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Crate question

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 09:40 AM
I have an almost 9 week old Golden Retriever puppy named Indy. She's doing really well for the most part! I have a question regarding her crate. I have a wire crate and I blocked off the back half of the crate with boxes so she has only enough room to stand, turn and lie down. I have noticed that she really likes to bury herself in...whatever! in order to sleep. I have a hard time getting her to go into her crate. I feed her in it, I put treats in, her favorite toys...you name it! But, she'd rather not have the treat then go in. Once she finally DOES get in there..she's not too bad in it. However, I see her pacing in the crate, turning around and often trying to bury her head somewhere to make a "den". I tried putting a blanket over the crate to make it darker...but it's not working. She's having a hard time settling down in it. Any suggestions?? I am trying to "re-teach" her that her crate is a good thing by having her get her toy from there and come out, get a treat and come out and then finally stay in. When she does come out, she'd rather lie on the floor then sleep in there. I also have a powder room off the kitchen blocked off with a baby gate for when I am gone for a longer period of time then she can stay ni the crate. She was in there this morning and happily slept on the floor. Should I take the boxes out of the crate and let her stretch out in the full thing? Should I think of getting a travelling crate which might be darker and that she doesn't have any possible "negative" associations with? Help!

tenderfoot
August 21st, 2005, 09:48 AM
We do like the plastic sided crates - they are just more den like.
She is still getting used to the whole crate thing - it will take a little time with her. Stay the course! You could increase her space inside - some dogs do love to stretch out. But if she starts pottying in there you have to make it smaller again. I know the powder room is a nice change for her but soon she will be able to jump the baby gate and then what? It would be good to get her used to the crate for longer periods of time as well.
Overall it sounds like you are doing a good job - just keep it up. Some dogs don't love the crate right off, but they do accept it and then grow to love it.

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 10:25 AM
As I said, she's really good once she's in it. She's asleep in it right now as a matter of fact! She can be in there for 2.5ish hours with no problem before we go out for a pee! I will try to make the space bigger. She turns around and around and it basically looks like she's just trying to get comfortable. She's often asleep almost standing up as she tries to bury her head in the millimeters of space between the side of the crate and the box blocking off the back half! I have an old cushion in there but perhaps it's too soft? Do some puppies just prefer sleeping on a hard surface? I wonder if less bedding is better? But I'd have to take her collar off to go in there in that case. WOuld that be a better idea?

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 10:27 AM
I forgot to mention that the bathroom thing was because I will be going back to work in a week and that's where she will likely be during the day. The problem is that the bathroom is too small to fit her crate in. Is that going to be confusing for her? I was going to set up a wire exercise pen for her in the basement but was talked out of that by someone at the pet store who suggested the baby gate closing off the bathroom.

toby's tracy
August 21st, 2005, 10:32 AM
It took Toby a few weeks to love his crate - and I mean it, now he loves it! :love:

We purchased a large cage that he will be able to use forever (when needed as he gets older..). At first he hated it and soiled in it.

But, we moved it up from the basement to the kitchen. Then we made it smaller (my boyfriend devised a contraption out of some kind of core board that was easy to move back as he grew), and we covered it with a blanket.

We started leaving the crate open in the kitchen for him to get used to. As soon as it became smaller and covered he brought his toys in there and fell asleep. Now, when it is bedtime or any other time we just need him out of our hair for a bit, we just have to say, "Toby, go to your room." And he'll crawl right in.

We thought he would never like it, but making it more like a den and keeping it in a heavy traffic area where we spend a lot of time did wonders.

I hope this is helpful.

toby's tracy
August 21st, 2005, 10:41 AM
I forgot to mention that the bathroom thing was because I will be going back to work in a week and that's where she will likely be during the day. The problem is that the bathroom is too small to fit her crate in. Is that going to be confusing for her? I was going to set up a wire exercise pen for her in the basement but was talked out of that by someone at the pet store who suggested the baby gate closing off the bathroom.

What about if you arrange the crate so it blocks off the bathroom door, but she has access to the crate opening so she can go into it during the day?

