Newbie: Pup pacing in crate & pen

Discussion in 'Puppy Forum' started by cpatty, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. cpatty

    cpatty New Member

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    Hello!

    I'm new to the board and just brought home an 11-week-old, 5 1/2 lb. Tibetan Spaniel puppy Saturday (1/6). She is a real peach, and the breeder's family gave her a great start on housebreaking.

    What's more difficult is trying to confine her as needed. I'm not employed right now, so I have time to work with her. I want her to sleep in her crate 1.)at night (at least for the first few weeks--my bed is very high, and she doesn't have good judgment/depth perception yet), and 2.) to be in the crate when I need to leave the house for awhile.

    Purchasing her was a bit sudden, so I didn't have all my ducks in a row. I've been using a wire crate that's really for a large dog. I wasn't surprised that she cries, howls and barks in it, but I was floored to see her do rapid paces like a caged tiger. With the crate in the breakfast nook or beside my bed, she was going berzerk lunging from side to side. She finally settled down late last night when I actually put the crate on my king bed with me, and we slept okay. I'm hoping she'll let me put it on the bedroom floor in a night or two.

    (I do have a smaller plastic travel crate that belonged to my last dog, who was uncrateable, but I'm de-rusting/repainting the door on it. So I haven't yet been able to see whether she'd respond better to a smaller crate).

    Has anyone else dealt with frantic pacing? I also want to be able to put her in a good-sized indoor/outdoor pen downstairs when I need to be in another room or do something that won't let me constantly focus on what she'll try to chew next. Today she started the crying and frantic pacing every time I put her in the pen, even if I stayed in sight. This afternoon she did it for about an hour before she settled down. When she finally quieted down and amused herself in it just a few minutes I let her out. When I put her in it later she cranked up the pacing and hollering again. I worry that she's getting too worked up.

    Any thoughts?

    Cathy
     
  2. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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    Congratulations on the new puppy! It's great to hear that you're interested in crate training.

    Here are some tips:

    1) Make sure that the crate isn't too big. If it is, it might hurt your house-breaking by giving your dog a place to go to the bathroom. If you think that your crate might be too big, use a cardboard box, piece of wood, or some other sort of barrier to section off the crate. Ideally, the crate will have just enough room for your dog to turn around and stand-up.

    2) Stock the crate with the best things in the world. This includes (but is not limited to) stuffed animals, a soft blanket, a t-shirt that smells like you, a nylabone to help teething, and a Kong with some peanut butter smeared on the inside. All of these things will help to make the crate a positive experience for your dog. Also, remember to always give your dog a treat when putting her in the crate.

    3) Don't give in to her pacing, thrashing, or whining. Just ignore it. Even if that means walking away, do it. Let her settle down before you give her any attention at all. Each time that you modify her behavior because of her crying, you are reinforcing her dislike for the crate. Be consistent and be strong--you will quickly see that the crate will become one of your dog's favorite places.

    Good luck!
     
  3. cpatty

    cpatty New Member

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    Thanks...getting better

    Thanks! Marissa did much better both with the crying and pacing today. Tried her smaller travel crate in the car to take her to the vet. On the way home, the weather was mild, so I made a couple of stops. She rolled over and went to sleep in the crate when I left the car. After we got home, she still cut a rusty when I put her in the large pen a couple times to keep her out of trouble. But she chilled out fairly quickly, whereas yesterday she'd howl, bark and pace for an hour or better.

    By the way, the vet said rapid pacing behavior is okay and that she would stop soon. She said you only start to worry if a dog starts to chase her tail nonstop.
     
  4. girlbuffalo1

    girlbuffalo1 New Member

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    Herschel is right--the crate should be just big enough for her to lay down and turn around any other space is unnecessary and may hinder your potty training--she can go in the crate at night and when you need to leave the house remember small is good! Never give into her cries unless she has been in there awhile and you think it could be a potty cry--take her potty outside every time she is let out of the crate and if she doesn't go put her back in the crate and try again in 15 min
     
  5. mrsgrubby

    mrsgrubby New Member

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    Just a reminder that it will be much easier for her to settle down if she is getting plenty of exercise and stimulation while she is outside the crate as well, so make sure you are walking her, throwing balls, and getting her plenty of physical exercise.

    also, I feed my puppies in their crates to help with the positive association of the crate.
     
  6. Tracer Tong

    Tracer Tong New Member

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    We need pictures to more fully visualize the puppy and thus offer suggestions that are more likely to be compatible with your unique situation. (I'm just curious what Tibetan Spaniel looks like.)
     
  7. Herschel

    Herschel New Member

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  8. KellyB

    KellyB New Member

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    I think the advice everyone is giving is very good and I would say do all of those things. I just have one more thing to add. You might want to try actually feeding your pup in the crate to start with. Dogs bond with the people who feed them, etc. and my theory is that they will also make a bond with the place they are fed.

    Also, make sure that your pup has something for amusement, the pacing could be due to boredom. Or lack of exercise. Maybe try tiring puppy out before you know he will have to be in the crate . . .

    I have a dog who is very good with her crate, so these are some of the things I did that I thought helped.
     
  9. Olivia

    Olivia New Member

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    My Isabella an Ausralian Terrier nearly 11 weeks now . She loves her crate we never talk to her in there, when I put her in there I say good girl but when I remove her I say nothing. The odd times she has grizzled I smack the crate and she stops straight away of course I always pick her up and take her outside the minute she wakes up , the same if she has been playing madly in there with her toys and does not go to sleep I put her outside again.I am very happy that I have crate trained her never have before makes life a lot easier I have one real problem with her though but that is another thread called ((biting,)) would someone please take a look in there and give me some advice. Bye from Olivia.((HUGS))
     
  10. cpatty

    cpatty New Member

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    Thanks for all the advice. We've had Marissa just over two weeks and she still hollers and paces whenever I put her in her crate to leave the house or her pen to do something in another part of the house. She ultimately simmers down but it takes a long time.

    As for size, she has gone from about 5.5 to 6.5 lbs in two weeks.

    I bought a smaller travel crate a few days ago to try but returned it as she really balked at getting in it. The silly manufacturers had also glued some sort of "carpet" inside, which was not going to work seeing as my girl has a habit of "poop-stamping" in there (she potties and kicks what she can to the side and stamps the rest of it into her blanket...which gets washed a lot, as you can imagine.)

    On the other hand, she is still sleeping in a larger crate on my bed. She is happy as a clam to spend nights there and went seven hours in it before needing to wake me up to potty this morning. Although it's a large crate, she hasn't been tinkling or pooping in it.

    We think she poops and pees in her pen and in the crate downstairs either because she gets mad that we confine her or because she gets so worked up or both.

    Still figuring all this out...

    Cathy
     

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