My 8-week old Golden Retriever puppy hates her crate and thinks it is a bathroom- what do I do?

We have had our puppy for 4 days now and she cries every time we put her in her crate. She stays in her crate at night and during the day while I am working my 8-hr shift but I check on her at lunch time. I take her outside every time I pull her out of the crate but she has never gone to the bathroom outside so I can’t reward her for it. Instead, she always goes inside her crate, steps on it and the whole crate ends up covered as well as puppy. We don’t dare to put any toys or bedding in with her because they will get covered. We also have stopped putting newspaper in there because she was ripping it up and eating it. She hates the crate and will not go in there. She cries and barks constantly until you take her out even if you are right next to her and talking to her or petting her through the bars she still barks. So here are my questions-
How often does a puppy need to go to the bathroom?
How can we get her to stop going in her crate and go outside?
Is there any way to make her think of her crate as a home instead of a torture chamber?
I don’t know what world you non-crate people live in but in my world I have to work and I can’t have my puppy peeing and pooping all over the house and chewing up everything I own. I live in reality and the crate is a necessary evil. I do love my puppy but I want to know she is safe when I cannot be at home.
Also, my husband only works 3 days a week and the other days he is at home with her and she can roam free under his supervision. She is only crated 2-3 days a week for 4 hours at a time. I wish I didn’t have to do this but it is necessary.
Okay, last detail I promise. Part of the problem is that I live in a state where it snows a lot and it has been like a blizzard outside since we got her. I take her outside but don’t wait more than about 5 min. hoping she will go because she starts to shiver. This would be easier if it were spring time-

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13 Responses to “My 8-week old Golden Retriever puppy hates her crate and thinks it is a bathroom- what do I do?”

  1. Daddy's Li'l Drag Queen says:

    First of all- shoving a dog in a crate and leaving them there without trying to acclimate them to it will obviously make them HATE the crate. The crate should be a HAPPY place. Feed her in the crate. Put her in the crate for brief periods with toys in there. The way you’re doing it is only making the situation worse.

    Secondly, if the dog has NEVER used the bathroom outside, then you are DEFINATELY doing things wrong, and perhaps the dog is in the crate waaaaayyyyy too long? If you take the puppy out, and she doesn’t potty outdoors, then she needs to go back into the crate for 5-10 minutes and try again. While your husband is home "supervising" her, does he not take her outside to potty? Are you letting her out in the middle of the night? Do you realize that an 8 week old puppy should only be able to hold their bladder for 2 hours- 3 AT THE MOST. This could be part of the problem while you’re at work.

    Third- how large is the crate? It should ONLY be large enough for her to stand up and turn around in. If it’s bigger than that, then it encourages her to potty in the crate.

    Lastly- if you aren’t willing to wait more than 5 minutes for your dog to potty, then you should have reconsidered the time you chose to get your dog. Puppies have a short attention span, and 5 minutes is NOT long enough. Your puppy is not the one shivering at the cold, it’s you. Your puppy will be fine for MUCH longer than 5 minutes.

  2. science chick says:

    You need to start gradually. Don’t even put her in it at first, just leave it out so she gets used to it. Then feed her near it, then in it. Then start closing her in while you are nearby, going for longer and longer periods of time. Don’t let her out when she is whining, but if she starts whining then next time roll back the time a bit.

    It is OK if you can skip steps or go quickly with them, but just feel it out before leaving her alone for a long period of time in the crate.

    http://www.inch.com/~dogs/cratetraining.html

    She should only be able to turn around and lie down. Even then, if you leave her too long she WILL have to relieve herself whether she likes it or not.

    ADD: I don’t consider the crate a "necessary evil". It isn’t evil at all done right! Evil is letting the puppy do whatever it wants and getting hurt because you weren’t there. I don’t know many people that are able to care for a puppy full time and still pay the bills. Adults are better for that situation, but it is certainlly doable even though puppies are harder..

  3. Casey C says:

    Puppies have severe separation anxiety, especially when they are in a new home. The reason your puppy doesn’t like being in her crate is because it sounds like every time you put her in the crate, you leave (either to sleep or to go to work). So when you try to put her in the crate, she thinks you are going to leave her alone, and she gets upset. She may even think she’s being punished for something.

    There’s really no way around putting her in the crate when you’re not home or can’t watch her, but when you are able to spend time with her, take her out of the crate and play with her so that she understands you’re not keeping her in there to punish her.

    Also, when you’re home, you should take a puppy outside to use the bathroom once every hour (except at night when you’re sleeping, of course). I know that sounds like a lot, but puppies have tiny bladders and bowels, and it takes a while before they are able to hold it in. They also have to get accustomed to the idea of going on grass. If a dog is used to going on newspaper or concrete or inside a crate, they will not feel comfortable going on grass, so you have to make sure you give the puppy plenty of opportunities to go outside. And stay outside with her for a while. Walk around with her and make sure that she goes before you take her back inside. If you keep taking her out and bringing her back inside without going to the bathroom, she will never understand that that’s why you’re taking her outside. If you stay out until she goes, she will eventually figure it out, and it won’t take as long for her to go.

    Good luck. New puppies are a challenge, but they are worth the effort.

  4. Nick says:

    What size is your crate? If the crate is to big the puppy will go in a corner of the crate. The crate should be just big enough for the puppy to stand up and move around a little. As the dog gets bigger upgrade the crate. I have a choclate Lab he is three now and has been put in the crate while the wife and me are at work since he was a puppy. Even when we are home he goes and lays in his crate.

