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Monday, May 5, 2008

Crate-Training a Rescue Dog

Hi Jan,
I do not know if this question has been answered in your blog before or not. If so,could you direct me to there? If not, here's the situation: A 3-4 year old beagle recently showed up on my brother's and his girlfriend's porch. It appeared to them that she had been on the run for a while and had been raised as an outdoor dog. They have adopted her, but she is not potty trained. They take her for long walks and play with her outside, all the while encouraging her to go potty, but she waits until they get back inside. I have suggested crate training but don'thave too many details about that and am not an expert, so I thought I'd ask you, who is.

Hi Lauren,
For a while, the crate should be the dog's indoor "house." The idea is to deny her access to areas of the house where she may pee or poop, so that it doesn't become a habit to her. At the same time, they'll allow her to potty ONLY outside.

If she doesn't potty when she should, they bring her back inside and re-crate her for a few minutes...then try again later. Soon enough, she'll potty outside, get that relief, get lots of praise, and start building the connection. It will take a while (weeks, months?) to get her trained to go ONLY outside. In the meantime, all they have to do is deny her the opportunity to potty anywhere but where she is supposed to.

I have several older posts here on crate-training. Check under the "Behavior & Training" section for their dates, and then scroll down till you come to them.

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