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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Sophie is a 2 year old chow/Rotty rescue who'd lived on the street and was picked up a few weeks ago. I've had her since Dec. 23 and I can really use some advice with house-breaking and crate-training.

She pees outside in the morning, first thing, which is awesome. Then she has breakfast and then she poops on our morning walk. Again, awesome. She also pees outside right before bed. I have to take her out to our pee-spot but not complaining.

It's that middle of the day pee that's got me stumped. She either goes in the living room when I'm not looking (I put up baby-gates to keep her from ninja-peeing in the rest of the house), or she waits until I've put her in her crate and then goes in there. The crate has a pad and I've noticed she balls up the pad and then sits on top of that to minimize her contact with her pee. Should I take away her crate-pad in the daytime? That seems bordering on cruel since I've been leaving her in the crate for upwards of two hours at a time.

Which leads me to the crate-training. What's the limits on the crate? My ultimate goal is to let her have full range of the house with the understanding that she goes potty outside and doesn't chew the furniture or sit on the couch. What's the best way to get her to that point? She seems to tolerate the crate until I leave. The peeing and some barking all happen when I leave.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

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Use the crate or an ex-pen on a hard floor (easier to clean up) when you cannot watch the dog. Tether her to you with a leash when you want her in other parts of the house, to prevent the ninja-peeing! And I would take the pads out of the crate until the dog learns not to pee in there. It sounds cruel to some, but the dog does not want to be uncomfortable so allowing the pad to sop up the liquid is not helping your cause. Once the dog is not urinating in the crate, sort of in the transition period, I buy used towels at the thrift store to use before reintroducing the crate pads. The towels are easier to throw in the wash if needed. And I don't care if the towels get blotchy from bleaching.

Other things that will expedite house breaking an older dog is to feed on a schedule, twice per day. What goes in on a schedule usually comes out on a schedule. I start out serving water freely at meal times but limited amounts between meals, or an ice cube to lick instead, depending on the size of the dog. As the dog gains control you can start offering more water in the bowl between meals. And I pick up the bowl completely 2 hours before bedtime to make the night outings fewer.
 

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Sorry no advice on crates (we used the baby gates and expen method)-- what I can say is you have barely had her a week give her a month, like Briteday says above keep her on a strict schedule and she should normalize to your/ her new routine-- it sounds like its a pretty big change from life on the street and she needs to experience that you and the routine can be depended on... Very glad you are working towards giving her freedom when she can handle it...
 

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Thank you both so much. I've started out by feeding and watering Sophie in the morning promptly at 6:30 and then bathroom break on the morning walk. Then she eats again at 7 p.m. and she goes outside with me, at least for now on a leash. I've been leaving her alone in part of the house for upwards of three hours. No peeing and no barking! She is a magic dog. Thanks again.
 
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