Honestly, I'm struggling a little bit - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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Honestly, I'm struggling a little bit

I just got my girl on Friday. She is an excellent puppy -- the usual puppy issues, but those I can handle. My problem is that she hates being crated. I know that doesn't sound bad, but the problem is I can't go anywhere. If I leave and come back, she has defecated in her crate and created a mess. I've started leaving treats in the crate and she likes that, but she freaks as soon as she's locked in there, even if I'm in the room. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I don't know what to do.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 04:23 PM
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I'm sorry for your stress. That would upset me too.

Have you talked to her breeder for suggestions? Did she receive any time being exposed to a crate before she came home with you?

Do you have someone coming to let her out while you are at work?

How big is the crate? Is it tiny so it's just enough space for her to turn around and lay down? Generally a puppy will not soil their sleep space which is why crate training works. Trying to figure out if she has too much space.

Is it normal poo (formed) or is it diarrhea? Did you keep her on the same food or change it? Is she on a regular potty routine? Trying to figure out if she is getting an upset stomach from being so upset or if she has digestive problems.

Are you working on things to get her adjusted to her kennel? Letting her eat in there, hiding treats in there, rewarding her for going in there? Do a google search for "crate games" a puppy training book on things you can do to make the crate less upsetting.

Try searching the forum for threads like "puppy hates crate" etc. and see if you can find helpful tips from others who have gone through this. You will get through it.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by nolefan View Post
I'm sorry for your stress. That would upset me too.

Have you talked to her breeder for suggestions? Did she receive any time being exposed to a crate before she came home with you?

Do you have someone coming to let her out while you are at work?

How big is the crate? Is it tiny so it's just enough space for her to turn around and lay down? Generally a puppy will not soil their sleep space which is why crate training works. Trying to figure out if she has too much space.

Is it normal poo (formed) or is it diarrhea? Did you keep her on the same food or change it? Is she on a regular potty routine? Trying to figure out if she is getting an upset stomach from being so upset or if she has digestive problems.

Are you working on things to get her adjusted to her kennel? Letting her eat in there, hiding treats in there, rewarding her for going in there? Do a google search for "crate games" a puppy training book on things you can do to make the crate less upsetting.

Try searching the forum for threads like "puppy hates crate" etc. and see if you can find helpful tips from others who have gone through this. You will get through it.

Breeder said she may just be experiencing stress and that it's normal. I'm honestly now sure if she had crate experience, but she had five littermates and a little bit different of a set-up.


I'm going to let her out at lunch when I'm at work. I haven't had the issue happen yet though.


Stool is slightly different than normal, but not the runs. No diet change. I tested it once by hiding in the bathroom and observing her and she pooped within a minute because she was so distressed.


She's been eating in her kennel. I've started doing some crate games with her.



It's really the one thing that's bothering me. Accidents happen, I can clean pee and poop up, but when it's in the crate and messy and all that's happening, it's like overload for me.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:24 PM
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Hi There,
Our trick in getting our now 12 week old pup, Bruno, to like his day crate is to put a T shirt that I have worn (or my husband's) in his crate. It calms him down immediately. He now sleeps/plays in his crate for up to 2 or 3 hours at a time until he starts squealing that he needs to poop or pee. We work from home, so it's never a problem to take him out. I switch out the shirts every few days so he always has a "fresh" mom/dad smelling shirt...btw, amazingly, he does not shred them, but uses them as a pillow or sleeps right on top of them.

As for him defecating, might your crate be too big at the moment? They only need space to stand, turn around and lay flat. More space than that and they will use the opposite side as a toilet...that's been my experience...Good luck!
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 06:55 PM
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I would make the crate smaller. Make sure it is ONLY big enough for her to lay down/turn around in.

Put a tee shirt you have worn in the crate. One thing we did with Denver when he was brand new was fill up a water bottle with warm water and wrap my shirt around it. He would cuddle up next to the shirt-wrapped-bottle for comfort and he seemed to really like that. We ended up purchasing this: https://www.chewy.com/smart-pet-love...saAlFGEALw_wcB

^Same idea as the water bottle, just easier & it has a 'heartbeat' which gives the puppy the feeling of not being alone.

