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I need some suggestions/advice...I'll take anything at this point! Here goes-We just got our second golden from a great breeder (used to be very active on this site). He is 10 months old (and super cute:)). He is somewhat of a chewer so we decided that we needed a crate for him while we are gone. We set up the crate and he ran right in! Great, this is going to be sooo easy...Well, he has managed to escape 3 times until we put these clips all over the crate. That's not my biggest problem though, we are having some serious potty issues with him and the crate. He is taken out around 7am, again at 9am and then the dog walker is here by noon. Then he is out again no later than 4pm. Also, my husband and I have staggered schedules so he may be out more than this. Today he was not alone until 11:30am and the dog walker was here by noon. Most days but 1 or 2 a week, he is not alone more than 2-3 hours. The problem is he is constantly pooping in his crate! He was in there for 30 minutes today and pooped! This is becoming a huge mess, literally!!! He goes all night long with no accidents! So I know he is somewhat potty trained, I expected accidents in a new place but this is happening everyday. He also hates his crate soooo much that he has cut his nose trying to escape (which he can't do now). I am trying to teach him that it is ok to be alone in there by leaving him in it while we are home, I give him his "crate only" bone that he loves and put him in there. When he is quiet for 5 minutes straight I let him out with tons of praise. He usually protests for a good hour. I never use it in punishment, I make a huge deal when he walks in to get a treat that I have thrown in and praise him again! Also, he is peeing in the morning (every morning) on the same blanket that the dogs lay on. This is after he has been out and eaten breakfast (about 20 minutes later?!!) I don't know what to do. I am not a new dog owner by any means and I am pretty sure that I am doing most things correct. Any suggestions?
 

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Magica Goldens
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There's a book and video called "Crate Games" by Susan Garrett...it's a great program to follow for re-introducing the crate....it takes some time (and the initial steps some good knees) - but well worth the time investment...
Erica

 

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He is 10 months, not 10 weeks, right? It sounds to me like he is suffering from some separation anxiety. If that's the case, you need to keep your leaving and coming home very low key. Practice leaving and coming right back in and then lengthen the time that you stay away. Change up your routine when you leave (have the dog walker do the same).
 

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I don't claim to be an expert, but my puppy also really hated her crate to the point where she was pooping in it every time I put her inside, usually within 20 minutes.

She couldn't even go a night in her crate, so you've got me beat there!

Anyhow, I had a professional trainer come out who assessed the situation and said that Flora just had really severe anxiety with her crate, and that was why she kept freaking out and having diarrhea every time I put her inside. I initially tried giving her delicious bones, raw bones, stuffed kongs, ANYTHING to keep her occupied while she was in her crate, but she ignored it.

I worked for HOURS desensitizing Flora to her crate. First I would put her in her crate, shut the door for a second, open, click and treat. I built it up until I was shutting the door and stepping away, and then opening it and clicking and treating before she got upset.

Anyhow, after a week or so I managed to move up to putting her in the crate and leaving her in there for 10 minutes or so before returning and opening the door. The trainer also advised me to completely ignore her for 5 minutes after letting her out of her crate.

Finally, we "graduated" to her going in her crate (usually with a stuffed kong) for about 3 hours without any complaint (or poop, thank god!)

Anyhow, bottom line is you probably need to either figure out another way of keeping your dog safe while you're gone, or work on desensitizing him to the crate. I don't crate Flora anymore (haven't since she was about 4 months) because she doesn't need it, and I knew that she was unhappy inside her crate. Maybe your dog isn't as bad of a chewer as you think?! Good luck, I know how difficult and gross this is.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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How much of a chewer is he? My goldens have never been in the crate past the time they were house broken but they weren't chewers either.

If the crate is the problem, maybe try another way. I am so sorry you and your pup are having to deal with this.

You're sure nothing is physically wrong with him?
 

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I agree with the others that it's separation anxiety (in the absence of any health issues). Brady detested his crate too and showed classic separation anxiety. Our puppy trainer suggested feeding him his meals in the crate so that he would begin to associate it with good things. This helped us a lot although I he never really came to like the crate. The desensitizing suggestions above are very good too. I will ask the same questions that others have: Are you sure he needs to be crated? I stopped crating Brady when he was around 10 months. Most people told me he was too young to be trusted, but he proved them wrong. We started leaving him for very short periods at first (maybe 15-20 minutes)...we'd just go for a short walk and go right back home. Of course at first I took special precautions to secure anything he could hurt himself with, and we set up a web cam to watch him. Whenever we put him in the crate he was spastic for over an hour. When we stopped crating him, he was relaxed and he would fall asleep on the floor or the living room couch within minutes of us leaving.
 

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We used a crate for all of one night, so I cannot give any crate use suggestions.
We did, however, use a mudroom (which had NOTHING in it-cement floor and 4 walls) as the place Brooks stayed when he had to be left home alone until he was one year old.
When he was in the house when we were home, he was taken out taken out taken out until he was reliably housetrained. He never chewed anything because NOTHING was ever on the floors or anywhere he could reach in any room he had access to (and he wasn't really a problem chewer because he never chewed table legs or anything like that) He always had access to his toys and they were given to him whenever he tried to chew on or bite our hands in play.
Hope this helped
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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It sounds to me like it might be more complicated than this suggestion would help with, but have you tried to feed him his meals in his crate?

Until about 2 months ago, Molson would pee or poop in certain areas of the house (Basement and dining room, most often), even while we were in the same room (I guess our backs were turned). Other members here suggested feeding him his meals in those spots so that he would not want to potty in the same place that he gets fed. He hasn't done it since then.

We don't crate him anymore while we are away during the day, so I can't offer any suggestions as to how to stop him from trying to chew his way out. Good luck though, and keep us posted on your progress and what you try!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks everyone for their advice-Can't remember who asked, but no he was not a "return". He was with the breeder for the full 10 months. I ordered the DVD that was suggested too. So I left him out of the crate today with no accidents or chewing! I can't believe it! Seeing how absolutely terrified he was with the crate there was no way I was going to put him in there today. His nose was a little bloody when I came home yesterday. My husband and I decided that if we had to redo the drywall and buy all new furniture after today's experiment we would... However, we do want to be able to gate him off to certain parts of the house while we are gone. With that said, he has no fear and no problem taking some time to eventually knock the gate over and go where ever he wants. We are going to work on some sound aversion training this weekend to teach him to stay away from the gate...Cross your fingers:)
 

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If he was in a pen a lot at the breeders, I wonder if he is relating the pen and the crate to the same thing.

I often wondered when my dog is being boarded at the vets or doggie camp, how does he know he is allowed to go to the bathroom in the pen? Or if they hold it as long as possible, and then nature makes the decision for him?
 

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Mom to rescue Murphy
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I can't offer much help, but you have my sympathy! Maybe he'll be fine gated into a smaller area instead...or even be reliable on his own. Murphy is a very easygoing dog, but the ONE thing he couldn't stand when we got him was a crate. We tried all the positive associations, but he got so upset--our vet said that with his "checkered past," he had "probably done some time in county." :) In any case, the crate makes him super anxious. So right now we're on the horns of a dilemma, because while he does fine if you're only gone an hour or two, on days when I go to work and am gone 5 hours, he usually finds something verboten to chew up. Sigh.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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Im sure he is afraid of the crate considering he was never in a real crate.... With that said they do adjust , it just takes time. glad to her he didnt chew your house up while out!
 
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