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Help, Puppy afraid of the dark????
Old 08-19-2009, 11:23 AM   #1
fibtaylo
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Help, Puppy afraid of the dark????

I know this is long to read, but we really need help!!! First a couple of pieces of the puzzle for background: Macie and Cali are trained to use a doggy door, but they used potty pads for the first few months, so they know both.

Ok here is our problem. Our Macie is 10 months old. For about the first 6 months that we had her, we kept her in a crate in our bedroom at night (Cali had her own crate). She did fine holding her potty all night. Then a couple of months ago, she started freaking out when we put her in her crate, she would growl, bark, and pant like she was going to hyperventalite. I mean she really stressed out. We never took her out when she did this, but she would wake up in the middle of the night and do this too. Her crate is plenty big enough for her, so I don't think it is that.

So, we let both of them out of their crates and let them sleep on our bed (which was always our intention once they were housebroken). She did fine for a while, but now she is peeing or pooping on the carpet in our bedroom or hallway every night. She has access to go downstairs to the doggy door, but she won't go down the stairs by herself at night. She does just fine doing this during the day and has often run out of the bedroom and out the doggy door. The other night my DH took her downstairs to the doggy door and when she got there, she put her head through the flap very carefully and looked all around the backyard and then very cautiously went out. She also won't use the puppy pads when they are on the carpet (thinks carpet is grass???? except for the upstairs bedrooms and hall, the rest of the house is tile).

I think our only option is to leave them downstairs in the family room where they are during the day while we are at work (breaks my heart), but my daughter tried that one night when I was gone and she said that Macie completely freaked out until my daughter picked her up.

Can a dog be afraid of the dark? Any suggestions on how to deal with this? Also, how do you teach a puppy that carpet is not grass, so that at least she would use the potty pads if she is afraid to go outside? Any suggestion anyone can give me would be helpful. They already spend most of their day in the familyroom while we work, I just can't stand the idea of them down there alone at night too!
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Old 08-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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Barb, it sounds like there could be lot of things going here with Macie. I am hoping others have suggestions for you too...but I will throw out a few thoughts. I think one thing is she may be experiencing separation anxiety. Was the crate at one time by your bed so she could see and hear you? and now maybe you moved it further away all of a sudden? Same thing in the family room... She may be freaking out when you go to work too but you just don't see it. If so try putting the crate back by the bed. I know our Jasper hated being on the bed when we tried get rid of his crate he left us little presents and this was dog who hadn't had an accident in 6 months or more. We gave him his crate back but left the door open so he could stretch out and we never had a problem again. We close the door to our bedroom, our boys know that it is bed time and they need to hold it.

If the Crate has not moved...has something else changed? are either you or DH coming to bed later, is your daughter still up? these little neezer can be little shepherds and not settle til everyone is where they are supposed to be. Of course you need to ignore it and let them get used to it.

As far as carpet, grass and pee pads. The best way to let them know that the bedroom and other carpeted areas are not for potty is to live, play and eat there. Feed her where she had an accident (of course be sure to clean it well with something like nature's miracle or simple solution to get rid of the scent so she is not tempted to go in the same place) sit on the floor and play with her on the carpeted areas. We made our whole house their den so they wouldn't think of going anywhere in the house.

We didn't have much luck with peepads on their own as much as an actual place that never changed. The peepads were in the garage and we taught the boys to run there from where ever they were in the house. If you put pee pads in every room it gets confusing to them. At one point both my boys refused to use their potty room and would rather hold it than go inside even though they had that option.

I don't know about the dark issue, but perhaps you should have her eyes checked. could she not be seeing well in the dark? which could also explain her freaking out in the crate.

Please keep us posted.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fibtaylo View Post
Ok here is our problem. Our Macie is 10 months old. For about the first 6 months that we had her, we kept her in a crate in our bedroom at night (Cali had her own crate). She did fine holding her potty all night. Then a couple of months ago, she started freaking out when we put her in her crate, she would growl, bark, and pant like she was going to hyperventalite. I mean she really stressed out. We never took her out when she did this, but she would wake up in the middle of the night and do this too. Her crate is plenty big enough for her, so I don't think it is that.
Barb~
That sounds EXACTLY the same as what my Copper did. At about 10 months, he just started FREAKING out when I put him in his crate. He would do the growl, bark, and panting thing too. I was worried he would hypervenitlate, so I didn't make him stay in the crate, but let him have free roam of the house. He hasn't had an accident yet. I'm guessing it's a crate issue. (see Crate Hater thread). After suggestions from folks here on the board, I'm going to slowly try getting him acclimated to his crate again with short sessions & treats. I do not like the free-roam at night deal.
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