How to Crate Train a Havanese

Medium
2-4 Weeks
General

Introduction

Havanese dogs are very trainable, smart and of a cooperative nature. They are not, however, known for being particularly easy to housetrain, and many owners opt to crate train their young Havanese pups to help in the potty training phase, which helps prevent accidents. Another reason to crate train your Havanese is to provide them with a safe, comfortable place to rest when owners are unable to supervise them, such as at night, or when owners are away from home.  

Having your dog crate trained means that he is not able to get into trouble while you are not available, such as chewing on objects that could harm him, knocking over items that could injure him, and falling off furniture or down stairs.  Most dogs take well to create training, as dogs are den animals, and if yours make his crate into a “den”, he will happily curl up there, recognizing the crate as his own little home.  

Steps to make the crate comfortable and introducing time spent in the crate in a positive way will make crate training successful and the crate can be a useful tool as your dog grows. A crate trained dog is easier to transport and the crate can be used as a comfortable retreat in certain situations,  such as when company is over, renovations are being conducted in your home, or when any unusual activity occurs in your home, to avoid your dog becoming stressed or overwhelmed.

Defining Tasks

Crate training can start as soon as your puppy is weaned and brought home, usually around 8 weeks of age. A general guideline is that a puppy can stay in a crate for as many hours as they are months old, that means that an 8-week-old puppy should not be left in a crate longer than 2 hours. Because most dogs will not soil their beds if they can help it, crates are commonly used for house training, but they have many other functions, including providing a quiet retreat for your Havanese and keeping him safe when traveling or when activity is occurring. 

Your Havanese's crate should be just like his den. Putting a comfy blanket or cushion in the crate, along with toys, and creating a positive environment will make it more “homey” and allow your dog to adapt better to time spent there. Sometimes puppies or dogs whine or cry when contained in their crates. There are several steps you can take to reduce this behavior by avoiding reinforcing vocalizations and keeping your dog's crate in a warm, comfortable place where he can see you.

Getting Started

It is very important that the crate you use be the correct size for your Havanese. Most Havanese dogs require a small to medium-sized crate. The crate should be large enough for your dog to stand up in, turn around, and lie down in. If a crate is too big it will not feel safe and comfy to your dog--dogs like a secure den that is just the right size for them. Also, if you are using a crate for house training purposes, you do not want it large enough to give your trainees the opportunity to go to the bathroom in a corner. Most dogs will avoid soiling their beds so you want the crate just big enough for your dog to lie down comfortably, without the opportunity for a bathroom spot. If you are buying a crate for a puppy, try to purchase one that will be the appropriate size for him when he grows up, and use a divider to make it smaller when he is a pup. Plastic sided crates provide a cozy feeling for your Havanese, but if you want to use a more durable, wire crate, drape a blanket over it to give it that cozy secure feeling and prevent drafts.

The Slow and Positive Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Set up the crate
Put your Havanese’s crate in a busy area of the house so he can see what is going on, or at night, put it in your bedroom so he can see and hear you. Either tie the door open or remove it completely so that your dog is not startled by a closed door and feels trapped. Put a blanket inside the crate.
Step
2
Lure with treats
Give your puppy a favorite treat beside the create. Then toss a treat into the crate for him to retrieve. Do not push or force your Havanese into the crate. Let him go in willingly. If he is reluctant, set up a trail of treats leading into the crate. When your puppy goes in the crate to get the treats, lavish praise and attention on him. Give him a command like “crate” or “bed’ to associate with the crate. Make it a positive place.
Step
3
Make it a sleep place
Wait until your puppy is very sleepy or sleeping. Pick him up and put him in his crate, let him settle down and go back to sleep. Sit by the crate for a few minutes and pet him until he settles and goes to sleep.
Step
4
Put the door on
Put the door back on once your Havanese is used to going in the crate to get treats and to sleep.
Step
5
Practice confining in the crate
Give the command for going in the crate and encourage him into his crate. Close the door.Leave your puppy in the crate for several minutes. Let him out after a short period of time but never when he is whining or crying. Gradually increase time in the crate.
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The Make Crate Great Method

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Step
1
Short crate periods
Never use a crate to punish your dog or leave him in for an excessive length of time. Start out with short times in the crate. Make the crate comfortable with blankets and toys.
Step
2
Tire out
Exercise your Havanese with a long walk or play before asking him to go in his crate. A tired dog will be ready for a nap in his comfy den.
Step
3
Provide entertainment
If your dog is not tired and needs to be crated, provide a rawhide bone or “Kong” filled with peanut butter, so he has something great to entertain himself with.
Step
4
Provide treats
Provide a great treat every time you ask your Havanese to go into his crate.
Step
5
Do not isolate
Keep the crate in an area of the house where your Havanese can see you and the rest of the family, so he does not feel isolated. Periodically go back to the crate, open it and give attention, praise and a treat. Do not reinforce crying or whining. Ignore it, let your dog out of the crate when he is quiet.
Recommend training method?

The Associate with Food Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Associate treats
Introduce your Havanese to the crate. Put it in a high traffic area so your dog can see you and line it with a comfy blanket or towel. Fasten the door open so it will not accidentally close. Bring your dog over and talk to him in a happy tone. Give him a command to go in his crate like “Kennel” or “crate” and toss a treat in the crate for him to retrieve.
Step
2
Feed meals
Put your dog's food next to the crate and feed him there for a few days. Move his dish into the crate and let him eat in the crate while you stand with him and talk to him.
Step
3
Keep your dog company
When your dog is comfortable eating in the crate, close the door while he is eating but remain with him just outside the crate and talk to him reassuringly. Repeat for a few days.
Step
4
Confine for short periods
After eating, leave your Havanese in the crate for a few minutes after each meal with the door closed. Gradually increase time period so your dog gets used to staying in the create longer and longer.
Step
5
Do not reinforce vocalizing
Do not let your Havanese out of the crate if he whines or cries. Instead, sit by the create until he stops vocalizing for several seconds and then let him out. Continue to increase time your dog is left in his crate after being given meals or treats in his crate.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Laurie Haggart

