My husband and I are taking on brother and sister 1 1/2 yr old black labs. They have been in a kennel outside for their life. We are planning on bringing them inside. I posted on the introduction tab and someone there suggested crate training them right away. Any advice on this? I have never crate trained. Our last lab we got when he was 4 yrs old and was just a perfect dude. Any help is appreciated
First, you want them in separate crates. My Nellie was not trustworthy until about 2 years of age. She ate everything including both box springs on my king size bed. The crate had no padding because she shredded that. She was crated when I left the house. I would put a Kong with some small dog cookies and peanut butter in it into the crate and she would charge in to get her Kong. Since she was about 10 months old when I got her I did not crate her at night. She slept in my bed with me and I closed the bedroom door to keep her from wandering the house.
Also, no toys or anything that could cause them harm in the crates and take off their collars when they are crated so they don't get caught on the bars.
Hi there! Good to see you found your way over here!!
Are you picking them up at a time when you can be home with them for a bit? that might help to ease the transition. I would start with introducing them slowly, they may totally balk at the crate and they may be completely OK with it, depending on the size of the kennels they're housed in now, I think. Start by having the door open and throw cookies in so that they have to go in the crate to get them, let them come right out again and praise big time. Slowly work up to closing the door for a second, then letting them out, increasing the amount of time you leave the door closed over a period of time. Lots of cookies and praise through the whole process!
I think that it will be helpful if their crates are side by side, at least to start out in the beginning, because with such a big transition, they should be able to seek comfort in each other. After an adjustment period I would start to separate them and work on training each individually, that will help them to bond with you instead of solely each other.
Here's a good article on crate training:
I don't think there's any sugar-coating how potentially difficult this is going to be for you guys, at least in the beginning, but it can be done, and best of luck!!
Thank you for the replies. I know it will be difficult. It's been a long time since the training years for me. We also have a cat in the house. He loved our other lab, so I'm hoping he'll eventually come to like these 2 also. I am planning on bringing them home next weekend so I am around for the entire weekend. My husband is on a trip for work and won't be back until the 19th, so I was thinking that by waiting until then would be beneficial to us that the dogs won't only be listening to me for too long without him being around----besides the boy is a bit of a bruiser! I will read the article on crate training, and take a trip to my local PetSmart for a book and to price out crates.
A lot of the time you can find cheap crates on used sites because a lot of people use them when they have puppies and then discard them when the dog gets older and doesn't need it anymore, like craiglist or kijiji, or the local classifieds. Something to look at depending on your budget.
Ok. I'm just a little confused on what size crates to get. Diamond looks to be about 65-70 lbs (female). Diesel looks to be closer to 90 lbs (male). I was on the Pet Smart site and they have 42" and 48", but I'm just not sure. how much room do you give them inside the crate? They will be spending time in there during the day while I'm at work. I will be home at lunch for breaks. Just a little worried that I won't be giving them enough room, but I also don't want to spend huge money on a crate that's too big.
Baloo is 68 lbs, and has lots of room in his 42" crate.
my boy is 80lbs and still growing only 16 months and he has plenty of room in his 42 crate. but he usually curls into the back so only uses abiout half of it. it is like a den to him. He also goes into smaller crates on his own if he thinks he might get Clicked! silly boy!
probably not an issue with an older dog but if the crate is too big dogs tend to sol in them since they can soil one side and sleep on the other.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog. If you can't eat it or play with it, just piss on it and walk away
yeah, we have the 42" black wire crate for our Gracie, mind she is 8 weeks old and only uses a third of the crate with the divider up. She loves her crate I have had no problem whatsoever with her going in for naps (95 percent of the time she goes in on her own) or when I have to leave for a while and the most amazing thing is she sleeps thru the night with no problem already and its only been 5 days since we picked her up. I also never had to go thru the 'big cry' either, no seperation anxiety at all. Only thing I can think of is that the breeder had the litter in a crate at her home so she is used to it and maybe also her easygoing personality. I ain't complaining thats for sure..
Crate training is definitely the way to go. The most difficult part is seeing them in a crate! :'(
I know when I crate trained my Lab that these two articles were helpful...