Peeing in the Crate-Help!
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  • Okay, so Miles, our rescue of almost a week, has been a dream dog in almost every respect. He does have an obvious dislike for his crate though. Miles is VERY housebroken- going multiple hours even when he's had diahhrea. We've been working on breaking him from going into "ha ha, you can't catch me"-play mode when we ask him to get in his crate. He'll get close enough so you think you could touch him, but he'll jump back, put his butt in the air and front legs down and wag his little cinnabon as he mocks you. Lucky for us, we keep his lead on for moments like these.

    We've been crating him during the day while we're both gone to work (almost 7 hours at a time now) and we haven't had any accidents. However, last night after we took them out, we tried crating them at night. He went in and when he realized that he was staying in there, he did the frantic circles and the pee'd in his crate. ??? Why? Was it anxiety? Was it an attention getter? Hey, if I pee in my crate, you let me out? And oddly, he tried frantically to lap it up too! Yikes!! I understand the need to be clean, but GROSS!

    So we were working with him today after work. We want him to know the crate is a happy place so we did a lot of "Miles, get in your crate" (as Lexi showed how it's done, thank you little girl!) and he got to the point where he'd go running into his crate and sit down very eagerly. He is very food motivated and that has been working to our advantage so far. After excellent efforts of them getting into their open crates and sitting, we finally decided to try closing the door for short periods of time before rewarding them with the treasured chicken jerky (thanks Gail & Gary!!). After about 30 minutes of solid training and GREAT progress– Miles is in his crate and suddenly just PEES everywhere! And of course he turns around and tries to lap it up frantically. We did not let him out immediately. Instead we just asked him to sit down, which he did on the far side of his crate.

    Anyone have anything to offer on this? It's my honest opinion that it's definitely NOT because he HAS to go. And the training tonight was going really, really well. No anxiety or anything. It was a very calm "sit and stay" in the crate (door closed) when "the incident" happened. So it doesn't seem likely that it was an anxiety thing- especially when he's gone all day in the crate without peeing.

    Stumped over here.... Thoughts?? :confused:

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  • That is kind of strange maybe it is because he knows your there and that you will let him out. Abby has always peed in her cage I have tried to stop her but to no avail at first I thought it was because she was a puppy and just couldn't hold it but she did it even after my mom used to come to let her out at lunch. So I ended up building a box with nylon screen over it and put a peepee pad under it, that keeps her out of it and keeps her from licking it. Maybe she will grow out of it when she gets older! :)

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  • I guess I would keep working on it…sounds like it isn't the crate, but the separation. He probably associates the door closing with you leaving. I wouldn't worry about him cleaning it up...no big deal...just don't kiss him on the lips ;)

    Work a lot on closing him in, and letting him right back out...try to do it before he pees. Also, try giving him something super fantastic when you put him in...like a bone or kong stuffed with cheezewhiz, or meat dog food...something that may make him forget about being without you. Make sure that he really is empty before you put him in. My hunch is that it will pass as he realizes you aren't going to abandon him. Put something absorbent in the crate...newspaper, or something similar.

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  • Funny thing is our dog has been doing the same kind of stuff. At first both dogs would cry at night in their crates but were perfectly fine during the day..I know because I would watch them on doggy cam. We would leave the house & they would just sit & go to sleep during the day.

    BUT at night it was just madness. They knew we were home & would go crazy. After a while of ignoring & practicing being the crate while we were at home, C3PO calmed down & now he goes in at night & goes right to sleep.

    TOPAZ still isn't over it…we've tried no water after 8pm & last potty at around 11:30pm and we've tried blankets (maybe she's cold) & well some nights she's okay & some nights she pees & cries. I haven't figured it out yet.

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  • My Bella has always peed in her crate. We just put a blanket on the bottom and it soaks it up. Kinda funny, I will come home and the corner of the blanket will be folded up over the spot where she went. I guess it's her way to hide it? I don't make a big deal of it… I just keep several blankets handy to switch out and do lots of laundry to keep them clean! I personally don't want to make her feel like she's a "bad" dog because she couldn't hold it. Although, unlike your Miles, she doesn't do it when first put in the crate...

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  • We always give him a treat for getting in the crate. Chicken jerkey, dental chew, or a pb Kong. And this is not a behavior I'm willing to accept. I want to work through it and get him to improve.

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    @Quercus:

    Also, try giving him something super fantastic when you put him in…like a bone or kong stuffed with cheezewhiz, or meat dog food...something that may make him forget about being without you.

    Our's like bones or hooves, which they will work on for sometimes an hour or more. I think Andrea nails it, "super fantastic", whatever that might be, keep experimenting. Kongs don't work with ours, they seem to want something they can really chew and grind on. Hooves kind of get stinky, but they all love them and they keep them occupied.

    If we give Max or Cleo a bone or hoove, they go right to their crate and stand in front of the door and want inside to eat their little treasure.

    Hang in there, he just doesn't want you to leave him. He tried howling to tell you he didn't want you to go, that isn't working for him so this is his new message.:eek:

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  • @BDawg1005:

    We always give him a treat for getting in the crate. Chicken jerkey, dental chew, or a pb Kong. And this is not a behavior I'm willing to accept. I want to work through it and get him to improve.