Published: 02/01/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Penny
Havanese
8 Weeks
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Question
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Penny
Havanese
8 Weeks

It’s snowing out so I took her outside near the house where it’s relatively dry. She has made poo, but hasn’t peed yet. I checked her crate and its dry, and I’ve kept her confined to one area of the house. I just got her yesterday, but I’ve taken her to the same spot to do her business every two hours, but so far she hasn’t peed

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Josie, Keep trying every hour. Your doing well. See if you can find some grass, dirt, or other outdoor material that's warmer and dry still and put it on top of the spot she pooped on earlier to make the spot less cold for her. Tell her to "Go Potty" when you take her, and as much as you can on that small spot, encourage her to walk and sniff around for five minutes. If she goes potty, give her five small treats, one treat at a time, and praise her enthusiastically, so that she will be more willing to pee outside the next time. You can give her treats in general during potty training after she goes, to speed up her potty training and help her to want to go potty outside. In general, a dog coat to keep her warmer or a disposable real grass pad that you can put on top of snow outside and take her to for a dry area to pee on might be a good idea for cold and snowy days this winter. After she goes potty on the grass pad and you take her back inside, you could put the grass pad in your garage or somewhere else that's dry and out of her sight and smell so that it will stay warmer and not covered in snow, then you would have a dry spot to place outside for her when you take her potty during bad weather. By doing this, you would still be teaching her to go potty on grass and outside, so that she will learn to pee on the grass when the snow melts too and not get confused by puppy pads or peeing inside. Real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/DoggieLawn-Disposable-Potty-Real-Grass/dp/B00EQJ7I7Y/ref=asc_df_B00EQJ7I7Y/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309806233193&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=5636195418552774026&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=1015431&hvtargid=pla-572651300532&psc=1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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JC
Havanese
12 Weeks
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
JC
Havanese
12 Weeks

We just got him 3 days ago, and I took him for a walk before putting him in the crate and he peed and poo. I am taking him out every 3 hours at night to go outside and I just went to take him outside and he had pood in his crate and I have made it very small with the divider and he pood anyway. Help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Mary, Is there anything absorbent in the crate like a soft bed? If so that could be the problem. Take anything soft like a bed or towel out and instead use something like www.primopad.com that's not absorbent. If the poop was diarrhea and not solid he likely has GI upset and I suggest speaking with your vet. The diarrhea/stomach issues need to be addressed because he probably can't help the accidents while sick. If there is not anything absorbent in the crate and the poops were solid he may have been kept in an environment where he was forced to poop in a confined space and lost his natural desire to hold it in a small space. If this is the case I suggest using the Tethering method from the article linked below to potty train him when you are home. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside When you are gone, set up an exercise pen in an area where your pup will not be spending a lot of time later in life and put a disposable real grass pad on one end for him to go potty there. Follow the "Exercise Pen" method from the article linked below: Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real grass pad: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07K3WS97D/ref=sspa_mw_detail_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExUEJaRENBQk5VVE1GJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNDIzOTQ4M1JRQUNGMkZaNTlORyZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNzk4NzQxU1FKQUdJR1dLRFlCJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfcGhvbmVfZGV0YWlsJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Leego
Havanese
11 Weeks
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Question
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Leego
Havanese
11 Weeks

Dog barks, whines and digs at the door of his crate when he goes in at night for 30 minutes.

We are on night 5. He gets taken out to pee after 3.5 hours. No accidents.

Night 1 - I tried the bedroom, but he was too loud and barked whenever I moved. I simply can't handle him in my room.

Night 2 - I moved him to a small, warm bathroom. He only barked for 5-10 minutes.

Night 3 - another person put him to bed but forgot to take off the collar, so while he was barking still, he opened the crate to take the collar off and put him back in. He barked even louder and seems worse now.

Night 4 - we thought maybe that small bathroom was mean since it has a toilet in it, so we moved him to a playroom. Thinking we had to start over anyway since the collar incident. He was his worst yet. Barked for 30 minutes, crazed, digging. That day though, I had worked on getting him to enter the crate himself during the day with rewards, and have some naps in there in a high traffic area. He responded quickly to training on how to wait to exit the crate. But he seems really mad to go in at night. And overly excited/stimulated when he gets out.

The household goes to bed at midnight. Before that, he's asleep near the humans in the living room, or on a human. Then is up to play for 10 minutes, go to the bathroom, then to his crate for the night when everyone goes to bed. This is where he gets upset.

While we go to work, he is in a pen in the living room, with a little teepee cushion and wee pad, and toys. He seems to accept that better. Enters himself with treat support. The Vet said not to treat into the crate at night because it will make him have to go to the bathroom. I can't crate during the day because I can't always get back to the house within 3 hours since we all work. But can get there at least for lunch for play, feed, outside time for an hour.

I don't know where to put him at night. Stick it out crate training or pen? I feel its best he be ok with the crate in the long run. I also wonder if the warm small bathroom was better than the big airy playroom. Bathroom also helps us sleep better since the sound is muffled.

Advice? Losing my sleep deprived mind. I know we have been inconsistent but I have no idea where to put him.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jackie, I suggest putting him back in the bathroom since he may feel safer in the smaller space. With time he should adjust to either the bathroom or play room as long as you are consistent though. Him learning to sleep in a room away from you can help prepare him for traveling, boarding, and other locations later so there are some benefits to that and you shouldn't feel bad about not wanting him in the bedroom at night. It takes the average puppy about two weeks to adjust in the crate so a bit of crying when you first put him in is actually normal, just be sure to stay consistent and not let him out when he cries and you know he does not need anything like a potty break. Check out the article that I have linked below. I suggest practicing the "Surprise" method for thirty minutes to an hour every day when you are home during the day or early evening simply to help him adjust to being calm in the crate and like it better. Just be sure to also practice other training and exercise him so that he gets out his energy before bed too. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Self-soothing is a skill that puppies have to learn just like other commands and lessons, so he needs practice. Your vet is correct that you should normally not give treats at night, which is why I suggest practicing for a little while when you are home in the evenings or weekends. The time does not have to be super long, thirty minutes to an hour should even help, just make sure he is quiet for at least a couple of seconds before you let him out. When you let him out of the crate, check out the video linked below and practice letting him out this way when you know he does not have to pee super bad - avoiding accidents is most important. https://youtu.be/mn5HTiryZN8 Also, you should be fine to use an exercise pen during the day at the same time. You can even connect a crate to the side of the pen as a den for him to go into if he wishes, to help him get even more comfortable with it - as long as he does not pee in the crate when it is like this. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Havanese
4 Months
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Luna
Havanese
4 Months

