How to Train a Dachshund Puppy to Potty Outside

Hard
1-6 Months
General

Introduction

As cute as they are, Dachshunds are notoriously hard to potty train. In fact, statistics show they are among the top 20 breeds considered to be the hardest to housebreak. While most Dachshund pups can be potty trained over time, some will never be completely housebroken, and you will need a crate for when you are asleep or not at home. Just keep this in mind as you work with your pup and be patient. Never punish him or scold him for accidents, instead use positive reinforcement techniques as they will be far more successful. 

Defining Tasks

The task at hand is to train your Dachshund puppy that the only place it is acceptable for him to go potty is outside in his designated area. Just remember, Dachshund puppies are notoriously hard to potty train, so you must be patient and willing to work your pup on a regular schedule if you want your training efforts to be successful. Also, keep in mind, your pup has a small bladder that will need to be drained frequently in comparison to, say a Bull Mastiff or Doberman that has a much larger bladder. 

Getting Started

To get started you need to make sure your pup has a collar and is used to wearing it. You will need this to attach his leash to in order to take him outside to his designated potty spot on the lawn. You must be prepared to provide your pup with constant supervision or have him in a crate when you can't. You also need a couple of additional supplies, including:

  • Leash – To take him outside
  • Crate – For when you can't watch him
  • Treats – A good way to let your pup know he is doing a good job

The last two things you will need to successfully potty train your pup are plenty of time to work with him and a large supply of patience, as this process is not going to be easy. You will be using standard training methods, but you will need to work just that little bit harder if you want to be successful. 

The Signs & Signals Method

ribbon-method-1
Most Recommended
5 Votes
Step
1
You first
The first thing you need to learn is how to recognize the signs your pup needs to go potty. With Dachshunds, this could be as simple as your pup getting overly excited for no apparent reason or running around the house. Be prepared to run him outside at any of his signs.
Step
2
Set a schedule
One of the best ways to potty train your pup is to put him on a set schedule. Take him to the same spot in your yard every 20 to 30 minutes at first. His bladder won't hold for much longer than this when he's very young, and having him outside when the urge strikes will set him up for success.
Step
3
Potty break
Each time you get ready to take your pup outside, be sure to use your chosen cue, such as "Potty break!" This will help him associate the cue with the action.
Step
4
Watch out
Keep an eye on your pup for signs and signals between scheduled potty trips. Make sure he gets outside as soon as possible!
Step
5
Rewards for getting it right
Each time you take your pup outside and he goes potty, be sure to praise him and give him a nice treat.
Step
6
In case of accidents
If you happen to catch your pup in the middle of going potty on your living room floor, tell him "NO!" in a commanding but not angry tone. This should stop him mid-track. Take him outside to let him finish what he started. Clean the mess up thoroughly and resume training, adding more time inside until your pup learns to let you know when he needs to go.
Recommend training method?

The Perfect Spot Method

ribbon-method-3
Effective
2 Votes
Step
1
Check your schedule
Before you decide to bring that adorable Dachshund puppy home, you need to check your schedule to make sure you have time to potty train him. The less time you have, the longer it will take and the harder it will be to succeed.
Step
2
You need "the spray"
Hit your local pet supply store and pick up a bottle of "puppy potty training" spray. Yes, they do make it. This chemical imitates the smells dogs leave behind when marking their territory and will inspire your pooch to cover the scent with his own.
Step
3
Go home
Go home and mark a spot in your yard that your pup will be able to use as his "private bathroom."
Step
4
Add one Dachshund puppy
Hook your pup to his leash and take him out to the area you recently marked. Give him no more than 15 minutes to sniff around and go potty. If he won't go, take him inside and give him a few minutes before going out and trying again.
Step
5
On with the show
Or on with the training. Keep working with your pup until he starts to let you know when he needs to go potty and once outside will head straight to his "bathroom". When you get to that point, you are done. Congratulations!
Recommend training method?

The Training Crate Method

ribbon-method-2
Least Recommended
2 Votes
Step
1
One crate
You need a crate for your pup that is just big enough to give him room to move around, but no bigger. If you buy a bigger crate he may make his bed at one end and use the other for a potty. You do NOT want this.
Step
2
Relieve himself
Take your pup outside to relieve himself and then put him in his crate. Time starts now!
Step
3
On time every time
While he is a little pup, set the timer for every 20 minutes. When it goes off, take your pup out to his spot on the lawn. When he goes, be sure to praise him and give him a puppy treat.
Step
4
Add time
Add time in 20-minute increments to his time in the crate. Once you reach two hours, you can try leaving him out in the house, but be sure to keep a close eye on him.
Step
5
Use the same method
Along with keeping a close eye on your pup, set a timer to remind you to take him out on schedule. You can't afford to set your pup's training back. The rest is all about working with your pup until you no longer have to worry about messes in the house.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Lily
Chiweenie
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Lily
Chiweenie
12 Weeks

I’ll have her outside; she’ll do her “business “ but sometimes when I bring her back in, she’ll immediately go on the carpet as well. No warning, just a super quick squat and done. No time to grab her to take her back out or to put her on a piddle pad. I do want her to be able to use a pad indoors as well as going outside for when it’s snowy or cold and dark….

