Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Resisting the crate

jrfrenzy
May 5th, 2006, 08:43 AM
I've done a search on recent crate training posts and haven't found one that offers the information I'm looking for. So here goes...

I believe in crate training, so that's not the issue.

For those who crate train, have you ever had a dog that resists it, NEVER willingly accepting it?

I've used the crate for all my puppies, now 4 in total - all jrts. Our current puppy is now 18 weeks old, he's been with us for 2 weeks now. We are having a heck of a time getting him settled into the crating routine. While he does settle down at night when we crate him we literally have to push him in. He HATES it. During the day is the same story. He will bark/chatter/gobble (it's a bizarre sound!) for a very long time when we leave him.

I feed him only in his crate. We gets treated whenever he goes in. I leave him with his favourite chew toy. We've got white noise, subdued lighting... he still won't settle in to the routine.

I should note that I am home all day, with the exception of errands, appointments, etc. Odin is crated because we're still in the house training stage and he's a puppy who loves to chew. I simply cannot leave him out unattended or he would wreck havoc.

Everyday we leave him for very short periods, but this approach has not yet worked. Gating him in a small room only resulted in poop EVERYWHERE. Keeping him on a lead attached to me lasted 2 days. With the dogs, kids and leash to contend with we were in knots all the time.

Any suggestions as to how to proceed with training in the crate?

Thanks in advance,
Kate

OntarioGreys
May 5th, 2006, 09:16 AM
There are a few dog who suffer from crate anxiety, simply put a form of claustrophobia, symptoms with be agitation , heavy drooling panting, they are often biting and chewing on the bars trying to get out often have bleeding gums and broken teeth as result, they will also usually poop and pee in the crate.

It does not should like this is the case with your pup, I would say he is more head strong in wanting his full freedom, so throws a trantrum in an attempt to get his own way and has probablly figured out if he makes enough noise , you will get fed up and let him out, so basically he is or is thinking he is training to his wishes. As in if I make noise I get let loose, this become a reward of making lots of noise

Do you have some where you can go for a couple hours each day for a while , like a library with the kids? It is better if he learns you will let him out when he is not hollering and screaming so he is not in effect getting rewarded for the screaming.

jessi76
May 5th, 2006, 09:51 AM
it's only been 2 wks, I think it's a bit too early to say he'll NEVER accept the crate.

Where is the crate? what room of your home? The reason I ask, is I noticed with my own pup the LOCATION made a HUGE difference in his attitude towards it. I tried our back room (sort of a 2nd livingroom) and he didn't like it one bit. Then I tried the dining room (much cooler room) - but nope... didn't work there either... Finally I tried the kitchen, and low & behold, that was the winner! I'd say experiment w/ a few different locations and see if it makes a difference.

What TYPE of crate do you have? a vari-kennel (sp) or an open wire crate? Personally, I prefer the open wire crates and have 2 for my dog (one in kitchen for daytime and one in bedroom for bedtime). I noticed as long as my dog could SEE all around him, he liked it much more. I had tried putting a blanket over the crate to make it more ""den-like" and he didn't like it at all. needed to see the goings-on of the house.

when I first introduced the crate I'd leave it open, and toss a toy inside during playtime - encouraging my pup to go in the crate on his own to get the toy. This helped my pup understand the crate is a GREAT place - full of fun, toys, treats, happy times.

Luba
May 5th, 2006, 11:53 AM
So you are home and yet you are still crating? :confused:

Well I suggest you spend more time playing with him and training him rather then locking him up in the crate. I did it with all my dogs. The only time I ever used the crate was when they needed a nap and didn't want to go on their own.

I still don't get the crating if you are home to monitor the situation. Makes no sense to me.

SnowDancer
May 5th, 2006, 12:02 PM
My dog has crate issues such as those listed by OntarioGreys - particularly with the desperate need to get out regardless of damage to his person. It is as a result of poor treatment in a crate before we got him. He will never consider a crate his refuge - avoids it like the plague.

jessi76
May 5th, 2006, 12:53 PM
I still don't get the crating if you are home to monitor the situation. Makes no sense to me.

I totally agree that more time should be spent on housebreaking and training (to not chew things). However, I think some ppl crate while they're home because there are times when they simply CAN'T supervise the pup. I don't think for 1 second a pup should be crated for most of the day especially if you're home, but if you can't supervise (say, to make dinner or change a baby's diaper) then I agree a crate is the best place for a pup. for a short amount of time that you can't supervise.

I routinely crated my dog while I was home when he was a pup - not for long - only up to 20 min. Enough time for me to get some laundry done, or mop the floor. This helped him realize the crate doesn't always equal he's being left alone, or I'm leaving the house. By still using it while I was home, he realized he can be content in his crate no matter what, during the day, night, when I'm gone, or when I'm making dinner.

he now voluntarily uses his crate. When I start dinner, he lays down in it, and watches me.

jrfrenzy
May 5th, 2006, 01:48 PM
Thanks Luba for your HELPFUL post. I thought my original post was pretty clear - that crating in and of itself was not my issue. It appears to be yours though.

