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crate training difficulty

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by lottelab, Mar 26, 2020 at 8:18 PM.


  1. lottelab

    lottelab PetForums Newbie

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    Hello everybody, I've recently bought very young puppy, lab 9 weeks old, who we've had for about a week now. We just introduced her to her crate, but cant be left alone for more than 5 mins when awake and alone, or else begins to cry and whine. we attempted to increase her time alone, but ended up wetting her bed in fear. we even took her out to toilet before trying the crate. Our fear is her not being able to be left alone without building up her time alone. being first time owners, any help is appreciated! thanks.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Personally, I wouldn’t try leaving pups alone until they’ve settled a little having been separated from mum and siblings.

    So she would be getting lots of company and cuddles (and sleeping with me at night) at first and then, once settled in her new home I’d start to get her used to being alone for short periods.

    Same with the crate - start slowly, just leaving the door open during the day and give her meals and treats in there. If she cries you’re going too fast.
     
  3. lottelab

    lottelab PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the reply, may seem like a silly question, but when would you say she is settled, as in what behaviours should have been expressed or gone away ?
     
    Kakite likes this.
  4. Ian246

    Ian246 PetForums Senior

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    It might seem a bit trite, but I think you’ll know when she has settled. Certainly, wetting in fear is a very bad sign. She’s just a baby - separated from her mum and siblings and put in a place she doesn’t understand with people she doesn’t know - and you need to be careful to ensure nothing (like the crate) becomes such a source of fear that it creates long term problems.
    You cannot rush these things - let your pup set the pace. Spend time with her, get her used to this weird world, but it all takes time. You can work on leaving her alone, but first she needs to be happy in your house. She will settle down, but she needs love and comfort, rather than being put in situations where she is just terrified.
    One problem you may have in these difficult times is socialising your pup - a vitally important process. It’s not going to be easy right now, but I found the following link with some great advice.

    https://3lostdogs.com/ask-3ld-how-do-i-socialize-my-puppy-during-a-pandemic/

    Good luck. :)
     
  5. Eejay

    Eejay PetForums Member

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    We are also first time owners of a Labrador- she is now just over 2. The first few weeks were exactly like having a newborn baby! (Except newborns don’t chew your furniture when you’re not looking). The only time I could leave her was when she had a nap- she got into a routine of sleeping after breakfast between 9.00 and 9.30- so that’s when I would have a shower! She got used to her crate but it took several days of leaving the door open and putting nice treats inside, and making sure it was a safe place where she wanted to go. But in the beginning we could only leave her unattended for a very, very short time. She has grown into a very chilled and balanced dog and is perfectly happy to be left alone now for several hours (although obviously at the moment the kids are home and it’s all go!)
     
  6. Eejay

    Eejay PetForums Member

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    Oh, and I also used the Dogs Trust Sounds Sociable and Sounds Scary programme (online), to get my puppy used to a range of different noises (we live in a rural area and I was concerned I wouldn’t get the opportunity to socialise her near heavy traffic etc). You may find that useful too, especially at the moment!
     
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  7. Ragnar&Biffy

    Ragnar&Biffy PetForums Member

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    Crate training like stated above should not be taken lightly (not saying you are). The crate process can take a while, in my experience i was lucky my Border Collie took to it really well.

    Basically you need to make the crate his safe place and his den where he wants to go.Start of slow, put the odd treat in there for him play games in it with it, i even played hide and seek when he was a pup. Let her pop in and out mark it either with a clicker or your mark word. Get her in there, sit down next to crate, make it a really happy place. Think about what makes them happy in there. Bed/blankets? etc also we use an old duvet cover to go over the crate to make it more of a den. Try a nice filled kong or his favourite treat in there, whenever we are going out for an extended period of time i put a Kong in with Biffy of his Dry food and a bit of peanut butter.

    To start of with put her in the crate, nicely , even if it takes a while to coax her in then just shut the crate door, stay in sight then go and open the door pretty much immediately then repeat the process a few times and build up from there.

    There is a American lady on you tube called Rachael Fusaro , check her out for her crate training videos. Pretty good and does it in the correct friendly way, i based most of what i did based on her videos.

    It took me nearly a day trying to coax mine in at first but he is now nearly 9 months and loves his crate and will just put him self in there , especially when the kids are playing in the front room, becuase he associates it as his safe and comfort place.

    Hope it works out well. Just make it a happy place and maybe in a week or so and you should start to see some improvement. Good luck.
     
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