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Crating for seperation anxiety?

853 Views 19 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  mwv
First off, I am new to forums, but I have been lurking and reading for a while.

Hello, and my name is Matt.

Ok, so I just got my dog Zoe about 1.5 months ago or so. I adopted her from the pound and they estimate her age is in between 1.5-2 years old. I wasn't working when I originally got her, but now I have started up again. She has recently started eliminating on the floor. I take her out at least 5 times a day to go to the bathroom, and she gets plenty of exercise. The thing is that she will not go to the restroom if I leave her home with someone, but when people are all gone, she seems to always poop in my room. She if VERY attached to me, and I think it might be seperation anxiety. My roomate says that she paces between my bed and the door when I leave, and when I am around, she never leaves my heel. I have reprimanded her when she does poop, and I reward her when she goes outside.

Will crating help this? I work in 4 hours shifts, but she will go right after I take her out, and I will only be gone <2 hours. She knows she shouldn't because she tucks her tail and runs to her bed when I see it. She will also go sometimes when I am asleep.

I want to help her but I don't' know what else to do. I cant' help get mad at her, so I don't know how you guys let your dogs poop on the floor and not say anything to them.

Any and all help will be appreciated.

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I think crate training will help you a lot. Some people believe it's mean to crate a dog, but in reality, dogs are den animals, they need that place of security to go. I'm sure you will get people that will disagree with me, but from all my experience training dogs-crating will become your best friend. It will eliminate chewing up the house when your not home-it will help with potty training, because dogs don't want to go in the area where they sleep. But you need to be consistent with it. The dog is in there at night when you are sleeping, and when you are not at home. Once you know the dog is fully crate trained (meaning you can give a command, like "house" and the dog will walk right in there and lay down) then he can start having free roam of the house again. I have two labs, and my older one is 3, and he just got free roam of the house about a year ago. But if he is tried, or something is freaking him out-he will just crawl in his kennel, and sleep. Same with my other lab-I just tell them to go in their house, and they go in there and sleep until the morning, or when I come home from work. Also if your dog is a whiner, you can't pay attention to that. If you put him in his crate, and walk away, and he starts whining, you can't rush back to his side. He will start training you that way-when he needs something, he knows he can whine and you will come running. Just leave him alone when he's whining-granted you need to make sure he doesn't have to go to the bathroom. When he isn't whining in his kennel, reward that with a pat on the head, or a treat, so he understands what is right and what is wrong while he is in his kennel.
Like I said, I'm sure you will get other people's opinions, but that is mine, and I've been training dogs for about 3 years now.
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I personally don't think whacking her on the butt is abusive, I give my dogs a good tap when they are out of line. As far as yelling at her when she has a mess in the house...you shouldn't yell at her, and here's why. Dogs do not have a very long attention span, which is why when you are doing dog training, you have to be consistent. If she pees in the house, and 10 minutes later, you find it, and drag her over there and yell at her, she doesn't understand why she is in trouble. She knows she's in trouble by your body posture, and your tone of voice. If you start yelling at her for peeing in the house, then she is going to start going under beds, and in closets-places where you can't see her. It maybe frustrating, and you may need to start from square one with potty training. Watch when she drinks water...a few minutes later, take her out to go potty. Both my dogs are water freaks, so I usually don't let my puppy drink an hour before bed-that will cut down on the messes too. If she potty's while outside, reward her. If she messes in the house, just take her outside, go back and clean it up, and bring her in. Don't let her see you clean it up, because then she will think it's ok-since you are picking it up. When my puppy was still in potty training, I got a squirt bottle, and mixed water and vinegar. The vinegar will take away the smell, and she won't be attracted to go back to that area and pee. I don't know if you said what kind of dog it is, but if she's small, you can always get those puppy pads. I've never used them, so I'm not sure how efficient they are, but it's worth a shot.
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I really wouldn't use the pad's honestly, I was just trying to give you another option. I think some people use it when they get a puppy, and put it by the front door. So they can train the dog, that when you go to the front door, it means going potty. But yeah, I would get something to take the smell out, that's the hardest part, is getting that smell out, and then they always go in that same spot.
Voice and body posture play a big role in disciplining your dogs. You have to be careful, you want to be the pack leader, but not scare them. Lets say you are talking to someone who doesn't know English. Naturally we raise our voices, thinking that maybe screaming at them will magically make them understand what we are saying. It's the same for dogs, yelling at them doesn't make a difference. Now you can be stern and mean it, but don't yelling at them is just a waste of time. Even though it's a natural thing.
Well good luck with everything. Crate training really will be the way to go, and don't give up on it. It will take time, but it will pay off. Also make sure you put the crate in an area of low traffic-and especially not your bedroom. I learned that one the hard way :)
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Because she will still be able to see you and hear you. That would be defeating the purpose of crate training to cure separation anxiety. Since she isn't a big dog, you can try and get a crate that will fit in your kitchen or living room, and put a blanket it over it. I had my dog's crate in the bedroom, since Texas doesn't have basements, and the garage is to hot (we're stationed at Fort Hood)-but I finally moved him out and put both of them in a different room all together.
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