How to Train a Pit Bull to Pee Outside

Medium
1-2 Months
General

Introduction

Housetraining a dog is the first priority for a new addition to your home, whether you have added a puppy or a recent rescue. Fortunately, training your Pit Bull to pee outside is a straightforward process once you have a strategy. The key to success will be consistency.

This guide will offer three different methods to teach your Pit Bull to pee outside that will work with both puppies and adults. All of the methods we suggest use reward based training methods that will help you raise a confident and secure Pit Bull.

You don’t have to punish your Pit Bull over and over for accidents in the house. If your dog is having accidents, chances are she just does not yet understand the rules. Your Pit Bull wants to please you, but it is your job to show her what you want in a way that she will understand. Read on to find out how. 

Defining Tasks

The process of training your Pit Bull to pee outside mostly comes down to managing your dog’s access to being free in the house during times when she is likely to have to use the potty, and heavily rewarding her when she goes outside.

To do this, make note of the following potty triggers:

  • First thing in the morning
  • After a meal
  • After a nap
  • Every 1-4 hours, depending on the age and health of your canine

Your Pit Bull may have other potty triggers as well, but these are the most common. By being aware of when your pup is most likely to want to go to the bathroom, you can make sure to time your trips outside to give her the best chance to be successful.

Until your Pit Bull is housetrained, it is best to either be supervising her or have her resting in her crate. This will prevent her from being able to have an accident when you are not looking – behavior that can be very hard to fix after she “gets away with it” a few times. 

Getting Started

Training your Pit Bull to pee outside starts with first realizing it is your job to try to prevent accidents in the house by getting him outside before he has an accident. You will also want to be ready to give huge rewards for every outside potty.

High-value food rewards are often the best choice, especially for Pit Bull who are usually very excited about food. Have some tasty treats on the ready by the door so that you can always grab one on the way outside. When he is a good dog, you will be ready to let him know!

If your dog does have an accident in the house without you being aware of it, there is nothing you can do but clean up the mess. Your dog will simply not understand if you try to punish him after the fact. All this will do is make him feel distrustful of you. Keep your dog under close supervision in the house before you are sure that he is completely housetrained. 

The Crate Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Why crate train?
If you have a Pit Bull puppy on your hands, we recommend that you crate train her. Not only will this help make house training a breeze, it will give you a lifetime of freedom to be able to have your dog travel ready with her portable crate. Start by making sure her crate is a welcoming place with plenty of soft bedding, fresh water, and some toys that she enjoys.
Step
2
Potty triggers
Every time you take your dog out of the crate, immediately go outside for a bathroom break. Make sure to reward every success with both praise and a reward such as food. In addition, take her out first thing in the morning, after meals, after naps and every hour (for puppies) or every two hours (for adults).
Step
3
Sniffing around
If you see your dog sniffing around suspiciously, it is another sign that she may need to go outside. Instead of using a corrective tone, excitedly go to the door and call your Pit Bull to go outside with you. Reward generously when your dog pees outside.
Step
4
Crate time
Put your dog in the crate for short periods if you cannot supervise her while she is in the house. This will prevent her from having an accident and give you another chance to trigger an outside potty by immediately taking her outside after a rest.
Step
5
Oops!
If you catch her in the act of messing in the house, use a very stern tone in your voice as you quickly get her on a leash to go outside. Then, make a huge deal out of any potty outside with praise and rewards.
Recommend training method?

The Pee Pad Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
When to use pee pads
Some folks find the pee pad method easier, especially for very young puppies that need to potty every 30 minutes or so, or adult dogs with incontinence issues. Think of a pee pad as a temporary solution that is a step towards a totally housebroken dog. This method will show you how to start with pee pads and end with a Pit Bull that will only pee outside.
Step
2
Set up
Strategically place pee pads in each room that you regularly spend time with your dog. Put them as close to the exit in each room as you can. Make sure to change the pads often so they stay fresh. Meanwhile, try to get your puppy outside for regular potty breaks since your ultimate goal is to have a fully housetrained dog. Take her outside after meals, naps, in the morning and at night. Reward and praise every potty outside.
Step
3
Supervise
You will need to closely supervise your puppy when she is inside to catch her looking for a spot to urinate. As soon as you see the signs, guide her (or pick her up if she is small) to the pad. Keep your tone very positive and encouraging, and reward her with lots of praise followed by a food reward for successful use of the pad.
Step
4
Guide
Over time, start trying to guide her to the pad rather than taking her all the way there. This will help her realize that she is making a choice to use the pad.
Step
5
Good girl!
If you catch her using the pad on her own, make a big deal out of it with tons of praise and rewards. In addition, continue to praise and reward every single potty outside.
Step
6
Oops!
If you catch her in an accident, use a stern tone, take her to the pad, and immediately change your tone to a positive and encouraging one once you get there. You do not need to rub her nose in the mess she made off the pad – dogs don’t understand what that means. It is more likely to just make your dog afraid to use the potty near you, which will make it even harder for her to pee when on a leash.
Step
7
Transition
To transition from using the pee pad to going to the bathroom outside (for instance, once your puppy can hold it for a few hours and you are ready to commit to getting him out that frequently) then start to only reward those times when he goes pee outside.
Step
8
Outside only
After a few days to a week of rewarding only outside, take the potty pads away indoors. Be sure to get your dog outside quickly if you see him over by where the pee pad used to be.
Recommend training method?

