It sure has been a long time since I said anything in these forums, it has been a long wait but we should be bringing home our new girl on June 8th (Black Female Lab). I have read a lot of posts in here on how to introduce the crate, but I had what is probably a stupid question. Once you have it introduced to the crate, and it's bed time, do you just bring it to the crate and latch the door? Does the door stay open? I am guessing latched if not the dog would probably wonder off from there.
Does anyone have a few good websites for doggy recipies? Such as for frozen Kong's or anything else that Labs would love?
We have the 42" crate all setup, bunch of toys, nyla bones, a good brush, poop bags.. I think we will be decently prepared. I guess as some mentionned it, is to try and make it as a happy place as possible (the crate that is). Throwing a few treats in at first and trying to get her as familiar as possible with positive reinforement.
First no question is stupid.
Yes latch the door or she will get out.
Putting in treats, and making it a happy place is what I did. I never put the dog in there as punishment.
You sound very prepared.
I bet you can't wait until June. Look forward to seeing some pics of your girl.
Also, someone probably mentioned this already, but make sure you put a divider in the crate so she doesn't have enough space to "go" in one corner and sleep in another. There's a thread around here somewhere called "kong treat ideas" where there were a few good suggestions.
Also, Peanut sleeps in her crate in our bedroom, and we latch the door. Otherwise, she would be all over us at like, 6 in the morning! having the door latched convinces her to sleep for a few more hours!!
Ultimately, the first few days/weeks will be hectic and crazy, the key is to get into a routine, everything gets easier once the routine is established!!
Best of luck, take lots of pictures, and most importantly, enjoy!!
Baloo - 5 year old black lab
Peanut - 7 year old minpin
Monster - 3-ish year old frenchie/jack, rescue
The first few nights in the crate can be loud! I slept on the floor next to the crate, with my fingers touching Toby. At least it made ME feel better! His crate is in our bedroom, and within a very short time it became his happy place. (18 months later.....the center of our bed is his happy place ;D)
I relied heavily on the Forum during those first few months! I look forward to meeting your little girl and remembering puppy days through your posts!!
I agree with everyone.
1. Section off crate she should be able to only turn around and lay down. At first you probably will only want to put an old towel if anything in there incase she does make a mess it's easier to clean. She also is likley to eat it which can cause an obstruction so only put toys she cannot destroy and little bedding if she's a chewer.
2. Definatley shut the door she will likley whine and bark and cry but you HAVE to ignore her or it will only get worse. She will likley have to go potty mid night though so try to wait until she's quiet if you can't then take her straight out without a fuss let her potty then straight back to bed without a fuss.
3. Kongs are great some of the things I use to fill them are, Peanut butter, Yogurt (freeze), kibble (mixed with PB or yogurt), Chez Wiz, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, bananna.... Mainly start off slow and only give a little at a time at first to make sure it's not going to upset her stomach.
Have fun and good luck.
All the advice worked for us that was mentioned above. We also bought a fairly large stuffed animal about a week before we picked Ella up from the breeder. We each took turns sleeping with the stuffed animal and brought it with us when we picked her up. She sleeps with it in her crate. It filled two functions... it made her feel more cozy like she still had a litter mate and it had all of our smells on it so she felt more comforted. This toy always stays in the crate and never gets brought out. It's kind of funny that she knows it stays in the crate because she never drags it out.
We also completely ignored her if she whined when we put her in. No matter how tempting do not s;ay anything to her. Headphones work well the first few nights! (for you of course!) She was snoozing with no fuss within two nights. If she whined in the middle of the night we got up, took her out with no speaking whatsoever, and then put her back in her crate. All of this was done in absolute silence to get her used to the idea that is wasn't now play time. She loves her crate and goes in with no fuss every night. Good luck! It sounds like you are well prepared for you new baby!
I have a question to add to the crate training topic-
basically my little guy has no problem holding it and not peeing in his crate while we are at home with him.
matter of fact- he can almost make it through the whole night now which is amazing because he's so young.
but as soon as we leave- even if we're only gone for about an hour or less, he relieves himself on the towel I have in there for him.
is this just because he's scared or sad that we are gone? it must be...
any advice is appreciated! thx!
FYI - definitely will need to either get a smaller crate for the first few months or divide that one or potty training will not work.
We lucked out on the crate thing, I think. We had the crate set up, with the door open, and the first day we brought him home (8 weeks), I lured him into the crate with a tiny treat. He went right in, and came back out (we kept the door open). We kept the crate in the kitchen the first week during the day, and put it in our bedroom at night, next to my side of the bed.
When we were home, we didn't crate him during the day, except when he fell asleep. Then we'd put him in the crate, close the door, and when he woke, I'd open the door, and take him out to potty right away. Except for sleeping, we just kept him in the kitchen, and we stayed in there playing with him, and being with him. He went in and out of the crate throughout the day; he took to it right away.
From the first night, it was beside the bed on the floor. We were lucky...he only whined some the first night. But I just dropped my arm down beside the crate, and that seemed to soothe him. Another thing that may have helped.......the breeder had toys for each puppy that was kept with them and mom for weeks before they went to their new homes; each puppy took a toy with them when they left mom. We had also dropped off an old sweatshirt of mine that stayed with mom and the pups, for a week before we brought him home.
We put the sweatshirt, and the toy in the crate...they had the smell of mom and his littermates on him; I think that was probably comforting to him. I left them in the crate for probably a couple of weeks. If you're able, you might want to consider taking an old piece of clothing to leave with the litter, to bring home when you pick her up.