Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

The Giant Schnauzer is an example of working breed of dog and has a dense, coarse coat that protects them against the elements and vermin. The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three breeds.
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Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by M00se » 04 Jun 2018, 20:46

Hello,

My wife and I have recently adopted a 10 week old GS. He is a smart, energetic, and funny boy. He can nearly sleep through the night without whining to leave his crate, and without having an accident. Two issues. When we put him in his crate and leave the room/house he barks and whines, rather than settling in and is very anxious. He won’t even be in a room without one of us without barking and whining. When we crate him to leave for a couple of hours, (2 teachers on summer break, so our trips are short, max 4 hours) we come back to him with his beard SOAKED and his back legs and belly sticky. It would seem (we suspect short of him drooling so much that it appears he just dunked his face in water) that he may be having accidents in his kennel even on very short trips of about an hour. He holds it for nearly 6 hours at night in his closed crate without a peep but knows we are in the room with him, but even 1 hour in his crate and we suspect he may be having accidents and laying in it. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to calm him down so he isn’t so anxious when he sees us leaving him in the crate, and does anyone have any experience with their puppy peeing in the crate and laying in it possibly? Could he be producing so much saliva that his beard is soaked and it’s not him peeing and laying in it?


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Last edited by M00se on 05 Jun 2018, 15:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate

Post by zeta1454 » 05 Jun 2018, 06:14

It sounds as though your GS is suffering separation anxiety. As he sleeps in a crate fine overnight the issue is more likely to be him getting anxious at being left rather than a problem with the crate.
As regards the wetness, you should be able to tell if this is pee as it will be strong smelling and different in colour (yellowish) to saliva. Some dogs do drool excessively from fear so it is not impossible that is the case.
There are a number of things you could try and I am sure other Forum members will have useful suggestions too but it is likely that this will take time and patience to resolve. Basically you are going to have to start with trying to reassure him that when you leave you will return. Regularly throughout the day, go through a routine of putting him in the crate to settle down, give him a safe chew toy and leave the room. Do not go far away but wait until he stops making a noise and immediately come back and reward him. Try to do this as often as you can and gradually build up to longer periods of being left (while you are in the house) and then extend to leaving the house, again building up from very short periods to longer.

There are things you could do to try and keep him calm - Adaptil plug in diffusers work with some dogs:
https://www.adaptil.com/uk/
You could leave a filled Kong for him to chew; have background sound (soft music or certain calming ambient sounds although you may need to make sure anything you choose is calming for him particularly.

It sounds as though this is one issue rather than two since, even if he is peeing in the crate, the problem is his severe anxiety at being left. He is still young but you do need to work on this promptly as it is vital he learns that is OK to be left.
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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate

Post by Robin black mini » 05 Jun 2018, 14:30

We've had two large breed pups,not together,.. ( French mastiff and rottie)and have found containment best achieved ((on both sides )with a safety gate on the kitchen..the puppy can still be contained safely but has room to move around.I used to leave a chew item,water,and a bed..have you ever really thought about a large breed pup being crated for hours?Some dogs just don't take to crating.
Our large breed pup would be exercised ,relative to its age,and fed / pooped. etc before we left..this worked well for us.I was not working when I had the large breeds,but found each one satisfied if I had to leave for any reason with this system.
With a large breed pup I believe the size restrictions of a crate are harmful to healthy joint development....eg. if pup is crated all night and for four hour intervals in the day for me it's a negative .
In uk,I was a teacher for many years and my two small dogs were never crated,but gated in kitchen when puppies.When adult I used to run on the beach every morning ,with dogs before I left,return at lunchtime to walk them and walk again in the evenings..worked well for me,but definitely was a commitment.

