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Hi everyone,

I have recently rescued an Akita puppy (3 months old), she is my first Akita. I have had a lot of dogs growing up, some crate trained and some not, so I feel confidant in my ability to handle dogs.

Anyway, I have a interesting crate training issue that has been going on today and I wanted to post it on here to try to get a solution before it turns into a problem.

When I originally got Tora she was apparently rescued from a puppy mill, kept in a home temporarily where she was paper trained, then I took her about 2 weeks ago. I work from home so I have been using a combination of crate training and tethering her to me all day to housebreak her.

So far it's been going well, I take her outside every hour when I'm awake to do business. If there is no business to be done, right back inside. If she does her business she is rewarded with a treat, we go back inside and do some supervised playing. Now she has been indicating to me when she needs to go by whining and pulling on the lead to the door - so I am very happy about that!

I feed and water her in the crate, she has a Kong in there, so she loves spending time in there. Same at night, when I say "goodnight" she walks in and lays down without a peep. Throughout the night she no longer cries to be let out, she wakes me up in the morning when it's time.

Overall I am impressed with how quickly she learned to love the crate and how well she is doing with her training.

Today everything has been same as usual on my end. She whined at me and literally as I stood up and was reaching for her lead she walked into her crate and began to pee. I clapped my hands, said "no!", and ran her right outside where she continued to pee and I praised her with a treat. We went back inside, I took out her bedding, washed the floor, and then went back to our usual routine. The next time she was taking a nap, woke up from her nap stretched, then started to whine... Same thing! Just as I was reaching down to grab her lead she went back inside of her crate, I interrupted her and took her outside and she finished.

I'm very relieved that she is so easy to train and I know this is a minor thing... I searched on the forums for a scenario where the dog loved spending time in his/her crate, but still went inside to pee.

I just want to be sure that if I'm doing anything wrong I can correct my training of her as we have been doing so well!

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like your training is fine but sometimes pups with shady backgrounds as you described can have problems pop up, keep on doing what your doing and even a tad more vigilance may be necessary for a while to get her out sooner.

That's why I prefer a take out schedule and not rely on pup/dog to tell me. Every 30 minutes out for a while and see if that helps at all. (it won't hurt) The pup you are relying on to inform you of potty needs will never be smarter than a 4 yr old child so I would take choice away from her and take over completely with a time schedule of your choice.
 

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Thanks for the advice. I took your advice, have been taking her out every 30-45 minutes and also when she whines.

This morning (i am located in Asia, so just a few hours ago) I took her out when we woke up. We had breakfast, and I began taking her out. I literally took her out 15 minutes ago, no pee. I brought her inside and I was sitting there on the phone and within 5 min of returning inside she did a MASSIVE pee inside of her crate.

Since yesterday I have removed her blanket so there is nothing in the crate that smells of urine.

Also, I last gave her water a little over an hour ago as I will have to leave the house soon and was preparing for her to be crated for an hour or so.

Just a mistake? I don't understand why I took her outside no pee but 5 min later a pee in her crate... Then she laid down in it as I was going to remove her. Confused!
 

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Thanks for the advice. I took your advice, have been taking her out every 30-45 minutes and also when she whines.

This morning (i am located in Asia, so just a few hours ago) I took her out when we woke up. We had breakfast, and I began taking her out. I literally took her out 15 minutes ago, no pee. I brought her inside and I was sitting there on the phone and within 5 min of returning inside she did a MASSIVE pee inside of her crate.

Since yesterday I have removed her blanket so there is nothing in the crate that smells of urine.

Also, I last gave her water a little over an hour ago as I will have to leave the house soon and was preparing for her to be crated for an hour or so.

Just a mistake? I don't understand why I took her outside no pee but 5 min later a pee in her crate... Then she laid down in it as I was going to remove her. Confused!
How long did you go outside with her to potty? I find sometimes my pup is more interested in the world around her than going potty when we first get outside. If I give her a good 10 minutes and even walk around the yard a bit she goes. Also since you are feeding and watering her in the crate I would take her out of it at 20 minutes post meal and 60 minutes post meal, I find my pup usually pees at the 20 minute mark and does both at the 60 minute mark (of course she pees frequently through the day but those 2 times I have figured out with her). That may help empty her bladder enough to last through the nap/night time. Also as far as over night if she seems to always be waking at the same time I would set my alarm for 10 minutes earlier and wake her to take her out before she has a chance to wake and pee in the crate.
 

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One other thought, if she had puppy mill background peeing in crate can definitely be program she was started with so habit was started and sometimes harder to break. I would completely disregard the paper training info because they actually can put her in a crate with paper on floor of crate and claim she was paper trained and sometimes believe it or not they will tell you what they think you want to hear.

Now good (swellmomma) advice above about when you take pup out, sometimes they are so interested in stuff peeing etc is last thought.

One of the things I did when starting a pup is take and stake them outside where I could view them from home cause sometimes the pups wanted to play with me/owner etc, when owner leaves pup can concentrate on getting stuff done. Obviously this can be difficult as some don't live in area where this can be done. I thought I would just throw it out here. Be patient.
 

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Thank you both for your suggestions... I feel a lot better just being able to describe the situation to other dog owners!

When we go outside to pee I generally am outside with her up to 5-10 minutes if she doesn't go immediately. She is overall pretty good about peeing/pooping quickly when she needs to go. I have her on the lead when we go outside to pee, so once I start saying "go home" and walking back she will typically be like, "OH YEAH!! Gotta go.. NOW!" Not this morning though...

I cut her water off around 10:45am as I needed to crate her and leave by 12noon. So at 11am or so I took her out, she did a pee, then I took her out again at 11:30am (no pee), then again at 11:50am (no pee), but as I was putting her into the crate at 11:55am that's when she decided to pee.

As for in the night she is fine, never had an accident at night. At first she cried about 3 times through the night, but now she is getting into a routine and wakes up around 7-7:30, which is when I get up anyway.

She is a rescue from a puppy mill, then was brought into a foster home for a little while, and now to me. So I think she is confused about where she is supposed to go. In my dealings with dogs I have just never had a dog walk into his/her crate to pee by choice. I mean all of these times when she has peed she has not been confined in her crate, she has been tethered to me or the outside of the crate, walks into it to pee.

Oh dogs...!
 

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I agree that this probably has something to do with her puppy mill background - it sounds like she actually was somehow trained to go to the bathroom in her crate - and that what you're doing (interrupting her when she starts to go in her crate, taking her straight outside, and rewarding her for going outside) is the right approach. My only question is, how are you cleaning her crate? You should use an enzymatic cleaner to make sure her crate doesn't still smell like pee.
 

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She may not actually have been "trained" to pee/poop in the crate, but lots of puppy mill pups (or other mistreated pups) get used to peeing/pooping in their crates because they aren't really let out. So, if they are in their crates and can't hold it, that's where they go. Your puppy just may be in that habit of thinking the crate is an acceptable bathroom, and that is hard to break!

On top of that, she was in a foster, who tried to paper train her. So, she has, in her very young life, already received quite a few different messages about peeing/pooping.

What you are doing is good; just stick with it!
 

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I have nothing to add to the training. However, you might wash the crate out with vinegar and enzyme cleaner to make sure the smell is gone...
 
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