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Thread: Crates

  1. I Will Rise Above
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    #1

    Crates

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    Sabre's crate FINALLY arrived on Friday. With a treat he will walk into his crate which was nice to see, but anxiety he does in fact have.

    I put his big blanket/comforter down in the bottom and a dish of water towards the front and his favorite toy. He went in the first time and we shut the crate and stayed in the room. He did fine. He didn't fuss much but he did look at us funny and whine a few times. Then later we started by trying 5 min. in his crate and leaving, I stood in the garage. He cried and pawed and yelled a lot. That was pretty standard each time we tried/did over the weekend. I spoke softly gave him a treat when I let him out and loved up on him. Later Saturday we did 15-20 minutes while I ran to the store and when I got home is was crying and pawing again, did treats again to try to make it a happy thing for him. We have been leaving the crate door open but he won't venture in on his own to just lay. Naomi however thinks it's the best spot to chill EVER.

    This evening I had to take DH to Washington since he leaves tomorrow and I was gone about an hour and a half. I came home and he had dumped his water, was sitting in the back of his kennel super antsy. When I let him out, gave him a treat, and loved up on him, I noticed he was really red, I am guessing from pawing at a metal crate. His tummy, his paws, and he had a piece of skin pulled off his nose. He was a bit hyper after letting him out and then he just curled up with me and passed out.





    I am worried about his nose/skin first off and wondering if there is anything I can put on him to help? And I am worried about this anxiety. I know it is going to take more than three days to figure this out with him but I am not sure what else to try. I feel super bad I did have a thought about setting up my Ipad facing the crate so that I can loggin from my phone and see him (with the baby monitor apps they have) to see exactly how he is doing, perhaps how he got hurt, or if he settles at ANY point while we are gone or if it is just constant panic. Would that be helpful you think? What else can I try/keep trying/switch up? That might help him with this transition? Would a thundershirt WHILE he is kenneled help at all?

    Within about 5 minutes of us being home he was totally chill and fine again but him being upset makes me upset and I don't want him to hate his crate.
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    #2
    You can put neosporin on his nose and it won't hurt him. My dog has scraped his nose on all kinds of stuff before though, it always heals just fine. I wouldn't worry too much about it but that's just me!

    If he responds well to the thundershirt generally I don't see why he wouldn't with the crate. Also I've heard you shouldn't leave food and water in the crate with them, I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind that though. I used to lock Finn in his crate with his food because otherwise he wouldn't eat, but I always knew it was "bad" to do.
  3. Fur/Feather/Scale Momma
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    Eventually he will get over it. My pup was the same way. Crates are generally a scary place for a dog who hasn't been crate trained. The worst thing you can do in the training process is letting him out because he is having a crying fit. It will teach them that whenever they whine or cry they get let out. Just be strong and leave him in there til he calms down before letting him out. A dog will ALWAYS be antsy when they are about to get out. My dog has been crate trained for years and still looks like a crazy animal to get out.

    A way to help is to get a puzzle treat for them to complete in the crate. For example a chew or a kong filled with tasty treats. If you do this every time they learn that the crate isn't so bad and they get tasty treats for being in the crate.

    Its a difficult process but it's worth it when you have an anxious dog who tends to tear up your house when away. I can't trust my dog alone in the house for more than 10 min, otherwise I come home to ripped up cushions and the trash can knocked over.

    I know its hard to have to crate your baby but he will be fine after he learns it isn't so bad and you will always come back to let him out after his time in it. Just NEVER use it as a punishment and you will have a happy crate trained doggie


    I've NEVER heard it was bad to leave food and water... in fact I think that is silly and almost cruel, dogs are gonna need water especially if you are leaving them alone for 4+ hrs. I wouldn't leave food perhaps especially if you have a dog that likes to poop right after eating but I've never had issues with leaving treats and a water bottle for my pup so I think that is just silly. Then again every one has different training methods and maybe that is someones opinion, but I'd never leave my animal without water in a crate.
    Last edited by bugbabe623; 11-16-2014 at 11:12 PM. Reason: ETA

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    #4
    I'm a little more stern when it comes to crate training. I put Winnie in her crate at night and let her cry her little heart out, she would eventually fall asleep. After 2-3 weeks of just sticking her in her crate at night she now walks in whenever I put her near it, she knows, and she doesn't cry. She goes right to sleep. If I ever crate her during the day I have these special treats she only gets in the crate so she kinda looks forward to it, but I know shed rather not be in there. She's still too young to really love her crate, but she definitely doesn't hate it anymore. Those first few weeks I slept with ear plugs, but it was worth it.
    I don't put water/food in my dogs crate while they're still being housebroken, after they're housebroken and used to their crate, i'll put a bowl of water in the corner.

    My word of advice would be to stick him in there at night and whenever you leave and allow him to cry. Don't let him out when he's crying because he'll associate crying with being let out, so guess who's going to cry every time he's in the crate? Also during the day, walk him into his crate and make him sit/lay down and praise him quietly. Allow him to be in there for a short while and tell him to come out, then act like he's the best dog in the world! I would also recommend trying out different treats and finding his favorite one, then only give him that one when he's crated. Its a slow process, but he'll learn to love his crate.
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    #5
    I wouldn't force your dog to be in the crate for now, because it's clear that there is a lot of anxiety there. Instead, I'd try to make the crate a positive place by first luring with treats to get him in there. Don't force him--allow it to be his choice. It would help if you had a clicker and some really high value (think smelly) treats. He will likely run in, get the treats, and run out. Totally fine. Sit near the crate, and the SECOND he makes a positive movement toward/near the crate, click and treat. Continue to do this and up the criteria. You'll eventually get him going in there by himself for short periods of time. When that starts happening, graduate to closing (but not locking) the crate. And so on. The key is to not force him to be in the crate before he's going in there entirely of his own volition. I know that that may HAVE to happen sometimes, just from practicality, but limit it as much as possible. Some dogs have a lot of anxiety and fear over crates and being left, and can eventually injure themselves on their crate due to their anxiety.

