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crate issues

January 30th, 2007, 09:37 PM
We have an adorable new pit bull. She is a rescue (had been abused), about 1 year old, brilliant, sweet, and is doing very well with our older dog also a pit rescue. Here's the issue...
The CRATE! My husband and I work from home and our dogs are with us all day long. At night our new dog sleeps in a crate in our bedroom, our other dog sleeps on her puppy bed in our bedroom....all is well. However if we leave the house we always place the 1 year old in a crate - we do not want to leave the two dogs together unattended. The maximum she has been in her crate is 3 hours -- sometimes just an hour or two. She has a blanket and a chew toy in with her and walks into the crate uneventfully. Everytime we return she has peed all over the blanket, she is completely soaked and FRANTIC (tonight she had shredded the blanket). She also pees on the floor as soon as we let her out. The crate is not too large, she has peed several times before we left and has not had a large drink of water beforehand. I hate to see her in this distress. Any suggestions?

January 31st, 2007, 11:05 AM
She has a blanket and a chew toy in with her and walks into the crate uneventfully.

It seems that during the day, she associates her crate as a negative place. Does she know that going in her crate means that you're leaving the house? Seperation anxiety, perhaps?

Let's start over... what have you tried to help her?

January 31st, 2007, 11:32 AM
what about trying to put her in her crate and leaving for 15 min then come back and let her out , then legthening the time a little each time you go out to show her that you will be back and that she has nothing to fear.

January 31st, 2007, 11:57 AM
I would get her used to spending time in the crate during the day for short periods of time while you are home before you lock her in it and leave.

January 31st, 2007, 01:23 PM
Many dogs are fine with the crate at night but not during the day. So you need to start retraining her to the crate during the day.

Go to our web site for a good article on crate training. First take the towel/blanket out of the crate for the next few weeks (she'll be fine without it). Feed her in there (don't close the door), toss toys in there for her to go in and get out. Have her take naps in there while you sit outside of the crate and read a book. You want to create positive experiences and make it a non-event. Then as she gets is able to relax you are going to have her in the crate with the door closed when you do dishes or work at your desk etc. Let her know that the crate doesn't mean you are leaving. Then start desensitizing her to your leaving. Have her in the crate and pick up your keys and move them, pick up your jacket or purse. Do the very things you would do if you were really leaving. Have hubby put her in and leave, but you stay and visa versa. Then start leaving in short spurts. Ignore her every time you leave or return. The submissive peeing should subside on its own- but right now just ignore it and don't make a big deal about your coming and going. In fact as she starts to accept the crate better - you need to come and go a lot - 2 seconds here, 2 minutes there, 2 hours here. Build up to longer and longer times.

Notes - never leave a collar on her in the crate (dogs can strangle themselves) and you can try a good chew toy for her to destress on.

February 21st, 2007, 01:26 AM
Hi there,
I'm having the same problem with my little 14week old schnoodle, Lola. I'm trying to gradually get her crate-happy, but my goodness...I've got a job that I need to go to! Doing this in incremental stages is all very well but what if you just have to leave the dog at home while you go to work! Today I took her with me and it was not a good day for her. I'd leave her in the car in her crate for up to 30 minutes and every time I came back, she would be frantic and fly out the door into my arms the minute I opened the door.

What do people do when they have to go to work but their dog suffers from separation anxiety?

I will be posting my own question in the next few's so hard to choose which problem to tackle first!! :confused:

February 21st, 2007, 08:41 AM
Today I took her with me and it was not a good day for her. I'd leave her in the car in her crate for up to 30 minutes and every time I came back, she would be frantic and fly out the door into my arms the minute I opened the door.

What do people do when they have to go to work but their dog suffers from separation anxiety?

FIRST, a 14 wk old pup should NEVER, I repeat, NEVER EVER, be left in a car alone.

Please keep your puppy home, in a warm and safe environment. If you can't come home to check in, or can't hire someone to do so, doggy daycare is a great alternative. Please seriously think about the safety and well being of your puppy.

most of us here have had puppies and jobs. Same with babies, you wouldn't leave your child in the car while you worked, would you? Hopefully not, and you'd hire a babysitter or use a daycare.

You have a 14 wk old puppy - don't worry about Seperation Anxiety now. Worry about getting your puppy settled and into a steady routine for a few months.

February 21st, 2007, 03:03 PM
A lot of pups will scream when put in a crate, it is there way of saying "Let me out of here" and more often than not the screaming wins and the owner lets the dog out of the crate.

Sometimes you need to let them scream and learn screaming does no good, it won't earn freedom and that you will be back when you get back.

At first they will scream for an extended period hoping you will hear them and let them out, after a while they may scream for 20 or 30 minutes after you leave and give up and then play or go to sleep, the screaming peroid often gets shorter over time

Nikk, though she is not crated still after 9 years does her screaming bit for about 5 minutes and then quiets till I get home, Winnie is basically from learning to do the same as Nikki does, my other 2 dogs enjoy my leaving because they know they are getting a cookies, and once I am out the door there is no fussing from them

Very few dogs have true SA, your dog is a puppy and this the time for them to learn you go away and then come back. and the only way to learn that is for you to leave her crated, turn on the radio and leave, eventually she will catch on that you go come back but her screaming is not going to make it come, The worse thing an owner can do is fuss over the dog before or after leaving. because it causes the dog the worry. The owner has to act like this is normal and no big deal and eventually the dog learns that a well, it is just part of the daily routine, if you are anxious and worried about what will happen each time you leave the house the dog senses that and they worry as well, so more often than not it is not the act of crating that causes SA but the dog sensing the owner stressing over it. I do a bit of crating while I am home first and feeding in the crate, and have the dog spend a 20 or so minutes in the here and there with them at a time in the crate and at first , they are crated at night in the same room me and a day or 2 later go straight to my normal routine of going to work with new dog, both with my dogs and fosters, none of them ever developed SA. some screamed for the first day or two , other screams for a couple of minutes right after I leave but usually when I come home the house is totally quiet just before I enter the house.

February 26th, 2007, 12:49 PM
Jessi, I want to clarify the car issue. I am a sales rep and I work from home, driving around during the day (when I'm not browsing this forum!) making sales calls. What is the problem with leaving her in the van in her crate if I am only gone for 5-30 minutes? I thought it was a good solution to continuing the training with leaving, coming back, etc. The weather is not hot and not too cold (she has her hot water bottle and blankets as well) - I'm in Vancouver. I have a friend who is also a rep and she takes her standard poodle everywhere with her, even overnighters out of town where they stay in hotels. This dog was trained at a young age to accept going in the car and waiting while she makes calls. Of course she didn't go in the summer, though!

OntarioGreys, thanks for the pointers. I am being pretty careful about not making a fuss over her when leaving and coming home. She came to us in a bit of a fearful, shy state but has really come out of her shell...except for following us from room to room and screaming when left alone. Unfortunately, someone is home a lot and we have not been diligent in crate training. She also belongs to two households, travelling with my daughter to her dad's half the time - and she doesn't have a crate there! There are all sorts of hurdles in our situation, it seems, that makes it more difficult to get this puppy to settle down. Her temperament is such that she takes more work...she's smart, and catches on pretty quickly when she doesn't like something and learns to avoid it. She is also not food motivated - she will often totally ignore her meals, avoiding her food dish altogether unless coaxed. This makes it difficult to feed her in her crate when she isn't interested in food. (She's probably full of slugs and poo - as per my other posts!) :yell: