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We have a 5 month old pup who is giving us the biggest headache with crate training. He won’t go in his crate necessarily. But what we’ve found is at times, he’s figured out he can still go but get it out the crate so there’s no mess in the crate. This obviously causes an issue as 90% of our house is hardwood. With that being said, I read about not restricting water and realize we need to improve on that, and we will work on that for him as well as our other dogs. I also read about feeding him in the crate, but I’m unsure if that will even be beneficial at this point in the game. Also, I noticed the other day he managed to partially urinate on the wall as his crate was directly next to it.

To prevent the hardwood damage we put painters plastic down and he has stretches of days with no accidents but then stretches of those where he will pee out the crate a couple times.

On top of that I know we need to take him out on a regular basis as well because he has accidents quite frequently and sometimes we don’t notice them til hours later (kinda seems counterproductive for any discipline that late after it happened).

I’m not sure where we go from here because it seems like we make some progress then it stops and we go back to day 1.... someone have something in mind? Maybe a schedule we can adhere to to help this? Also, I know we have been under feeding and under watering him as well and plan to make those adjustments as well.
 

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They seem to get to an age when exploring and testing limits and the whole wide world is more important than peeing outside. Setting a timer worked for me. I started out every 15 minutes (unless they had just fallen asleep..if they had been sleeping I woke them up). After a few days I went 30 minutes. After a week 45 and then to 60. After awhile both of my pups had become annoyed with going out to pee on schedule, they got tired of nap and play time getting interrupted. Or so it seemed. But it worked and they both stopped having accidents in the house.
 

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I'm impressed with your puppies aim! Sitka used puppy pads for a little while and could barely keep in on the pad :p

As far as in the crate, I don't know what to suggest. How often and for how long is he in the crate? If it is while you are out of the house, there's not much you can do.

If he is in the crate while you are home, why is he in there? If he has to be in the crate because you can't watch him (ie: sleeping or busy) set a time and let him out every .5hr.

For accidents in the house the best piece of advice I've ever received is that if there's been an accident, it's yours, not your pups. While house training, don't let your dog out of your sight. A tether leash works best. Keep him attached to you at all time, in the bathroom with you while you're showering, at your feet while you're doing dishes - All.The.Time.

Not only does this build your bond, it keeps you in tune with your pups body language. As soon as he starts pacing, sniffing more pointedly, or squatting, run him outside. As soon as he pees praise him like he's turned water into wine! Give him treats and make him think he is the best and smartest pup in the whole world!!

As far as discipline, unless you catch them in the act, its too late. It's much better to prevent the behaviour, then test your dog's memory.


When I first brought Sitka home (he was 4 months and coming off 1 week crate rest) we were in a hotel and used puppy pads. He was too afraid of the balcony (very high up!), so as soon as I saw him pee I picked him up and placed him on the puppy pad. This worked a little too well.. Almost immediately he would ONLY go on the puppy pad. I spent so much time pacing outside waiting for him to go, only to have him pull me down the hallway to his puppy pad. When we got back to our real home I kept him tethered or in the crate 100% of the time until he was 5.5-6months . The only accidents he's had since were once in my parents house (probably less of an accident and more marking his place at the older dog), and once when I was very sick and slept through the morning routine.
 

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I would add a couple things. First, it's counterproductive to "discipline" your puppy EVER for relieving himself...

The dots following that statement are meant to indicate a pause to let it sink in! If your puppy is having accidents in the house it's YOUR fault, not his. Spend a week, keep an eye on him always, take him outside frequently, and praise him when he goes. You'll see HUGE improvement.

As @car2ner said, 5 month old puppies will test boundries. Don't be tempted to discipline this either, as too often this sets up an adversarial relationship between you and the puppy that leads to other problem behaviors later. Instead show him what good behavior means with lavish praise and treats! Redirect the puppy to some other fun behavior that can win him goodies...it's a much more pleasant way for you both!

Good Luck, this stage will be over before you know it!
 
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