Just Labradors banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,529 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay - my friend at work is at her wits end. She wanted to return her sweet golden to the breeder last night.

Rebound has been home with somebody for his whole puppyhood - until the last few months. He's never been crated during absences, except for when they went on holiday and their son watched him. That particular crating last about 20 minutes.

See, Rebound won't stay in his crate quietly. He throws himself around like a great white thrashing in the ocean trying to twist chunks off a giant seal. The crating mentioned above - resulted in him scraping fur off his face and bleeding, he just freaks out too badly.

This week Rebound has eaten carpet, the kitchen floor, a universal remote, shoes and garbages.

My friend is at her wits end. How do you crate a pup that freaks out and does harm to himself? She's tried rescue remedy, tried tiring the snot out of him before work, and is reluctant to leave him outside, or in a bathroom for fear he'd just eat the walls or door.

Any suggestions guys?

Many thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,543 Posts
What kind of crate is she using?
Has she tried toys in the crate?
Has she tried leaving the crate open (take the door off) and feeding him in there?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,122 Posts
Awww poor baby. A 10 month old Golden will get on anyone's nerves, believe me!

How about the old stand-by, the frozen kong with yogurt & PB? I would give him one in there, close the gate, and go in the other room to see how he reacts. The kong should distract him for awhile, plus show him the crate can be a good thing. I would also feed him in there, twice a day, with the door closed. Have her leave the room while he's eating.

I've also found that Macy needs alot more exercise to tire her ass out than both of my labbies did.

Keep us posted, OK?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,529 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
she's using a metal crate - she's admitted it's probably too big for him, and is looking into buying a divider so he has just enough room to turn around and lie down in, in the hopes that less space equals less room to thrash.

She usually takes him for a big walk/run/exercise in the morning before she goes - but she said he's just so high energy that that doesn't even really help him - he's raring to go 20 minutes later all over again.

personally, I think he's too smart for his own good. I'm gonna keep checking her throughout the day for suggestions, she's very, very appreciative of those given so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,272 Posts
Has she tried covering the crate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,575 Posts
I dont' think he needs a smaller crate at 10 months. I would opt for a plastic one or cover the wire one. I would also start feeding ALL meals in the shut crate so the dog learns that the crate is a good thing. If they got him as a pup and he's 10 months old and still fussing in the crate, my gut is telling me that they babied him too much and didn't force him to put up with the crate when he was 10 weeks! My Jack hated his crate, and he still fusses going in. But he knows he doesn't win these fights, eventually resigns and goes in. When he's particulary mad at me, he'll howl incessantly, where I can hear him outside in the driveway. And sometimes when I get home, his brother is let out of the crate while Jack needs to settle down until he's allowed out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
123 Posts
I'd try feeding him his meals in his crate, with the door open at first. Then after a week or so, start closing the door for a few seconds at a time without walking away, then lengthen out the amount of time the door is closed, then start moving away from the crate just a few steps at a time while the door is closed, etc. It's probably in the booklet BobPr. linked.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,529 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for your replies. I've given her the link from you Bob, and she says to thank all of you for helping.

She's going to go get a hard plastic airline crate tonight, and start feeding him in there and do the 10 minute intervals so he gets used to it.

I also gave her our acts of mass destruction thread which she said made her smile and feel not so alone LOL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Can your friend afford doggy daycare? Maybe just one day a week?
This won't help for crating issues, but it can help in overall wearing them out which can make crating easier because they are tired or make them less inclined to destruct while gone.

