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How do I help new puppy who hates kenneling/being confined and defecates every time?

asked 2018-08-22 14:01:19 -0500

We just got a new puppy last week, and have been fortunate to be home without needing to kennel her much at all. However, Friday will be the first time she's in a kennel while we are both at work. She's been in a kennel for about 20 minutes - 1.5 hours so far (with the average being about 30 minutes, once a day on four separate days), and hates it every time. She cries and barks the entire time, and has defecated every time.

We've tried making the kennel small enough for her to just turn around, as well as giving her a circular pen where she had a good amount of room and wasn't in a real kennel, and nothing has helped.

It could be some separation anxiety, but she also doesn't seem to like being confined much (I took her to the bathroom and shut her in there with me one time while I was getting ready, and she just doesn't like the door being shut. She still whined and only calmed down when I was actively distracting her with a toy, she wouldn't play with it on her own).

Help! As much as I simply don't like cleaning up messes every day or making her take that many baths, I really just hate that she is so miserable that whole time. How do I help her and stop this behavior?

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3 Answers

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answered 2018-08-22 14:40:51 -0500

A simple trick you can try is to feed the pup in the crate, pups usually won't defecate where they eat and sleep. And you need to begin crating the pup for longer periods of time before you leave for a long period of time, this is dog crating 101

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I tried feeding her there this last time and she wouldn't eat because she was crying. Should I try sitting with her and let her eat in there while she is more calm?

Kacey B.'s profile imageKacey B. ( 2018-08-22 15:16:57 -0500 )edit

Yes, that's what I would do. If you have found something that she likes to eat, play, do, use that near the crate. Positive experiences including her crate will help her see it's a good place.

Lea S., Louise P., & Rick P.'s profile imageLea S., Louise P., & Rick P. ( 2018-08-24 13:05:13 -0500 )edit
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answered 2018-08-24 09:30:32 -0500

Oh no! Tricky situation.

I would maybe start by trying to associate the crate with good things. She obviously is afraid, or anxious while in there. What you can do is some basic crate training tactics and with A LOT of persistence and patience. Keeping the door open, you're going to want to tempt her into going in there and showing her there is nothing to be afraid of. Toys, treats, cover the crate with a blanket so it is more like a den. Work on getting her to go in there slowly on her own, with lots and lots of rewards. Verbal praise, pets, whatever shows her it was good behaviour. Over time, work on her going in, and close the door but don't lock it shut. You need to show her it's her space and that it's safe for her.

I remember my rescue DID NOT WANT to go in there, and frequently peed while in the crate. We used this method and one day out of the blue after a month or so...she just walked in one day. We were amazed! PATIENCE!!! Don't get frustrated if it isn't working right away and I wish you all the best of luck!

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answered 2018-08-27 18:53:33 -0500

I'm going to 'third' the "associate the crate with good things" answer. Feeding the dog in the crate, and staying in the room while the feeding/crate time is happening has helped my dogs in the past. Also, staying calm yourself is important. I know I find it distressing to see one of my pets upset, but getting tense or upset myself just upsets them more. Stay calm and reassuring while the puppy is in the crate, and also when you leave the room.

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Agree with most of other comments. Would like to add that some dogs do better if there is a blanket on the top and over 2 or 3 sides so it is more like a cave or seems more safe to some. One of my dogs never liked it, but would go in for treats and ended up doing okay. My other dog liked it fine.

Linda S.'s profile imageLinda S. ( 2018-08-27 21:21:21 -0500 )edit

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