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate

Post by M00se » 05 Jun 2018, 15:15

zeta1454 wrote:
05 Jun 2018, 06:14
It sounds as though your GS is suffering separation anxiety. As he sleeps in a crate fine overnight the issue is more likely to be him getting anxious at being left rather than a problem with the crate.
As regards the wetness, you should be able to tell if this is pee as it will be strong smelling and different in colour (yellowish) to saliva. Some dogs do drool excessively from fear so it is not impossible that is the case.
There are a number of things you could try and I am sure other Forum members will have useful suggestions too but it is likely that this will take time and patience to resolve. Basically you are going to have to start with trying to reassure him that when you leave you will return. Regularly throughout the day, go through a routine of putting him in the crate to settle down, give him a safe chew toy and leave the room. Do not go far away but wait until he stops making a noise and immediately come back and reward him. Try to do this as often as you can and gradually build up to longer periods of being left (while you are in the house) and then extend to leaving the house, again building up from very short periods to longer.

There are things you could do to try and keep him calm - Adaptil plug in diffusers work with some dogs:
https://www.adaptil.com/uk/
You could leave a filled Kong for him to chew; have background sound (soft music or certain calming ambient sounds although you may need to make sure anything you choose is calming for him particularly.

It sounds as though this is one issue rather than two since, even if he is peeing in the crate, the problem is his severe anxiety at being left. He is still young but you do need to work on this promptly as it is vital he learns that is OK to be left.
I agree that it appears to be the separation that is the problem. So you think if we crate him and leave the room, and let him bark and whine for probably about an hour for him to quiet down, and then come back after he quiets down and repeat that multiple times a day that may help?

Currently we have had to leave him for about 3 hours at a time twice daily for the past few days for some professional development classes. When we come back each time he is no longer barking, but as soon as we open the garage or come in the front door he starts barking and whining again.

We got him over the summer so we could be able to help with house training and to build that bond faster. I’m nervous for having to leave him when school gets back into session and we are both gone for ~9 hours (average working day).

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by zeta1454 » 05 Jun 2018, 20:57

You could try Jo's suggestion of leaving your puppy in a larger space which may cause him less anxiety if you are away for several hours but you would need to be sure the area he was confined is safe from being damaged if he became destructive (chewing furnishings / skirting boards etc) and safe for him in that there is nothing that could cause him harm if he does chew or bound about etc. Using a crate or not is difficult to be prescriptive about. For some dogs especially certain rescue dogs it may be almost impossible to do so without causing serious stress and trauma; certainly the crate needs to be appropriate in size for the size of the dog or puppy and not tooo small or restrictive for him to stretch out and move about. For many puppies and dogs though a crate can be a safe place, a den and somewhere they feel comfortable to retire to for sleep, peace and seclusion when they need this. So do consider whether your pup may feel more comfortable in a bit more space but the crate as such may not be the problem.

Puppies do need plenty of rest periods and should settle for a couple of hours alone with no problem, if they have toileted, have enjoyed some activity to tire them physically and mentally and are not suffering any health issue. Make sure that your puppy has had an hour or so of activity - training sessions (no more than five minutes at a time) repeated through the hour before you go out can really tire a puppy even more than just physical exercise and should help him to be ready for a nap while you are away.

I wonder how long you have had your puppy and whether he came to you from the breeder? Did you start short sessions of leaving him from within a few days of him coming to live with you? If he had no experience of being separated from his siblings / mother while at the breeder's home and then was with you and your wife 24/7 until you suddenly had to leave him for several hours, this may be the problem. You do need to have lots of time to bond with a new puppy or dog but you must be careful not to create a dependency that causes severe anxiety when you are not there. However, if he has always feared one or both of you going out of sight, this does sound a bit more worrying and may need professional behaviourist advice specifically for him and your situation as it does not seem to me a usual behaviour in a puppy. Have you spoken to his breeder about the issue?

It is definitely a usual thing with schnauzers or maybe all dogs that they will be very vocal when their humans come back home. One of our minis will literally scream with excitement even though she has no separation issues when we are away - they are just happy to see us back home :-)

As regards when you return to work full time, 8-9 hours is far too long to leave a dog alone every day and he will need to have a dog sitter / dog walker / or doggy day care for that time. Dogs are sociable creatures who love to be with family and will suffer if they are left alone for extended periods with no companionship, exercise or mental stimulation. Without a doubt some dogs do cope with being left for long periods on a daily basis but it will have an effect and is really not fair on canine family member, to my mind.

