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Breaking Crate Bars!


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So we've had a few issues with Oliver since bringing him home two+ months ago and we have been slowly working through most of them. It's pretty clear he does not want to be in the crate when we aren't at home, but I don't think it's a confinement issue, it's more of a being separated from us issue. He has destroyed the beds we've had in there so we finally purchased a Kurand chew-proof elevated bed with a fleece cover. He's done fairly well with that the last week-minimal damage. But today I noticed that he has broken off two of the bars (he bent the welds off of one end) on the bottom of his crate. This is dangerous and I'm worried. I do not in any way feel that he is ready to be out of the crate when we are not at home-even confined to one room. And I do know that we need to start all over with crate training and really get it right this time. BUT-we leave for Dewey in the next 4 days and I still need to go to work, etc. and crate him. Any suggestions until we get home and back on our regular routine? I am stumped and worried-for his safety, his teeth, etc..

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Guest mcsheltie

Perhaps a Vari kennel or airline crate. Reinforce the door.

 

They make those wire crates so cheaply anymore. It doesn't take much force to break them. The six-pack crates they use in the racing kennels last forever.

 

If worse comes to worst could you find a day care for four days?

 

You just need another hound... :lol....just saying.... :lol

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We so do need another hound I think. Pete and I had already said that as soon as we get back from Dewey we would start the process again. We had hoped to have all of these issues resolved first, but maybe a companion will help (fingers crossed). It's good to know that the crate construction may be poor b/c my fear is that he's really working his teeth to pry them open. I just checked his mouth and all is well. And I may look into one of the hard crates. . .

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My dog REALLY hated being crated. He was howling at the top of his lungs for HOURS every day when I went to work.

 

I stopped crating him.

 

He stopped howling.

 

Nothing happened other than he was happier, I was happier, and my neighbors were happier.

 

There's nothing that says you HAVE to crate the dog. :colgate


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

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Guest mcsheltie

If he was really going ape while you were gone he would have done more damage to the crate and would have torn himself up in the process. He has probably found a weak spot on the crate and is worrying away it for lack of something better to do.

 

I bet a companion will push him over the hump (so to speak) and fix what is left of the behavior issue :colgate

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Pete is going to weld the door tomorrow so that's a start. When I leave in the evening (and Pete's at home), Oliver will stand by the door and keen/cry/wail until I get home. I don't think leaving him out of the crate alone is a good idea at this point, just based on his anxious behavior.

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I don't crate anymore.

 

I had a foster 10 years ago that knocked a hole in my drywall with the crate and bent the bars so bad we had to cut him out of it. About 5 years ago I took a foster for a group here that had badly injured himself trying to get out of his crate so you are correct to be concerned for his safety. I guess if you can't baby gate him in the kitchen a varikennal might be worth a try. Some dogs do better in a varikennel or a wire crate with a blanket thrown over it as it is more den-like. Some dogs hate varikennels more than wire crates as they can't see out. Maybe someone in your group has one you can borrow for a couple of days to see how he does?

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Guest ryeamans

I had a similar issue with Charlie. He was breaking bars and it scared me. At first I thought it was separation issues, but after leaving him out of the crate and doing some alone training, he's perfectly fine. Yes, he misses me, but he doesn't destroy anything and he certainly isn't hurting himself on the crate anymore.

 

I'd recommend stopping the crate and doing some alone training. Best of luck!

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If he is trying to get out and breaking parts of the crate, you need to stop crating him as of now. The alternative is coming home to a seriously injured or dead dog.

 

If you're worried about what'll happen when you leave, dogproof the best you can, invest in a baby gate or two, and put his basket muzzle on.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Gentle please . . . We are very worried here and doing the very best we can. This issue is on top of worrying about a very sick father as well . . . Lots of stress for all of us.

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Sorry, didn't mean to be sharp, exactly, just blunt. FWIW, I'm not a crate-hater -- I have crates and use them ... but a dog who tries to break out is in serious danger. It really is not a good idea to continue crating, can't say that strongly enough.

 

What is the worst that will likely happen if you leave him gated in a familiar, comfy room with his muzzle on?

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I do have concerns about him going through a window if he's out of the crate-we don't have any rooms without low windows. He's pretty high anxiety even when I leave and he's here with Pete. To leave him out and alone is scary. I could definitely muzzle him, but it doesn't solve the anxiety/behavioral issue. He has jumped on the door/windows when we've just been outside in the yard without him. What's to stop him from actually hurting himself trying to get out of the house?

