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Help! Frenchie Crate Advice!

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Rosie1989, Mar 13, 2017.


  1. Rosie1989

    Rosie1989 PetForums Newbie

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    So my Frenchie turned 6 months old yesterday and while he's an amazing puppy, I'm really worried I'm doing something wrong. I apologise now for the essay but need advice!!

    We have always crated him - for about 5 weeks when we first got him we tried downstairs but he would just shout ALL night and after 5 weeks of not sleeping (and feeling very bad for the neighbors) we crated him in our room instead. He goes to sleep without any fuss once we put him in there at night...

    During the day we go to work and he has 2 visits (morning and afternoon), we walk him first thing so he has been exercised and then he gets his favourite treat Kong and is put in his crate in the kitchen. He has puppy sleep music playing, a hot water bottle and his little clock to try and soothe him when we go. We bought a camera to see how he was getting on and thought if he was settling easily we might give him the run of the kitchen as he gets bigger. This led to the discovery that as soon as he finishes his Kong, he shouts for 20 mins or so before giving up and going to sleep. We tried giving him the run of the kitchen but we have hard floors and discovered he just jumps at the kitchen door handle solidly which I know is really bad for his legs so I'm too scared to try it again...

    About a month ago, he managed to break out of his crate while we were at work. At first I thought the dog walker hadn't shut it properly but it turns out he had pushed his head through the metal bars to bend the door back and get out. He now has a crate with a double fastening so he can't do this!

    At 6 months old, his balls are now dropping and out of the blue over the last couple of days he has taken to ramming his crate while we are gone. Today I came home and could barely get through the door as he had rammed his crate to block the doorway. Is this the beginning of separation anxiety? Is it because he managed to break out before so a crate is no longer an option? (Although there has been some time between that and this behaviour?)

    It may be worth noting that since getting him - he's never 'relaxed' without a cue. He will literally walk around without settling ANYWHERE unless he can be on your lap. He's never once got in his crate to just chill and whenever we go out he needs the help of a treat to go in there. I have tried endlessly to get him to chill out using tricks the dog trainer tried with us but he just is always switched on unless you sit on the sofa then he'll be up there and asleep with you in seconds.

    I really need advice - I need to know if I am doing something wrong or if there is an easy fix to help him?!

    Thank you all so much in advance☺️
     
  2. Lilylass

    Lilylass PetForums VIP

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    Couple of thoughts from me - is he worse / better after the visits?

    How long are these for / are they spaced out evenly? (wondering if he's settled and then these upset him / re-start the cycle of barking / being distressed etc)

    Has he always done this or is it recent?

    How did you go about building up to leaving him?

    I'm sorry to say it does sound like he's quite distressed, especially if he's now ramming his crate etc

    Does he actually do any damage if he's not crated? (could you not leave him with access to say downstairs rather than just the kitchen)
     
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    For the first 5 weeks after you took him away from everything he knew, he was left to "shout" all night. I presume you meant cried and whined?

    So, basically, he was never actually crate trained and he hates the crate.

    Did you gradually teach him to be happy on his own and how soon was he left?

    He sounds extremely anxious.

    I would get rid of the crate and try him with the run of the downstairs for a short while and see how he settles. Maybe close the curtains so he can't be stimulated by anything outside.

    My lurcher hates to be shut in or enclosed and settled much better at first with the kitchen, hall, stairs and landing. I put a bed in the kitchen and on the landing. Very quickly he was able to be trusted with the run of the house.
     
  4. Rosie1989

    Rosie1989 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for replying!

    I guess I never considered that multiple visits wouldn't be a good thing! He is never crying when they get there but he definitely goes through the leaving process from the start again when they leave. He is always visited for 30 mins at about 11am and 2.30pm (we leave at 8am and are home at 5.45pm) It was originally 2x 30min visits cos of his bladder but I'd just assumed that would be better than an hour at lunchtime...

    He has always cried for a while when he finishes his kong and realised we aren't around! But will go to sleep 20 mins or so after that. But the ramming his only been over the last couple of days, started small but today was quite a dramatic crate movement.

    We built up by putting him in his crate little and often - always with the above treat/music etc, while we were in the house, then out for 20 mins, half hour, hour etc. We both took a week off when we first got him at 8 weeks old but he's been in this routine ever since.

    I will happily give him the run of downstairs - just 2 worries about that option. 1 - he loves sitting in our front facing window and I'm worried he'll do it all day and advertise himself to get stolen! 2 - my dog walker said too much space to guard for us when we're out may well be more distressing for him and his safe space would be ruined...?
     
    Lilylass likes this.
  5. Rosie1989

    Rosie1989 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for replying - yes by shout I mean barked - please see my above reply re the crate training we did with him. However, from the reading we did everything advised to ignore his crying overnight however hard it may be. We got up every 2 hours to let him toilet and he would go to sleep when we first put him in there - but as soon as he woke and we weren't there he would cry.

    I don't know if it makes a difference but he always willingly gets into his crate to receive his treat and overnight in our room he curls straight up and goes to sleep?
     
  6. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    In my opinion "controlled crying" simply creates anxiety :(

    You aren't the first pup owner to be advised this way, but it's done now so all you can do is try to get him to settle and learn to relax from now ;)

    He probably settles in the crate at night because he knows you are close by.

    I would somehow obscure the front window - perhaps with stick on frosting - so he can't see out, or be seen. Or position furniture so he can't get up there? Or shut him out if the lounge. Fit a bolt at the top.

    I would also consider having the walker only come once and see if that makes a difference?

    As for him having more house to guard - my lurcher doesn't think that is his responsibility - he is far too busy sleeping on my bed to worry about that! ;)
     
  7. Lilylass

    Lilylass PetForums VIP

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    Reason for asking about the visits - my previous dog (who j rehomed & had always been left all day previously) was fine if i went out until i came home

    But - if i went out in the morning, came home at lunchtime & then went out again, he's wreak the house :(

    Id be tempted to leave him 'loose' say downstairs and see what happens - try it if you pop out for a short while first (rather than whole day'

    I leave my curtains closed in the lounge as i feel it's unfair for her to look into the garden (where no doubt birds will be) & not be able to get out - but I'm also at the end of the street & she can see up the road if gardens / people too - again not fair if she can't get out

    Frosting on Windows is great (i have thus on the lower part of the door as one of my cats goes nuts if she sees another cat outside) so def worth a go too
     
  8. Lilylass

    Lilylass PetForums VIP

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    ETA I'm not suggesting you do leave him all day - just maybe cut the visit to once / maybe vary the time etc & see if that makes any difference

    If he's only just getting settled & then a visit happens & then this is repeated again it may be quite upsetting for him
     
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