Crate Training Anxiety
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Thread: Crate Training Anxiety

  1. #1
    auggiedoggie is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultCrate Training Anxiety

    Hi, We brought home our 8 week old lab last Sat, Nov 9th. I took a week off work to be home with the pup and now I think I may have done him a disservice. Maybe spending way too much time with him, as he seems pretty attached to me. I cant leave a room without him following me. Last week while I was home, I would put the pup in his crate anywhere from 1-4 hours a day when I left the house or showered. He pitched a fit and after the first 10 minutes, pooped in his crate every time. Even after just taking him outside to potty. He would get himself so worked up with anxiety, he just pooped the crate. He would bark, howl and carry on. I made him stay in the crate, letting him out after I was done with my shower or when I returned home. He does stop after a while, but then starts the crying again. This past Saturday I had to clean the crate and bath him twice. I will be returning to work tomorrow, full time and the dog will have to be crated everyday so I suspect he will learn to like the crate and eventually stop pooping in it. I have a friend coming to let him out and play a few times a day while we are at work. Can anyone else share their experience with a dog that would poop in the crate and does it get better when he gets used to the crate? I also work from home Mondays and Fridays and he will likely not be crated those days unless I have to leave the house or shower. The only time he will be crated is Tues through Thursday while we are at work. Do you think he will adjust to the crate and stop pooping in the crate?? I'm getting as anxious over this as the dog is anxious about the crate. I Just need someone to tell me he will adjust to the crate. FYI, I do put his food in the crate and he doesn't have an issue going in it to eat or to retrieve a treat.. Occasionally if he falls asleep, I will put him in the crate. I do place a toy in the crate and he couldn't care any less about what is in the crate with him.. Had a blanket in the crate until I tired of throwing away my poop covered towels and blankets. At night, the dog sleeps in my bed.. I know... I'm a bad master. He doesn't poop/pee the bed and I cant listen to a dog for a week screaming in his cage at night, or pooping and sitting in his crap all night. I don't care if he sleeps in my bed really. At least until he starts jumping off the bed I may have an issue. I am hoping once he gets used to the crate this week, I may be able to put him in the crate at night a little easier. I just put my 12 year old lab down a month or two ago, so this isn't my first experience with a lab. I just do not remember crate training or the separation anxiety being so severe. Any words of encouragement that the crying/howling and pooping in the crate will stop would be appreciated, or if there is something else I should be doing.

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  3. #2
    BaconsMommy's Avatar
    BaconsMommy is offline Junior Member
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    My last lab pooped in his crate because we didnt regulate when he ate. We left out food because he was really good at self regulating food (weird, I know). That meant that he pooped at random times throughout the day, sometimes at night. If you dont have him on a strict feeding schedule, do it now!! We feed bacon at the same time each day, and I can predict his poops every day.

    Another problem may be that he doesnt see it as his bed. Dogs will not poop/pee in their bed. We have had bacon only 2 weeks and no crate accidents (knock on wood) so far. It is where he sleeps, so he doesnt want to mess it up.

    Also, what size is the crate?? It should only be large enough for him to stand, turn around, and lay down in. If you have a wire crate for his adult size, put in a divider to make it smaller. This will prevent him from messing the crate, cause who wants to mess in something and then sit in it??

    Bacon was a terror in the crate early on, and is now getting better. We still get howling when we leave him alone (at night the crate is at the foot of our bed), but instead of the whole time, its maybe 10 mins or so. It will get better. Be strong, be consistent, and DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE CRYING!!! IT WILL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE!!!!
    Julie & Jake, Bacon's Humans

    Bacon

    Born 09-02-13


  4. #3
    auggiedoggie is offline Junior Member
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    Hi, I do have him on a meal schedule, and he does go out to the bathroom before I put him in the crate. I agree with you that he doesn't see the crate as his house/bed, I will have to change that. I originally purchased a large crate with a divider and ended up borrowing a much smaller crate that fits his size better. I suspect I am going to have to begin placing him in the crate in the evening. Do you think it will be easier to do when he is used to being in the crate all day?

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  6. #4
    sarahg13 is offline Junior Member
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    Hello - we crated our dog and put her in at night times from the off. She cried the majority of the night for about the first 3 or so days. It was very tough not going downstairs to check - but it was definitely worth it! At aged 13mnths she now does not need to be in the crate when we leave the house (she's in a dog proof room instead) but the crate will still be in the room and she will sleep in it. Also if we go to somebody elses house we can take the crate, and she's much happier

    Have you tried playing with her in the crate? You need to make the crate I happy and safe place for the dog.
    Also our crate was in the kitchen/dining area so it was somewhere where the family would always be for a fair amount of the day - this meant that the dog didn't associate the crate with just being put away and it was in an environment she was used to.

