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Canine Crate Training

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posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 08:03 PM
It seems everyone is doing the crate these days with their dogs, but I have never done it myself, though I have a long history of rehabing abandoned animals.

So, my latest (Sam), for various reasons is going to require it. Anyone with any opinions or pointers on this? I hope ultimately to put the thing away, but at the moment it seems best for him as well as us to crate him when we aren't here.

He is about 9 months to a year and may never have had a real home. He was in the shelter since April when I took him Saturday, and is already the love of our lives pet wise, but he still needs time to understand we are not going to abandon him, so there are issues like separation anxiety and the fact that he is still a wild child at heart to deal with.

I am particularly interested in what not to do regarding crate training, but I would like to hear from people who have done it successfully. So far my only criteria has been to make sure there is no connection between him going in when something has gone wrong, so he doesn't view it as punishment. I have seen a lot of people who have their animals loving their crate as "their haven", but I am having my doubts.

Thanks for any help here.

posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 08:38 PM
Hi Relentless,

We tried it on her, Abby.

It didn't work very well for us. Although I think it could have, minus one Mother-in-Law, who thought it was cruel. Abby would go in to sleep, but would freak out if the door was closed..One of our other problems was an older dog, who had not had this type of training, Abby could not stand to see her outside the cage. So she would howl.

I also remember that Abby had a problem if she could not see us, from wherever the cage was placed. I think we could have overcome that as well, by slowly moving the cage.

All in all, it can be a good method of giving your dog a "den" so to speak..
But you've got to be careful of "outside" influences..LOL

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 04:24 AM
What a sweetie Space! She's beautiful.

Actually, I would like Sam to be comfortable in the "den" whether we are here or not, but for now he has to go in when we aren't as he's an avid chewer of carpets and fabric things. We are working on getting him to understand that he should choose his rope toy when the urge hits, but we have to be here to reinforce that and teach him not to go potty in the house, so this will take a few weeks.

We are letting him sleep in the bedroom with us, (though he is free to do roam the house if he chooses) and there are no problems at night, but maybe we should have started his sleeping place in the kennel. Too late now for that though.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 07:29 AM
Hi Relentless,

I would talk to a vet as to some ideas about the seperation issue. It could involve some drugs for a short time, but once he gets into a routine that you will come home each day and not abandon him, he could adjust. It takes time and love.


posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:25 AM
I started using a crate with Shadow right after I got him from the rescue shelter. He was 3 months old at the time. I put it in the bedroom where he could see me, dropped a blanket over the sides and placed a couple of toys in there with him. Also, if he goes right in without too much wandering around, I give him a couple of treats. I was really suprised how easy it was with him. He whines if he needs to leave the crate to use the bathroom. He's 7 months old now and has never had a oops in the crate and only one in the house.

posted on Jul, 6 2005 @ 08:45 AM
Crate training is EXTREMELY effective...If done right. I suggest getting a good book on the topic.

Once the dog is accustomed to the crate, they will actually see the crate as a secure and private place they can feel safe.

Good luck

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 04:47 AM
First hurdle accomplished:

I was told the command commonly used to tell Sam it was time to go in the crate. "Crate Up"

I had to drag him near it but then when I said it he went in without a fight this time. He must have heard it before. So we kept doing it as a game, in and out and making a big fuss.

He still doesn't like going in, but he seems to get it now that there are times he is going to. It's been two days now with no accidents and he is starting to get on a schedule with his potty training. Not bad for the first week. He also is getting the picture that we will be back if we leave and he is here for good.

Now he has moved on to the "testing us" stage. He is being quite the jester on this count, but mostly with my husband. Got on the bed a few times yesterday to see hubby's reaction and has started standing up to check out the kitchen counter, but does none of these things in front of me. Now, if he were a child, it might be effective to try a "time out", but it doesn't seem to me the crate should be used that way, at least not at this stage. Any thoughts?

Yes, a book would help, anyone have a good one to recommend?

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 05:31 AM
I have a link to a great website...but the info is at my work..
I'll post it here later today...
BTW got a pic of this pup?

