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Hello I am new to this whole forum thing so I'm not sure what to do. Lol. I am currently experiencing a major problem with our new male GSD pup. I have had numerous dogs in my lifetime and have never had any problems with crate training any of them but we just CAN NOT seem to figure him out and it is getting VERY frustrating!! We brought him home on Feb 17, 2010 n he was 8 wks and was still sleeping in a play yard with his litter mates that were left. So as we had figured he was kinda whiney when we put him in his crate to go to bed at night. But the thing of it is, he started out whining but then started to bark and then to howl!! We tried to ignore him n let him soothe himself but that simply DID NOT work!! It just seemed to make him get louder and for longer periods of time!! So after about 5 days and only about 10 hrs of sleep total!! I did some research online and came across ideas of covering the crate-NO, using an alarm clock-NO, leaving the tv or radio on-NO,putting a stuffed animal in the cage to snuggle with or toys to keep him occupied-NO!!!!!!

Well we eventually did figure out what worked to keep him quiet at bedtime (some of you will NOT agree with this method-I know) and that was to put my pit bull in with him at night to go to bed, my pit bull doesn't mind the cage at all with him because he loves to snuggle!! Tundra (GSD) doesn't make one noise at all, not even a whimper. And I have asked my vet about this method and he said he doesn't see a problem with it as long as neither one of them seem to mind.

Well then we had to figure out what to do when we go to work during the day. So we decided to crate him by himself once again n he freaked out!!! I think its weird because he will go lay in the cage and take a nap but as soon as u go to close the door and latch it he freaks out and starts barking and jumping all over the place!!! He was fine the first week or so that we had him and then he started going potty in the crate. I'm talking about #1 & #2. And before any of you ask if he has too much room in the cage the answer is it doesn't matter. I have put a divider in that he only has enough room to lay in the crate sideways and he still messes in the cage because I guess he doesn't care! I have tried everything to make him stop and I have run out of ideas which is why I have turned to your forum. So please somebody please help me to help him because we are willing to have patience to figure this out.


P.S. Keep in mind he ONLY does this when we are at work during the day. When we are home he almost never goes in the house because he lets us know when he has to go out. I have also tried to use puppy pads and he does not go on them either. I truthfully think he used it as a bed!!
 

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I got my GSD when she was three months and she was completely backwards...her first owner left her outside, so she wasn't potty trained and she thought peeing in the house and in the crate was normal. It drove me nuts. She did have worms and after I treated that the poop stopped. After she was fixed the peeing stopped. Now I don't know if either of these things helped in the training process or she just grew out of it? She whined and cried in her cage for the first two weeks-all night long...I was falling asleep at work:) I stuck to it and let her whine/cry and only took her out at night if I thought she had to go to the bathroom..it was a different cry. Can you put her in the crate by herself at night in your bedroom? What method are you using for potty training? Crate, Pee Pads, etc? She is 6.5 months now and she is only in her crate when I'm at work. She has been sleeping with me in my room out of the crate since she was about 4-4.5 months. She has never had an accident during the night and in the beginning she was up most of the night..every time I get up and checked on her, she was staring at the door, like she was guarding the room. She sleeps more now. I never thought it was normal for a dog to pee/poop in the crate, they say that dogs don't like it, but mine didn't care either. You just have to have lots of patience and put him on a schedule to go outside and during potty training, you should take him out on a leash, let him do his business, give him a treat and praise and back in the crate he goes until the next potty session. Repeat this for a week or two and he'll start to get it. Mine is also very vocal, but you have to stay firm or he will never stop the whining or crying.
 

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Well his crate is in our bedroom already and we can not put him in it by himself or he cries but he NEVER goes potty in the crate at night. It is only when we r at work. As far as the potty schedule we take him out at least one time every 2 hours unless he lets us know he has to go out n he does great!! Sometimes he just goes outside to play and doesn't even go potty because he doesn't have to. It seems that when we go to work and put him in the crate by himself he gets mad and looks at going potty in there as getting even? I just don't understand!! He is a very intelligent puppy and is very eager to learn and please (he is GSD x Border Collie......dad is full registered GSD and mom is 3/4 GSD & 1/4 Border Collie)!! So is he just trying to get even?!!
 