I live in a small apartment but I thought crates were kind of barbaric so I wanted to train her in a playpen instead, where she could have a pee pad if needed. I had to set the playpen to the smallest available setting so it was basically like a big crate without a top. This has been the last two nights (and I’ve tried keeping her in there while I shower and try to clean). She did not ever enter willingly, even with treats. So I would have to put her inside. The first night she fell asleep in my bed and I put her in. She whined a little and then went to sleep but woke up twice during the middle of the night crying, screaming, barking, trying to jump out. Last night I put her in and she screamed for an hour and a half, eventually settled down and left for the night. I have an actual crate for her now and am going to try to use it tonight. She entered willingly earlier because she wanted to chew at the soft bottom I put in so I gave her treats. I closed the door so I could go take the trash down and heard her screaming from the basement. I’m afraid my neighbors are going to murder me, I don’t know how to get her to be quiet and calm in a confined space and it is extremely overwhelming. Also, with the crate, she can only hold her bladder 6 hours which means if she pees right before bed (which is a big if because she doesn’t always go when she needs to) that means I can put her in at midnight to wake up at 6. But if she’s going to scream for nearly 2 hours at midnight I don’t know what I’ll do.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Christina, The main difference between the crate and exercise pen is the size. Only a small size will encourage a dog to hold their bladder, once past potty training exercise pens are great for giving a safe play space during the day. Check out the article linked below and follow the Surprise method. Ideally you want to practice crate training during the day too so that the crying happens when people aren't sleeping and so that you can reward with treats when quiet to speed things up - you don't want to give food at night. If she can handle the crate during the day, then nights are typically easier because they are more tired then. Stay consistent about not letting her out when she cries!!! If you let her out it might mean the difference between three hard nights and two weeks or more of hard nights. Each pup is a bit different, but the more consistent you are about not letting her out unless quiet and rewarding when quiet during the day, the quicker this tends to go. It might be worth putting a note under your neighbors door explaining that you apologize for the barking, are working on the barking and it should stop soon. You can use a Pet Convincer, which is a small canister of pressurized air sprayed briefly at her side to interrupt the barking if needed - I generally only recommend this for older dogs and for those who cannot let the barking continue because of where they live. If you have issues with complaints, I suggest using that, combined with rewards during the day from the Surprise method linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate When she barks at midnight you will have to take her potty at this age, but take her on a leash, don't give food, don't play with her, talk excitedly, or do anything to make it fun. As soon as she finishes going potty, put her back into the crate and close the door. She will probably bark at this time, use the Pet Convincer (small canister of unscented pressurized air) if you have to because of neighbors. If you don't let her out she should soon learn to simply go back to sleep in the future, and since you kept trips outside boring, she should start to sleep through that time as her bladder control increases. The crate and letting her cry may sound cruel, but they actually prevent a number of behavior issues that can get a dog killed, surrendered to shelters, and make the dog untrustworthy as an adult...crating during the first year (in a humane way) allows the dog to have more freedom for the rest of it's adult life because it didn't learn bad habits, like house soiling, destructive chewing, separation anxiety, and barking out the window as a puppy. Crating can actually help prevent separation anxiety when done correctly. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Zoe
Havanese
12 Weeks
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Question
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Zoe
Havanese
12 Weeks

We are getting a Havanese puppy this week. We will be doing crate training with her. I feel fine about what to do during the day- but am unsure how to handle nights. Our last Havanese cried all night in his crate for 3 weeks and I got up 3 times a night to let him out and he still peed in there every night. I'd like to do better this time. Can you tell me how to handle nights? How often should I get up to let her out? What do I do if she pees in her crate? Is it okay to keep her in another room s the crying won't keep us up all night? Any advice on handling night training is appreciated. ThX!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kelly, First, working on crate training during the day should help her adjust at night soon, you will probably still have a few nights of crying though so be prepared for that. You can crate her in another room, just set up an audio baby monitor and turn the sound back on once she is asleep so that you will wake up when she wakes up and cries to be let out - essentially you can ignore cries when you know she just went out to pee but need to be able to hear her when she wakes to pee again. I would only take her outside when she asks to pee unless she has an accident in the crate. Most puppies will cry when you first crate them - fall asleep eventually, wake needing to pee a few hours later and cry to be let out, then cry when you put them back into the crate until they fall asleep, then wake later and cry to pee, then cry when you put them back in until they fall sleep, then wake up for the morning...Sometimes they only wake once needing to pee at that age. The times that she cries after going potty and being put into the crate you can ignore so she learns to settle down and go to sleep when she doesn't have to pee; the times when she cries to pee, respond to her and take her potty on a leash, but keep the trips outside super boring - no play, no excitement, no food, then put her back into the crate to go back to sleep. As she gets older and can hold it for longer, done the way I described above, most pups will start to sleep through those wakings and learn to only wake when they actually have to pee, and not wake because they want fun or food. If she has an accident in her crate because you didn't wake up or she didn't cry to be let out, you will need to do things differently though. If that happens, you can set two alarms to take her potty, about 4-6 hours after she last peed before bed - depending on how well she stays asleep - she will be able to hold it for longer if she stays asleep well and goes to sleep with less crying beforehand, or you can put her crate by your bed so you will be more likely to hear her when she wakes up at night. Be sure to stop all food and water at least 2 hours before bed and take her potty right before putting her in the crate - not 30 minutes or 1 hour beforehand - to increase how long she can hold it for at night. The important thing is to work on crate training during the day, keep pee trips boring, and not let her out of the crate unless she actually has to pee so that she will learn to only cry in there for that reason. Surprise method for crate introductions during the day - don't give food at night - ignore crying at night unless she has to pee: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Bosco
Havanese
3 Years
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Question
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Bosco
Havanese
3 Years

