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crate questions-long (sorry!)

February 9th, 2005, 07:46 AM
OK. Our new doggy (we've decided to call him Odin instead of Blizzard) is already crate trained. The problem we are having is, even though he is very food motivated, we are finding it harder and harder to get him into the crate.

He had a stressfull night last night, as we had to take him to the vet to review his cherry eye. As we were leaving, the vet suggested we put a collar on him, to prevent him from stratching his eye. We tried for 10 minutes to put it on, but he freaked out each time. Three people couldn't even hold him down to get it on. He was so freaked out, I almost wanted to cry!! So the vet said to just watch him and speak with the fosters/rescue to see what our options are about more surgery, etc.

When we got home, we eventually got him into the crate, and he whined a lot last night for about 30 minutes, but eventually went to sleep. He tends to whine if he hears us talk or move at all.

At 3:30 I was awoken by whining, which was unusual, so I thought maybe he had to pee/poop, so I took him out, and yes he did need to go out, so that was good (nothing like going out at 3:30 in the morning in flip flops in February!), but it was really hard to get him back in his crate. Eventually we did, and he actually whined more for a bit, but fell asleep quickly and was asleep until 5:30.

What he does when he gets about a foot from the door is he lies down and "plays dead" as I call it, almost like he is sleeping. If he would stay like that and actually sleep, I would leave him on the floor. I tried that at 3:30 but as soon as I went near our bed, he tried crawling in with us. He is rather pushy if we are lying down at all, couch or bed, he wants to be all over us! He was like this the first day when we were on the floor, but has since calmed down. Maybe I will have to train him to be calm lying down, which is hard because you are in a vunerable position.

Now, I think the issue is that his fosters let him sleep in the bed with them. I have asthma, and although I am not allergic to dogs, I don't really need another body in bed to add to the dust mites. Also we don't really agree with having the dog in the bed with us. If he would just relax, lie at the foot of the bed or beside us, that's fine! In fact, we would love that instead of the crate, because in the crate if he's awake, he chews his toys and makes tons of noise.

So, I know we aren't supposed to succumb to the whining right? We have the crate in the bedroom as we were told that would help with the bonding, and make him feel more secure, but it's almost as though he is lonely and sad...Should we just get earplugs and ignore it? Or should we work on training him to behave at night outside the crate?

Also, I beleive the trainer has used the crate as a place of punishment before, which we do not agree with. We want it to be a place where he can go, lie down, rest, and feel secure, not for punishment.

February 9th, 2005, 07:54 AM
When he whines in the crate you have to leave him in there. If you take him out when he whines he will know that behaviour will get him out and into your bed.

I would use his toys and treats to train him that the crate is not a bad thing. When Briggs gets treats they are always given to her in her bed... then she sees it as a good thing! All I say is "home" and she goes to her crate.

Do not let him sleep on the couch or in your bed quite yet. He needs to know that you're the boss and that you are in control. Sharing your bed and couch with him will teach him that he's equal; then more problems will arise.

As for the collar, I have never had a problem like that. Sorry I can't help out! Briggs is pretty laid back, you can do almost anything to her - except cut her front claws... :p

February 9th, 2005, 08:05 AM
Thanks Sammie, that makes me feel better. I actually had a nice long cry last night because I felt so bad he was whining so much.

February 9th, 2005, 08:16 AM
They're smart... it's good that you took him out to go to the washroom, that's alright to take them out for!! But if he whines because you lock him in there and you let him out.... he'll do it everytime to get out...

When you have a chance at night, I would give him a nice big marrow bone let him sniff it and lick it, then put it in the crate! Hopefully he'lll go in after it... then close the door. Leave him with it for a bit, if he whines, leave him longer... if he's quite, after 5 min. or so, open the door.

What I did with Briggs was put her in the crate and gave her a treat, if she tried to leave with the bone, I would take it away, tell her to go home and when she did I gave it back... it made her realize that she got her yummy treats when she went in the crate!

Hope that helps!! How did he do yesterday alone??

February 9th, 2005, 08:46 AM
He was fine yesterday alone. No accidents. very thirsty still when I got home. I thought I would try something a little different for his kongs. I make some thinned out sweet potato mash and filled the kong with that. That way the water content is higher, and no salt added to dehydrate him. He's a good boy so far though during the day, as long as I try not to think how he feels. He was given two kongs, his bone toy, and some frozen carrots and brocolli, which he loves. That should occupy him for a while.

We need to get to a pet store to get some more softer treats . We can't use marrow bones because he has allergies. There are these hollow long bones, not sure if they are plastic or real, that the rescuer suggested we try. We also need to get a few more kongs, so that we can have a contant ready supply in the freezer!!

I have a list of things to get. We were planning on going last night until his cherry eye popped out! We were running out of his eye cream, so I figured we should go and have it checked just in case. We don't have his full vet history (who did his eyes, was it an opthomologist, what type of eye surgery was done to reverse the cherry eye, etc, so the vet couldn't really offer much advice).

Tonight I will spend some time doing some positive crate training.

February 9th, 2005, 09:08 AM
:sorry: I don't have any suggestions or solutions for you. Just wanted to know that we are thinking about you. I think you are being a good mommy for taking such good care of your new furbaby! :) Don't ever be sorry for the length of your posts especially when you are trying to find information to help you and your furbaby adjust and have a long life together, after all that is what most of us are here for, to share our ups and downs the good and the bad and help us all be better furbaby owners. At least that is why I am here.
Oh and by the way I just love :love: the name Odin for him. LOL the more I look at his picture the more he looks like an Odin. :D Good luck and keep us posted. OH yea and more PICS too.