  5. amyd9982 says:

    I am going through the same thing right now with my puppy. We’ve had her 3 weeks and she still hates the crate. Take her outside every 30 minutes when your home regardless if you think she needs to go or not. She will eventually go outside and when she does, praise her and maybe give a small treat. When you are going to be home, gently put her in the crate and lay with your head partway in the crate and talk soothingly to her and pet her. After a while, she will sit, then lay and before you know it, she will be quiet. It might take an hour or so but it works. After she is quiet, gently close the door. Make her stay in there for 1 minute and if she’s quiet, let her out and praise her. Also try putting a blanket over the top, sides and back of the crate so it feels like a cave to her. I hope this helps.

  6. grlsnamedangelrthebiggestbitches says:

    You are leaving that poor puppy in the crate WAY to long for one! A puppy needs to go potty every 10 mins. per month of age! You can’t leave it in the crate all day and then all night too. It’s a baby and needs way more attention than you are giving it! Set a timer and take her out every 20 mins and again right after you feed her. How crule to lock the poor baby away without toys or bedding! You work full time, you don’t need a puppy! Give it to someone who has the time for it, you obviously don’t!

  7. Kat says:

    I have a 6 month old puppy and we got him at 12 weeks and he literally needed to go pee every 15 or 20 minutes. We were taking him out all the time. We also decided a couple weeks in to get a crate and he went through the same phase of peeing inside the crate and going poop in there, we just had to keep trying to take him outside and praise him A LOT when he did go outside to pee or poop.

    It is just going to take some time, I know how hard it is cleaning the crate all the time, but she will eventually get the idea.

    In regards to the dog not liking the crate, you have to make it feel like a home to her. I only put our dog in the crate for short periods of time, but you have to get her to go in on her own. If you force her in she is going to hate it. You can get her to go in with treats or such and praise, praise, praise her once she does go in on her own.

    GOOD LUCK!

  8. snarkyredhead says:

    1- your crate is too big… if she has room to potty in it, there is too much room. your pup will not potty where she has to sleep. consider getting a crate divider.

    2- as for how often you should take her out, for a 2 month old golden, she should be taken out every 3 hours (one hour for each month of age, plus one). given that you are only taking her out every four hours, she most likely cannot hold it that long. take her out more often. i know its difficult to do so, but it must be done. her bladder is not fully developed, and she cannot hold it so long.

    there shouldnt be newspaper in there, because that just gives her something to destroy.

    3- try giving her small treats while she is inside of the crate. perhaps even try a puppy kong with treats inside.

    good luck!

  9. SB is Havin one helluva Day :( says:

    Try not leaving her in it for such long hours…
    My question is–Why did you get a puppy if your gone 8 hours a day? You should have gone with an adult dog that doesn’t need as much training and attention.
    If she is going in her crate its for one of maybe two reasons.
    A) She is being left in there too long..And her tiny little 8 week old body can’t hold it anymore
    or
    B) Her crate is too big. If a dogs crate is too big–They will use it as a potty station. Make it smaller-See if it helps. Dogs do not normally go to the bathroom in their ‘personal’ space.

    Puppies need to go to the bathroom every half hour. Or else potty training is going to be a nightmare. Also–An eight week old pup shouldn’t be going outside..IMO most have only received one step of their vaccinations–Meaning they are susceptible to picking up anything when you take them out. You should wait until the pup is fully vaccinated-_Then work on potty training outside.

    Hey i’m not judging you for getting a dog–Just saying may have been a bit wiser to go with an older dog..But whats done is done and now you have a pup to train 🙂 It’ll be hard but its not impossible. People do it everyday!

  10. Suzii says:

    Stop putting her in her crate, shes freaking out, its cruel and inhumane and I do not understand this new and inhumane way people are treating their "loving companions" now. Crates are meant for transporting in cars.
    Puppies need to go to the bathroom all the time like people, they are living human beings, start treating yours like one, or find a compassionate dog lover to give her too. Seriously someone has flat out lied to you that crating is ok, its not, now that you know it, please, love your dog.

  11. Ms. Obvious says:

    She’s being left alone too long without going out. A pup that young probably needs to go out every couple of hours. As far as hating the crate, it’s only been 4 days. She’ll need time to get used to it.

  12. Kelly W says:

    All puppies go thru this.

  13. Service Dog Handler says:

    In time she will learn that her crate is an awesome amazing place thats JUST hers. Make sure you dont leave food out for your puppy. Give her food and water, and then 15 mins later take it away, and begin to take her out. spend a LOT of time outside with her and keep taking her out (I had to do it once every 10 minutes, outside for 10 minutes for the first week, it was horrible but she got it). You are not being as diligent with this as you need too if she’s continuing to go in the cage, but no worries if you start now! Make SURE to make a HUGE HUGE deal with treats and lots of love once she goes outside (dog thinks oh boy i wanna do that again!!) and in time she will learn. This is just the pains of a new puppy thats all!

    Also, ignore her when she’s barking don’t give her attention, start to give her attention but hte second she barks turn your back and walk away and IGNORE HER, and make sure the rest of the family does too. Then approach her again one she falls sleep or calms down and start to talk calmly to her etc…, the INSTANT she barks, repeat. the above Dogs are very smart animals when they want something and she will learn, quickly too. She will learn barking gets her no attention but being a good doggy gets her love and stuff. BE diligent with this and make sure no one approaches the crate unless they are willing to do this.

    Also, 8 hours is too long for a puppy to be away by itself, even 2 four hour shifts alone. You might wanna think about a dog sitter for the first 2 weeks, its worth it to train her and have someone consistently taking her out.