 

And believe me when I say that I worry about everything. Even before this I have always worried about him being injured in the crate, out of the crate, outside, etc. It's just part of my personality to worry (a lot). My thought has always been that in the crate, it's a familiar situation from the track and kennel and safe-not too much to get into. But now, I just don't know which end is up.

 

He can and will start going into work with me now, but the reality is that there are times when he has to be at home alone. And when we get back from Dewey we are starting from square one.

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My thought has always been that in the crate, it's a familiar situation from the track and kennel and safe-not too much to get into.

in reality being locked alone in a crate in your house is far far different than being in a crate at the kennel. The crates in the kennels are larger than what most greyhound owners use -- I swear I could curl up in one. Secondly, when he was crated at the track he had about seventy of his closest friends nestled around him where he could see them. He also had trainers and kennel help going and coming all day. Sitting in a crate by yourself in a quiet house is a whole 'nother ball of wax and a lot of dogs don't like it at all.

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Short term it won't help you, but longer term it is moderately cheap and easy to bolt some 1/4" thick lexan panels over windows that are at risk of getting broken. (Lexan is clear. It can be scratched, but you can't break it with a baseball bat -- somebody tried at my relative's former slumcorner house.)

 

A webcam might also be worthwhile. Some dogs will fuss when you're within hearing distance outside but settle down if you are genuinely gone (as in, got in the car and drove away).

 

I hope you can find a good routine for him.

 

Also hope your father's condition improves.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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A webcam might also be worthwhile. Some dogs will fuss when you're within hearing distance outside but settle down if you are genuinely gone (as in, got in the car and drove away).

:nod Him seeing you thru the window is different than after you have left.

 

Good thoughts for you, your pup and your Dad.

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{{Beth}} Is Ollie picking up on your worrying?? Have you tried giving him melatonin or Passion Flower to help him settle?

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs. :heartThank you, campers. Current enrollees:  Punkin. Annie Oooh M. 

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Guest avadogner

Hello,

Our first and only grey until today (keep in mind I have limited experience here) flipped, yes flipped her crate after about 2 months of being cool with it. We stopped using it that day because we were felt she would do more damage to herself than the house at this point. She did fine and has NEVER used a crate again in our home. When we go out of town, we board her at the adoption center she came from. 1) We would rather pay boarding fees as a donation to help other greys. 2)Greys just seem to do better with other greys (a sibling may be what he needs for his and your anxiety). She has been great for the 8 years since. We adopted a sibling for her today and the crate is back. She ignores it but when we board her, she jumps right into their crates like she never left the track. It's only the first night here with the new boy and I may be joining your situation as soon. Hang in there and I hope your father gets better too.

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Guest Swifthounds

I would try a vari-kennel/airline type crate. Take a whole day and work on alone training. Put him in the crate while your home, leave him alone for a short period, then let him out. When he's doing well with that, try crating, leaving the house and coming back a few minutes later. Contrary to human perception, dogs are instinctually more comfortable in something solid than in something open with bars.

 

You may be able to transition him to doggy-proofed room in the near future, but until you've done some alone training you won't really know. A webcam is helpful (or an old fashioned video recorder) for seeing what goes on. I have seen dogs hurt themselves in crates, but I've also seen dogs that jumped trough windows or sliding glass doors.

 

Some of the anxiety hounds feel in a crate is the separation from people, coupled with the separation from the comfort of other greyhounds. Sometimes a second hound helps, but not always.

 

The mistake I see people make over and over again (and then insist that their hound, who was kennel at a track, cannot be crated) is 1) only putting the dog in the crate when they are about to be a lone - making the crate a negative place to be by association, and 2) not doing affirmative things to make the crate a fun place.

 

I have a hound that I raised from 10 weeks who had horrible SA and became very crate sour and we worked through it. Now she is fine with being crated and stays in an ex-pen with another hound or hounds with no problem (despite the fact that she can leap 4 foot from a standstill).

 

There's a product you might want to try called Content-Um. It's mostly B vitamins and I find it really takes the edge off for a lot of dogs. I use it with our rescue IG who can get himself really worked up (he was in a crate at a puppymill that was so small he couldn't stand up - and he now crates) and also with my storm/wind phobic senior, comet, and also with my old man, Trojan, who can tend to get himself too worked up when out and about.

