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Crating training isn't working, help me before I take him back!

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 10:11 AM
My fiancee and I adopted from the local Kingston Humane Society an 8month of lab/pitbull cross that we have named Maddox, we have had him about 3 weeks now. He seemed great when we got him, his temperment test was all A's apart from one C for dog on dog behaviour and he was generally a calm dog, they told us he was not a high energy dog which was what we wanted even though we should have known better given the fact that his mix breed is generally energetic.

So my fiancee and I have worked with him, but we are nearly out of patience. We both have dog experience, I grew up with at least 3 dogs in the house at one time, her family has a Jack Russell so we aren't some new dog owners that got a dog because everyone else is doing it.
For now we have been putting him in our TV room while we are at work and come home at lunch to let him out, problem is he has all but destroyed the room and pee'd who knows how many times now.
There are other things like pulling when walking (tried the stop walking when he pulls, did nothing, Halti harness, he rips it off), chasing our cats around the house, constant walking/running around the house, bitting/mouthing, total lack of respect of us, etc etc etc, but all I want at this point is to get this crate training to work. We got the crate a week ago, we feed him in the crate, let him chew his toys in it, but as soon as we leave he will just bark and with us living in a townhouse the neighbors won't tolerate that. We try the peanut butter in his KONG, toss him some treats and just leave the house, but still he barks. We have put the crate in our bedroom and let him sleep in it, but he just whines, the first night he made it until 4am before he just drove my fiancee crazy, and last night he lasted 11:00 to 12:30 before I had to let him out cause I could not sleep. I want to muzzle him or use a bark collar, but we have been advised that since he has an anxiety problem with the crate that those will just escalate the issue.
If I can get him to stay in the crate with out problems it will help us soooooo much, it will stop the accidents, stop the chewing and maybe give us some of our life back again until we tackle obedience training.

We are at the end of our rope and are soooooo close to taking him back to the humane society dispite it being against our morals.

Please we need some help

jessi76
July 27th, 2006, 10:28 AM
congrats on the new addition!

it will take longer than 3 wks for him to adjust, so please, search deep down and find some more patience. You made a commitment to this dog, so do everything in your power to honor that - he's relying on you.

crates need to be SLOWLY introduced. you can't just put the dog in, and leave, and expect him to be fine. do you know if this dog was crate trained before? or is it new to him? I'd assume it's new and take baby steps.

put him in, close door for a few SECONDS, open up, and reward him. praise/treat. again, put him in, and work up to 1 min. let him out, praise/treat. BUILD up the time in the crate gradually, not overnight, but over time.

i know it's hard to ignore the whining at night, but if he stops for a second, PRAISE HIM. I kept my dog's crate next to my side of the bed, and gently tapped the crate when he whined, I reinforced "quiet" - and praised the quiet behavior.

what type of crate do you have? a vari-kennel or a wire crate? some dogs prefer a closed "den" and some (like mine) prefer to see their surroundings.

it also helps if your dog is DEAD TIRED at bedtime. this does help the whining issue. so, walk, run, and play before bed - a tired dog is a good dog.

there are just some basic tips - you can search this forum for more advice on crate training, there are alot of threads on the subject.

also, crating him while you're at work may be too much for him right now - other options are available such as doggy daycare, dog walkers, etc...

good luck. I hope this was helpful.

we3beagles
July 27th, 2006, 11:10 AM
YA what she said. It took Soozie 6 months to acclimate to our home. She spent so long at the SPCA that she was completely untrusting and unsocialized. She hated her crate. It took that long, but she is a completely different dog. She runs into her crate now and settles down for a sleep until I come home at lunch. She is so loving and trusting we can turn her on her back and hold her like a baby for however long we want, she won't struggle. I know it seems like it is taking forever, but there is nothing better than knowing you have overcome all the issues and now have a well adjusted, loving and safe dog. You just need to give him more time. You are doing the right things, just try what jessie says and go out for 30 seconds. then a minute then 2. Slowly build it up an use plenty of praise. This poor dog misses you and the loving hands he has probably never had before. Just let him know that it will never go away and he can trust you. If you turn him back in to the Humane Society now he will be worse for the next family if he is lucky enough to find another with the patience to train such a strong dog. Vent here and lots. I know in Soozies first 2 months I wanted to give her to the gypsies. :)

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 11:33 AM
Thanks for the postive words, I really need it now.

