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Robin and I were in Boca Raton finishing up a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fencing® system for a client and his Westie, Elsa.  It seemed that Elsa liked to find all the big spaces between the bottom of his wooden fence and the ground and then burrow through and visit all the neighbors.  Our underground dog fence fixed this problem very quickly without the need to do major repair work or even completely replace his current fence.  Elsa learned very quickly and soon decided that she would rather stay in the yard than try and dig under the fence.  Our client was very excited over the fact that he didn’t have to constantly watch Elsa in the back yard or go looking for her when she escaped from the back yard.  We were talking about our extensive dog training experience and our client wondered if he could ask a “dog training question” about potty training. 

invisible dog fence potty training

We always love to help our clients with whatever dog problem they may encounter and have extensive experience with dogs and potty training.  After further discussion with our client, we learned that Elsa normally would go potty in the back yard or on walks around the neighborhood.  Our client works long hours during the week and often needs to leave her in her crate.  She had no problem with the crate, but she would often potty in the crate while he was gone.

He is normally gone no longer than ten hours during the week and Elsa is three years old.  Under normal circumstances, she should not have an issue with “holding it” in her crate for ten hours.

After further discussion, we also discovered that he always left a full bowl of water in the crate for Elsa.  He also admitted that he would normally just wipe up the urine with a paper towel.  He said that many times it would have already evaporated by the time he arrived home.  We immediately focused on these two issues.

Leaving a full bowl of water down for a dog that is in an air conditioned environment is really not required.  He needed to leave enough water for Elsa so that she could remain hydrated and physically well.  He did not need to leave an overabundance of water for her.  Dogs, like people, will drink out of boredom.  We (people) normally have access to bathrooms when we drink too much liquid.  Since he left Elsa in a crate, she did not have access to an appropriate bathroom when she drank more liquid than necessary for hydration.  The only place that she could go to the bathroom was in the crate.  Guess what, that is exactly what she did!

The next thing we realized was that he was encouraging her to urinate in the crate.  Dogs have a keen sense of smell and use that sense to understand the world around them.  When Elsa went potty in the crate and he only used a paper towel to clean up the mess, the smell remained.  Elsa would smell the urine and logically associate the location of the smell with the appropriate action for that area.  His “cleaning” did not remove the smell and only encouraged Elsa to potty in the crate.

We told our client that his potty problem with Elsa could be easily solved by doing two, very simple things:

  1. Limit the amount of water he leaves in the crate when he is gone. There should only be one inch of water in the bowl.  This is all that is required for general hydration for most dogs.  We also suggested that he consult his Veterinarian to be sure that there are no unusual health issues Elsa may experience that could vary the amount of water required.
  2. Clean the crate thoroughly every day. He should take the crate outside and use a garden hose and pressure nozzle to wash the crate and the plastic floor.  Use Lavendar Fabuloso cleanser to clean everything and to leave a “lavender scent” to the crate.  Once everything is washed and cleansed, let the crate and plastic floor “air dry” outside.  This will completely remove the urine smell from the crate so it no longer has the “I am a bathroom scent”.  We also told him to get some lavender pet spray and sparingly spray Elsa with the lavender on a daily basis.  This will give Elsa and the crate the same smell.  This enhances the concept of “den” between Elsa and the crate.  Dogs do not want to urinate in their “den” and will act as an additional, natural enhancement to stopping her from pottying in the crate.

Sometimes the simple and obvious actions are the most effective.  Robin and I encourage you to ask us anything about dog training or underground dog fence training.  Please go to Dog Fence Training Help Boca Raton South Florida or call us directly at (954) 472-4724.  We have a lot more information about dog training and out of sight dog fences at Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Trainers Boca Raton South Florida.  We are very proud that we have worked with over 3,500 dogs and their families in Boca Raton and all over South Florida to deliver great behavioral dog training and underground dog fence training.  If you have a misbehaving homebody for a dog, check out our behavioral dog training programs by going to Home Dog Training Boca Raton South Florida.