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The first evening I brought Sammy home, I tried to put him in a crate. I had soft music playing, comfy pillow, toys, kong in there and he was NOT having it. He threw his body against the wire door so hard and frequently, frantically pawed at the door and just went so nuts, I was afraid he was going to seriously hurt himself. So, I made the (huge) mistake of taking him out and letting him sleep with me. He has been my bed mate ever since.

Sammy absolutely does not like being confined in a crate and I still think he would hurt himself, if put in one. He is very upset if left in a room, with the door closed. I have only left him in a room by himself for maybe 2 minutes ( unless we were training, we got up to a 20 minute stand/stay but the door wasn't closed. He can only manage 3-5 minutes now).

Prior to covid and my daughter moving in, he was okay with being left in the extra bathroom, when i went to work. We had a schedule. I was able to come home 3 hours after leaving for work, spent 45 minutes with him and back into the bathroom he went. My son was available 2 - 3 hours later to spend time with him. I say he was okay with this because he didn't cry, scratch on the door,just went to sleep on his dog bed.

Since covid and my daughter and her dog moving in, Sammy has never been left alone.

In the future, I would like to be able to travel. My mom recently bought a condo, on the beach, in Hawaii. She offered to send my family for a paid vacation ( last year) and I didn't go because I cannot imagine Sammy in a crate for the plane ride. I have not done a lot of things because Sammy is not crate friendly.

Is it too late to try to teach crating? I have tried the one minute, enticed into the crate with a treat, and he just will not enter. I could toss a new york strip in there and he will not go into the crate. I had a really big crate from our aussies that I went into and tried to get him to join me, and he just whined and pawed frantically at the bars/open door. I think he was worried I was in there and was trying to save me.

He is a really confident little guy. We began agility right before the closures and he went threw the tunnels/shoots easily, but only after he scoped them out and saw there was an exit.

Anyway, should I try again, at this older age, to get him accustome to a crate? I worry that it may be necessary in his life, at some time, and I don't want to be continously limited in what I can do because he cannot be confined.

Any suggestions as to how to try this with a dog that is not very food motivated?
 

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Unfortunately, it sounds like Sammy had a negative introduction to the crate, at a formative time in his life. People introduce rescued dogs to new experiences later in their life all the time. So don't assume it's impossible. But it could take a while to build a positive association with confinement, and even still, I'm not sure I'd ever feel comfortable flying him in a crate.

How big is Sammy? Is there any way he could fly in the cabin with you? If so, training him to go into a carrier while you are right there with him at all times should be doable with some patience.

If not, how about looking into petsitters? It would be very freeing to have someone you trust available to come stay at your house with him.
 

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I accidentally crate trained mine by using a crate in the car. It became associated with comfort and good stuff over months of driving to walks, to visit family and friends, and other nice things. When she was 4 or 5 Sophy had a trapped nerve in her spine and was prescribed three weeks strict crate rest - the car crate came into the sitting room and she settled there without problems. Since then I have used it for both dogs on training courses, when they have had to spend time at the vets, etc, etc, and they accept it as a familiar, safe space.

It may be worth trying something similar with Sammy, re-introducing him to the crate in a completely different environment. And I would start getting him used to being alone in the bathroom again as soon as possible, even if it is just for 15 minutes at a time while the rest of you go for a walk or shopping. The end of WFH is going to come as a terrible shock if he is not prepared in advance.
 
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You can absolutely retrain Sammy to the crate but it will more than likely take longer than when he ws a pup. I get a nice crate, maybe a airline type that isn't noisy like the wire ones. Have a nice bed in it and some of his favorite toys. Just keep it in your living room or whatever room you are normally in with Sammy, you can bring it into the bedroom at night. Keep the door open. and do not force him in. Put some of his favorite treats in at various times. He will eventually go in and out randomly to get what he wants, then run back out. Once you see him getting more comfortable start to put his meals in there, Once he is eating you can try to shut the door if he is comfortable. As time goes on and he becomes more comfortable close the door, maybe at night first when he would be sleeping anyway. Susan Garrett website has crate games. I would work on these during the day. Eventually he will love his crate.
 

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Love the ideas above. Might be a good time to try Karen Overall's Relaxation Protocol in the crate as well.
 

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Aside from issues related to crate training (which is entirely doable) are you aware that there are very strict rules involving a quarantine of up to 120 days in certain circumstances to bring a dog or cat into Hawaii? Hawaii is rabies freee and they take keeping it that way very seriously.
 

