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Crying When I Leave At Weird Time; Transitioning Out Of Crate

Guest Lenslen

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Guest Lenslen



I've had my greyhound, Ziggy, for about 9 months now. I've always been crating him while I leave the house because that's what my adoption group, and other greyhound owners have always told me to do. Ziggy is fine in his crate -- When I leave for work he walks right in it and curls up with his toys. When I come home, he knows to remain calm and quiet for about five minutes while I ignore him before I let him out.


However, when I leave at a random time, like if I go out to dinner, or leave for the gym, I walk him in his crate and he's hesitant. He doesn't want to go in, and then he'll start barking and crying. Is this because he's uncomfortable with me leaving at a time other than our normal routine? Any advice to keep him calm and quiet here? Oh also, I should mention, if Ziggy's been crated a lot that day, I'll try not to leave and crate him any longer. If I know I have plans that night, I always stay home with him all day so he doesn't get crated for a long time.


I really want to get him out of the crate entirely, but I've been hesitant because of advice from my adoption group. Also, we live with a cat. Ziggy could care less about the cat, but the cat is terrified of Zig, and will hiss and growl at him. For this reason, I've kept Zig crated. I was wondering if I could keep him out of his crate, but still in my bedroom (where is crate is kept) and just leave the door shut.


Any insight as to why he barks and cries when I leave at a weird time, or any advice to help him stop would be appreciated!


Also, any advice to transition him out of the crate. Like I said, I'd love to keep him in my bedroom (this is where he has all of his toys, beds, food/water, so I know he's comfortable there) until I can trust him and the cat together.


Thanks for the advice!


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The subject of crating was brought up in another post a couple of days ago. http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/314538-bribing-for-the-crate/ IMO, your adoption group steered you wrong.


I think the change of routine from going into the crate only when you leave for work to other times is what makes Ziggy cry and bark. The most likely way of erasing this behavior is to not crate.


I am not a person who thinks crates are necessary. If the Greyhound has proved her/himself trustworthy regarding being house trained, not chewing up furniture, etc., then I say ditch the crate. I think the crate is good for a dog new to the house. It can give the dog security. It's a place to have the dog stay until the parents are confident in how he'll be around the house uncrated. But how can Ziggy prove himself without being let out of the crate? How to transition? Open the door, leave it open and let him have the run of the house (see below about cat).


As I said in the other post, my girl Annie, who I adopted four years ago, hated her crate 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.


But you have a cat. There are ways around what could be a problem by using baby gates so the cat has a safe room into which Ziggy can't go. The cat may hiss and growl, but that's good because it's a warning to Ziggy to keep away. IMO, the cat will adjust. You'll never know unless you give it a try.


BTW, I have a cat who wishes Annie liked her more. The cat wants nothing more than to share Annie's bed, but if the cat is on the bed, Annie walks away. Penny-the-cat likes to walk up to Annie, rub against her face, purr in her ears and share her warmth. Annie ignores her but if she's on the bed first, Annie will tolerate the cat laying down next to her.


Good luck and we need pictures!

Edited by Feisty49
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Guest Lenslen

Thank you! So should I just leave him out of the crate and go To work like normal? Or do I leave him out for short periods and gradually get longer? I'll occasionally leave him in my room with the door shut for a few minutes while I'm doing things elsewhere in the apartment, and he just sleeps in my bed or his bed. Sometimes he'll lay by the door and wait for me, but he's never done anything destructive.


I'll try to add a picture later! I can't seem to do it from my phone.

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You should not leave your hound and cat out together alone until you are sure the hound is accepting of the cat. Absolutely NO chasing behavior, staring, barking, lunging, or other "interested" type of reaction from the hound. If your hound exhibits any of these behaviors DO NOT leave your cat and hound out together without direct supervision. If your cat can come and go in the room with your hound and the hound ignores the cat. If the cat runs and your hound doesn't show interest in following or chasing, then I would be more comfortable with leaving them out together.


Crates are not a bad thing. For some reason a lot of people feel they are cruel or otherwise not needed. A crate is a safety devise similar to a seat belt in a car (especially when you have small critters in the house). What if you have a maintenance person coming by to take care of something? What happens if you have workers in the house doing something? Yes you can close the hound in a room, but if the hound is not used to being confined to a room, it could have anxiety and issues. If you keep up with crate training, then you wont have any issues. A perfect example, a few years back my wife and I had an issue with carbon monoxide in the house, we woke up a bit disoriented and had other issues. We had to call the fire department and ambulance. I had 3 hounds and they were all crate trained. I simply told them "crate" and they all went into their crates. I stumbled and closed the crates. When the paramedics came by i didn't have to worry about my hounds slipping out, and they were calm and quiet while everything was going on.