    Treats are good…but I am talking about something that makes him forget you are even there. Maybe a raw bone, or canned food stuffed in a sterilized bone. It may be that his is so distressed that he cant even think about eating. In that case, you need to work in very small steps...and it may take a while. You could also try an X-pen, instead of a crate; while you work on crate training him slowly. I think there is another post about that somewhere on a puppy thread.

    I am not sure what you mean by not willing to accept....this is a newly adopted dog that is stressed out...he found people that he wants to be with, and it distresses him when you leave. He needs time and patience to get through this. Set him up for success, and be consistant. He will do fine.

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  • Here is a very good stepwise process to crate training. I think Andrea is right and you may have to take some steps back to make some forward progress.

    http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/Levels/LevelBehaviours/TL3Crate.html

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  • What I meant by not willing to just accept it was that I want to help make it better… not just say ok, he pees in the crate. That's all. He is doing really really well. And he is fine during the day when we leave him- no peeing or any destruction of his fleece blanket that he's laying on. So that's good. I think Gary got it right with giving him something to keep him occupied longer-- some type of non-stinky chew. We got him a new bed today and they are doing really well on the leash splitter we got. We have even gone down to just one food bowl without ANY aggression at all!! :)

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    Just out of curosity...why one food bowl? Some of my clients do this, and I just don't understand why. You can't tell who is eating what, or when, and you give away the control of being the one that controls the food. I just don't get it!
    Glad to hear things are going well.

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  • Oh Andrea… Always playing devil's advocate... :)

    I prefer to have one food bowl for my dogs. It's just a preference. My longtime dog is used to 1 bowl no matter how many dogs. And she free feeds. We went to 2 bowls when we added our rescue, Miles, and it actually seemed to promote more aggression in our home. And that's just for our situation. Lexi seemed to go, "Wait, where's my food?!" when it wasn't on the floor all the time. And Miles was just hungry. So trying to put food down was nearly impossible without them getting into a spat saying, "Get in line buddy, I've got first dibbs on these bowls!!" It was always a very frantic and overly excited time when things could go wrong- they drew blood twice the first week.

    So for us, once the two dogs got used to each other, it's worked well to have just one larger bowl. They can both free feed without over-doing it. And they take their turns which I personally feel helps with the rank structure here in the house. Everyone is very respectful of everyone else. Plus they were making a HUGE mess when we had 2 bowls. They'd run and drop food all over the carpet and also all in between the bowls as they'd check each others' dishes out to make sure the other didn't have something better. With one bowl they aren't doing that. It just works for us.

    We pay attention to who is eating and when, but you're right, we don't know how much each dog is eating. But we do know that both dogs are eating and that's what we need right now. If one's weight started to drop off, or if we noticed one wasn't going to the dish as much, we could do something. But I personally don't think the putting the food dish on the floor is the only way to have control in the house. Besides, they still watch us put the food in the bowl. They know that we are the ones that give them food.

    Our dogs are our kids. And we pay attention to them unlike pets, but rather like our sweet babies. We know them and their habits (getting to know Miles still obviously) and are very aware with something small is off. Having one bowl just works for us. Not everyone will have the same situation. You gotta do what works for you.

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    Just trying to help people one B at a time ;)
    We just always feed our dogs in their crates. Helps them have a nice feeling about their crate; and keeps the pandemonium to a minimum. As you said, do what works for you, I was just trying to hear why other people like to do it your way. I haven't met one dog trainer or vet yet that advocates free feeding for dogs, or feeding multiple dogs together, but of course, as you mentioned, your dogs, your choice. I hope it keeps working for you.

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    @Quercus:

    We just always feed our dogs in their crates. Helps them have a nice feeling about their crate; and keeps the pandemonium to a minimum.

    We used to feed ours scattered around the kitchen. One fight and a trip to the Vet, a $300.00 Vet bill…..we feed in crates now.:)

    It is of course is a personal choice and whatever works for you! We probably all do things just a little different.:)

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  • Okay… so last night we put the kids in their crates and Miles had his reflexive pee thing happen again. It's almost like he was traumatized as a puppy and when he goes in a crate, he pees. He definitely doesn't need to go and he's not really frantic when he gets in either. I mean, he doesn't like it, but he's stopped trying to open the door and stuff. Now he just goes in very eagerly, waits for his treat and then starts turning in circles and then pees. I think having the peanutbuttered hoof in there has stopped him from doing this, but he didn't get it last night because he had chewed too much the day before and got sick. Anyways... thoughts on this peeing?? I still think the hoof in there might keep him from peeing even if it doesn't keep him from howling.

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    Weird! Does he always turn in circles when he goes in, or only when he is peeing?

    So, for the most part, he isn't doing it as much, but will still, if he doesn't have the chewie thing? It could be just be a set back….or it could be directly linked to not being distracted by the chewie. Can you try different exciting enrichment, so that he always has something, but doesn't overdo it on one thing? On the Kong list someone posted a link to Kong recipes...maybe he would like one of those? I know lots of people (including me) have said that their dog doesn't dig Kongs...but if you really stuff them with the right treats, it can make all the difference.

    I think you are doing great work! What a contientious (sp?) B mom!_

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  • If the hoof is present, he'll sit down and chew/lick. If not, he sometimes sits down. Other times he turns in circles and then pees. And then it's like he feels bad or embarrassed or something and tries to lick it up as fast as he can. Makes me sad. I think I will take a look at the Kong recipes though… :)

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  • Sometimes peeing while turning in a circle is a form of territory marking. It does sound like as he gets more comfortable with the situation, this behavior will stop.

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