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IS this doable?? Crate training a 7 month old lab?? UPdate** She's home!!**

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  • IS this doable?? Crate training a 7 month old lab?? UPdate** She's home!!**

    So here's what I know.

    A dog we are looking at has been partially crate trained. In this case it means she will go in the crate and be peaceful for the night as long as the crate is in the bedroom.

    However the folks who have her describe an kind of odd crate training scenario (From what I was taught). They said she doesn't like the crate because when they tried to put her in it she would bark non stop. Now here's the kicker, they put her in it after being loose with them in the house and they stayed in the house one room away and for every time she barked they yelled back to her to be quiet. And then their neighbor would come complain about the barking and they would let her out. (duplex with shared walls)

    Now, that's not how I was taught, but I know my way isn't the only way.

    But I think they kind of conditioned her that if she complains enough, she will get her way.. Thoughts?

    So anyway she is not a fan of the crate, unless it's at night. And it sounds like at night they have just let her sleep on their bed now.

    She seems like a nice, happy and submissive animal. When I saw her yesterday she was very quick to understand that nipping wasn't ok, when I told her no and did the whole finger in mouth hold the jaw down for a second. Two quick corrections that way and she didn't try it again.

    She was happy laying flat on her back and exposed and didn't struggle. And she knows "sit, stay, down (sortof) and come (sortof)"

    An obedience class would be in her imminent future if we got her. But I just wanted to ask if as a whole it's possible to correct some poor first impressions of crate training.

    Thanks in advance.

    ~Emily
    Last edited by Xctrygirl; Jul. 10, 2011, 01:36 PM.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

  • #2
    Start feeding her in her crate. We did this with our dog at about 12 months....he had been crated as a puppy but we generally don't crate him. But I was getting ready to show him and he'd have to be crated at shows.

    It works really well. At dinner time he races to his crate. What you can do then is to extend the time the dog is in the crate (with some bones, or kong, etc.), and then can start asking pup to go in the crate at times other than mealtime -- give a treat in the dish if necessary, and give a kong w/ peanut butter, or a knuckle bone that is saved only for crate time....

    You can do it!

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes!

      It is completely possible. And this girl is still a pup, though in/entering the terrifying labby teens . It sounds like previous owners absolutely conditioned her that she controls the crate: fuss enough and you get out!

      Exercise, exercise, exercise before crating her. Tired dog is a good dog. Start her out like a puppy: tiny intervals with a kong stuffed with something yummy like peanut butter, baby food, yogurt, etc. Start this project on a weekend or when you have time to be in & out & in. Do not expect her to then instantly be ok for 8 hrs: you have to gradually build her understanding that 1. her folks will return and 2. her crate is her sanctuary where good things like food, kongs, treats, and naps happen.

      Crate Games is another way to highly reinforce the crate AND teach impulse control -something every teenager needs .

      Do you have close neighbors you have to consider? Baby gates or xpens may be a short-term or quick fix alternative if she doesn't have the same association with that equipment (bark to be let out).

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Oddly enough our one set of neighbors swear that they NEVER hear our dogs. And when they're in the yard barking they are maybe 5-8 yards away when they're closest to her house. But the yard quickly curves away from her property. And when the dogs are in the house they gravitate toward the park side which is the furthest away from her house. And since we both have OLD (1921) brick houses, I never hear her either.

        She is a lovely neighbor and we have a good relationship. Lucky for me my house really doesn't have any people that close to it. The only other house that would be considered a neighbor has an expanse of yard against my yard's far corner and the two houses are more than 200 yards from roof to roof. We have a 5 acre community park along our property.

        So sounds are not a huge concern.

        I agree and was already on the weekend plan. Also think investing in a friend or pro pet walker to come in and let them out for 30 mins daily wouldn't be a bad idea for a while.

        But John has to see her first. She is a cutie though.

