(Closed) Will somebody please explain crate/potty training to me?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s hard when you have such a young puppy. Is there anyway you can come home for lunch or perhaps hire someone to take the dog out during the day? Really young puppies should be going out every 1-2 hours.  And I agree with what you’ve read that allowing puppies to potty inside gives them the impression that it’s always ok. You should teach it that it can only potty outside.  From my experience, crate-training really does speed up the housebreaking process, but you still need to let the dog out very often. You just won’t have as many accidents around the house.

Post # 4
558 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Unfortunately, there is no solution – either it’s OK to potty inside, or it’s not. Puppies can’t really distinguish between when it’s OK to potty inside, and when it isn’t. It either is okay, or it’s not. Not the answer you wanted to hear, I know, but I’ve raised many a pup, and I’ve never had that work for me.

Is there any way you can take a break in the middle of the day to let your puppy out? That would be the best solution, really. Puppies can only “hold it” for every month they are old – so a 2 month old puppy can only hold it in for about 2 hours, maybe 3.

If you are going to crate train, I don’t advise leaving her in an enclosed area with her crate open. She needs to learn that the crate is a place she goes when you aren’t at home. As long as the crate is big enough, it’ll be okay – she won’t feel like you are caging her in a very confined space. As she gets older, and you trust her more, expanding her space is okay, but when they are so little, you really have to set strict boundaries.

Post # 5
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

That would be very difficult to train.  You should get them off paper as soon as possible.  Its very confusing for the dog.  Really your best bet is to get a dog walker to come in once during the day.  The whole concept of crate training is that they have a crate thats basically just big enough for them to sleep in and turn around in.   If you have a crate that is very big they will leave part of it to do their business and part to sleep in.  The idea being that they wont do their business in their sleep area.  If you have an exercise area set up with the crate in it, your dog will have plenty of room to designate part for business and part for sleeping/home.  Usually paper training is for really young puppies who are not vaccinated and shouldnt be going outside, not for older puppies who are ok to go outside.  We never used paper with our dog.  We always crated her (and still do she is over 2 years) and she rarely had accidents in the crate (liek make 5 time total the whole 2 years) for the first 6 months we had a dog walker come in the middle of the day.  Young pups just cant go for 8 hours without a walk.  I think the trick is add 1 to the amount of months old they are and thats how long they can hold it.  For instance a 3 month old pup can only hold their bladder for 4 hours.  Make sense?  Good luck!!

Post # 6
2821 posts
Sugar bee

Our dogs if they learn paper training have been very good at learning it’s only ok to potty inside on the paper.

The only difficult thing was teaching them to stop.  We used an old piece of tarp with our first dog, but then were painting the house and had tarps down on the ground in a spare room, well even at a year old, our dog pushed open the door while we were gone to go on the tarps, he must have taken notice while we were there.  But it didn’t take him too long to figure out it was no longer appropriate. 

Post # 7
3295 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i agree… i have two dogs and paper training is the worst thing you can do/ get them started on… at 8 weeks my puppies (now dogs:)) could hold it for 3-4 hours… if you could come home for lunch… or hire someone to let it out once a day… thatd be much better. you have to follow through with the crate training though… if the crate is alot larger than the pup… get a divider… leave just enough room so the puppy can lay down and turn around. when you go outside with him, take him on a leash… make sure you bring treats with you… and as he is going potty say “go potty” or something along those lines (in a happy voice) and immediately reward them with a treat “and say good boy/girl!!! (in an excited/happy voice). if you do this everytime you take him out, it wont take him long to realize that when he goes potty outside its a good thing and he gets a treat and he makes you happy 🙂 another thing to remember is when he does have an accident (and he will) dont get mad in front of him… if you catch him in the act say ‘eh’ or ‘tsk’ to get his attention… take him outside and say go potty etc etc and reward for finishing his business outside… then go back in and clean up the mess….. if you yell or get mad in front of him then he will think he has to hide what hes doing from you. Also with the crate… leaving it shut is your best option. best for the puppy and for you. he will learn it is his safe place.  to get him used to it… put treats in there and let him wander in and out. also put him in the crate at night, when you leave, and also sometimes when you are home. never ever let him out just because he is crying… it will stop. trust me. with my two girls… they know when i say go to your bed… that means its time to go in their crate… and they dont mind at all! they even go in there on their own to sleep:) sorry my post is sooo long… i just wish i would have known all this when i got my puppies.. we hired a trainer and he helped us alot! i strongly suggest enrolling your pup in some kind of puppy classes when he gets a little older! it is so good for them to be socialized around other people and dogs, and also they learn basic hand and verbal commands. good luck!!