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How long is he in the crate when you are at work? Maybe he can't hold it that long.
 

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Yes I'm thinking that he probably just can't hold it during the day...Dogs sleep alot but if he's in the crate all night and day, he will get bored. Do you have a way or have anyone that can let him out mid day? German Shepherds and Border Collies are very smart and get bored easily, they have to be kept busy:) Mine is 6.5 months and I have two other dogs also.I let them out before I leave at 6:30, my son lets them out before he leaves at 9:00 and he comes home at about 1:30 to let them out. Mine does not go to the bathroom in the crate at all on this schedule. Sometimes it doesn't work this way and she has held it up to 8 hours but she was slightly older then yours. Until he's completely potty trained I wouldn't allow him to have play time outside, he needs to understand that he has to go to the bathroom, if he goes out and he doesn't go, bring him back in and try again in 20 minutes. As he gets older he will be able to play once he's trained--otherwise he will never be on a schedule. Eventually if you stick to the crate he will go in there willingly, it took my dog until she was 6 months and finally when I tell her its time to go in the crate she goes. I do leave a nyla bone in there for her to chew on if she gets bored.
 

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So is he just trying to get even?!!
Of course not.

Either you're leaving him in the crate too long at a time during the day, he's gotten used to eliminating in the crate, or you haven't cleaned his messes out of the crate with the right product, so he can still smell where he went before and continues to want to go in the same place... or all of the above.

Use an enzymatic cleaner to fully eliminate the scent when you clean up a mess.

You should definitely not be relying on him to signal you that he has to go out yet. If he goes outside and just plays, then he's learning to signal you to take him outside whenever he wants to go out and play. You need to be determining a reasonable schedule for him. If he's going to have outdoor play time, it should only occur AFTER the potty or poop is done, as a reward for doing what he's supposed to do. Speaking of rewards, you are rewarding him with praise and treats every time he does the deed outside, right? Until he stops having accidents (and for awhile beyond that time), you should reward him when he goes in the right place.

Now back to the crate training. Regardless of the duration of his crate time during the day, anxiety is probably contributing to his inability to hold it, since you haven't taken time to acclimate him to the crate in a gradual way. He's not comfortable being in it alone, and that needs to change. Start working with him every day on having short "happy" periods inside his crate, alone. If he doesn't go into the crate willingly, start there by tossing a treat into the crate and praising when he goes inside to get it, and put it on a cue.

He'll have to get comfortable with the door being closed, so give him something very tasty and distracting like a stuffed kong and sit next to the crate while you shut the door for a brief period of time (whatever he can handle). Gradually work up to longer and longer periods of time where he will stay quietly in the crate with the door closed. Keep giving him a rewarding distraction while you train this each day. Never let him out of the crate while he's whining or barking or otherwise fussy. Let him out while he is still calm... or, if he starts fussing, you'll have to wait until you have a few moments of quiet, then open the door. You'll only make it worse if you reward his bad behavior by opening the door and releasing him from the crate.

Eventually he will come to see the crate as a place where he gets good things and he can remain there calmly and sleep there on his own. It will probably help the transition to being alone in the crate if you can get your other dog to sleep near the crate at first, so your pup doesn't feel alone. If your pit sleeps in a dog bed, put it next to the puppy's crate, or put your pit in a crate next to the puppy's.
 

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I have a similar problem with my puppy, she is almost 4 months old and is a Golden retriever & mastiff mix. She has never once gone #2 in her cage but just about ALWAYS pees in her crate anytime I but her in there except for bed time. She can sleep in the crate all night just fine (usually about 10:30pm - 6:30am) and doesn't have any accidents. She is pretty much fully house trained now and hasn't had any accidents in the house in a few weeks. But for some reason anytime I put her in the cage whether it be for half an hour or 3 hours; she pees. It used to be in the corner of the crate that her dog bed isn't in but in the past couple weeks it's seemed to always be on her dog bed. Everyone says it's their instinct to not pee where there sleep. It's like she gets nervous or scared or something and just pees and doesn't realize it's happening (she still on rare occassions will have an accident when she gets too excited due to seeing another dog another dog or someone bending down to pet her). I have tried the sectioning the crate off into a smaller area and that doesn't seem to help either. I have the Natures Miracle cleaner with enzymes and have soaked the bed cover as well as the bedding in it and then washed it in the washing machine multiple times. I have no idea how to make this stop, and I'm getting really sick of having to do a load of dog peed bedding any day she is ever in her cage. I am thinking about testing out baby gates and locking her up in a sectioned off area on our hardwood floors like the foyer & kitchen area, I would probably need to stack 2 tall though to keep her from jumping or climbing over (shes got some long legs). But I wonder if that would feel like a bit more freedom and she wouldn't pee?