We have a 3 year old havanese boy. For the first year 1/2 he was not fully crate trained. He was left with pee mats and allowed to rain freely — he would use his pee pad to do his business. From time to time he would potty in his crate - but not often. We have been trying (unsuccessfully) to crate train our dog. He will pee and poo in his crate ... daily and sometimes a few times a day. This can happen after he has been out to potty... let to roam the house then put in his crate. How can we get our dog to NOT pee and poo in his crate. It happens in the daytime and after bed. I’m having to wash him almost daily. :( any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Monica, Unfortunately, once a dog losses their desire to hold their bladder in a confined space, you can't use a crate for potty training in most cases (sometimes switching to a different type of crate like a varikennel can work - but not consistently for many)...What you can do is use the Tethering method from the article linked below while you are home, and set up an exercise pen in a room he isn't normally able to access (so you can phase needing that out later without him still going into that room to pee), and use a disposable real grass pad in the exercise pen so that it more closely resembles outside (do NOT use pee pads). Tethering method for outside potty training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Disposable real-grass pad brands: www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com www.porchpotty.com The above brands can also be bought off Amazon. Since your end goal is outside potty training I recommend not phasing out the exercise pen like the article mentions - instead when he will consistently keep the rest of the house clean, you will just block off entrance into the exercise pen room so that he simply hold it while inside and is taken outside to go potty, and no longer has access to an indoor potty. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Minnie
Havanese
5 Months
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Minnie
Havanese
5 Months

We have been having difficulty house training our puppy. She doesn’t give us many signals to go outside and pees randomly around the house when she’s not in her pen. We may have made the mistake early on of putting her in a playpen with pee pads. Would you recommend trying to crate train at this point? Is it too late?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hi Amy, I would definitely recommend crate training - it is not too late. Many adult rescues are still successfully crate trained later in life. After pee pad training, it will be the easiest and most effective method for you - since accidents need to stop to make progress and other methods will offer too much freedom to accomplish that in many cases. Just know that introducing the crate will take more persistence from you at first, since you waited - so stay consistent. Check out the Surprise method from the article linked below for introducing the crate: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below for potty training using the crate. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Since pup is a bit older, you can take pup potty every 2 hours instead of 1 hour, then take pup potty every hour if they don't go when you take them, until they finally go. Give 1 hour of freedom out of the crate before crating again, instead of 30-45 minutes. When you have to work, at this age pup's maximum bladder capacity during the day will be the number of months pup is in age plus one - which is 5-6 hours in your case. That number only applies while in a correctly set up crate (per the methods guidance), and that number is an absolute maximum when necessary. When home, take pup every 2 hours for pup's comfort and training purposes. At night, in the crate pup may be able to hold it through the night. If not expect one middle of the night potty trip for a bit longer. When you take them, wait until they wake up in the crate asking to go. Take them on a leash, keep the trip super boring - don't play, don't give treats, don't feed, and don't talk to pup much. After pup finishes, place pup back into the crate and go straight to bed - ignoring any attention crying at that point - knowing that pup no longer has to go potty and needs to opportunity to adjust to simply falling back asleep after pottying. If you keep trips boring like this, pup should learn to sleep through the night sooner because it will encourage only waking for potty needs and not for attention. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Oreo
Havanese
5 Months
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Oreo
Havanese
5 Months

Oreo likes her crate and will hang out in there as long as the door is open during the day and chooses to sleep in crate as long as the door is open. However once that door closes all hell breaks lose with barking howling and pawing at the crate door. We’ve tried putting her in for only a few seconds to almost an hour and she cries and barks and howls for every second. It is not getting better no matter what we do. Orea is my daughters ESA and needs to go to College in September with mt daughter but needs to be okay in crate while my daughter is not in her dorm room. Help! I am at a loss. I cant let her take a dog that will howl and bark every second she is not there. Her dorm mates will mutiny. Please help.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Katy, First, work on teaching the Quiet command during the day using the Quiet method from the article linked below. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Second, during the day practice the Surprise method from the article linked below. Whenever pup stays quiet in the crate for 5 minutes, sprinkle some treats into the crate without opening it, then leave the room again. As she improves, only give the treats every 10 minutes, then 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 1 hour, 1.5 hour, 2, hour, 3 hour. Practice crating her with the door closed during the day for 1-3 hours each day that you can. Whenever she cries in the crate, tell her "Quiet". If she gets quiet - Great! Sprinkle treats in after five minutes if she stays quiet. If she continues barking or stops and starts again, spray a quick puff of air from a pet convincer at her side through the crate while calmly saying "Ah Ah", then leave again. Only use unscented air canisters, DON'T use citronella! And avoid spraying in the face. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Repeat the rewards when quiet and the corrections whenever she cries. Practice for a few days until she is doing well during the day. Continue what you are currently doing at night during this process. Once she is doing well during the day, crate her with the door closed at night too to get her used to that also. When she cries at night before it has been 5 hours (she may be waking to go potty if it's been longer than 5 hours since she last went and she was asleep before that point), tell her Quiet, and correct with the pet convincer if she doesn't become quiet and stay quiet Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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LAYLA
Havanese
15 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
LAYLA
Havanese
15 Months