        See pics here:

        http://s103.photobucket.com/albums/m147/Xctrygirl/Dog/



        ~Emily
        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

        Comment


        • #5
          Just like a horse, reward the good behavior, never the bad. Never let her out if she's barking. It will take longer, but, eventually every dog can be trained.

          I like the idea of feeding her in the crate. We have various dumped dogs plus a new rescue. We crate train them all. Eventually, they all get it and run for the crate when I say "crate". They always get a treat when they go to the crate on command.

          Comment


          • #6
            Feeding in the crate is a good tip for sure. A stuffed Kong can also be a nice jackpot for being in the crate.

            Also, I feel like I mention clicker training a lot, but it can be useful in these situations = )

            Karen Pryor describes in her book how she worked with shelter dogs to be quiet. She would basically stand in front of a random dog's kennel, then click and treat whenever it was quiet. She said VERY quickly, the entire shelter population caught on. If she can get quiet dogs in that stressful of a situation, maybe it would help your pup understand what you want from her (quiet!)

            Adding feeding in the crate and wait for her to be quiet and calm (you can work up to longer periods) before you let her out, and she will hopefully figure it out.

            A clicker can also help if she doesn't love going in her crate. You can shape the behavior gradually (look at the crate: c/t, touch the crate: c/t, head in the crate: c/t, etc) until she realizes that going in the crate = good! Then you can add a cue.

            Since she's a lab, she should pick up on stuff pretty quick. Lots of short training sessions will tire her out mentally, and she will probably enjoy them quite a bit.

            Lastly, you may find she does okay outside of a crate (which I tend to prefer anyway). You might be able to set up baby gates to keep her in a smaller part of the house and gradually expand her roaming area as you discover how trustworthy she is.

            Comment


            • #7
              I crate trained two lab mixes, one who was probably 9 months old and the other closer to 2 years, when they tore up my apartment on the first day of my "real" job that kept me away from home all day! My fault for never really leaving them before that, and expecting that they'd behave.

              Treats. Lots of them, poked through the wire of the crate. Then get out of the house fast! I didn't crate them at night, only when I wasn't home, and I only had to do it for about 18 months before they earned their way out by being good for short, unsupervised "home alones."

              Now we have a yorkie mix who's only marginally house trained, and who LOVES her crate. She eats there and runs to it happily when she sees me getting ready to leave. For a shy and sort of insecure dog, it must feel good not to have to deal with the environment for a while.

              Comment


              • #8
                while it's good to teach your dog to go into a crate on command and stay in there quietly, at 7 months old he should be fine not being crated. Most of mine are only crated when no one is around up to around 4 months of age, at which point they are gradually allowed more and more freedom using baby gates; by 6 months most have full house access day and night, supervised or unsupervised.
                Since you just got the dog you obviously don't know how well he has grasped "how to behave in a house" rules, so you could probably do an accelerated protocol- a week of crating (working on going in on command and being quiet) when not supervised, and carefully watching him when he's out of the crate so you can remind him of "house rules" if necessary, then switch to baby gates/ more and more freedom.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Ok many thanks to all who have responded.

                  We have not gotten her yet. John will go meet her with me tonight. Since it'd be "his" hunting dog, he gets a very big say.

                  Wendy, while I hear what you're saying that's not what we do in our house. But for a reason. Crow, my 11 yr old is allowed loose as he has earned his place out. But Taz my 3.5 yr old is not there yet. She has been a chewer when left out all day. And as such she is much better, as are our possesions, when she remains crate bound during the day.

                  But I must say I was raised with dogs crated through such point that they could be trusted and then they were blocked off into a certain section of the house with baby gates.

                  One day maybe Taz will graduate to that point. But she hasn't yet.

                  "Maggie" is very cute and I am crossing my fingers that John thinks so also.

