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milo811
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Location: Whittier, CA
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02-09-2009, 07:21 PM

My puppy doesn't like his crate. Should I give up?

Adopted a puppy at 8 wks old, now 11 wks. Bought him a crate and he does not like it. We spent the 1st 2 wks trying to get him use to it. I used treats to lure him in there, fed him in there, and even carried him in there while heís 1/2 asleep (he prefers to sleep by my feet). During those 2 weeks, the only time that the crate door was ever closed was when he slept at night, which is placed in our bedroom. During the day, the crate is in the family room. He just never voluntarily goes in there unless there is a treat or if we are feeding him. Last week, we had to start confining him to a small area in the kitchen because of work (we placed the crate in the confined area). We set up pee pads on the floor for him to use (we have been taking him outside when we are home). The first day, I came home and instead of pooping on the pee pad, he pooped on his blanket inside the crate. I also do not believe that he ever goes inside the crate to sleep. I donít get it? I believe I am following all the suggestions I have researched on the internet but my dog just does not like the crate. Should I just forget about the crate? What else should I try? I also tried putting a kong in there stuffe with him kibbles. He doesnít really get the kong and the minute he sees that the crate door is closed, he is whining. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Cassius
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02-09-2009, 09:39 PM
Hi,

I think your pup is confused abotu the function of the crate. Does he sleep in there happily during the night? If so, then he knows it's a place to sleep. And not many pups wuld refuse to go in if food or treats are on offer.

When you're at home with him, does he get sleepy or restful after a walk, playing, training of any sort? If so, make sure he's worn out and then offer him a reward for going into his crate. Don't lock him in as it's not necessary when you're in the hosue with him. But he will learn in time that it's a safe place where he can be on his own. If he thinks he's going to be shut in there for any length of tiome (other than to sleep overnight) he may be reluctant to go in there at all.

As you've only just gone out to work and left him inthe confined area weith the option of going in his crate, I'd persevere and give him time to get used to it. Clean up any mess, regardlews of whether it's in his crate or not, withuot reprimanding him.

Replace his blanket or bed with a clean one or new one (one which doesn't have the scent of his messing onit) and start over. Again leave the pee pads on the floor by the door should he need to use them. Put his crate as far away from these as is physically possible within the confined area. Thsi way there is no mistaking where he sleeps/rests and where he pees when you're not there.

Also, instead of his usual kibble inside the kong, try a few pieces of cheese, or sausage. These will be far more attractive to him and is a far higher value reward. SO he'll learn in quite a short space of time that he must go into his crate to get the best rewards.

He's only young yet. Don't give up on the crate training yet. If you give up on it now after only 3 weeks, what happens in 3 months, 6 months, 12 months etc down the line when you're training obedience and he doesn't grasp it straight away? Will you give up on him then too?
Sometimes it takes dogs longer to learn what we're trying to teach them that we would like. Just keep trying. You've not mentioned any real problems with his behaviour etc so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Good luck.

Laura xx
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rune
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02-09-2009, 09:43 PM
It could be that he is associating the cage out of the bedroom with your leaving him.

How long is he left when you go to work?

rune
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Simira
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Location: Oxford, UK
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02-09-2009, 09:45 PM
Google "crate games"! My dog loves his (or any!) crate, and we actually use it to reward him when training! After a good job, I tell him "the crate", and he runs happily to his crate and curls up there.
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Nicedog
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02-09-2009, 11:38 PM
In my opinion you should forget all about the crate. Your little one obviously don't like the idea of spending time inside!! I suggest you make parts of your home "puppy-safe" and confine him to those areas when you are at work or away for some other reason.

Not sure why so many dogowners want to crate their dogs, in my opinion this is not a way to treat our best friend.
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Lene
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
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03-09-2009, 07:52 AM
Crating your puppy is the safest option... A nice chew, a kong etc...

In the last year I've had puppies chew on electrical leads... 3 times! Which cut out my electricity... Then I had to find the problem... If I didn't have the off-switch... they would have died...

My guys are safe...
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Razcox
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03-09-2009, 08:01 AM
Ela hated her crate and we gave up in the end. She threw herself at the bars, bit at them, messed her self and SCREAMED the whole time she was in there! We felt she was causing herself more harm in the crate then out of it so we just puppy proofed the dinning room and she has the run of that with Cassie. She is now 17 months old and aside from the skirting board being remodelled everything worked out fine.
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Toby96
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10-09-2009, 06:47 PM
Having a dog that is crate trained will come in very handy should you ever find yourself in a situation where the dog has to be crated, e.g. house fire, evacuation, at the vet's, etc.

If a dog is used to a crate they will be OK if they have to be confined to one for any reason, whereas if they are not they may be very stressed should they have to be crated.
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Toby96
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10-09-2009, 06:49 PM
Also, if your puppy is whining when you crate him and you respond to the whining in any way it will only impede the crate-training process.

Calmly put him in the crate and if he whines or cries, ignore him. Don't even look at him, just ignore it. The majority of puppies will settle down once they don't get a response from you.
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labradork
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10-09-2009, 07:00 PM
Nope, don't give up. You have had your pup what, 2-3 weeks? which is nothing. Some pups take to the crate immediately, others need a fair deal of time to warm up to it. My Lab took to his from day one, but my Slovak took I would say 3-4 weeks to feel completely happy and relaxed with the crate. The first 2 weeks or so with her were quite the struggle (no amount of coaxing would get her in!), but we persisted and she now goes in there to sleep willingly. Her crate is her safe place.

When I was initially getting her used to it, I would always sit with her (door locked) until she fell asleep. At first I sat right next to the crate so I could stroke and comfort her. Yet, I didn't over fuss; just kept quiet and calm. Then when she was settled, I would sneak out. It took a week of this to stop the whining when inside the crate. When the whining and initial anxiety had stopped, I slowly sat further and further away from her crate each day without saying a word to her. Each day she settled far quicker and again I snuck off the moment she shut her eyes. I did this until I was out of the room and we have not had a problem with the crate since.
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