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Crate Training

Discussion in 'Training & Behavior' started by georgesmom, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. georgesmom

    georgesmom Puppy

    I recently rescued a stray bull mutt from the streets. He is 10 months old, and I have had him about a month. I have been trying to crate train him (as I have my shepherd mix and my lab), but it's been miserable. He's very vocal, and figured out how to take the crate apart at one point (we had to zip tie it together....). After a night in the kennel, when I let him out, he is extremely full of energy, to the point of being almost unmanageable. Usually an hour in the backyard with his toys gets him back to level.

    Last night, after a long Christmas day, my 3 dogs and I fell asleep on the couch watching a movie. We ended up sleeping there all night. He cuddled in the crook of my legs all night. This morning, he was very calm, had his breakfast, went to the bathroom and is now laying on my feet (less than an hour later.)

    Should I give up on crate training him? Is it a good idea with a dog this old? (My other dogs were babies when I started).
  2. BCdogs

    BCdogs Good Dog Super Moderator

    No, I would keep going. It sounds like he has a lot of pent-up energy.

    Personally, I would work him as much as possible (with age-appropriate exercise) right before he goes into his crate. That way he will have much less energy to spend on vocalizing and trying to escape. It won't cure it, but it will certainly help.

    Go slow. Put him in for 5 minutes at a time. Praise while he's quiet and relaxed. Don't let him out until he has settled down. Keep doing this and you can increase the time spent in there without an outburst. You will get there.
  3. _unoriginal

    _unoriginal Cow Dog

    Yes, still crate train him. It's an invaluable trait to be crate-able at any time, especially in case of an emergency. His age doesn't really matter; I trained my dog at 3.5 years.

    It sounds like you may have rushed the process. Start from the beginning. Throw a piece of kibble into the crate several times while leaving the door open. Then throw some pieces in and close the door without latching it. Then escalate to latching it for a second then releasing the dog. Just continue to increase duration over time.

    And when it comes to the point of the dog being in there regularly, be sure to exercise him before he goes in. Give him a special stuffed Kong only for crate time. It might help if the crate is in another room where no one is walking by or playing in front of it. I also found it helpful to cover the crate to make it more den-like. I also put a radio on to distract from exterior noises.
  4. steve07

    steve07 Good Dog Premium Member

    Mine are 3 and 1. I still crate train the both of them. They love there crates it's a safe zone for them. I also agree with unoriginal. At night we give them a frozen Kong with alittle pumpkin, kibble, and some peanut butter. We also cover it so they have no distractions. If we're home and there crated we give them a bone in there, only if we're home so we can supervise them. Again this is what works best for us hopefully you can find something that work great for you!!!!
  5. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    I had a lot of trouble crate training Tonka. We got her when she was two. What really seemed to turn things around was when I brought the crate in our bedroom. I covered it with blankets and just folded over one corner so that she could see me. I try to make it the most comfortable sleeping area. We give her a few kibble before we put her to bed. I don't have to close the door at night time anymore. She will cry in the morning if we get up late because she wants to come out. I think it is strange because she will go get some water or stand by the patio door in the middle of the night. But in the morning she waits for permission to come out.
  6. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Oh, I forgot to add that if I don't cover it she looks at me like, "you think I'm going into that cage???" Then I throw the blankets on it and she happily goes into her comfy zone.
  7. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    The only way I feel comfortable crating her if we leave is if we put the crate by the front window so that she can look out for us while we're away. Otherwise it just seems to get her more stressed out than anything else. She busted up her twist tied crate one too many times. I came home once and a wire was just a couple of millimeters from her eyeball. We ended up buying a sturdier crate that she uses for sleeping.
  8. georgesmom

    georgesmom Puppy

    Thanks for all the input everyone. Crate training will continue. I'll take all this advice. Thank you!
  9. CallSignOWL

    CallSignOWL Good Dog


    I started crate training Echo as soon as I brought her home. While in the house with me, I would leave the crate open and toss in a kibble or treat for Echo to go get. She learned to go in and out no problem once she learned the crate was a safe place that got her yummy treats!
  10. CarolineP

    CarolineP Little Dog

    We've crate trained every one of our dogs, fosters and the ones we own(ed). But when we got Moose (Great Pyrenees) crate training was the worst experience I've ever had. He screamed ALL night then would pass out during the day, he broke out of three different types of crates or hurt himself trying, even if we took him out and then put him in his crate for ten minutes he would pee out of fear and just cover himself.

    we kept working at the crate for three months, and all we got out of it was three months of screaming puppy and now a grown dog who is terrified of crates. Still every time we foster we crate train and it usually goes well, we gave up with moose though.

    We still have problems with him being scared of stuff, mainly loud noises. Fine with thunder, fine with fireworks, gun shots, but the tub we keep his food in had a handle pop off when he was near it now he's terrified of the food bin... I dropped a glass once now he's scared of clear cups.. someone shut the oven too hard and now he's scared of the oven..

    If something that he previously wasn't afraid of makes a loud noises then he becomes scared. But if it has always made loud noises (guns) he is not scared!
  11. georgesmom

    georgesmom Puppy

    Just to update, things are going better. I have been injured and unable to walk the dogs, which has been really rough on the puppy and crate training. I searched around for some ideas and ended up making a flirt pole and now my roommate is constructing a carpet mill. Even though I am now able to walk them a bit, George may need a little more :) By wearing him out first, things are going a bit better. We also filled Kongs with kibble/peanut butter/canned dog food and froze them. He gets one when he goes in the crate. We are also in the process of building an indoor dog house for him, because he seems to quiet down faster when he is more "enclosed". It's going to go into a room that no one really enters at night (an open family room). Thanks for all the ideas! I love the support of this forum!
  12. brindle

    brindle Little Dog

    Good to hear the crate training is going better!

    One thing I have found is some dogs like a wire crate better and some like the more closed in plastic Vari Kennel style crates.

    My old dog hated her plastic Vari Kennel but my previous dog and my current pup at 8 months much prefer the plastic crate.

    Might be worth a try to use a plastic crate with him. Crate training is useful for any dog but some take to it better than others. The special treats only given when they go in the crate help a lot.

    Hope you are feeling better, it's hard to give them exercise when you are hurt. Flirt poles are good too but try not to let him jump for the toy on it, as that is hard on his young legs and joints.

    He'll get to liking the crate and best of luck, glad you kept on with it.
  13. georgesmom

    georgesmom Puppy

    I made the error of letting him jump at the flirt pole. He's not real coordinated yet (puppy lol) and landed on his back. Scared us both! Now we just chase it in circles :)
  14. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    Our trainer told us to walk Tonka for at least 45 min. Before crating her. I forgot to mention that. That was the most helpful advice for the separation anxiety.

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