I crate my puppy because it is important to me to keep him safe when I cannot supervise him directly. It is for his safety, the safety of my property AND my children that he is crated. I am not talking hours at a time. When I take the girls for a bike ride, bringing him along isn't an option. He is in his crate for less than 40 minutes. When I am out washing the car and my girls are napping, he is in his crate for 20 minutes... so on and so forth.

Anyone who lets a puppy intent on chewing items he can choke on be unsupervised (NO ONE can say their dog is supervised 24/7 unless they are tied to you) is negligent and irresponsbile.

Odin is reliable for sit, down and sit/stay. He speaks on command is gives a high five - all before he is 5 months old. And you suggest I spend more time training him? Odin is out for 2-3 walks a day, plays in the yard for hours and loves indoor games. And you suggest I play with him more?

Your entire post is offensive, based on NO knowledge of our routine around here. Before you put up such a judgemental post, perhaps you could take some pointers from those who posted before you. Ask questions and determine the nature of the environment before you condemn.

I have found the questions and suggestions of the others who have replied helpful. Perhaps you could use some training yourself.

Regards,
Kate

jrfrenzy
May 5th, 2006, 01:56 PM
jessi76 - good point about the 2 weeks. He has come a long way already as he used to be just as anxious through the night. He has settled for that, so perhaps with continued effort he will accept his crate during the day. Thanks for the motivation!!

jessi76 - I too have moved the crate around. Through the night his crate is in the powder room on the main floor. It's dark and we put the fan on for background noise. During the day he had been kept in there as well, it just hasn't worked for him. We're trying the approach where we put him in for a few minutes at a time several times a day - and we've put a second crate out in family room for that purpose. We'll see how he does that way. I've heard several people say the kitchen is where the crate ended up. Will give that a go if the family room doesn't work.
He started out in a open wire crate, but he would poop and it would get flung all over. I contacted the breeder and was told that he was used to the varikennel so we switched. The pooping stopped immediately. However, I've put the wire crate out in the family room so he can see us for the training phase.

OntarioGreys - I try to be out of the house for at least an hour once a day. We usually head to the park or visit friends. I know he makes a terrible fuss, but does settle. There have been times though that when we return we can hear him barking.

Thanks guys,
Kate

jessi76
May 5th, 2006, 02:09 PM
yeah, for some reason the kitchen location was successfull. I really hope you find a location that works for your pup!

as for when you leave... you can spy on your pup if you want to be sure... set up a video camera or even just a simple tape recorder. You'll find out how long he fusses for.

what are you using for treats/toys? I've had success w/ a yummy kong for my guy. filled w/ many different recipes, often frozen, which keeps him content while I'm actually gone from the house. just a thought if you aren't using a Kong.

mafiaprincess
May 5th, 2006, 04:21 PM
I found only through trial and error my pup didn't like the type of crate that my roomate originally bought her. I've had the dog for a year, She's been crated since day 2 of having her.. but she had a plastic airline crate till 2 months ago. She never was fully happy in her crate even after a ton of excercise. Bought a wire crate, and now she does enjoy it as a den, and goes in to nap on her own.
I'd never had a dog, so I didn't really realize that crate differences mattered.

Luba
May 5th, 2006, 05:54 PM
You can't expect to post on a public forum and only get responses that suit you.

Why not baby gate the kitchen or another room to limit complete access to the home but still keeping safe?

Seems to me a better solution then crating and more comfortable, more room and less stress for the dog.

jrfrenzy
May 5th, 2006, 07:46 PM
Fair enough Luba.

Gating... our house is an open concept type layout. To gate her in the kitchen I would need something to pan 36 feet!! The entire first floor is impossible to break into 'rooms' for gating.

When we decided Odin's crate behaviour wasn't relaxing we decided to simply gate him into the powder room (approx. 10ft x 6 ft), have his crate available with a super comfy bed in it, toys in it, etc. I even put papers on the floor, figuring if he truly HAD to go he could use the paper as that was what he was used to at the breeder. What a mess!!!! We came home to poop 4 feet up the walls, all over the toilet, ON the crate, EVERYWHERE!! It didn't stress him out any less to be gated in a small area as it did to be crated.

Kate

OntarioGreys
May 6th, 2006, 07:16 PM
My dog has crate issues such as those listed by OntarioGreys - particularly with the desperate need to get out regardless of damage to his person. It is as a result of poor treatment in a crate before we got him. He will never consider a crate his refuge - avoids it like the plague.