1. Layla still not 100% house trained. We adopted her when she was 5 months old and did not start the crate option till she is 1 years old. We used pads but was not able to train her in a way where she lets us know when she needs to go out. Still struggling with occasional poops and peeps.
2. layla is over protective of my daughter - 14 years old. She bites, growls and even nips my husband all the time.She only acts normal around him during dinner where she goes to him and asks for food and he does give him table food.
3. layla growls anyone in the beginning on the street once they start talking to me or my daughter. She does not let anyone pat her or touch her either.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to correct over protective behaviors, as well as a crash course in potty training. Luckily she is still young enough, that you shouldn't have to spend too much time turning things around. You won’t be able to solve your dog’s overprotective behavior in one day. In the meantime, you don’t want to put your life on hold. You can still invite guests into your home as long as you prioritize managing your dog’s behavior. You’ll need a short-term strategy to start showing your overprotective dog what behavior is unacceptable while also keeping your guests safe. There are a few ways to do this. Separate Room: Your dog won’t get better without practice, but sometimes you have to weigh the risks versus rewards. If your overprotective dog is in the beginning stages of training, keeping her separated from guests might be best. You don’t want to put a friend’s safety at risk or needlessly stress out your dog. As long as you keep working toward stopping the behavior, separating an overprotective dog from company is a temporary management solution. Start Obedience Training Obedience training is a must for every dog, and it’s especially important for overprotective dogs. Working with your dog on things like “sit-stay,” “down-stay,” and “heel,” will help build her impulse control. He’ll start seeing you as a capable leader and will turn to you for guidance. A mistake many pup parents make is stopping obedience training once their dog masters the basics skills. Being well-trained is about more than knowing how to sit when a person holds a treat in front of their face. It’s a lifetime lesson, and even senior dogs need regular training. Commit to training your dog several times a day for short periods of time. Make Your Dog Work for Affection You can’t help but smother your dog with love every time he’s within petting distance, but that isn’t always what’s best for her. She will start to feel entitled to your attention, and that’s part of the problem. To remedy this, initiate a “work for it” program that allows you to show your dog affection as long as he earns your attention in appropriate ways. Make her sit, stay calm, and do whatever else you ask before doling out whatever it is she wants. If she’s excited for dinner, make her sit and leave it before digging in. If she wants in your lap, ask her to do a trick first. Never give your dog attention if she rudely nudges your hand or barks in your face. She needs to know polite behavior, and polite behavior only, is how she gets what she wants. You ignore everything else. Involve Other People in the Dog’s Life Most overprotective dogs choose to guard only the person they feel closest to. It’s usually the same person who fills their food bowls, takes them on walks, and handles training. They become obsessively attached, and a strong bond gradually mutates into overprotective behavior. Putting some space between you and your dog will help her learn to trust other people. Enlist the entire family’s help and take a step back in your role as primary caregiver. Have someone else feed the dog a few times a week, and encourage other people to engage her in playtime. This will help her be more comfortable with different people. Socialize Socialization is best done during the puppy stages, but even adult and senior dogs benefit from new experiences. Exposing your overprotective dog to new places, experiences, and people, will help her learn that not everyone is out to hurt you. Make sure each new experience is positive, and encourage your dog without forcing him to interact. If your dog is afraid, you don’t want to make things worse. Take socialization at the pace she’s comfortable with. If he seems overwhelmed, back up and try something a little smaller. These are some general ideas and they can be modified to fit your dynamic. These behaviors do take time, I am talking months, to correct. And sometimes the behaviors get worse before they get better. So just push through that time if that starts to happen. Now onto potty/crate training... this is going to seem a little remedial, but the best route to go to really lock in potty training is to kind of scrub your current habits and start from scratch. Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in!

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Phoebe
Havanese
9 Weeks
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Phoebe
Havanese
9 Weeks

My puppy stays in her crate while I am at work and gets let out twice, she is never alone more than 3 hours. She likes her crate when I am home, but screetches if I leave in her crate and it doesn't seem like she settles. The first day I left she threw up and pooped in her crate. I got a smaller crate thinking that might be it, and she still pooped in it. How do I fix this? Will she eventually get used to the crate if I am not there?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! She will eventually become accustomed to the crate. And even learn to prefer it. Right now, she is still pretty young and doesn't quite know what is "normal" for her. I am going to send you some potty/crate training basics that will help you speed this process along. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. 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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Cooper
havapoo
9 Weeks
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Cooper
havapoo
9 Weeks

I need him not to bite us or bark an i want him to come on command

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Noah, Biting article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Barking article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Come article: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Free PDF ebook download, AFTER You Get Your Puppy. www.lifedogtraining.com/freedownloads Enjoy your new puppy! Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Abby
Havanese
4 Months
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Abby
Havanese
4 Months

