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Hound Used To Love His Crate And Now He Won't Go In


Guest JJGrey
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Guest JJGrey

I adopted a 2.5 year old male grey about 3 weeks ago. He used to love his crate. When I went to work in the morning, I would put a treat in the crate and away he went. Well the past few days it's been a wrestling match to get him in there. I guess he's finally associating it with me leaving. He lived in a foster family for a month before I got him and crated very well for them. I've tried everything - even pig ears to get him in the crate and I end up having to drag him. Does anyone have any suggestions? The first week I had him, I left him out while I ran a quick errand and the neighbors said they could hear him crying the whole time. (I live in a condo.) Should I start leaving him out? I appreciate any advice.

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Guest Jubilee251

How does he do in the house? If he is well potty-trained and is generally well-behaved, maybe you can try leaving him baby-gated in a room instead?

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Guest JJGrey

How does he do in the house? If he is well potty-trained and is generally well-behaved, maybe you can try leaving him baby-gated in a room instead?

That's a good idea. Thanks for the advice

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Our boy Kingsley let us know within a month that he Hated his crate... we were fortunate that he never destroyed anything or had any accidents once we left him with free-roam of the house.

Since the weekend is upon us, do some alone-training, coming-and-going a lot on Sat/Sun with him allowed to stay out of the crate and see how he does. Ask your neighbors to listen and see if he calms down after you've come and gone a few times.

 

Good luck

 

If he "needs" to be in the crate, start feeding him in there to build positive associations with it.

Amy and Tim in Beverly, MA, with Chase and Always missing Kingsley (Drama King) and Ruby (KB's Bee Bopper).

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A lot of dogs just decide they've had enough of the crate.

 

My dog howled like a wolf for hours on end in the crate! I too live in a condo--fortunately when he was doing that I was the Chairman of the condo board, or I would have been in serious trouble!

 

I was really undone by the complaints of noise, and I video taped him. It was a nightmare to watch his misery! I considered returning him, but my group asked me to please consult with a behaviorist first, so I did. She asked me, "Honey, if he howls in the crate, why do you keep putting him in it?" and I told her my group insisted. Well, since they're the ones that recommended her, and her recommmendation was "ditch the crate," I did.

 

He never chewed anything, destroyed anything, or made another peep except a bit of whimpering when I first leave!

 

Oh, I tried the baby gate thing too. That was actually the worst day of complaints!

 

Although we like to consider the crate a familiar environment, at the kennels, dogs are surrounded by other dogs also in crates. It's a very different thing to be locked up in a wire box all alone in the condo.

 

Sounds to ME as if your fellow is making it clear he's had enough.

 

If he's housebroken, and hasn't shown signs of being a chewer, I'd suggest you give him a LONG walk before work, leave him with a Kong and some nice gooey stuff in it, and see what happens.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest Jubilee251

 

Oh, I tried the baby gate thing too. That was actually the worst day of complaints!

 

 

I should clarify - Molly has the run of the house, but we DO babygate the hallway to the front door. She WILL scratch the door for a little bit, but "a little bit" 5x a week would start to add up, which is why the gate is up. So if your boy turns out to be a scratcher, that might help the issue.

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Guest lat41065

I would say he is over the crate ! Some of mine have crated for months and others not at all as they are miserable. One of my girls still crates at night because she loves her bed and cant wait to get in it. Belly Band if needed or muzzle if he is a chewer and try him loose. Family area is my choice as behind a door can sometimes make them feel claustrophobic and surely be counter productive to easing his misery.

 

Good Luck.

 

Lesley

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Keys to using a crate successfully:

 

-Keep the crate in a central location, where you and your family spend much of your time and where he can see you as you go about your business. Usually this is a living room or TV room, but for some families it can be the kitchen.

 

-Crate him at least some of the time that you are home so he doesn't associate you leaving with being put in the crate. Ignore any vocalization he might do while in there provided you know he's had ample exercise and opportunities to potty. Reward him with treats when he's lying quietly in the crate.

 

-All good things happen in the crate - kongs, rawhides, bully sticks, any treats like that that you give, and especially his meals.

 

-Make sure the crate is big enough for him - he should be able to stand up completely and walk in and out without hitting his back on the crate.

 

Teaching a kennel up or crate command may help:

1. Toss a treat (use yummy human food, not dog treats) near the crate, let him go get it and move away. Repeat many times.

2. Toss the treat just inside the crate, let him get it and come back. Repeated many times.

3. Gradually throw the treat farther back into the crate, always letting him come back out right after. Repeat many times.

4. Toss the treat in the back of hte crate, when he goes in, shut the door momentarily, then open it and let him come right back out. Repeated many times.

5. Gradually increase the length of time the door is closed, always letting him back out when you're done.

Make sure he is completely comfortable at each stage, before proceeding to the enxt one. If at any point he balks, back it up a step or two. Do short sessions of 5 minutes or so 2-3 times per day.

 

A friend also had a good suggestion from her puppy training book, which was to put something the dog really wants (making sure he knows you have it) inside the crate and lock him OUT. Let him stand there wanting to get in for some time, then open the door and let him in to get whatever it is. You might try doing this at each mealtime. Let him eat with the door shut, then let him right back out. Thus the crate is very clearly associated with meals, which are a huge reward.

 

Last, but not least, if he is vocalizing when you are gone, he may be developing separation anxiety. You may want to do some "alone training" (described in the desensitization section of this article from the Denver Dumb Friends League), but at the very least follow these simple steps:

1. Keep entrances and exits low-key - this means ignoring him for at least several minutes before you come/go and of course, he will be in the crate during this time if you are still using the crate.

2. Give him something to do as you are leaving, for instance, a kong stuffed with PB and frozen the night before.

3. Make sure you are providing ample exercise - I recommend a long walk of one hour per day plus potty breaks for a dog that is fresh off of the track or recently in a new home. Some dogs don't require this amount of exercise long term (although even then anything less than 30 minutes exercise/day is inadequate imo), but in the beginning, the more the better. My motto for fostering is "a tired dog is a happy dog (and a happy foster mom)".

4. Don't leave him crated for more than 8 hours at a time if you can help it. A mid-day dog walker would be ideal, but I know that's not realistic for everyone (my boys (mine and my foster) are crated 8-9/day now that they're settled in and do fine).

5. Some people like to leave an article of clothing or leave a radio on, but you have to be careful that this doesn't become associated with you leaving so if you do, do it some of the time that you are home as well.

 

Getting into a basic obedience class would also be helpful and will give you another resource as you help your new pup settle in. I hope this helps!

Edited by NeylasMom

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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