About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?
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Thread: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

  1. #1
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    DefaultAbout to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    I have a 9week old black (Boo) who absolutely HATES his crate. He barks, whines, scratches, bangs into the sides, occasionally pees in there and even once got so upset in there he made himself throw up.
    I also have 5 month old chocolate (Gertie) who doesn't mind her crate. You say "crate" to her, and off she goes. She stays quiet even while Boo is making a ruckus. She doesn't usually sleep in there without being prompted though...she'd rather sleep on the floor or couch.
    We got Boo at about 7 weeks old and have been trying to crate train him ever since. I've read the posts, followed the rules and was pretty successful training Gertie. We play before bed, pee before bed and try to make it a positive experience.

    Did any of you ever give up on the whole crate idea and your life still turned out OK?

    My question is do I persist with the crate training? Is it possible I will have a puppy who won't sleep at night in his crate?* He sometimes will sleep in there during the day, but never more than an hour.
    I could easily put both dogs in the kitchen to sleep together at night without crates and just use the crates when we will be gone. There's not a whole lot of damage that they could do in the kitchen.
    Do you think the companion of having Gertie with Boo, out of the crate, would help Boo at night? Is he just lonely or just more persistant than I am?
    I should say that Gertie is ready to be on her own at night if she wants. She is a good girl.

    I should say that the dogs do get along GREAT! I often find them sleeping away on the couch cuddled up to each other.

    Thanks for your help.....


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  3. #2
    Chester B. Dickens is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    At only 9 wks old, I would NOT give up on the crate (you've only been at it two weeks). If there's room to pee/poop in there, it's too large. Block it off so that all Boo can do in there is turn 'round comfortably. NOT pee!

    I would make sure, though, that Boo goes in there when he's fairly tuckered out -- too tired to do much beyond flump happily to the floor of the crate and snooze away. If he's got the energy to bark, claw, whine, and scratch, he needs more of an outlet for that energy.

    Keep making the crate a happy place -- treats in there, snugglies, safe toys. It will be invaluable for potty training, as well as Boo's general safety during puppyhood.

  4. #3
    Ender's Mom's Avatar
    Ender's Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    Agreeing with Dweck here 100%

    Oh and... that siggy pictures is just TOOO CUTE!!! (I can't wait for Ender to have a little brother/sister)
    ~Lindsay

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  6. #4
    Brigettas Mom is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    I also agree with Dweck. Brigetta doesn't sleep in her crate at night anymore, but does while I'm at work during the day. When I first got her and I was crate training her, she HATED it. I made the crate smaller, I didn't put a blanket in b/c she would pee on it, but I left nylabones and a kong, etc. I gave her all of her meals and treats in the crate. She would cry at night, but I ignored her. Don't give up. Good luck!

    Teresa, mom to Brigetta and Prudence

  7. #5
    Fallriver's Avatar
    Fallriver is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultCrate Games

    In its most succinct definition, crate training is simply getting a dog used to a crate and, preferably, so that the dog enjoys being in the crate.
    Here are some games to help your puppy really love his crate!

    NOTE: Once you start this process, dog must not leave crate for any reason until you get to the end.

    GOAL: Dog must sit near the back of the crate whenever you start to open the door.
    1. Crack the door and feed at the top back of the crate. Repeat 5x (some dogs need more).
    Details:
    1. Dog in (preferably) wire crate.
    2. Kneel in front of crate with goodie in hand opposite the door's hinges.
    3. Using arm closest to hinges, open door just wide enough to shove your goodie hand in to the upper back of the crate. Allow the dog to take goodie. Remove arm and close door. (No verbal cues or praise at any time.)
    4. Take hand off door. Wait about 5 seconds.


    NOTE: Dog must not be able to leave crate or even get a nose outside door at any time; if dog attempts to do so, immediately and calmly close door (don't slam it on his nose).

    NOTE: Dog might already be thinking about sitting in the back when you put hand on door.
    2. Open door halfway; hesitate for *half a second*. If dog doesn't try to get out, reach in, feed; close door. Repeat about 5x.
    Details:
    1. Repeat until dog is waiting inside rather than lunging towards door.

