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Guest jaxshumans

Bribing For The Crate

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Guest jaxshumans

Hi everyone!

 

First time Greyhound (and dogs in general) owner here. This forum has been a life saver so far!

 

I was hoping someone could give me some advice about our new grey, Jax. He's 5 years old and just came off the tracks a couple of months ago -- he had a full racing career (174 races!). We brought him home a week ago and he seems to be adjusting wonderfully. He hasn't had any accidents, responds to us well, and seems to enjoy hanging out with us around the house.

 

We have a crate set up for him and he had no problems going in and out of it during the day and sleeping in it all night without complaint. A couple of days ago I got him a new bed to sleep on as well (right next to the crate) and he seems to love it. He exclusively sleeps on that now during the day!

 

Seeing as he is new still, we wanted to keep him in the crate overnight so he can't get into any trouble while we're sleeping. The past couple of days though he hasn't wanted to go into his crate at night -- it's as if he knows we're about to go to bed and doesn't want to. He will go in if I bribe him with a small treat and throw that into his crate. Once he is in with the door closed too he doesn't make a sound, just goes right to sleep the whole night.

 

Basically, my question is whether or not it's ok to be bribing him to get into his crate at night and whether we are doing any harm by doing so. I don't want him to associate the crate with negative things. (Also to note -- his crate is in the living room and he can't see us in the bedroom. We live in an apartment and there is no room in our bedroom to put his crate. He whined the first night and we moved his crate to the hallway where he could see us, but that isn't a permanent solution. As of the second night though he hasn't had any issue. I think he realized we were just down the hall.)

 

Sorry for all the text -- we just want him to be happy and don't want to do anything wrong! Thanks so much for any advice.

 

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Edited by jaxshumans

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I throw a cookie in my dogs' crate every time I want them to go in. One has the door open at night, but, still stays in the crate most nights. The newest boy gets the door closed. He rolls around, rolls over and circles a lot, so I don't want him disturbing the girl at night. I don't see anything wrong with a cookie tossed in. It is a positive reward for doing something you want him to do. By the way, they stand and wait for the cookie to be thrown in before they enter.

Edited by Houndtime

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I'm one of the members who doesn't think crates are a necessity if the dog has proven himself to be trustworthy, and it sounds like Jax has. I understand you want him crated at night "just in case," but you'll never know if he can be trusted until he is left out of the crate at night. Also, as you've probably read many times on this board, dogs in general, and perhaps Greyhounds in particular, do not like to be alone. It sounds like Jax has already bonded. You are his family and Greyhounds don't like to be apart from their family.

 

My girl Annie, who I adopted four years ago, hated her crate almost from day 1, so within 48 hours, I no longer made her go in the crate, though I left the door open. She never went in it again and I took it down by the end of the week.

 

My suggestion is to move Jax's bed into your bedroom, if it will fit, or outside where he can see you when you go to bed. Better yet, get another bed so he has choices. :) I'm sure he'll be fine!

 

ETA: He is a gorgeous boy!!

Edited by Feisty49

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I agree with Feisty- there's nothing wrong with crating, but I think most greyhounds, especially those out of the puppy phase, can be trusted to have run of the house. Also, Jake doesn't always spend the whole night in our room, but he always starts there and I can't imagine the uproar from him if we tried to keep him out! Good luck!


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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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I second Feisty's advice. He needs the opportunity to prove himself! How else will you know?

 

We have the crate in the bedroom, and our boy sleeps in there with the door open.

 

We do regularly bribe Redbo to go into the crate when we leave the house though. He has SA, so we keep him crated whenever we leave. We left him out once to see if his SA symptoms would decrease out of the crate, and he peed and pooped (and ate his poop) and howled because he was so distraught. Ever since then, it's been the crate, and he does okay. He still cries a little, but he's a lazy crier and mostly just lies down and cries intermittently (never once lifting his head from the pillow).

 

I've never noticed any negative results from bribing him with his favorite treats. He goes in the crate pretty well.

 

ETA: Jax is gorgeous! I loooove that tail!

