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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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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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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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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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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.

Quote:
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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Old November 15th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
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.
If a dog hasn't been crated for a few years, you can't just put him in one and leave for a few hours and expect him to accept it..It doesn't matter how much you exercise them..You honestly think it will make a difference cause I don't and I have seen it...If you have to re-crate train then you need to do it in baby steps as if it were a pup...And to be honest, there are different things you can do instead of crating..This is a dog that has had free run which means he is NOT destructive. So personally I don't think he should be crated..BUT that is just me.

ClaireDutt instead of putting up a baby gate, can you make a door? You can get a piece of wood(measure the doorway) screw in 2 hinges so you can open it and then put a clasp hook....This is something I did when I blocked off my kitchen and had 2 pups.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
If a dog hasn't been crated for a few years, you can't just put him in one and leave for a few hours and expect him to accept it
So far, no one here in this thread has said anything about it being an easy fix. I think the OP also recognizes that this is something that will take patience and consistancy, and more training.

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It doesn't matter how much you exercise them..You honestly think it will make a difference cause I don't and I have seen it...
Absolutley. Fufilling an animals needs, one of which is excercise, will completley help the situation.

It isn't the be-all end-all to this scenario, but when we are dealing with confining an animal - especially a dog which is a mix of two very high energy breeds - satisfying this very important need before confining the animal (regardless of whether the confining happens with a gate, a door, or a crate) will totally help.

In fact, I'm surprised this point is even being argued, but anyway....

LP brought up a good point too. Teaching this dog to stay off the couches will be an important step regardless of crate-training; but if the OP wishes to continue with it, she needs to know that it is not impossible NOR is it wrong.

Good luck Claire, and keep us posted!
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Old November 15th, 2009, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bailey_ View Post
In fact, I'm surprised this point is even being argued, but anyway....
it's being argued because you keep stating that the exercise will help..This is a dog who has had free run and hasn't been destructive in 4 years..He is put in the crate and is now stressing out and will eventually hurt himself..The crate is the problem here...This is why I had said it will take baby steps..But there are other options to crating..He doesn't like to be confined..

My sister has 2 Huskies (she just lost her third on the 4th) they are far from high energy..My neice has 2 husky mixes(15 months), they are far from high energy also..I have co-workers with Labs not high energy.When was the last time you saw a seeing eye dog with high energy? They are so layed back....See where I'm getting at? Not every dog of these breeds are high energy..And to me it seems like claires dog is pretty good with no other issues.

Soooooooo lets just see how things are going.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
He doesn't like to be confined..
Exactly. This is why the OP needs to re-train him to understand the crate is a safe and acceptable place.

Quote:
it's being argued because you keep stating that the exercise will help..This is a dog who has had free run and hasn't been destructive in 4 years..He is put in the crate and is now stressing out and will eventually hurt himself..The crate is the problem here...
The crate is not the problem. A dog that has had four years of free-run will obviously not like being confined anywhere - be it a room or a crate. (Which is why this dog broke down the baby gate before he was ever crated).

It's a matter of re-training and doing so in a way that will be much more relaxing and stress-free for the dog.

If we throw a dog into a crate without first fufilling it's desire for physical and mental stimuli, we're making it more difficult for the dog to relax in this situation.
Pent up energy is NEVER a good way to start any type of training with a dog, especially when we are teaching it to accept being in a small area for a period of time.

Again, I don't see how this could at all be a bad thing for the OP to start focusing on with her dog before crating him and don't understand why the suggestion is being argued against; so I'll just leave it at that.

Quote:
My sister has 2 Huskies (she just lost her third on the 4th) they are far from high energy..My neice has 2 husky mixes(15 months), they are far from high energy also..I have co-workers with Labs not high energy.When was the last time you saw a seeing eye dog with high energy? They are so layed back....See where I'm getting at? Not every dog of these breeds are high energy..And to me it seems like claires dog is pretty good with no other issues.
That's great that you know huskys and labs that aren't high energy. I know many that aren't as well, and many that are. (Actually, the majority I do know are high energy, very sensitive to their surroundings.)

