Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

We are first time owners of a fluffy little retriever and have been having issues with our new pup!

He came home already pretty house trained and so pees on puppy pads or outside only. However, he has been struggling to get used to the crate; Howling, barking, whining, biting/scratching the cage. Even after sending him to bed in a calm manner and he sleeps for an hour or so.

The opposite happens when we out him in his play pen, he whines for a bit and then goes to sleep and we don't hear from him for the rest of the night (unless we get up to take him to the toilet). He still then only pees on puppy pads.

Basically we were wondering if anyone has advice as a lot of people have been saying crate training is the only way. however he seems to settle so much better in the play pen.

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
37 Posts
Your post reminded me of this article I found linked on Reddit the other day:

https://whyy.org/segments/is-a-dog-...k4LOkh2d_inRXsPr_CYjAGHGDJTtqtHExu4-26ixJjrQA

Just because the majority push one way, it doesn’t mean it’s the best or most apt for everyone. As the article notes, crates weren’t always ubiquitous in America and it at least raises some important questions for thought.

Practically, we use a combination of X Pen, crate and then a “safe room” for short periods until they are old enough to have run of the house. If the pen and pee pad are working for your pup, I’d keep using that instead of a crate. For our seven month old, we used the pen and pad for about two weeks while we got her used to the confinement of a crate. We were sure to treat her every time she went potty outside to make sure that house training continued in spite of the pad. I’m currently working with our eight week old pup on getting used to the crate and as I’m going this, she just went into the crate in her own for a bit.

Even if you roll with the pen, I’d probably still condition your dog to accept the crate because most pens aren’t fixed in place and as the dog gets larger they can move them and there is possibility for injury. Use Zack George/KikoPup on YouTube to learn some great ways to teach your dog to love their crate.

Good luck and remember each dog is an individual and as long as they are learning to live with their humans successfully there are many positive training methods that work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
672 Posts
Our Ellie is almost a year and a half and she gives no problems going into the crate During the day.. but come nighttime she gives us a tough time quite often - we encouraged her when she was younger with pieces of chicken to go into the crate and also back out if the the crate .. back-and-forth back-and-forth... it really did wonders.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
4,020 Posts
I never used a crate at night but I let my pups sleep with me. But did have a safe place to secure the pup when I had to leave. If he prefers the pen and is safe there, just leave the open crate in the pen and let everyone get some sleep.

I'm not a big fan of puppy pads as it's telling the pup it's ok to pee in the house. Most people use them as a convenience and if this were going to be a 15 lb dog I get it. The last thing you want is a 60+ lb dog peeing on a pad or using your rugs as a puppy pad. Might want to take a used one outside to encourage the going outside to pee. I always take my pups out on a leash so I can see them pee and reward when they do.

Cute as these little buggers are, never encourage a behavior that won't be just as cute when they are bigger/older. Lots easier to avoid bad behavior than changing the rules of the game when they are bigger.

Most pups begin to play with the pads at some point and would hate to see your pup choke on a chewed up pad while you are not home. Usually by 4 months they start needing more activity and certainly want to provide safe toys to chew on.
Enjoy your pup, they don't stay small very long :)
 

·
Dog Trainer
Joined
·
13 Posts
Most breeders raise puppies in some form of puppy pen with some form of potty system, which is why setting up a pen in your home is typically easier during the transition phase, especially if there are pee pads there, and your puppy is using them. Yes, your puppy may decide to rip the pads to shreds at some point, which is why those little plastic trays (under $20) come in handy, because they hold the edges of the pad down. You will want to give your puppy plenty of opportunities to go outside to pee during the night, and you should try to have a schedule where the puppy never feels the need to defecate on the pads inside, because all normal bowel movements occur outside. This means you will likely have to wake up during the night to let him out. Penning has many advantages including the fact that when you need to shower or run up or down the stairs, you don't have to crate your puppy each time because they are safely confined. When you let your puppy out of the pen, you can focus on the full-time job of supervision. Your puppy can develop the ability to 'hold it' at its own pace, rather than being forced into it ahead of schedule. If you are out and your puppy has an upset tummy leading to diarrhea (which can happen multiple times during their first few months), they will poop on the pads rather than being forced to poop in their crate and then lie in it, which is the worst. Having a room with a 'toilet' enables the puppy to have a clean sleeping area, which can be a puppy-sized crate with a nice bed. In a pinch, if you have to leave your puppy alone for more than the recommended time for the age (eg 2 hours at 2 months; 3 hours at 3 months etc...), then a pen is a great way to do that. You can provide food and water, and safe chew toys, knowing that the puppy can relieve itself while you are away if it needs to. Goldens are different from lap/house dogs. Between 3 and 4 months old, they will absolutely insist that they want to go outside for all of their toileting needs, and will stop using the pee pads (providing that you take them out appropriately). They will stop using the pads during the night as well, because now they can 'hold it' from 11 to 6 a.m. or whatever the hours are. Even before that time, you can start encouraging them to accept the crate, starting with very short time-frames, like 15 minutes (or as long as it takes to finish that wonderful chew you gave them as they enter). Then you can build up the amount of time they stay in the crate so that by the time you are ready to take down the puppy pen and give the dog incrementally more freedom inside the house (at, say 4-5 months old), they absolutely love the crate.

As a trainer, I encourage people to consider using the pen to provide a smoother transition from the breeder, vs popping an 8-week old puppy in a tiny box and expecting them to love it. My own dogs all love their crates because there is always something really wonderful waiting for them inside, be it dinner, or treats and a chew, or a lovely fresh raw bone. And because I never forced it on them before they were ready to accept confinement.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
I have a nearly 5 month old boy who we've done crate training with. Not sure how old your little one is or how long you've had him. I would ask what you've done with the crate to help him see it as a positive place? He may not see it as somewhere he wants to be until you teach him that it's good to be in the crate! There are lots of pages with suggestions for crate games out there (https://www.twincitiespetrescue.org/blog/introductory-crate-training-games-dogs/ is one example I used).
I hand fed a lot of meals to him in the crate from a young age, played games to introduce him to it, and worked up to leaving him in it for longer periods. When I leave for work, he gets a frozen Kong. Basically, he knows that the crate is a place that is comfortable and good. He fusses a lot more while in the pen these days (jumping up, trying to break free by nosing the latches open, etc). Settles right down in the crate.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top