Post # 8
218 posts
Helper bee

Dogs are den creatures. When sleeping or when left alone, they feel the most comfortable in a small space, and won’t go potty where they sleep. That’s the biggest reason for crate training.

You should get the book, The Art of Raising a Puppy. It’s written by Monks from a NY monestary, and it does a really good job of explaining how to train a puppy, how to break puppies of bad habits, and most importantly, WHY you need to do things like crate training.


Post # 9
1049 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 1998

I agree with all of the above. If you don’t intend to have her paper trained forever, you need to either come home during the day or find someone to come let her out for you at least once, preferably twice. Puppies can’t really distinguish when it’s ok to go inside and when it’s not. either it is or it isn’t. Once you teach her that it’s ok, unteaching it is going to be very difficult.

A 2 month old puppy really needs to go out every 2 hours, 3 tops and that’s really pushing it. The idea is that you let them out so much they never even have a chance to have an accident in the house. You keep them supervised 100% of the time when they’re not in the crate so you can catch any accidents that do occur. Eventually you can start pushing the time between outings back further. By the time the puppy is 6-7 months they should be able to hold it all day but before that it’s imperitive that someone comes to take them out so they don’t soil their crate. It’s very distressing to them and if it happens too often they’ll lose the clean den instinct and potty training will become even more difficult.

Post # 11
218 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2006

IF you leave a little puppy with that much room they will poo all over the place.  I was never a proponent to crate training, until I had 3 puppies at once!  It gives the dog a “den” where they can go to feel safe.  It also keeps small dogs from chewing electric cords or pulling something — like the TV — down on them while you’re gone.  My guys are older now and we still keep the crates out.  Every day at around 10 our GSD goes into her crate for a nap! In our case crate training keeps a small wrestling match from turning into a an issue where someone could get hurt by keeping the dogs seperate until they can have supervised play.

I have heard differing things on this, but I always make sure the crate is big enough for the dog to stand, turn around and lay down. Many crates come with a divider so you can “expand” the area as the dog grows, otherwise if you put a puppy in a huge kennel it defeats the purpose.    I also have small stainless steel water dishes (so they can’t get broken) where we keep water for them.  Each dog is placed in the crate with water, a dog biscuit and a “vet approved” toy, such as a Nylabone or Kong that is chew resistant and WaY too big to present a choking hazard.  Also I don’t use blankets for them until they are older as we found the dogs would chew on them and I was afraid of choking.

My aunt disagrees with this and places her dog with no toys, lots of blankets and no water for an 8 hour day.  This is what her breeder suggested.  The idea being that if you don’t give them water they won’t have to pee.  This is true, anyone who is dehydrated doesn’t have to pee usually . . .

 Before I go to work I let them out to run, usually while putting my purse, briefcase, etc in the car.  Then they “kennel up”, which is the command that I taught them.  Once in the kennel they get a small dog treat (something they eat while I’m fastening the latches).  The toy is already in the kennel and the water dish is filled while they are outside.  I allow about 15 minutes before I have to leave to get them settled.  They seem to do OK as long as they have a long run before and after being kenneled. Also I try never to leave them more than 8 hours in the kennel, so if you have a day that will run long make arragements for a dog sitter to run them.   

Post # 12
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree with others.  Do not deal with paper, its a mess and really hard.

I would suggest keeping the puppy in a small area during the day (meaning enough room to stand up, turn around, and lay down in).  If you give a puppy “play room” them that activity can lead to stimulating their bladder and they will be more likely to pee while in there. 

It really would be best if you can have someone let the puppy out during the day at least for hte first few months.

When you are home, potty training is hard but really just depends on your diligence.  Set a schedule that works for your dog and stick to it.  If you see they are having accidents every 30 minutes, then take them outside every 15 minutes.  Get on that schedule.  Make sure to leave plenty of time for exercise and feeding and the appropriate bathroom time around those things. 

Don’t expect a dog to completely pee and poop the second they wake up in the morning.  It may be after they eat and run around a bit before they really have to go. 

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