Is it too late to crate?

Is it too late to crate?

You ask – we answer:

Q: I have a four-month-old Carin Terrier. We made the mistake in not crate training him during the day. Is it too late for him to stop peeing his bed during the day? And, is it wise to keep a towel in his crate?

A: It is not too late to stop this behavior. It sounds like your crate is the right size. But you have to behave realistically about how long you can leave your puppy. It is unrealistic to expect him to go for a full day at four months.

Make sure he goes potty before you put him in his crate. If he is consistently having accidents in his crate you need to take the bedding out. It is also a good idea to feed him his meals in his crate. Dogs are typically clean animals and will not want to have potty accidents where they eat. Also, restrict his water intake for about 2 hours before you put him in his crate.

Q: I have a 5-month-old Labrador mix puppy (he’s actually starting puppy classes this week). How can I get him to stop attacking my 8-year-old son? I am hoping that the puppy classes will help him, and my “plan” is for my son to actually do the training, so the pup will know he is below my son in the pack. Right now the pup “thinks” he is above myself and my son, and right below my hubby. I scold, but nothing helps. HELP!

A: Start basic training with your puppy. Practice the commands with your son and start to teach the puppy to listen to you and your son. When his behavior escalates, teach him the “leave it” command and then ask him to do something productive like “sit” or “down.” Teach your puppy that every time his behavior gets out of control, he will have to perform obedience commands. When he is doing a good job at his commands, release him to play.

Manage undesired behavior by giving him something more productive to do. Exercise is a very big part of the training. Because your dog is part Lab, build his retrieving drive. Teach him to fetch by reserving tennis balls only for fetch and keeping the repetitions low to start. Your dog also needs a 40-minute walk daily. Walking your dog daily is the responsibility of every dog owner. Good luck, puppies require a lot of work and patience.

Q: I adopted a 3-year-old Shih Tzu. My existing 2-year-old Shih Tzu (both are neutered males) is afraid of the new guy in town. Will this pass? The new guy is non-aggressive and loving.

A: It sounds like your new dog is a very sweet little guy. The tension should pass. Until then, never leave new dogs together unsupervised. Accidents can happen quickly, and you don’t want either to be traumatized.

You want both dogs to view bonding as a positive experience. Bring in the second dog into the room on a leash, but don’t allow him into the original dog’s space. Keep yummy treats around during these meetings, and shower the older dog with praise when he isn’t acting fearful. Allow your older dog time to adapt without having the new guy in his space.

Keeping the new dog on a leash leaves interaction up to your old dog, allowing him to interact on his terms.

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