong with their showing their opinion about something, unless your neighbors are complaining.

Good luck! Don't be gone too long and leave him alone in the crate for too long or he will resist going in at all. These training tips should help.

This is an excellent bonding exercise and it is fun for both you and your dog and there is no negative to it at all. To the dog it is just plain fun. Blessings. (03/25/2010)

By Robyn Fed

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March 23, 20100 found this helpful

My puppy won't use his cage. How can I crate train him?

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January 11, 20100 found this helpful

My 11-week old female LabraDoodle, that we have had for about 9 days now is not taking to her crate well.I need some suggestions and help that work with a full-time person who doesn't have time to pamper the pup with 2 hour breaks and such.

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