How to un-crate-train a puppy
March 21, 2014 6:14 AM Subscribe
~1 year old Labradoodle name of Twist. Good boy. Crate trained up to this point, house trained so long as we lock him in his crate overnight. Which is the issue.
I'd like to start weaning him off of the crate. He seems ready, he has no trouble holding it all night in the crate and it's not like he's rushing for the door in the morning; he'll happily romp around the house while we're getting breakfast etc together. But when I've tried leaving the crate door open overnight he, well, chooses not to wait until morning. Looking for strategies to let him know that that's not okay.
posted by ook to Pets & Animals (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Most of the suggestions I've found online for this boil down to "keep him with you overnight" -- but there's no problem when he's with people; it's only when he's alone. Sleeping with him in the bedroom permanently is not an option; doing it temporarily hasn't helped (he goes right back to his pooping-on-the-floor ways when we move him back downstairs.)
He always goes in the mudroom. I've tried closing off the mudroom; then he goes on the carpet elsewhere. So much for that experiment.
The point-at-it-and-say-a-firm-NO in the morning thing is, well, he is a very smart dog, and in most respects has been eager to please and remarkably easy to train, but this one's obviously not sinking in.
TL;DR: how do you teach a dog to not do something he only ever does when you're not there to teach him not to do it?
complicating factors: wife wants to just keep locking him in every night. I would really prefer not to have to have a cage in the house for the next fifteen or so years. The reason we're doing this now is because she's insisting on buying a new, even larger crate unless I can train him out of needing it soon.