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Zelda is about 10 and 1/2 months old now, and she has been completely crate trained til now! The thing is, we stopped making her sleep in her crate, and Phased her off of it while she is sleeping, and I have been using it instead as almost a potty training tool for during the day when I am @ work. Basically, we live in a 2 bedroom apt with a VERY large balcony that wraps around the corner of the building. We are on the 2nd floor of a 3 story apt, and the balcony is completely covered, with a cement floor. (we even set up a wall along the railing so her toys wouldn't fall down in the bushes).

I have been trying to train her to stay outside 4 hrs at a time, twice a day (thank god I live 2 blocks from my house).

I have been training her in this method for about 4 months now, and she has NEVER refused to get in her crate when I tell her.

The way I do it is, I will leave her out there in the morning, and when I get home, if there is no accident, I take her to the park, and she gets to stay out there for the remainder of the day. If she is bad, and there was an accident, then she goes back in her crate for the remainder of the day. I have the crate set up out there now (since she doesn't sleep in it anymore).

She is good, and holds it about 80% of the time, but once or twice a week, I will have to crate her.

My question is, is this a lost cause? Is there a way to potty train a dog on a balcony to hold it for long periods of time even though she is outdoors? And if so, then am I doing the right thing or going about this the right way? I kinda came up with this routine on my own, and I am no trainer. I left her inside gated in a hallway a few times, and she tore up her bed, and chewed up the door frame.

The reason I posted this is, today, I come home at lunch and there was poop out there. I had to go to the bank @ lunch, so I took her with me. Usually, I would get back show her the potty, and say "NO POTTY"and put her in her crate. Today, she just looked at me like I was crazy, and would not go in her crate(for the first time ever)! I had to force her in there as to not go back on my word, and then I let her out because her bed was all messed up and she looked sooooo sad. I don't want her to hate her crate, as it is a wonderful training tool, but at the same time, did I do the right thing by going back on my word letting her out after only 5 minutes? Or am I being way too hard on her expecting that she can hold it outside?

Thank you if you made it to the end, and any suggestions would be great.
 

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Well, we have a patio in our backyard area and we don't have much choice on them going there...there isn't a lot of room...so, when we set up the kennel in the garage, they just likened the garage floor with the outside patio...we decided all we could do was try to feed them earlier in the morning and give them a chance to go potty out back before we leave...but, if there is a mess in the kennel when we get home...we just figure they couldn't help it(now I am talking about a 7.5' x 13' kennel/dog run...not a crate...)

THere are lots of people on here with experience...hope someone can help you nail this one down...you sure don't want that crate to become a negative thing!
 

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I have been trying to train her to stay outside 4 hrs at a time, twice a day (thank god I live 2 blocks from my house).
I'm not a fan of leaving dogs outside unattended, so can't be much help there.

The way I do it is, I will leave her out there in the morning, and when I get home, if there is no accident, I take her to the park, and she gets to stay out there for the remainder of the day. If she is bad, and there was an accident, then she goes back in her crate for the remainder of the day.
She's not going to make the connection between pottying at some point in the morning, and going into her crate in the afternoon.  I'm not sure you'll be able to train her not to potty on the balcony unless you're there with her whenever she's loose; it's the same as housetraining, really, just a different 'house'.  

I left her inside gated in a hallway a few times, and she tore up her bed, and chewed up the door frame.
Why not crate her in the house until she's a bit older - generally at 2 years or so Boxers are mature enough to be trusted with free roam of (most of) the house, provided they aren't suffering from separation anxiety or a similar issue.
 

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First of all, I agree with Jennifer, that I am not a fan of any crating or containment unattended outside of a dog.   Just too many things in the environment that can go wrong and if someone is not there, it could be fatal.   Even a simple bee sting can be fatal to a dog (esp a short muzzled dog).   So I try to limit any risks whatsoever, and crate indoors.

The way I do it is, I will leave her out there in the morning, and when I get home, if there is not accident, I take her to the park, and she gets to stay out there for the remainder of the day. If she is bad, and there was an accident, then she goes back in her crate for the remainder of the day. I have the crate set up out there now (since she doesn't sleep in it anymore).
I think she is confused and thinks the crate as an act of "punishment" and hence that is the reasoning why she is not enjoying going into the crate.   The entire idea of  the crate it to make it their happy place.   If she has and accident, then she gets no walk, and get stuck in the crate.   I am not a certified trainer, but if you were using the crate the right way in the beginning and she was crate trained, I think she is getting confused because now its not her happy place, but her punishment for the accident.

It can be done.  Four hours is not a lot of time.  For us we both work 8+ hours a day.  We have a dog walker who comes to the house miday to walk them.  Its about 4.5 hours before and after that they are alone.   My 6 month old knows the routine and holds it.   Even in a crate, 4.5 hours then come home potty, walk or treat then back into the crate until you come home is no uncommon.   They will get used to it.    But you want to make them enjoy their crate.  

I would try to refrain from using the crate as punishment.  If she has an accident, then she has an accident.  Stick to a proper routine of reward a good behavior and a steady pattern they will learn.   My hanna took over a year to fully train, my advise, go back to basics and buy some patients, I know I sure needed it.

Good Luck.
 

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Well, Abby is now 14.5 months and we must still keep her crated during the day and even then, she still has accidents sometimes in the crate.  We have the same arrangement as HannaBanana, although our walker comes after about 5 or 6 hours...then they are back in for either 4 or 3 hours depending on how late the walker comes...Abby's accidents are always during that 2nd period rather than the first...that's why the walker comes a bit later...to try to avoid that. I have heard the same about 2 years being the point at which they can be trusted more...we have tried on several occassions to put her in Brady's play area, rather than the crate but she always back tracks and makes a mess in the area...she's just not ready for that yet.
And I agree...keep the crate as a good thing. Our babies LOVE going in their crate and play area....we reinforce this excitement by giving them a kong with peanut butter every time they have to go in...and we make that the only time they get the peanut butter...so it's a special treat reserved spceifically for that purpose...the 2nd I pull the kongs from the freezer, both go bezerk and go FLYING upstairs and into their appropriate area....maybe try something like this to keep the crate a positive thin.
 
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