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 08:00 AM
I never want Shadow to have negative thoughts about his crate. I want him to think of it as his "den". A safe place, not a prison. When he does something wrong I use my "big voice" it's very effective and he knows he's done something wrong. Shadow is a white german shepard, very smart and very hard-headed. Seven months old and about 80 pounds so I had to let him know who's the boss quick. But the crate is "His" and he knows it.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 03:10 PM
Found it...the link to the dog training stuff

the site has changed a little, but I see there are books and videos available now too..
Good luck!

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 06:32 PM
Thanks Space for the website and everyone else for the input!

Actually, it's going very well, he is now doing the "crate up" on command. But I will definately read more about this.

Here's his picture from the shelter site (it doesn't do him justice but I haven't gotten any good ones yet myself).

Any guesses on the breeds involved here? Definately some Rotweiller colors, probably Chow from his tongue is half black, webbed toes like a golden, probably some sort of shepherd, but nothing is predominant. The coat has me stumped, as it is more like glossy black hair with no undercoat. His vet check is a week from saturday so I'll know more then.

Edit: Wow - what a great amount of training info for everything on that website. So far so good, I have done nothing wrong towards the crate training goal, and I have now learned a few new tricks to increase Sam's comfort level. Such as, always feed him in the crate. This was excellent tonight because I want him on a schedule and he has been picking at his food and leaving and coming back later. Tonight I put it in his crate, told him to crate up and he ate it all with no distractions then lay down quite relaxed.

It's going well!

[edit on 7/8/2005 by Relentless]

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 07:10 PM
Boy, really hard to tell from the pic..
Nice looking dog though.

I would have to say

I myself have a Rott n Retriever.
Then Abby, pictured above is a Lab\Vizsla(pointer) mix.

Mutts rule!..all of mine are rescued as well..

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 07:34 PM

Originally posted by jimragan
IWhen he does something wrong I use my "big voice" it's very effective and he knows he's done something wrong.

I agree entirely Jim, I've always found the words and the tone are usually enough if the animal loves and respects you. This is how all my pets have been handled and it's working great for Sam so far, at least for me. (For some strange reason he is not as attentive to my husband - LOL)

There is an interestng article on the training site Space linked to for more difficult problems. It's recommending a strong quick grab and shake to the scruff of the neck with the verbal command. This is particularly used for a biting problem in a young dog. It suppossedly establishes dominance of the trainer since that is how the pups mother would do it.

posted on Jul, 8 2005 @ 07:55 PM
I rescued a really great dog once that required crate training, just because it had some major attitude problems. Not sure why it was such a "great dog" in retrospect actually.

Anyway, once trained I tried to ween him off of it. To "trust" him basically while I was out. Yeah, don't ever do that. Once you crate train, that's it.

They lose their little minds when out and alone. :shk:

If you ever feel the crate is too restrictive, some room training works just as well. It's just about restriction, not being locked up. Could be a bedroom, laundry room, whatever. Once they learn "go to your room" that's it. As good as any crate. Plus you don't feel so bad.

posted on Jul, 9 2005 @ 05:23 AM

Originally posted by RANT
Anyway, once trained I tried to ween him off of it. To "trust" him basically while I was out. Yeah, don't ever do that. Once you crate train, that's it.

They lose their little minds when out and alone. :shk:

Thanks Rant, I was wondering about that, since I never did the crate thing with any other dogs and I thought I would only use it in the beginning. I will definately re-think that one.

posted on Jul, 16 2005 @ 01:23 PM
2 weeks today and all is well. The crate thing is really working and he is not only house trained but on a schedule for his potty needs (as oppossed to going all day long when ever, where ever). Thursady and Friday were his first days with no lunch visit during the day and he was absolutely fine.

Had his first vet check today, they are putting him at a year give or take and he is in great health. They were very impressed with his good looks and disposition. Of course we agree entirely!

They are confirming some Rottweiller, Chow and Golden Retriever in his mix, but it certainly doesn't end there - lol. Maybe some Australian Shepherd (which would explain his type of play behavior, it's very "working dog") Tomorrow is his neuter at the Humane Society (my poor baby!) and he will need extra crate time for a day or two to recoop so I'm glad we got him in the swing of it already.

Thanks for all the advice guys!

Edit: Oh, of course it's not all a walk in the park, he stole his first londen broil from the kitchen counter this week. We're in that adolescent testing us stage now.

[edit on 7/16/2005 by Relentless]

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