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Crate Training with Anxiety

My 2 year old whippet has separation anxiety. As soon as I leave she would have a pee accident at the door. So we started crating and going to training classes. So now she will pee in her crate, it's not immediately after I leave, but a few hours in. Alot of the time she will even lick up some of her mess. But everytime she whines and tries to get out of the crate.

She hasn't learned her lesson, sometimes she does this 4 times a week. I take her out twice before leaving for the work day. I have a walker come midday. We are on a strict schedule, And she still has these accidents. When I'm home I have tested her and she will hold it for going on 12 hours. It's tough to say she's not housebroken, because it doesn't happen when she's not left alone.

My behaviorist does not have a solution. She is on an anti-anxiety without much relief. She says theres about 50/50 chance she will outgrow this bad habit.

What do you think?

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Crate training with Anxiety
by: Anonymous

I too have a 2 yr old Whippet. When we rescued him a month ago he had not been house broken, never been in a house. In the month I introduced the crate to him as his "safe" place. I still leave the door open all day for him. I started out by leaving him in it for 10 minutes at a time. I would go outside, to wherever for 10 minutes. Then increased it by 10 minutes everyday. I didn’t want to use this as a punishment so I made it not only a safe place but a happy place for him. In the last week he’s only had 2 accidents in the house. He sleeps with me and my other Whippet. I keep a gate at the doorway in our room so he can’t wander the house at night. This last week he just started sleeping through the night but when I hear his feet hit the floor I’m up and I let him out. He’s done very well and catching on very fast. Like a puppy, we spend a lot of time going in and out and giving him lots of praise really helps.
My boy came from the track and that’s all he knew for the 2 years if his life. I picked him up on his 2nd birthday.
Be stern, but be loving and give him tons of praise when he goes potty outside.
I’m not sure if your familiar with the breed but Whippets don’t like a loud environment or a lot of commotion. They like calmness and like to be reassured. Good luck and have patience, he’ll get it.

Leaving a Dog Alone in the House
by: Anonymous

Sounds like your whippet has a negative reaction to being crated. Shutting her in for a few hours when you are out without building up the time and developing good associations for her when being crated could be the problem. However, as you have had a behaviourist visit and advise you, she should have covered this.
I accustomed my puppy very gradually to being left without using a crate and made sure he was well exercised and had had some fun and games before leaving him for longer. I only ever leave him for a few hours a couple of days a week and he has no issues with it. He isn’t a whippet but the principle is the same and from what I have absorbed from other people’s comments, it doesn’t seem to specifically be a whippet problem.
Your comment that she ‘had not learned her lesson’, makes me wonder if you are taking the right approach to training. Positive reinforcement I.e. praise and reward, along with fulfilling the exercise and play requirements of a young dog, are essential to bring the best in her. Of course I should add to this that boundaries need to be established and I personally think that teaching the word ‘NO’ and also ‘LEAVE IT’ are an essential part of training any dog.
It is easy to sound preachy and I do hope you end up solving the problem but getting any dog and then leaving them alone for a good part of the day can be difficult for a sensitive animal.
Sounds like you are doing your best though and perhaps try another behaviourist or accept that she can’t be left and find another way forward.

Intense Separation Anxiety
by: Anonymous

It sounds like your dog suffers of an unusually severe anxiety.

The only advice I can offer you is to keep working with a competent behaviorist that can evaluate the situation on location.

Hope you can solve your problems soon.

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