The Puppy Party Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Supervise
In order to use this method, you will need to keep an eye on your Pit Bull at all times in the house during the training period. Every time your dog has an accident in the house, especially if you do not catch him in the act, it will be harder to break him of the habit.
Step
2
Potty triggers
Be aware of the signs and triggers for when he may need to use the potty: Right after a meal, after he wakes up from a nap, and first thing in the morning. Also, if you see him sniffing around, chances are good he may need to go out.
Step
3
Treats
Put some treats by the door so that you can grab them on a moment’s notice on the way out for a potty break. Whenever your Pit Bull pees outside, throw a Puppy Party! This means giving tons of praise for making the decision to go outside.
Step
4
Just in time
If you catch him starting to have an accident in the house, use a very stern tone and move to him quickly to startle him. Then immediately get him outside, making sure you make your tone very positive once you are outside. This will give her the signal that going outside makes you very happy.
Step
5
Oops!
If you miss him making a mess inside, do not try to punish him for it. It just won’t do any good. Clean it up quickly to prevent a future accident and try harder to keep him closely supervised until housetraining is complete.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers and Success Stories

Question
Gunner
American pitbull as
2 Months
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Gunner
American pitbull as
2 Months

Biting

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King
Pit bull
8 Months
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Question
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King
Pit bull
8 Months

Hi my name is Imani. I have a 8 month old pitbull puppy. His name is king. Some of the challenges with him is he uses the bathroom a lot in the apartment. I take him outside he smells around but doesn’t pee or poop. When we go back into the apartment he uses it. Another thing is when people come into the house he gets overly excited. When I tell him no king it’s like he is still focus on jumping and getting exciting. I’ll have to put him in cage for him to calm down. I just want him to be trained well

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
85 Dog owners recommended

Thank you for the great picture of King. First, for the potty training - many readers have success with the crate training method described here:https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside. As well, the Timing Method is excellent. Please take a look. Important points are to take King outside often, especially right upon waking and after meals. While he is learning, though, you may have to go outside every 30 minutes and that is okay. Once he catches on, that is all it will take. Buy a spray that encourages King to pee (from the pet supply store). Before you take him in the yard, go out and spray the scent on the grass. As soon as you take him outside, you go to the spot where you sprayed. As for the accidents inside the house, be sure to use an enzymatic cleaner, otherwise, King will still smell the urine in the house and will continue to pee there. You may not smell it but he does. As for the jumping, you have to work on obedience commands. I would enroll King in classes right away - he is a great age for learning. It's important as you will both benefit. The bond between you will be cemented. In the meantime, practice his sits, stays, downs, and heeling while on a leash. Good luck!

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Freya
blue nose red nose pit mix
5 Months
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Freya
blue nose red nose pit mix
5 Months

we've had her for a month and despite schedules, limiting water amounts and large amounts of praise when she potties outside, she still will come back inside and poop or pee on the floor, despite doing both actions outside. I'm unsure what to do anymore to help the process further

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

Hello! I am going to send you quite a bit of information on potty training and using the crate to aid in that process. Some of it you may know already, but somewhere in the info, you may see something that you missed. Hi! I am going to send you information on both potty training and crate training should you decide to utilize a crate to aid in 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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Ellie
pit boxer
7 Weeks
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Question
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Ellie
pit boxer
7 Weeks

Housetraining. I praise her and give her treats.. She is still messing up in the house. Also she is rough playing with the cat and im afraid she will hurt her..any suggestions

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
670 Dog owners recommended

Hello Rebecca, First, know that she is very young and potty training does take time. Second, check out the article linked below and follow the Crate Training method from the article linked below, or the Tethering method and Crate Training methods both. That method will encourage pup's natural desire to keep a confined space, prevent more accidents inside, and help pup get onto a good schedule. That method will also have tips to help pup go potty - such as walking pup around slowly on a leash, using a potty encouraging spray, sprayed on the area right before taking pup to that spot, temporarily, teaching the "Go Potty" command and rewarding with a couple of treats after they go potty. Return pup to the crate after a potty trip if pup won't go to prevent an accident while pup's bladder is still full, then take pup outside again in about 30-45 minutes. Repeat this process until pup finally goes potty in the yard. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Work on teaching pup the Out and Leave It commands, to help with self-control and give pup directions around the cat. Out: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/how-to-teach-a-dog-the-out-command/ Leave It method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bite Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Zara
Pit bull
13 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zara
Pit bull
13 Weeks

my dog will not potty outside . Only sometimes she does it. I’ll be out there for 20 minutes we come in and she pees on the floor in front of me

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

Hello! It sounds like you have your hands a little full. Right now, she is still pretty young and doesn't quite know what is "normal" or expected of 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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