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Discussion Starter #1
Annie slept in a crate for the first few months I had her, then slowly wormed her way into sleeping on my bed. At 8 mo after a move, she had major separation anxiety, including trying to bust out or her crate, breaking things, and crying for hours. Her crate became a scary place. A large part of the solution for that was... no more crate.

The last month or so, she has been driving me mad, waking me up early in the morning, pacing during the night, not settling, etc.i want to go back to crating her at night for the summer.

I have been working on re-crate training, and have her to the point where I can leave her for a few min while I leave the room without a fuss (so long as I keep moving/she can hear me), and she willingly goes in with or without prompting if she sees the door open, looking for treats. Longer than a min or two, and she starts to protest. She also refuses to lie or sit down in the crate. Tonight, I put her in tor a few min before I went to bed, shut off the light, waited 10s, then let her out, not saying anything.

The crate is in my bedroom upstairs, I dont pass by it or remember it during the day, and honestly, it's too hot upstairs to crate during the day.

Any suggestions to keep from ruining the progress we have so far? And also to teach her to lie down and settle? I have no idea where to go from here. Sticking her in there and letting her grumble isnt an option, I need my sleep and it took months to get this far.
 

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As it will take a while to get her to the point where she is happy to stay in the crate all night, could you bring it downstairs to a cool spot near where you sit yourself, and practice there? It would be like bedtime in many ways - in the crate, but knowing you are close by, and once she is happy to snooze in there downstairs it should not be too difficult to move the behaviour upstairs. I would also try a cool bed on the floor, a bedtime biscuit and a water bowl upstairs to help her settle - along with a firm resolve that you decide when it is morning, not Annie! My dogs learned this very quickly, the cats are still a work in progress...
 
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Crate downstairs would be great, or x pen in my room (she tolerates an x pen far better than her crate) but my moms house is very small with an awkward layout Annie's crate is jammed beside my bed and the wall with 2 ft of clearance to the desk and closet. I didnt have a desk last year and could fit the x pen. Downstairs there is literally not a standars poodle crate sized space on the floor to be found.

Good idea on a water bowl, last summer I always had one upstairs, I had forgotten.

Morning wake up isnt so bad (it usually means "Moms up, let me get up human, I dont wanna miss breakfast!", even if mom was only up at 6 am to use the bathroom, make coffee, and go back to bed), but the pacing needs to stop. I think she hears distant dogs barking (I have a fan on for white noise). Her crate is also cooler than the bed. If there was a human sized empty space on the floor, I would consider sleeping on the floor, too!
 

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When Renn was young he did well in his crate. I always used a divider in it which I'd move as he grew. He actually let me know when it was time as from day 1 he would sleep in a ll kinds of positions but always stretched out. Eventually he really didn't care for his crate anymore but because of my husbands balance issued I had to have a place for him when I wasn't around. Fortunately I have a foyer/dining room area that we simply use only now for my computer and of course the dining table which never gets used so I put a gate up. So when I need peace or I leave he is gated off in there. The crate has been sent to the garage. Maybe you could get off a bathroom?
 

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No where to put a gate up unfortunately. The only room that might work would be the side porch, but that houses Trixies emergency pee pad (not used for months but strictly forbidden from blocking her from them ), the tools, and a side door mom uses to let Trixie out. The other bedroom is exactly the same size as mine and is in the middle of painting/minor reno, and when it is done, I will move into it so my room can be painted/renoed There was more room, and then mom changed the small living room into a third bedroom, moved the couches into the dining room, and the table into the kitchen.

Its a late 1800s 1.5 story house, maybe 800 sq ft, with half the house a series of weird and tiny additions that are walk throughs to other weird and tiny additions.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Have you tried putting her in with a bully stick, and the crate is the only time she gets a bully stick?
No bully stick, but I have made most of the progress through feeding her raw bones in the crate. She still refuses to lie down with them and gets distressed if I leave her for too long without her able to hear me. I dont have any bully sticks in the house, but I could try one of her cowhide chips....

I really screwed up when I was working on separation anxiety, and she began to associate being fed good things in the crate, and then good things at all, with me leaving (and started refusing to eat for a while, and dropped a bunch of weight).
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Cowpony - you are brilliant! I just gave her a beef hide chip and after a good 5 min of chewing- she lay down!

Apparently beef chips need to be held with paws to be chewed efficiently. Now I am stuck sitting on the bed for the foreseeable future, supervising her chewing, but definite progress has been made!

Edit: sigh, apparently beef chips aren't engaging enough for me to get away with leaving her upstairs while I remove and carry a barking jealous yorkie from the room, at least without a challenging bark or two. But I waited 10s after the bark, came back upstairs and she was already lying down again chewing. I removed her from the crate, put the beef chip back in, and closed the door, she is asking me to open it please. She can have the remains tonight before bed.
 

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Cowpony - you are brilliant! I just gave her a beef hide chip and after a good 5 min of chewing- she lay down!

Apparently beef chips need to be held with paws to be chewed efficiently. Now I am stuck sitting on the bed for the foreseeable future, supervising her chewing, but definite progress has been made!

Edit: sigh, apparently beef chips aren't engaging enough for me to get away with leaving her upstairs while I remove and carry a barking jealous yorkie from the room, at least without a challenging bark or two. But I waited 10s after the bark, came back upstairs and she was already lying down again chewing. I removed her from the crate, put the beef chip back in, and closed the door, she is asking me to open it please. She can have the remains tonight before bed.
l'm glad you made some progress. It sucks that you are dealing with two issues together: the crating and the separation anxiety. You said the reason you wanted to get her using the crate again is because she's been restless and keeping you up at night. My gut instinct is that you should address the issues separately. In your shoes I would make the crate more interesting (chews) than anything you are doing (lying on the bed reading or sleeping .) If you leave the room there's a chance you are Doing Something Interesting Without Her. Let her come along to assure herself that you are still being boring. After a week or two she will start realizing that you dragged her away from her precious beef chip to make her watch you brush your teeth or load the washing machine.
 

