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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2007
    Oxford, PA

    Default Crate issues with new dog--help?

    Apologies in advance for the novel...

    My fiancé and I adopted a young dog to join our 2 year old lab/sheltie/jack russell/who knows what else mutt. We’ve been through a lot with our current dog dealing with separation anxiety which we’ve worked through, but she’s always happier/more comfortable with another dog around. The timing seemed right as we just bought a house and we came across our now new dog and she seemed like a good fit.

    Anyway, in many ways, she’s a perfect fit. As kind and sweet as possible, loves everyone, and best yet, gets along wonderfully with our other dog. The rescue and vet suspect that she’s about 2 years old and (mostly?) chocolate lab/lab mix? She was surrendered/found/dropped off with 1 puppy but that’s about all of her known history. She was in a foster home for a while, successfully treated for demodectic mange while at the foster home and spayed the day before we adopted her.

    So due to spaying, she’s been on restricted exercise which is always fun for an energetic young dog. Unfortunately, the sutures didn’t heal properly and she had a slight infection. Vet drained the area, re-sutured, and gave us antibiotics and another week or so of restriction. Young dog with energy and restricted exercise is always fun… But she's wonderful and we're all happy to have her around.

    Anyway, from day 1, she’s been crated when we’re not around. For the first week, she was fine with it and went in without trouble. She always got cookies in her crate and all was well. After the first week, she became more reluctant to go in her crate (she was always wearing a cone which didn’t help) and now we’re struggling. She’s due to get the staples removed tomorrow (we can only hope) so hopefully that will help things. But, we’re still not about to leave her loose while we’re at work. We’ve realized that she’s not necessarily housebroken (working on it… all accidents thus far since this realization are 100% our fault. We’re watching her more closely now—if she hasn’t peed/pooped, she’s next to us under direct supervision and when she goes outside, we have a pee/poop party with lots of praise) and while improving, if I confine her to a room, I’m afraid I’ll undo all of our house breaking progress (she also can scale fences/gates so confinement might not confine her…).

    All that said, she hates her crate now. She’s no longer crated at night (she happily sleeps on a dog bed on the floor beside me) so it’s just the daytime work hours that we struggle to crate her. She’s also strong which can make things difficult too. She came to us with very little manners/training but within a day had sit and within 2 days learned to lay down and shake. We’re working on leash manners and stay and improving each day. But when it comes to crating… That said, once she’s in, she doesn’t complain/cry just lays down.

    We leave her in the crate with a bone and a cookie, but she doesn’t usually touch them. We tried crating our other dog next to her but that didn’t help either of them (crating doesn’t seem to help our other dog’s separation anxiety so she’s loose and typically spends the day napping on the sofa next to the crate). We are feeding her in her crate and she’s happy to eat in there as long as the door is open (otherwise I end up with kibble all over the place). What else can I do to make her more comfortable/make crating easier? Once she’s trustworthy, I have no issues leaving her loose, but until then…

    Also, we go for a 2-3 mile walk every morning before crate time and again after work so she’s getting some exercise (though she’d love nothing more than to run around and really play). Anyway, sorry for the novel, but help?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Center of the Universe


    well, honestly, a dog on strict crate rest = hates crate is sort of a natural thing that I don't think you can overcome until she comes off of crate rest, which you say should be very soon.
    After that, look up "crate games". These are games you play to get your dog to have good manners about crates and to enjoy going into them a bit more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2009


    Can you give her way yummier treats (yoghurt etc popsicles) in her crate - special foods that only happen there?
    Also work with crating for arbitrary periods so that she doesn't "know" what happens with crate time.

    I was so happy to read your update on your other dog

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Lexington, KY


    Kongs stuffed with peanut butter will help. Sometimes they need a little chemical help. I had to Ace my lab after a tumor surgery.
    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
    ~ John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008

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