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Beth

 

Maddie did the same thing when I got her. She bent the bars on 2 wire crates and ate her way out of the the plastic crate (airline crate) prior to that. She howled as well. I did not crate her when I was only leaving. I did it when I was home too and it was awful listening to her. She just hated her crate. It was SA as well as hating the crate, I consulted with the vet and took steps and did alone training with her. I know what you and Pete are going through with him and it is stressful for all invovled and with a sick family member to worry about well it is more stressful. Can you muzzle him out of the crate when you are not there, and close doors and and baby gate off areas that that you don't want him in? I did that with Maddie and also did medication as a last resort and have not looked back and she is more confident and we are both happy.

 

Hugs to all you during this time.

 

Amy and Maddie

Amy Human Mommy to fur baby Maddie (Doobiesaurus) TDI certified. May 5, 2002-September 12, 2014 and Mille (Mac's Bayou Baby)CGC, TDI certified.

 

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj93/Chillyhorse/siggies/maddie.jpg"]http://i270. photobucket.com/albums/jj93/Chillyhorse/siggies/maddie.jpg[/img]

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I do have concerns about him going through a window if he's out of the crate-we don't have any rooms without low windows. He's pretty high anxiety even when I leave and he's here with Pete. To leave him out and alone is scary. I could definitely muzzle him, but it doesn't solve the anxiety/behavioral issue. He has jumped on the door/windows when we've just been outside in the yard without him. What's to stop him from actually hurting himself trying to get out of the house?

 

And believe me when I say that I worry about everything. Even before this I have always worried about him being injured in the crate, out of the crate, outside, etc. It's just part of my personality to worry (a lot). My thought has always been that in the crate, it's a familiar situation from the track and kennel and safe-not too much to get into. But now, I just don't know which end is up.

 

He can and will start going into work with me now, but the reality is that there are times when he has to be at home alone. And when we get back from Dewey we are starting from square one.

 

 

Don't know who Pete is, and why he can't supervise the dog if he's home--unless Pete is an animal?

 

I'm sorry about your father. My father is also ill, and surely you don't need more stress.

 

The notion that a crate, in a house, is a "familiar situation" has always struck me as a nice notion, but a bit of a fantasy. At the kennel, there are dogs above (or below) the hound, next to and across from, and they are never alone.

 

A wire box in the living room all by yourself is TOTALLY different.

 

I worried about George too. I wish I could get my video of him howling put into digital format. When my neighbors complained, I didn't believe them. I set up the camcorder to prove they were exaggerating. I was STUNNED. The second the door closed when I left, he tipped his head back (like a cartoon coyote) and started howling so loud I couldn't believe it. He kept it up until the tape ran out (2 hours). Sounds pretty anxious, no?

 

I tried baby gates. He crawled under the first day, jumped over the second. More complaints from the neighbors.

 

I gave up. I figured it could not possibly get worse.

 

One week later, my neighbor came up to me and said, "Please tell me you didn't get rid of the dog because I complained--I'm willing to deal with it for a while." I hugged her with relief. He never made another peep, never hurt himself, never did anything. And George was at one track until he was 5. So he was EXTREMELY familiar with being crated. In a totally different situation!

 

Lots of exercise in the AM and alone training, a delicious Kong, and maybe some country music on the radio just might do the trick.

 

:colgate


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

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

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I do have concerns about him going through a window if he's out of the crate-we don't have any rooms without low windows. He's pretty high anxiety even when I leave and he's here with Pete. To leave him out and alone is scary. I could definitely muzzle him, but it doesn't solve the anxiety/behavioral issue. He has jumped on the door/windows when we've just been outside in the yard without him. What's to stop him from actually hurting himself trying to get out of the house?

 

And believe me when I say that I worry about everything. Even before this I have always worried about him being injured in the crate, out of the crate, outside, etc. It's just part of my personality to worry (a lot). My thought has always been that in the crate, it's a familiar situation from the track and kennel and safe-not too much to get into. But now, I just don't know which end is up.

 

He can and will start going into work with me now, but the reality is that there are times when he has to be at home alone. And when we get back from Dewey we are starting from square one.

