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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:wave:I am the proud owner of an almost 3 month old Shih Tzu puppy. I have to say the little guy is so smart!! He already understands some basic commands and we aren't having a hard time house training. He plays in his crate, and sleeps in his crate every night without issues. However when we leave the house which isnt for very long periods of time all heck breaks loose in that crate. He poops and he pees, barks non stop for what I believe to be the entire time we are gone. Everything I have read and based on how he follows me around the house points to separation anxiety. I dont want to medicate him, I feel that would take away from his awesome personality. However I cant imagine that its healthy for his little body to be under so much stress for the two times that I leave during the day. I am a stay at home mom so he has my undivided attention at all times. He knows hes not supposed to poop or pee in the house because when he does have accidents he barks at it and runs for the door :) I am hoping someone can help me out. It bothers me that he gets so upset. I want him to be comfortable and enjoy himself. Any advice?
 

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Some things I can think of to help you out would be first and foremost make sure your pup is good and exercised before you leave him in his crate. When they are tired they are much more relaxed and they usually fall asleep. You can also give him a kong or another safe treat to distract from the fact that you're leaving.

As for the peeing and pooping in the crate. How big is your crate? It should only be big enough for him to stand up turn around and stretch out a bit. If its too big this might be why he's going in there.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much for your suggestions. Someone else told me about the Kong and advised us to put peanut butter in it and freeze it. As for the crate..we got the smallest one you can get. We tried to make it smaller but that only allowed him room to sit in it and nothing more. It only happens when we leave which is why I'm thinking its SA, however, hes so young so I am wondering if this is normal behaviour or if I should talk to the vet about it. We also tried to put him in a bathroom with a baby gate and what we came back to was poop everywhere, even poop paw prints on the wall. Not fun.
 

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Google "Crate Games" to teach him to enjoy his crate. Also google :I'll be home soon" to deal with SA.

Exercise him twice a day for about 45 min (brisk walking).
Did you ever leave him alone when he was a puppy, so he would learn to deal with being alone?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will definately check those links out. LOL he would refuse to walk that long. Once hes done he becomes "one" with the grass :) We take a few walks in our back yard a day and he plays hard with my daughter and my nephews whom I watch in the afternoon. I should say that I am only gone for an hour at most and I take him out to go to the bathroom and he does..before I leave the house. He IS a puppy..just three months old. As for the crate he loves the crate. Plays in it on his own (worked with him for that) and he sleeps like you wouldnt believe in it at night. I tell him to get in bed and he does. When we leave he gets tense before I put him in it, and starts barking before we even hit the door. Now I have to turn the door of the crate to face a flat wall because he will work at the lock until he gets out. (smart little stinker) reinforced it with some ties a couple times and came home to him at the top of the stairs and my reinforcements just dangling on the crate. NO MESS in the house. I'm just kind of lost here. I want the little guy to be happy and healthy and I cant imagine what i belive to be the human equivalent of an panic attack two to three times a day is healthy for him. Thank you guys sooooo much. ALSO...how do i post a picture of him on here in my comments? I tried to figure it out the other day and could not.
 

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Does he just not like the crate? At 3 months, I'm not sure it's SA. Puppies aren't used to being alone, they're used to having their litter and mom around. Add not liking the crate to that and you have a puppy freaking out. Crates are convenient, but they aren't absolutely necessary. You could try an ex pen instead, or even just leaving him in the bathroom after you remove everything he could get into, the toilet paper, the trash, etc.
 

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Our puppy will be 5 months old next week. We got him from the shelter when he was 8 wks old. We gradually worked up to being in a crate, because we tried it at first and it resulted in panicked shrieks and immediately realized that it wasn't going to fly. What we ended up doing was getting an ex-pen, and put the open crate with the bed inside IN the ex-pen, with a few toys, and a weewee pad. He had no problems with this arrangement. Once he stopped using it, we took away the pad, then we gradually started making the ex-pen smaller until it was about twice the length of the crate (as small as we could get it with the crate still inside!), then we started closing him in the crate at night. I felt horribly guilty the first night, I'm historically a cat owner, and you don't keep cats in cages - but Hamilton didn't make a peep. He isn't thrilled about getting in the crate (we're working on that), but he doesn't fight going in either, and doesn't cry once he's inside.

During the day he is in the ex-pen with his old crate, a blanket, a bowl of water, and toys. I want him crate trained but I also don't think it's fair for him to be in a crate all night and while we work during the day (he gets walked and played with at lunch time), so basically our living room has become the Kingdom of Puppy. The goal is for him to have free run during the day, but we're definitely not there yet!
 

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Going to the bathroom in the crate is not normal behavior if you have the right sized crate, which it sounds like you do. That is why so many people suggest potty training using the crate. Puppys
don't like to sleep where they pee and poop. I would say that he def has some kind of anxiety going on for him to be doing that. I would try a more gradual approach with time and with the assistance of some long lasting treats. Also making sure he's nice and sleepy. If there's no improvements you should get him checked out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
He actually loves the crate. I keep it out with the door open all day, he gets in there and plays, and has his chill out time. He also at night as soon as I take the crate to the bedroom, I tell him to get in bed and he does. Sleeps through the entire night without issue. We tried a baby gate in the bathroom and ended up with the same result only a much bigger area to clean up..including the walls. I would have never thought something so little could make that much of a mess. Yesterday I tried some time in the crate where i would leave the room for gradually increasing amounts of time. He did pretty good. AND he was rewarded for the good behaviour. I have to say I have only just now had to buy pee pads. This guy has caught on pretty quickly about "going outside" tell him to go and he does.
Jenness..I was wondering if he was too young to have SA but everything points to it. I am going to get a Kong today and try it with some doggy peanut butter. Freeze it and then gradually increase the time i leave. Also being careful to give him the treat when we are home as well so that he doesnt associate the treat with the leaving. I cant thank you guys enough for the information.
 
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