pee pads in crate---a good idea? or not? - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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pee pads in crate---a good idea? or not?

Good afternoon y'all:

This is a long and rambling post. I would appreciate some advice. I have a 10 month old female who is new to me and she is starting to realize that pee pads are where I want her to go when we are in the house. I bought an expensive crate system (name starts with "puppeepoo") which provides a little loft bed for the dog (to lift them out of the potty area) and strong clips that hold the pad down. I searched for comments on this product on this site, but I didn't find any so far. My question is: is it really a good idea to teach a Hav to potty in their crate? The idea is that if I have a longer workday, she won't have to soil her own bed and this also reinforces the idea that the pads are her place to go.

1/3 of the large crate is for her bed, 2/3 is the area for pee and poo. When she peed on the floor outside the crate, I wiped it up and put the paper towel on the pad inside. She promptly tidied that paper towel away, hiding it under the bed. I have put her droppings there as well and she ignores them. As far as I can tell, she has never used the pad inside the crate. I have seen others comment that Havs like things tidy. If I leave shredded cheese or kibble in her crate, she'll tidy it up in a pile (not very food motivated)

In theory, this area of her crate should be the one place that she goes in the house. No more free range pee pads lying around. Should I be picking her up and putting her in the crate anytime she starts to go, even if she is going on a free range pee pad? I don't want her to get the idea that pee pads aren't right---we just got that one down! Also, the crate is big and my condo has three floors. She's probably going to need pads in other rooms and I'm not dragging that crate around! She's not a big shredder, so it is working to have them laying out unguarded.

I also bought a door bell but she is afraid of it. We've clicker trained her to jostle it, but she does the quietest possible ring and has made no connection to the fact that I ring it every time I go out.

I would appreciate your thoughts. First puppy, first havanese.

thank you!
Sheila
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 12:45 PM
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My puppy is only 5 months. When I brought him home, the breeder was using pee pads and he understood the concept. I have a UGoDog in his crate/expen. As a puppy he would run in pee and then continue whatever he was doing, and he would use it in the mornings and during the day when we were gone. At the same time, I was teaching him to use the bell (use his paw to ring the bell everytime you take him outside to do his business.) Loki has preferred outside from the first. Now, he consistently rings the bell and only uses the UGoDog if he is in the crate/expen when we aren't home or to pee first thing in the morning if I don't get there fast enough. i can't remember the last time he pooped on it. It just holds it until the walkers come or we get home. Though going out to poop is the first thing he does when I let him out of the crate in the morning. He has made up his own mind even though I would have been ok if he continued to use the UGoDog. By the way, I do keep him gated with us in the family room/kitchen so I can hear the bell, and plop him in the expen if I am going to be out of earshot for more than a few minutes. Anywhere else in the house, he is under constant supervision. Using this system, and not giving him a chance for a mistake, I haven't had to clean one up in over a month.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 12:48 PM
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I don't like crates that have a potty area in them. I would much rather see an open crate in an expen with a separate potty area. This way they learn that they sleep in their crate but potty on their pads. This way you can crate them at other locations and they won't soil it. I think multiple indoor potty areas are good with a new or young dog. You can't always expect them to make it to a single spot unless you are confining them to a small area. Maybe you could try putting your pads in a holder. You might like it better that way.



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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-25-2016, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the helpful response. I'll keep working on the bell!
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-26-2016, 05:10 PM
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I agree completely with Diane... I think teaching dogs to eliminate in their crate is an AWFUL idea. the companies that are selling those systems should be ham strung, IMO. I also think that a crate is too small an area for your puppy to be spending long periods of time in, except over night. During the day, I think it's much kinder (and better for potty training) to set a puppy or young dog up in an ex-pen with a crate, left open, as a bed in one end (or a comfy donut bed if they prefer that)) and their potty on the other end. This gives them room to move around and play a little while avoiding their potty.

Dogs that have been raised with clean potties do NOT like to pee or poop on soiled potties... you will probably have to make sure it is cleaned up at least daily. I don't like pee pads because so many dogs, Havanese in particular, destroy or even eat them. At best gross, at worst, dangerous. I MUCH prefer an enclosed system, like the UgoDog. Lots of people use pee pads in the UgoDog (as it is designed). I prefer to use pine pelleted horse bedding or wood stove pellets under the grate. They are completely biodegradable, so better for the environment than plastic backed pee pads, and also absorb any odor MUCH better.

