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Discussion Starter #1
Cleo just turned 5 months old. Until now, she has taken all her naps in the crate and slept in the crate all night. i would almost always close the door even during the day so i could leave the house or even just leave the room. She has toys in the crate and a towel she likes (no bed until i'm sure she won't chew it). I always tossed treats in her crate, and she'd go in, i'd close the door, and she'd settle in and go to sleep. No barking or whining at all. Then, a couple weeks ago, we were away and she stayed with my parents for a week. They have the same crate we have, and she was sleeping in there at night and at least sometimes during the day. (She had stayed with my parents once before, and she is comfortable with them, but she was definitely out of sorts there and missing home--she woke up in the middle of the night a few times, which she never does.)

Now, she refuses to go into the crate during the day. I don't know if something happened related to the crate while I was away, or if she was simply not told to go in during the day and now likes it better that way.

At first, i tried higher value treats. I tried tossing treats in the crate over and over, and leaving the door open for her to retrieve them repeatedly. Now, if i'm near the crate she thinks i'll close the door, and she stays away from it. She'll sit and stare at it instead of going in. I am feeding her meals in the crate to improve her associations with it, and that is working fine. At least she will still sleep in there at night.

So, i'm trying to cue her to go in, but while i'm far enough away that she's not worried. Then while she's inside i treat her from the closed end of the crate. (She doesn't respond the cue very often, but if she decides to go in, i'm treating her while she's in there, regardless.) I feel like this could work, but it will take a long time.

i don't know what to do when i have to leave the house. The room is puppy-proofed the best i can get it, but she is teething, and she could decide to chew on the wall or a cabinet (she has done that, but it's been a while...). And if she is not in the crate i can't be guaranteed she won't pee in the kitchen, although, the only plus side of this is that she has had a chance to show how well potty trained she is! She goes and sits by the back door if she needs to go out, and if we don't notice she barks once.

Anyway, for a bunch of reasons, i need her to be okay in the crate at times during the day. All advice welcome!
 

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It sounds like you are doing the right sorts of things. And I do agree she still needs the crate for all the reasons you listed.


I would ask your parents if they had her use it during the day and if there was any sort of a mishap around her using it.


The other thing I might do is take her by the collar and lead her to the crate. Toss a few treats and tell her the order to go in then stand in front of her to keep her from bolting out and feed her some treats from your hand with the door open. Have her sit in the open doorway and release. Then do the same but close (not lock the door) and then again and lock the door the last round. Have her stay just a minute or two then let her out.


She should reestablish her pattern quickly.
 

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Beckie had a phase where she wouldn’t go in her crate. I just picked her up and gently put her in. After a while she started going on her own again.

Sometimes they need to know we mean business.
 

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My boy went thru something similar when he was almost 12 months. He always went in his crate both daytime and at night no problem would just lie down go to sleep after having whatever treat I gave. Then suddenly he balked at going in, would whine and cry. Well I honestly didn't have time or the inclination to put up with it. (I almost did but then Isaid wait no reason for this) so I jut put him in there. I'll tell you it took maybe two weeks but he finally settled back down and went willingly. Which was good because soon after he was neutered and he had to have quiet time. Now he is out all day, but I usually gate off my foyer and dining room (thats where my computer is now) and all his toys or he is in the bedroom with me. Now the last few night he isn't crazy about going in his crate but he goes willingly. He could be trusted not to chew but I sleep better just knowing I know where he is and he is safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My parents insist that she napped in the crate and nothing unusual happened, so who knows?

It's now to the point where she will go into the crate and wait for me to treat her from the closed end. Today she did it a few times in a row as if to make sure it was really working. one of the times i closed the door but didn't lock it, and opened it again right away so she could see i wasn't going to make her stay in there. Usually, if i come to close to the open door, she bolts, and she's way too fast for me. I hide treats in the crate for her to find, and she goes in looking for those sometimes as well.

I'm concerned that if i try leading her there by the collar that will make her resistance worse, and she'll run away from me when i try to grab her at other times, even with a treat. I have done that a couple times in the past, when i needed to leave the room but not necessarily the house. (I work from home, so I often did not leave while she napped, or only for part of the time.) But I think if i did it now, she would struggle.