I have what I thought was a good set up in the family room for my 4 month old Havanese. Abby became part of our family at age 12 weeks. She has a good size corral with and a litter-box lined with wee wee attractant pad and a crate. The idea is that she can exit the crate and roam around within the corral equipped with toys, and she can go in the litter-box to do her business. At first she seem to be learning well... I used kibble treats to encourage her to go into the crate. I closed the door and opened the door and she knew to sit and wait in the crate with the door open until I instructed her to come out. GREAT! She would bark and whine in the crate at night. I would give the command “No bark” and cover the crate with a blanket. She has learned that if she barks at night she will not get my attention but instead her crate will be covered. Apparently, she does not like her crate covered so she’s quiet. She gets a lot of cuddling on the sofa and I carry her in my arms with a doggy diaper on when we go shopping together, so she can socialize. We come across others with little dogs. She does great with that. In the car she’s in a soft doggy safe carrier. She does get car sick and vomits. She gets time out of the corral (with a doggy diaper on because she immediately wants to squat) so she can run off all that puppy energy. I have a really nice comfy cushion for inside her crate but I haven’t used it because she pees and poops in the crate., even though the litter-box is right there. She does not signal me that she has to go. She dribbles urine when excited (even when I am holding her) especially when my daughter visits. I know she doesn’t have a problem holding her urine because I sat right next to her for 2 hours as she was in the litter-box giving her the command to “Go Potty”, she refused. As soon as I allowed her to go back to the crate she squatted and peed and moments later pooped. I have tried showing her immediately where she is suppose to go when she has an accident.... (call it that). I rearranged the corral temporarily so that she stays in the litter-box for awhile till she does her business., instead she will hold it and curl up and go to sleep in the litter-box. She seems to like it for sleep. I do not think I would mind that she prefers to sleep there instead of the crate but I cannot have it because surprisingly, she leaps. She has jumped from the floor to the top of her crate and back down again. She can easily leap out of the corral from the top of the crate. I am afraid that she gets hurt. Sometimes I think she’s half cat! She is definitely quite capable of learning tricks. I placed her food and drink in her crate because I heard pups won’t go where they eat. Not Abby, she will poop right next to her food. Now, I do not leave her food bowls accessible., as soon as she’s done eating I remove them. I had a blanket in her crate to show her that’s a comfy spot. I remove it because she pooped on it. I also tried with the wee wee pad and without ...that didn’t work. She sometimes chews up the wee wee pads and with or without them she will lie in her pee and as soon as she poops she steps on it (she trail poops). Therefore, I must bathe her everyday. I use a good quality coconut oil and amino acid puppy shampoo to keep her skin from getting dry and keep her fur shiny. There is a lot of snow where we live and wild animals (fox, bear, raccoon) so I rather she use the litter-box for safety as she only weighs almost 4 lbs. Please help me to train her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Angie, First, make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for her. Make sure the crate is only big enough for her to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that she can potty in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. Dogs have a natural desire to keep a confined space clean so it needs to be the right size to encourage that natural desire. Use a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean any previous or current accidents - only enzymes will remove the small and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. If you are still struggling after applying the above suggestions, then unfortunately pup may have already lost her desire to hold it while in a confined space. This commonly happens when someone accidentally teaches pup to do so by placing something like a puppy pad on one end of a larger crate or confining a puppy in cage where they are forced to pee through wired flooring - like at a pet store and some shelters. From your situation its possible her breeder placed pee pads in a crate or similar set up so she was accidently actually trained to go potty in there. There are also rare puppies who simply do it anyway, even though nothing happened to teach that -that could also be the case. In those cases most of the time you simply have to switch potty training methods until she is fully potty trained - at which point you might be able to use a crate for travel again later in life. Check out the Tethering method from the article linked below. Whenever you are home once she is a little older and has better control of her bladder you can use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below right now and for times when she can't be tethered to you once older also. I would try placing a disposable real grass pad in the litter box, then if pup will use that successfully, you can either continue using those or use it until pup is used to going there, then gradually cut away at the grass pad, leaving litter underneath for pup to go on. You may also need to get rid of the box entirely for a bit, making a larger grass area on the exercise pen floor, then gradually making it smaller and putting it into the litter box, then transitioning to gravel - slowly easing pup into the smaller, less natural space of the litter box and litter, opposed to open grassy area. Exercise Pen method: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy Real grass pad brands - Also found on Amazon www.freshpatch.com www.doggielawn.com You can also make your own out of a piece of grass sod cut up and a large, shallow plastic storage container. Submissive and excited peeing tips: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-submissive-peeing Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Leia
Havanese
2 Months
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Leia
Havanese
2 Months

She whines and cries all night. She doesn’t have to go potty because I let her out right before I put her in her crate. How do I get her to stop crying?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
831 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellie Grace, Check out the article that I have linked below and follow one or more of those methods during the day to help her get used to the crate. Doing those things should help her feel more comfortable in a crate, but crate training typically takes about two weeks. An eight week old puppy simply needs time in the crate to figure it out. Make the experience as pleasant as you can by dropping treats in there when she is quiet during the day and giving her a food stuffed Kongs and chew-toys whenever you put her in there during the day, and by putting a regular chew-toy, without food in it, in there with her at night, and then give her a couple of weeks to get to used to the crate. Stay consistent and don't let her out until she is quiet for a second, unless you know that she needs to go potty. You can correct the barking in a crate in an older dog, but an eight-week old puppy typically just needs time to adjust, rewards for being quiet, and something pleasant to do in the crate, like chewing on food stuffed chew toys. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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rilley
Havanese
9 Weeks
0 found helpful
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rilley
Havanese
9 Weeks

how do i get her to use the pads

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you some training information on how to work with your dog to use potty pads. Choose Your Spot Pick a space in your house where you want your dog to go. Obviously, you’ll want this spot to be a low-traffic area. Make sure this spot is easily accessible to your dog, and make sure the floor surface is linoleum or tile, as opposed to carpet. If your dog “misses,” it will be easier to clean up. If the only spot you can put the pee pad is a carpet, you might consider getting a small tarp to put underneath the puppy pee pad to guard against spillage. Choose a spot that is outside of your “smell zone.” An important tip to remember is to make sure not to let your dog decide the spot he likes. Not only might he pick an area you won’t like, but he’ll learn that he is in charge – not you – which can cause a host of problems down the line. Monitor Your Dog When you are potty training your dog, full-time monitoring is an absolute necessity. It’s impossible to correct bad behaviors if you don’t see them happen. Dogs have very short memories. It is important to catch your dog in the act. If your dog goes on the floor, and you try to correct him hours after the fact, he will be confused and upset, not knowing what he did wrong. This can hinder training and your relationship with your dog. Puppies, in particular, must be watched constantly. They have less control over their bowels and will go when they have to go. If you miss these moments, you lose precious training opportunities. Of course, it’s nearly impossible to be with your dog 24 hours a day, but try to spend more time at home during the weeks you are potty training – it will pay off in the long run. Learn Your Dog’s Schedule Dogs, for the most part, are predictable. They will go to the bathroom at predictable times. You should be able to learn when your dog has to go based on timing as much as on his signals. Take some time to study your dog’s bathroom habits. You’ll learn the amount of time after he eats or drinks that he has to go, and you’ll get in rhythm with his daily bathroom schedule. This will help you reduce accidents and speed up the potty training process. Studying your dog’s habits can also help you identify his bathroom “triggers” – like having to go after a certain amount of playtime. Once you learn your dog’s schedule, use it to your advantage in potty training. Bring him to the pee pad a few minutes before he normally goes, and encourage him. This will help him get used to going in the right spot, and help you establish repetition in your training. Choose a Command Word Dogs have keen senses – they respond to sight, smell, and sound. When you begin pee pad training, choose a command word and use it every time you take your dog to the pad. Just about any word will work. The tone of your voice is more important than the actual word. Try phrases like “go on” or “go potty” in a slightly elevated, encouraging tone. Make sure to repeat this same command, in the same tone, every time you take your dog to the pee pad. Avoid Punishment When your dog has an accident, it’s just that – an accident. When you punish your dog during potty training, he will become confused and scared. He doesn’t know what he’s done wrong, and can’t understand why the person he loves most is mad at him. Most importantly, it will not help his potty training. Positive Reinforcement Both human and dog behavior is largely based on incentives. Dogs’ incentives are very simple – they want to eat when they are hungry, play when they are excited, and sleep when they are tired. But the most important thing your dog wants in life is to please you. Use this to your advantage. Whenever your dog goes on his potty training pad, shower him with lots of praise. If he sees that he gets praise for doing his business on the pad, he will be incentivized to keep going on the pad – and he’ll be excited to do it! Potty training – whether it’s a pee pad or going outside – will take time, but if you do it right, can take less time. Many dogs are potty trained in less than two weeks. Just remember that you and your dog are partners. Do everything you can to help him learn the proper etiquette, and you will enjoy a long, quality relationship together. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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Captain
Havashu
8 Weeks
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Captain
Havashu
8 Weeks