I'll still work with him, but its the destruction of my TV room that sets me off. So far he has ripped the power cable for the tv and chewed it right off so no TV for me until I can rewire it, and just yesterday I get back from work and the couch stuffing is all over the place yet again and he has got to my wireless internet router power cable and ripped it into 4 pieces!! thankfully I was able to ghetto wire it up to work, also ripped apart a pair of new and expensive work pants that he somehow grabed and hide in the room. I make sure there is nothing at his reach, but he manages to get to things I would not expect.

jessi76
July 27th, 2006, 11:44 AM
since this dog is new to your home, treat him as though he's 8 WEEKS old, even though he's 8 months.

the kitchen or bathroom are good options if you must leave him in a room. Use baby gates to gate him to the kitchen area if possible, and dont forget to puppy proof any room he has access to, especially any room where he is unsupervised.

crawl around on your hands/knees to see what items may tempt him, and remove them - put all unnecessary wires up (unplugged). lock cabinets. don't leave out tissues/napkins/towels. treat him as if he's a tiny pup who knows NOTHING of proper house manners, and start from scratch.

I have a basenji... I know all too well about getting into stuff. But remember, you are smarter than the dog. so outsmart him! hide things better, lock cabinets/closets, leave nothing out, put items into ANOTHER room.

never forget... a tired dog is a good dog.

you'll make it. we're here to help, or just listen when you need to vent. :)

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 11:55 AM
I think I will put him in another room since the kitchen/bathroom won't work with our setup.

catsnatcher-CDN
July 27th, 2006, 12:00 PM
My dog also destroyed my house at first. He calmed down after 6 months. The thing that made the biggest difference was keeping him occupied. The more exhausted he was from activity (car rides, family visits, dog parks, dog walks, training, etc) the less destructive he was.

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 12:09 PM
6months...wow thats a long time to go, I hate to say it but I did not want all this work, my fiancee was the one who really wanted him and I fell in love with him too, but I did not want a dog to take over my life. But I am realizing that its better for us to put up with him and teach him and give him a good home then let him loose and perhaps have to be put down because no one wants him.

here is the little devil.

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d116/Rhutchins/Misc/113_1391.jpg

http://i34.photobucket.com/albums/d116/Rhutchins/Misc/113_1388.jpg

catsnatcher-CDN
July 27th, 2006, 12:22 PM
I didn't expect that much work with my dog either and was pretty upset about my stuff being destroyed but I gradually fell in love with him and now that everything has worked out, I can't imagine my life without him.

Dogs are like children: they need time, patience and you have to be in it for the long haul. In return, they give you tenfolds of what you give them.

He's freakin' beautiful BTW!

jessi76
July 27th, 2006, 12:43 PM
Dogs are like children: they need time, patience and you have to be in it for the long haul. In return, they give you tenfolds of what you give them.

He's freakin' beautiful BTW!

I second that!

technodoll
July 27th, 2006, 12:53 PM
what a beautiful young boy! and those eyes are just pleading "won't you love me"? :pray:

it sounds to me like you are ALL adjusting to one another and remember that you do not know the life Maddox had before you adopted him, if he received zero training (and it sounds like it), you cannot expect him to behave perfectly after only 3 short weeks with you, i mean he's a kid on vacation at disneyland with the grandparents all of a sudden, ya know?

please read this article on Being The Alpha and start the home Boot Camp ASAP. it is important that both you and your fiance be firm, consistent, and patient with the rules. YOUR house, YOUR rules, and if you give them an inch, they will take 4 paws! just a few simple changes will make a big difference in a few weeks, perhaps months, but in the end you will have an angel that everyone will praise you for. Good luck!

http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-alphadog.htm

:thumbs up

Kristin7
July 27th, 2006, 12:57 PM
He is a good looking dog! About the behaviour issues, how about bringing him to obedience school? Maybe working with him in a setting like that would help with the respect issue. It could be he's in that rebellious 'teenager' stage, too, so waiting it out longer could help. You must be totally frustrated, though, my dog has less issues, but i'm still strung out worrying about things. I keep my 5 mo chow/aussie mix rescue dog in the kitchen and made sure to remove just about everything I thought he could destroy before shutting him in, but he did find some things still (including the wood floorboard). I used Bitter Apple on that and had him smell it, which seems to have stopped this wood chewing. Also, I have been letting him chew a big rawhide bone at night while i'm around so he gets 'chew-time' in.

we3beagles
July 27th, 2006, 01:04 PM
Oh my gosh! He is gorgeous. Thank God he has someone so patient. I know about destruction. Beagle puppies are hell bent on it. I had to re lay the linoleum in the kitchen and re drywall the pantry by the time Capone was 6 months. By the time Bugsey grew out of it we replace the carpet in the walk in closet and all our pillows. Crate training really is the best thing for him. Wear that puppy out. Do either of you jog. He needs plenty of exercise. Sleepy puppy = happy owners. You will get through this. I have every confidence in a few months you won't even recognize him. "What happened to my bad boy?" you will say as you snuggle happily. Keep that image in mind. :thumbs up

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 01:16 PM
Its good to know we aren't the only ones.

