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I need an escape-proof crate!

(11 Posts)
ohheytherepony Tue 07-Mar-17 19:21:17

I got a rescue a bit over a week ago, and he's fantastic, apart from the fact that he's taken to weeing up my curtains. sad

He was in kennels for 7 months, and I completely understand that it's not the poor guy's fault, but it's horrible to come home to and it can't continue! He's done it twice now (although he's wee'd another two times on the rug) - the first time I literally caught him in the act about two hours after he'd wee'd on a walk - I gave him a tap on the butt, said 'NO!' and immediately took him on a walk, where he did a wee, which I then praised him a lot for. Tonight I have no idea when he did it as I didn't notice it when I got home, so I just cleaned it up and acted as normal with him - obviously it wasn't fair to reprimand him afterwards.

He's a three year old Staffie (neutered for four months now) and he has come on AMAZINGLY in just a week. He no longer jumps up at people, walks lovely on the lead, does a few tricks which he learnt super quickly, doesn't jump on the furniture etc. I'm really happy/proud of him and he really would be perfect now if it wasn't for this! I think it's potentially a territorial thing, as he gets plenty of loo breaks and he has also cocked his leg on me twice. hmm

He doesn't mind being in the crate when I'm here with him, but he doesn't like it when he's alone - I came back the other day and he had broken out of it. Today I didn't want to lock him in it again as I didn't want to cause a bigger issue by distressing him or him coming to harm, so I left him out. I make sure to get him to associate it with good things - I never force him in there - I ask him to get into 'bed', give him cuddles/treats once he goes in etc. and always allow him to come right back out if he tenses up/doesn't want to stay in. I repeat the bed/cuddle process until he feels happy enough for me to shut him in.

His routine is:

6:30/7am - walk for 20 mins
12:30pm - walk for 10/15 mins
5pm - walk for 30 mins
10pm - walk for 20/25 mins

And he is fed whole grain rice with veg/chicken/mince/tinned fish/oats/raw egg and plain natural yoghurt (not all at once!)

I work 8-5 but I walk home on lunch to take him for a walk.

On all of these walks he will do a proper wee and I don't come home until he's done one.

I don't want to overdo his walking ATM as he is really quite thin and I'm trying to get some weight on him.

I took a few days off work to spend time with him when I initially got him and slowly worked him up to being alone in the crate - e.g. initially leaving him in there for 5 mins, then 20 mins, then going out for an hour etc. and he seemed fine with that. He doesn't always wee when he's home alone - it's a bit of a Russian Roulette.

I think I need something completely solid (probably made by a welder) that he physically won't be able to get out of/cause himself damage with, by making a half-arsed attempt to escape. Does anyone have anything like this? The flimsy ones you get from PAH are really not suitable for strong bully types and I'm worried he's doing to damage himself when squeezing himself free.

I'd really appreciate tips/support/anyone else to chat to about this and the many onion layers of having a rescue dog! I appreciate that it's a journey but it is disheartening because I feel as though it's my fault sad

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Mar-17 19:23:29

You don't need an escape proof crate. Your dog is telling you he's not happy to be left in it. You need someone to watch him. Is he really being left for about 8 hours a day. No wonder he's weeing.

Iris65 Tue 07-Mar-17 19:30:33

wolfiefan I don't think you read the post properly.
OP I don't have any suggestions but am confident that from your description he will soon get the idea! And well done for taking on a staffie rescue 😀They are lovely dogs.

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Mar-17 19:37:09

Working 8-5 with a lunch break. Leaving the dog that long? What haven't I understood?

ohheytherepony Tue 07-Mar-17 19:40:07

Wolfie - I don't live alone so he's not alone for eight hours. He's probably alone for six, which is reasonable I feel if there's a break half way in there. I explained my circumstances to two different rescues and they were both happy, so I don't think IABU. The rest of the time he has undivided attention.

I don't think the issue is with him being left alone, it's that he was in kennels for so long, he doesn't understand that going inside isn't allowed.

ohheytherepony Tue 07-Mar-17 19:40:44

Thank you Iris smile

Staffies are wonderful

CornflakeHomunculus Tue 07-Mar-17 20:08:48

If he's breaking out of the crate then it's not safe to leave him in one as he could do himself serious damage whilst attempting to escape. Something completely solid may keep him contained but that doesn't mean he won't injure himself trying to get out of it. Do you have anything like a utility room, porch or similar where he could be left and it's not too bad to clear up after him if he does wee in there?

Punishing him when you catch him weeing inside isn't going to teach him what you want him to do, only that sometimes when he goes in front of you're angry. This can result in a dog who is scared to wee in front of you, making it more likely they'll sneak off and do it somewhere private.

This is an excellent guide to toilet training. Obviously it's geared towards puppies but it's equally applicable to older dogs who aren't fully house trained. Regular trips outside (not as frequently as puppies need, for an adult dog I'd probably do every hour), plenty of praise when he goes outside and no reprimands if he does go inside. Make sure you're cleaning up anywhere he's been inside with either a proper enzymatic cleaner or a solution of biological washing liquid/powder to break down any residual scent which may be encouraging him to go in the same place.

It may take time, especially as he needs to be left most days, but consistency will work eventually.

DDog1 was very similar, he'd been in kennels for three years when we adopted him and really struggled to get the hang of holding his bladder when we went out. We couldn't crate him either so had no option but to just deal with the cleaning and wait for him to catch on, which he did and was then perfectly reliable.

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Mar-17 20:10:58

Sorry I didn't realise you didn't live alone.
6 hours is still a very long time for a dog not used to living in a house and clearly not settled. Doesn't matter what the rescue says. He's not happy.
Putting him in a crate and having him trying to break out could end up in him getting seriously injured.

Wolfiefan Tue 07-Mar-17 20:11:31

Guide cornflake linked to is excellent and worked on our pup.

Floralnomad Tue 07-Mar-17 20:11:45

You cannot expect a dog to spend 6 hours in a cage , even with a walk in the middle , particularly as it is a very short walk , and particularly if you plan to then crate again overnight . wolfie is quite correct in that your dog is telling you he doesn't want to be in the cage so if you plan to use it you need to do a lot more training before you leave him in it . If he's been in kennels for a long time he probably needs a toilet training refresher course , so go back to basics and never tell him off for going indoors , if you catch him mid wee just grab him and run to the garden .

LadyWhoLikesLunch Tue 07-Mar-17 23:52:15

Our boxer has pen that he goes it much bigger than a crate he can have his bed and water dish in and there's space to play with toys. It also doesn't have a roof iykwim which may be what your dog is objecting to. Our dog has never escaped and it came with 8 panels so you can use as many as you need and shape to fit.

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