Crate train 7 month old puppy
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Thread: Crate train 7 month old puppy

  1. #1
    SaraSirius is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultCrate train 7 month old puppy

    Hi everybody

    I recently adopted a lab mix puppy from a shelter (a little smaller than a lab at 49 pounds now that he's 7 months old) and I would like to crate train him as he still has a few (not many - and getting better) accidents and he does chew on things occasionally. He does not have free roam of the house as it is, but I think crating him might benefit us a lot on the long run anyway. Other than the few potty accidents (NEVER # 2 - thank god), he is extremely well behaved, has learned to walk on a leash, and sit, stay, come, down, and "go to your place". He also does high-five and falls over dead when I say "bang-bang"

    What is the best way of getting him used to and comfortable with the crate? Any tips or things to do or not to do?

    Do you recommend a plastic crate or a metal crate?

    How fast do I want to proceed with giving him longer and longer time in the crate?

    What is a good schedule to keep him on? I would appreciate to hear from you what your schedule was like when your dog was his age.

    Any other advise about crate training an older puppy would be useful too.

    Thanks a lot,

    Sara and Sirius.

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  3. #2
    maloneandme's Avatar
    maloneandme is offline Senior Member
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    First read the awesome "our best advice" sticky on this forum section. i believe it has great info on crates!

    personally i have a wire crate, and I find its best, especially for the chew-prone labs!

    have you introduced him to the crate yet? is he comfortable being in there yet?


  4. #3
    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    Is the crate out yet? Or have you not started?
    I have been lucky with my fosters and haven't had any that had issues with it. I usually feed them in the crate and give treats in there (or their meal) when I leave the house and they are in there. If you have time then start with just feeding in the crate with the door open, eventually closing the door while they eat (I have never had the time to do things that properly!). See how it goes.
    Charlie (foster) and Rocky

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  6. #4
    kaytris is offline Senior Member
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    crate training a rescue may be easy or it may be an ordeal - some shelter dogs , especially, have issues with confinment. I highly recommend borrowing both types of crates before you invest in one or the other (Perhaps the rescue group/shelter will lend you one?). Alternatively, craigslist is a source of lower priced used models.

    As for retraining - start with the door/s open. feed the dog's meals in the crate. Randomly toss cookies and toys into the crate, and let him zoom in and out. Make it the best, most interesting place in your house. Does he enter willingly and enthusiastically, or is he hesitant and cautious? If the former, keep up the cookie/toy tosses, and then occasionally throw several treats, or put his dinner bowl at the back of the crate, and start closing the door for a second or two when he's eating. Work up to longer and longer intervals with the door closed, watching for any signs of stress or too much too soon.

    If he shows any fear of the crate, slow right down and take things in tiny increments. Scatter toys/treats AROUND the crate, and occasionally just inside. Never force the issue - let him set the pace, advancing only when he is comfortable with the level you are working at - that is, if he is fine eating high value treats right at the edge of the crate, move them 2 or 3 inches inside, so that he has to put his head inside. Then a little further back, so that one foot has to go in. And so on. With any fear issue, slow and steady most definitely wins the race.

  7. #5
    SaraSirius is offline Junior Member
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    So today I went out and bought a crate. As he is a little smaller than most labs I went with the 36" metal crate. I sat it up in out bedroom, where I also work from my desk all day. He went in and out of it a couple of times and is sleeping in it with the door open right now. I guess the mat that I put in there feels comfortable. He is certainly not scared of it, and has shown no problems with fear of confinement and is not really scared when we leave, just bored I think. He has a wonderful demeanor.

    I am going to leave the door open for a couple of days more, and then try closing it when he eats. For now I'm very happy that he is in there sleeping already.

    Thank you so much all three for your advice.

    I'm going to try uploading a picture of him.


  8. #6
    SaraSirius is offline Junior Member
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    So today I went out and bought a crate. As he is a little smaller than most labs I went with the 36" metal crate. I sat it up in out bedroom, where I also work from my desk all day. He went in and out of it a couple of times and is sleeping in it with the door open right now. I guess the mat that I put in there feels comfortable. He is certainly not scared of it, and has shown no problems with fear of confinement and is not really scared when we leave, just bored I think. He has a wonderful demeanor.

    I am going to leave the door open for a couple of days more, and then try closing it when he eats. For now I'm very happy that he is in there sleeping already.

    Thank you so much all three for your advice.


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