                  ~Emily
                  "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Fingers crossed that your husband likes her! She is a pretty girl

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When we got Molly (likely hound/lab mix) at the age of about 4 months, she was AWFUL in a crate. Bark, bark, bark, bark. We had her crate in the living room, and she would go to sleep at night but in the morning it was bark, bark, bark, bark. I had mornings I sat in my bedroom for AN HOUR waiting for that dog to stop barking so I could finally go out and let her out.

                      But it worked - after a few days, she barked less. And then less. And I don't think it took maybe 2 weeks before she wasn't barking at all.

                      It wasn't fun sitting through a barking dog...
                      Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                      Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        But Taz my 3.5 yr old is not there yet. She has been a chewer when left out all day. And as such she is much better, as are our possesions, when she remains crate bound during the day.
                        well, I think it's kind of cruel to crate a dog for such prolonged periods of time- 4 hrs. is the maximum time. Surely you could dog-proof a room and give her more space to be in, or build a kennel run outside? When she's out and you're home have you tried the "tether" method of dog raising? the dog is tethered to someone with a leash, and said someone gently re-directs dog from "bad" behavior that is exhibited, and rewards good behavior. Does this dog have sufficient proper chewing items? Enough exercise and mental stimulation (a tired dog is a good dog)? 3 yrs old is pretty old to still being destructive in the house.

                        If I had a dog over 6 months of age who barked in a crate I'd put a no-bark collar on the dog. The shock ones not those stupid citronella spray ones. They work remarkably well- most dogs stop barking almost immediately.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I crate trained a dog who was approximately 9 months old when I got her from the pound.

                          Kept the big crate next to the kitchen table where she could see all the action. Put a special blanket and made a foam cushion that covered the bottom of the crate.

                          She was an extremely happy athletic dog. When she'd get tired out from all the running around, I'd say 'Crate, Mandy', and take her to the crate to rest, with the door open.

                          She learned just fine that whenever she was out of control or had done something bad (like eat the cat's food), I'd just yell, 'CRATE, MANDY!' and she'd go get in it for a time out. It was her space. Except the cat liked to sleep in there with her.

                          So it was never a problem to leave her during the day for 8-10 hours as that was her home.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            it was never a problem to leave her during the day for 8-10 hours as that was her home.
                            yeah, except that such prolonged confinement of growing dogs in tiny cages has been shown to contribute to the development of nasty orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia and other arthritic conditions, and also behavioral problems- the leading cause of death of young dogs is behavioral problems. So many people these days use caging as a substitute for training. You get these horrible feedback loops: dog isn't trained but is caged, so when let out dog is a complete maniac, so dog gets more caging, so dog becomes more frenetic when let out, so dog ends up dead.
                            seriously, if you find you are caging your dog for more than 4 hours a day on a routine basis there is something wrong with your training/exercise routine.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Yay John loves her too!!!

                              She's coming home Friday afternoon so we can start life with her on the weekend.

                              Very excited. Also very tired.

                              Pics to come soon.

                              ~Emily
                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My dogs are all crated when I want them to be and they are quiet in a crate. They are all crated while I'm at work and if I have a sick or injured dog, they may be crated for long periods of time.

                                I've crate trained many dogs of various ages that had been conditioned to either bark in a crate or had never been crate trained or were only good in a crate under X circumstances.

                                Are you going to use a wire or plastic crate?

                                Do you know where you plan on locating the crate?

                                Do you understand how clicker training works?

                                This is the method (or one variation) that I've used with extreme success.

                                http://shirleychong.com/keepers/arch...tetraining.txt

                                I also have 2 posts by Victoria Farrington that are .outstanding. about how to condition crate training to adult dogs, if you'd be interested in them.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by threedogpack View Post

                                  Are you going to use a wire or plastic crate?

                                  We own the plastic kind which is the same as what she has been in before.

                                  Do you know where you plan on locating the crate?

                                  There are two locations and two crates: 1 in the "dog area" next to my 3.5 yr olds crate on the first floor. Second location in our bedroom, next to the bed and along side the dog beds.