As far as the bells are concerned, some dogs catch on to the idea right away, some need a LOT of teaching and reinforcement, and others, like my Kodi find them aversive for some reason. He is a VERY smart, VERY trainable dog. (look at all the titles on his registered name! ) But he REFUSED to touch the bells independently... EVER. I finally took them down because all they ere doing was scratching my wood work. I know they work great for some people. (usually AFTER the dog REALLY understands going outdoors to potty, but before they have developed their own signal) Kodi eventually learned to use his own voice to tell us when he needed to go out, Pixel scratches on the glass of the back door. Panda hasn't developed a signal yet, but she usually goes out when the other two do, so it is rarely an issue. I've considered putting the bells up for her, but I'd prefer for her to develop her own "portable" signal, since we travel with them so much.

Finally, when you are talking about a "longer work day", how long and how often? If it is up to 6 hours, and not very frequently, I think she'd be fine in an ex-pen set up as Diane and I have described. If it's longer than that, or if it's a regular thing, (say, a couple of days a week) it would really be much better for her if you could set up someone to come in and take her for a short walk and play with her a bit in the middle of the day. Havanese were purpose-bred as a companion breed, and long periods without human company are hard on them.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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hello and thanks for all who posted. I appreciate the candid opinions, but the tone of that last response was a bit harsh. I feel sure that the poster loves her dogs and was imagining a really awful situation that doesn't apply to me.

I am not trying to promote this commercial cage system, but it might work for me. I am leaving Izzy in a very large crate with a separate place to sleep for up to 6 hours at a time. This isn't really different than people who create a small expen space with only a bed and a place to go, in order to facilitate training. Having a two part crate at least allows me to leave her with a place to go if things get urgent, and traditional crating programs often recommend not providing water because the goal is to get them to hold it until you get back. The pads are held in place with these stainless steel clips, making it impossible for her to tear them up. The pads are changed every day and she sometimes doesn't use them. The spot is there if she needs it.

Anyone who finds their way to havaneseforum.com is aware of how special these dogs are, so it is best to assume that we are all working to the greater good in training our dogs.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 04:53 PM
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Just wanted to add a quick $0.02

I am very much opposed to the idea of keeping a pad in a crate. In the model you have specifically, the loft is just a couple inches above the pad, so there can't be much of a differentiation between the pad and where she is meant to rest. Even the Puppy Apartment crate has a divider between the two. Karen recommended an ex pen with her bed at one end and her potty system at the other. This is quite a bit more space than a crate, and there would be a few feet between her bed and the pad, making differentiation much easier. I don't know of an ex pen would be smaller than the system you have, so I'm not sure I understand why you don't think there is a difference.

It's also not fair to keep her crated that long during the day. Yes, it's a "very large" crate, but she should be able to stand up and take a nice walk in all directions if you are gone 6 hours. And when you think about it, very little of that crate is good for her to walk on. You said 2 wholes thirds is pee pad....so she has, what? 10 inches of space that isn't, if that? There is simply no room to do anything but lay and wait for your return.

Yes, we are all working in our dogs' best interest, but it is also our job to inform and gently guide those who need help in the right direction. No one knows everything, even the most informed pet owners. We were asked our opinion, so we gave it, and I do hope you consider changing your system.

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Last edited by KarMar; 10-02-2016 at 04:56 PM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 06:06 PM
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Thank you, Sophie. I find it a bit funny that someone calls me "harsh" after all the time I spend answering questions on the forum to the best of my ability.


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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 10:14 PM
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I have the set up described by Diane. Actually Karen has posted a photo of it on the forum and I copied it....an expen with an open crate for sleeping at one end and pee pads (rather than pellets, Lola's breeder trained her on pads) at the other end. A vinyl floor remnant is under the whole thing. So there's a sleep area, potty area and an area for chewing on a treat filled kong, toy or just stretching out.

This set up was a life saver during the time Lola was sick with diarrhea and vomiting. One would hope that wouldn't happen to their dog but it sure makes clean up a lot more convenient if it does. Also, at one time I had a Jack Russell that peed in her crate and it wasn't an experience I care to repeat.

So to answer the question "pee pads in a crate...a good idea or not?" I say "not".



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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2016, 11:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krandall View Post
Thank you, Sophie. I find it a bit funny that someone calls me "harsh" after all the time I spend answering questions on the forum to the best of my ability.
I for one, really appreciate the knowledge and experience that you share here, Karen! I know I'm not alone in saying this

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