As for a seeing eye dog not being high energy - you've essentially just proven my point without realizing it - seeing eye dogs are put to work ALL DAY long. They are incredibly stimulated, which in effect, is giving a dog a lot to focus on and a job, every minute of the day. Thus, the reason you would usually see a very calm and capable service dog.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 09:40 PM
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I think what Mona is trying to say (please correct me if I'm wrong Mona) is that even if Claire increases her dog's exercise, she still can't leave him in a crate all day long. Some dogs can take months to acclimatize to a crate and it begins when the owner is home for very small amounts of time. So if this is Claire's intention, it's best she do it properly and slowly if she's to be successful. In the meantime, other solutions must be found in order to diminish her dog's anxiety to the changes in his environment. It doesn't seem like he was eased into the transition. He went from being free roam to being crated all because of new furniture .

Claire, do you think you can discuss with your bf about alternatives other than crating at this point?
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Old November 15th, 2009, 10:51 PM
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Absolutley LP, I agree with that - and you might notice in my first post I mentioned that a dog walker or doggy daycare might be something to look into as well, considering this dogs history to have free run of the home.

I might be alone when I say this, but I don't feel it's an impossible situation to re-crate train an older dog and shouldn't be avoided just because the dog is exhibiting frustration. It does however need to be done slowly and properly, but if it is the owners wish to continue with it - it can be done, to the benefit of the dog.

I just wanted to add Claire, that you might want to think about getting an entirely new crate for your dog. If it's damaged because of his behavior, it probably isn't the best place for him to be in the future.
When you are at home, try bringing the crate out into a common area and when you play with him, throw his toys inside the crate for him to retrive it. Give him a lot of attention and praise whenever he goes in willingly.

Keep us posted!
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Old November 16th, 2009, 09:28 AM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Thank you everyone !!!
it seems most replies have been in line with what i have been thinking/doing. This past weekend was dedicated to crate RE-training !! just short bouts in the crate with me at home, but not in the room (10-15 minutes) and with him staying in the crate with the door wide open and me just sitting in the same room watching tv (for about 15 minutes or until he just lied down in the crate on his own). It's hard sometimes when i know what i should be doing with him (increase exercise and gradual re-training with crate) but this is tough because i only have weekend to really devote to this re-training. but no excuses !! i am going to work on the exercise, getting used to the crate and i have corraled my BF's dad to come over at lunch to let him out for a bit as well.

Ideally i dont want to use the crate at all, seeing as how he has had 4 years on non-destructive behaviour (a few kitchen garbage incidents aside).

Thank you for the tin foil tip !! i am going to try it tonight !! keeping him off the couch has been a whole other issue... he is at the point that he doesnt even attempt to get on the furnitue when we are home and sleeps in his bed at night, but as soon as i get up in the morning i hear the jingle of his tags jumping off the couch and onto his dog bed..
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Old November 16th, 2009, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post

Claire, do you think you can discuss with your bf about alternatives other than crating at this point?
yes, he has been VERY understanding. It is his house, his furniture and his investment. He hasnt gotten upset yet. which i'm very thankful for although nothing in my dogs little bout of frustration has destroyed anything too valuable. The slip covers and the couches they cover are OLD and just in the basement because we don't want to throw them out. My problems lies with balancing my boyfriend's understanding and my dog's potential to wreck "the good stuff". At this point there isnt much of an alternative because my dog broke the baby gate keeping him in the basement... it's a pickle for sure !!
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Old November 16th, 2009, 10:31 AM
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Lets stop and take a breath (is that how you spell it? I always mess that one up).

This dog has had a few changes recently the greatest of which was being put back into the crate for long periods of time.

Changing homes is not as big a deal to a dog so long as they still have their leader to guide them and look out for them, and the general structure and routine of the day remains the same.

Introduction of a new pack member (boyfriend) shouldn't be as big a deal if it is handled well and the new 2-legged also provides good leadership.

Restriction to a crate or smaller environment can tweak a dog if it is done too suddenly. Some dogs do better in a crate or small environment because it helps them feel safe - less to worry about and be responsible for. Other dogs need to roam the house so they feel like they have a job to do - protect the house while the leaders are away.