Play white noise on speakers or Alexa if you have one. If you have a TV, leave that on so it's not silent in your home when you leave.

Hang in there! Denver hated the crate in the beginning. He would cry so incredibly loud I felt so bad for our neighbors. It progressively got better and better and then after 2 weeks he was fine.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 07:19 PM
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I completely understand that cleaning up accidents is one thing but coming home to a crate and puppy covered in feces is another. I am hoping you can get some input from others here who have been through this. Sweetgirl had a tough go with Shala although there were health issues going on. Try sending her a PM and asking her for input or use the search feature and see if you can find old threads on this subject. You will get through this, hang in there.

Does she sleep in her crate at night? I always hid treats in my puppy's crate so that whenever she stepped foot in there she would discover them, sort of like the treat fairy hid them. It was no time until we'd go upstairs at night and she would RUN and dive into her crate looking for them. She still gets one every time she steps foot in there.


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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 09:43 PM
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Oh, those first days home can be a real challenge for everyone! Hang in there, it will get better. Maybe try making her an “ice pop” — Kong stuffed with really super-gloppy oatmeal mixed with a bit of peanut better and banana, then freeze it solid. Give it to her when you crate her. That should keep her busy for awhile.


One thing that worked for us was to put pupsters in an ex-pen during the day, and saved the crate for sleeping at night. Did your breeder use a litter Box? If so, you can put one in the pen (not the crate). If you try this, be sure to watch her the first few times. My pup decided that the “litter” material was great to snack on. Yuck.

We have something like this — not having the horizontal cross bars makes it harder to crawl/climb out of.

https://www.chewy.com/carlson-pet-pr...e-pet/dp/43485
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 10:08 PM
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I went through this with Luna when we first brought her home. I thought that because she slept in her crate at night just fine that she'd be ok if we put her in there for 15 minutes to shower... I came back to find a frantic little baby covered in her own poop. That was an hour plus clean up. She'd managed to get it on every bar of the crate practically and I couldn't believe how traumatic being alone in a cage was for her.

What I did was slow way down. I put her in her crate with the door open and fed her tiny treats till she was calm and happy in there. I fed all of her meals in her crate and only gave her really good treats like frozen Kongs in her crate. I'd also hide her favorite treats in the crate so she'd start to think that the crate was a great place where good things happened.

Then I started closing the door and walking away a little bit and returned to give her a treat when she was quiet. Then I started to leave her for 10 seconds only returning to give her a treat when she was quiet and worked our way up to a couple of minutes. It was a long process that we practiced multiple times every day. When my husband and I both had to go back to work, I started bringing her to a dog training school that did all day puppy kindergarten and had them play crate games with her and help her learn to settle in her crate. I also used a Rover sitter to watch her on days she wasn't at puppy kindergarten. Good luck and hang in there! A needy GR puppy is shockingly intense to take care of but it gets so much better in a couple of months and they are so worth it.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:27 AM
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Iíve brought quite a few pups home over the years. Hereís my rotation for crating.
Initially they hate the crate. The sooner you get them over it the better.
I get a large Sherpa bag and put it in the front seat of the car. Put pup in crate, make it fun. Start car. Start driving. When pup starts wailing, roll down windows and sing to pup. In the beginning stop often and talk to pup, and let them out, put them on the ground and talk to them. Then pick them up and put them back in the crate in the car. Each day you drive a little more. Before long pup is happy and doesnít wail. Lots and lots of treats.
For nights, out crate next to bed. Talk to pup and put your hand on top through the openings if you can. Take them out of crate often and outside often during the night. It doesnít take long.

Pups can sure wail and cry. Have a plan and stick to it. Donít break down and let them sleep on the bed with you in order to get them to sleep at night.


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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 12:56 AM
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I have no real-life advice to offer as I don't have a puppy yet. We did like the book by Ian Dunbar "Before and After Getting Your Puppy", his method is very similar to what eeerrrmmm described. I'll be following your thread and hope it gets better.

I noticed you are going back to work tomorrow. If you decide that you need a dog sitter for the time being, Rover.com has a checkbox "puppy care" to help search for dog sitters who offer that option. In our area, there are also dog walking companies who offer puppy care and would cost slightly more but typically would have insurance.
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