Crate training gets tougher when dogs have company
Don't expect miracle crate training in weeks; it will take months
Crate training is tough. Pet training websites and books may lead you to believe that repetition and a specific location will make crate training so much easier. Generally, they’re not wrong. Not letting your dog run around the whole house and making sure to cheer when the dog poops or pees does work. However, what really matters during this time is the patience level of the owner—and being ready for the training to go backwards when four-legged guests arrive.
This past Christmas weekend was even more complicated because Chicago dealt with 3-degree temperatures. The Windy City lived up to its name, on top of the snow and the cold. While I’m a trooper and will stick to the three walks per day with my own dog, I definitely cut those walks way shorter knowing that my dog was hopping from one leg to the next and was too distracted by the cold to pee or poop. I couldn’t even be upset when my almost-two-year-old fully trained dog opted for the carpet underneath my parents’ dining room table as a pooping area. In any other weather, I would’ve been embarrassed and staring at my dog in confusion. But with an almost-frozen face going from the garage to the back door, who can blame the dog?
After that one episode, my dog stuck to her regular walking regimen, and she went outside to relieve herself during our usual walks. Meanwhile, my mother’s dog didn’t want to let any guests out of her sight. Her Shih Tzu mix chose to leap onto my childhood bed, squat down and pee right in front of my face without me realizing what she was doing. She pooped on the living room floor, the dining room floor and peed in multiple hallways. Anywhere where there was not a pad was her spot of choice. And my mother was flustered. Although her puppy is not fully crate trained, at least 50% of the time, she does release herself on the pads in multiple rooms. So what went wrong?