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Thread: Crate Training Help!

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    #1

    Crate Training Help!

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    Background: I grew up with a Corgi who was crate trained, but I was 8 when we got him and I don't remember specifically much except three nights of crying/screaming and then he loved it all ways. I have two mutty-mutts who I have not crate trained. One is fine in a box if need be, but she doesn't do anything bad if left out so the crate is mostly for travel. The other might kill himself with dehydration and stress in a crate, he also is fine left home alone and out so we don't push the issue.

    We're babysitting a 18ish month old Dane. The time has come that he needs to be crate trained for when I'm at school. We bought a crate and since last Saturday he has been sleeping in it with the door off. I was pleasantly surprised that just putting his bed blanket in there made him get in at bedtime, and he slept the whole night (I thought for sure he'd pull the blanket out and sleep out of the crate). So that's.....four nights of being totally fine.

    I'd like to have him okay with the door on and closed by the beginning of next week, but I can take it slower if needed. I guess my question is how do I approach adding the door? Do I put him in and stay in the room (It's in our bedroom so I can just nap or something) or do I put him in and leave? Should I just add it one night and try sleeping with him trapped? (Which for the record, is not really the goal, he's fine being out at night, just need him okay in there when we're both out of the house). What time increments are good for starting? I want him to enjoy his crate, and not be upset by it. He's pretty emotional and doesn't like us being gone, so I don't want to exacerbate that by throwing him in and then leaving.
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    #2
    I would just put the door on and let him go in himself. See how he reacts when you close the door, and give him a treat so he continues the good association with the crate.

    In my experience, the problem dogs usually have with crate training is the crate itself, not the door. If he's enjoying his crate so far I wouldn't expect him to be too upset if you put a door on it. I think the most important thing is just to introduce it properly, let him discover the door on his own. Don't shove him in there and slam it closed and scare him. Obviously you know not to do that anyway but honestly it sounds like he'll be fine!
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    What kind of crate is he staying in? A wire crate or a plastic one with fairly solid sides?

    When my first dog was a pup, she didn't like he plastic crate because it was too confining, once I got her a wire crate she did fine.

    I make it a good place by putting toys in there with them and praising them when they're in there. We had a problem with our adopted GSD chewing up stuff when DH left on deployment, so I had to get a big wire crate for him. I got in with him (he's huge and it's huge) and we snuggled for a couple mins, I praised him and made it a happy place. Then I slowly backed out and shut the door, praised him some more, and then opened the door and gave him a treat before he had a chance to start freaking. We did this numerous times and made sure that every time he went in he got a treat and more praise. Then opening the door was good too, with treats and praise. Now he knows my schedule and goes in on his own in the mornings and I just shut the door and leave with not a peep from him.
    He is also an emotional dog and had/has mild separation anxiety, but the crate is a good safe place so it helps keep him calm. I hope this helps with your crate training and he can find peace in his crate
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I would just put the door on and let him go in himself. See how he reacts when you close the door, and give him a treat so he continues the good association with the crate.

    In my experience, the problem dogs usually have with crate training is the crate itself, not the door. If he's enjoying his crate so far I wouldn't expect him to be too upset if you put a door on it. I think the most important thing is just to introduce it properly, let him discover the door on his own. Don't shove him in there and slam it closed and scare him. Obviously you know not to do that anyway but honestly it sounds like he'll be fine!
    Yeah, this is how I would do it. I'd probably put it on, let him go in there like usual at night and try closing it and see how he does.
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    Quote Originally Posted by z32chick View Post
    What kind of crate is he staying in? A wire crate or a plastic one with fairly solid sides?

    When my first dog was a pup, she didn't like he plastic crate because it was too confining, once I got her a wire crate she did fine.

    I make it a good place by putting toys in there with them and praising them when they're in there. We had a problem with our adopted GSD chewing up stuff when DH left on deployment, so I had to get a big wire crate for him. I got in with him (he's huge and it's huge) and we snuggled for a couple mins, I praised him and made it a happy place. Then I slowly backed out and shut the door, praised him some more, and then opened the door and gave him a treat before he had a chance to start freaking. We did this numerous times and made sure that every time he went in he got a treat and more praise. Then opening the door was good too, with treats and praise. Now he knows my schedule and goes in on his own in the mornings and I just shut the door and leave with not a peep from him.
    He is also an emotional dog and had/has mild separation anxiety, but the crate is a good safe place so it helps keep him calm. I hope this helps with your crate training and he can find peace in his crate
    It's the more plastic travel kind. It has "windows" on the sides but mostly plastic. I did crawl in there It was hilarious, I could sit cross legged without ducking at all

    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    Yeah, this is how I would do it. I'd probably put it on, let him go in there like usual at night and try closing it and see how he does.
    I might try it tonight! I meant to do more treats associated with it, but honestly after the first day, when he just was like "yup sure, I'll sleep here" I've forgotten about the treats. I think making it not a big deal is good too though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I would just put the door on and let him go in himself. See how he reacts when you close the door, and give him a treat so he continues the good association with the crate.

    In my experience, the problem dogs usually have with crate training is the crate itself, not the door. If he's enjoying his crate so far I wouldn't expect him to be too upset if you put a door on it. I think the most important thing is just to introduce it properly, let him discover the door on his own. Don't shove him in there and slam it closed and scare him. Obviously you know not to do that anyway but honestly it sounds like he'll be fine!
    That's a good point. He'll probably be okay since the "box" part doesn't bother him. I think I'll add the door tonight, just attached still open, then tomorrow try closing it for the night. I just really don't want to make him hate it
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by [his] lobster View Post
    I might try it tonight! I meant to do more treats associated with it, but honestly after the first day, when he just was like "yup sure, I'll sleep here" I've forgotten about the treats. I think making it not a big deal is good too though.
    Yeah if he does fine without treats I wouldn't worry about it. It's just an option for in case he does start to mind! Does he go in the crate at all during the day hours?
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    #7
    Start with closing the door for a short amount of time. Feed him his food in there, close the door and open it BEFORE he is done eating. After some time with that, close the door while eating and open it a couple minutes after he is done, then a little longer, and longer, and longer. Do it multiple times a day, you can also use a Kong to do the same thing so he gets more practice.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    I would just put the door on and let him go in himself. See how he reacts when you close the door, and give him a treat so he continues the good association with the crate.

    In my experience, the problem dogs usually have with crate training is the crate itself, not the door. If he's enjoying his crate so far I wouldn't expect him to be too upset if you put a door on it. I think the most important thing is just to introduce it properly, let him discover the door on his own. Don't shove him in there and slam it closed and scare him. Obviously you know not to do that anyway but honestly it sounds like he'll be fine!
    Quote Originally Posted by BiggyBiggs View Post
    Start with closing the door for a short amount of time. Feed him his food in there, close the door and open it BEFORE he is done eating. After some time with that, close the door while eating and open it a couple minutes after he is done, then a little longer, and longer, and longer. Do it multiple times a day, you can also use a Kong to do the same thing so he gets more practice.
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    #10
    I'd just put the door on. If he's comfortable in his crate then he's probably going to be ok.
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