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Old November 14th, 2009, 11:48 AM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Question Sudden crate issues with 5yr old dog HELP

My 5 year old Lab/husky cross has lost his mind. He was successfully crate trained as a puppy and by about 1 year was totally trustworthy with the run of the house.

Me and my dog moved in with my boyfriend 9 months ago. No problems. about 5 months ago we bought new furniture and since my dog does go on the couch, he got put in the basement while we are both at work. He has 3 couches to choose from down there and we leave the TV on. Again, no problems. About 2 weeks ago he broke down the baby gate. after that I decided to put him in the crate during the day because it is not an option for him to have the run of the house (due to new furniture). the 2nd day in the crate he pushed the bottom out and moved the crate to the old couch in the basement and ate the slip cover and one of the cushions. Next day, same thing, but a bit worse. Yesterday i came home from work to find that he had bent the metal bars and the door in an attempt to get out (i think with his mouth).

He gets approx. an hour walk a day with about 3 bikes rides thrown in for variety. He sees and gets along with other dogs regularly as well as walk in the woods and country side.

what is going on with my dog ?? does anyone thing that the onset of the crate problems are just a "fit" because he is used to more freedom ?

Any tips would be appreciated !

Thanks, Claire
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Old November 14th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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Yes - it does sound like your dog is exhibiting this kind of behavior out of frustration.

If he's previously had free run of your house since he was one year old, all that crate-training you did with him when he was a puppy is pretty much out the window at this point; especially if you're suddenly throwing him into his crate for longer periods in the day while you're at work.

Another problem is all the changes it sounds like your dog has gone through lately. New person in the house, new environment, and now - new rules.

Unfortunatley you cannot 'reason' with your dog. They need to be shown consistancy.

Because you own a dog that is a mix of two high energy breeds, it also doesn't really sound like he's getting enough excercise to mentally stimulate him for the times that he needs to be alone.

Can you hire a dog walker? Drop your dog off at daycare for mornings or afternoons?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 05:41 PM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Thanks Bailey for your response. It's been a frustrating few weeks. i guess i will step up the walks (go in the morning as well) and hope that helps him.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 05:50 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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If he's managing to bend the bars on the crate and move it around, it's only a matter of time before he seriously hurts himself. Suddenly crating him when he is no longer used to it will cause all sorts of anxiety issues,.

Can you just unroll a sheet of aluminum foil over the couches? It works for lots of dogs as they don't like the feel of it. And teach him to not get on them when you are home. Or how about buying slip covers for the new ones?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 07:00 PM
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mona_b mona_b is offline
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I agree with LP on getting some slip covers.

For 4 years your dog has had free run of the house..Now he is being crated..He doesn't understand why this is happening..He may even feel like he is being punished..Who knows....And with him being crated HE is frustrated.

Honestly, I don't see that exercising him more is going to help, especially if he is being crated(which he hasn't been in 4 years)..By the sounds of it, he's been doing very well before the crating.......If he continues to act like this while crated, he is going to seriously hurt himself.

As LP has said, you can teach him not to go up on the couches..It will take time and patience, but it can be done.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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Bailey_ Bailey_ is offline
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Great suggestion about putting tinfoil on the couches LP.

I do want to add that there is absolutey no need to give up on crate training this older dog simply because he needs to be re-trained to accept his crate.

Dogs need to be shown consistancy, which is essentially the issue here. With patience, this can be done - but it needs to be done properly. As LP brought up a good point, this dog could possibly hurt himself, so this process needs to be done correctly; BUT if it is your wish to have him in his crate, then continue being dedicated to doing so. In the long run its better for a dog to accept a crate.

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I don't see that exercising him more is going to help, especially if he is being crated(which he hasn't been in 4 years)..
The whole point to excercise this dog more is BECAUSE he is suddenly being crated. More mental stimulation and excercise will absolutley help. If we put a dog in a crate when they are used to having free roam, and do so when they have not been physically or mentally exhausted, being in the crate will be a MUCH more traumatic and frustrating experience for the dog.
If we're able to tire them out - even just satisfy that need to burn off energy - before putting them in their crate for the first few hours, most likely they'll feel much more relaxed, tired, and being in the crate will turn into a relaxing experience which should be the goal.
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