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I have a 2 yr old female Maltese mix. We got her as a rescue at about 6 months old. The first year or so she did pretty well, altho' I'm not sure I had her completely housebroken truly, since she did have occassional accidents in the house.

A few months ago, she began to do all of her pottying in my sons' bedroom (on their carpet). She will be outside for hours and literally hold her pee & poo until she can get into their room again. The carpet is ruined, there is no getting the smell out and will have to be replaced. We have erected a baby gate to keep her out, but then she will pee in the hallway by the door (or the boys inadvertantly let her in).

Last week I bought an all-wire crate for her and I'm trying to crate-train her, according to all the reading and videos I can find. I have been giving her treats in the crate, feeding her meals in there, and she will enter when prompted to retrieve a treat, but will not remain there for long, even snatching each kibble of food from her bowl one at a time so that she eat it outside the kennel. She is very nervous and fearful of the crate so far. I am willing to be patient and let her slowly adjust to the crate, so that she'll learn it is meant to be her safe, calm area away from the kids.

Here's my question/problem, What do I do with her meanwhile? Everything says do not force an adult to stay in a closed crate for hours. Yet it also says don't let her have unsupervised run of the house either. We have a very open house, so my options to lock her in a room (without carpet) leave the office or bathroom. I've been putting her in the office, which actually has 2 'windows' or open areas in the wall, so that I can look in and see her from the living room. But she just barks constantly. My husband sleeps during the day (as he works night shift) and I sleep at night, so either way, she is just barking all the time. I have tried keeping her in one room with us, but with 3 little kids sometimes she slips away and by the time I notice, it's too late. I can't stay in the office with the door closed all day.

Any recommendations? Sorry to be so long winded. It is getting to the point where we are actually thinking of giving her away, something I *never* thought I would say about a pet. I really don't believe in giving up on an animal, but I'm at my wit's end with this!
 

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Do you have a blanket in the wire kennel? I know all the wire kennels I have had make noise when the dog goes in them. Do you notice if she is afraid of it due to the sounds it makes? Do you have it covered so she can feel closed in? What do you do when she is barking? If you are taking her out while she is still barking she has learned how to get out. You will have to try to ignore her and only take her out once she is quiet...Praise her when she is quiet and give her lots of love. Praise everything she does that you like and ignore the things she does that you do not like, unless she is a danger to herself or the children.
 

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One thing thing that I have always done with my dogs, as puppies, is to put them in their crate at night, right next to my side of the bed. I reach down and let them lick my fingers at bedtime. This seems to comfort them. Sleeping in their humans' bedroom is very calming. The crate is associated with all this safety.

You might try this to see if it helps her like her crate. If you try it, be very calm. Put her in her crate just moments before you are ready to turn out the light and go to sleep. She may fuss, maybe even scream. Do NOT coach her, or say anything at all, nothing soothing and nothing scolding. Let her lick your fingers and your job is just to radiate calmness. Hopefully she goes to sleep within an hour. The next night there should be less fussing, and so on.

This technique has never failed for me, to create a positive association for a pup with the crate. It becomes a safe place.

Never let her out of her crate when she is fussing. Wait until she has been calm for at least a minute.
 

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Thank you for the advice! She is doing very well in her crate, very little fussing. However, she is refusing to go outside! She seems to have a bladder of steel! I put her on a schedule starting yesterday, when we got up, in regards to going out, feeding/watering, etc. So far, she has only peed once, around 3pm yesterday!!! No stools, and she usually does that daily. Guess she is trying to hold out for her usual spot (boys carpet), but it can't be healthy for her to hold it so long!

I hate to keep her in her crate all day, but I keep reading that "free time" (on leash or supervised area) is a reward for pottying outside. When she doesn't potty after 15 min outside, I put her back in the crate for another 15-20 min and try again. It's hard to do this with a baby too who is nursing every few hours lol. Very frustrating, I guess I just have to hope that she'll eventually have to let go and get the idea?!

Guessing it's similar to when a dog is "paper trained" and then has great difficulty going outdoors.
 
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