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O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the crate!

1293 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  xano123
Hi to all,

We got our 4.5 yo this week - Jet (formerly Xano). He's doing great! Sleeps well, has been going to the coffee shop, went to the weekend Summer Parade and did great with people (not very into them but was friendly enough), did great with the other dogs and animals -- including the goats, chickens and ponies at the parade...BUT the only thing we can't seem to get on track is going to the bathroom OUTSIDE.

I've been taking him on at least 4 walks a day (taking time off to make sure he's assimilating well). I take him out when we get up, twice during the day and once before bedtime and SOMETIMES he goes on the walks. Sometimes he doesn't. Even if we stand there for 20 minutes. He has had three accidents in his crate. Twice poop, once pee.

He doesn't seem to have anxiety when we leave him alone in the crate for few hours so I don't think he's trying to communicate anything..except maybe, Hey I had to go to the bathroom and you goes weren't around!

I have been trying to teach him to go in a certain spot in the yard. Saying "outside. outside" but he won't go in our yard. I wait there patiently. I go in and bring him back out. I put one of those "pee posts" out there that has some kind of phermone on it and it did nothing other than have my hands stink for a few hours. Yuck. I take him to the park and he gets very distracted but after about 20 minutes of sniffing around wildly sometimes he'll go.

Any suggestions? Recommendations? Constructive criticism?
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1. Borrow a neighbor's dog. That dog will probably pee in your yard in front of your dog, praise that dog and see if yours follows suite marking over the other dog's urine.

2. Assuming that you live in the city or burbs, this is one has to be done discretely. Urinate in your yard yourself. In front of the dog.

3. Take the crate outside and use it as a target for toilet training....

That's what I can think of right now.
Quote:3. Take the crate outside and use it as a target for toilet training....
I don't know what that means...

I'd just pretend he's a 7 week old puppy and proceed with housebreaking like that. ALWAYS have him under your watchful eye in the house, so you can 'catch' him in the act and give the 'no bad dog' to then go outside.

And I'd not just bring him outside, I'd be walking around the block(s) and going on car rides and long walks. And I'd always have treats and praise and a practiced 'puppy party' to go into EACH AND EVERY TIME there is a pee/poo outdoors.

I actually have a calm repeating high pitched 'go pee/pees' followed by a 'good pee/pees' with the puppy party.

I'm not saying you do this, but I know sometimes people accidentally teach that when the dog poops/peeps the 'fun is over'. As in, as long as there is no 'action' in the yard, dad/mom stay out with the puppy in the fun yard. But as soon as the poops/peeps finally happens the 'reward' is to immediately get taken into the BORING BORING BORING house.
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Thank you both! You know, I considered going outside in the yard LOL but I thought, ok, is that weird? and for sure I'm going to get caught AND it's not going to work! This neighbor hood is full of dogs. I might have a Poo Party so Jet gets the idea!

We are definitely going all over, in cars, hikes etc. but for some reason they're not really inspiring poo or pee..

I'm definitely going to have to do the Puppy Potty Training gig even though he's 4 y.o.

Thank you again for the recommendations!
Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

When I housebreak a dog of any age I shriek "Outside" when they go in the house and go racing outside with them and then praise like crazy when they go outside.

He's probably just confused. What is his history? If he's going in his crate then that's probably a habit he's comfortable with and you should know that that will be a little harder to break.

Any I have not noticed that peeing outside inspires peeing on my dog's I think I'd skip that one.
Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

The one thing I don't know how to do --- catch him going to the bathroom in the crate so I can correct him? He only does it when he's alone...
I just took him to the park and praised him wildly when he peed but it seemed more like he was marking than really emptying his bladder. I sat there with him for 30 minutes and he just would not go to poop -- maybe he didn't have to but this happens each time we go out. Jet ate about an hour before we went to the park so I thought he'd be ready. We'll try again tonight but if he doesn't go at the park, I'm almost positive I'll wake up in the a.m. and find one in his crate. I am going to get up midpoint in the middle of the night and take him out but he really does not seem to want to go when we're outside. He seems to just want to sniff around.
I'm surprised that he goes in his crate at this age but I've never had a new dog that I didn't raise from a puppy so is this normal -- at least normal for dogs settling into a new home?
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Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

I would have to say it really depends on how he was living before. Like Bow Wow said if it's become a habit, then it will be harder to break. I don't know where you got him, but it sounds like to me that he was a kennel dog and perhaps not kept in the most sanitary conditions, so he's learned to go to the bathroom where he was kept.

Consider the dog kept 24/7 in a kennel, he may have never learned to go outside because someone always came to clean out his kennel. I had a friend who adopted a GSD that was a former puppy mill dog, and her dog had learned that the crate WAS the place to potty. She would go in her crate and then be let out so that her new Mom could clean it out, sort of reverse potty trained.

It took a lot of time and going outside every 15 minutes, but she finally broke her of going in the crate.

How big is his crate? Does he end up lying in it? If no, then his crate may be too big. Also, how is he being fed? That can do alot to put your dog on a schedule. I know if I get off schedule with feeding, my dogs get off schedule with pooping. Also, are you asking him to potty on leash? I know a few dogs who won't poop on leash, for whatever reason. And of course movement stimulates bowels, so some running after tennis balls in the yard can get a reluctant pooper. I don't know for sure just throwing out suggestions!
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Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

When he goes in the crate, I would take the crate outside and dump the urine out in the yard in front of him. This should make him go over and smell it to see what you dumped in the yard. Keep doing this (even though I am sure it is a HUGE crate) and maybe that will help him get the idea of where the pee belongs.
Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

No, its not normal, most adults would prefer to go outside, or at least away from where they sleep. I would bet my bottom dollar he was a puppy mill dog, or crated all the time. When you clean the kennel, do you use a good odor neutralizing agent or vinegar? I think you may have to get the smell of it completely out of the kennel. Also, where does he sleep at night? Is it possible to keep him with you? I too am just throwing out suggestions, I have heard that this is a tough one. The puppy poop party with lots of treat and praise is your best bet, give him something really awesome only when he poops outside, like chicken or hotdogs or cheese, what ever will make him drool. But he ONLY gets it if he pees and poops outside and never gets it for a reward for anything else. I bet if he is food driven, this could work.
Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

I'll have to ask the breeder what he's used to but I think you're right. The crate/kennel was the potty room.

Crate size seemed to make a difference last night -- we were wondering if he's big crate was making it easier to move around and go so we brought out the smaller one (still the size of a Smart Car!) and he didn't have an accident last night. Don't know if it was the crate, that we waited at the park from 11pm to 11:30pm (yawn!) for him to go, or if it was that I set the alarm for 4am to take him out but I really don't want to make a habit of the midnight park visits or the 4am wake up call so I'm going to follow everyone's recs and just keep working on it until we're accident free.

I do think the leash is somehow contributing to the problem but I can't let him loose so maybe I'll just try to give him more lead.

Thank you!!
Re: O-wise GSD parents, help! I'm going in the cra

Ok. Tonight at the park was a lot more successful. I gave him a lot of line, we played for about 20 minutes afterwards so he didn't think that once he went it was time to go back home, I practically gave him an Oscar when he did go....HOpefully this is the beginning of some new good habits for both of us.

Thanks to everyone!
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