Is It Too Late To Crate Train???
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Thread: Is It Too Late To Crate Train???

  1. #1
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    Is It Too Late To Crate Train???

    Hi there. I am new to the board and really didn't know where else to go. I emailed the dog whisperer, but haven't heard back ! I have a 3.5 yr old Shiba Inu Mix (not sure with what). We adopted her in October of 05. She is an amazing little girl. She is smart and obedient and lovable (when she wants to be). She is a little spitfire ! Doesn't really bark and won't even go to the door when she wants to go out. She'll just sit in front of you and stare at you, in that loving "I have to pee mommy/daddy" kind of way.

    That is a little bit about her and here is my problem: She was totally house trained when we got her and that was great. She would have an accident every now and again, so we started buying pee pads. She almost always uses them, with the occassional puddle on laundry (which is my fault for leaving it on the floor). The problem we are having is that she is peeing so much on the pee pad, it's seeping through and leaving a puddle on my hardwood floors and it's started to smell. We have used 2 at times, but she can go through that too (and that is getting somewhat expensive).

    She eats in the morning around 530 and then my boyfriend takes her out for 30 minutes and she pees (a lot) and does her poops. We don't leave her much water when we aren't home, to try and cut down on the amount of pee that she has. That doesn't work either. She goes out again about 630 at night. I know that is a loooong time to hold it, but we both work full time.

    I am thinking the problem is more separation anxiety and was wondering if she was too old to try and crate train. I have videoed her when at work and she pants and drools excessively all over everything, she claws at the door to try and get out and she howls sometimes and just paces the floor.

    She absolutely doesn't do any of this when we are home. She will say her hello's and then go right up to the bedroom and go to sleep on my bed. They say they don't "mess where they sleep", so I am thinking would she feel safer and more secure in a crate when we aren't home, instead of pacing and drooling and peeing?? Oh yeah, we have tried leaving the bedroom door open, but that just leads to peeing on the bed


    Ok, I know that was long winded, but I tried to answer questions I thought people might have, ahead of time.

    Looking forward to feedback and help !

    Thanks, Maggies Mom

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  3. #2
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    I dont see how crate training her is going to fix your problem. She obviously needs to be let out more often, maybe a friend or family member? Are you saying you leave her from 5:30 AM till 6:30 PM? That is way to long, and she might be so used to being in the house that crate training may not be fair at this time.

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    Senior Member britishbandit's Avatar
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    A dog is never too old to crate train! But it will likely take longer for an older dog to be accepting of it, and you may run the risk of them not accepting it, but it's worth a try. Not many dogs can't eventually get used to the idea.

    Since the dog is left out already, get a crate set up where you want it, and don't lock her in it.......for now. Get her used to the crate being a pleasant place, and good experiences.

    Feeding her in there, tossing toy and treats in and out of it and letting her explore it on her own will help.

    When you feel she is comfortable with it, then begin locking her in it. Leave some toys and/or treats in there (ones she can't rip apart or choke on), those kongs that you can cram treats/kibble into are good, or a kong/similar toy where you can put peanut butter in it (if you freeze it first it'll also last longer and will take her longer to get it all). Make her realize that going in the crate means she gets these yummy or play things.

    And yes, crate training CAN (but not always) effectively eliminate or reduce seperation anxiety (which it sounds like the dog may suffer from).
    Last edited by britishbandit; 01-17-2007 at 05:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendreams490 View Post
    I dont see how crate training her is going to fix your problem. She obviously needs to be let out more often, maybe a friend or family member? Are you saying you leave her from 5:30 AM till 6:30 PM? That is way to long, and she might be so used to being in the house that crate training may not be fair at this time.
    I want to help her separation anxiety, so being in the crate may make her feel more secure. She is actually fine all those hours. This excessive peeing and panting and pacing has started not too long ago and we have been practicing the same routine for a year. She does the same thing on the weekends. We take her out in the morning and then right before we go and then even if we only go out for an hour, we'll come home to pee on the pee pad.

    I used to come home during the day to walk her and I found that it upset her more to see me for that brief time, than not at all. I would come home after work to find chewed blinds and food all over the house. Sometimes she wouldn't even pee on our walk, so I don't feel it's because she isn't let out more often.

    But thank you for your feed back

    Quote Originally Posted by britishbandit View Post
    A dog is never too old to crate train! But it will likely take longer for an older dog to be accepting of it, and you may run the risk of them not accepting it, but it's worth a try. Not many dogs can't eventually get used to the idea.

    Since the dog is left out already, get a crate set up where you want it, and don't lock her in it.......for now. Get her used to the crate being a pleasant place, and good experiences.

    Feeding her in there, tossing toy and treats in and out of it and letting her explore it on her own will help.

    When you feel she is comfortable with it, then begin locking her in it. Leave some toys and/or treats in there (ones she can't rip apart or choke on), those kongs that you can cram treats/kibble into are good, or a kong/similar toy where you can put peanut butter in it (if you freeze it first it'll also last longer and will take her longer to get it all). Make her realize that going in the crate means she gets these yummy or play things.

