Eliminating in the Crate
Elimination in the crate could be due to a number of causes:
- Was the puppy crated longer than he was able to “hold it”?
- Did the puppy drink an excessive amount of water before he was crated?
- Did you take him outside and give him a chance to eliminate before he was crated?
- Is the crate too big, enabling the puppy to get away from his mess?
- Is the bedding material absorbing his mess so he is not severely inconvenienced when he urinates in the crate?
Never rule out medical problems when your pet’s habits seem to change. Some dogs and breeds are easier to crate train than others, so keep trying and do not get discouraged if there are occasional mess-ups.
Barking in the Crate
Puppies may bark when they are first put in the crate. In most cases, if you ignore the barking, the puppy will stop because he is not getting what he wants — attention. Do not allow family members to let the puppy out of the crate when he barks. If you do, you run the risk of training him to bark so he will be let out. If the barking persists over days or weeks, you can try covering the entire crate with a blanket or sheet. Try this method for a few days to see if it reduces the puppy’s barking. You can also try leaving a radio playing to mask sounds and keep the puppy company when you are away. Surprisingly, yelling “be quiet” at a barking dog may actually reinforce its barking behavior. For many dogs any type of attention is rewarding — even reprimands.
If crate training problems of any type persist and you have had the puppy’s health checked by a veterinarian, seek help from a professional dog trainer/behaviorist.