• What type of crate do you use and what materials does your doberman lie on.
I have used both wire crates and the plastic airline crates. The plastic airline crate is the "Furrari" line, the wire crate is from Precision Pet and is easily collapsible I got it at a garage sale for 40 dollars. It's a very large crate, bigger than what is needed for a Doberman.
• How did you train your doberman to use the crate, how long did it take?
I brought my dog home as a puppy and instantly got him used to it. He slept in there every night for quite awhile. The crate was in my bedroom but you couldn't see the bed, so for the first half of the first night I slept on the floor in front of the crate. It didn't take long at all, he only whined once (on the second night) and I never had issues getting him into the crate.
• What uses does the crate serve for you and how does your doberman see the crate? (bedroom, punishment, etc)
The crate was just a place to keep him safe and to help prevent potty accidents. For a while (before he was allowed on the bed to sleep) it served as a "bedroom" for him to sleep if he wanted to. We currently have both our crates set up in the house, the plastic Furarri one is in my room, and the wire one is in the computer room. It originally wasn't in here but we set it up because my dog had foot surgery and needed to stay off his feet for four weeks. Since I spend most of my time in here I decided it was the best place to set up the alternative crate.
• When did you stop using the crate?
Hard to say because I, for awhile, used it on and off. When he was around a year old I started letting him sleep on my bed instead of the crate but continued putting him in there when we left. After a month or so of that he had some anxiety problems and I was advised to put him back into his crate at night. I would say we've officially stopped crating him while we're away and at night since he was around a year and a half old, maybe two years. Really, I don't remember that well.
• What techniques did you use to Housebreak/potty train you doberman? (puppy pads, etc)
I strictly used a crate and prevention. He was taken outside about every 45 minutes and when I couldn't watch him I would put him into his crate. I also kept him on a leash at ALL TIMES, even in the house except if in the crate. This made it sooo much easier because he was connected to me at all times and it was easier to watch him since he couldn't get behind furniture. I also used positive reinforcement (play time) when he would potty outside. I didn't punish him for pottying in the house, if I caught him in the act I would pick him up and take him outside.
I also taught him the word "outside". Every time we passed through the doorway I would say "outside" so he would associate going outside with the word "outside", once he got that I would say "outside!" whenever I'd catch him pottying or about the potty in the house. Dunno if it helped at all though.
• How long did it take it become 100% reliable, no more mistakes.
I would say he was good from 4 or 5 months up until about 7 months, then we started "slip" on his training and he started to poo in the house. We stepped up on taking him outside more often.
He just recently had some nasty diahrrea and poo'd in the house while we were gone. I don't consider that an accident because if you *can't* hold it you can't hold it.
• How does your Doberman alert you that they need to go out.
He scratches at the door or sits and waits by the door. He'll also come up to you and stare at you while putting his paw on your knee/lap/arm.
• Do they go on different surfaces and in new locations easily? (if traveling and no grass is available)
No. Pip has never gone potty while on a day-trip. The only time he's gone potty has been on walks which started on our property when he *really* has to. He has gone on gravel and grass willingly, but only on cement twice when he really had to.