Dog Training/Peeing


My 5 year old male (neutered) beagle is a few weeks new to being crate trained. We started putting him in his crate when we bought a new house because he always peed in the old house. He did great for weeks, but recently will pee 1-3 times inside his cage. He gets walked in the morning and again put outside 2 more times before we leave(peeing every time!). He is a rescue and has separation anxiety. We have tried Kong with peanut butter, etc but nothing works. He still pees! I need help! PLEASE!!

Hi Michelle,

This situation requires more information for me to have an informed opinion, but a few things come to mind.

1. Have you thoroughly cleaned out the crate using an enzymatic cleaner when your dog goes in the crate? You could also use a vinegar solution, but an enzymatic cleaner will break down the protein in the urine so that your dog will not be encouraged to eliminate again in the same place.

2. You need to treat the separation anxiety. It has probably been exacerbated by the recent move. First get a proper diagnosis from a qualified veterinarian or certified behaviorist and then work with a knowledgeable trainer or behaviorist to implement a behavior modification plan.

The plan should include behavior modification protocols such as systematic desensitization and counterconditioning to departures, and I highly recommend an Anxiety Wrap ( - not the Thundershirt - that is a knockoff and not as effective. Use the Anxiety Wrap as recommended by the manufacturer, and if there is anyone in your area familiar with the product and its proper use, have that individual guide you through the process. For example, you should start by putting the Anxiety Wrap on your dog when he is not anxious and avoid touching him after you put it on. There are videos on YouTube you can view to aid you in putting it on properly, adjusting it and taking it off.

You may also use some calming music such as the Through A Dog's Ear music ( that is specifically designed for dogs and clinically proven to be effective.

Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise, including a minimum of a once daily walk off the property, and do not leave him crated any longer than necessary. I do not recommend any longer than 2 hours maximum, and if you have to leave him that long, make sure he has had a good walk before putting him in there. Imagine how you would feel if you were enclosed in a small space and afraid and left alone.

3. See your veterinarian to rule out any medical causes for your dog's urination. He could have a urinary tract problem that is contributing to or causing his urination in the crate.

4. In addition to regular exercise, provide mental stimulation for your dog in the form of clicker training, which encourages a dog to think and will tire him mentally so he can rest better. I just started an online clicker training class 2 days ago which you could still join. It's only $25 - the cost of membership in the Musical Dog Sport Association, and runs the full month of October. For more information and to join, see this page:  Click on "Join" to join and then "Groups" to access the workshop page.

5. Remove all blankets from the crate and make sure your crate is not too large. Dogs will push blankets to the back of the crate once they have urinated on them, and a crate that is too large encourages a dog to eliminate when he needs to and just move to a different spot that is dry and clean in the crate.

Hope these tips help. Good luck -- make an appt. with your vet!


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Cindy Ludwig, M.A., R.N., KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA


My specialty is clicker training. I'm a Karen Pryor Academy graduate and Certified Training Partner (certified clicker trainer). Karen Pryor was a marine mammal trainer and one of the early proponents of force-free animal training who helped popularize clicker training in the early 90's. I also do behavior modification with dogs that have fear, anxiety and aggression. I work with service dogs and was a certified therapy dog evaluator with two other organizations before starting my own therapy dog program, the first of its kind requiring all dog candidates to be trained with force-free methods and all evaluators to demonstrate a commitment to force-free methods. I made weekly visits with my own therapy dog to a nursing center in Dubuque, Iowa for four and a half years. I have an undergraduate degree in science and am a registered nurse with a previous specialty and certification in critical care, so I can answer questions pertaining to biology, behavior and pharmacology but because I am not a licensed veterinarian I cannot legally or ethically answer questions requesting a diagnosis. I have done graduate work in animal learning and wolf ethology, and have also completed coursework in dog biology, behavior and pet nutrition at regionally accredited U.S. universities. I continue my study of applied behavior analysis with top experts in the field. For more information and to schedule a consultation or enroll in classes, see my Canine Connection website:


Prior to becoming a full time professional dog trainer in May 2009 and opening my business, Canine Connection LLC I worked part time as a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant and also volunteered at humane societies in several states over a period from 1992-2009. My previous full time occupation was in the medical profession. I have completed various continuing education programs including but not limited to the Purdue University Veterinary School Principles and Techniques of Behavior Modification course; Clicker Expo; undergraduate courses in dog biology, behavior, and pet nutrition; and graduate coursework in wolf ethology. I was a Field Representative for Paws with a Cause for 3 years and train service dogs. My Golden Retriever that accompanies me in my work as a Field Representative is a "career changed" dog from the Paws breeding program that I have clicker trained as a demonstration service dog. This same dog I trained to earn the first Dog Scout title in the State of Iowa. She and I were also members of the Badger Kennel Club Drill Team and performed with the group annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. My dog, Ginger and I provided weekly pet therapy visits to a local nursing center for the past three and a half years. I continue my education by participating in seminars and class offerings provided by such notable experts as Dr. Sophia Yin, Dr. Ray Coppinger, Michele Pouliot and others. My services include in-home private training and behavior modification, group classes and pet sitting. More information is available on my website:

Founder and owner, Canine Connection LLC; Founder, Canine Connection Positively Trained Certified Therapy Dogs; Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT); 2010 APDT Education Committee; Truly Dog-Friendly Trainer Coalition; Doggone Safe; American Kennel Club

Top Tips from Top Trainers: 1001 Practical Tips & Techniques for Successful Dog Care and Training (March 2010); The Golden View; Family Connections;; Animal info Publications; HubPages; Finding Fuzzybutt Four Blog; Petopia Newsletter, Galena, Illinois; Suite 101;;; Dubuque 365 Ink Magazine; Dubuque Telegraph Herald; Columbia Business Times; Columbia Senior Times; Columbia Missourian; Columbia Daily Tribune; Graphic Education Corporation; Belson-Hanwright; Critical Care Nurse; Journal of Emergency Nursing; Home Healthcare Nurse; Nursing; Journal of Emergency Medical Services; Shape; Houston Community College Egalitarian; Findlay College Obelisk

B.S., Science; M.A., Higher & Adult Education with graduate work in animal learning, canine biology and behavior, pet nutrition; Graduate, Karen Pryor Academy for Animal Training & Behavior; Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner; Diploma, professional nursing; licensed registered nurse (R.N.); Paramedic completion program; previously licensed paramedic in Texas and Missouri

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