And on top of it, it looks like she might have vaginitis again, since for no reason she peed in the house on a beanbag chair she likes to rest on, right after being outside. The only time this has happened is when she was having a problem. So now i'm even more reluctant to leave her alone...
 

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I've struggled with crate training Noelle since I brought her home three years ago. She just never liked being away from me. Noelle shadows me everywhere and finds the isolation of a crate distressing. I need it to be a cozy den that we can take to trials. I also need for her to be silent during an upcoming workshop. So, I'm working hard on building a desire to be in her crate.

Here's what's working for my dog. I make a fantastic dog treat and spread it on a silicone lick mat. You can find lick mats on Amazon. This could work with a Kong, if your dog likes Kongs. Anyhow, I make a huge production out of making a fabulous long lasting treat, and talk to Noelle about how tasty it's going to be.

I put the treat in the crate and shut the door without Noelle going in. At this point, I began deliberately frustrating her. Sorry, that treat is for the crate. No, you can't have it. It's not yours. No. The crate gets to eat that. Sorry. I kept this up until Noelle was beside herself, straining to get in the crate. Then I opened the door and she launched herself into the crate. I think she bounced off the sides once.

I shut the door and set a timer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, I opened the door and she had a choice to come out or stay in. The only rule: the wonderful treat has to stay inside the crate. The next day, I set the timer for 11 minutes. The next day, 12 minutes. Today we are up to 25 minutes.

Right now all doors are open in her crate and Noelle is napping in there by choice. I want her to see the crate as a quiet place where no one bothers her. A place where the good treats are. And I want to build a desire to be in there, which is definitely working. Now, when she sees the treat coming, she dives inside her crate. The more experiences Noelle has of the crate being a good place, hopefully she'll learn to handle being crated at trials and workshops.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Click, i had done a little of that, putting something tasty in the crate and closing the door. She would wait outside for me to open it, as you describe. Then it stopped working. But i like the idea of a mat with something to lick--peanut butter with liver maybe? I may try that!
 

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Click, i had done a little of that, putting something tasty in the crate and closing the door. She would wait outside for me to open it, as you describe. Then it stopped working. But i like the idea of a mat with something to lick--peanut butter with liver maybe? I may try that!
I would put her on a leash and then guide her into the crate, even if it takes half an hour. Since she is not liking this, don’t call her to you (she should associate going to you with fun stuff), go get her and put her leash on. Then into the crate she goes.

Also, I doubt she has a vaginitis. She probably has a UTI if she can’t hold her pee. Collect some in a little container and take her to the vet as she might need antibiotics.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, i tried putting a great longlasting treat in the crate and shutting (but not locking) the door. She waited and when i didn't let her in, she nosed it open herself to get inside. While she was eating i went and closed the door. She immediately protested and started pushing against it with her nose, so i opened it and let her out. Then she sat outside it and would not go back in even for the food. She waited a long time, and only when i was out of the room did she go back to eat more.

So, i've continued tapping the crate as a cue and treating her from the other end after she goes in. But once that's done, she goes out again. And now she's refusing to go in at night. Last night, i had to grab her and shut the door before she could run out again. It took me two tries--i don't keep her collar on at night. Usually i hide treats in the crate, and she goes in looking for them at bedtime. She didn't this time. But once she's in there, she goes right to sleep. She doesn't bark or stand at the closed door, etc. I think she's "decided" that if she can sleep in daytime in her favorite spots outside the crate, why not at night? But this is not okay. I wonder if i need to start "enforcing" naps in the crate again, at least once a day, but i'm concerned this will set up a situation where she'll avoid coming near me. So frustrating! I don't really get it unless it's just adolescent "rebellion"! Ha.
 

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Big oops! Your mistake was to let her out right away when she protested. You should have left her there and left the room and only gone back when you hear a bit of quiet. If she was still quiet when you went back you should have been saying good quiet and then waited for a little continued quiet before opening the door. So back to square one. Be patient it will happen.


And yeah some of this is adolescent rebellion, but you need to show firm consistent expectations.
 