Do you know for sure how long he does bark/whine when you leave? If you have not already tried this, do see if you go out of the room, but remain within hearing as close as possible to the door of the room so that as soon as he stops you can go in to praise and reward him. The more often this is repeated, he should begin to associate not barking with the reward and, as you gradually increase the time you wait after he has stopped barking before going back to reward him, this should help. However, this is not a quick fix and does need patience and, if you really feel you are struggling to make any progress, I would try to find a professional behaviourist who may be able to give you advice specifically for your puppy and his anxiety.

Good luck!
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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by mikegoodson1 » 06 Jun 2018, 09:01

Hi Cameron

Please read the message above from Leigh, a knowledgebale reply and I don't want my comments to lessen what is said.

My experience is slightly different, my mini Schnauzer (so not a GS) was around 5-6 months old and if we popped out, we would leave him in his 'safe' place which was our tiled kitchen/laundry area with a child gate across the door but our neighbours told us he would cry and howl incessantly until we returned (and we were only ever out for an hour or two at most).

We resolved this by opening the gate and letting him have free run of the house. I say resolved because we didn't know if this would work but it did, I guess he wanted to protect the house OR just check we were not in another room without him (we never did this but maybe he wanted to check). Anyway, I don't think it's really that relevant for you as Oscar was house-trained by then and we knew he wouldn't chew anything. In your situation your GS is only a baby still at 10 weeks and so really, you would not want to run the risk of giving them free reign but thought I would post anyway.

Good luck.
Mike

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Violet Turner » 06 Jun 2018, 17:00

Hi, it could be SA, this schnauzer link may help - https://www.schnauzers-rule.com/separation-anxiety.html

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by M00se » 11 Jun 2018, 13:59

Thanks all for the replies! There is definitely some good tips on this thread. We recorded him while in the crate and found he barks and whines for a about 10-15 minutes and then chews his Kong or goes to sleep waking about once a hour to bark for ~3 min. At no point have we seen him stand up and pee or anything which leads me to think the cause is excessive licking. In response to the 8 - 9 hours left alone come August if I could change it I would, since we're both teachers we don't get to decide our hours. I've had German Shorthaired Pointers with my parents in the past that just sleep while we're all gone and have had no issues. We just play before and after work to get rid of excess energy. We will definitely be sending him to doggy day care most likely one day a week. We won't leave him in his kennel all day those days either, he'll have a puppy saferoom and eventually run of the house we just have to work up to that.

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Oscar 12345 » 12 Jun 2018, 12:21

"You don't get to decide your hours but you did decide to get a dog and a giant at that". Sorry but I have to say it, if you have no control over your hours why get a dog? 8-9 hours alone is totally unacceptable for any breed of dog any day of the week. Poor dog!
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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Robin black mini » 12 Jun 2018, 12:56

M00se wrote:
11 Jun 2018, 13:59
Thanks all for the replies! There is definitely some good tips on this thread. We recorded him while in the crate and found he barks and whines for a about 10-15 minutes and then chews his Kong or goes to sleep waking about once a hour to bark for ~3 min. At no point have we seen him stand up and pee or anything which leads me to think the cause is excessive licking. In response to the 8 - 9 hours left alone come August if I could change it I would, since we're both teachers we don't get to decide our hours. I've had German Shorthaired Pointers with my parents in the past that just sleep while we're all gone and have had no issues. We just play before and after work to get rid of excess energy. We will definitely be sending him to doggy day care most likely one day a week. We won't leave him in his kennel all day those days either, he'll have a puppy saferoom and eventually run of the house we just have to work up to that.
The giant schnauzer is a working breed with energy to spare..he needs direction,contact with his family group and regular outings to experience the world ..denied this ,eg shut him in a crate for eight hour intervals is cruel at best and will be a disaster for both him and your home..if he is a rescue,the best thing you could do for him is rehome him to people who know the breed's needs and will have time for him to grow in a more stimulating environment.
I was a teacherand can say your workday is never predictable...after hour commitments,detentions,staff meetings ,parent meetings and so on...how on earth can you expect a giant breed pup to happily hang out in a crate all day,until you come home to " play with him"?

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Schnauzer Sam » 12 Jun 2018, 15:47

Hi Cameron,

I have no experience of any dog other than 2 S&P mini schnauzer bitches over 15 years.

My wife and I, until recently, were both full time but last summer we took the decision for her to go part time for health reasons - made possible by a promotion and subsequent pay rise for me. We then decided to get Rosie, something we'd been wanting for 7 or 8 years but had delayed as we didn't think it would be fair on her to be left from 8.30 until 3.30 when the children would get home from school.

A mini schnauzer is such a sociable dog who just loves to be at your side (including those private bathroom moments!! We leave Rosie from 8.30 until 12.45 on her own though my in-laws pop round to have a coffee in our house and give her some attention most days. I'm last out in the morning and I make sure she's been out for a good walk before and had a play in an attempt to induce a nap :). I leave her some kibble in a puzzle toy just to keep her from getting bored and whether by design or good fortune we have not seen any destructive behaviour though we do ensure that everything tempting is out of reach as she loves to impress us with her paper shredding skills and the youngest daughter has lost one homework and was genuinely able to tell her teacher that the dog chewed it.

If my wife has to work extra (usually a day every month) then I take an early lunch and drive home and take Rosie for a walk. I accept that on an island that's only 25 square miles then that's much easier than anywhere in the UK.

That's what we did when deciding to get a dog. Clearly you have your own situation and things over which you have and have not control over. I agree with above posters that 9 hours is an awfully long time for a dog to be alone and I know I would be uncomfortable with doing that. Are there any alternatives?

Is there a day kennel near either of the schools where you work? Is that a realistic possibility? It would mean that you could walk him at lunchtime and minimise the time spent away from you and spent alone. Failing that, is there a relative or trustworthy neighbour or even a paid dog walker that would take him out for an hour just to break the monotony?





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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Oscar 12345 » 13 Jun 2018, 12:26

Sam, I waited 20 years for my first schnauzer - other dogs I had were when I lived at home with parents. I had it all planned, as soon as my husband decided to finish work I went shopping for Oscar. I bought Oscar to keep him busy - didn't want him to have nothing to do all day ;) . Worked a treat. On rare days we needed to be out for more 4 hours we dropped him off with a family member. You made me smile with your comment about schnauzers wanting to be with you even on those private toilet trips. Both my schnauzers have been like that. We get no peace. :)
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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Robin black mini » 13 Jun 2018, 12:39

Sam and Oscar..couldn't agree more...
for me ,I am at total peace when I have my dogs with me.When we are apart ,I feel there is a piece missing..if I'm driving and can't see a dogs face in my rear mirror,there is definitely something missing.
I know people have to work,but if you bring a dog into the picture there has to be a plan for them too..otherwise it's best to wait.
Cameron..perhaps a dog walker will be an option as Sam suggests?

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by M00se » 14 Jun 2018, 04:39

Hi all, once again thanks for the input! I really appreciate the suggestions and ideas that some of you are sharing. I want it to be clear that we don't plan on keeping him in a crate while we are at work. He will have a room at first full of brain challenge toys and his crate with the door open. We want to quickly work him up to having run of the house. Also upon some of the constructive suggestions we are purchasing a bulk package of doggy daycare days with the plan of him going to doggy daycare 3 days a week during the school year at a place that is highly recommended by a few of our friends who also send their dogs there. I also want to say that my wife and I are very active and look forward to working our dog to a hard tire daily even during the school year, through hiking, running, biking, pulling, etc. Also we have a family lake house out in the country on a couple of acres with access to the lake right down the hill. We know they love to swim and play in the water. We go to this lake house nearly every weekend during the school year. I do appreciate all the constructive/helpful ideas for Moose, thanks for your input.

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Re: Puppy Peeing In Crate (Separation Anxiety)

Post by Robin black mini » 15 Jun 2018, 11:23

This is a slow breed to mature..think three years..!
Your life plan for the dog sounds wonderful after 18 months...you will be a wonderful home for an adult giant...your biggest issue is going to be getting through the first year...it will be expensive to pay for dog walker or puppy daycare,but for a breed such as this will be worth every penny you spend for the long term results.
Please don't be put off by the replies..we just want the very best for the breed and you've certainly taken on the most challenging size within the breed group to start with.
I hope you stay with us and post as he grows up..we will always be here to offer support

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