How to Potty Train a Stubborn Basset Hound

Medium
3-6 Months
General

Introduction

Basset Hounds make a great family dog. They are excellent with kids and other animals, but when it comes to potty training, they can be pretty darn stubborn. One thing is certain, you will never get anywhere with your pup if you try to use any form of negative reinforcement or punishment training method. Bassett Hounds do not respond well to it and are more likely to dig in their heels and refuse to do what is being asked of them. Another issue you have to deal with during training is that their acute sense of smell tends to distract them quite easily. 

Defining Tasks

Your mission, should you accept it, is to teach your stubborn Basset Hound that not only are you the more stubborn one, but that yes, he can learn to do his business outside. This is the important part, you need to let your pup know in no uncertain terms that you are the "Alpha" of the pack. Once you establish this relationship, training him will be a lot easier. The hardest parts of potty training your pup are cleaning up the messes from his little "accidents", and the number of times you will be taking him out every day for a long time. 

Getting Started

Since your pup is being stubborn, you should already be familiar with his signs that he needs to go potty. If not, you need to start paying more attention to your dog when he is in the house. These signs include sniffing at the floor or door, scratching at the door or maybe even your leg, or possibly squatting or lifting his leg. Beyond this, you need a few things:

  • A Leash – To take him outside to go potty
  • A Crate – For when you can't be there to watch him
  • Treats – You will need an ample supply of these

Along with all of these, you will need plenty of time and patience and a healthy supply of cleaning supplies for those accidents. Be sure you clean the floor thoroughly using an enzymatic cleaner to completely remove any odor. Traces of his scent are likely to draw your pooch back to the same spot to relieve himself.

The I Said No Method

Most Recommended
1 Vote
Step
1
Start with a pocket full of treats
Start out filling a pocket with plenty of your pup's favorite treats. You will be using them to reward your pup for going potty outside.
Step
2
Keep a close eye on your pup
Whenever your pup is not in his crate, you should be keeping a very close eye on him.
Step
3
I said 'no'
The moment you see your pup act like he is getting ready to go potty, say "NO!" in a firm, but not angry, voice. Say "Let's go outside" and take him outside to the spot in the yard where he can go potty.
Step
4
He may not go
He may not go right away since you interrupted him. That's okay. Give him a little time to get over the interruption and when he does finally go potty, give him a treat and praise him.
Step
5
Work, work, work
Keep working with your pup on this training, adding more time between trips until your pup finally gives up and starts holding on and letting you know when he needs to go potty.
Recommend training method?

The 20-Minute Run Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Create your schedule
Sit down with a piece of paper or a white board and create a potty schedule for your pup that starts by taking him out every 20 minutes. On the schedule have one column for time, one for pee, and one for poop. This will help you track his eliminations to make sure all is well.
Step
2
Start your pup off right
Take your pup outside at the designated time. If he goes potty, praise him and give him a treat. If not, take him back inside and reset the timer. Also mark what he did if he went potty.
Step
3
Off-schedule times
There are a few times when you need to take your pup outside, no matter where you are on the schedule. These include first thing in the morning, last thing at night, after meals, after a large drink, and after playtime.
Step
4
Introduce your cue
Choose a cue phrase like "Let's go potty!" and then make sure you use the same phrase each time you go to take your pup outside. Before long you should be able to say to your pup "Let's go outside" and he will head to the door.
Step
5
Add to the time
Start extending the time between outings until he can hold himself for as long as needed and he starts coming to you and lets you know he needs to go potty. Reaching this point is going to take some time and effort, but stick to your guns and he will eventually figure it all out.
Recommend training method?

The Early Start Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Pick a spot
Choose a spot in your backyard for your pup to use as his potty. Try to choose one that your pup can easily reach and that will be easy to clean up.
Step
2
An early start
You can start training your stubborn Basset hound as soon as you bring him home. Do so by taking him to the spot to go potty before you take him in the house for the first time. Keep him on a leash the whole time.
Step
3
Body language
Bassett hounds tend to display very specific behaviors that indicate they need to go potty. Among these are; walking around in circles, scratching at the floor, and sniffing around. The moment you see any of these behaviors take him out to his "spot" to go potty.
Step
4
The cue
Create you cue, such as "go potty" and start using it every time you have to take him out. The idea is to teach your pup to associate the phrase with the action.
Step
5
By the hour
If your Basset is a puppy, he will need to go out at least once every hour at first. Set a timer to remind you to take him out. Follow your schedule religiously and when he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a treat. Slowly add more time between outings until your pup can hold it for longer times or starts to let you know when he needs to go.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Letti
Coon hound
5 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Letti
Coon hound
5 Months