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Big oops! Your mistake was to let her out right away when she protested. You should have left her there and left the room and only gone back when you hear a bit of quiet. If she was still quiet when you went back you should have been saying good quiet and then waited for a little continued quiet before opening the door. So back to square one. Be patient it will happen.


And yeah some of this is adolescent rebellion, but you need to show firm consistent expectations.
I agree. Just put her in the crate, don’t ask her to go. It doesn’t matter if she agrees or not. Let her in there until she settles down, and only then let her out. It’s your rules, not hers.

It’s like having a kid, if you asked their permission to give them a bath, they’ll only take one per year...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I tried putting in a lickmat, and a few minutes after she was in there eating, i closed the door for 4 minutes, then opened it again. She came out and refused to go back in, and completely rejected the lickmat. Now she'll go into the crate if i toss treats in, but she rushes back out immediately--won't do anything that keeps her in there long, and she won't go in at all if i'm nearby, like, closer than the opposite end of the room. If she's inside and i approach, she rushes out again. So i wanted to give her treats while she's inside and the door is open, but she doesn't stay inside long enough. I managed it once.

i didn't wait until she protested this time b/c i wanted her to "get" that the door would only be closed for a short time. The idea was to lengthen the time gradually, but when i try that, again, she refuses to go back in. She hasn't been barking to come out when i close the door, she just won't go back in the next time.

She is very fast, and if i have to catch her and force her into crate, she's going to avoid me/run away. I've already seen that happen.
 

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When you get her to go in the crate. Don't put her in the crate. Get her and do something super fun, complete with a treat. Let her go play freely. Do this a few times. Then put her in the crate in a matter of fact, but calm, pleasant demeanor. "okie dokie, time to be a good girl and go to bed." (or whatever cue word (s) you plan to use later on to send her to her crate on her own, which she will learn...but later. I always said, "go to bed." And off they'd go to their crates) Every time you need to put her in the crate do this BUT vary the number of times you get her and have a rewarding time...either a little walk, a game, a special toy that you can use to play with her. 5 repetitions one time, then 3, then 7, then 2, then 9, then 4, then don't put her in the crate at all...be unpredictable so she doesn't know when or even IF she's going to go in the crate. Don't put her in the crate every time you go get her. Do something fun. Act the same way, the same pleasant demeanor going to get her whether it's to put her in the crate or if it's to play a special game, give a special treat, toy, walkies, a ride in the car, etc.

With a lot of things I too like to avoid force if at all possible. But under the circumstances, she being a puppy and needing to be in the crate sometimes, even an adult who may need to travel in the car safely or stay all night at a vet ought to learn to adapt and accept being in a crate. So if all the nice things you've been doing to get her to accept the crate aren't working, it's that time where I'd say you need to just put her in and she'll have to adapt. Don't cave when she protests. Don't give attention when she's protesting. (speak, look at, coo, nothing) Wait for maybe 10 seconds of quiet and calm, then let her out if it's time to let her out. She will protest for some time now because she's learned that it works. If you give in, she will have a much harder time learning to accept and it is actually unkind (even though you, of course wouldn't mean it) because it's confusing to her. Consistency is everything in training a pup. Eventually, probably in a couple weeks of perfect consistency and good management, (don't over do the crate...no more than 4 hours at a time ...max) she should get so she's okay with it and not make a big drama about it.

Be sure to not do everything the same way preceding getting her to put her in the crate. In other words, don't get her, put her in the crate first thing or you'll see her avoiding you when you come near. Get her, trick her. Do something unexpected and vary those things a lot. Make it fun, cheerful but matter of fact.

Ps. I don't think it's really adolecsent rebellion because I don't think dogs think that way exactly. I think it's simply that she's immature and still learning the ropes. She has more training to get under her belt and the more training she gets, the more she'll learn HOW to learn. She'll get onto it. But you may have to be a little more insistent and she can have something to chew on or taste if you're around to supervise but if you're gone, I wouldn't....too much risk. She can also learn that she doesn't always have to have something in there to eat, chew. But it can help her ease into this at first. But I wouldn't leave her with anything if you're gone and can't supervise. Puppies choke on things, break off pieces that you think they won't be able to.
 
