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Peeing in the crate

Posted by lucky_ladybug (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 17, 13 at 16:11

We lost our home to Hurricane Sandy. We have a 2yr old male boxer and two young sons. We spent the first 8 weeks with my sister squeezed into her two bedroom apartment until we could find a rental that would allow a 70lb dog.
We moved in on December 22nd. The house is more than sufficient for all of us and Harley has a lot more room to play in the house. Only problem is that the yard isnt fenced in - so we have to be very careful about him not getting out of the house. He's crated while my husband and I are at work but he get's an hour walk / playdate with a neighborhood dog every afternoon. He was fully housebroken fairly early - in fact he was a pleasure to train as he's very smart. Since we've moved, if we have to put him in the crate while we're home - even for a few minutes (i.e. bringing in the groceries or having furniture delivered) he'll look right at us and pee in the crate. How do we break him of this habit? He never soils the crate during the week and he can hold it for 10 hours at night. He's obviously letting us know he doesnt want to be in there at that moment. We have all been through so much in the last 2.5 months - even Harley since he doesnt have his fenced in yard to play in everyday. Any advice on how to deal with this at the time its happening? We've been putting him on a leash until we clean the crate and then putting him back in right away. Thanks..

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Peeing in the crate

i'm so sorry for the loss of your home. i can't even imagine the terror.

boxers are high energy dogs and at 2, your boy still has very much a "puppy" mentality. if he is crated all day while you are both at work, then crated all night, even with an hour afternoon walk/play time, that just isn't nearly enough.

how is he when you actually put him in the crate? does he go willingly? does he have to be forced, even a little? it could be a fear thing if he senses you are impatient with him (don't mean to say you ARE, but even if you don't THINK you are, it could be he's sensing it).

RE: Peeing in the crate

I think he's really stressed by all that's been going on. I suggest you find a dog behaviorist to help him through this. His whole life has been turned upside down, just like yours has, but he doesn't have the understanding that you have.

An hour of play time isn't nearly enough for a high-energy dog like a boxer. He needs for YOU to take him out every day, too,for a long walk. He needs that anyway, to help get his excess energy off and for him to have some bonding time with you. And a trip to a ball park a couple of times/week would be really beneficial for him, too.

And, you could get an outdoor fenced kennel or a dog run for him to have in the back yard, and he could spend a few hours each day in it instead of in a little crate. Look at the second one on the link, that's what I'm talking about.

Good luck to you, I hope this rental will be short-term until you can get back into your home, or buy another one!

Here is a link that might be useful: outdoor dog kennel

RE: Peeing in the crate

Can you shut him in another room instead of crating him when you need to confine him briefly? 10 hours a day is a long time for such a young, large, and active dog to be crated. He's got to find it boring and uncomfortable. How is he supposed to know that he's only going to be confined for a few minutes instead of hours and hours?

Also, he might benefit from a day or two of doggie day care each week.

RE: Peeing in the crate

Thanks everyone.. Nina, you're right. He is still very much a puppy. We were working on leaving him out of the crate during the day (small periods of time) when the storm happened. With all the change and confusion we thought it best to crate him again till he's used to the new environment.
He's not crated at night. As soon as my husband gets home he's out till the following morning. It seems like he knows the weekdays from the weekends. He doesnt complain about going into the crate on the weekday mornings. I take him for a quick walk before I get on the bus and knowing he's going to get a peanut butter treat he willingly sits there waiting.
This behavior is new. We'll crate him briefly on a Sat or Sun if we have the kitchen door open to bring in the groceries or if my 84 yr old Grandma comes to visit - I dont want him to knock her off balance because he's happy to see her.

I realize the answer to most issues is usually "he needs more exercise". We are doing the best we can under the current circumstances. We were thinking about meeting with a behaviorist as we're expecting a baby in the Spring and want to get him ready. I guess we should call now before this bad habit gets out of hand.

Thanks for the feedback.

RE: Peeing in the crate

Question: is he neutered?

It sounds as though he's established a routine.....go in the crate, pee, then be taken out again while it's cleaned up. I take it he doesn't pee a second time?
I think it's time he's shown a new routine. My suggestion: Try this on a day when you have time to spend with him. Make sure he's been out for a pee before crating him, then give him a Kong filled with peanut butter, a new chew toy or something that he loves but hasn't had for awhile. Place the favorite treat in the crate, crate him, then leave the room without lingering or talking. If you hear him peeing as you leave the room, keep walking. Leave him for at least 5 minutes before returning to let him out. Hopefully there's no pee but if there is just clean it up with no emotion toward the dog. Then try the exercise again later in the day.
The treats are to help change his focus from peeing to something worth checking out.

They're a great breed and I know you're enjoying him. It's too bad he's lost his fenced yard but so nice he has a play date every day. My DS owned a Boxer and he was completely trustworthy in the house and with their young daughter. Sadly, the dog died at 5 yrs from some type of neurological condition, probably cancer.

Others may have better suggestions and you may want to try the Boxer forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Boxerworld

RE: Peeing in the crate

Go get yourself a harness and a cable run. So he can play outside.

RE: Peeing in the crate

If he is looking right at you when he pees in his crate then he is a "nervous pee-er". Obviously crating him when you are doing other things isn't working. What Annz said - you cannot find it acceptable to pee in the crate.

If you'vet let it go long enough that peeing in the crate is an issue then the crate isnt working. that's the point when the crate has to stop.

RE: Peeing in the crate

The first thing I would do is to make sure that he goes out for a pee before you try to crate him at these "off times" that seem to upset him so much. I agree with Annz that giving him a high-value treat like a frozen Kong stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter and leaving him with it in the crate a few times each weekend - even if you don't need him to be crated at the time - is good practice. Just be sure to let him back out before he starts acting out. Being in the crate should be a GREAT thing for him at these times. You should open the crate while he is still busy with the kong.

I am so sorry you and your neighbors are going through all of this. Should we inlanders organize temporary rescues to help people get through all of this while we keep their pets out of the way and give them back once things settle back down on the east coast? I imagine a free doggy daycare in each town would be a great help, but I don't know how we could organize that. Hmmm.

RE: Peeing in the crate

We've been working with him. We moved his crate out of the kitchen - where his sight line is limited. He seems much better if he can see what's going on. And we've been doing what nancy suggested - a treat to go in the crate for just a few minutes on Sat or Sun. I think he's getting it. We will do a cable run so he can be outside on the driveway once it gets a little warmer. Far too cold right now.

Nancy, I can only speak for me & my family... as difficult as it was to find a temporary home that would allow a large dog, I cannot imagine giving our pup to someone else - even for a short while. He's a member of our family. We stay together - no matter what. He's never been boarded. When we go on vacation (if he cant come with us) he goes to my parents.

RE: Peeing in the crate

I am glad it is working out for you, Lucky Ladybug. I am glad that you have been able to find a place that will allow your dog, and I hope that landlords are being more helpful to families with pets as you look for temporary housing.

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