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#1 kears

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:12 PM

So, we got a puppy a month ago. He's now 6 months old. He is a lab/shephard mix. When we first got him, he was as good as gold. He made a couple of messes in the house at first, but quickly got pretty good at asking to go out (he barks at us and then runs to the door). Anyway, now that he's more comfortable with our home...he's been getting less than "good". He often goes down to our family room to poop and pee, even when we are home and often right after coming back inside from outdoors.

We were trying to crate him at night to avoid accidents while we were asleep, but he broke through every crate we bought. The first crate was those HUGE Wire ones. He bent the wires and got his head caught. So, we went with the ones that are all plastic on top and bottom, but with wired doors. He managed to pull the door hard enough that he bend the wire and snapped the plastic. So, we bought a HUGE one for 100lb dogs and within an hour....he knew that the weakness was the door...he had bent it enough that the latch gave way. So, needless to say, we will not be crating him.

My dilemma is...how do I get him to stop pooping and peeing in the house?

#2 Jen K

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:14 PM

Where are you buying the crates from?
We forget to lock both latches, and ours doesnt get out lol

#3 vals

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 02:37 PM

I'm wondering if the people who had him before you kept him caged 24/7??? His escape need seems pretty high, but don't give up on the crate. You need to make the dog see the crate as his own in order to cease the prison break. Most dogs break out of crates because they have not had enough physical activity of attention in the day (or from past crate abuse), if the dog is settled and sees the crate as his den then he won't mind going in it to sleep or when you go out. Try putting a blanket with a toy or chew bone in the crate with the door open while you are home so you can supervise and get him use to using the crate so he feels secure in there. It can easily take up to a year for a dog to be fully house trained and even longer for one who didn't have proper initial training (don't get me started in our Beagle). For now if the crate is still a break out zone, I suggest going back to basics with the house training, making sure you go out before bed, before going out and after eating/drinking. I also kep bells on my doors, its a methind that has been hugely successful with all our dogs, as they eventually learn that bell = open door :) Watch his signs, if he looks like he is ready to go then hightail it outside and do the pee pee dance/uber praise when he goes. For the time being do you have a safe room he could stay with the crate while you are out or asleep? Dog usually won't "go" where they sleep so if he is in a small space he will be less likely to mess. Good luck!

#4 Trea

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 03:17 PM

I'm thinking separation anxiety.

Also...I'm sure I have mentioned it before. Make sure you take him outside, on leash it at all possible, to potty. No playing unless he does.

Make sure you never crate him in another room until he is used to it more. Feed him in his crate, leave his water in it also. This way (hopefully) it will become more of a "home" to him. Never, ever allow him out of your sight in the house. If you cannot crate him when you are gone make sure he is in as small a space as possible and safe as possible.Give him LOTS of toys. Especially special ones that he doesn't get unless you go out. I love Kong toys, stuffed with food and frozen or this! I even resorted to rawhide with one puppy though I hate rawhide alone with dogs. Like Vals said....make sure he doesn't have enough room to mess and then get out of it. That means a much smaller crate than most people think. My female huskies are in the 24" wide and tall ones. (I think it is 30long...can't remember). Use a divider if the crate is too big.

Also.....take him to training! You will need to do positive motivation training with him for sure. It will increase the trust between him and the family.

#5 kears

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Posted 16 September 2011 - 05:15 PM

Thanks everyone!

He was never EVER crated before. He is a big suck. He cries if one of us closes the bathroom door (to do our business) and he can't get in there to be with us. He was actually in a home with a lot of young children and constant people contact. I do believe that separation anxiety is totally the culprit! We have tried feeding him in the crate..and we bought these special treats for him that he loves, that we only gave him when he went into the crate. He ended up NOT EATING them though! He is so sad when crated. He cries like a baby! I think the issue is that now that he has successfully escaped a few times, he realizes that with persistence he can get out.

We are starting obedience training tonight. He is a VERY smart puppy. He is actually quite trainable with tricks and stuff...he'll sit, lay down, stay, heel...etc.

I will try the leash idea though. Like not letting him play until he poops first. He tends to get excited about his toys and then after we go back inside...he poops in the house. I believe that this idea might just work...since we do take him out quite frequently.

I'll keep you posted!

#6 Trea

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Posted 17 September 2011 - 07:19 AM

if he just doesn't get better you should talk to your vet. There are medications that you can use to help. They only need to be given until he is retrained then can be weaned off. I hate thinking of a pup needing that but, it does happen.