I am trying crate training. He will sleep in it at night by our bed, will go in for treats and let me close the door for several minutes and he is great but the minute I leave the room he cries. I know I need to wait until he settles but starting next week I will go back to work . I have made arrangements that he will not be in longer 2 hours at a time and I only work a couple of days a week BUT concerned about that First day I leave him and how long will he cry for. I have now had him for 2 days.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! 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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Maya
Havanese
11 Weeks
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Question
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Maya
Havanese
11 Weeks

Got her at 9 weeks. Breeder never encouraged potty training or crate training. Now she has been with us for 2 weeks and it’s a disaster. Hates crates. Whines and barks in the crate for a good 45 mins before sleeping. Then when I go to release her at 3 am for potty she pees and poops and then whines again for an hour. I thought it would get better but it has worsened. I also have a golden and she got trained with in 2 weeks it was a piece of cake.
I work from home but I am sleepless daily and it’s affecting my life and work. Even when I put her in the play pen she whines. One night she somehow got out of the crate and pooped all over my rug. Plz help

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am sending you quite a bit of information on potty and crate training just in case you want to use the crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. 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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Kona
Maltipoo
5 Years
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Kona
Maltipoo
5 Years

Kona is the middle child between Magnum and Zorro. He's 10 pounds but thinks he's a pit bull when playing with the other dogs. He has horrible separation anxiety when we're gone. We can't have friends over because he will growl and bark the whole time. However, if we leave him at the vet or groomers, he's fine. How can we fix this?

