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Crate Training Problems

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by SpaceCoyote, Aug 16, 2009.


  1. SpaceCoyote

    SpaceCoyote PetForums Newbie

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    I'm not sure where to start, so please bear with me.

    We got Stuey, a F1 Labradoodle 3 weeks ago yesterday and he is currently 14 weeks old.

    In the whole he is a well behaved, fun and I think happy dog, apart from when we're trying to crate train him.

    We bought a crate about two weeks ago because he will be left alone during the day usually between 9 and 4, although he will be walked by a friend during the day.

    He started out okay with his crate - we put him in it for 5 minutes at a time while we were in the house and gradually increaed the time as well as going out for short periods of time. He'd bark and whine for a while, but eventually settled down and went to sleep. He'd spend the whole night in the crate in our bedroom for a couple nigts and was fine, not even needing a toilet break.

    Then I think we made a mistake. We left him in his crate overnight in the kitchen after just a few days and boy did he kick off. He spent the whole night barking, with a 2 or 3 minute break every 30 minutes or so. Although it was hard, we left him to it. When we came back down in the morning he was frantic and it was clear he hadn't slept at all.

    Now he won't go in his crate, even if we're at home without barking and howling and desperately tries to get out, pawing and even biting the bars. We can't leave any water in there because within 5 minutes he's knocked the water bowl over and seems to be urinating in his bed. Then when we let him back out, he is panting, whining and will follow us around even more closely than usual - being in the crate really upsets him.

    The odd thing is that he is still fine in the crate at night when it is in our bedroom and can still easily last the night with no break.

    I think now during the day he associates the crate with being left alone and I have a feeling we might have blown the crate completely, but he will have to be ready to go in it for up to 4 hours at a time when we go back to work after the holidays and finished, which is only 3 weelks away.

    If anyone knows of a regime that we can try, or has any tips or routines I'd be very grateful.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    #1 SpaceCoyote, Aug 16, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  2. pets-life

    pets-life Banned

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    Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about your "problems".

    You might find some answers here on dog training techniques. Hope this helps and good luck.

    Articles On Dogs Training
     
  3. SpaceCoyote

    SpaceCoyote PetForums Newbie

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    I've bought one of the ebooks from that link called Puppy Potty Training as it has a section on crate training. It's not as comprehensive as I would have liked or maybe I'm over complicating things.

    It looks like I need to start from scratch with it, which I will have to do tomorrow since I m going out this afternoon and have to leave Stuey at home.

    I do have one question about the crate; should I leave the crate in the kitchen and not in the bedroom with us? As I mentioned earlier I have tried leaving him in it in the kitchen and he barked and howled ALL night. Should I carry on leaving him there regardless of the fuss he makes or would that make things worse?
     
  4. JennieJet

    JennieJet PetForums Member

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    hi, not sure if this will help but to make the crate be a lovely place for the first few weeks we would feed our puppy in her crate as well..... Her crate has her snuggly bed in it, some toys and then when its meal times i would put her bowl in there right at the back. You want to make her feel her crate is a fantastic place...... we leave our puppy's crate open all day so she can go in there as she pleases and our puppy loves it.. I dont feed her in there any more as she loves it but maybe that may help. At night we cover her up with a blanket. The crate has a blanket drapped over it all the time so its like a den for her but we only lock her in there at night and cover her up..hope this helps xx
     
  5. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Personally I hate the idea of "caging" a dog for that long.

    Why can the cage not be left open and put in a room like the kitchen?
     
  6. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I have to agree, a crate is fine for nighttime or for short times while you go shopping etc when you expect the pup to learn that crate means sleep but I cant see how you can consider leaving it in it all day while you are at work even with a break in the middle of the day. Cant you pen off half the kitchen and leave him there with lots of toys etc.
     
  7. SpaceCoyote

    SpaceCoyote PetForums Newbie

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    I do understand your point and frankly it was a consideration when we thought about getting a dog at all.

    I guess we could look at giving him the run of the kitchen and we have a secure yard so if we got a dog flap fitted he could go outside.

    At this stage though I really need to get him used to being left alone and the crate seem like a good idea at the time.

    I did manage to go out for 90 minutes this afternoon with Stuey in the crate. I left Radio 4 on for him and when I came back he was quiet. Very over excited to see me, but quiet.
     
  8. SpaceCoyote

    SpaceCoyote PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the tips, I think we might have rushed the crate and I want to try and start over.
     
  9. JennieJet

    JennieJet PetForums Member

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    my puppy has the run of the kitchen with baby gate for the door and her crate is tucked in at the cubby bit at the back of the kitchen. We never lock her in it at all during the day. When I go out for a little bit she has the run of the kitchen with her crate still open. She is only ever locked in it at night as I really dont like the idea of her being locked up when I go out. I was also always told never send them to their cage if they are naughty as you dont want them to think its a bad place either. Do try the feeding of your puppy's food in there though so your puppy will hopefully begin to see it as a nice lovely place xxx good luck xxx
     
  10. SpaceCoyote

    SpaceCoyote PetForums Newbie

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    I'm starting to think that Stuey actually has separation anxiety because he acts like I describe ANY time he is left alone, even if its between rooms and for 30 seconds.

    He will scratch at the door, whine, bark and howl and acts like I've been away for hours when I come back into the room.

    Need to get this sorted ASAP.
     
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