Crate and Housetraining issues - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Crate and Housetraining issues

About three weeks ago I got my third golden retriever puppy. She is a wonderful little girl and I am so thankful to have already had two, so I know these are just hurdles we're dealing with. Duchess (new Pup) hates her crate! It makes no difference, when I put her in the crate she acts like she is dying. slinging herself against the sides, biting the door, running and trying to knock the door down. Within 30 minutes of being in the crate, she will poop and stomp in it. This is after she has just gone outside and done her business. It is as though she saves some just for this purpose. She's young and I understand that, so I generally take her out every 30 mins to an hour during the day and she is good about doing her business, but she will immediately come back inside and do something. When I set about cleaning it up, she tries to make it a game. I did not encounter this problem with my other two and realize I was really lucky.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? She is with either my husband or me all the time. She goes to the office and studio with me and she gets loads of attention. We have not been able to walk her just yet, restricted to our back yard, on a leash with us. But December 15th the vet says she is in the clear and can go for a walk then.

My other goldens thought the crate was their private sanctuary and would retreat there when humans became too much. I welcome suggestions as I know that every dog is different.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 05:08 PM
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You're an experienced owner, so perhaps you have gone through the process of making the crate a fun place already? If not, that's where I'd start.

When one of us would walk Maya, the other would sprinkle treats in and around the crate. This made Maya check her crate often during the day. She associated it with good things. And we built up being in the crate very very slowly. We started by tossing a treat in and letting her retrieve it. Then we built it up to shutting the door for an instant, then opening. Then shutting for a few seconds, staying there, then opening. Then shutting and walking away. You get the picture.

Sounds like she may be experiencing some anxiety. What was your process in introducing her to the crate and making it an "attraction"?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-08-2016, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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We introduced it by the treat game, all meals in the crate, songs with frozen yogurt and peanut butter. She loves going in and out, but when you shut the door, she just loses it. My breeder said show her some tough love and let her cry and work it out. I've tried that and it really seems to go against the natural nature of a golden. It comes as a shock because my other two loved their crate and would put themselves to bed. Duchess does seem a bit stubborn and has a strong will, but I figured with the proper training that could assist her in her therapy work. As I said, we are patient older folks that know the rewards a golden offers, just hadn't encountered this before. I will keep at it.
Thank you for your kind reply and stay in touch.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 07:08 PM
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I am having the same problem. I have a male golden that is 1 and he was so easy to train. I just got another this past week (a girl) and she HATES the crate. She screams and whines and then poops in it, even if she just went. I have caught her eating the poop as well. I feel like I am bound to my house because if I put her in the crate, even for 15 minutes, she poops. I have tried to make it cozy but she just destroys the bedding with poop. I have been doing crate games which seems to help with the screaming but does not stop the pooping. Any suggestions???
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-15-2017, 10:04 PM
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In addition to the advice given by previous posters I would also suggest that, if you are using a larger crate, you put a divider in so that she has room to simply lie down and turn around. You don't want to give her enough room so that she has an area to go potty. You can remove the divider once she is older and needing more room or once she is house broken. Try feeding her in her crate, put her in for short periods of time using treats and praise to lure her into it. When my dogs have been puppies I have not put bedding into their crates. In addition to the fact that accidents in the crate will ruin the beds it can also be hazardous to puppies in the event that they chew on and swallow parts of it. I also recommend that you remove your girl's collar before putting her into the crate as it is possible for it to become tangled in the walls of the crate and possibly cause serious injury/death.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:02 AM
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We do not shut the door to our crate until Dawson is totally calm. At first it took 10-20 min or so, but be patient. We did make it a favorite place of his by hiding treats in it all day long. He would run in and get treats all the time. Now he will go in on his own.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2017, 09:35 AM
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I feel for you. After having a Golden who loved her crate, it was also a bit of a shock to me when my next puppy hated it. Did exactly what you mention - throwing herself at the door, scratching, howling, dyyyyyying. It was pretty awful.

What worked for me: first off, I realized she hated the crate I had bought. It was a plastic airline crate - that is hard to see out of. It is very cave-like, which many dogs love. She hated it. So that crate was moved to my bedroom as the night crate, and I bought and borrowed the metal wire crates you can see out of. I put it in front of the window that she loved to sit and look out.

I also fed her in the crate. That helped. (Though all of this took many, many weeks).

I only crated her when I left and at night. Leaving was the exact same routine every time. Dogs are very habit-oriented, they like structure. Say the same thing, do things in the same order. When I started, I put her in, left, and came back after 5-10 minutes. She did, indeed, cry the whole time. (I watched and listened on a puppy cam). I didn't come back til she quieted. I tried leaving something to chew on. That was a HUGE help. I would watch her cry, then chew a bit, cry a bit, chew more, cry a little less. It was like she was using the bone to calm herself.

I also always made sure she was very well exercised before I left her in the crate. A tried dog is less likely to fuss for a long time. She will eventually just be too tired.

And finally, for the night crate, I tried a pheremone spray that my vet recommended. I was highly skeptical, but, it was either a coincidence, or it worked. I think it was called Adaptil. You spray a little bit around the crate about 10-15 minutes before the pup is going in. Spray a bit on the blanket if you have one (I didn't - she hated blankets in the crate, too). I only used it in the night crate, mostly because by that time, the wire crates I was using during the day were borrowed, and I didn't want to spray it in my friends' crates.

As I said, all of this took many, many weeks. But she eventually slept quietly in the crate all night (though she was out of the crate at night by 5 months old, and happily sleeping where she really wanted to be - my bed). By the time I wanted to leave her out of the crate when I went to work, SHE chose to stay in the crate. It actually became a secure place for her.

Stick with it. Never let the pup out when he or she is howling. It is REALLY hard. But they do get used to it, and it really is the safest place for them when you aren't home.

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