Puppy Crate Training – To Crate or not to Crate?

I have a 8 wk old puppy. She is a ruining my home with pee and poop. I got a crate, but she whines and cries every time I put her in it. I then give in and leave her in the bathroom, tile floor, so I can clean up mess easier. I have to work, therefore cannot be home during day to train her outside. This puppy is loved, but was given to my son before I had a chance to consider the poor little doggie by itself all day. Please advise I really want the best for her.

Our Response

Hi and thanks for your question – we would always advise puppy crate training as the way forward mainly because it works. I know that you are not around during the day so you have to use other techniques to reduce the risk of your puppy peeing or pooping in the House.

1. Firstly your puppy is very young and is only just at the age where he should be separated from his mother and the litter – so expect some early problems.

2. Never respond to your puppy by giving in and letting her out – this is only reinforcing the negative behavior i.e. the whining – if you let her out wait until she is quiet and then let her out – this will reinforce that she has to be quiet before she is let out.

3. Don’t clean up any mess in front of your puppy – this will only reinforce that she has misbehaved and you are responding to her. Remember any form of response is reinforcement to your puppy and means she is getting attention.

4. When you are in the House this is the time to start crate training and potty training i.e. House training. Attach a leash to your puppy say ‘potty time’ and then take her outside as soon as she is about to poop say ‘poop time’ and then give her a treat and lots of praise – if she doesn’t go in the allotted time take her inside and put her in the crate – wait for 15 minutes and the take her outside again repeating the process. If you are worried about not being around during the day – ask a neighbor or friend to let her out. We would advise that you get a dog flap fitted as this will mean that your puppy can get outside at any point during the day when you are not there. Your puppy is still very young to be left alone all day.

5. Try litter box obedience training – so attach a leash to your puppy and tuck the leash (harness) so that wherever you go your puppy also goes. As soon as she is about to poop or pee then pick her up and put her in the litter box and reward and praise – this can be used when you are at work.