Potty Training Issues

Submitted by Natalie on Wed, 04/28/2010 - 19:52

We got Jake almost two years ago, and he's been a wonderful dog except one problem. He still pees in his crate once in a while. My boyfriend and I still take turns coming home on our lunch breaks to let him out and he is never usually in his crate for more than five hours at a time. He doesn't do anything in the house when were home (1 accident three months ago, my fault.) We think he has seperation issues too. Is this normal? The vet said he might grow out of it and that this breed is just stubborn. I've never had dogs that took this long to catch on.

I wouldn't say this behavior is "normal" - Dogs typically have a strong aversion to laying in their own mess and will not usually use the bathroom in their crates. HOWEVER - its not necessarily abnormal. Has he been examined for urinary tract/bladder infection? Is the crate too large for him - leaving alot of extra space? Do you leave water in his crate while you are away? You could try putting treats in his crate or food - if he associates his crate as more of his own personal space, he may develop the aversion to pottying in it. Placing a blanket or sweatshirt with your scent on it in his crate may help him with separation anxiety - also covering his crate with a light blanket or sheet (creating a "den" like environment) - leaving about 1/4 of the front of the crate uncovered to ensure he's getting enough oxygen & doesn't get overheated. Never use the crate as a form of punishment (they need to feel as though the crate is their "safe" place) and never scold or discipline him while he's in there. Pit's are slightly "hard-headed", but they are very intelligent and also have a higher desire to please than many breeds - this is why with appropriate POSITIVE enforcement and consistency - they are very easy to train. :)
If the reason he is using the bathroom in his cage is separation anxiety - I think you are going to need to tackle that first before you will see results with the crate. Good Luck!

I would have him tested for a urinary problem first. Do you leave food or water in the crate? What is his routine? How many times a day does he go out?

Maybe a new cage? Boomer used to pee in his cage all the time and we had to completely get rid of the old one to stop him.

After his accidents in the crate what are you using to clean it up? Normal household cleaner will "kill" the smell for us humans, but he may still be smelling it and thinking he can do it again? They makke the special cleaners that break down the urine enzymes and smell at his level. My dog kept urinating in the middle of the night on my living room floor until I scrubbed the heck out of the WHOLE downstairs. No accidents since......