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Trouble Crating Pup

 
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Pete
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Joined: 23 Jun 2003
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PostPosted: 07/23/03, 7:33 am    Post subject: Trouble Crating Pup Reply with quote

I’m hoping that someone can give me some advice with getting over our pups crating issues. I have a 14 week old female gwp that we’ve had for four weeks now. The trouble we are having is when we have to crate her when we are away, three days out of the week. When we crate her at night she is fine and makes it through the night no problem. During the day she is certain to have an accident (#1 and sometimes #2) and gets all worked up while in the crate. Currently I’m having a neighbor girl come over twice a day at 10 and 2 to let the pup out. She tells me when she leaves the pup she hardly ever stops barking and yelping until her next visit.

Like I said I’ve been leaving a radio on for noise and have tried putting a kong in the crate with her but she could care less about it and its contents. The crate isn’t too large and I’m not leaving anything in it except for the kong. People tell me that it’s going to take time but it just fells like it’s getting worse. I was planning on starting obedience training classes at a highly recommended local club in September but wonder if I should search out some place else and start the training sooner, I’ve read where training will boost the pups confidence.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks
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Jon P
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PostPosted: 07/23/03, 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete,
Exactly how much time is this pup spending alone in a crate? Is this pup getting a couple of longer periods of exercise each day? No pup should be confined til it goes into this state of anxiety. Your may be creating yourself a future problem by letting this behavior continue and this doesn't sound to me like its really the dog's fault.

I know the bills have to be paid and work calls but....Any chance of getting up an outside run for the dog with a dog house? Maybe a hunting buddy has a dog you can stick your's in with a couple of those days. All dogs should learn eventually with age to accept crating but 4-5 hour periods are to long for this particular pup.

I've always started the crating routine and built up the amount of time a dog spends alone, starting with a short period of time and best when the dog is tired. They learn that you are coming back and will be calm. Letting the dog get frantic and then letting it out may teach the dog that this behavior will get it what it wants. Letting the dog out when it has been calm is far better. To limit crate accidents, adapt a feeding and watering schedule so that the dog will have best chance of eliminating outside.

The first 20-24 weeks of a dog's life determine much of what your dog will become. Suggest you find a solution so that this dog does not become anxious or you may wind up with the problem for a long time.
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Pete
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PostPosted: 07/23/03, 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently the longest stretch she spends in her crate is 3 hours. In the morning I wake up three hours before I have to leave for work so I have plenty of time to work with her, exercise her and wear her out before she goes into her crate at 7:00 am. At 10:00 our neighbor girl comes over to let her out and walk her, generally she has the dog out for an hour or more. The neighbor is back over at 2:00 and has her out for a half hour. I arrive home at 4:15. When I come home the dog is calm and I don’t make a dig deal of my arrival. I go about some business and let her out after I’m done. She isn’t frantic in the crate when we are around.

My intent isn’t to have an outdoor kennel dog so that’s why I haven’t pursued that route. I’m new to my area so I don’t have a hunting buddy with a dog where I can keep her with on the three work days that she has to be crated. I had hoped the neighbor girl coming over twice a day would have been more successful, maybe I need to increase the visits.
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oacona
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PostPosted: 07/23/03, 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings - I'm no professional, but I'll share our experiences. We've decided that most GWP puppies have some "thing". And how you handle that "thing" is quite important. Since your pup doesn't object to crating when you are present, then maybe this isn't hers and she is just spending too much time crated alone right now and becomes anxious. Anyway, our puppy objected to his collar. Vehemently. So we did NOT force it on him, did not force him into submission, but rather slowly introduced it, maybe put it on for two minutes while he was eating,then removed it, showing him good things happen when we are wearing our collar. Then added a minute or two every day, removed it before he got angry about it. Then one day, presto, he forgot about that evil collar and has been wearing one ever since. No problem. We think these dogs are smart and sensitive, and shouldn't be forced or "broken" when they perceive something as scary or a threat when they are just babies. Different story in a few months maybe, but so young, go easy on her and reinforce good things, don't make a big deal out of the bad ones. We have a friend whose GWP refused to be crated, it was the evil box and she went baserk upon being asked to go in there. He was gentle, didn't force or punish or make her crate, only introduced it during fun times and for just a minute. And now its a fine place to be. Best of luck -
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Jon P
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PostPosted: 07/24/03, 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought for those who breed (and I'm sure many already do this)

