Crate hate?

Discussion in 'Dog Training Forum' started by 621mum, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. 621mum

    621mum New Member

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    A little background: We have crate trained both of our dogs from puppyhood. They are in the crates (in our bedroom) at night and when we are away from the house. We are never away over 5 hours without them getting a break, and usually less. The reason we started to crate is because we have a very old house and there are just too many dangers for chewing dogs. When the dogs go in the crate during the day, they get a peanut butter and treat filled kong (that's the only time they get them).

    Now the issue: Our older dog, Luna, loves her crate. She rarely ever fusses in it and if you say "crate up" she runs for the room. The baby (8 months old) loves to go to the crate at night and is fabulous then. But, during the day she really doesn't want to go in, has to be coaxed in, and has actually ripped open her nose twice trying to worm her way out of the crate.

    Right now, we are trying to put them in for very short periods (5 minutes) and letting them out and rewarding so that maybe she will associate the crating with happy things. That's the only idea I have at the moment, other than just not crating them, but I have no idea where/how in the house we could contain them from harm that she wouldn't dislike just as much.

    Since you all are experts: :p Help!
     
  2. Cessena

    Cessena New Member

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    I would be leery of crating a dog and then rewarding them after letting them out of the crate. (Which is what it sounds like you might be doing. Correct me if I'm wrong.) You are then essentially rewarding them for getting out, making getting out of the crate the fun bit.

    Crating her for short periods is really the way to go. I would make sure that I rewarded the baby while she was in the crate, and pretty much ignore her for a while after you let her out. We have been working on this with our dog and we actually feed him all his meals in his crate. (he nearly ripped the door of one apart trying to escape.) We also give him stuffed kongs and other chewies that he gets only when in his crate (for short, and now longer periods of time.)

    I've also heard leaving the crate open and tying a favorite toy in the crate so they can only play with it when they go into their crate voluntarily can help as well. And occasionally dropping treats into the crate when they aren't around, so if she goes in there on her own she gets a positive surprise.

    Here's a video with suggestions:

    http://www.petvideo.com/play.cgi?showId=689
     
  3. 621mum

    621mum New Member

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    Cessena,
    That is a good point about rewarding them for coming out. I guess I just need to treat them going in and then just let them out like it's no big deal.

    We did do the "all your meals in the crate" when she was a baby and that went well, but now she seems to not give a poo. Food rewards aren't going quite as well lately it seems... I wonder if that's the Proin she is on messing with her appetite.

    I'll definitely give the toy idea a try and the surprise treats! Thanks!
     

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