A dog's energy can be determined by breed and yes, some Labs are insanely energetic, and many huskies are too, and there are certainly many members of each breed who are mellow. You should really think of each dog as an individual and only use the breed traits as a general guideline.

Moving him downstairs might have been fine until someone came knocking at the door (we don't know if this happened we can only speculate that something set him off) and he couldn't get to them and he stressed out because he felt powerless. So he knocked the gate down and reclaimed his job as protector of the castle. This was the tipping point.

I think you have a few choices.

Yes, more stimulation/exercise helps most all situations. His brain and body get a release of energy, release of calming chemicals and he is more tired - not as likely to be bored. But I don't think this is a boredom issue.

The crate could work if reintroduced slowly. Once a dog is well crate trained he should be for life. But to go from no crate to 8-10 hours isn't fair. Think about it. If you were used to total freedom 24/7 and then someone shut you in a tiny room with no windows for 10 hours you would go batty. But if you were slowly acclimated to it you could deal with it better.

If you want to crate him then you have to put in the time to reintroduce it to him in short spurts when you are home, then leave the house for short (minutes) times and work his way into longer times. He can do this again but you need to do it slowly. Be sure to make the crate a happy place just like you did when he was a puppy.

Personally I would think about reinstalling a really great, tall gate that he can see through so it feels more open, but that he can't push through. You should acclimate him to being in that space in shorter spurts just like you would the crate. Get good couch covers, or aluminum foil can work too.

No harm in thinking about daycare, or a walker. Perhaps he could be in the basement for the first 1/2 of the day, the walker comes and then when he has been exercised he could go in the crate for the second 1/2 of the day. Or the walker could pick him up after a 1/2 day at daycare and then take him home and put him in the crate. That way he is getting a shorter time in the crate and some freedom as well. Just until things smooth out again.
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Old November 16th, 2009, 06:18 PM
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Thank you LP, that's what I was trying to say.( over and over )......And trying to say that all in all that this is a well behaved dog. It's the crate that is an issue..And it would be in his case..There has been a HUGE change to him, and he is totally stressed by it...And the only issues is about the furniture....Nothing was said about him damaging the basement..So he is good.

Quote:
As for a seeing eye dog not being high energy - you've essentially just proven my point without realizing it - seeing eye dogs are put to work ALL DAY long. They are incredibly stimulated, which in effect, is giving a dog a lot to focus on and a job, every minute of the day. Thus, the reason you would usually see a very calm and capable service dog.
Actually no I haven't...

The calmness is BEFORE they go back and BEFORE they are placed..That is part of the training the foster does...This I know as my neice has fostered. If they are high strung and not able to be controlled or listen, then chances are they will not make it.


Well it's nice that your bf is understanding....Not to many are.

Just a thought..Not sure what type of fabric the couches are, but what would his thoughts be as to maybe cover the couches when you both leave?..Or would that be to much of a hassel?
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Old November 16th, 2009, 09:17 PM
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Great suggestions Tenderfoot...always appreciate your thoughts!

Claire, let us know how things are progressing. Glad you're able to get out more with your dog and your BF's Dad is able to stop by and help out too.

Keep us posted!
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Old November 16th, 2009, 10:48 PM
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Ahhhhh new furniture. The bane of every dogs' existence. Funny the furniture only stays new and wonderful for a few months and yet the dog will be an important part of the family for years.
Is there not a door on the basement? If not would it not be easy to put a door on it? At least then the dog would have the basement to wander in during the day and the long unused crate would not be necessary. Give him a kong filled with peanut butter and treats while you are away and he will stay busy for hours.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 08:17 AM
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So i have been working on the re-crate training and it seems to be going fine.

I have never had kids and i dont see my dog as a child, but... if i was to just cover the "good" couches and let him have the run of the house at this point would that be like giving in? now that i have started this re-crating which has caused him to protest, if i just change the house to suit his needs and complety stop crating will he think he "won" ? He is not a dominant dog (towards dogs or people), but i attribute that to he has never had an opportunity to dominate. if i want to stop him from eating, he stops, if i want the ball, i will go get the ball, etc... Anyway... does anyone have any ideas ??

I know that i can cover the couches upstairs or i could install a door, but if i can get him to re-accept being crated it kinda sits better with me.