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
943 Dog owners recommended

Hello Shirley, Pup may be scent marking or excited peeing (being excited about coming back in). If pup seems nervous about coming back in or seems to think she is in trouble, it could also be submissive peeing. In most cases pup will outgrow the behavior if you can keep it from becoming a habit and remove the attracting smell inside. I would start by thoroughly cleaning the previous pee and future pee accident spots with a cleaner that contains enzymes. The enzymes are important for removing the smell to the level pup needs it to be done. Even bleach doesn't do it well enough for a pup's sensitive nose, and any remaining smell will encourage future peeing there. When you first bring pup inside, I would carry pup to an exercise pen with a pee pad or disposable real grass pad covering the floor of it, until pup has peed in there also, then open the pen door to let pup out but ignore pup right after they come out for ten minutes, supervising still to keep pup safe from things like destructive chewing. Do this so that pup starts to associate going potty inside only with the appropriate location but can't wander off of the pad they are supposed to go on until they go. Ignore pup so that pup associates freedom inside with calmness to help break the cycle of immediately peeing once they are free inside, in case the behavior is due to excitement or submission. If you want to teach inside and outside potty training both, I do ideally recommend using a disposable real grass pad inside instead of pee pad. You can still try the pee pad of course, but I have found that the consistency of the grass with both locations tends to lead to less accidents, and some dogs will confuse pee pads with other fabric like carpet and rugs more easily; whereas the grass pads are more distinctly different than carpet and rugs, since they aren't made out of fabric like a pee pad is. For inside potty training, check out the exercise pen method or crate training method - these methods can be used with any indoor potty, not just a litter box like it mentions. https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy For outside potty training, the tethering method or crate training method from the article I have linked below tends to teach pup the quickest with the fewest accidents in the process. Crate Training method or Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Disposable real grass pad brands - also on amazon: www.porchpotty.com (great long term investment but most expensive) www.freshpatch.com (recommended when you first start, to ensure you like this route before investing in anything more expensive) www.doggielawn.com Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Lily's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Theo
Dachshund
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Theo
Dachshund
1 Year

He’s still peeing and pooping in the house. He doesn’t tell us when he needs to go, he just goes wherever he can. He pees in his kennel still throughout the night. We’ve tried training him, we’re not sure what we’re doing wrong…

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
943 Dog owners recommended

Hello Gabriella, Check out the Crate Training method from the article linked below. Make sure that the crate doesn't have anything absorbent in it - including a soft bed or towel, otherwise that may be why pup is going potty in there. Check out www.primopads.com if you need a non-absorbent bed for him. Make sure the crate is only big enough for him to turn around, lie down and stand up, and not so big that he 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 smell and remaining smells encourage the dog to potty in the same location again later. Crate Training method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside If you are still struggling after applying the above suggestions, then unfortunately pup may have already lost his 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. There are rare puppies who simply do it anyway, even though nothing happened to teach that. In those cases you can try feeding pup his meals in there to discourage it but most of the time you simply have to switch potty training methods until he 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, use the Tethering method. Also, set up an exercise pen in a room that you can close off access to later on (pup will learn it's okay to potty in this room so choose accordingly). A guest bathroom, laundry room, or master closet with good ventilation are a few options. Don't set the exercise up in a main area of the house like the den or kitchen if you have other options. Tethering method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Use the Exercise Pen method from the article linked below, and instead of a litter box like the article mentions, use a real grass pad to stay consistent with teaching pup to potty on grass outside - which is far less confusing than pee pads (Don't use pee pads if the end goal is pottying outside!). Since your goal is pottying outside only use the Exercise Pen at night and when you are not home. When pup will hold his bladder while in the rest of the house consistently and can hold it for as long as you are gone for during the day and overnight, then remove the exercise pen and grass pad completely, close off access to the room that the pen was in so he won't go into there looking to pee, and take him potty outside only. Since he may still chew longer even after potty training, when you leave him alone, be sure to leave him in a safe area that's been puppy proofed, like a cordoned off area of the kitchen with chew toys - until he is out of the destructive chewing phases too - which typically happens between 1-2 years for most dogs with the right training. 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. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Theo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Georgie
miniature dachshund
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Georgie
miniature dachshund
9 Months

My miniature dachshund is generally potty-trained, but she pees in her crate at night. I take her for potty break last thing at night (10pm) and first thing in the morning (7am), but she is still peeing every night. She doesn't cry to be let out, so I can't figure out when the accident is happening. I clean the crate with Nature's Miracle every morning and put in a clean towel. It's a small crate, which means she is often laying in her own pee. I'm so sad this terrible habit has developed and I feel powerless to stop it.

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

Hello! A good way to keep this from happening is to make sure that you stop all food after about 5pm. This includes treats. And water about 3 hours before you go to bed. And plenty of potty breaks before bed time.

Add a comment to Georgie's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Rex
Dauschund
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Rex
Dauschund
4 Months

Ive had him since 6 weeks. We are on an 30 min take him outside schedule. He is crate trained and he still continues to pee on my bed or poop on the bathroom carpets. The doors to both rooms are closed. If he doesn't have access to the bathroom or my room to poop he will go on the couch.
I have an enzyme spray and everything.
Is he just very stubborn?
As an example we brought him out 3x within a 45 min span and he immediate ly came in and peed on the couch.
I dont want to start resenting my dog, but I know he can told it as he doesn't pee in his crate during the day while I'm at work.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
239 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.

Add a comment to Rex's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bella
Mini Doxie
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bella
Mini Doxie
4 Months

we go out every 60 min sometimes she goes other times she wont she will look for play things and Ive stayed outside sometimes up to 30 min.If she doesnt go outside when I come in she will pee what should I do Ive kept her in her crate and that doesnt work Please help me

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
239 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.

Add a comment to Bella's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd