Go Back   Pet forum for dogs cats and humans - Pets.ca > Discussion Groups - mainly cats and dogs > Dog training - dog behavior

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 08:41 AM
Mgue Mgue is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 78
Crate training question

Hi

I just got my 15-wk old cocker/lab cross last Wednesday. I've been trying to get him adjusted to his crate, but he's having a hard time.

When I put him in there before bed, he whines a bit but soon goes to sleep. In the morning, he'll whine and bang until I get up. Today I got up before him so there was no whining.

When I put him in there during the day, like when I can't watch him (he's being housetrained), then he whines, bangs around, bangs on the door, digs up his blankets in there, and even barks. I don't know what I'm doing wrong.

When I put him in the crate, should I put him in & then just close the door and walk away? Or should I put him in, pet him and talk to him for a while until he relaxes, and then close the door, and then walk away? I'm not sure what I should be doing to help reduce his anxiety in the crate and make it not such a big deal to be in there.

Let me know what you think! Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 09:23 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,191
You are doing everything right thus far. He is not used to the crate and therefore is having anxiety. He will adjust. When you put him in the crate just praise him and walk away. Also, if it is a metal cage, putting something over it usually helps.

In the morning he is starting up probably because he needs to go outside - so that is a good sign. Establishing a routine is very important - same time every morning.

Others may also give you some good tips.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:35 AM
jessi76's Avatar
jessi76 jessi76 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2,510
where is the crate? crating works best if it's in the same room as you, preferably next to your own bed. you can then reach it to put a finger close to the pup to reassure him it's ok. try putting a dirty t-shirt in w/ the pup - scent plays a powerful role, can be very reassuring to a new puppy.

Pups aren't born loving a crate. you need to SLOWLY build up time spent in a crate, and ALWAYS keep it positive. start by crating for a min or 2, work up to 10 min, work up to 30 min, then up to an hour or so. a pup should be crated for 1 hr equal to month old. 15 wks = 3mths = 3 hrs TOPS at one time. of course, you should work up to 3hr, not start off at 3 hrs.

to keep it positive, always praise, treat and even feed in the crate. I got my dog a water bottle (much like a very large one you'd see on a hamster cage) so he didn't spill his water while in the crate.

wait by his crate and when there is a split second break in the whining, let him out. he'll learn good calm behavior is the way to go.

if you keep it positive, short time periods, and as the other poster said, routine, he'll come to LOVE his crate. my dog happily runs into his whenever we say the command "kennel". in fact, I often find him and my cats in there snuggling!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 11:50 AM
water101's Avatar
water101 water101 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Brampton Ontario
Posts: 46
Make sure the crate is the right size. When we put our pup in he gets a peanut butter filled Kong and a toy that he likes. He whines a little but soon settles down. Over time the whinning has almost stopped. We also leave the door open on his crate all day when he is not in it. He goes in and out all the time and uses it to store his toys. This allowed him to feel comfortable with his crate.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 12:55 PM
mollywog's Avatar
mollywog mollywog is offline
Molly's mama
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NW Ont
Posts: 1,341
is it a wire crate? Like Ben Max suggested, putting a blanket over top of it might help to ease some of the anxiety. Don't give up, just keep it positive!
__________________
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
http://mollywogblog.blogspot.com/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 01:45 PM
Mgue Mgue is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 78
The crate is in the kitchen area - we don't want to put it in our bedroom because he is not allowed in the bedroom. We are keeping him away from carpets until he is house-trained. I can try putting in a t-shirt. The door is open all day, but he only sometimes goes in there to lay down. He usually sleeps by the couch where we are.

It's a plastic crate (petcargo) with a wire door. We cover it with a blanket sometimes but I'm not sure if he's less anxious being totally in the dark or if he is less anxious if he can still see us in & around the house…

The crate is a bit big for him right now, and he did soil it twice in the first couple days. But now we put a towel and his bed in it, and he loves his bed so much that I think that helps him keep from soiling it. He hasn't soiled it since we put his bed in there.

We have a Kong - do I just spoon regular peanut butter into it?

We do have to leave him alone for about 2 - 3 hours a day when our work schedules overlap. He's been left alone a couple times for 2 - 3 hours and he's done fine. I'm trying to crate him more even when I am home, and I give him treats but I'm worried about giving him too many treats (he's gained 6 lbs in 6 days since we got him, as I put in the Food forum).

I'll start feeding him his meals in his crate too…

I can't wait until my dog LOVES his crate!! It breaks my heart to put him in there!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 02:41 PM
jessi76's Avatar
jessi76 jessi76 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2,510
all dogs are different, mine prefers the wire crate, no blanket over it. he likes to see his surroundings. experiment to find your dog's preference.

it should be big enough for him to lay comfortably, stand, and turn around in. not big enough to soil one end, sleep on the other.

good idea to crate while you ARE home as well. alot of ppl forget that. I did it, when I cleaned the floors (to keep him off the wet floor) and so he learned the crate does not always mean we are leaving the house.

ETA: you can put PB in the kong, other good fillers are mild cheeses, yogurt, canned puppy foods, etc.. there are many KONG recipes and suggestions on this site.

Last edited by jessi76; September 23rd, 2008 at 02:44 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old September 23rd, 2008, 03:09 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,191
Jessi76 is right. All dogs are different and there is no standard formula. For us humans - it is trial and error.

Just be patient - everything will work out fine.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old September 24th, 2008, 03:15 PM
Mgue Mgue is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 78
Thanks for all the advice! I'm wondering if we are crating him too much - please tell me...

Overnight - he sleeps in his crate
6:30am - I let him out, take him outside for #1 & #2, a little play then back inside
6:45 - 7:00am - he goes back in his crate while I take a shower (he's not housetrained, so I can't watch him) - he whines and even barks a couple times
7:00am - 7:30am - I let him out, he rests by my feet in the bathroom while I get ready
7:30 - 7:50am - he goes back in his crate while my fiance drives me to work (again, not housetrained so we can't watch him)
7:50am - 2:00pm - he is out of his crate, napping, playing, going outside for business & walks & play
2:00 - 4:30pm - he is in his crate while our work schedules overlap
4:30pm - I let him out, take him outside for his business & walks & play
All evening, he is out of his crate napping, playing, eating, going outside for business & walks & play

Yesterday we started feeding him his meals in his crate (around 11am and around 6pm) and I also started hiding treats in there. Since I did that, he is going in it much more often during the day & evening (door stays open). Also yesterday I practiced putting him in, close the door, sit, lie down, then treat. I sit by his crate and he just stares at me until I open the door (only a bit of whining).

We recorded him when we left at 7:30am and he was very high-pitched whining & barking for 5 straight minutes until he calmed down. I don't want him to do this, even if it's normal because we live in a condo & could disturb the neighbors. He didn't do this when my fiance left at 2pm, but he puts him in his crate with the door closed for about 1/2 hour before he leaves. I can't do this in the morning or else he wouldn't be out of the crate at all except to do his business.

Anyway, sorry for the long post - I'm a first-time dog owner and clearly very concerned. Thanks in advance!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old September 24th, 2008, 05:08 PM
TwoLostSouls TwoLostSouls is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Mississauga
Posts: 28
When you put your dog in its crate before you leave, do you just put him in, close the door and leave or do you create an emotional situation where you feel bad about leaving him?

Dogs read our emotions and react to them. If you project sadness, your dog will become sad. If you project anger, your dog will get angry.

Pack leaders don't have conversations, they simply do what they want and the other members follow. You must remain calm and assertive if you want your dog to react well. You should get in the habit of having your dog go into the crate on command - no need to shut the door on him unless you're leaving for real - and get him used to being in it. Giving him a treat when he goes in without a hassle is also a good habit to get into.

There's nothing wrong with your routine though, your dog doesn't really care where he sleeps or stays unless you feel bad about leaving him there. Dogs usually like having a place to go like a crate as it serves as a den, a dog's natural habitat.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old September 24th, 2008, 05:46 PM
Trapper's Avatar
Trapper Trapper is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoLostSouls View Post
When you put your dog in its crate before you leave, do you just put him in, close the door and leave or do you create an emotional situation where you feel bad about leaving him?

Dogs read our emotions and react to them. If you project sadness, your dog will become sad. If you project anger, your dog will get angry.

Pack leaders don't have conversations, they simply do what they want and the other members follow. You must remain calm and assertive if you want your dog to react well. You should get in the habit of having your dog go into the crate on command - no need to shut the door on him unless you're leaving for real - and get him used to being in it. Giving him a treat when he goes in without a hassle is also a good habit to get into.

There's nothing wrong with your routine though, your dog doesn't really care where he sleeps or stays unless you feel bad about leaving him there. Dogs usually like having a place to go like a crate as it serves as a den, a dog's natural habitat.
Great post
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old September 24th, 2008, 08:54 PM
mona_b's Avatar
mona_b mona_b is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hamilton Ont
Posts: 4,620
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessi76 View Post
where is the crate? crating works best if it's in the same room as you, preferably next to your own bed. you can then reach it to put a finger close to the pup to reassure him it's ok. try putting a dirty t-shirt in w/ the pup - scent plays a powerful role, can be very reassuring to a new puppy.

Pups aren't born loving a crate. you need to SLOWLY build up time spent in a crate, and ALWAYS keep it positive. start by crating for a min or 2, work up to 10 min, work up to 30 min, then up to an hour or so. a pup should be crated for 1 hr equal to month old. 15 wks = 3mths = 3 hrs TOPS at one time. of course, you should work up to 3hr, not start off at 3 hrs.

to keep it positive, always praise, treat and even feed in the crate. I got my dog a water bottle (much like a very large one you'd see on a hamster cage) so he didn't spill his water while in the crate.

wait by his crate and when there is a split second break in the whining, let him out. he'll learn good calm behavior is the way to go.

if you keep it positive, short time periods, and as the other poster said, routine, he'll come to LOVE his crate. my dog happily runs into his whenever we say the command "kennel". in fact, I often find him and my cats in there snuggling!
In the 24+ years of owning dogs(not including when I was a child),I have never crated.And had lots of carpet....And my guys had free run at 5 1/2 months.But I do agree with this.The mistake some people make is not introducing the pup to it slowly.This pup is in a new enviroment and is sorta scared.But on the other hand,some people have the pup in the crate to much.When the pup is out,you need to learn the signs when he/she needs to go out...

Quote:
it serves as a den, a dog's natural habitat.
See this is where I have to disagree.It's not a dogs "natural habitat".We have domesticated dogs.They don't know what a "den" is.Dogs go into labour,they are put in a whelping box,or a bed is set up.We are talking dogs not wolves.

Just a suggestion.How about feeding him a bit earlier.Say 8am?

Also,how about taking him in the car when your fiance drives you?This way he can start getting used to the car?

Sometimes keeping them away from carpets till housetrained can backfire.You can have him on carpets,but just keep a close eye on him.If you see him sniffing,then you know.My niece just adopted 2 pups,(7 weeks) and my nephew adopted the other sibbling.There is tons of carpeting,and the pups are all over the place on it....They keep a close eye on them.
__________________
"A dog can express more with his tail in minutes than his owner can express with his tongue in hours."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old September 24th, 2008, 08:55 PM
Mgue Mgue is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 78
Great points, TwoLostSouls!

When I put him in & just walk away, he goes crazy - whines, barks, bangs around, pulls up the bedding, etc.

I thought maybe I need to calm him down first? So now I put him in, get him to sit & lie down, pet him until he is calm, then I close the door & walk away. He still whines & barks but it seems to be less panicked... At least I think so?

