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Dogs/housebreaking older miniature schnauzer


I adopted a dog that I fostered for a shelter because I was worried what type of home she would get.  I am trying to crate train her for a couple of years now.  The crate training is complicated by the fact that my dog use to be a breeder dog (is now fixed) before coming to the shelter I adopted her from. She will go in the crate.  Sometimes because of separation anxiety. Then I have to give her a bath. I do not know how to train her. I do the best I can.  What are your suggestions.  I had the vet check her and she does not have a bladder infection.  I adopted her at age 3 and she is now age 6.

Many years ago I bought a puppy (from a good breeder) whose introduction to the world was in a raised puppy pen. She had no qualms about pottying in a crate, because she had been "trained" to potty where she "lived". I eventually crate-broke her by stuffing boxes in the back of the crate so that she only had enough room in the front to stand, sit, and lie down. I'm not sure she could even turn around in there. While she became very good in a crate, she was never reliably house-broken.

You might try what I did, but after six years, I wouldn't hold too much hope. Correcting a problem of years, as opposed to weeks, makes a lot of difference.

You might try putting her in an exercise pen, with her crate with the door removed at one end, and then put papers, wee-wee pads, or whatever at the other end for her to, hopefully, potty on. At least then she will be able to move away from where she has pottied.

Also, always feed her in the crate. Dogs do not like to potty where they eat. Go outside with her when it is time to potty, and PRAISE her enthusiastically when she potties in the appropriate area. Be sure to let her out frequently... say every three hours or so.

Thumbs up on the vet check; checking for urinary problems is always the first thing one should do when a dog is having this type of problem.  


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Karen Brittan


I have been showing miniature schnauzers in conformation, obedience, and earthdog for forty years, and am a professional dog groomer. I am not a veterinarian and cannot answer questions of a veterinary nature. However, I can give my opinion or share some experiences on some health issues. Everyone should remember that this is a volunteer service, and few of us are up late into the night. Medical emergencies require a veterinary visit, or at least a telephone call... not an internet question which might not be viewed and answered until hours later. If your dog is sick or injured, it should be seen by a licensed professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.


I have taught obedience classes and have taught people how to groom for many years.

Learn more about me and my dogs:

Member of: American Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Miniature Schnauzer Club; Twin Cities Obedience Training Club; Elk River Kennel Club; Minnesota Professional Pet Groomers Association; Greater Twin Cities Earthdog Club.

Fifty-one years of living with, observing, and training dogs, along with numerous seminars during that time.

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