I recently got a 7 to 8 month old rescue, who I believe was previously abused / abandoned. He is loving towards people, but is extremely anxious when left alone. I am trying to crate train him, because I know that is often helpful for dogs that have separation issues, and it is necessary currently so that he does not damage the house. I'm home most of the time; the only time he is not with me is for a couple hours when I have to go out, or about 7 hours at night.
- If left alone for any extended amount of time (a couple hours), he pees.
- He is terrified of going in a crate. He won't go in even for all the treats in the world. I think a crate was used as a punishment for him previously.
- He even pees in the crate. Usually dogs don't want to soil themselves, but he will actually lay in his own mess (gross).
What I have tried:
- Associating the crate with positive things (lots of treats and praise). This has helped in that he is more calm while in the crate, but he continues to be terrified of going in.
- Getting a crate that fits - His crate is approximately the right size; if he pees, he can't get away from it. I plan on trying making the crate smaller with another panel.
- Frequent potty outings - When given frequent opportunities to pee outside, he seems to only go 2 to 3 times a day. He has shown that he can hold it for extended amounts of time when with me. There have been accidents, but the evidence seems to suggest the crate peeing is due to separation.
Most pressing question:
How can I have him not pee in his crate when I am gone?
Update from comments: The crate is in another room than where I sleep (thus the being separated for about 7 hours a night). My main concern with putting the crate in the bedroom is the carpet, in case accidents happen. That is something I can try though.