I do feel bad putting him in there though, so maybe he picks up on that.

I thought maybe he was freaking out because he just spent all night in his crate and he doesn't want to be in there again so soon.

I can't have him barking that early when we're gone though, so I'm still at a loss for what to do?
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old September 26th, 2008, 11:24 AM
jessi76's Avatar
jessi76 jessi76 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mgue View Post
Great points, TwoLostSouls!

When I put him in & just walk away, he goes crazy - whines, barks, bangs around, pulls up the bedding, etc.

I thought maybe I need to calm him down first? So now I put him in, get him to sit & lie down, pet him until he is calm, then I close the door & walk away. He still whines & barks but it seems to be less panicked... At least I think so?

I do feel bad putting him in there though, so maybe he picks up on that.

I thought maybe he was freaking out because he just spent all night in his crate and he doesn't want to be in there again so soon.

I can't have him barking that early when we're gone though, so I'm still at a loss for what to do?
petting and sitting w/ him until he calms down is in fact REWARDING that behavior. It's a natural reaction, yes, but not good to stop the carrying on. you should accept the fact that dogs (pups in particular) will bark, whine and cry a bit. They WANT to be WITH you, so we can't blame them for fussin about it. They do stop though, most don't carry on longer than 15-20 min. I would give the pup a stuffed KONG to keep him occupied, and just leave. when the noise stops, THEN let the pup out.

my dog is a basenji mix, and let me tell you... a whining/crying basenji pup is a horrid noise - they yodel & scream. I could hear my dog when i was IN my car in the driveway, but he always stopped about 10 min later, and in a month or so he stopped entirely and was used to (and loving) his "room" (crate).

toss in a favorite long lasting treat, toy (KONG) or nylabone (for puppies) to help occupy the pup.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old September 26th, 2008, 01:27 PM
Mgue Mgue is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 78
So I'm exhausted after a week & a half of taking care of this little guy. I'm up around 6:15am when he starts whining in his crate. I'd tell him "no" and leave him, but it might be because he has to "go"! And I don't go to bed until about 11:30pm when my fiance gets home because I didn't want to put Ozzy in his crate at 10pm when he's just going to be taken back out when my fiance gets home.

Well from pure exhaustion, last night I decided to crate Ozzy & go to bed early. I took him outside around 9pm - when we got back inside, I told him to go in his crate very matter-of-factly, closed the door & didn't say a word, just turned the lights off and went right to my bedroom. Ozzy didn't even whine, bark, nothing!! It could have been that he was so tired (he had an exciting playdate with a much bigger dog earlier in the day) or maybe because I didn't create "an emotional" experience like a previous post suggested. Either way, it worked! I got a full night's sleep & I didn't feel so bad about crating him!

We left him in the crate this morning when my fiance drove me to work. He whined when we left, but I don't know if he barked (we didn't record it). I hope not! My poor neighbors!
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old September 26th, 2008, 01:31 PM
jessi76's Avatar
jessi76 jessi76 is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: U.S.
Posts: 2,510
excellent!!! being very "business-like" certainly does help. I hope it continues to go well - keep us posted!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old September 27th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Longblades Longblades is offline
Senior Contributor
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,011
Lots of great tips and ideas. Just want to add, and sorry if someone did already and I missed it, be careful of blankets over top and toys left inside. Some pups will pull a corner of the blanket in and eat it or may swallow chunks of toys. Most chew toys should be given with supervision. We couldn't even put bedding in when our guy was young.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crate, training

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Terms of Use

  • All Bulletin Board Posts are for personal/non-commercial use only.
  • Self-promotion and/or promotion in general is prohibited.
  • Debate is healthy but profane and deliberately rude posts will be deleted.
  • Posters not following the rules will be banned at the Admins' discretion.
  • Read the Full Forum Rules

Forum Details

  • Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
    vBulletin Optimisation by vB Optimise (Reduced on this page: MySQL 10.00%).
  • All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:03 PM.