I’m increasingly concerned about Gretel’s behaviour when I’m at work.
I have crate trained her from day 1 (at 11 weeks), she sleeps in the crate outside my bedroom and will only complain if she has to go out to do her business. She normally gets me up at night once, but we sometimes make it through the whole night now. She does not totally LOVE her crate but settles in it quite quickly.
I have been very consistent in crating her in the morning and afternoon hours and always was in a separate room. I ignored her when she barked unless I knew she had to pee. I have increased the durations gradually. I was lucky enough to work from home for a while, but since Monday I’m back at work. I leave the house at 8am and walk and feed her beforehand. She goes into the crate and most of the time passes out immediately. I have a puppysitter come in twice a day for 60 min, normally these times are 10:30 to 11:30 and 2-3pm. She extensively plays with her and walks her to knacker her out as much as possible in the hour and gives her lunch during the second visit. I know that my dog can hold her bladder for 3-4 hours, however, whenever she’s waking up in her crate (typically after 1.5-2hrs) she will start barking excessively, get more and more excited and then have a pee. That can be as little as an hour and a half after her last pee. She only pees that frequently when in the crate.
We tried more comfy bedding, less bedding, no bedding, chew toys, filled frozen kong toys, my old t shirts for the smell, radio on, radio off – I tried speaking to her over the baby cam to calm here down – nearly every single time my puppysitter arrives there has been an accident. The afternoon sessions are particularly bad. We clean the crate thoroughly with specific cleaner, replace the bedding whenever there was an accident – no improvement. We never shout at her, but praise her like mad if she does her business outside.
Any more smart ideas? It’s extremely frustrating for me, the puppysitter, the dog, and probably also awful for the neighbours. I am worried as it’s not getting any better. In her head it seems to be – wake up – bark – pee in crate. It’s become a habit. It’s unfortunate but I can’t afford someone to be constantly at home. I also do not want to use puppy pads inside her crate – she has been eating them and we had no success with them at all.
Pooing is not a problem at all btw, and when she’s out of the crate and has to do her business she will go to the garden to pee as well.
Any hints are welcome. She’s a very bold, intelligent and very sweet little dog which otherwise behaves fantastically well. This is the only issue I have with her.
Thanks very much in advance
Jules (and Gretel)