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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Crate training quandary

Our little Leo is about 15 weeks old. He is doing fairly well with training. The first week, I was maniacal about making sure I was watching him with eagle eyes all day. He was okay with being in his expen, did fantastically in the crate at night in our room, but it absolutely freaks him out during the day. **A little background- The expen is in the kitchen with a little dog bed, his food bowl, and a pee pad. (litter isn't working for us yet.) The crate is in my bedroom.**

I am a stay at home mom, so I can be around and attentive to him most of the time, but even I have my limits as to how much I can watch him and prevent accidents. I want him to become comfortable with the crate and 'want' to be in there, so I have hidden food a million times for him to 'find' and he likes that, but high-tails it out as soon as the treat is gobbled up. I have tried kongs, but he doesn't go after them if he is in the crate. He just doesn't care about anything besides getting out. I have tried leaving him in for 2 and 3 minutes and he does well, but anything over 10 and he is whining and barking CONSTANTLY. Then, I struggle to find a time when he is quiet to let him out.

I love having him, but my life can't revolve around him and him alone forever! Can it work just to let him 'cry it out' on a reasonable schedule, or will I create more problems for myself by doing that? I think he is getting a bit too familiar with having tons of freedom and attention. He hasn't made too many potty mistakes in the house unless i have been distracted.

If there was some kind of fail-safe crate and feeding schedule that would work for us, I would love it. I just want to make him a good dog, and am not sure what to do at this point. Can't wait to hear your sage wisdom!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 10:43 AM
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I have two pups. I never crate trained Tim he was such a good puppy. I did however want to crate train Mae, my little girl, because I thought it was an important behavior not only as a puppy but an adult as well. I worked with Tim before I got Mae and he went from not going near his crate to sleeping in it (occasionally) and now gets in on command. I knew I wanted to crate train Mae and was concerned if I started her and Tim at the same time his stress would freak her out. So... does Tim "love" his crate -no has he learned that sometimes he has to be in it -yes. Same goes for Mae, she doesn't love it but has learned that it's a necessary evil. As for letting him cry it out, have you tried it yet? I let Mae cry it out on several occasions starting with shorter times and making sure she was only crying (complaining) and not traumatized (drooling, peeing, shaking etc...) when I got her out. I made sure from the start that she was sitting quietly before I opened the door, yes it took a while of jumping around inside until she got it. I am SO thankful I got them crate trained because that's where they are when I feed my cats, twice a day. I say "Time to feed the kitties" and they both know it's crate time. I crate Mae when I go out because I don't trust her not to get into anything and even though Tim would be fine left out I put him in there too sometimes. I would suggest sticking to getting him to know that the crate is necessary sometimes it will help you in the long run. Mine don't love being in there, I know some dogs do, but they know sometimes there's no choice.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 11:34 AM
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Do you have a second crate downstairs or just the one in the bedroom? If your downstairs crate is in view of you when you put him in it he should get used to it over time. My Molly is 17 weeks old. She would stand up and protest any time I
tried to leave her in the crate. Start out with the short time in there while ignoring the cries. Maybe while you take a shower or are doing some housework.
Leave the door open when you are watching him and playing. Try tossing a favorite toy in there to get him to go in and out willingly. Molly came around before too long. This is where she goes during the day when I go out or when I am home doing other things and I just want her to be completely safe. I don't fully trust the ex-pen because she jumps up while in there.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 01:29 PM
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I have a crate in the master bedroom and one in the living room, as well as a Sherpa bag in my car. Having your dog be crate trained gives them their own safe place, makes it really easy to visit other people, and for him/her to be in their bag at a dog training class, when the instructor is giving a talk or demo. Emmie loves her crates and travel bags. I leave the doors open and she puts herself in them for naps and takes herself to bed before I'm ready to go upstairs.

-Jeanne-
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 02:13 PM
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Look into the Crate Games series. I took my dogs to a class in it. Now my boy loves his crate. It is very convenient to have the dog crate trained. He does bark sometimes in training sessions if he is in his crate but that is because he is so into it, he doesnt want to miss out!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-04-2014, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Molly120213 View Post
Do you have a second crate downstairs or just the one in the bedroom? If your downstairs crate is in view of you when you put him in it he should get used to it over time. My Molly is 17 weeks old. She would stand up and protest any time I
tried to leave her in the crate. Start out with the short time in there while ignoring the cries. Maybe while you take a shower or are doing some housework.
Leave the door open when you are watching him and playing. Try tossing a favorite toy in there to get him to go in and out willingly. Molly came around before too long. This is where she goes during the day when I go out or when I am home doing other things and I just want her to be completely safe. I don't fully trust the ex-pen because she jumps up while in there.
I would be happy in Molly's crate she even has bumper pads. I haven't read all the posts but my suggestion is to leave a few times during the day and put Leo in the crate. Go for a walk or to the store. Give a treat before you leave and say you will be back. Havanese are like baby's who learn to cry to have mom come get them. I failed because I couldn't stand to hear crying. I don't like mine to be left in a cage for more than a couple hours but that's just me. I did stop when Maddie soiled her crate while I was gone.

Maddie at 5mo old
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-05-2014, 08:50 AM
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You saying that YOU would be happy in Molly's crate cracked me up! Molly says you are welcome any time. (Maybe the bumper pads were a bit too much.LOL)
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:25 PM
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I have a question to "Molly". I notice that her crate is fairly big but is lined with a blanket all along the bottom. I just purchased a small carrier crate for Hank (who will be coming home in a few weeks) for him to sleep in at night and start out in his first days home. But, I also already have a large black crate like yours and was wondering if instead of a Ex-pen, I use this crate and line the entire bottom with soft padding would he soil in it? Or should I still block half of the large crate off to discourage messes?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 12:39 PM
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Molly did soil in the crate at first. I had to make it much smaller. She was only 3 lbs. at 10 weeks old so I blocked off about half of the crate with cardboard boxes. This made all the difference. My other crate came with the metal divider so that one was fine. After she was consistantly keeping the crate clean I started making it bigger again for her.



Diane and Molly
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-29-2014, 02:26 PM
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Emmie's first crate was a small hard plastic one that is usually marketed to cat owners. She did really well in it, never soiled it, and when she outgrew it I donated it to a local animal shelter.




Jeanne and Emmie

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