Hudson's home! Need crate training help, please! - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-02-2012, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
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Hudson's home! Need crate training help, please!

Hudson is now 10 weeks old and has been home with us for two weeks. He is cuter, sweeter, smarter and more perfect than we ever could have imagined! He has a great, friendly personality and often topples himself over with his vigorous tail wagging. No one is a stranger to him, and he's quickly become very popular in our neighborhood.

Having said all those positive things, we are having some definite challenges. One of those is crate training. And/or maybe separation anxiety?

When we got him, he had not spent time in a crate, so it was all new. We enticed him into the crate with treats, and his first night was pretty rough.

Now he does all right in the crate at night (usually waking once to potty), but we've gotten into the routine of me slipping my toes through the bars so he can snuffle them. Kind of weird, I know, but he calms down and is quiet until he needs to potty.

The daytime is a completely different story. If I give him a treat in the crate and close the door, he wines, cries, barks and sometimes even howls and claws at the crate. I intended to have him in the crate when I couldn't be right with him, but it seems like he's so miserable, it's hard to do. After I've played with him, he often falls asleep on the floor at my feet and is so much happier. But because I haven't been using the crate, we've had a lot more accidents in the house than we should.

The potty training is going well in that he knows where to go and always goes out there to poop. Always. But when he needs to pee, he goes out there about half the time (some days are better than others) or he goes when I take him out there. But he also goes in the house, and, from what I read, I think that's because he's not watched closely enough.

Is it normal for a puppy to be that unhappy with his crate? Hudson's breeder and vet both recommend the "tough love" approach. The breeder moreso, the vet says I should feed him in there, give him treats in there, etc., but he still just gets hysterical.

Does anyone have any ideas how I can handle this? I'm really happy to put the time in, but I feel a little lost. Is it just a matter of getting him in there and letting him cry? If that's the right thing to do, I'll do it, but I just want to confirm I'm not traumatizing him.

He cries whenever I leave the room and leave him with my sons and/or husband, and he loves them. I'm worried he's getting too attached to me, but he's still so young.

I just want to "raise" a dog that is happy and well-adjusted. Any input you have will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 01:00 AM
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Congratulations on your new puppy! Do you have an exercise pen for him? Our breeder recommended we get one since our house is open concept and we can't watch our puppy all the time. At first Pablo was howling and crying when we left him in there (he still does it, but not as often, only when he's very hyper).

We leave him in the ex-pen while we are cooking or doing work around the house. He naps in his crate 3 times a day, and loves it in there, he actually walks into his crate and goes to sleep by himself when he is tired. Your puppy will get used to his crate eventually as well, I'm sure, they love to have their private place.

I asked our breeder advice about the howling in the ex-pen, and she said to just ignore him, he has to get used to being by himself, if you spend all day with him and give him attention all the time he will develop separation anxiety, so it's better to learn that it's ok to be by himself sometimes. I give Pablo something to chew on while he's in his pen and that keeps him busy for a bit. If he cries I just ignore him, although it's hard because he sounds so sad. He's actually doing a lot better now, so I think that this approach works. Good luck!
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 07:08 AM
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My pup was like this, and I managed to get her running into the crate on command within 2 weeks.

They very quickly learn if they whine and howl in the crate then you will reward that behavior and let them out.

I started with just getting her into the crate, then let her right out. Work up to getting her in, close the door, when she's quiet, let her right out. When she's good with that then close door and wait for 10 seconds, and let her out. Never let her out when she's crying/barking etc. Wait for just an instant of quiet and reward the quiet by letting her out. Work up to short durations (5 or 10 minutes), and if she's good let her out right away before she cries. Within a few days you should be able to get her in for 30-60 minutes so you can get housework done at least.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-03-2012, 06:42 PM
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good advice, here's a couple of articles
http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...-housetraining

http://www.dogstardaily.com/training/home-alone

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 04:57 AM
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I also wanted to mention that my dog did better when the crate was in a quiet room and I covered it with a blanket to make a nice dark quiet den.

Here is a video of her after 2 weeks of training. I could say "go get in your crate" from anywhere in the house and she'd run toward the crate, hop in and wait for her treat!



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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 07:40 AM
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I can't recommend Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" highy enough, if you want a dog that is really motivated to go into their crate and happy to stay there, with or without the door closed.


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the advice and the resources! My sons went back to school today, so things are a lot less hectic around here. I've been working with Hudson a little today, and he'll go in there for a treat, but is in a big hurry to turn around and get out? Then he happily falls asleep on the rug.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krandall View Post
I can't recommend Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" highy enough, if you want a dog that is really motivated to go into their crate and happy to stay there, with or without the door closed.
I found this as a DVD; is it also available as a book? Thanks
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-04-2012, 03:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecf1216 View Post
I found this as a DVD; is it also available as a book? Thanks
No, it's not. You'll get MUCH more out of the DVD than you would out of a book, anyway. It's broken up into short, easy lessons, and you get to actually watch Susan doing the exercises with various dogs.


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