Hello,
My wife and I just adopted a lab mix puppy. He is 9 weeks old, and we have had him for about 1.5 weeks. We are trying to crate train him. He does great at night! The crate is located in our bedroom, in the beginning I had to get up at 3am, 6am, etc to let him go, but now he can hold it almost through the night.
The problem is when we leave him in the crate when we are not at home. My wife stays at home, so he is only really in the crate at night. When we leave, it is only to run an errand or get some dinner, we are usually only gone 1-1.5 hours. He gets so upset when we leave, and when we come home there is a mess in the crate. We have only left him in the crate twice when we are not at home. Do you guys have any suggestions? During the day we will leave him in the backyard when running errands, but feel it is a little too cold for him at night.

Thanks,
Mark
When we leave, it is only to run an errand or get some dinner, we are usually only gone 1-1.5 hours. He gets so upset when we leave, and when we come home there is a mess in the crate.

Just for clarity - he defecates in the crate? Is he on a pretty good eating/elimination schedule?
We have only left him in the crate twice when we are not at home. Do you guys have any ... leave him in the backyard when running errands, but feel it is a little too cold for him at night.

Please don't leave a young puppy in the yard. He is easy pickings for bad guys and he can get into things he shouldn't. More info on his schedule and exactly what has happened in the crate will help.

I had a puppy who had a problem being crated when I left. There was not to be an option, so he had to acclimate. He would drool heavily. One time of Rescue Remedy seemed enough to convince him that he could be calm.
I would say your wife should leave him for at least 15 minutes each day (she doesn't really stay home ALL day, does she?). The more he is left and sees her coming back soon, the more he'll believe it for longer times too.
One thing about leaving the house - you want to leave it as much like it is when you are home - the only difference being that you aren't there.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Hi Janet,
We have him on an eating schedule, 3 times a day, once in the morning (when I get up), once at noon, and once around 6pm. We bring him out a lot. Always right before a meal, and immediately after a meal. We probably average bringing him out every 20-30mins. He does pretty good. He might have 1 or 2 accidents during the day.
The schedule would be, I wake up, take him outside to eliminate. Bring him inside, give him his meal and water. Play with him a little bit. Take him outside to eliminate. Come back inside and put him in his crate. I take a shower. After I am done, i take him out of his crate, play with him a little, bring him outside, then put him back in the crate, and I leave for work. When my wife wakes up, she takes him out of the crate, and brings him outside.

Basically, she watches the dog for the rest of the day, taking him out probably every 20-30 mins. He has his meals around noon and 6pm, going outside before and after the meal. We cut off his water at 9pm. Take him out one last time before bed, then put him in his crate. I might need to take him out early in the morning, but he has gotten better about that recently.

Yes, he has defecated in the crate. He has also urinated. He only does this when we leave him. At night, he never has accidents. Oh yeah, we also take him out to eliminate before putting him in the crate.
My wife is around him all day. She leaves him in the backyard when she goes out to run errands, or sometimes takes him with her in the car.

That is a good idea about leaving at first for only 15mins. Should she leave the house for that 15mins, or just go to another room?

Yesterday was the most current incident. I came home around 6pm, took him outside. Feed him, then took him out again. Played with him a little while, probably took him out once or twice. We went for dinner around 7pm. Took him out right before we left. Put him in his crate. The crate is in the bedroom. Turned off the main light, but left a lamp on. Turned on the TV so he could hear people talking. Left him a couple of chew toys. We turned out all of the rest of the lights, except the one in the living room. We came back around 8pm, and he was crying when we got home, and he had defecated in his crate.

Thanks for your help,
Mark
Oh yeah, we also take him out to eliminate before putting him in the crate.

That's great of course, but if it's close to when he's finished eating, it can still be a bit of an issue for an anxious dog. Are you leaving him any "soothers" in the crate with him? Is there any bedding in there?
My wife is around him all day. She leaves him in the backyard when she goes out to run errands, ... leaving at first for only 15mins. Should she leave the house for that 15mins, or just go to another room?

Leave. They know you're in the other room! he needs to get used to her coming and going at random intervals. Again, I don't think the yard is safe. In the car, he should ideally be crated as well - he will acclimate to the crate more and be safer to boot.
Yesterday was the most current incident. I came home around 6pm, took him outside. Feed him, then took him out again. Played with him a little while, probably took him out once or twice. We went for dinner around 7pm.

Probably a bit too soon after his dinner. Perhaps try feeding him at 5? I've found it a good time for a number of reasons (and it's good for your wife to be the provider for one meal as well, when he stops the midday meal in a few months).

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com
Thanks for your help Janet, we will try it out.
Thanks,
Mark
Sorry, I didn't answer some of your questions. Yes, I have a folded up moving blanket in the crate for his bed. I leave him 1 toy, he has a rope toy that he likes, and a rawhide chewer. We will try feeding him at 5pm.
Thanks again for your help,
Mark
Sorry, I didn't answer some of your questions. Yes, I have a folded up moving blanket in the crate for his bed.

take the blanket out for now. He doesn't NEED it and it just serves to absorb urine and feces (and then need to be washed!). It may or may not make a difference.

Janet B
www.bestfriendsdogobedience.com