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I'm new to this site so first of all, hello! I recently purchased a German Shepherd puppy from a woman off of Craigslist. We believe his birthday was 2/15, so he is about 15 weeks (she originally told us his birthday was 3/15 but he looks older than that and has a current weight of 37lbs. I questioned her, and she said she got him April 21 and he was 8 weeks then, so the breeder must have meant his birthday was 2/15). She was rehoming him due to the fact that her youngest child of 5 was scared of him.

Anyhow, we have had him for exactly 1 week as of today. He is a very smart and well behaved puppy for his age. My only issue is that when we put him in his crate, he is completely fine if we are in the room with him. We keep his crate in our bedroom and he sleeps through the night and is completely quiet and has no accidents. As soon as we leave him alone, he barks and howls. I know this is normal puppy behavior, as he wants to be with us, but I am concerned that he also pees in his crate almost every time he is left alone. I have always used crate training with my dogs, because they normally do not pee where they sleep. His crate is just the right size that he can lay down comfortably, so when he pees he has to sit in it (we have a towel down so he has to sit on the wet towel anyway).

Today my husband and I were cleaning the garage, and since we could not watch him (and a messy garage is no place for a puppy), we put him in his crate. He was howling and howling and we had only been gone for maybe 5 minutes, when I came back in the room to grab something, and he had peed already. He also had been outside and peed right before he was put in his crate. That tells me it's not that he can't hold it. I'm hoping the reason is not separation anxiety...I guess I don't know where you draw the line between a normal puppy that misses you and separation anxiety! Or maybe I just need someone to tell me that I am over reacting, we have had him for a week, and it takes time to adjust lol.

Anyway any feedback is appreciated! Thank you!
 

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Maybe a Vet visit? That'd be my first guess. Especially since you said he had just went before being put in his crate. Iliad who is now 9 weeks also cried and howled the first few days we had him. These past 3 days he has held it for 8 hours overnight as I am at work. Keep us posted.
 

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It could be a health issue or separation anxiety. A healthy dog should not be peeing in his crate where he sleeps. You might want to rule out a health issue with a vet first.

I don't think this is the case since he's peeing after only being left alone for 5 minutes but does he have a water bowl in his crate?

If it's separation anxiety, slowly work his way up to being alone and without you. Put him in his crate and walk out of the room but then come right back in. Walk out of the room and come back in 30 seconds and slowly work your way up to more and more time. If he gets anxious when you grab your car keys and knows that's when you normally leave then grab your car keys but don't leave the house, or just leave the room and come back in shortly after. If you're working in the garage maybe move his crate in the hallway next to to garage door so he can hear you even if he can't see you.

If it's just the case of him missing you, you certainly don't want him to bark/yelp and for you to come running. Otherwise he'll have you trained very well! :p
 

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I agree that a vet check is always a good idea but I wonder if this is a submissive, anxiety type of peeing since it only happens when he's left alone?

It sounds like he has a little separation anxiety, probably from having so many homes already as a young puppy. Was he crate trained at his last home?

Do you feed him in his crate? Have you ever left him with something yummy like a kong filled with food or a special bone (not rawhide!)?

I would try to get him gradually used to staying in there.
 

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My puppy is 12 weeks and he is fine with holding his pee and with me leaving him alone. I would leave the shirt I would sleep in next to crate or my shoes so he can smell my scent. I would come home every hour or 2 and take him out to pee. Little by little he learned to hold it until I take him out

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I agree that a vet check is always a good idea but I wonder if this is a submissive, anxiety type of peeing since it only happens when he's left alone?

It sounds like he has a little separation anxiety, probably from having so many homes already as a young puppy. Was he crate trained at his last home?

Do you feed him in his crate? Have you ever left him with something yummy like a kong filled with food or a special bone (not rawhide!)?

I would try to get him gradually used to staying in there.
I agree with the submissive or anxiety type peeing.

What happens if you are in the room but out of sight? Say, standing next to the crate/sitting on your bed but putting a sheet over the crate so he can't see you? Maybe you can start with that, so that he gets used to hearing you in the room but the visual is taken away, then you can work up to him being comfortable hearing you do stuff in other parts of the house, and then being gone completely
 

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Well I was able to get in touch with the previous owner and she said he was fine in his crate with her, but that she kept him in the kitchen during the day. I think he was only ever really in there at night so maybe just needs time getting used to it. Also, she had a large family and lots of people coming and going so I don't think he has ever had to get used to being alone for any period of time. If I am close by and he can hear me but he can't see me, he is mostly quiet but if I go further away within the house he cries. I will try putting him in there for a few minutes at a time when we are home and see how he does. I left him with a hollow bone with peanut butter in it when we were cleaning the garage and he didn't really play with it when he was alone. I do believe it is some form of anxiety about being alone but I don't believe I have a true case of separation anxiety on my hands. I think he does settle down after a few minutes because if we go out somewhere, we listen for him before we come back inside and he is quiet.
 

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I also forgot to mention that my husband took him to the vet for his shots the other day, and mentioned that he drinks a lot of water and pees a lot, and they said that puppies do that. They didn't think anything was wrong with him. He is doing very well with his housebreaking during the day also and manages to hold it then. He has had very few accidents in the house...just in his crate! He also holds it all night just fine (usually about 7-9 hours) and I would think if he had a UTI he would not be able to do that.
 

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I'd say anxiety then. Try tethering him to you in the house or if you're doing something that he will get into just tether or crate him nearby where he can see and hear you. Gsds are super velcro and it can take some time for puppies to adapt to being alone.
 
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