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Thread: Crate nightmares :)

  1. #1

    Default Crate nightmares :)

    Hi, i am the proud owner of a 13 week old male Havanese named Dexter. We got him from what I believe is a reputable breeder about two weeks ago and he is a real sweetie. We're having some problems with crate training. I tried acclimating him to the crate gradually like everyone suggested and he has no qualms about walking into it and eating in it. so he's not afraid of the crate itself. the problem arises when we close him in, even for a short time. he starts whining, howling, biting at it, shaking it, I'm afraid he's going to really hurt hiimself. We've tried just letting him carry on and then letting him out after he settles down, but he goes right in to the same pattern every time. So I started umbilical cord taining him instead and he's doing really well during the day, only one accident in the last three days. The problem come up when he's left alone in the crate when we have to leave to go somewhere...it never fails, even if he has just been outside he messes in the crate and we have a horrible mess to deal with when we get back. I've decided to get an Xpen to put him in instead of the crate, at least if he messes he hopefully won't be a mess hinmself. Is this a good idea?
    Also, My husband ended up taking him downstairs in the crate to sleep (he can sleep through things better than I can), he raised it up on a chair and as long as he can see him he does OK, no whining and carrying on, and I THOUGHT he was going through the night with no accidents, but he had to leave for work early today and when I got Dex out of the crate it was wet. So I don't know if he had to go during the night and hubby didn't hear him, or if he just went during the night and didn't care. This is my first time on here, so if I didn't post this in the right place, justy let me know and I'll re-post. any advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Sorry to hear you're having issues with your new Havanese! The problems you're having are fairly common... if you haven't already read them, I'd suggest that you check out my articles about dogs who have accidents in their crates and dogs who bark in their crates.

    I'd be sure to try to have your pup as empty as possible when he goes into the crate... generally, I recommend no food or water for 60-90 minutes before crating during the day and about 3 hours before bedtime. In your case, I'd double-check to see if your vet approves, since some small breed puppies need food more frequently, but in most cases that schedule works fine even for small breed pups.

    You might also want to try a Thundershirt... it's an anti-anxiety wrap that can be helpful for pups who freak out in the crate.

    In rare cases, a pup has such severe anxiety about the crate that crate training isn't advisable. If you've properly acclimated Dexter to his crate and you've tried the methods in the article above, you may need to temporarily do some indoor potty training to allow him to have an appropriate potty spot while you're away from home. You'd keep Dex in a small confinement area- the ex pen you bought should work just fine - with his bed, toys and bowl on one side and an indoor potty on the other side (this could be potty pads, but if you're training him to eventually go outside only, you might want to use a grass potty for him - you'll find some options for that on this page). While you're temporarily using this method, you'll continue to work on slowly acclimating your pup to his crate by continuing to feed him in there and gradually leaving him in the crate for short periods of time when you know he's empty. After a month or so of this training, most pups can easily be switched back over to regular crate training.

    Hope this helps!!
    Rebecca
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  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks, Rebecca! Xpen is not working out...he is a regular Harry Houdini...climbed right over it. Got a mesh top for it, he was able to climb up and undo one of the velcro fasteners and get out again. so now we're going to try a babygate in the downstairs bathroom. I just ordered the indoor grass potty and I'll put that in with him once it gets here, thanks for the link to it. Nighttime has been better, he's moved upstairs in a carrier type crate elevated up to bed level and doesn't whine too much. When I've heard him fussing in the middle of the night I've taken him out just in case he does have to go and he's been clean and dry at night for the last week. My husband says I shouldn't take him out in the middle of the night, that he should be able to hold it, but I don't want to take any chances...what do you think?
    Umbilical cord training is going pretty well, averaging maybe one accident a day and it's almost always been when I've had to hook him to the kitchen cabinet or something while I'm cooking. so probably more my fault for not keeping a closer eye on him. And I think he feels bad about doing it, he kind of hides around the corner when he does it. It just amazes me, though, that I can just have him out half an hour before and he goes and I loosen up a little bit and that's when it happens. How can one five pound dog have that much pee in him!!! He goes to petsmart for a puppy training class tonight, so I'm looking forward to that. So hopefully the containment area in the bathroom will end up working and he won't regress thinking it's OK go to in the house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    The bathroom should work well for Mr. Houdini as long as it's not too big... you'll know it's too much space for him if he has accidents outside of his potty area! As for the overnight stuff, it's likely he can make it through the night at his age, but if you hear him fussing in the middle of the night, you should definitely play it safe and give him a chance to go outside, since even dogs who sleep through the night can have occasions where they need to go out in the middle of the night due to digestive issues, overconsumption of water before bedtime, etc. Just make sure those middle of the night potty trips are short and boring... no playtime, treats, or conversation.

    Hope all goes well with the puppy class!!
    Rebecca
    Please help us to continue to provide this free source of housebreaking information by bookmarking our products page
    and buying your pet supplies through our product partners!

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