Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?
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Thread: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

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    Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    Hey everyone- this is my first post. I am desperate...I have an 18 week old german shepherd female, Stella. She is delightful and very headstrong.
    We have had potty training issues since I got her, peeing and pooping in crate and laying in it with no problem. I hoped it would get better when I am off work (im a teacher and home with her now, thought this would stop).
    And so now I try to leave her for 2-3 hours at a time in her crate. She got better for a few weeks and now is back at it full force. Peeing and laying in it. She holds it all night so I dont think its a UTI but I am going to have her urine checked anyhow. She goes in the crate with no bedding just plastic floor and puppy pacifier toys. I cant even put a plush toy in there because she urinates on it...at least she isn't pooping anymore in there...
    My last resort is to limit her water intake during the day- she gobbles up water like its going out of style. And at night I put it up at 7-8pm and no accidents....how much water do puppies need in a day anyways?
    Any ideas are appreciated...thanks!

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    Senior Member TooneyDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    When dogs start messing in the crate and don't seem to mind the mess it's time to eliminate the crate. You'll have to set up an X-pen or use some other form of confinement like the laundry room or the bathrooom.

    Then, it's back to taking her out every hour, praising and rewarding for going in the right spot; tweaking the feeding schedule to minimize accidents; restricting the water intake and most important...catching her in the act to teach her that going in the house is wrong.

    Until she understands that it's wrong, she's not going to let you know that she has to go out. When you catch her, you cannot let her finish...that's very self-rewarding so, you have to interrupt her. Slap a wall, stomp your foot, say No! and immediately herd her out the door to the potty area.

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by TooneyDogs View Post
    Until she understands that it's wrong, she's not going to let you know that she has to go out. When you catch her, you cannot let her finish...that's very self-rewarding so, you have to interrupt her. Slap a wall, stomp your foot, say No! and immediately herd her out the door to the potty area.
    And praise, with food, as she finishes up outside. Puppy Party EVERY time she goes outside, complete with food.

    Since she holds it at night when you are there, does she engage in any other behavior when you leave the house and she is crated? Does she howl and carry on? Does she get extremely upset when left alone in the house and in the crate?

    Have you cleaned the crate with an enzyme cleaner such as Nature's Miracle to eliminate smell?

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    thanks...both responses are good advice! And YES she has a fit everytime I put her in her crate but usually calms down after 10- 15 minutes. I used an x-pen before but that was worse because it was so big she pooped and peed and then threw the poo around, ick. But I'm hoping to get her back into it.
    Also I use natures miracle everytime she goes in there and even have bleached it twice hoping the smell would be totally gone...all to no avail. I do think she has such separation anxiety- common in german sheps...I will keep at it....
    p/s is there a minimum of how much water a pup should get, like in cups? Or should I just go by trial and error? Im not filling the bowl as high and so she cant gulp soooo much down...thx again

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    I have never noticed SA in German Shepherds as a regualr trait.. or fear.. but maybe I have just been lucky?

    I would suggest that instead of just putting her in the crate you do some crate training instead. I suggest a DVD called "Crate Games" that you can get from www.dogwise.com

    You may be doing this anyway, but I would feed her food in the crate. Not all of it. Some of it I would make her work for 1 kibble at a time (sit! kibble, Lie down! Kibble, Stand! kibble, Stay! Kibble etc.). Some I would make into a game by tossing kibble, one piece at a time, into the crate (door open) and let her get it and come back out. Some I would feed in her bowl in her crate with the door open.

    I would also give her a Kong stuffed with something good and put it in the crate. Do not shut the door. Let her go in and get it.

    Eventually, with you sitting rght there, shut the door and hold it for a short time when she is eating the food she gets fed in the crate.. then open it before she is done. Gradually increase the time the door is shut until she finishes her food and the door is shut. When she finds the door shut, ask her to sit. When she sits, open the crate immediately.

    Do the same with the Kong but instead, ask her to lie down before you open the door (and hopefully she will chew on the Kong with Liverwurst or some other delectible stuff in it). Make the business of the door a Non event.

    Gradually work up to latching the door and going to the other side of the room. Then out of the room. Then outside and come right back in.

    The point of all this is to desensitize the whole crate thing and leaving thing into non events. Also make leaving and coming back in a non event.. gradually increasing the length of time you are gone.

    IF after all this, your dog still goes nuts when left in the crate alone when you go outside (this process will take you practically up to going back to the classroom to find out BTW) then you may have a true case of SA and need to invoke drug therapy and or a behaviorist.

    I also suggest another informative pamphlet.. "I'll Be Home Soon!" by P. McConnell that you can also get from dogwise when you order the DVD on crate training.

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    good game ideas, I will do that too! And yes I do use a kong with good treats and put kong stuffin liver flavor around the edges, and I have 2 other "treat release" game toys with her, so when she first goes in shes pacified but once shes finished eating and playing with the kong thats when she starts crying and carrying on...I like the treat and in out game...while Im getting all this great advice I'll pose another question..I'm concerned for when I go back to work- Ill be gone 8 hours, I am going to try to work her up our by hour in the weeks leading up to my return to school (1st week of sept) - do I need to leave water with her for the day? Im sure she will pee if I do- and at almost 6 mos do you think she will be able to "hold it" for the day?
    Thanks again

    by the way I want to report I've been having the pee pee party with a treat ouside since that advice and she gets excited over that, hopefully she starts to make that connection...
    Last edited by German Shep mom; 08-03-2009 at 05:03 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    If it is really hot, of course I leave water in for the dog. The rule of thumb is one hour of holding for every month of age. That being said, it sounds like she holds it all night.

    I would like to also add that GSD's do drink a lot of water. Mine does and always has.

    I will also say I got her at aslmost 6 months old and she made ONE mistake in the house, pee by the door.. I caught her, put her out and when she finihsed we had a party. Never did she do this again (unless ill.. and that was in the crate and she was really sick!).

    Of course, when i saw her squat by the door I ran to her saying something like "Wait Wait Wait" and frantically waving my arms.. after that she was probably terrified of peeing in the house.. LOL

    With house breaking, prevention is 9/10ths of the cure. With crate training the object is to make the crate her den, not her jail. A den is a welcoming place.. a Jail is place you just want to get out of. Make the den a good place to go.. and make getting out a non event. IGNORE her when you first get home and when you first return to the crate and let her out. I mean arms folded and NO eye contact. Getting out of the crate is just Ho Hum....

    Work up gradually and you may have her OK for 8 hours when you go back to the class room.

    Also, take her palces with you sometimes. Get her used to people and things and all the changes and strange things out in the world. These dogs are intelligent and are participants in life.. and very smart. Feed the intelligence just like you would a kid in school. Lots of different people and things and experiences.

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    Re: Stella still peeing in crate- any ideas?

    I have a 10 yr old shepherd too and potty training with her was a breeze- so I am so shocked at her not getting it...like yours my Tori NEVER would pee in house or crate- always the 2nd child who has more issues, lol...
    I do take her out whenever I can to pet store and other places, my next step is the park where lots of kids and people are so she can socialize there- she went to puppy daycare today to socialize with dogs, she has shown some fear with dogs other than Tori - but today went well at daycare and she was nervous but they kept her in a "small pack" of 4 to keep her comfortable.
    I like the Den/Jail analogy- I am going to work on playing the games around it for "fun" with the crate- I call it her bunny house- lol- so when I say "nite nite bunny house" at the end of the night she goes right in, so cute!

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