As for the jogging comment, yes I did jog until we bought a house and didn't have the time, but its been 2 months, perhaps I can find the time to get back into. It would certainly benefit us both.

I'll have to get some Bitter Apple or Tabasco and put it on everything. Do you think putting some on my hands will stop the mouthing/bitting when I try to pet him when its all excited? or will that teach him to be scared of me when I try to pet him?

technodoll
July 27th, 2006, 01:27 PM
i forgot to add that if he has seperation anxiety when you leave & he's crated, you can safely give him 300 mgs of melatonin (available at the pharmacy) before you go, to help calm him down. then slowly wean him off until he is ok and not barking and getting all upset.

that, combined with vigorous exercise in the morning (toss the ball, jog, find another dog for him to play with, etc), then breakfast, will surely lull him to sleep and he'll learn to love his routine, his crate, etc.

don't forget the Alpha boot camp! this boy needs to learn the house rules! "exercise, discipline, then affection - in that order" :highfive:

we3beagles
July 27th, 2006, 01:48 PM
When he mouths or bites your hands simply turn away from him and do not give him the time of day for about 15 mins. (any longer than that and he's forgotten why you are upset) maybe give him a bit of a growl to let him know you mean business. This will teach him that it is not an appropriate form of play and you are not going to stand for it. If he continues to do it it will become more agressive so nip it in the bud. My last foster Hailey did this and after a month she completely stopped. I don't think anyone gave her good attention and she didn't know the correct way to respond to it. :thumbs up

Kristin7
July 27th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I seem to remember from a training class that my instructor recommended yelping like a dog and then turning your back to the dog when it starts mouthing or bites. Turning your back and denying attention also works well for dogs who jump up on people, if he's also doing that. I'm not sure what would happen if you put Bitter Apple on your hands. It might work, but remember to wash it off or you might end up tasting it yourself. It is a spray, and shouldn't damage whatever you apply it to (although test it first if you're worried). You can even put it on plants which is why I had it in the first place, as my cats were chewing on them. A caution, when i sprayed it around my kitchen, I could taste it from breathing it in - yuck (perhaps i was overdoing it a bit). Have him smell it soon after you spray it on, so he knows it's there, and provide him with appropriate safe toys to chew instead. Tabasco might be quite messy, not sure. I'd recommend going to a pet store and ask for Bitter Apple. Even if they don't have it, most likely there are alternative similar products. It sounds like he has separation anxiety possibly, though. Good luck to you and keep us posted.

we3beagles
July 27th, 2006, 03:05 PM
I'm not sure how bitter apple works? Won't he only know that anything not coated in that stuff is okay to chew on? Won't you have to spray it on everything then just to be sure? I think it is better to teach him what is appropriate and what is not. Praise him for eating his toys and simply take away if he chews on anything else with a growl.

jessi76
July 27th, 2006, 03:11 PM
my dog thought bitter apple was a condement. we were better off watching him like a hawk, playing "trade ya!" when he had something he shouldn't, and providing LOTS of exciting, yet durable toys.

pitgrrl
July 27th, 2006, 03:15 PM
i forgot to add that if he has seperation anxiety when you leave & he's crated, you can safely give him 300 mgs of melatonin (available at the pharmacy) before you go, to help calm him down. then slowly wean him off until he is ok and not barking and getting all upset.


I'm betting this was a typo, because melatonin should be given in 1.5, 3, or 6 mg doses depending on the size of the dog. 3mg is the advised dose for an average sized dog, but I would caution against giving it continuosly over a long period of time as it is suspected of slowing down one's metabolism.

Ryanh, you're posts are bringing back soooooo many memories.I have two littermates, who I found when they were around 8 months old. I wasn't looking for a dog at all, much less 2 very energetic pitbull crosses, but that's what I got.
They destroyed everything, couches, books, bikes.........as others have said, you need to dig deep and develope more patience than you ever thought you'd have. It will be worth it in the long run, and I would even venture to say that had my dogs and I not been through so much, and had to work so hard to get them to where they are now, the bond between us would not be as strong as it is.