                                  Do you understand how clicker training works?

                                  This is the method (or one variation) that I've used with extreme success.

                                  http://shirleychong.com/keepers/arch...tetraining.txt

                                  I also have 2 posts by Victoria Farrington that are .outstanding. about how to condition crate training to adult dogs, if you'd be interested in them.
                                  By all means do send me the posts. I have not prescribed to the clicker training, but only because it wasn't really "out there" when I was growing up.

                                  ~Emily
                                  "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                    yeah, except that such prolonged confinement of growing dogs in tiny cages has been shown to contribute to the development of nasty orthopedic problems like hip dysplasia and other arthritic conditions, and also behavioral problems- the leading cause of death of young dogs is behavioral problems. So many people these days use caging as a substitute for training. You get these horrible feedback loops: dog isn't trained but is caged, so when let out dog is a complete maniac, so dog gets more caging, so dog becomes more frenetic when let out, so dog ends up dead.
                                    seriously, if you find you are caging your dog for more than 4 hours a day on a routine basis there is something wrong with your training/exercise routine.
                                    She managed her 3 mile run every afternoon without any 'nasty orthopedic problems' nor any apparent 'behavioral problems' - I always thought of her as The Homecoming Queen since she approached life with a wonderful 'I'm here, love me' attitude.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I don't think crating is cruel, but I prefer to think of it as something that is a temporary tool. It's very very common in the US, but people in the UK tend to think we're a little crazy with our crates, so the difference in opinions is widespread, haha.

                                      I have a greyhound, so I chat a lot with fellow greyhound owners. Many are sent home from adoption groups with the advice to crate, the logic being greyhounds are used to crates and like them since that's the environment they are used to at the track... (A crate at home is not even close to the same thing as a kennel at the track, so that logic is a bit flawed, in my opinion. But greyhounds do often take to crates because they like to sleep so much anyway.)

                                      A lot of these people have tried to follow the crating advice, only to discover the dog is an anxious barking whining destructive mess when left home alone in a crate. For a lot of people, these issues disappeared when they ditched the crate. Using baby gates can also be really helpful during the transition from crate to roaming the house.

                                      I like the idea of doing a speeded up crate training approach and then seeing if she can be trusted outside of it. Even if you have one dog that seemingly can't be trusted out of the crate, that doesn't mean this one will be the same. A nice transition tool is a tall baby gate in a safe area (kitchen, big bathroom, etc.) You might find your other dog can learn to be trusted outside of her crate too (though perhaps not with free roam of the entire house.)

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Update: She's home!!! And the bestest dog in the world. (Besides my other 2!)

                                        "Maggie" is home and when I say she is a rockstar I completely mean it.

                                        Sure enough the change from tie chain to yard and more supervision and training has really brought her to be a WONDERFUL girl.

                                        She blended into the herd seamlessly in the rain Friday night and has never looked back. We got her a small wading pool yesterday and she easily spent an hour and half in it playing in the water throughout the afternoon. She knows sit and is working on the rest. I did a little bit of intro obedience yesterday and she took to heeling and sit on halt nearly instantly. Down was introduced and she got it pretty well also.

                                        The nighttime crating has been drama free. And daytime we have done well with so far.

                                        She plays with everyone and has only had one small accident. But she clearly loves being with us.

                                        She almost knows her name fully, not quite. And she thinks that everything is great except eating. She's not an aggressive eater, so we've been playing with feeding her in the crate when we go out. And on the floor when we're here.

                                        Also at dinnertime she has been so tired from playing she has fallen asleep in her food bowl. (See pics)

                                        Overall she is doing great. She will be spayed on Thursday this week and we're putting her into regular obedience practice nightly. (only 10-15 mins max)

                                        Enjoy the pics!! Thanks for the advice!

                                        http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...8&l=55ac7769ab

                                        ~Emily
                                        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

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