It is phobia much like a person who has phobia's to snakes and spider or small enclosed spaces like elevators , they may likely never had an incident that was negative, it is just mentally/ visually they can't handle, It's doubtful that your dog would ever be comfortable with, you should have your vet make a note in his file, if they have a run it might work better for your dog but if they need to crate they may need to sedate to keep your dog from hurting itself(eg tearing open stitches due to panicking) or from becoming over stressed

SnowDancer
May 6th, 2006, 08:53 PM
OntarioGreys - Actually my dog did have to be hospitalized for 3 days when he contracted a virus that was going around Toronto in the fall. My vet said it was heartbreaking to see his face in the crate. He did not auto-mutilate himself as he does at home, but sat there with a "No one loves me" "This is my fate in life" look on his face and apparently was just so grateful for any attention from the vets and vet techs - I gather he got a lot. Prior to this experience, he spent a day at the vets and some time in the crate so they could see how he would react. They could tell he was very worried and while he did not hurt himself they could see he was thinking about it and realized he would have a problem at home - and also that when boarded home boarding would be essential - not a kennel. He also does not like being confined at home in a room - actually some Eskies have eaten much of the area they have been confined in - very strong teeth and claws. To him a crate or confinement is punishment - that is how he was treated. But when he is home boarded by a very nice lady - well he sleeps in her bed - must get awfully crowded because she has 2 big dogs of her own - he does have "his" crate - never shut - with a few toys in it and he eats in there. But that is a controlled - away from home environment - and he makes the best of it. Just glad that he loves her so much and her Husky loves my Eskie and is happy to get those goalie equipment requiring Eskie hugs. He also has SA - but he doesn't start to get "busy" until about 30 minutes after I sneak out the door - just sits and worries. Dog boarder found this out too - her other boarders with SA - well, heck, nearly every dog I meet these days seems to have it - start to act up during first 20 minutes. But from what I have seen my guy's SA is mild compared to other dogs.

SnowDancer
May 6th, 2006, 08:53 PM
OntarioGreys - Actually my dog did have to be hospitalized for 3 days when he contracted a virus that was going around Toronto in the fall. My vet said it was heartbreaking to see his face in the crate. He did not auto-mutilate himself as he does at home, but sat there with a "No one loves me" "This is my fate in life" look on his face and apparently was just so grateful for any attention from the vets and vet techs - I gather he got a lot. Prior to this experience, he spent a day at the vets and some time in the crate so they could see how he would react. They could tell he was very worried and while he did not hurt himself they could see he was thinking about it and realized he would have a problem at home - and also that when boarded home boarding would be essential - not a kennel. He also does not like being confined at home in a room - actually some Eskies have eaten much of the area they have been confined in - very strong teeth and claws. To him a crate or confinement is punishment - that is how he was treated. But when he is home boarded by a very nice lady - well he sleeps in her bed - must get awfully crowded because she has 2 big dogs of her own - he does have "his" crate - never shut - with a few toys in it and he eats in there. But that is a controlled - away from home environment - and he makes the best of it. Just glad that he loves her so much and her Husky loves my Eskie and is happy to get those goalie equipment requiring Eskie hugs. He also has SA - but he doesn't start to get "busy" until about 30 minutes after I sneak out the door - just sits and worries. Dog boarder found this out too - her other boarders with SA - well, heck, nearly every dog I meet these days seems to have it - start to act up during first 20 minutes. But from what I have seen my guy's SA is mild compared to other dogs.

OntarioGreys
May 7th, 2006, 07:21 PM
http://www.mypetpages.net/artists/1731/0/be51a7ee67e2f133bae42ec26bd2b3e9.JPG

My Nikki gets a little rangy when I leave too,lasts 15 -20 minutes and then she settles, she hates even when I go in the shower. If she has to go the vets for a stay then I need to take Sunny along as well and she is kenneled with Sunny, thast seems to work at calming her down, I have had her since she was 6 weeks old, she could not handle the crate even as a puppy

suebruce
May 8th, 2006, 12:38 PM
It seems there has already been some great advise here.. but I just want to share my 2 cents in hope it can reasure you about the crate training.. My sam resisted the crate for at least a month... one of the issues turned out to be he preferred a larger crate because he likes to sleep completely stretched out and he has VERY long legs...

But the good news is that all of a sudden instead of digging his heels in to resist going into his crate.. he has now even put himself to bed in it by himself the odd time.

It just take a perserverance and I think a matter of fact attitude so they don't sense your apprehension. If you think it is fine... they will be looking to you for guidance on how they should be feeling... IMHO

jrfrenzy
May 8th, 2006, 03:05 PM
Thanks for all of the advice. I'm putting together a plan, to try as many solutions as possible.

We'll work it out - he just doesn't know it yet!!

tenderfoot
May 8th, 2006, 08:22 PM
So you are home and yet you are still crating? :confused:

I still don't get the crating if you are home to monitor the situation. Makes no sense to me.

Even more important to teach a dog to be crated! When dogs don't learn how to be alone or self entertain then when you do have to leave they panic. We recommend that if you are home all day then the pup gets crated for at least 1/2 hour a day (could be nap time), so that he doesn't associate the crate with being left alone, and learns to accept it as part of life.

Don't despair - some pups will even be good about their crate for a while and then rebel, but go right back to being good again. Kind of like kids in a car seat.