I need some help. We have a darling 11 week old chocolate lab who is great with one exception. Whenever we put her in her crate she develops a bad case of diarrhea. I have tried putting her in the crate with toy (news ones that she hasn't played with before and old ones), a treat ball (when the treats are gone she starts barking and yowling) and then the diarrhea starts. I really need some help - my family and I have to rearrange our schedules so someone is home with her all the time. The only time she has to go to the crate is when we have errands to run. I have even tried putting the crate in the car and taking her with me - the same thing happens then also. We make sure that she has gone outside and done her job before we put her in the crate. Any suggestions would be appreciated - I haven't been to church or even out to dinner in 5 weeks.
Puppies = sacrifice.or even out to dinner in 5 weeks.
I have no idea about the diarhea though. Does she only get it after she eats the treats? Is her poop normal otherwise?
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
No, everything is fine otherwise. She will go out later today and everything will be normal again - it is just when she is in the crate - it seems that she gets so hyper and upset that it happens. No, at first I didn't use the treat ball - the vet suggested I try that and maybe she would concentrate of that and not the fact she was in the crate. Well she eats the treats and then goes crazy with the barking and howling.
How did you introduce the crate to her? The only thing I can think about is to try to slowly reintroduce it to her in a very positive manor. Try feeding her in there at first with the door open then try shutting with you staying right there just for a second and opening it again. Praise her heavily when she's being quiet and calm. Slowly try to work your way up to leaving the room, then try to stay out of the room longer and so on until you leave the house and drive around the block or something. It may take some time but it's worth a shot.
Thank you for your responses - what we are trying now is putting her in the crate while we have dinner (the crate is about 4 feet from me) and she has to be quiet and calm then when we are done and have the dishes in the dishwasher, she gets to come out with lots of hugs and kisses from all of us. We have done that all week and now this morning I put her in with her treat ball and went to get dressed (was out of sight for about 15 minutes) and when I returned there was a nice mess to clean up. She is such a good puppy all the rest of the time and is learning all of her commands so quickly, it is just the crate that is giving us a problems.
Well, GRADUALLY do what you're doing, and follow the advice you've received so far. I think it's been good. Maybe the last mess was because you 'pushed it'. Too long too soon. Make that crate a GREAT place to be. Throw a treat in the back of it, and let pup go in and out without shutting the door. Feed in there without shutting the door. Gradually work up to shutting the door for only a few seconds, then out. Then a minute, etc... Vary the times left in. Gradually work to leaving the room. And only let pup out when quiet. Does the pup sleep in the crate at night? We usually start ours close to the bed in their crate. They know we're there. We can lightly tap on the top if they begin to whine, and we can hear them if they truly need to go out. We're able to gradually move them away from the bed, and eventually downstairs where they're just as content as can be. We've raised a few pups who seemed to calm down better if we'd cover the crate with a sheet or something. Makes it dark, cozy, and they can't see activity outside their crate as well. Of course, we had to make sure they couldn't pull the sheet inside to chew on it! Hope this helps. Stick with it. Your youngster will be great in no time if you're consistent.
It sounds like she gets anxiety from her crate because you only put her in there when you leave. She's associating the crate with her humans leaving!!!
Do you feed her in her crate? Do you play with her in the crate? I would suggest you make the crate a "FUN" thing, give her treats in the crate too (if you feed her treats) or even pieces of kibble from her daily food allowance. You need to re-train her out of her current fear..... otherwise she won't ever get over the issue of seeing the crate as a bad thing that she is put in when her humans leave her on her own.
I feed Milly in her crate. When she was little I also used to put her in the crate if she fell asleep on the floor so she would wake in the crate (with the door opened so she could get out when she woke up) Try to incorporate her crate into games you play with her when you are home (eg: get her excited over a toy and throw it for her to run after... after a few times throw it in her crate, if she goes in and gets it then treat her etc)
I would like to add something. Make sure there is only enough space in the crate for the puppy to lay down and turn around. If you don't have a crate devider, use a cooler, or some other object to make the crate smaller. When people first think about this, they think that it's mean to the animal, but you have to remember...dogs are den animals. They like small confined spaces. It makes them feel safe. The blanket over the crate is a great idea. It worked for my pup. But most importantly, if the dog only has enough space to lay down and turn around, they will be less likely to poop. Instinctivly, dogs do not want to poop or urinate where they sleep. If they have too much space they will go to an unused corner of the crate, do their business, and then go lay in another part of the crate.
I would like to thank eveyone for your responses. I am taking all of your suggestions and using them. I did have the divider in the crate and that didn't matter, she still had diarrhea. So now I have put her food dishes in there and also her toys - now she has to go in there and get her toys and then come out to play with me. Again, thank you all and I will keep you informed as to our progress.