We are trying to potty train her, but it just isn't working. We have constantly told her NO when she goes potty inside, but she continuously does it. Any help?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Presley, The accidents need to be prevented in the first place and her pottying outside rewarded. Telling her know won't help because she doesn't understand what to do instead and has already developed a habit of peeing inside. Check out the article that I have linked below and use the 'Crate Training' method. I find that this method is normally the most effective and quickest method for dogs who are having a hard time with potty training or are a little older and still peeing inside. Stick to the schedule carefully when you are home. When you need to be gone, then she should be able to hold her bladder in the crate for five hours. Don't give her any freedom in the house unless you know that she has peed outside in the last hour-and-a-half. You want to remove all opportunities to pee in the house until she starts to pee outside more consistently. The more accidents she has inside, the more successes she has to have outside to make the connection -- so they key is preventing the accidents to begin with. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Copper
Beagle basset
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Copper
Beagle basset
1 Year

We rescued Copper from a shelter and home by noon yesterday. We took him outside several times that day and he just runs and pulls on the leash to smell everything. No pee or poop. Did pee in house once. Today when I got up I took him out again and nothing. He has drank water, but has not eaten but just one kibble of food (same kind he had at shelter). Any suggestions?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rhonda, I suggest crate training him using the "Crate Training" method from the article linked below. That method will prevent more accidents in the house so that his only peeing option is while outside. Most dogs have a natural instinct to keep a confined space clean - which means they will naturally try to hold their bladders while in a crate if there is nothing absorbent in it (i.e. No soft bed or towels), and it is the right size, which should be big enough for him to turn around, stand up, and lay down, but not so big that he could pee in one end and stand in the opposite end to avoid it. If you want to give him a bed in it, check out something like www.primopads.com. Be sure to secure the sides down to the crate to prevent chewing with the included securing ties. Since he is older, you can crate him for 3-4 hours while home. After 3-4 hours take him potty outside, tell him to "Go Potty" and let him sniff. If he doesn't go potty within ten minutes, bring him back inside and put him into the crate for an hour, then take him outside again when the hour is up. Repeat the potty trips every hour until he finally goes potty, crating him in between trips if he didn't go potty when you took him. Once he finally goes potty, praise him and reward him with five treats, one treat at a time (keep the treats hidden until he goes potty). When you bring him back inside after he has pottied, if you don't suspect that he also needs to poop, then give him 2 hours of supervised freedom out of the crate. After two hours, put him back into the crate until time to take him potty again (3-4 hours since he last went potty). When you have to be gone for longer he should be able to hold it for up to six hours in the crate. Ideally he should be taken out sooner until he has practiced holding his bladder for a couple of weeks though. Once he is potty trained he should be able to hold it for 7-8 hours in a crate when necessary, taking him outside sooner is always ideal though. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dolly
Basset Hound
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dolly
Basset Hound
11 Weeks

My basset bites like hard! When she’s playing is usually when it occurs but it’s not on accident. I’ll be playing with her with a toy and she’ll go straight for me! What should I do ? I’ve heard everything from yelp and turn your back to bop her and say no. What is the best method?

She also is terrible on walks! Chews on the leash, sits and doesn’t follow or just bolts on her own direction.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
706 Dog owners recommended

Hello Meagan, She is likely trying to wrestle with you like she would with another puppy. First, check out the article linked below. Follow the Leave It method first. Leave It will take some time to teach to the point where she has enough self-control to stop the biting, so while you work on Leave It use the Bite Inhibition method also found in that article. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite I also suggest enrolling in a puppy kindergarten class that includes time for off leash play that is monitored by the trainer. Playing with other puppies and receiving feedback from them can help puppies learn to be gentler with their mouths. For the leash walking, what you are experiencing is pretty normal for some puppies. Check out the article linked below and follow the Turns method. Expect this to take time to teach. Go to a quiet, open area like your yard or cul-de-sac to practice walking at first. Remember, its not how far you walk but how many steps that effects how much exercise she is getting so walking in circles and squares for a while to teach this is fine. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Merle
Basset Hound
10 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Merle
Basset Hound
10 Weeks

How to potty train him

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

I am sending you information on potty training as well as crate training just in case you decide to utilize a 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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Question
Daisy
Basset Hound
5 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Daisy
Basset Hound
5 Years

Completely frustrated for years trying to potty train 2 bassets [10rescue, 5 adopted as puppy].
We work long shifts (>12hr) and cannot crate train and with shift work there is no regular schedule. We have always dealt with accidents and blamed ourselves and work schedules, but recently the behavior has been unmanageable and extremely frustratingsince the death of our third dog our 2 current dogs leave daily 1-2bm and 2 pee accidents feet away from the dog door.
We have: removed all carpeting and bought special flooring, as much as schedule allowed attempted regular walks which made things worse bc then they stopped using dog door. So started doing"walks" in our backyard to get them to go back to using dog door.
We removed their dog beds bc they will pee and stool in their beds.
We give excessive praise (out doors, bc too much praise inside excites them and makes them pee). We cant play or love on them indoors bc they pittle anytime too much attention is given.
Please help.

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

Hello! So I have quite a bit of potty training information to send you. It is geared towards puppies, but when adult dogs have potty training issues, it is best to start over as if they were a puppy. So this info should help you quite a bit! I included information on crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help you 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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