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How much exercise does she get before bed? Some dogs need a good hard run before they will settle down, especially a young one. My standard was a fit 60 pounds and a six mile run did it for him. I did not do the six miles. I walked 2.5 miles with him off leash.
 

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A question regarding gates. You said one reason you can't gate off the porch is that Trixie needs to be able to get to her pee pad. How well does Annie get along with Trixie? Would you be able to use a baby gate with a cat door in it to restrict Annie's movement while allowing Trixie free range? (Cat gates have worked well with Pogo; Galen at 33 pounds is still small enough he can squeeze through them, sigh.)
 

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I think it sounds like you're on the right track and it's just going to take consistency and possibly a superhuman amount of patience.

After teaching Peggy that water = THE MOST FUN, it was a nightmare dismantling that training and convincing her to lay quietly next to the bathtub. It took months of daily work, and my husband on more than one occasion asked why I was putting myself through the stress and ruining my cherished evening baths.

And then suddenly: Click!

Now she has some of her deepest snoozes while I soak.

Keep making that crate wonderful and interesting (love the chew-trapped-inside while Annie's stuck outside technique) and I think she'll eventually get it. But as MG mentioned, do make sure she's physically and mentally tired first. Gracie was, I would say, as perfectly crate-trained as a dog could get. But I could tell when she wasn't ready to go in and was going to be restless. All it took in those situations was a walk and some attention.

(P.S. I don't blame dogs for restlessness. I liken it to having a lazy day on the couch and then transitioning to bed only to find that your legs and brain are twitchy, you can't get comfortable, and sleep is NOT going to happen. Same thing happens after I eat certain foods, so be careful of any additives or preservatives in chews, etc.)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Exercise - that could be part of it, she has had less running lately. She usually gets a few short outings on leash in the yard a day, and then either a relatively long walk or half an hour to an hour of running at the dog park every day (usually no other dogs there). Her stamina has really decreased, after COVID dog park closures that reopened a month ago or so, then 2 weeks of restricted exercise from her spay, then a week of exercise restriction after her herbicide poisoning.

Cowpony - alas, Trixie is a very skittish creature. She is incapable of crossing over a piece of electrical cord on the floor, as it forms an invisible impenetrable barrier for small dogs, with a force field that holds her back a few feet away. If I set a toolbox on the floor in a doorway, Annie will walk past it, and Trixie will freeze and cry for help. Hilarious, but annoying. Any barrier that Trixie can get through, Annie can get through. Oh, and though they get along well, Trixie refuses to pee near Annie for fear of being pounced at a vulnerable moment.

PTP- any tricks on teaching that water is the best thing ever? With superhuman effort, I have managed to convince Annie that water is a tolerable torture akin to grooming, but certainly not FUN.
 

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PTP- any tricks on teaching that water is the best thing ever? With superhuman effort, I have managed to convince Annie that water is a tolerable torture akin to grooming, but certainly not FUN.
Peggy came with this feature built-in, I'm afraid. But we heartily encouraged it. From day 1, she loved pawing and blowing bubbles in her water bowl. Because this was less than desirable, we had the bright idea to introduce a small plastic swimming pool in the backyard. On a hot day, a shallow pool is going to tempt even the most water-averse dog, especially when you load it up with toys to retrieve and dangle your feet in it.

With Peggy, that then translated to dunking her toys (or herself!!) in the bathtub and throwing an absolute fit when I prevented her from repeating that behaviour.
 

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Hah... I loaded a pool up with toys to tempt Annie in 35C as a puppy. Ignored. I finally put a peanut butter lid in the pool, floating, with mayonnaise in the middle and I have some great videos of her patiently waiting and barking for the lid to float over close enough to lick. Then I taught her to jump in and out of the empty tub on command. Added an inch of water. Asked her to jump in. She was horrified, and never jumped on command again. I think I have a thread on my long lived attempt to teach her to swim.

Found it! How to train a poodle to like water?
 

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Oh that progress thread is so cute! I love reading about puppy Annie.

Peggy's never actually swam before, so for all I know, she's going to be terrified, as well. We've only played with her in shallow water with small waves, and not at all since last year.

I think Peggy's love of wet paws was born in the mud puddles on her breeder's farm. I saw video of her happily splashing about with her mama and littermates. Hard to recreate those experiences for an older dog, but mud is pretty enticing. Got any good puddles nearby?
 

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My Princess Annie says puddles and mud are for peasants. She will go out of her way to avoid them, wont even pick up her ball if it lands in a puddle or a muddy patch of grass :) As the person responsible for poodle bathing I cant say that i mind. I think where i messed up was taking her camping mid May, age 5 months or so. She fell in the water, it was cold, and has distrusted it ever since.
 

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Ahhhh. Yep. That'll do it. My childhood German Wirehaired Pointer fell into a pool that was closed for the season, and she would literally shake at the sight of water after that.

But I do think there's hope. Gracie wasn't a big fan of water. She didn't even like stepping on wet grass. But I was walking her once, at the swampy edge of a pond during our brief time living in North Carolina, and all of a sudden SPLASH!! She had hopped right in and did not want to come out. I'm guessing a frog tempted her? Or a snake? I really have no idea. But I was not going in there after her, and it took a while to coax her out.

Maybe the trick is to take all pressure off.
 
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