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Discussion Starter #1
Hi. I have 2 issues that I'd love thoughts or advice on please. I believe they're probably connected.
Louie arrived two weeks ago at 8 weeks old. He's settled in really well and appears a very happy puppy enjoying running around with our kids at 100 mph etc!
He has a crate which he goes in very reluctantly at night and during the day if we pop out for an hour or so. At no time will he go in the crate voluntarily i.e. for sanctuary during the day etc.
For the first 15 nights he'd cry for a couple of minutes then settle down and be dry in the morning after 6 or 7 hours sleep. The last two mornings I've come into the kitchen to that unfortunate smell and he has pooped in the crate. He is in a rare old state and there then follows an hour or so of cleaning puppy, crate and kitchen! His toiletting is then normal during the day and he's not had diarrhoea at all.
My questions are:-
1. Any thoughts as to why suddenly this may have happened bearing in my mind there has been no change to his routine?
2. Any inspiration as to how I can make him accept the crate? I have spent ages at different times of day with a variety of treats that he clearly enjoys to entice him in and he'll just leap out as soon as the treat's been consumed!!
I do accept that some dogs never accept crates and he of course could be one of them.
Your experiences/thoughts/advice will be gratefully received
 

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Have you a safe zone he can go instead of the crate? A fenced off area like kitchen or mudroom? How is his toilet training going otherwise? To me it is a tool to keep them safe when you can't be there and it's fabulous when they come to love it, but many dogs never do. If he hasn't taken to it by now I doubt he ever will. The advantages of him being comfortable in it for travel, at the vets, groomers, immobilization etc...will actually become disadvantages should he come to loathe it.
 

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Like fairlie says if he hasn't taken to it by now chances are he probably never will, last thing you would want is for him to have a fear of it and if he's forced into it this may well happen.
Both my two never liked the crate, Sid more than Molly. Molly would only ever go in it but hated being shut in,so it seemed pointless after some time to keep it up. Sid on the other hand hated it from day one , so never used it at all.
They both have beds in the kitchen for when I'm out during the day and at night if they wish. The kitchen door is always open with a child gate because they hate to be closed in. This works for me and they're happy, so all good all round I would say.
Hope you find what's best and works for you, puppy's are hard work. More so if you have the added work of a clean up in the mornings.
 

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I agree with Fairlie, the crate is a wonderful tool and much needed throughout your pups life. Vets and groomers here use a crate. You may still be able to get Louie to accept/enjoy his little den since he has only been with you for two weeks. Is his crate covered, at least on three sides and top? Have you tried a kong with frozen treats inside. Usually by the time they have finished with their kong, they have settled quite a bit and are ready for a nap. Do you have toys you put in the crate with Louie? Especially a favorite toy?

We have a 5 month old pup and she has never had a problem with her crate. She has a crate in our family room that is not covered, she naps throughout the day in her crate but prefers just to sleep on the floor. I put her into the crate with toys and she never makes a peep. I always give her a few treats when I put her in, her treats are just her Orijen dry kibble. She sleeps in our room at night in a covered crate with her favorite stuffed dog and a couple of rubber chew toys. She has never messed in her crate and never needed to go out in the night. She goes to bed between 10 & 11 pm and sleeps until 6 or 7 am.

I know some will disagree with this but it has worked with every puppy we have ever had. We take food and water away by 8:30pm. The only exception would be a later night with a lot of play time and a thirsty little Sophie. Have you tried a pizzle? Sophie loves these and will stay busy for a long time with one. She has lost several puppy teeth and really enjoys chewing these. I would continue to try to get Louie to like the crate, it will be extremely helpful always. Good luck the fun is just beginning.
 

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We got Dexter nearly three weeks ago at 8 weeks old. He point blank refused to sleep in his crate unless it was within earshot of the bedroom. Having moved him back upstairs he sleeps happily in it at night. I'm amazed Louie has managed to go 6/7 hours without an accident so far! Dexter wakes up at least once a night and more often than not, needs to pee and poo. During the first week, he needed to go out every 2/3 hours so it's getting better but he's never gone in his crate as a result. Mind you, I don't know what could have made Louie suddenly regress in that department. I agree, is his crate covered and available all day for naps if needed? I keep a second crate in the kitchen which is rarely shut and I often put treats in there to remind him it's a great place to be. He often retires there by choice as a result. On the other hand, maybe crating just isn't for Louie - and whilst Dexter is great with potty training, he's a mouthing, biting monster twice a day!! You can't have it all!!
 