    And yes, crate training CAN (but not always) effectively eliminate or reduce seperation anxiety (which it sounds like the dog may suffer from).
    Thank you so much for your help. We have been saying we are going to try the crate for a while, but weren't really sure how to approach it. I bought one of those collapsable ones that just zipped around, which to me looked more friendly, but she wouldn't even go near it. Maybe we really need to just give it another shot and see what happens...

    Thanks again !
    Last edited by maggiesmom; 01-17-2007 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  6. #5
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    PLEASE don't restrict her water. You can cause physical problems that way. Have you considered that all that panting may be because she's thirsty, and the more she pants, the thirstier she'll get?

    I too would recommend that you get someone in to take her outside during the day. You're leaving her alone too long, and by putting the pads down, you're encouraging her to pee in the house. Close your bedroom door, because she obviously associates cloth with the pads.

    Crating can be done at any age, but it may take awhile for her to accept it. She may or may not have her anxiety relieved by a crate, but putting her in a crate for the long hours you are at work is just too long, and you will then be effectively training her to pee in her crate if she can't hold it all day. I always wonder at people who work all day and take bathroom breaks but don't think their dogs should have potty breaks.

    When you take your dog out, go to one place for her to relieve herself. Walks are for exercise, not for potty-ing. And though dogs may potty on their walks, the ideal for both you and her is to get her trained to go to a spot close to the exit of your home and eliminate there every time. What you've done is set up HER SPOT in the house, and no specific spot outside.

    As long as the pee is seeping into the hardwood floors from the pad, you will have a spot that she will return to because it smells like HER SPOT. You need to de-scent it.

    Have you considered day care?
    Spay / Neuter - It stops the killing.
    Untrained does not mean untrainable.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member workingdog's Avatar
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    From what i have read, you got a house broken dog and turned it in to a dog that pee's in the house. You put pads down for her to pee on, that only tells her it is ok to pee in the house and then by not taking her out enough she has to pee in the house. In her mind you have gave her the right to pee in the house.

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    Senior Member MagicToller's Avatar
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    Ok, to answer your initial question, no the dog is not too late to crate train. However, it seems to me that there are other factors involved in the situation.

    Firstly, I think the dog should be taken out more often.. and this does not mean a few minutes to eliminate, this means nice long walk, run in the park, ball tosses etc. Atleast once a day for an hour or so. Dogs needs outlets for their energy otherwise they find ways to fill the gap in that our seldom pretty.

    Onto the crate, begin training as soon as possible. When it comes to the "Wee-Pads", I think they appropriate for special scenarios only. Dogs should be trained to eliminate outside from the begining to satisfy the natural behaviour. Here is a link on crate training that can be helpful:

    http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/ou..._training.html

    Now. The fact that you are only giving the dog limited water to prevent accidents is a little scary. The dog should not have to pay for the lack of time to take her outside to eliminate. Overtime, this can be very damaging to the dogs health. Please try to make room for her on you or your spouses schedule to try to get an extra walk in the afternoon.. it's too much to ask the poor dog to hold her bladder for 12 hours.

    As for the time she has on her own, you can purchase rawhides, buster cubes, or kongs to fill with treats or peanut butter to stimulate the dog and keep her entertained.

    If a few changes are made you can seriously improve her quality of life as well as her behaviour. Let us know how it goes, good luck - and get started ASAP!
    Got Toller?


  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogAdvocat View Post
    PLEASE don't restrict her water. You can cause physical problems that way. Have you considered that all that panting may be because she's thirsty, and the more she pants, the thirstier she'll get?

    I too would recommend that you get someone in to take her outside during the day. You're leaving her alone too long, and by putting the pads down, you're encouraging her to pee in the house. Close your bedroom door, because she obviously associates cloth with the pads.

    Crating can be done at any age, but it may take awhile for her to accept it. She may or may not have her anxiety relieved by a crate, but putting her in a crate for the long hours you are at work is just too long, and you will then be effectively training her to pee in her crate if she can't hold it all day. I always wonder at people who work all day and take bathroom breaks but don't think their dogs should have potty breaks.

    When you take your dog out, go to one place for her to relieve herself. Walks are for exercise, not for potty-ing. And though dogs may potty on their walks, the ideal for both you and her is to get her trained to go to a spot close to the exit of your home and eliminate there every time. What you've done is set up HER SPOT in the house, and no specific spot outside.

    As long as the pee is seeping into the hardwood floors from the pad, you will have a spot that she will return to because it smells like HER SPOT. You need to de-scent it.

    Have you considered day care?
    Sorry, when I said "restrict her water" by no means did I mean to imply that we don't give her water. We would fill her bowl up before and now we fill it half way. She still has water and there are many days when we come home and there is still some water left in the bowl. I know that dogs need to have water in their bowl at all times....

    She does the panting only when we aren't around (this I found out from the video when we weren't home). When we are there with her, she NEVER pants. So I don't feel she is panting because she is thirsty.