Give your dog as much excersise as you possibly can, and then some more. This will go a long way to help with any anxiety the dog has and keep him calmer in the house.
As others have suggested, start with baby steps, both in terms of the crate and being left alone.
You can totally do this. The dog is dependant on you for everything and isn't trying to be mean, I promise you. It just takes time, patience and effort.

technodoll
July 27th, 2006, 03:27 PM
oops yes typo, :eek: thanks for catching that pitgrrl. i'm deep in big numbers today at work... :rolleyes:

Kristin7
July 27th, 2006, 04:11 PM
Bitter Apple just tastes bad. It doesn't last long on a surface, so has to be reapplied daily (at least) to be effective. I'm not sure it would work well with a dog having separation anxiety, as he will chew on anything not covered with it, and yes, may even chew anyway, to relieve his anxiety. Could be worth trying on a high valued object, though. At least he may not chew on that one thing! Fortunately for me, it has worked with my pup, who is only teething. Providing lots of appropriate chew toys should help, though, esp when combined with praise for chewing the toys (and exercise!!). You might try this also when he's mouthing your hands (unless you find the ignoring him works). Scold him when he mouths you and then give him a chew toy he likes instead. If he takes it and chews, then praise him enthusiastically. You may have to do this over and over, but he'll probably catch on. Lots of good tips from everyone, I hope some of them work for you. You certainly aren't alone! Dogs sure can be destructive, can't they?

Ryanh
July 27th, 2006, 09:30 PM
thanks again for the advice. I'll keep all this stuff in mind. We had him in his crate this evening which is in the bedroom for about 30mins while kayla and i were chatting about him and our busy days and he whined for a bit, but I firmly said NO when he whined and he would stop for a moment, and I just kept doing it, when he was calm we praised him and eventually he fell asleep. We praised him when he woke up and then took him out for a walk. Baby steps, baby steps :)

Finding out that Maddox is not the only crazy dog sure does help because I was starting to wonder if something was wrong.

Week after next I'm on holidays so I can devote a good amount of time to him, crossing fingers:fingerscr , hope I can teach him some positive stuff.

Yanagi
July 28th, 2006, 01:46 AM
My fiancee and I adopted from the local Kingston Humane Society an 8month of lab/pitbull cross that we have named Maddox, we have had him about 3 weeks now. He seemed great when we got him, his temperment test was all A's apart from one C for dog on dog behaviour and he was generally a calm dog, they told us he was not a high energy dog which was what we wanted even though we should have known better given the fact that his mix breed is generally energetic.

So my fiancee and I have worked with him, but we are nearly out of patience. We both have dog experience, I grew up with at least 3 dogs in the house at one time, her family has a Jack Russell so we aren't some new dog owners that got a dog because everyone else is doing it.
For now we have been putting him in our TV room while we are at work and come home at lunch to let him out, problem is he has all but destroyed the room and pee'd who knows how many times now.
There are other things like pulling when walking (tried the stop walking when he pulls, did nothing, Halti harness, he rips it off), chasing our cats around the house, constant walking/running around the house, bitting/mouthing, total lack of respect of us, etc etc etc, but all I want at this point is to get this crate training to work. We got the crate a week ago, we feed him in the crate, let him chew his toys in it, but as soon as we leave he will just bark and with us living in a townhouse the neighbors won't tolerate that. We try the peanut butter in his KONG, toss him some treats and just leave the house, but still he barks. We have put the crate in our bedroom and let him sleep in it, but he just whines, the first night he made it until 4am before he just drove my fiancee crazy, and last night he lasted 11:00 to 12:30 before I had to let him out cause I could not sleep. I want to muzzle him or use a bark collar, but we have been advised that since he has an anxiety problem with the crate that those will just escalate the issue.
If I can get him to stay in the crate with out problems it will help us soooooo much, it will stop the accidents, stop the chewing and maybe give us some of our life back again until we tackle obedience training.

We are at the end of our rope and are soooooo close to taking him back to the humane society dispite it being against our morals.

