Fixing The Problem Of The Doberman Who Liked To Urinate In A Crate

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A Doberman Pinscher owner sent me this question:

"Dear Adam: I loved your book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" and your web site,

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They have been very helpful.

My biggest training problem right now has to do with potty training. My dog is a 5 month-old Doberman female. About 2 months ago she had a bladder infection, so she started not making it through the night. She would pee in her crate and then whine that she had to go out. We have since taken her to the vet and given her the entire dose of antibiotics and the infection is all cleared up. She makes it through the night fine now, but if we have to lock her in her crate during the day she pees in her crate.

She doesn't seem to have too much separation anxiety, although I remember reading somewhere that Dobermans are prone to this. We let her outside to do her business and then lock her up a few minutes before we leave and she is quiet during that time. When we get home she is asleep or quiet. We wait a few minutes after getting home during which she is quiet, maybe whines a little, before we let her out. The only problem is that there is a puddle of pee at the bottom of her crate. We leave a few toys for her to chew on while she is in there, but nothing else, no bedding just the plastic of the bottom of the crate. She doesn't seem to mind laying in it and we usually have to give her a bath when we get home. I'm not sure if I should punish her for this cause I know the timing is WAY off, but it's getting so frustrating I don't know what else to do.

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I should also mention that we don't have to be gone for this to happen. If she is locked up because while we are home, she does the same thing. She is generally quiet while she is in there, but after an hour or so she will whine loudly and when we get to her, there is already a puddle.

Thank you for your help. I look forward to implementing your advice.

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When you remove her from the crate after she urinates, be sure to clean the area thoroughly with an enzyme cleaner. This will break down the urine at the molecular level so its scent will be completely gone, not just covered up.

You should also limit her time in the crate to lower the chances of this happening. Only leave her confined when absolutely necessary or when she cannot be supervised. Along with this, it would be helpful to limit her water intake to a strict schedule and when she does drink, take her outside and let her relieve herself after a period of time.

Depending on the dog's condition (hot and panting versus calm and tired), water will go through their system in anywhere from 20-45 minutes. If you put her in the crate immediately after she urinates outside, she might be less inclined (and able) to use the crate as a bathroom.

About the Author: Adam G. Katz is the author of the book, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer: An Insider's Guide To The Most Jealously Guarded Dog Training Secrets In History." Get a free copy of his report "Games To Play With Your Dog" when you sign up for his free weekly dog training tips e-zine at: