You're not so much worried about damage to the house (although hubs isn't quite as forgiving) so much that he'll chew and swallow something he shouldn't. Indeed you are right to worry because swallowing small objects is a sure fire way for the pup to end up in doggie ER awaiting surgery to remove a foreign body stuck in the gut.
A friend suggested crate training the pup, so that when you can't be there to supervise, you can at least know he's not eating carpet or house plants. It seems a good idea, and something you are keen to know more about.
Of course, there's a right and a wrong way to crate train a dog. The wrong way is to force the dog inside and shut him in against his will. This will serve to make him resentful of the crate and feel stressed when inside.
The right way to crate train is to have the pup discover the crate as a great place to be (hidden treats help a lot) and then praise him for spending calm time inside the crate.
I have had my pups for a week. They spend nites in their crate, time outside in a small wire fenced area and I also hold them multiple times during the day. They potty mostly outside and on a puppy pad at the back of the crate with occasional urine on the bed/blanket. I repeat this cycle of outside/holding/crate throughout the day. Would the next step be to let them out of the crate in a room with a few pup pads down to see if they will potty on them? I’m just not sure what the next step in training is...help!
Hello Debbie, First, set up an exercise pen and purchase a real grass pad and put it on one side of the exercise pen, set up a crate attached to the exercise pen on the opposite end of the pen. Take the puppies to the grass pad regularly and encourage them to sniff around on the grass. You can use an attractant spray if needed to help them associate the grass pad with pottying. When they go potty on the pad, praise and give a treat. You don't want them pottying in the crate anymore, that will teach them to go potty in a crate and make potty training and travel incredibly hard for pet parents later. If they continue pottying in the crate at night even after changing the exercise pen pottying setup, then remove the crate and have them sleep just in the exercise pen with the grass pad on the far end... hopefully they will forget about pottying in the crate in the past and pet parents can reintroduce and use a crate later still. Once they are regularly being rewarded for pottying on the grass pad, they can sleep in the crate at night - that's attached to the exercise pen, if it didn't have to be removed, and potty on the grass pad on the other end of the exercise pen when they need to at night. If you purchase an beds for them, use a cot type bed or something like www.primopads.com so it's not absorbent - otherwise they will just pee on the beds. To socialize them better, bring them out of the exercise pen in the house right after they have peed on the grass pad, for 30-45 minutes. After 30-45 minutes being free in the house but supervised, return them to the exercise pen until they have gone potty in there - since they may need to pee again when it's been an hour. You want them to associate freedom in the house with no peeing and the best way to do that is to only give them freedom when their bladders are likely to be empty. Expect puppies to need to poop within 15-45 minutes of eating and after running around a bunch also. I strongly suggest no longer using the crate or pee pads for potty training since they will grow up to be big enough that most pet parents will want to train them to potty outside. Puppies that are trained to pee on fabric pee pads for too long, then switched to pottying outside can have issues with peeing on rugs and carpet later. If you need somewhere for them to pee on while they are young inside, use a real grass pad. Check out the article linked below for more details on teaching puppies to potty somewhere inside - real grass pads are best for puppies who will eventually be going potty outside most of the time though. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Check out this article for teaching puppies to go potty somewhere outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Real grass pad brands - also found on amazon. It's important to use the real grass ones and not astroturf. These cost more than puppy pads but each one can be used for much longer before being thrown away. www.doggielawn.com www.freshpatch.com www.porchpotty.com - this one is a lot more expensive and only worth getting if you plan to use one for yourself long term or are going to recommend to future pet parents who want to do indoor potty training long term. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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We are struggling to potty train our boy. We are feeding him at set times and taking him out around 30 minutes afterwards for up to 45 minutes at a time. He does nothing outdoors and the minute we enter the house he urinates on the floor. We can generally tell when he is ready to open his bowels and he is taken outside and given treats and praise, however he can’t master the urination and today alone I have cleared his mess up - I kid you not - at least 25 times. The worrying thing is that he hasn’t even drank very much and sometimes it’s not even 2 mins in between. He won’t go to the toilet on training pads - he prefers to eat them. He goes to bed in his crate with no accidents so we know he can hold it but why is he not doing the toilet outside? Help
Hello Lyndsey, If he is going potty more often then every 30-45 minutes I would have him checked out by your vet to make sure there isn't a medical issue possibly causing urinary incontinence, such as a urinary tract infection. (I am not a vet though). If pup's health is good, he is probably confused and because of how many accidents he has had inside, he thinks that's where he is supposed to pee. Check out the crate training method from the article linked below and follow that method strictly right now. The only time he should be free in the home is the 45 minutes AFTER he pees outside. If he doesn't go potty when you take him out, put him back into the crate and try again in 30 minutes. Repeat the trips outside every thirty minutes and crating in between if he doesn't go, until he finally pees outside. I also suggest carrying him to and from the crate at first since it sounds like he might squat and go potty even on the way to the crate. Also, when you take him outside, take him on a leash! And walk him around slowly on the leash. You may already be doing this, but if not he is probably getting distracted so that is part of why he isn't going potty. Crate Training method - the method says poop outside, but it should work just as well for pee: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside The goal right now is to only give him one clean option for peeing - outside. He will be in the crate any time his bladder isn't empty right now. As he pees more and more outside and the accidents inside stop because of the crate and stricter schedule, he should gradually reverse where he is wanting to go potty and where he keeps things clean. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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So we are trying to teach lya about not getting on the sofas and staying in her crate without whining. But I find it difficult because it makes me sad when she starts whining. Is there any recommendations to teach my dog that her crate is a good place to be in?
(I do give her treats when she is quiet and try to give her breaks outside after 1-2 hours of being inside)
Hello Natalie, Check out the article I have linked below. You can use tips from all three method. I suggest using the Surprise method a lot. Giving treats for being quiet is a great start. The Surprise method also mentions giving food stuffed hollow chew toys like s Kong. You can look up lots of ways to stuff Kongs, and even turn them into dog food popsicles so they last longer for pup. If you freeze moist food in a Kong, be sure to stuff it very loosely and place a straw through the Kong for freezing - that way you can remove the straw once frozen and the hole it leaves will prevent suction and make it easier for pup to chew. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate One of the quickest ways to get pup comfortable in the crate is to make sure you are not letting them out while they are still whining; otherwise they learn to whine to get out, instead of relax - that makes crate training take a lot longer. Wait until pup is quiet for at least a few seconds then open the door, so pup associates them relaxing with getting out and begins to relax more. It's hard to hear your puppy cry! Know that crate training a puppy during their first year of life can actually prevent adult dog separation anxiety, ensure good potty habits, prevent dangerous destructive chewing habits from becoming long term issues, make traveling and boarding less stressful for pup later, and give pup a safe retreat as an adult. I find that puppies who are crate trained correctly during the first year of life, and not given too much freedom before they are ready for it, are far more likely to be trustworthy outside of a crate while alone later as an adult. More confinement now equals years of increased freedom and trustworthiness later - when it's hard to hear pup cry, try to remember why this is important for pup and your family. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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My dog refuse to stay in his kennel and barks bites and hits the kennel and wines how do we make him comfortable with his kennel?
Hello! Here is some information on crate training. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.
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