That is what we do with Toby when we have to be away during the day. Our kitchen has two entrances - we block off one entrance with the crate opening towards the kitchen and we close the other door. That way he does have room to move around and get at his water, but he does not have the run of the house. If an accident happens (hasn't in over 2 months and he is almost 6 months now - knock on wood!!! :)) it is easy to clean up. Usually when we return home he greets us with a big yawn and stretch as he gets out of his cage - he really likes it there!

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 11:02 AM
Oh my God! Toby's Tracy...you are brilliant! God...why didn't I think of that?! I swear I have "new Mom brain"! I will definitely give that a try! That's the best of both worlds!!
I, too, have Indy's crate in the basement because 1) our kitchen is kind of small and there's not a lot of room for the crate and 2) when we ARE home...we are in the basement a lot. I keep thinking that I should try and find a way to put it up there though. We have a second one that's in our bedroom and that's where she sleeps. In that regards she's great! She was sleeping quietly in there for 8 hours a night since we brought her home a week ago!
Thanks for the suggestions! I will see if I can rig that up and let you know!

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 11:12 AM
The crate in the doorway is a good idea if you can fit it there. You can even place the gate above it so she will not be able to jump on it to get out. Many dogs will circle there bed several times to get comfie and remember she is adjusting to sleeping alone. As long as you set up a routine and stick with it, she will get used to it. You don't need to change crates but you may need to add a few more inches space.

toby's tracy
August 21st, 2005, 11:21 AM
Oh my God! Toby's Tracy...you are brilliant! God...why didn't I think of that?! I swear I have "new Mom brain"! I will definitely give that a try! That's the best of both worlds!!
I, too, have Indy's crate in the basement because 1) our kitchen is kind of small and there's not a lot of room for the crate and 2) when we ARE home...we are in the basement a lot. I keep thinking that I should try and find a way to put it up there though. We have a second one that's in our bedroom and that's where she sleeps. In that regards she's great! She was sleeping quietly in there for 8 hours a night since we brought her home a week ago!
Thanks for the suggestions! I will see if I can rig that up and let you know!

Brilliant...not so much - we suffered through many sleepless nights and disgusting morning cleanups before we discovered what worked for us!

Let me know how it works! It may take a few days before she claims it as her space, but pretty soon it will be her safety zone! A few weeks ago we had some violent thunderstorms and where did Toby go? Into his crate, under his pillow! :love:

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 11:54 AM
Another thing is I feel like our outside time is becoming "less fun". We go outside and all I do is say, "No...leave it" or "Drop it" or "Don't eat that" and I feel like she's not liking being out there with me! I bring a toy and she's just not interested in it! She was being fed twice a day at the breeders and that's what I am doing here. She's not finishing her meals when she gets them so I am not worried about her being hungry...at least I don't think she is! She pulls SO hard on her leash that I am worried about strangling her! It's a toss up between letting her have her way and pulling too hard on her leash as I try to keep up with her! Is a body harness better or does that just create more problems?

Also, I have a chance to go to a cottage in Vermont for the next couple of days. Is it too soon to change her environment?

I know I have a lot of questions but I really appreciate the help! It makes me feel a little less overwhelmed!

TracyG
August 21st, 2005, 11:55 AM
By the way, I measured and there will be a spare 4" on either side of the crate. While she SHOULDN"t be able to get through there...I'll see if I can find something to occupy that space. She's amazing at getting through the smallest little spaces! She's very stubborn and determined to get her way! :)

StaceyB
August 21st, 2005, 12:00 PM
It is not so much the environment but the routine. As long as you are not jerking the leash I wouldn't worry so much. Your puppy is just interested in everything new around her. Keep your rules clear and consistant and she will learn what is expected from her.

tenderfoot
August 21st, 2005, 03:45 PM
This is just a quickie - I don't have time to read oall of the posts right now - but I did read TracyG's earlier one.

DON'T EVER LEAVE A COLLAR ON A DOG IN A CRATE! NEVER EVER!!!!!!!

Puppies/dogs can hang themselves in their crates because their tags get stuck or the collar gets caught somewhere.