I have a few questions on crate training. I have a 10 week old felmale, Black Lab puppy. I got her on wednesday. Everytime I put her in her crate, shut the door and go in another room, she barks, crys and goes to the bathroom. She will go in to the nap, but doesn't seem to like the door closed.* When she feels like she has to void she'll run in and do her busniess.* She seems to think thats where shes suppose to go. Where I got her she was in a crate with other puppys, she sleeped, ate, peed and popped in there. My question is, is this normal? Is there a way that I can teach her not to do her busniess in the crate and stop her from barking and crying when shes locked in? Can it be immaturity or personaitly I've never crate trained a puppy before, so this is my first time.* I've also owned German shepards(have a 10 yr old female now)in the past, so this is my first Lab.
I'm starting to get fusterated and feel like I can't* leave her alone without her barking, crying
and making a mess. I do want to live a life outside of the house! Any help will be very much appreciated!!!* ???
There are 3 times a puppy should be in her crate. While you are not at home. While you are sleeping. While you are busy doing something else and can't supervise her activity.
First of all, how big is the crate? The crate should only be large enough for her to turn around and lie down. There should be no extra room. Most dogs won't soil where they sleep, so this should curb that. Another good thing to do is feed her in there. They won't soil where they eat and sleep. It also gives her a positive association with the crate. Feed all meals in there. Give her her food, close the crate and let her out when she's done AND you are ready. Take her outside to potty.
If you need to crate her while you are home, you must be prepared to ignore the barking and whining for as long as it takes. Every time you give in, you teach her that if she whines and barks you reward her with what she wants, you reinforce the behavior. It's difficult. I was grateful I did that with Miles because last Sunday I had a wall to paint and he had to be in his crate while I was painting. He didn't like it, but he laid there and watched me and when I was done I rewarded him with a nice hike.
When you are home and she is out, take her outside often to potty. Watch her body language and you will learn the signs. When you have been out, take her out of the crate and outisde immediately and say a word repeatedly till she goes and reward her when she does. I used "go potty, go potty, go potty". By doing this you teach her to go on command which can come in very handy later.
Thanks for the advice. I did make the crate with just enough space for her to lay down and turn around. I know most dogs won't soil where they sleep, but she doesn't seem to care about that. She'll wine and cry and then poop and pee. I just don't know what to do anymore.
Some puppies crate train quickly; some take longer. Yours may take longer, since you said she was in a crate with the other puppies, and they ate, slept, peed, and pooped in there....maybe she does think that's where she's supposed to go, since that's what she was used to.
Good luck...keep at it, try not to get frustrated, and she'll get it.
The thing I would add is that at this point you shouldn't expect her to hold it beyond three hours. If she does soil her crate after you clean it you need to pour something like Natures Miracle to nutralize the oder. While you are doing this make sure she is out of the room because you don't want her to get the idea that, that is your job.
There are three times when a puppy will go to the bathroom and you can control all three. When it has just woke up. Right after it has eaten. During hard play. Take her out after the first two and right before you play hard with her.
Always take her out the same door so she doesn't get confused.
Hang a bell on a shoelace that is at her nose level. When you take her out to go to the bathroom have her touch the bell with her nose. Pretty soon she will associate the bell with the bathroom.Take the water bowl away at 8pm. Get used to her signals. If she is sniffing around in one area and turning around she is looking for a spot to go.
NEVER EVER RUB HER NOSE IN IT! People that do that end up having worse problems because the dog will go do it in secret.
When she does go outside act as if you just won the lottery, because you have.
As she begins to understand what you want from her and you become more intuned to her signals things will get better.
But she may have accidents from time to time for the next year. If and when it happens, and it will happen blame yourself for not picking up on her signals fast enough.
NEVER EVER RUB HER NOSE IN IT!* People that do that end up having worse problems because the dog will go do it in secret.
I can vouch for this. We never, ever rubbed Rocksy's nose in it - but we did tell her off for a few accidents in the house after we thought we had cracked the housetraining. Nothing over-the-top, just a sharp word out of frustration more than anything. She obviously knew we were unhappy with her as she started to go in secret behind the sofa. I caught her once and there were about four puddles behind there
Anyway, we realised we had to go back to basics - looking for signs, praising like mad when she went outside - and within a week she was fully housetrained for good! Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to lab puppies...
Id like to add a question about crate training as well. I got my pup from a lab rescue and he is about 7 weeks old. I dont want him to sleep in the crate at night. Hes been doing great sleeping on the floor next to my bed, I wake up and take him out every few hours all night. My question is, can I still crate him during the day, he never "wants" to go to the crate. He wines for about 10 min then usuall falls alseep. Is it confusing to have him sleeping in the crate during the day and on the floor at night?? ANY advise would help!
Bear-you will receive more advice if you post your question in a new thread.
Equine Love- You have received excellent advice so far. I just have one more thing to add, is it possible to get a different KIND of crate? i.e. if your pup was raised in a metal wire one, you might want to try a plastic Vari-kennel one. Your pup might do well with the "fresh start" so to speak. Pups don't "generalize" things well so may view the new, different crate, completely different from the original crate.
That being said... you probably have a bit of an uphill battle due to the fact your pup learned to live that way... but with patience and time (and positive training!) you will be able to train her to go outside.
Also, make sure you clean any area she has soiled with something that will completely get rid of the smell like Nature's Miracle. Some regular cleaners won't completely get out the urine smell that dogs are more sensitive to.
EquineLove -- Just wanted to say that you've gotten great advice and give you hope! My mom adopted a dog at almost 2 years of age and not only did he use his kennel to potty, he had NEVER been on grass. My mom just put him on a schedule, took him out frequently and treated & praised when he went on the grass. Within a few weeks the light bulb went on and he's been reliable ever since!
I would definitely try Ender's Moms advice on a different type of crate.
Thank you for all the wonderful advice! The crate she was kept in was not wire, it wsa like this http://www.abti.net/FRK/Images/Facilities02.jpg. I got her a wire crate cause I don't like the plastic crates. She seems to like it and takes naps in it. This afternoon I filled up her kong with afew pieces of dog food and peanut butter and she LOVED it! It took her 1o minutes to get everything out. I'm trying to associate the crate with positive things to get her to like being in it. I'm hoping that works!