As for the toy....It has to be something he WILL eat LOL. Even if you have to fill a kong with peanut butter to keep him occupied. If you can keep him occupied for the first 20min the "anxiety" stage will have passed so it will be easier for him to handle the crate. Also talk to your trainer on how to deal with separation anxiety. Not sure where you are going but I know Jean at crossroads is an actual "behaviourist". She attends vet and tech as well as trainer conferences annually to keep up on information and learn new stuff. Her and I have had some very good discussions about issues I've had. We both learn from each other. She is also not afraid to say "sorry, you need to see your vet" if she believes meds would help.

#7 murkywaters

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 08:31 PM

if you feed him IN the crate he won't feel so negative toward it. Obedience training is a must with a smarty like that.
Good luck he sounds "interesting" LOL

#8 kears

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 07:57 AM

As for the toy....It has to be something he WILL eat LOL. Even if you have to fill a kong with peanut butter to keep him occupied. If you can keep him occupied for the first 20min the "anxiety" stage will have passed so it will be easier for him to handle the crate. Also talk to your trainer on how to deal with separation anxiety. Not sure where you are going but I know Jean at crossroads is an actual "behaviourist". She attends vet and tech as well as trainer conferences annually to keep up on information and learn new stuff. Her and I have had some very good discussions about issues I've had. We both learn from each other. She is also not afraid to say "sorry, you need to see your vet" if she believes meds would help.


Oh, he LOVES these treats. but he refuses food and water in the cage. he sulks and won't even look at us. just lays there with his head on his paws. once we leave the room, he freaks out and tosses everything....the water, the food, etc.

we gave up! at Pet Smart they figure he is simply going to hurt himself trying to get out....which is something we were seriously worried about. we bought a really good gate. it is placed at the top of the stairs, so now he can NOT go down there without us. so far so good! no accidents since we cut of his access to his pooping grounds in the living room. now he will come and get me and bark, then turn towards the door when he needs to relieve himself!

he did do very well in obedience training. they really got a kick out of him. he was by far the youngest. he was bumped up to intermediate because he will already sit, stay and heal.

he still thinks that we should get out of bed to play with him at 3am, but he accepts the "NO" much more easily these day!

thanks everyone!

#9 Rox028802

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 09:10 AM

Glad to hear he is doing much better... I hope it continues and before long, you have a well trained, calm and happy furry member of your family. :)

#10 Mom0f2

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Posted 22 September 2011 - 10:13 PM

Sorry just laughing and tears here, we had a Golden Lab, she hated her crate, we got her at 10mnths, she was the craziest dog we had ever owned, she was shy, quiet, and had severe separationg anxiety, we crated her she got out always, she bent them, she was so good at it, trust me we bought the expensive ones, and yes locked it up, we eventually had to give up, it was costing us a fortune for crates, no kijiji then either ladies lol
So we thought put her in the bathroom, well you would think how could a dog destroy a bathroom, Sandi managed, she was digging to get out, it was crazy, then after that, we paid someone to stay with her, if we had to leave, it was crazy, but we just loved her sooo much!
Anyway, eventually, we just left her out, would leave and sit outside, go for 5 mins, come back, do it again, ignored her when we went it, it was soo hard too, but we had to , couldn't even loook at her... those cute puppy eyes, she learned, took about 6 months.... I am not kidding you.. so 3 doors, 2 floors, couch, 4 crates, a carpet and complete bathroom renovation later, she was fine!!!
Don't ask what it cost us lol... we got her for free.. lol
Omg, i love her so much and miss her .... something about these crazy dogs like this. I think you get more attached lol
She did learn, but it was hard, we did long walks everynight before bed or leaving the house, we had to work so hard, it was exhausting, thank god for me I was home... or else, not sure..

Oh she destroyed our pool, kids toys, and more lol....
So I do know what your going through, she lived to be almost 12... bless her, she looked like Marley lol
sorry its so long, had to share, it just brought back soo many memories and everyone never believed us about the crates, but nothing worked to keep her in there.. nothing.... food, blankets, toys, treats... she hated it

#11 kears

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 08:21 PM

thank you for sharing....we do love our Mikah! He's funny and bad and although he's pretty good when in the house, he does eat everything in our backyard!

So far we put a good gate up at the top of the stairs and so now that he can't get down to the family room, he doesn't poop there any more.