    The other problem we have with her is that she doesn't go outside "just to pee". She HAS to be walked. She does pee quick at night before bed, but she won't pee in that same spot during the day. Any suggestions on how to get her to pee in the same spot all the time?

    Quote Originally Posted by MagicToller View Post
    Ok, to answer your initial question, no the dog is not too late to crate train. However, it seems to me that there are other factors involved in the situation.

    Firstly, I think the dog should be taken out more often.. and this does not mean a few minutes to eliminate, this means nice long walk, run in the park, ball tosses etc. Atleast once a day for an hour or so. Dogs needs outlets for their energy otherwise they find ways to fill the gap in that our seldom pretty.

    Onto the crate, begin training as soon as possible. When it comes to the "Wee-Pads", I think they appropriate for special scenarios only. Dogs should be trained to eliminate outside from the begining to satisfy the natural behaviour. Here is a link on crate training that can be helpful:

    http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/ou..._training.html

    Now. The fact that you are only giving the dog limited water to prevent accidents is a little scary. The dog should not have to pay for the lack of time to take her outside to eliminate. Overtime, this can be very damaging to the dogs health. Please try to make room for her on you or your spouses schedule to try to get an extra walk in the afternoon.. it's too much to ask the poor dog to hold her bladder for 12 hours.

    As for the time she has on her own, you can purchase rawhides, buster cubes, or kongs to fill with treats or peanut butter to stimulate the dog and keep her entertained.

    If a few changes are made you can seriously improve her quality of life as well as her behaviour. Let us know how it goes, good luck - and get started ASAP!
    Thanks for the link ! I just read through it and will try it, but the last part says separation anxiety needs to be handles by a specialist. Sounds like we have a lot of work to do ! Thanks again and I'll keep you posted.

    Ok. I just took her on a 20 minute walk and she didn't pee. Also, is there a reason why she will only walk on my left side? Is that the natural order of things with dogs? When I put her on my right, she stays behind me until she can squeeze back on my left.

    I am going to leave her with a nice peanut butter filled kong and head back to work. She is starting to cry already
    Last edited by maggiesmom; 01-18-2007 at 04:44 PM.

  10. #9
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    I really think an obedience class would do you a lot of good. You said she was over 3 years of age when you got her. It's likely that she had some training before. Having the dog heel on the left side is the common way for them to walk. Why? Well, theoretically, it was because the first dogs that were selectively bred and trained for a purpose were trained to be hunting dogs, and hunters normally carried their guns on/under their right arms. After they accidentally killed a few hunting dogs that way, someone got the bright idea of having the dogs heel on the left side. True? I don't know, but that's one theory.

    I sense a pattern with your dog. You said she was totally housetrained when you got her, but that has changed. And now apparently she was trained to heel properly, but you're trying to change that. Trying to undo prior proper training seems to be what's causing the troubles. And you certainly must be confusing her, which can only add to any anxiety she is feeling. I really think the best course is to get obedience training, for you, which will help you to understand and work with the trained dog you have.
    Spay / Neuter - It stops the killing.
    Untrained does not mean untrainable.
    Boycott Pet Shops selling animals.
    Puppymill Mamas never have a nice day.

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    Hmm, the theory makes sense, but I wouldn't say I am trying to change any behavior of hers. It just happens that when we walk up the street, the grass is to the right of me, so it would only make sense to have her walk on my right so she can pee. I didn't know there was a specific reason she would be insistent on walking to the left. Now that I know this is normal, we'll have to switch sides or go the other way. Owning a dog is a learning process for many of us first time owners.

    As for the peeing, she had an accident and a friend at work who owns 3 dogs said "she peed there once, so next time she has an accident, she will more than likely go in the same place, so make sure you put a pee pad down, so if she has to go, she'll know to go there." So that is what i did and it has worked very well.

    I am taking her to the vet to see if maybe she has a UTI.

    When I got home tonight, she had done very well. I took her out right away for a walk and she wouldn't go, so I stood in the one spot in which she was sniffing out quite a bit and she finally peed. I left another bedroom door open when I went back to work, pulled the blind, gave her a kong with p.b. and a half bone and all I found when I got home was some drool on the window sill and blanket.

    I bought the crate and I am not sure if it's that that's freaking her out or what, but she sat in my lap shaking like a baby for about 30 minutes. I set it up, left the door open, put my pj top and toys in there with some treats and put her food and water in front of it. She went near it, ate her food, drank her water and even stuck her head in to grab a treat or two, but that was it for her. I heard the smoke alarm beep once or twice, so that may have scared her, I have since changed the batteries.

    So I will continue the with the changes I have made and continue encouraging the crate and go from there.

    Thanks for the help.

  12. #11
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    I am happy to report that the pee pads have been taken away and knock on wood, we haven't had an accident yet! I come home from work every day now and walk Maggie and she pees right out front, nice and quick. I bought the crate, but it will be a slow process,as she is not totally receptive of it yet. I think it will help her, once she does get used to it. She goes almost all the way in, but is long enough that her back paws can stay outside the cage. Thanks to all of you (even the ones with negative feedback), the information I recived was helpful and seems to be working for us. Thanks again !

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