Also, i dont know if i should have mentioned this earlier, but my work day is only 6 hours and i do live about a half hour from work so going home at lunch hasnt been an option for me.

He seems a bit more relaxed in the crate. doing little exercises in the crate with the door open and with it shut. Is it ok to feed him his meals in the crate ? just to reinforce that it's a good place to be ???

Thanks again !!
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Old November 17th, 2009, 10:01 AM
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Retraining him to the crate is always a good idea. What if something happened that truely required a crate and he hated the crate? You would be stuck. Better to move in a positive direction and smooth everything out. Being gone 6-7 hours isn't as bad as 8-10 but it still more than he is used to.

So do what you are doing and make the crate a happy pace again. Yes, feeding him in there is fine. Try not to leave him all day with a bowl of food - only use it as a place to eat but be sure to let him out to soil afterwards.

Letting him have the run of the house isn't 'winning' for him. It's not like demanding that you play, or demanding that you feed him. It's just failure to teach him how to be alone in the basement or the crate.

I think I like the gate (one thats screwed into the wall so he can't push it over) idea better than the door only because it still allows him to see whats going on. The door might be fine but he might scratch at it a lot when he hears noises and he can't see what's going on.
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Old November 17th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Thanks Tenderfoot.

So, i guess i'll keep up with crate training.

this whole situation came to light when 2 weeks ago (or so) he broke down the gate. it was screwed to the wall in two places and had a latch on the other side. First he nosed the latch open, then the next day, when i put something so that he couldnt undo the latch, that was when he actualy broke through the gate. The gate also works better for my house because i have a cat as well and dont really want to try and chase it around in the morning to put it in the basement with the littler box... there's always something !! haha
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Old November 17th, 2009, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ClaireDutt View Post

... if i was to just cover the "good" couches and let him have the run of the house at this point would that be like giving in? now that i have started this re-crating which has caused him to protest, if i just change the house to suit his needs and complety stop crating will he think he "won" ?
I know that i can cover the couches upstairs or i could install a door, but if i can get him to re-accept being crated it kinda sits better with me.
Personally I don't think so..But that is just my opinion...

In situations there has to be give or take...Your dog and you joined your bf in his house....When it was just you and your dog, he had free run of the house....Everything is fine once you both moved in with him...New furniture is bought, and he ends up downstairs.This was something new to him..He crashes down the babygate and he gets put in the crate....So who's needs are suited? Not his right?..This is where the give and take takes place..

Honestly, I am not trying to be rude or anything. Or tell you what to do.I promise...But I'm looking at the whole senerial here and it's the dog who looses.

If you want to re-crate him, that's fine...Say you put new covers on the couch..Have his crate up there but the door open...

I never crated..And I know crating is usually done for house breaking or if the dog is destructive....But I just can't picture a well behaved dog crated.

I won't get into details, but I was at a call to a house that was on fire...When we were able to get into the house and look around, I saw something that till this day haunts me...Lets just say it involves a dog and a crate..Maybe he would have survived if he was by the front door...:sad:

So what's his name?
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Old November 18th, 2009, 09:07 AM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Personally I don't think so..But that is just my opinion...

In situations there has to be give or take...Your dog and you joined your bf in his house....When it was just you and your dog, he had free run of the house....Everything is fine once you both moved in with him...New furniture is bought, and he ends up downstairs.This was something new to him..He crashes down the babygate and he gets put in the crate....So who's needs are suited? Not his right?..This is where the give and take takes place..


So what's his name?
Well, i guess i should have laid out a timeline, incase it makes a difference.

-moved into new house with bf February 2009
- bought new furniture March 2009
- dog put in basement (fully carpeted with many couches to choose from) June 2009
- dog breaks through baby gate first week of November 2009

So this was somewhat spread out, not all at once.

Crating as the only option isnt set in stone, but this is a new situation to me with a previously mellow dog. so it's still a work in progress to make sure he is living a happy healthy life.

and his name is Serj. He's an awesome chocolate brown-ish husky/lab cross !
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Old November 18th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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I think we have to be careful NOT to over dramatize this situtation. The dog has a great home, lots of love & attention - not much to complain about. Being put in the carpeted basement is not a punishment or a negative thing. We humans tend to head down the 'poor dog' scenario when it isn't warrented. He has a good life - he just went from 2k sq. ft. to 800 sq ft. - still a pretty good play area for the day.