 

 

Don't know who Pete is, and why he can't supervise the dog if he's home--unless Pete is an animal?

 

I'm sorry about your father. My father is also ill, and surely you don't need more stress.

 

The notion that a crate, in a house, is a "familiar situation" has always struck me as a nice notion, but a bit of a fantasy. At the kennel, there are dogs above (or below) the hound, next to and across from, and they are never alone.

 

A wire box in the living room all by yourself is TOTALLY different.

 

I worried about George too. I wish I could get my video of him howling put into digital format. When my neighbors complained, I didn't believe them. I set up the camcorder to prove they were exaggerating. I was STUNNED. The second the door closed when I left, he tipped his head back (like a cartoon coyote) and started howling so loud I couldn't believe it. He kept it up until the tape ran out (2 hours). Sounds pretty anxious, no?

 

I tried baby gates. He crawled under the first day, jumped over the second. More complaints from the neighbors.

 

I gave up. I figured it could not possibly get worse.

 

One week later, my neighbor came up to me and said, "Please tell me you didn't get rid of the dog because I complained--I'm willing to deal with it for a while." I hugged her with relief. He never made another peep, never hurt himself, never did anything. And George was at one track until he was 5. So he was EXTREMELY familiar with being crated. In a totally different situation!

 

Lots of exercise in the AM and alone training, a delicious Kong, and maybe some country music on the radio just might do the trick.

 

:colgate

 

 

Pete is my husband and he does supervise Oliver when I am not at home. That is not an issue-my point was that Oliver gets stressed when I am not there even if he is not alone. And I get that being in a crate alone in my house is much different than in a kennel situation. I understand all of this. The bottom line is I need to work on a fix. Period. We are not new at this-Oliver has just presented us with a new set of issues with safety being first and foremost.

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Maybe Oliver is picking up on YOUR anxiety? It may not be the whole issue, but if you're worried about leaving him and feeling bad since you think he's going to be anxious, he might be picking up on that and mirroring it (you're worried, there must be something to worry about). One of the first things I'd work on is to control your own emotions/anxieties regarding the situation.This is something we always work on in our house (my DH can be a little over the top sometimes, and Molly is really sensitive to his outbursts). I think most of the time training the dog is way easier than training ourselves!

 

If you don't feel that you've really given the SA/away training a 100% effort, then I'd keep at it with more vigilance and follow the instructions to a tee. If you've done the full-blown SA / away training to the tee and it's been several weeks --- I'd say trying the same thing, but expecting different results is kinda pointless at this point. You could look at anti-anxiety meds, DAP diffusers, or other supplements. But personally, I'd try dog-proofing a room (even if it meant adding the plexi panels to the windows as someone suggested) and trying that out with some alone training first. If you start out small just like away training, you'll pretty quickly if it's an option or not.

 

Oh, and the webcam thing or a video camera is a really great idea. We did that when we did alone training when we got Molly. It totally helped to know when we could give her more time, helped us understand her behaviors when we left, when we were coming in, etc.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Jennifer, Mike and the menagerie ---

Molly (Blue Sky Dreamin), Tinker (BT My Lil Girl) and their feline brothers Miles and Lewis

Visit Molly's Photo Album

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at this point I would consider some kind of drug therapy to help with his anxiety. It does take some time for the drugs to begin to work but if you got to the vet this week you may start seeing some small improvement by the time you leave for Dewey.

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Guest Avisher224

Our grey Orion was fine with being in his loaner crate for the first month. When we had to give it back we tried baby-gating- and he tore it down and chewed it the first day! After that, we left him loose in the house, with his muzzle and belly band. He was fine during the day, but if we went out in the evenings on the weekend, he was having accidents and getting up on the couch doing something (I'm still not sure what!) to create all sorts of snags!

 

So, since we didn't feel like we could trust him anymore, we bought a crate (same size and type that he'd been using before) but he HATED IT! He had accidents and he started clawing/chewing at the bars until they were bent. The last straw was when he broke one of the small bars on the bottom of the crate and scratched his nose on it. After that, I was too worried that I'd come home to find him seriously injured to put him in there, so I bought some heavy duty moving blankets so protect the couch and let him stay out when we were gone.

 

He is almost like a different dog! He used to follow me around and run to the windows to watch me when I'd leave- now by the time I'm ready to go work, he's settled in comfy on the couch for the day!

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