    Maybe try put the dog in the crate without too much fuss and leave the room - wait it out for the pup to stop barking/crying and then when she's been quiet for a minute or so return and give her praise/treat.

    Keep sticking at it!

  7. #5
    auggiedoggie is offline Junior Member
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    I am actually working from home today and I really thought about what Bacons mommy said about the crate not being his home/bed. So today, about a half hour ago, I just put the pup in the crate next to my desk and he did bark for a few minutes. I gave him a chew treat and he has been sleeping the crate so nicely now.. I am so mad at myself, for the last week I have been home, I let him sit under/near my desk and sleep when I should have put him in the crate to get used to it. I have wasted so much time. I think we would have been much further along in this process had I tried this earlier.. Well, now I know. I will try to crate him this evening when I go to bed. Right after I run to walgreens for some ear plugs! Thanks for your advice!

  8. #6
    BaconsMommy's Avatar
    BaconsMommy is offline Junior Member
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    Start putting him in the crate now!! Starting him at night will be the easiest way to do it. Bacon got accustomed to being in the crate near us in less than a day. This is helping a lot with crate training in general. Good luck, and be strong!
    Julie & Jake, Bacon's Humans

    Bacon

    Born 09-02-13


  9. #7
    auggiedoggie is offline Junior Member
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    The last two nights i have had the pup in his crate next to the bed and he has adjusted wonderfully. Doesnt have a fit when I place him in the crate now. Monday night he cried off and on, but I just kept reassuring him and Tues/Wed nights he has been great. Sleeping through the night. Now my problem is he is still pooping in the crate when we leave the house during the day. He still gets so worked up and axious that he poops. Any suggestions on how to stop this, or will it just take time for him to realize that this is where he will be during the day? I do have someone stop by every two hours or so to let him outside, he is having the accident in between visits. : (

  10. #8
    BaconsMommy's Avatar
    BaconsMommy is offline Junior Member
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    The reassurance during the night may be setting you back. If he cries, let him cry. He is doing it for attention. If you reassure him, youre giving him what he wants and reinforcing a bad behavior.

    As for the pooping in the kennel, do you have him on a consistent eating schedule?? If you dont feed them at the same time every day, it is going to be hard to predict when they will poop. We feed bacon at the same time every day, and I can tell you exactly when Bacon will poop. So, try to get him on a schedule, predict his poops, and be sure to get a good poop before he goes in his kennel. Good luck!!
    Julie & Jake, Bacon's Humans

    Bacon

    Born 09-02-13


  11. #9
    auggiedoggie is offline Junior Member
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    Just an update on the crate training anxiety. Our Auggie will now go in his crate before we leave for work or leave home without too much of a fight. He's not thrilled about going in the crate during the day, he will still sometimes cry and carry on, but he doesn't act as anxious as he did the first week when we tried placing him in the crate. It was a VERY rough start, as he was anxious, barked, cried, howled and got himself so worked up he pooped in the crate every stinking time he was placed in the crate. This past week he has been going in his crate without issue. Hasn't pooped in his crate all week and I can now exhale. It was a very stressful first week. I expect there will be an accident or two in the crate, but nothing compared to cleaning poop and a poopy dog 3-4 times a day. Now we are working on his constant nipping and biting of our hands and arms. When we try to just ignore him and walk away, he runs and bites our legs. A few times, he was playing nicely with his toys. Out of nowhere, he looked up at me/or my husband, made eye contact and he charged us and started attacking... Felt vicious, even making a growling type of noise. This behavior is unacceptable. Telling him no bite doesn't work, and walking away doesn't work. We have been taking him to puppy kindergarten for training and socialization. The trainer recommended a few options, a spray bottle, grabbing the scruff of his neck or the pinch collar. We tried the pinch collar once and it did work. Stopped the biting immediately. I'm still trying to deter the behavior without the pinch collar when I can. I understand all puppies bite and nip, but his behavior seems a little aggressive to me. At times has made my hand bleed from a tiny but very forceful bite. Any suggestions on how to stop him from aggressively biting us?

  12. #10
    kaisdad's Avatar
    kaisdad is offline Senior Member
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    There are many threads here that already give lots of advise on biting. Please go through them. Also, this biting is not aggression. This is puppy behaviour pure and simple and it is your job to redirect his mouthing to appropriate objects. It takes repetition and vigilance on your part. This is a baby and it will take time for him to learn what you want of him.

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