Edited by TXRedbo

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Nothing wrong with tossing a treat in to get him to go in, but you do want to be careful that you're not creating negative associations with being crated. If you are and they continue to strengthen then you may soon find that that cookie won't be enough to get him in. The main thing to remember with crating is you don't want the dog to associate it with you leaving/your absence/being isolated, which will happen if the only time you ever crate him is when you leave/are absent/isolate him. This is true whether it's crating him away from you overnight, or leaving the house. So you want to make sure that you are crating him some of the time that you are home and present in the room with him. Maybe an hour or two when you are relaxing and watching TV. Make sure he has something fun to do while he's in there (creating a positive association with being inside) - a stuffed frozen kong, a bully stick, a food dispensing toy, etc. I would also suggest you feed him his meals in the crate.

 

Having said all of that, I am totally on board with using a crate to help your dog adjust, but if he's sleeping through the night quietly and you don't have a reason to not want him in your room, I would just let him sleep on a dog bed in your room. Close the door or put up a babygate so you will wake up if he is restless because he needs to go out, but otherwise he should be fine. Dogs are social animals so having them sleep separate from you isn't fun. Of course if you have a reason to need him to sleep elsewhere - allergies, sleep issues, etc. - then by all means continue with crating him for now. Just make sure to do the above as well.


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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

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I will preface this with my preference to use a crate for safety reasons only, so I'm not a fan of them. Your pup clearly doesn't seem to want to go in any more. I know some people want them to get used to a crate for times when they have to be at the vet's office overnight for example. I have 3 greys and only 1 has stayed overnight in a clinic and I have no idea where she slept, but I assume it was a kennel like environment, not a crate since it was at a university, so it's rare that our pups will ever need to be crated.

 

He sounds like he has the run of the house except at night and hasn't shown any reason to be left in the crate, so I'd try putting his bed near your bed where he can see you, even if it's the doorway if space is an issue.

 

Good luck, I would guess you both will be happier with a pillow in the bedroom.

Edited by greytpups

Jan with precious pups Katie Crazykatiebug, Emmy (Stormin J Flag) and Simon (Nitro Si) Missing my angels: Bailey Buffetbobleclair 11/11/98-17/12/09; Ben Task Rapid Wave 5/5/02-2/11/15; and Brooke Glo's Destroyer 7/09/06-21/06/16. My blog about grief The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Guest jaxshumans

Thanks everyone! I'll definitely try crating him when we're around so he knows it's not a punishment or a signal that we are leaving. And I'm pretty sure we will have him sleeping on a bed in our room in no time -- he's been such an angel around the house!

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Thanks everyone! I'll definitely try crating him when we're around so he knows it's not a punishment or a signal that we are leaving. And I'm pretty sure we will have him sleeping on a bed in our room in no time -- he's been such an angel around the house!

Be careful- we just upgraded to a king bed, pretty much to accommodate the hound!

 

Also- congrats- he is beautiful!!!

Edited by NeedlenoseJake

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Photographer in Phoenix, AZ www.northmountainphoto.com

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I only crate for medical reasons so you can see my answer coming....

 

Have you been crating him all day and again all night? If so you can hardly blame him for not wanting to go in. No one wants to live in a cage.

 

IMO some adoption groups are so gung ho crating that they do a great deal of disservice to the dogs. One group I know of used to (and still may) tell new adopters to crate new dogs 22 hours a day as "That's what they are used to". Being crated in your living room is a far cry from being crated at the track. At the track a dog is surrounded by 70 or so of his/her best friends where you can see most of them. A radio plays softly and kennel hands and trainers are coning to take tog to sprinting, racing etc. and turnouts to pee and play happen on a regular schedule. WAY different than locked up in a suburban living room counting flowers on the wall.

 

If you're still iffy baby gates can be your best friend. You can baby gate dogs in the kitchen in the day for a bit and babygate them in the bedroom at night so they don't roam. I'm still if the innocent until proven guilty camp. If he's shown you he can behave in the house, let him have free run.


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Clearly the dog doesn't need to be crated. No, it won't hurt him, and no, it's not mean or anything. But why not let him enjoy his new home and couch and such if he's proven himself to be a good fellow?