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Lily, I had no idea there could be a quarentine requirement to travel to Hawaii. I just assumed bringing a copy of his vet papers/rabies tag would suffice. Thank you for the info!

Mufar, the crate I tried, when he was a baby, is a nice airline crate, with a metal grated door. It was originally purchased for my ragdoll cat, but is a small sized dog crate. At this time, I cannot leave a crate for Sammy open in the living area. My daughter's dog would decimate everything left in there! I will purchase a slightly larger crate and set it up in my bedroom. I am thinking about getting one with a removable door and initially just removing the door. Very high value treats may work to entice him into the crate....Meals, I doubt. Even when really hungry, Sammy will not eat, unless I am in the bedroom ( I feed him in our room ) and he knows I'm not leaving the room for awhile.

fjm, I tried a car seat, with a harness and teether that locks into the seat belt. Sammy screamed bloody murder. I could not handle it and am now just using the harness and teether. Even on short car rides, Sammy needs to be touching me in some way, while riding. Unfortunately and coincidentally for Sammy, his training classes and groomer are on the same street, two properties apart. There is only one route to get to them! He loves going to his classes and hates going to the groomer, so I think the anxiety of "where" he is going contributes to his needy behavior in the car, which is much worse when he realizes we are going that way.

I left Sammy home alone today for about 20 minutes and he did great! He did shake like crazy when he saw me put my shoes on and acted like I had been gone for a decade when I returned, but did not bark and settled nicely while alone. He also remembered to grab a toy when I returned to get his enthusiasm out ( I taught him this earlier to curb jumping/scratching/humping me on my return )

Peggy, Sammy is 12" tall ( so hard to get accurate height measurement) and 8-9 lbs, depending on when weighed. I would never travel with him, unless he was in the cabin with me. His vet has suggested medication to calm him. This was actually for grooming, but I found a groomer that has been able to get all/most done without medication. The groomer is the only person I have ever left Sammy alone with, besides my son and I had major anxiety ( still have some ) when I had to leave him with the groomer. Maybe it's me that has the separation anxiety! I'm not sure how I feel about a pet sitter for Sammy. We have alot of pets ( now 3 dogs, 1 cat. 1 parrot, 5 fish tanks and used to have ducks). I was always anxious leaving the other pets for short trips with a friend etc. coming to care for them. Sammy has always gone everywhere with me. I don't even let him into the backyard alone to pee due to fear of hawks/owls etc. I think i may have issues.

anyway, I will look up the recommended information ( Karen Overall etc.) and just try it. Even if it takes a year, it would be so worth it.

Thank you evone for your input. I'm sorry I'm so long winded in my replies. I really appreciate you all and love talking about poodles! I would respond to others more often, but am afraid I don't have enough experience to give good advice.

I will look into the recommended
 

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It might be worth sitting with your feelings on this. :) I've always psychically bonded with my dogs on a very deep level—empathy to a crippling degree—and it made me similarly anxious about separation. But when I unexpectedly had to be apart from my last girl for almost six months (!!!) yes, it was hard, but we both got through it unscathed. Part of that, for me, was letting go of my need to be needed. I'd armed her with the social skills to be just fine without me....and she was.

Every time you grant Sammy his freedom in response to his shrieks, you're teaching him that's how to get what he wants. So expect this behaviour to escalate before it gets better, but trust that it will likely get better if you approach it correctly. Research extinction bursts and consider hiring a positive reinforcement trainer or behaviourist for just one session to get you started.

I crate trained Peggy by teaching her that settling = the crate door opening. I did the same with her pen. Literally the moment she showed signs of relaxing? Freedom!

Then slowwwwwly I increased the duration between a settle and release, but I still do occasional tune-ups where I release her moments after she goes in. Crate training is a lifelong process.
 

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I ROYALLY screwed up Annie's crate training when she went through a bout of seperation anxiety. The crate became that place she went to scream and carry on and try and break out.

Now? with a lot of patience, and a lot of good chews, she is back to willingly going in it, and, in fact, it was part of our routine for a while that she got a chew or good treat before bed in her crate, then got let out to sleep on my bed. She would run upstairs while I brushed my teeth, settle in the crate, and wait. After I let her out, she would often wait in the crate to see if anything was coming, or fall asleep there with the door open before coming to my bed later in the night. I put it away a few weeks ago, my room is very small and I was tired of tripping on the dog crate! But i successfully retrained her to go in with patience, not closing the door at the beginning, etc, and I suspect Sammy could learn to like it too.

The key was tons of patience, and never letting her think that she was abandoned in it (even as I went downstairs or did other things while she was in it).
 
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