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Abby is our 3 month old beagle puppy. We’ve had her since she was 6 weeks old and crate trained her immediately…or so we thought. When she whined and cried and barked those first few days, even weeks, we attributed it to her being so young. Now she continues to whine and cry and bark, and she also digs at her bedding, hops around, biting at her crate, and stares at us while doing it. She also has times that she pees in her bed, even though it’s been no more than an hour since we took her out. Her crate isn’t too big, she just doesn’t care one bit to lay on the pee-soaked t-shirt (she sleeps on, sometimes in, one of my t-shirts over top a dog bed). We think this is completely behavioral and has something to do with the fact that we crate trained her incorrectly.

We used to put her in her crate and close the door, no treat, no nothing (we didn’t know any better and now we are SO sorry for it). Now we let her go into the crate on her own (only because we are bribing her with treats or a peanut-butter filled Kong) but as soon as she finishes the treat or Kong, she starts crying again.

We try our best to give her plenty of play/exercise time so that all she needs to do in her crate is sleep but then she fights sleep like a child. One minute she’s “screaming” at the top of her lungs and the next she’s snoring. Unfortunately, we don’t know when she’s upset because she’s fighting sleep, because she just doesn’t want to be in her crate, or because she really needs to go "outside".

We keep at least 3 toys (stuffed animal, hard/rawhide/nylabone, and rubber) in her crate and she could care less. Every now and then, and I mean that – maybe only once a day – she will play with a toy in her crate.

I’m sorry this post is so long, but I’m so worried about Abby. I want her crate to be a happy place, where she can retreat and take naps when the world is crazy around her. But if things stay like they are now, that won’t happen.

Can you all please give me some advice on:

Re-crate training her to make it more of a happy place
Other toys ideas
Getting her to stop peeing in there

We love Abby, but emotionally it’s very hard on me because I know she’s upset and I want to fix it, but I don’t know how without letting her out all the time, which I KNOW isn’t healthy for any of us…

Help?
 

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Part of the problem might be the potty schedule. Puppies need to relieve themselves every 70-90 minutes so, the usual schedule is to take them out every hour.
You're right about using the crate for sleeping.....try upping the exercise and perhaps covering the crate with a blanket so she can't see out.
 

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As far as re-crate training her, I would play games that involve the crate. Give her some new toys in there and rotate them so she doesn't get bored. Do you have interactive toys? They're great! Always praise her when she's being good in his crate. Feed her meals in there with the door open. Tell her to go in there when she gets a new toy. Leave the door open, but make her stay in there to play with it. Tie it to the back of the crate. :)

As far as peeing in there, dogs can smell one drop of pee and see it as an invitation to go again. Have you removed all bedding and thoroughly washed the crate? I would replace the bedding completely and wash the crate down well with a solution of Clorox and water (2 T per gallon of water).

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Part of the problem might be the potty schedule. Puppies need to relieve themselves every 70-90 minutes so, the usual schedule is to take them out every hour.
You're right about using the crate for sleeping.....try upping the exercise and perhaps covering the crate with a blanket so she can't see out.
Thank you so much for this advice. We have really been exercising her more and she is doing 'better' in the crate (no more accidents and less crying, etc). Small steps...that's what I keep telling myself!!!

As far as re-crate training her, I would play games that involve the crate. Give her some new toys in there and rotate them so she doesn't get bored. Do you have interactive toys? They're great! Always praise her when she's being good in his crate. Feed her meals in there with the door open. Tell her to go in there when she gets a new toy. Leave the door open, but make her stay in there to play with it. Tie it to the back of the crate. :)

As far as peeing in there, dogs can smell one drop of pee and see it as an invitation to go again. Have you removed all bedding and thoroughly washed the crate? I would replace the bedding completely and wash the crate down well with a solution of Clorox and water (2 T per gallon of water).

Good luck!
Would you mind giving me some game ideas that involve the crate? And, also, the names/descriptions of some interactive toys? I love the idea of making the crate more and more fun!!

I also bleached everything (bedding and crate) and things are going much better (no accidents). Thank you so much!
 
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