The other suggestions are great for getting the pup used to crate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,122 Posts
I also gave her our acts of mass destruction thread which she said made her smile and feel not so alone LOL
Where is that now? I love that one! :D

Any news today?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,793 Posts
What he's doing is actually pretty common with dogs who were never crated in early puppyhood, and then thrown into a crate a little later on with no proper introduction or training. My sister's boyfriend's lab is exactly the same way (will freak out and hurt herself in the crate) and I'm trying to help them through it now. :) It makes sense if you think about it. Imagine you're livin' life, doing your thing, and one day, with no explanation or introduction, someone locks you away in a tiny room. Total freak out! Who knows how long you'll be in there?? What if no one ever lets you out!!?? :eek:

It sucks because you're starting from less than zero. Think of it like integers in math. When crate training a brand new pup, you're starting at zero, so moving into creating a positive association with the crate isn't a far way to go. BUT, this dog now has a VERY negative association with the crate, so you're starting at around -10, which means you have to travel a lot further to get into the positive numbers. So, that means that she needs to try and re-create that conditioned emotional response. I would start by having a crate open all the time in the house. If he'll go in to eat then feed him in there but if not (and the lab I mentioned would not at first) just click/treat (provided the clicker is charged) for him even going near the crate. BIG click/treat for investigating it on his own.

Progress from there in small small steps. Next maybe click/treat for him going in to retrieve a favorite toy, or get cookies she's thrown in there. Then block the door and feed his FAVE treats continuously for a minute. I would NOT be closing the door on this dog at all until he is perfectly happy going in and out, and staying in while eating or being fed treats.

And then move to closing the door and leaving him in small steps too. At first close the door and open it again right away. BIG praise/treat. Move to closing it for a minute (while staying right there) and feed treats. Increase time, and then start to add distance. So, leave for a second (literally) and come back, let him out and big praise/treat again. Increase time slooowwwllyy.

He needs to learn that the crate is not dangerous, that someone will always be back to let him out again and he needn't worry about being confined. It isn't a big scary deal and he gets lots of good stuff for going along with it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,529 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
They know it's their fault for not crate training him better from when they got him - they take full responsibility for that, and are aware of it. They just wanted some tips/tricks/help/advice to get over this hard hump. He's always had access to a crate, so he knows what it is, and says he even goes in there to nap sometimes, it's just the fact that he goes soooo bonkers when they leave him in there. She doesn't think it's so much the being confined, as much as the SA when they then leave the room and him behind.

Unfortunately, there isn't a quick fix and SA takes a while to sort out. She ordered the book Bob suggested yesterday after reading the link provided, and they went out and bought a large hard plastic crate and bones and kongs just for the crate last night.

He did finish destroying the rest of their linoleum floor yesterday during the 2 hours no one was home, and ate a few cords, so unfortunately for the few hours when no one is home today he's going to have to be crated. She's taken all advice to heart (she's no stupid woman, and by no stretch of the imagination someone who asks for advice and disregards it) and I know she'll work on him in the interim, but for now, they simply cannot leave him out to destroy their house any further. I can understand that.

Like it's been pointed out, yes, this is what happens when you don't crate train from an early age. However, there are no points for hindsight, only what one can do to move forward. Is crating him rather abruptly wrong? Possibly. But what else can she do? Leave him to wreck more of the house and worse, potentially get into something that could hurt or kill him?

Thanks everyone for the advice - I've learned that even if someone is home all day long, all week long, you should still be crate training, just in case the potential arrives that one day, you'll need to use it! My friend has too! and most of all, I've learned that no matter how well glued linoleum is to the sub-floor, a retriever puppy can, and will!! dig, chew, bite, scratch it off!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44,122 Posts
I've learned that even if someone is home all day long, all week long, you should still be crate training, just in case the potential arrives that one day, you'll need to use it!
I couldn't agree more!

Please keep us posted! Tell her not to give up - Goldens just get better with age! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
Good luck for your friend. Hopefully she will be able to work through this.
To help through the first little bit, would there be some calming medication that she can get from the vet, to maybe cut through the worst of the anxiety?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,915 Posts
have they consulted their vet? anti-anxiety meds may help take the edge off, especially during the early period of separation. from what you described, slowly introducing the crate as a safe place when owners are gone is not an option. even when luke's SA was bad when we first adopted him, it was not nearly as bad as what you described with this golden.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top