    3. Open door all the way, wait a second or two, feed in back, close door. Repeat about 5x.
    Details:
    1. Keep hand on door when it's open. Now you can start feeding thru the top instead of putting your arm in).


    NOTE: By now, dog might be sitting as soon as you touch door. If not, try waiting, wiggling handle a bit, waiting. Feeding in back towards top should be forcing the dog into a sit.
    4. Start adding distractions. Feed quickly after each success.
    Details:
    1. Stand up. If dog doesn't move, feed, close door. Open door. Wait. feed. Pick up leash. Feed. Close door. (In other words, start stringing a couple of distractions together, but reward after each one.) Drop a goodie outside the crate. If dog stays put, pick it up and feed it to him in the back.

    5. When you get to where you can put the dog's leash on and stand up and dog doesn't move, open door, stand on leash, give release word to let dog out of crate, wait for him to go back into crate, praise profusely.
    Details:
    1. Stand on side of open door facing the door (so that you and the open door form a channel back into the crate). Stand on the leash so there's just enough slack for the dog to get out of the crate.
    2. Give your chosen release work (e.g., "Break"). If dog doesn't come out of crate, encourage (pat legs, verbal encouragement--no more commands).
    3. When dog comes out of crate, ignore him. When he turns and goes back into crate, lavish him with goodies and praise.
    4. If dog doesn't go back in within 2 minutes, limit his choices--e.g., hold his collar so that he's facing the crate and can't move anywhere except into the crate; as soon as he steps in that direction, release him so he can go in. Praise enthusiastically & give goodies.

    6. Repeat until dog is coming out on release word and immediately going back in.
    7. When dog gets to where he won't come out, add something to make him come out, e.g., a low-value goodie, then wait for him to go back in, etc.
    At this point, when dog is bouncing in and out of crate after a few times, NOW you're done with the starting crate game!
    Dana


    To err is human:To forgive, canine."
    - Anonymous

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gerties Mom
    There's not a whole lot of damage that they could do in the kitchen.
    ;D ;D ;D Hehehehe Sorry, couldn't help myself. ;D I would definately stick with the crate.

  9. #7
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    Ok...I should rephrase that. I think puppies can do a lot of damage, anywhere, anytime. They are far worse than toddlers.
    However, the place in my house where the LEAST amt. of damage that could possibly occur would be in the kitchen.
    I do have this vision of chewed up cupboards, though.
    I think I came here 'cause I knew you'd all talk me out of it and I knew deep down that I need to take charge of this little munchkin
    and stop letting him be the boss when it comes to crate time. He's just too cute. I (& my husband more than me) have fallen victims of puppy breath and pouty eyes. HAHAHA. We are under his spell!
    Ear plugs for everyone...luckily my kids are deep sleepers* ;D




  10. #8
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    My pup is only 15 weeks, but I had to actually lay on the floor in front of the crate with my fingers sticking inside. It may not have been the best idea, but it worked!!! It took about a week of this and now she is fine sleeping in her crate. By the end of the week though, I only needed to lay there until she fell asleep.

  11. #9
    Canyon Labradors's Avatar
    Canyon Labradors is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    My husband slept on the floor in front of the crate with each pup. We also made sure that each had an old stinky T shirt or jeans from either myself or Dave in the crate so that they could smell us. The key is that no matter what trick you try, you can't give in as it teaches the dog that he can get out of he doesn't want to do.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: About to give up on the crate....should I stick it out?

    I have our pet taxi (haven't gotten a crate yet..he is still small enough for a pet taxi)right next to my side of the bed where he can see me. We have only had Rascal for a week and I am amazed how fast he has learned how to sleep in there. The first couple of days he would cry,yelp,ect.... I would lay on my bed(where he could see me) and say "Sleep". I stood my ground and did not open it up to cuddle him. I knew he was fine because he had already been fed, and gone potty. He was just wanting someone to cuddle with. I also put three towels in there with him so he could cuddle up to those. Now when he starts whimpering I say "sleep", he lays his head down,gets quiet, and goes off to sleep.

    I would agree,if the crate is too big I would go down to something a bit smaller or put something in there to divide the space up. Good luck!

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