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Thank you, these are good suggestions! I will try to play some games with her so she doesn't know when to expect or when. I'm still trying to get her to trust that i won't always shut the door on her. I want to reward her when she goes in the crate on her own (to get water or find treats i've hidden), but when i approach to give her a treat, she still runs out the door. I'm sure this will pass, but in the meantime it's very frustrating!
 

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Reno has also been reluctant to go in his crate at night, only since he has been free all day. I think he also says hey why? But I need my sleep and I would be up n down worrying all night. After his last trip out I lead him over, he balks and I just tell him its time for bed, kiss him good night and once I lead him to the door he walks in and I take his collar and lead off. He isn't happy but thats life. He does not come out of his crate until released. I used the method Of if he starts to come out I swiftly close the gate, yep right in his face. I did it in one day maybe 3x in a row. He gets it He will stand up snd I'll tell him ok come out and he just does a big stretch, get a pet and then he is all excited to go out.
 

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That's so different from mine. The boys, before we moved always slept in their crates at night...went in there voluntarily at about 8:30 pm. But during the day they'd nap/hang out on the couch for the most part. But also periodically hang out in their crates. I just left the doors opened. Here, in my new house, I put their crates in the garage because they take up too much space and look ugly. The dogs just sleep on the couch or Matisse sometimes likes to go in the den and sleep in a dog bed that's in there. But I think he, especially would love to have his crate back. He's probably ticked off that I took it away. He LOVED his crate, his little space all his own, cozy and private. I am almost positive he'd be all for it if I brought the crates in. But I don't want to get his hopes up by experimenting. I have too much furniture in here as it is. He's fine this way but I just know he'd like to have his crate in here. Maurice, I think prefers to have the vantage point from being on the couch.
 
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PG I look forward to the day I can put the crate away. I'd love for him to sleep in my room with me. We just aren't there yet. While I think he would be good I have 3 other dogs to feed & take out before him and I know he isn't good to go out with them, he would just want to engage in play. Once my old chihuahua is not a part of the pack (he is 17)., it may work though the terrier could also be a problem. Renn will e calm now in a room with me but give him the entire house he is a wild boy. I think its just excitement that would go way some if he has the run of the entire house all day but there are too many of us going in and out.
 

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Oh yes, you have to go with the best way for all concerned...when they're ready. And not before because you can have a disaster on your hands if they're given all the freedom too soon. The day will come all too soon really. They grow up so fast.
 

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I don't know if something happened related to the crate while I was away, .....
Yup, something definitely happened while you were away . Either they do not want to admit it, or they are not aware enough to know what happened. Either way your dear poodle is no longer trusting of being in the crate.

I leave the door open on my spoos crate. It is soft and cushy. Occasionally I throw a treat in. He sometimes just goes in to lay on the cushy blankies, sometimes for an hour or so. I have also trained him that if I say 'treat' he runs in there and waits for it, then lays down contentedly for a long time afterward.

I would not leave my dog with them again. I only want my dog to be places he is super happy, including at home :)

My spoo now often just goes there on his own to rest, and or to escape from noisy guests, etc.
 

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Yeah, i don't know what might have happened at my parents' except that she may have been a bit bored b/c they couldn't be quite as active with her. They are very kind people, and they had dogs for many years. Who knows.

Anyway, now she is back to going in the crate at night with no problem, and she will stay in the crate while i feed her good treats through the open or closed door. This morning, i gave her a kong and she kept on it for 20 minutes in the crate without complaining. Then I opened the door because i didn't want to push it, and i wanted to let her out before she had a chance to "want" out. So i think it's going better.

I have thought of getting her a bed. At first i thought she might chew it, so i had been waiting until she was out of the mega-teething phase. But also she runs hot, and really prefers to sleep on the floor, usually against a wall, rather than on a towel or anything. She sometimes naps with her face near the AC vent. At night, in the crate, she pushes everything aside (a towel, some plush toys) to sleep on the bare crate floor. Nevertheless, i looked at crate beds/pads that fit inside a 42" midwest crate and don't get too warm. I think i'll search around her for threads on that.
 
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