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Is he eating a little more? What time is his last feed of the day. Am wondering if you feed him a bit later then maybe he wouldn't need to poop in his crate. Just a thought. I don't use crates at all. Never found the need. Yes the groomer uses them, but my two are quite happy to go in them there. When I am out they have the run of the dining room and conservatory. It works for us. At night they go in their boxes in the utility room. :)
 

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it doesnt sound like he hates the crate since he will go in with a treat...not all dogs use them as their safe haven....neither of mine do. but they will go in when a treat is offered. I would suggest start popping him in with a treat for 5 minutes then let him out...do that a few times a day. then 10 then 15 kind of thing. my girls have also always loved their crate covered.
now for the poop. is the crate big? it might be too large for a little one and he might think ok I have room to toilet in here it's ok. take up some room with a large stuffie or a box covered in a blanket.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks so much to all for taking time and trouble to reply, it is much appreciated.
He does have toys etc in the crate which is a small size (24") and it is covered. Since posting earlier he has gone into the crate twice on his own for a minute or so (typical!), twice put in there once for just over an hour the other for 20 mins and I have fed him in there. No accidents at all. Interestingly the cover has not been on today for the first time due to the clean up this morning. I am a glass half full person so will persevere for another couple of nights. After that I'll buy a stair gate and try the lobby off the kitchen.
Thanks again, I'll keep you posted. Wish me luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forgot to say that I have tried a kong but whenever I have it hasn't been touched the next morning. I haven't heard of but will investigate a pizzle
 

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The pizzles/bully sticks make mine very very thirsty and I don't give it to them unless they have ready access to water.

If the whole crate is available to him, he will use part of the crate to toilet in. You need to block it off so that it's just big enough for him to lie on his side with legs extended. Also during the day, feed him in that small space. This will help him associated good things with the crate. And dogs usually don't go where they eat or sleep.


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Discussion Starter #11
Hi all. Quick update......NO MESS THIS MORNING!!!!:D:D:D
Only two differences to the previous 17 nights were I left a light on in a side room and changed the cover. The original one had come with the crate and covered all 4 sides with zipped openings were the doors are, and I replaced this with an old fleece throw. He's very happily and proudly emerged from his crate this morning and actually jumped back in for a brief moment after paying a toilet visit to the garden. Little steps!!
 

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Good puppy!
Well done you.
One other thing - when does he last poop? From being tiny I would always take mine out in the garden and stay out with them until they had pooped - sometime between 10pm and midnight. I was never actually out there for two hours - but sometimes I would be wandering around with a torch and a puppy for 20 odd minutes before the magic pooping moment. As they get to realise that pooping is the point of this night time ritual, the time it took for them to 'perform' got considerably less - but I always went with them to make sure they had gone.
My dogs still go for a last walk of 10 mins or so to the field at the back of our house, the habits formed as young pups persist and they all poop on this walk. As grown up dogs - even though they like to get up early for a walk, they are happy to snooze until 9 or 10am if I am away and my older son is in charge!
So - it is a good thing to make sure that your dog is empty before his bedtime.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi Marzi

Yes I too cause panic amongst the neighbours by wandering around the dimly lit back garden at a similar time to you, with a torch light trying to capture the moment he performs! I have to say that he often 'goes' during an early evening visit to the garden, so if nothing happens later I don't worry too much as I know he's had nothing else to eat. I will give it a bit longer though in case that was the problem.
Thanks very much. (No incident again this morning by the way, so hopefully the 2 earlier this week were just a blip) :D
 

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Just to add Dudley never really liked his crate as a pup, as in he would not choose to go in it himself, although he accepted being in it whenever I put him in with no fuss. We still have it as luckily it fits under our stairs, he usually sleeps on the sofa these days but very occasionally I find him in there in the mornings, recently we had friends stay with their old dog who slept upstairs with them, Dudley was crying after we went to bed, I went down to him a couple of times then the 3rd time I put him in his crate and he settled down with no more noise, so they really are handy things to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Dawn. I completely agree and intend to persevere with the crate. He's definitely showing more interest in it. I'm much happier knowing he (and the house!) are safe when we go out.
Will see what happens tonight as he has a stomach upset so don't want to confine him to the crate so have moved to a little enclosed area off the kitchen and left the door open. He seemed very pleased to have the extra space. 30 mins so far and no crying!! :D
 
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