February 9th, 2005, 09:55 AM
I've never tried this, but I've read that it works. You could try feeding him in his crate (with the door open). The first time you feed him with the bowl close to the crate, then after a few days you put the bowl just inside the crate -- so he has to put his head in but his body is still outside as he eats. After a few days, you can move the food closer and closer to the back. After a while, he'll associate something he loves (getting fed) with the crate. If he ever goes in without a fuss at night, give him lotsa treats.

He's gorgeous, but bulllies can be a little hard headed because they're so smart. You just have to be more hard-headed than he is, don't let him win, or he'll think he's top dog...

Good luck, and give your big galoot a big kiss for me!

February 9th, 2005, 09:59 AM
Another thing you could try is putting something of yours that smells like you in the crate. My father had trouble with his puppy crying in the crate, and he put one of his pillow covers (that he had used for awhile) in with the dog, and that helped alot. That way, your poochie feels closer to you. Just be sure to use something that smells like you (you could even use an old t-shirt that you've worn to the gym!!)

Lucky Rescue
February 9th, 2005, 04:33 PM
No accidents. very thirsty still when I got home

Raingirl, I have no doubt that you are a very kind person and want what is best for this dog.

Dogs are big drinkers, and depriving a dog of water all day long for convenience is not humane OR healthy. You chose to get a dog who will be alone for 9 hours. That is certainly doable, but his needs cannot be overlooked or ignored.

Dogs who eat dry food only need to drink TWICE as much as dog who eat canned food. They need water. IF there is an accident, you will have to clean it up.

Try this: Eat dry cereal for breakfast,and go to work. Do not drink anything at all for the day, until you come home.

February 9th, 2005, 05:10 PM
I dont know much about crates so I could be way off base (Belle uses hers only when she feels like it or is eating something messy) But could you train him to sleep on a doggy type bed on the floor beside you instead of in the crate? To be in a crate all day, out for a couple hours when you get home from work, then all night, seems to be alot of time to spend laying in one spot. Again this is all new to me, so I really have no idea, this is just my opinion.

February 9th, 2005, 05:20 PM
SarahLynn, you have good instincts.
All day in the crate and then all night in the crate can cause your pup to become sensory deprived. If you can't have him in bed with you then have a bed beside your bed and tie him by a short (18") leash to the bed. Enough leash that he can stand up, turn around and lie down again. This gives him a different experience and can help him learn to sleep in your room at liberty when he is ready.

February 9th, 2005, 07:57 PM
Thanks Tenderfoot. I agree that it seems a little long. The problem is that he won't stay lying down once we are in the bed. And unfortunately there is nothing to tie him to in the room (we don't have a bed frame, so the matresses are on the floor and therefore very low).

If you get anywhere lower than where is face level is, he gets really excited and jumps on you. When ever I try and lie on the couch, or in my bed, he kinda freaks out.

Any ideas? I would love to be able to leave him out of the crate at night. Maybe we should just put the baby crate at our door and at the end of the hallway, and let him have that space to himself?

February 9th, 2005, 08:52 PM
This might sound a little wonky, but a friend of mine had a pooch that she didn't want to crate during the night, but didn't want him on the bed either. She also had a mattress on the floor. Do you have a bed spring?
She took a long rope, had her boyfriend lift the bedspring, and she slipped the rope underneath it (from one side to the other)--so the rope is between the floor and the bedspring. She then lifted the mattress and and slid the rope underneath that (from one side to the other)--so the rest of the rope is between the matress and the bedspring. It's kinda hard to explain.
So you have:


I don't know if I'm being clear...

February 10th, 2005, 07:15 AM
Ok...I was in the middle of typing something, but then IE crashed!!

Anyway, as I was saying, we tried something different last night. We put a baby crate in our bedroom doorway, and one at the end of the hall. We put him inside with his bed, crate (door open), toys, and water.

He slept really well, as did we! He barked only a few times after we turned our light out, and then was fine. I even found him lying down like a good boy in his crate in the morning!! No accidents and he was fine!!

We are going to try that for the day as well. I'm a little worried because if you push the baby gate hard enough, it could fail and fall over. Oh could be a huge mess to come home too!!!

February 10th, 2005, 09:34 AM
Hi raingirl,
Exercise Pan is another option.
I leave my Shih Tzu in the ex-pan during the day while me and my wife
are at work. I put his bed, treats, water bottle, kong, lot of toys and training pad in the pan.
I also turn the tv on.
The cat will go visit him from time to time and sit beside the ex-pan and
check out how the little shih tzu is doing.
For soft treat, I pick up a bag of lamb biscut from Global pet food the other
day, it made by a company called "Solid Gold", and it is soft. It says"
good for older dog and puppy" on the bag.

February 10th, 2005, 10:30 AM
That is true. I guess what we are making is our own exercise pen...

February 18th, 2005, 03:26 PM
OMG I could instantly relate to you raingirl!

It was the hardest thing to listen to Diego's whining last night. There was once that I counted 168 steamboats, but finally caved in. I guess I should be stronger, I'll try that tonight.

Thanks Sammie, that makes me feel better. I actually had a nice long cry last night because I felt so bad he was whining so much.