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there. It sounds like there may be some separation anxiety going on. Because this behavior issue is complex, I have a lot of information to send you. With some time and practice, this is something that can be turned around over the next month or so. The first step in treating separation anxiety is to break the cycle of anxiety. Every time a dog with separation anxiety becomes anxious when their owner leaves, the distress they feel is reinforced until they become absolutely frantic any time they are left alone. Owners should give the dog an acceptable item to chew, such as a long lasting food treat when they go out. The goal is to have the dog associate this special treat with the owner’s departure. Treats might include hollow bones stuffed with peanut butter or soft cheese, drilled out nylon bones, or hollow rubber chew toys such as Kong toys with similar enhancements (place these in the freezer before giving them to your dog to make them last longer). Give the bone to your dog about 15 minutes before preparing to depart. The chew toy should be used only as a reward to offset the anxiety triggered by your departure. Hiding a variety of these delectable food treats throughout the house may occupy the dog so that the owner’s departure is less stressful. In an effort to prevent destructive behavior, many owners confine their dog in a crate or behind a gate. For dogs that display “barrier frustration,” the use of a crate in this way is counterproductive. Many dogs will physically injure themselves while attempting to escape such confinement. Careful efforts to desensitize and counter condition the dog to crate confinement before leaving them alone may be helpful in some cases. However, some dogs rebel against any form of restraint, including restricting barriers and, for them, crate training may never be a positive experience. Crate training and utilizing the crate while people are home can be a positive way to make the crate a safe place. If you utilize it when people are around, your dog won’t necessarily associate the crate with departure and being left alone. Creating nap time in the crate throughout the day can also be helpful. Building Independence Independence training can help fight separation anxiety and loneliness. Independence training can help build confidence and instill obedience. “Doggie Daycare” or hiring a pet sitter may be a better alternative for dogs that are initially resistant to treatment. It can be expensive, but prices vary. Independence training is one of the more important aspects of the program. It involves teaching your dog to “stand on their own four feet” when you are present, with the express intention that their newfound confidence will spill over into times when you are away. You need to make your dog more independent by reducing the bond between both of you to a more healthy level of involvement. Decreasing the bond is the hardest thing for owners to accept. Most people acquire dogs because they want a strong relationship with them. However, you have to accept that the anxiety your dog experiences in your absence is destructive. Essential components of the independence training program are as follows: Your dog can be with you, but the amount of interaction time should be reduced, especially where attention-seeking behaviors are concerned. You should initiate all interactions with your dog, and they shouldn’t be permitted to demand attention. If you give your dog attention every time they whine, it helps to foster the dog’s dependence on you and increases its anxiety in your absence. You should ignore your dog completely when they engage in attention-seeking behavior, and avoid catering to them when they appear to feel anxious. This means no eye contact, no pushing away, and no soothing talk or body language, all of which will reward their attention-seeking mission. Attention is encouraged only when your dog is sitting or lying calmly. The goal is not to ignore your dog, but to stop reinforcing attention-seeking behaviors so that your dog develops a sense of independence. Minimize the extent to which your dog follows you by teaching them to remain relaxed in one spot, such as their bed. To accomplish this, it is helpful if you train them to perform a sit-stay or down-stay while gradually increasing the time that they hold the command and remain at a distance from you. Providing a treat or toy and encouraging individual play time can be helpful. Once your dog has learned basic obedience commands, you can train them to hold long down-stays while you move progressively farther away. First, your dog should be trained to perform a “down-stay” on a mat or dog bed using a specific command, such as “lie down.” Your dog may have to be gently escorted to the designated spot the first few times. Initially, they should be rewarded every 10 seconds for remaining there, then every 20 seconds, 30 seconds, and so on. Once they have figured out what is wanted, you should switch to an intermittent schedule of reinforcement [reward], as this will strengthen the learned response. Each time your dog breaks their “stay,” issue a verbal correction, indicating that there will be no reward, and then escort them back to their bed. First, your dog can be made to “down-stay” while you are in the room. Next, they can be asked to stay when you are outside of the room, but nearby. The distance and time you are away from your dog can be increased progressively until your dog can remain in a down-stay for 20 to 30 minutes in your absence. Your dog should be warmly praised for compliance. Of course, they need to accept the praise without breaking the stay. Your dog should become accustomed to being separated from you when you are home for varying lengths of time and at different times of day. You can set up child gates to deny your dog access into the room you’re occupying (i.e. reading, watching television, or cooking). Instruct your dog to lie down and stay on a dog bed outside the room. As previously mentioned, you can provide an extended-release food treat or toy to keep your dog calm and distracted. Once they are able to tolerate being separated from you by a child gate, you can graduate to shutting the door to the room so your dog cannot see you. Allowing a dog to sleep in bed with the family can increase dependence. If you decide to prevent your dog from sleeping in your bed, there are some steps to take to establish this routine. First, you need to train your dog to sleep in their own bed on the floor in your bedroom. They may have to be taken to their bed several times before they get the message that you really want them to sleep in their own bed. Alternatively, you can train your dog to enjoy sleeping in a crate to prevent unwanted excursions. Do not use a crate if it causes more anxiety and distress for your dog. Once they tolerate sleeping in their own bed in your bedroom, you can move their bed outside of the bedroom and use a child gate or barrier to keep them out. Always remember to reward your dog with praise or a food treat for remaining in their bed. Develop Departure Techniques Many owners erroneously feel that if separation is so stressful, then they should spend more time with their dog before leaving. Unfortunately, this only exacerbates the condition. Everyone in the family should ignore your dog for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving the house and for at least 10 to 20 minutes after returning home. Alternatively, your leaving can be made a highlight of your dog’s day by making it a “happy time” and the time at which they are fed. Departures should be quick and quiet. When departures (and returns) generate less anxiety (and excitement), your dog will begin to feel less tension in your absence. Remember to reward calm behavior. Teach your dog that your departure and return are just normal parts of the day and are not times to be stressed. You should attempt to randomize the cues indicating that you are preparing to leave. Changing the cues may take some trial and error. Some cues mean nothing to a dog, while others trigger anxiety. Make a list of the things you normally do before leaving for the day (and anxiety occurs) and the things done before a short time out (and no anxiety occurs).Then mix up the cues. For example, if your dog is fine when you go downstairs to do the laundry, you can try taking the laundry basket with you when you leave for work. If your dog becomes anxious when you pick up your keys or put on a coat, you should practice these things when you are not really leaving. You can, for example, stand up, put on a coat or pick up your car keys during television commercials, and then sit down again. You can also open and shut doors while you are home when you do not intend to leave. Entering and exiting through various doors when leaving and returning can also mix up cues for your dog. When you are actually leaving, you should try not to give any cues to this effect. Leave your coat in the car and put your keys in the ignition well before leaving. It is important to randomize all the cues indicating departure (clothing, physical and vocal signals, interactions with family members, other pets, and so on). The planned departure technique can be very effective for some dogs. This program is recommended only under special circumstances because it requires that you never leave your dog alone during the entire retraining period, which can be weeks or months. Timing is everything when implementing this program. If your dog shows signs of anxiety (pacing, panting, barking excessively) the instant you walk out of the door, you should stand outside the door and wait until your dog is quiet for three seconds. Then go back inside quickly and reward your dog for being calm. If you return WHEN your dog is anxious, this reinforces your dog’s tendency to display the behavior, because it has the desired effect of reuniting the “pack” members. The goal is for your dog to connect being calm and relaxed with your return. Gradually work up to slightly longer departures 5 to 10 minutes as long as your dog remains quiet, and continue in this fashion. Eventually, you should be able to leave for the day without your dog becoming anxious when you depart. When performed correctly, this program can be very helpful in resolving separation anxiety. Other Treatment Options Obedience Training Obedience training helps to instill confidence and independence in your dog. You should spend 5 to 10 minutes daily training your dog to obey one-word commands. It may be helpful to have training sessions occur in the room where your dog will be left when you are gone. All positive experiences (food, toys, sleep, training, and attention) should be associated with this area of the home. Exercise Your dog should receive 15 to 20 minutes of sustained aerobic exercise once, preferably twice, per day. It is often helpful to exercise your dog before you leave for the day. Exercise helps to dissipate anxiety and provides constructive interaction between you and your dog. It is best to allow your dog 15 to 20 minutes to calm down before you depart. Fetching a ball is good exercise, as is going for a brisk walk or run with your dog on a leash. Even if your dog has a large yard to run in all day, the aerobic exercise will be beneficial since most dogs will not tire themselves if left to their own devices. This is incredibly helpful in dogs that are working breeds that need a job to expend energy and work their brains. Supplements Recently, supplements have been released to the public that can help dogs with anxiety. Purina created a probiotic that has been shown to reduce anxiety and provide a calming effect on some dogs. Your veterinarian may recommend this product for treating anxiety, or other products that contain L-Theanine or L-tryptophan.

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