Please we need some help


Ok, what you need is a gentle leader, it is a very effective thing when used in walking, training, and everything else... And on the crate thing, I read that you use the Kong, well try this... Get some freeze-dried liver and stick it in the little hold so you dog won't be able to get it out, then spread some honey inside the Kong and stuff it with kibbles (your dogs breakfast or dinner food). Then block the big hole with some doggy biscuts and stuff it until you can't even pull it back out, then put it inside the crate with your dog outside and see how he reacts to it, if he wants to get inside, let him in and close it... And if you buy a few more of those Kongs and do what I wrote, he will soon be a chewtoyaholic...
If this dosen't help you dog to be a chewtoyaholic, I'll find some ways untill he does no matter what.
Good Luck!!

jesse's mommy
July 28th, 2006, 05:42 AM
Hold off on the gentle leader suggestion. I think it can cause damage to the dogs neck and spine. I don't have much time right now as I need to go to work, but I'm sure someone will pop on here before long. I'll look back when I get home.

mastifflover
July 28th, 2006, 09:41 AM
I am not a fan of the gentle leader or haltis. Most of the dogs that I have seen that are trained with them do not do well if you put them in a regular collar and leash they go right back to pulling. I think they put to much pressure on there neck and spine especially with strong breeds. I would think all that pressure could compress the vertebrae in the top of there spines. I would go with a halter I think it will give you better control. I used a lupi harness with a Bloodhound rescue that had never been walked on a leash he could drag me down the street. In a matter of a day he was not pulling and after a while I tried a regular collar and he walked so nicely. But I think most of us that have had rescues have been where you are. I had a Neapolitan Mastiff with S/A and I came home one day to a loft full of feathers he had destroyed 4 down pillows a duvet and a queen sized mattress. I know hearing other peoples horror stories makes you feel better at least you are not the only one. It will get better trust us I know sometimes you can never see the light at the end of the tunnel but it is there just hidden by all the stuff destroyed by the dog. When you are on holidays you can do this little excersise for S/A. Say bye go out for a few minutes come back and if he is quiet praise him and do this extending the length of time as he gets better. It will help him realize you are always coming back I find it helps build there trust. Soon you will be able to go out and he will go and play or sleep till you get home. Remember never make a big fuss over him before leaving and when coming home. But lots of praise when you let him out of his crate. Good luck and we are always here for you to vent and eventually that will turn to bragging about your special boy.:fingerscr

kaytris
July 28th, 2006, 09:58 AM
I much prefer the front attachment harnesses (Easy Walk or Sensation) for serious pullers.

A lot of people have had success with the DAP pheromene diffusers for their SA (or just generally nervous) dogs.

mastifflover
July 28th, 2006, 10:11 AM
Kaytris maybe right the lupi was the only one I tried but there is a lot more selection out there. There were not many choices when I had him there was only regular halter or the lupi but do some research on the net, it will help you to decide. I went to a trainer because I was so frustrated not being able to get this boy to heel and that was what he suggested. I was lucky the first thing he suggested worked.

Yanagi
July 28th, 2006, 02:47 PM
Ok, fine. Everybody's against me with the gentle leader, fine, ok... We are through with that then.
But you should try the Kong with the stuffed food I wrote, works really good... Like my pup, she stopped chew household items and stuff.

rainbow
July 28th, 2006, 03:00 PM
I would get the Newtrix Easyway headcollar. There are other threads here about it so do a search. If you can't find one locally, it's available here at the pets.ca store for $44.95 including shipping. :pawprint:

Ryanh
July 28th, 2006, 03:46 PM
The Halti doesn't work, he can rip if off him in a matter of seconds, so I'm going to return it and try something else.

rainbow
July 28th, 2006, 03:54 PM
Check this website out:

www. newtrix.ca

But it's also available cheaper from this site....go to the bottom of the page and click on "Store".

x.l.r.8
August 28th, 2006, 10:06 PM
I'm sure there are most on here that have forgotton more than I'll ever know but in my short time I have worked that when doing obedience exercises I no longer offer a treat I toss the treat out of his reach, after about 10 minutes of this he gets very tired without me moving a muscle. It sounds like you are on the right track, we walk the bejesus out of Riley and we make sure we have everythign we do not want replaced well out or reach. We also found ignoring him for short periods of time make him calmer and easier to work with, it feels like we constantly training but as long as his tail is wagging and he comes back for more we know he's excercizing his brain as well as his body, wearing him out physically may not be doing anything for his mental state, we love the buster cube for keeping him entertained good old tug keeps him in in no doubt who's boss, not by winning but by ending the game when I say so. By the way you have a beautiful dog, I can see why you fell for him in a big way. Just remember as hard as it is now in a few years it will all be paying off and you'll have a companion for life that has grown with you, that's what I'm telling myself as I vacuum up the hairs in my Porsche and clean the windows of drool smears. It WILL be worth it, it WILL be worth it it WILL be worth it.:D
And is seems everyone here is full of support :highfive: use them, as just reading through the forum for the past few months before I took the plunge, has given me great encouragement to go ahead and tackle the issues as they arrive.