I would suggest that even if your hound is comfortable with the cat, you should muzzle your hound for the first month or so that he is left out alone.

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Guest Lenslen

I am planning on keeping my crate for instances like this. I live in an apartment so do have maintenance people frequently visiting. It is not my intention to leave my cat and Ziggy alone together. Like I said, the cat hisses and growls at Ziggy, he just looks at her and walks by really calmly. It is the cat I don't trust! Regardless, I'm not leaving them alone together. I was wondering if I could transition him out of the crate and leave him in my room with the door shut. When I do this for short periods, he is fine. I'm wondering if it would work for longer periods.


I'm really trying to find a solution for keeping him calm and quiet for when I leave at the weird hours when he's not used to me leaving. Since he cries in the crate when I leave at weird times, I'm wondering if I could break him of the crate and leave him out, yet still separated from the cat.

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I think starting with leaving the crate door open is a good idea. So he can choose if he likes to go in there.

I never use a crate and my boys can roam the house freely.

Andy moves to the bedroom as soon as I leave the house and will stay there until I get back. It can be that Zig will choose a place to sleep and hang out until you get back.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.


Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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I have cats, and Buck spent exactly two days crated while I was at work. He didn't like his crate, he shows zero interest in the cats. I ditched the crate.


Crates are great when you have a brand new dog in the house, or a puppy. Sounds like your guy will do great without the crate!


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

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Yes, I think it's time to transition him out of the crate. And yes, start for shorter times, but you'll likely be able to work up to a full day pretty quickly. Even better if you can set up a webcam so you can see what he does while you're gone. Because we have two uncrated dogs, we have Nest cameras set up in our living room and our bedroom so we can check in on them to make sure they don't get into trouble :) While we were transitioning the older of the two, we used my netbook and live streamed through Ustream (I had cats at the time, so it was necessary that he be monitored).


I'd leave him in your room with a kong, a comfie bed (if he doesn't use your bed) and the radio on. I'd probably also use a babygate, not a closed door as many dogs don't like closed doors. Do some practice runs over the weekend. :)


With my first greyhound (Turbo), my room mate couldn't get him back in the crate before he left for work, so he just left him out. He had potty accidents by the back door for a couple of weeks (on Thursdays only, because those were his longest days), then I moved his water dish there and he never had another accident (until a very upset tummy many years later :lol). So he was out of the crate before I was ready for it, but he did great. I'd had him about 2 months. He was not a fan of the crate at any rate.


Second greyhound (Heyokha) had to be crated for about a year because he's VERY active (he's not a "just go and sleep" kind of dog) and he wasn't cat safe and I had two senior kitties. When he finally and reliably ignored the cats entirely (as Chad mentions above), we could let him go free.


Third greyhound (Crow) was out of the crate within two months. He has never so much as stepped wrong since he walked in the door, but Heyokha was having some adjustment issues with Crow, so Crow was crated for his own safety. We'll now tune into the Nest cam and see them on the couch together :lol


It's a very good thing to have a dog who can be crated (or x-penned) safely - for example, Heyokha had to have major abdominal surgery earlier this year and had to have strict crate rest. He didn't fuss at all. So even after your dog has been uncrated, it's always a good idea to keep the crate up if you have space and occasionally put him in there with a tasty chew or something so he keeps up good associations with it. After Turbo graduated from his crate, I didn't do that and as a result he couldn't be crated at all later, even when he needed to be for health reasons :(

Oh, and I'll add one other thing to my novel :lol


Turbo was a lot like your dog. He was fine when left alone during the work day, but even late in life, he'd get upset when I was gone at "non-authorized" times. The way he expressed his displeasure was to bring out my shoes and throw them all over the living room :wub:

Edited by turbotaina

Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Guest ParamagicFF

I brought Amber home with the intention of crating her whenever she was home alone. She did well until about 3 weeks in she began showing significant anxiety and we came home to a partially damaged crate. I decided i'd rather not risk her hurting herself in the crate and we began transitioning her to being gated in the kitchen (one of her favorite spots). She's done well there for the past two months. She sometimes has anxiety when we are leaving to include some whining and barking, but this is minimal. We leave her with her bed, toys, and a frozen PB kong and she does very well. There have been two occasions where we forgot the Kong and she did chew on a specific chair however. We've found as long as Amber has an interactive toy to use while we are gone, she does not get as upset and does not behave destructively. Good luck!

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