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Day crate training is going OK (I think). Our 13-week old GSD mix has spent a good deal of time in the crate while we're around -- weekends and evenings (He spends all night in the crate with one walk around 3; he won't make it the whole night without being walked yet). During the day, he whines a tiny bit when crated, which I mostly ignore. When he takes to pawing the door consistently, I walk him to pee or poo, but that's it -- hoping to give him the message that this won't result in play time. After the first time, I give him a very short time to do his stuff and then right back in. But today he did this half a dozen times within a couple hours, and on only half of them he peed. Nothing solid, though by this many hours after lunch he usually would have gone. Just wondering if this approach makes sense. Thanks.
 

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Reduce the number of times out and take him out when he is NOT pawing the crate door. Otherwise he is training you to let him out when he paws the door.

DO play with him, (just not every time).

Put him on more of a potty schedule. During the day take him out about every 3-4 hours and then have him out long enough to get the job done. Put him up. Repeat. Only take him out when he is quiet and not pawing or barking.

Teach him (by not responding) that pawing the door and so forth does not get him anything.
 

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Agree with 3GSD, don't let him out when pawing the door. Take him out for scheduled potty breaks and scheduled playtime, but not if its a time when he needs to be quiet. Letting him out when he's pawing the door teaches him that gets him out to play. Don't forget, puppies are easily distracted, so they may 'forget' they have to potty when they are outside. It helps to stand in one spot, puppy on leash, and wait for them to do their business, then praise and reward and have playtime or a walk (if that's what you have scheduled). It teaches the pup "Everything is very boring until I potty."

I mean, sometimes there may be an emergency where the dog has digestive upset and NEEDS to go, and some may whine and paw the door, but I guess I've always been able to tell the desperate NEED TO GO NOW whines and complaining from the "I just want to come out and play."
 
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