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Problem with puppy crate training

1037 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  waltw
First off, thanks everyone for contibuting to this site.This forum has a lot of good information and links. A week ago I adopted my puppy from Humane Society. He is a 4 month Collie/Shepherd mix. I have been doing a lot of research and I have seen some clashes in common training themes. The biggest one I wanted to mention and perhaps get some feedback.

I read a lot of sites which talk about crate training, they put HUGE emphasis on making the crate a positive place, it's not a punishment, slowly get them comfortable, a lot of rewards, and soon they will love the privacy and escape of the crate.

Now, thats great and all, but when you combine that with potty training, it's simply not possible, is it?

The bottom line is that we can't wait for the dog to love his crate. (We tried) He goes to the bathroom in the house at a moment's notice. We are making great steps towards getting him to wait to go outside, and keeping him in the crate is the greatest asset, because it forces him to hold his bladder. We go straight from the crate to outside and it eliminates accidents.

Right now, almost a week after I brought him home, he is going outside at regular times, doing his business, and then when hes inside he gets put in his crate if we aren't training him. He doesn't hate his crate, but he avoids it like the plague. We either trick him by putting treats in the back corner, or we pick him up and drop him inside.

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My pup is a few months older than yours (8 months). We had the opposite effect with the crate. Having spent so much time in the kennel, I guess Syrus already knew what the crate was and routinely went into it on his own at bedtime.

Since then we have allowed him to lay on an old cloth chair in our living room (and not our leather sofas). Now he uses the crate less frequently and sleeps on the chair until my wife and I are ready for bed, at which point he goes to the crate.

We purchased a big fluffy dog bed and lined the crate with it. He loves the bed, which may be one of the reasons why he doesn't mind the crate itself.

One of the things that I have a little concern with in regards to potty training is the lack of independence it seems to have instilled in Syrus. For the last three weeks (since we have had him) we call out "Syrus, what are you doing" anytime he gets out of sight. He usually comes running into the room with me to be praised.

I am getting the impression that he thinks that he has to be with my wife and I at all times when he is out of his crate. I don't mind this too much, but I'd love for him to have a little independence. For instance, if I am the only person home and need to use the restroom, Syrus will sit outside of the door and wait for me. If he is laying on the grass outside and I quickly pop into the house to grab his water dish, when I come back out I find him seated against the screen door waiting for me.

For potty-training, we have moved more towards a routine than constantly watching for signs. If we see a sign (like him sniffing the floor excessively) we take him out, but in general we watch when he eats and drinks and head outside accordingly. Since changing to this routine we have only had one accident in the house versus 2 when we weren't paying as much attention to his eating/drinking times.
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