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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Viz community ☺ I've had success crate training my wirehaired vizsla, who is 13 weeks old, but we have an issue with peeing.

She is crated at night, where she sleeps 10pm-6am with a pee break at 2am. Sleeps like a log, crate bedding is dry every morning 👍 had her 3 weeks, no accidents in the home in the last 1 week so I think toilet training is working. Has lots of toilet opportunities and lots of praise.

I bring her to work in the animal hospital where she is kennelled with the other staff dogs and inpatients for 2-3 hour chunks, with pee breaks and quick play/training in between and an hour's play and chill with us at lunch. On my day off and weekends she is crated for 2 hour naps throughout the day to maintain a routine.

Problem is she consistently pees in the crate/kennel during the day at work and home. Always on the bedding. If it's a towel or blanket she will shove this aside, if it's vetbed or a mattress she lies on top of it (presumably because the topside remains dry). I saw her peeing in the bed at the breeder's at 7 weeks old so I know this is an established habit. I read around and read that you should remove the bedding, and when I do she does not pee in the crate/kennel, and can hold it for 4 hours (I only once left her this long, she always gets a break at max 3 hours otherwise). But she objects more to a crate/kennel without bedding and takes longer to settle and spends less time sleeping.

I am torn - I worry about lack of sleep and eventually resisting kenelling/crating if she has no bedding (am I pandering/worrying too much - she is a working dog?) but also worry that if I continue to give her bedding and she continues to wee in it I will end up with an adult dog that habitually urinates in her crate, not to mention the amount of laundry 🤦‍♀️

I make sure she wees before she goes in any crate or kennel, so she never goes in with a full bladder. She is not remotely concerned about being alone in her crate, I am confident this is not anxiety-driven. I am a vet and have checked for a UTI, I am confident this is not medical. She has not to date pooped in her crate 🤞

Do I persist with no bedding and hope she adjusts to having none, or do I reinstate the bedding and hope she stops peeing on it? 😬 thanks all, pic for tax 🥰
Dog Eye Working animal Liver Ear
 

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A puppy can hold their urine longer when sleeping, than they can when awake. Just wondering if it has more to do with her being awake in the crate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A puppy can hold their urine longer when sleeping, than they can when awake. Just wondering if it has more to do with her being awake in the crate.
Yeah, I realise she is likely able to hold it longer when asleep but I know she can hold it awake. She has never urinated when there is no bedding, and she is more awake without bedding. And at >3 months old, surely 3 hours while awake is reasonable? I know she can manage this with no bedding, but give her bedding and she'll go on it after any length of time, from 30 minutes to 2 hours! That's what's so frustrating, I know she can hold it!
 

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would like to share what I did in regards to potty training.

I never used pee pads, peeing in nowhere in the flat was ever allowed. Offered no crate, no bedding ever. Just a cushion. I did not force him to be on the cushion, he sometimes lays on the carpet as he wishes.I have this dog bed now:
Brown Dog Comfort Wood Flooring


Which is once was coffee table, and now his cushion is on it. I never forced him to hold it in tho, whenever he started sniffing around I had taken him out to pee. I think, if he were to be in a crate, I would not be aware of him sniffing around to pee.

I used to count the times I, the human myself, would go for a toilet break during the day and tried parting them equally. I as a human can go for the whole night but I will maybe go to toilet 2 hours apart if i have a cup of coffee, or maybe will not go at all during the morning shift or something. The deal is, noone ever knows when to pee but the dog himself. Therefore I did not crate him at all. When he had accidents, I used to stop him mid pee and take him out. Once he decided he is going to mark around, he started to calculate when and where to pee exactly, it became his drill basically.

If he peed when i wasnt around, I was actually happy that he decided to soil my carpets instead of tormenting himself. I always think that it is my fault when accidents happen, never the dog's.

He once peed the old cushion, i made the cushion vanish. Never cleaned or gave him back. Peed objects go to doggy heaven in my home, carpets are washed with the horrible smelling carpet shampoo.

Now he is a breeze and does not pee anywhere even at the daycare where all the dogs mark around.
 

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Because it’s a established habit from when she was at the breeders, you have to do twice as much work to establish a new habit.
Yes, you know she can hold it for longer, but she is not. So you have to adjust, to where she is taken out more often. Remove the bedding if you have too.
when I foster adult dogs, that have never lived inside a home. I know they could wait hours to go potty, but they would not. So I treat them the same as a puppy, and take them out constantly to potty. They quickly figure it out, and don’t even try to potty inside. Inside dogs that were never potty trained, or harder to fix. They come around, it just takes longer.
 
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If she is only peeing on soft things in the kennel , but she also wants a comfy place to settle, I would get a bedding that she could not move or scrunch up that has a waterproof covering. When she urinates on it, the urine will get on her or she’s forced into a corner to keep away from it. Ideally the kennel is sized so that is not comfortable. She will hate how the pee gets on her and she can’t move the cushion/ bedding away. She will stop peeing on it after a few times . Eventually you can bring back a nicer non waterproof bedding surface.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If she is only peeing on soft things in the kennel , but she also wants a comfy place to settle, I would get a bedding that she could not move or scrunch up that has a waterproof covering. When she urinates on it, the urine will get on her or she’s forced into a corner to keep away from it. Ideally the kennel is sized so that is not comfortable. She will hate how the pee gets on her and she can’t move the cushion/ bedding away. She will stop peeing on it after a few times . Eventually you can bring back a nicer non waterproof bedding surface.
You really hit the nail on the head with this, just 3 days ago I bought a water-resistant padded crate mate and so far so good. I know if she tries weeing on it, it will pool and she'll find herself in it. Thanks for this, hopefully as you say one day in the future she may have normal bedding
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How did this end up?
I kept her only on waterproof beds or waterproof mattresses and she peed a few times on these and ended up laying in it. It wasn't long before she stopped doing that and hasn't done for months. I've yet to pluck up the courage to move to absorbent type soft bedding though. She's comfy on the waterproof beds.
 
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