Perhaps this fellow could use a buddy? Have you ever thought of adopting an older lab to help give him some company? Your BF could pick him/her out so he feels like he is getting his own dog. I would recommend an older dog who is already set in his ways so you don't have to train a new puppy and really worry about furniture & carpet.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 10:15 AM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Thanks for your input Tenderfoot.

I dont really feel attacked or anything, but Serj could defnitly have had it much worse !! he did grow up with two cats (they came first) so he has some kitty buddies to bother all day, but yeah, another dog is something we have considered. Serj enjoys spending the day with my parent's dog at their house, but i just dont think we have the money to support to full grown dogs. Me and Randy (the BF) are still working stuff out, so now might not be the time to add another dog.

some good news though !!! Yesterday when i got home from work Serj was FAST ALSEEP in his crate and i had to call his name to wake him up.. so hopefully that is good !!! My bf's dad went over around noon to let him out for about a 1/2 hour so his day was broken up a bit. Serj has also been eating in his crate once in a while as well as just laying in it while i'm in the room as well as going in to retrieve treats... so ... other than me screwing him up at first by cramming him in the crate, it seems he might be on track to crate acceptance.
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Old November 18th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Sounds like everything is smoothing out - good job!
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Old November 18th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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mona_b mona_b is offline
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Originally Posted by tenderfoot View Post
I think we have to be careful NOT to over dramatise this situtation. The dog has a great home, lots of love & attention - not much to complain about. Being put in the carpeted basement is not a punishment or a negative thing. We humans tend to head down the 'poor dog' scenario when it isn't warrented. He has a good life - he just went from 2k sq. ft. to 800 sq ft. - still a pretty good play area for the day.
Let me start by saying nothing was EVER said about Serj not being in a great home or not being loved or not getting attention..Nothing was said about punishment..And nothing was said about him not having a good life.And if you recall, I did mention putting up a gate, well actually making one while he is staying in the basement...All my answers were in regards to what was being posted by claire.

Yes Claire, breaking it down to the time frame you listed makes a difference...They way you first posted was telling me that you had just started to put him in the basement...

I like the name Serj...
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Old November 18th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Honestly, I am not trying to be rude or anything. Or tell you what to do.I promise...But I'm looking at the whole senerial here and it's the dog who looses.
Hello Mona B,
I was responding to this one comment, but in general I think people often tend to over dramatize the dogs experiences - when in fact dogs are typically very flexible and can handle changes easily when they are presented correctly. I wasn't trying to accuse you of anything, but only to caution against making the basement seem like a bad place when it really doesn't have to be. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 07:56 AM
ClaireDutt ClaireDutt is offline
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Since the crate has its good and bad points, does anyone have any suggestions/tips for reinstating the baby gate ?? As in, is there a way to teach him to respect it? i guess it might the same as "leave it", but this would be a hard one to inforce when i'm not home.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 06:57 PM
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mona_b mona_b is offline
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Hello Mona B,
I was responding to this one comment, but in general I think people often tend to over dramatize the dogs experiences - when in fact dogs are typically very flexible and can handle changes easily when they are presented correctly. I wasn't trying to accuse you of anything, but only to caution against making the basement seem like a bad place when it really doesn't have to be. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
See the thing is, I don't need to be cautioned about the basement as I never stated once that it was a bad place..And once again I was going by the first post..Then my comment that you quoted me on was in regards to the statement that was made about changing things to suit his needs. And when Claire did the timeline, I did say that it did make a difference..

Claire, instead of using a baby gate, you can make your own gate..Just measure the doorway length wise and measure a hight.. For example 4' or 5'...Then take the measurements to a home hardware/home depot..Any where that sells plywood..Then get 2 hinges and screw them into the wood and the door frame..Then get a hook/clasp. Then you just put it on the outside of the gate/door....I hope this is all making sense.LOL...Maybe this will sound better...Picture a door cut in half.

I never crated..So this is what I did with my dog(and my past ones) when they were pups.
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