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surrendering to the crate

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Lexus

shy girl
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 5:18pm PST 
I posted this in the Siberian Husky forum but I wanted to post here as well to get some more insight.
So for a month to a month and a half now Lexus (6 months sibe) has been simply put in our bedroom while we left the house and always left with her toys bed etc...she sleeps there at night also.....and she has been great every time, no issues at all, however today we left for about 2 hours if even and came back to a tore apart bedroom.....bedding etc....I fully intended to crate train her when we first adopted her, but then after numerous times of her being without it and doing fine, I guess I kind of figured it would be o.k.....probably a silly move I do realize, and was well advised on crate training especially a husky, but I didn't and it is my own fault I know but needless to say, I intend to purchase a crate this week in case this does happen again.....so I know some about crate training but never have myself and if anyone has any suggestions I would love to hear them.
Heres what i know: make it a happy place, make it available to her with the door left open throughout the day, comfy bedding, lots of toys etc...
Thanks in advance to any help smile
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Rusty

Champion PPH
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 5:54pm PST 
H3ll hath no fury like a Sibe that is bored! laugh out loud

Crate training isn't too bad, although it would've been easier if you had started with it at the beginning. What I found useful was to wait for a time when the dog is about to take a nap. Lead it to the crate with treats & toys. Do NOT force him in, just lure him in, close the door, and walk out of the room. If he cries, do not respond! Wait until it is quiet in there for about 10-15 minutes and come back into the room, praise & treat him calmly, letting him out. Rinse & repeat throughout the day.

If he pitches a huge fit, don't give in. I t may take several days for him to get used to it. I had my crate in a quiet corner of my bedroom and draped a blanket over the top, making it cozy. A friend of mine slept in her living room for three nights while her dog pitched a fit. When the dog saw it wasn't working, she gave up the battle.

I left the door open throughout the day and would occasionally toss some treats in there for my dog to find. Each night when I went to bed, I would tell him "crate" and he walked in calmly. He took to going in there while I was getting ready for work.

It can be done. Just be calm and patient. Oh, and please do not think of it as "surrendering to the crate". Lock in your mind that this is his cave, home, sleeping area, etc.

Edited by author Tue Jan 22, '13 5:55pm PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 6:11pm PST 
Here is how I start.
Sit in front of the crate and toss a toy/treat in. When she goes for it tell her she's good. If she knows stay use that otherwise block her with your hand for a ten count, release and start again. I do that for a few days as well as feed in the crate, door open.
I build up the time she is staying in the crate by seconds with the door open. Then I close the door for a few seconds, open and release. When she shows no reaction to the door closing then I start with 1-5 minutes depending on the dog. I stay in front of the crate until we are at 10 minutes, then I leave the room for a portion of that.
Some dogs are ok within a few days, some take weeks to build up. It depends on the dog and on how calm you are.
Don't open the crate while she is barking or having a fit. If need be sit in front of the crate to settle her down, but don't open that door until she settles.
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Lexus

shy girl
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 6:27pm PST 
O.k, thank you guys for the great tips....I know it would have been easier to do this from the get go....it is my own fault.
So I guess my next question would be, as I said she sleeps in our bedroom and this is where I plan to keep her crate, but is it ok if at night when we are in bed also if I just leave the crate door open and her bed in there for her to go in and out as she pleases? Or will I just be defeating the purpose?
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 9:01pm PST 
If you want her loose at night go for it. There is no rule that says she must be locked in at night. Just make sure she's safe.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Tue Jan 22, '13 10:48pm PST 
It's a shame to cause everyone so much unnecessary pain. You can create a heck of a strong conditioned negative association in a few days if you follow the "put her in and wait for her to stop screaming" system. And you're really unlikely to get 15 minutes of silence with a dog who's new to crate training. I'd recommend building up more slowly. I usually toss treats in once or twice, then give treats for sniffing around, then for going in, then for going in and turning around, then for lying down facing the door, then I close the door for half a second without latching it, just long enough to toss a treat in, and slowly build up time and add locking. I keep my body language light, like this is a fun game. If I open the door and the dog stays inside, I lie there and rub his side or belly for awhile. If your dog is food motivated (I'm guessing yes, with a spitz puppy!) you can usually do all this within a couple of days. But move at the dog's pace- if you're shoving her in there and then tossing treats to try to calm her down, it won't work nearly as well. If you overshoot and she cries, I agree with not letting her out until she's quiet and not pawing at the door- but I'd recommend waiting for just a few seconds of quiet. You don't want her to have a bunch of unpleasant memories surrounding the crate. You may or may not be able to do bedding when you're leaving her in there. A lot of puppies rip it up until a year or so of age.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 7:39am PST 
Smokey that's pretty much what I said. Build up in seconds not minutes. I would never ask a dog for 15 minutes of quiet right away.
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Lexus

shy girl
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 1:42pm PST 
Well we bought the crate today....I am so glad she can still be loose at night, she is really good at night she sleeps at the foot of our bed......keeps our feet warm BOL!!!
Thank you again guys for your advice and I hope it all goes well, I will make sure and build up her time in there and make sure it remains a happy place for her.
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Smokey

Let's play tug!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jan 23, '13 1:50pm PST 
Sabi, I agree.

Sounds good!
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Member Since
12/24/2012
 
 
Barked: Thu Jan 24, '13 8:22pm PST 
Look up "crate games". It'll help to paint the crate in a new, positive light. The crate is like the dog's very own bedroom. A place to go when they want privacy, to relax, to hide, to rest, to treasure a favorite treat, whatever.
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