    I would definitely argue against forcing your dog to be in the crate to make him get used to it. For dogs that don't have any separation anxiety or confinement issues, that may work (although I'd argue that it doesn't work as fast or as completely as letting THEM make the choice and learn that it's a positive one. I just have to say the word crate and both of my dogs tear through the house to get into theirs). For dogs with real anxiety over the crate, or who have separation anxiety, they won't just "get over it" and continuing to force them to be there will cause a lot of issues. I've heard of dogs breaking teeth, severely injuring paws, etc. in their attempts to escape. I'm not trying to scare you, and the crate is absolutely the safest place for a puppy who hasn't learned not to chew and can't be trusted loose in the house--but if your dog is one of those with real anxiety, forcing them to be in the crate more than absolutely necessary at this point does more harm than good.
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    #6
    I suggest you do not give him a treat and love on him when you let him out. You are training him that being outside the crate is better than being in the crate. Put the treats inside the crate so he has something wonderful in there and be nonchalant when you let him out.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by dekeoboe View Post
    I suggest you do not give him a treat and love on him when you let him out. You are training him that being outside the crate is better than being in the crate. Put the treats inside the crate so he has something wonderful in there and be nonchalant when you let him out.
    giving him treats and praise after he's been whining to to be let out is only going to reinforce his bad behavior.

    To get my dog into her crate I say, "go to your room." When she walks in on her own I give her a treat. She's so used to it now that I only have to say it once and she's in. I do keep a water bottle in there for her. It is made for dogs (looks like the kind for rabbit/hamster cages) that attaches to the side of the cage and only lets out water when her mouth is on the spout (or whatever you call the metal piece).

    I don't have a lot of advice for you because my dog suffers from bad separation anxiety as well. Getting her into the crate was never an issue. In fact, she was an angel up until we left the house. Occasionally when were gone, she would tear up whatever was in or near the crate. She never physically harmed herself but sometimes she would manage to escape from her crate (usually if one of us forgot to secure the second latch). We wound up letting her roam the house freely for the last few years. But, due to her recent illness, I've been having to crate her again. She has been doing surprisingly well. She hasn't torn her blanket up and she's always calm when I get home. I'm not sure if she's doing better now because she has just matured over the years or what...

    I hope you find a routine that works for you and your pup. Good luck!
    Last edited by idratherbehiking; 11-17-2014 at 08:32 AM. Reason: added a sentence or two.




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    #8
    A Kong or similar puzzle treat in the crate is probably the single best idea to try.

    Don't make a fuss about leaving. Have her get used to being in the crate and you coming and going. DOn't always put her, walk away, and let her out when you return, even if it's after 5 minutes and you haven't let the house. You want her to no associate the crate with you always being gone, so you are trying to show her that sometimes when she is in there (with the door closed, and maybe working on a puzzle for a treat) that you are home.

    When you do leave, don't tell her you are leaving by doing anything special (treats, extra love, etc.) or different. The idea is that sometimes, she goes in the crate, but being in the crate doesn't necessarily mean you are gone. Put her in there while you make dinner, while you watch TV, while you and DH talk (so she can hear that you are home with her) and for random amounts of time. And similarly, don't tell her you are home by doing anything special. In and out of the crate should happen at all times of day, while she can see you and not, as soon as you reappear and not (more not), and without any special attention being drawn to it. It should feel almost random to her, so that going in the crate isn't a sign that you are leaving.
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  9. I Will Rise Above
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    #9
    Well crate today was a bust. Lol. I set up the nanny cam and we went to the post office. My gf watched the cam while I drove. He managed to get out of his crate. He got the bottom lock off and then just bent the door back. So ya that was fun. :Lol

    I enrolled him in an 8 week training and behavior course so hopefully that will help. And for now we have the crate open and I put his food and water in the back so he has to go in and out throughout the day.I'm hoping this helps ease his anxiety. And I'm looking forward to seeing how he does in classes too.

    It's a battle for sure but I really appreciate all the input and help and encouragement as I work through this with him. Especially now with dh gone.
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    #10
    My dog has the same crate problems. She's scratching her nose less as time goes on. DH has told me to develop a mentality of "tough love" and let her cry it out.

    I've put a Kong in there with her, a Nylabone... Nothing keeps her occupied in the crate. She just freaks out until I'm back home. It sucks, but I'm hoping she will get over it. She destroys things when I leave her out or when she would get out of her plastic kennel (in her latest episode, she knocked over and broke a book shelf, broke two sets of blinds and nearly chewed a door frame off the wall). Leaving her out simply isn't an option. I hate forcing her into her crate (she only shuns it when she knows I'm going to leave; normally she likes to lay in it when I'm home and resting). But, DH and I cannot afford for her to destroy our house and everything in it.

    I had to invest in another metal crate (she had one of them first but she chewed a hole in the metal and got her head stuck in it, then I got her a plastic kennel but she could kick the door off of that one, so she's back in another metal crate because she couldn't physically get out of the metal one before. I think because it latches it is harder to get out of). Her vet refuses to be of any help regarding the separation anxiety because the vet thinks that Carmen is "still adjusting".

    OP, is it a training/behavior course like the one at Petsmart/Petco? Because one of DH's coworkers recommended that, but I'm not sure if it will help. Either way, please let me know if it helps at all. Because, I understand how real the struggle is and I could use some guidance from someone who understands and finds a solution. All the advice that I've gotten so far hasn't worked.

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