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Eight days ago I adopted a 5 mo old male pup from a shelter. Not only was he at a shelter with 30+ dogs, he was in an open kennel with his mother and 4 siblings.

I am struggling with 2 issues and welcome any advice. First, he is having some serious separation issues. He does wonderful in the crate at night. He will either sleep the entire night through or whimper so I know he needs to go out. I have no problems with him and crate at bedtime. However, I cannot leave the house. I have tried 3 times crating him so I can run some errands, and when I get back he has had a bowel movement in the crate. He is howling and barking and is completely unsettled. I am now going to try and baby gate him in the bathroom to avoid such a mess when I have to leave. I am in and out numerous times a day for 5-10 mins at a time, but he is showing no signs of letting up.

Also, I cannot get him to have a bm in the yard. He will urinate no problem, but not bm. On the flip side, he will only bm on a walk but never urinate.

I appreciate any advice.....:confused:
 

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Betta Bomb
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Hm, seems like you have one confused puppy!

How did you acclimate him to the kennel? Is it a wire kennel or a pet taxi? Most people recommend the taxi because it feels more den-like. Also, very important is to gradually get him used to it. During the day make the kennel a positive thing for him. Leave the door open and every now and then flick a treat in there and feed him occasionaly. Dogs should pick up that if he eats there he doesn't want to poop in there! Remember he's still young.

I'm not a good candidate for training on kennels bc I only crated my 14 yr old dog for like 2 weeks before he got himself into trouble. My dog suffers from seperation anxiety, the real ordeal. A lot of people assume their dog suffers from S.A but in actuality they're just coming home to a playful, energy ridden dog who missed them. A lot of people also come home and pet their dog and get them wound up which makes them destructive with all the pent up energy and they slap on the label that their dog must have S.A..
Real Separation Anxiety is demonstrated with panting, whining, barking, (a lot of dogs do this anyway) coupled with destructive behaviors which do not stop 10 minutes after you've left. For his entire life, my dog refused to touch slices of ham or cheese while alone. He was too distressed about being alone. He would drool, not drink water, dig at pillows and bed sheets, at our old house he scratched doors and walls, he basically acts like the house is on fire and he's trapped inside. It makes him so nervous. Now he's 14 yrs old and the problem has progressed to the point that we got him a kennel and in 2 weeks he was fine. Then one day he panicked so hard trying to get out he got his mouth stuck on the door's wires. HE's still over coming the injury.

Dogs, being pack animals, require the comfort of being with members of their pack. If left alone, they become scared because they are vulnerable then to defend themselves. I'm not comparing dogs to wild dogs or wolf packs because this has been proven to be false but think about it fro dog's point of view, we are there for him all day. We feed him, water him, bathe him, play games with him, pet him, tell him how good he is... Once we leave, he has to guard the house and wait for you to return. What if you don't return?? Dogs don't know. Okay, I might be humanizing him too much and leading off topic. . .

Training is key here. Do not scold him for pooping in his kennel. Never Never make the crate a bad place!! Only lock him in when its bedtime or you're leaving for work. But by then he should know you expect him to be good from your daily training with the treats etc. When he poops outside praise him. Make him believe poop is the best thing and made your day. Make him know how thrilled you are, if need be walk somewhere where others don't... People might not understand :p Give him a treat and make him feel like a king. When he pees on a walk, act the same way. Reverse it when you're home.. My Coco will not poop in the yard in the morning or during the day because he knows there's a walk coming up. This is normal bc going back to the kennel thing, pooping in "his" space is not good etiquette. Yet, during the winter I noticed some lumps. ;) Obviously he did it when I was not looking.

Maybe contact a trainer. It's been way too long since I had a puppy (14 yrs) but I don't think his behaviour is odd for a puppy who lived in kennel. This is the first time away from mom too. Get him to some parks or trails where people bring their dogs, get him socialised so he can see how other dogs act. Good luck!! :D
 

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You just got him so I'm not surprised he has some separation anxiety. You may find that it goes away as he gets settled in. Most of my fosters act that way the first week or two.

If he'll poop on walks, walk him regularly enough that he doesn't have accidents. He should be getting frequent walks anyway.

Does he have any distractions in his crate? Try freezing some peanut butter or canned food into a Kong (or similar toy) so he has something to keep him busy. Something that he can chew on but not completely destroy would also be useful, I use antlers for that purpose. Fresh antlers can be gnawed on and worn over time but pieces don't generally break off. A large size Himalayan dog chew could also work. You don't want to give him anything that he could get a piece off of and choke.

How did you crate train him? Just sticking the dog in a crate is not crate training. You need to make it a positive experience. Feed him in the crate and give him treats when he goes in. Put bones and fun toys in there. Leave the door open while you're around, occasionally shutting it only to open it again after a few minutes.
 

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just an idea when you go out you could leave the tv or radio on for him so that there is some noise it may help with his anixety :)
 

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Another key is to socialize him better, let him meet other dogs and dog owners on the park. Also, see which things, toys or chewy bones that would entertain him..
 

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First, most puppies need stimulation to poop. When they are tiny, there mothers lick their tummies to stimulate the GI system; when they are older they either need a quick run or walk to produce bowel movements. If you just put him in the yard, don't expect him to produce a poop. Walk with him on a lead around your yard, saying "hurry poop" and when he produces the desired behavior reward him with a tiny treat and say "good poop!" He will eventually associate pooping with the outside. As an aside, we had a difficult time house training our now 10 month old Tibetan Terrier as we have an older (3.5 years) TT, Duncan, who played frenetically with her and she was so ADHDish that she would just squat and pee or poop immediately with no signs. She has only become reliable in the last month and we now consider her housebroken. Every dog is different and we need to be patient, but with consistency, they eventually get it. But it's never easy unless you are lucky.

It's critical that your pup not learn to poop in his crate. Dogs are intuitively clean about where they poop; you don't know what the issue was in the open kennel, but you might think about making a commitment of one week at home (even if you work) to acclimate your puppy to learning about the joys of a crate (especially when treats are randomly tossed into it and the door is left open) and when you need to crate him at night (when his tummy is quiet and sleepy), give him a small treat for going into his crate.

If you need to leave him for extended periods of time and need to train him for it, one suggestion is to use the week at home to build time you leave and enter and release him from the crate making no big deal about it. Increase the time interval. The MOST IMPORTANT thing is to take him out for a long walk before you crate him so that his GI tract if stimulated will produce a bowel movement and he will not poop in the crate.

Separation anxiety is more difficult. It is too soon to expect him to realize that in a strange situation that you will return and he is lonely for his sibs and mother. Your periods of separation should be brief and uneventful until he realizes you are coming back. He is still very very young and in a completely new situation. Honestly, I would have separation anxiety myself if I found myself on Mars without a map. Again, a tincture of time.

Best of luck with the new addition to your family. In several months (after the puppy teeth are gone) you will forget all the issues that came with his entry into your family.

Sue Yellen
 
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