Introduce the crate when pups are weaned. Feed them in a couple of crates, put bedding in there and leave the door open at first. Then leave them in a closed crate for short periods after they have eaten and eliminated. Seldom have I seen a crating problem when this is started early. A crate becomes a safe den.
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Anne
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PostPosted: 07/24/03, 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the same experience with Riley when he was a baby. Not fun to clean up!!! I ended up just not crating him, which worked fine as far as house training went. However, they need to be used of a crate otherwise the vet & the groomer can be traumatic and if a dog is going to do any performance events crates are an absolute godsend (for both dog and person).

One thing I noticed is Riley does fine in a wire crate where he can see what's going on around him. If your pup is in a varikennel type you may find you have better luck with the wire crate.

I did read one article in Whole Dog Journal that said that the whole "dening instinct" is kind of a myth. This is not to say dog's shouldn't be crated, it just means they don’t instinctively take to it and introducing them to the crate needs to be done gradually and carefully. It is also not uncommon (according to the article) that they react differently to the crate when you're gone than when you're there.

Try putting her in, leaving the room for a minute, and coming back and letting her out (assuming she is calm).

Next time, crate her while you go get the mail. Gradually increase the amount of time she is in the crate while you are away.

If you have to leave her longer than she can hold it (about an hour for every month old they are) you may want to leave her in an ex-pen with the crate inside the pen (door open). Create a potty spot in one corner of the pen with newspaper or gravel and leave her Kong or other toys in there for her to play with. This set up sends the message that there is a place where we sleep, a place where we play, and a place where we go potty and they are NOT one and the same.

Good luck!
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cheerio
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PostPosted: 07/24/03, 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete wrote:
When I come home the dog is calm and I don’t make a dig deal of my arrival. I go about some business and let her out after I’m done. She isn’t frantic in the crate when we are around..


Actually Pete, I would suggest that as soon as you come home, especially if she is quite, you go straight to her and fuss alot: She was quite, she is a good girl, now you are home, you are so please to see her..."
Why should she behave when alone in her crate if she is still alone in her crate while you are gone? By rushing to her as soon as uyou come home, you are teaching your dog that the crate is her safe place for quite time while you are away. She must realise the purpose and reason behind being crated. Don't forget that dogs have chosen the man for companion, and have demonstrated time and time again that they have a real need to share his owner's life.
Good luck
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KYSER
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PostPosted: 07/24/03, 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My GWP was the same way. It after the second night home my wife said bring him in the bed room and the rest is history. My dog took to house breaking like a champ and has never gone in his wire kennel. I just kept putting treats in it to get him to go in willingly and didnt say a thing when I left him in it to go to work. I too leave the radio on. Now he will kennel pretty reliably as long as he has had some time to romp. He still sleeps in our room at night and has free run of the house at night but has never chewed anything. It took about three weeks before I could command him to kennel and he would do it. Just keep at it.
Best of Luck
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outdoorsman
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PostPosted: 07/25/03, 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Pup didn't mind the kennel at all during the day. But at night he didn't like it at all. He would whine the entire night. Finally I bought a second kennel for him and placed it in my bedroom. Once he relized I was in the same room as him he was fine. My GWP suffers from seperation anxiouty I think. He doesn't like me too far out of his sight.
Weird thing is my wife says he is fine during the day when I am not home. But once I am in or around the house I have to be in his sight.
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Pete
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PostPosted: 07/25/03, 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think seperation anxiouty is a big part of my problem. When she's crated in our room at night she knows we're there so she doesn't have a problem with being crated at all. We have her at the foot of the bed so she can't even see us, just hears us. It's when she's alone during the day that she complains. She always has to keep tabs on me when I'm around also, she's my little shadow. She won't go down the basement stairs yet so I'm starting to work on leaving her sight at the bottom of the stairs and then coming back hoping that she'll catch on that I'm there and that she always doesn't have to see me. Another thing I'm going to try during the day is giving our cat access to the kitchen where we leave the pup crated. Previously we've always shut the cat in the basement during the day but now I think I'm going to give the cat access to the basement and kitchen. Maybe a visit from the cat will help the pup a little and make her feel not so all alone. For the most part the cat and pup get along pretty well, the cat still has the upper hand though.
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