 

My first hound was 5 when I got him. Never chewed a thing, tried to steal food, nothing.

 

As to your direct question--no, there is no reason NOT to toss a cookie in the crate. He's used to being in a crate at the track, and since he's quite once he gets in, he doesn't hate it. But as I said, I'd ditch they crate if he were mine!


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Susan,  Marcai's Mister Bigglesworth (AKA Da Evil Won), and Sleekat's Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming and George (Driven by Chile) and Buck (Vogo Player)

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Guest Rubbles_Mom

Rubble slept in my room from night one. Slept like a log on his bed and has continued to do so. If there haven't been problems otherwise I'm sure he'd be fine to sleep in your room without the crate.

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Well, I'm in somewhat the opposite boat of most folks. It's not that I feel strongly that dogs should all be crated whenever people aren't around, but I do feel strongly that they should be accepting of the crate. Just because there isn't a need to crate often, doesn't mean a dog shouldn't be comfortable with it. It is one less thing to worry about and for the dog to worry about in the rare instance that you need to. Air travel, groomer, vet, hotel etc. So many people come in to the clinic wanting sedation for their pet to travel, when they could make a huge difference in their pet's anxiety by just having them accustomed to their crate. Same goes for when we have to hospitalize a pet. Sometimes it isn't even for a long period of time or for something serious, but the amount of anxiety they have over the kennel or crate is unbelievable. And trust me, although the large dogs go in kennels and not crates, it is really the same thing to most dogs. It is a form of confinement, and if they aren't used to it they make a really big deal about it.

 

That said, most dogs aren't getting up to too much trouble at night. The biggest concern I would have would be housetraining. Even Kili, who cannot be trusted uncrated home alone, sleeps through the night without ever getting into trouble. The most annoying thing she does is try to climb into bed with us and wake us up. We either gate the bedroom or close the door to prevent the hounds from wandering (again, mostly just Kili the trouble maker). If you have room for a dog bed in the bedroom I'd just let him sleep in there with you and close the bedroom door. Otherwise I'd do as NeylasMom suggested and work on some crate training. You may also consider stuffing his new bed in there for him as he may just be objecting to the fact that he knows he has a comfier bed elsewhere.

 

Having a well crate trained hound is very convenient. Kili dashes for her kennel every morning before I leave for work because she knows she's getting a Kong. And Summit, who is not routinely crated, sometimes chooses to sleep in Kili's kennel if I'm in that room (it's the office) for any length of time. I never have to worry about them if I need to kennel for any reason. It's one less stress for me, and one less stress for them.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I had Kasey sleeping in a crate for the first year I had him and believe that it shaped him as a dog. His was in the kitchen and he did not have view of us in the bedroom. I did bribe him to get in at times (not always though, he learned some nights he just had to sleep in there, other nights it was a fight to stay out!) We needed to establish this routine, and although he preferred to be with his hoomins knew that it was his place to sleep at night. I could have easily let him out within that year, but we were planning a vacation a few months after getting him and didn't want to disrupt a routine when he went to a sitter, so multiple reasons why we kept with the crating. He also seemed to enjoy houseplants, but got over that rather quickly when we did do away with the crate and he had run of the house. Sometimes a crate is necessary to keep them safe. Conversely, Ryder LOVED his crate and was upset when we took it away for a year. Sometimes you can't win!

Edited by XTRAWLD

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12.5 year old Angel "Kasey" Goodbye Kasey Gotcha July 2005-Aug 1, 2015

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Great photo.

 

Ditch the crate.

 

:)


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Tricia with Holly Oaks Holly, Hopper the terrier mix, and Kaia the wolfhound-schnauzer mix
Always missing Murray MaldivesBee Wiseman, and River, our perfect hounds gone too soon
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Cosmo used his crate until he saw dog beds in the bedroom. That was the end of THAT! He doesn't miss or need his crate.


Missing Hiro, Tank, and Tractor

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I only crate based upon whether or not the dog needs it...my youngest, Noah...he eats his food in the crate, which helps ensure he doesn't steal the others' dogs food.


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