Let me note that for the last 4 weeks she now goes to puppy daycare all day while I am at work so she isn't locked in her cage during the day at all.
 

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It used to be in the corner of the crate that her dog bed isn't in but in the past couple weeks it's seemed to always be on her dog bed. Everyone says it's their instinct to not pee where there sleep.
It sounds like the crate is too large. If Nature's Miracle and multiple washes didn't do it to keep her from peeing on the bed, it's just because she has become accustomed to doing it there. Dogs usually do not want to eliminate where they sleep, but once it has happened multiple times they get used to it, and it becomes a bad habit. The bed probably soaks up enough of the pee so that she can live with laying in it. Take the dog bed out of the crate. While a bed may be nice to have, dogs don't need a padded bed to sleep on, she'll be fine without it until she's fully trained. My dog can't have a bed in his crate, at least not right now, because he would chew it to pieces in one night and very likely eat some of it.

Also section the crate off again, because it sounds like she'd have enough room to pee in one end and sleep in the other, and you can't allow that. She only needs enough space to lay down and to turn around in, and no more than that for now.

I don't know how you've been handling the rest of her potty training, so just to cover other bases: Always take her outside to pee before crating her to lessen the chance she will go inside. Always praise and give a treat when she pees outside. Never punish her if you find an accident inside, because if it scares her it might encourage her to go in places where you can't see, and she might feel safer peeing inside the crate. If she pees when excited, try to calm her before she goes into the crate - whatever works for your dog... maybe play for awhile and tire her out, or practice a long down-stay for awhile and then send her into the crate while she's calm. If there's activity in the house within view of her crate, cover the crate to lessen the stimulus.
 

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I have a similar problem with my puppy, she is almost 4 months old and is a Golden retriever & mastiff mix. She has never once gone #2 in her cage but just about ALWAYS pees in her crate anytime I but her in there except for bed time. She can sleep in the crate all night just fine (usually about 10:30pm - 6:30am) and doesn't have any accidents. She is pretty much fully house trained now and hasn't had any accidents in the house in a few weeks. But for some reason anytime I put her in the cage whether it be for half an hour or 3 hours; she pees. It used to be in the corner of the crate that her dog bed isn't in but in the past couple weeks it's seemed to always be on her dog bed. Everyone says it's their instinct to not pee where there sleep. It's like she gets nervous or scared or something and just pees and doesn't realize it's happening (she still on rare occassions will have an accident when she gets too excited due to seeing another dog another dog or someone bending down to pet her). I have tried the sectioning the crate off into a smaller area and that doesn't seem to help either. I have the Natures Miracle cleaner with enzymes and have soaked the bed cover as well as the bedding in it and then washed it in the washing machine multiple times. I have no idea how to make this stop, and I'm getting really sick of having to do a load of dog peed bedding any day she is ever in her cage. I am thinking about testing out baby gates and locking her up in a sectioned off area on our hardwood floors like the foyer & kitchen area, I would probably need to stack 2 tall though to keep her from jumping or climbing over (shes got some long legs). But I wonder if that would feel like a bit more freedom and she wouldn't pee?

Let me note that for the last 4 weeks she now goes to puppy daycare all day while I am at work so she isn't locked in her cage during the day at all.
Sounds like submissive urination. She thinks she did something wrong/gets nervous about being put in there, and pees. Try teaching her that the kennel is a good place. Google Crate Games. Many times they grow out of SU.
 
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