Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pooches: Crate Training

Poor Wilma, before we fostered her she was adopted by this great guy for couple weeks and then returned. In those couple of weeks, she was wined and dined and she lived a life without borders and crates, she basically had free reign in the house...then she entered our house. Though she lived in a crate at daycare before we fostered her, it was a real shock to her when she had to be crated at our place. Since we have the three bullys and we want to make sure that each have their separate space, we crate the pooches when we are not home. Luckily for us, we have two dogs that goes willingly to their crate/tepee and actually enjoy sleeping there. On the other hand, it was a struggle to get Wilma to go into her crate. The first several times, she would brace herself, jump onto her crate and/or run away to other parts of the house.
We started Wilma's crate training with her breakfast and dinner. We feed our pooches in their crate/tepee, so we have this system where the pooches run into their beds (crate/tepee) for their meals. In the beginning, we had to place Wilma's bowl way in the back of her crate, so she would have to enter and stay in her crate to eat. Over time, Wilma started associating her meals with the crate and she would go there during feeding times. The next issue was when we would leave the house. Though she would go into her crate for her meals, she would be stubborn again when she had to be crated any other time. We worked on this by only giving the pooches treats when they were in their beds. In addition, when we were leaving, we would give them each an incredible edible kong. Overtime, Wilma started sleeping in her bed and eventually she would go into her bed when we had treats or kongs. Each time we wanted the pooches in the crate/tepee, we would yell out "go to bed," and eventually Wilma started associating this phrase with the crate/tepee and treats or food as you will see in the video below. What you don't see are our pooches hauling to get into their beds. These are things that have worked for us, what other successful experiences have you had with crate training?

27 comments:

Roo said...

Though now I have full reign of the house. When I was first adopted, my parents set up my day den (a room with a view) and a night den (my crate). When they left or it was time for nite-nite, I always got a stuffed kong in my den. I liked my day den as it gave me time to rest (didn't have to check on my parents all the time) and I still like my night den where I will go take a nap during the day if I feel like it and always get my kong in there at night. Sometimes I sleep in my night den for a while and then join my parents in their big bed (yes, I now have bed privileges too).

So, I think dens are a good thing. My own personal dog space :)
Roo

Two Crazy Coaches said...

Miss M is completely smooshing Wilma in that picture. Hilarious! We've pretty much done the same things you are doing and it's worked well. Ollie still eats in his crate and he flies back there and comes to a skidding stop!

Hound Girl said...

Both of mine eat in their crates so they are use to their crates so they tend to really love their crates - they also like to sleep in them. I think I have the only two dogs on this planet that dont cuddle with each other - I love the picture of Ms M. and Wilma - its adorable!!!

Brooklyn Book Lover said...

I have to say that your blog is one of my favorites. I enjoy coming over and looking at the pictures and videos of your beautiful babies.

mayziegal said...

I likes how Wilma saunters ever so casually to gets in her crate. BOL!

Well, I luvs my crate/condo and don't mind going in there at all for any reason. Sometimes I just hangs out in there cuz I like it. My Angel Fostermommy told mom that I took to it right away cuz it was so different from the place I was rescued from.

But Brudder Ranger! I guess he was one of those doggies that just didn't like his crate. They started doing the Kong (yum!) thing and that made him feel a little betters about it but he still didn't like it. Then when I came along, they noticed that he liked to go into my condo on his own, which was a lot bigger than his. So they bought him a big condo too, and he's much happier (thought still not thrilled). I'm pretty sure Brudder Ranger thinks he's a big dog and couldn't figure out why they were squishing him into that teeny little crate. BOL!

Wiggles & Wags,
Mayzie

PeeS. I can't believes somebuddy returned Wilma! That's the craziest thing I ever heard!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

Omg I love Wilma. You guys have done so well with her! And Mr. B's teepee just cracks me up everytime - it's got to be just about the cutest thing ever.

We crate trained our bullies too, but over time Melanie and Nemo have earned the right to stay out of it while we're gone. We still separate them when we're out (Nemo chills in the bedroom, and Mel has full run of the house), but crate training has proved to a life saver sometimes.

It was actually really funny when we were crate training Nemo because even though Mel hadn't used a crate for years, she made a beeline for the crate each time we had a treat. I think we crate trained her a little too well!

Roo said...

I forgot. Sheesh. I meant to say how much I like Mr. B's teepee. I'm gonna start calling him "Chief" :)

Pawlease tell Wilma that I missed her while she was gone and that she looks real nice in her den :)

Roo

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

Until my stint in the nursing home, where having a safe, secure place for the dogs to hole up was required, I had no experience with crating any of my dogs. At most, we would use a spring gate to confine them to the kitchen. Once they were housebroken, they had the run of the house.

Mary said...

Levi came crate-trained, so he just got a stuffed Kong when we left. Now he gets a Kong in his crate, but we leave the door open and he sleeps on the couch all day. I keep wondering what we would do if we brought home a shelter dog on the weekend and both had to work on Monday. That doesn't leave much time for proper crate training. I worry about barking and whining too in such close quarters with our neighbors.

George the Lad said...

Wilma has got the hang of that, George sleeps in a crate at night and he's fine about it, most morning I cannot get him out, we only have a small kitchen so he gets left in there at other times, so he know the crate means sleep.
Jan

RED said...

I'm so jealous! We did everything for Zeus - fed him in his crate, slept in his crate, kongs in the crate (only), treats in the crate (only). He still HATES the crate. He's graduated to the freedom of the two bedrooms (they connect) during the night so he could sleep in his crate if he wanted to - he does not. I literally pick him up every morning and put him in his crate before I leave for work. He gets kongs and usually doesn't bark but he will not walk in the crate on his own. I feel like we've tried EVERYTHING. It's just as frustrating as it sounds. I want to try a plastic dog crate (once a month goes by that my dog budget isn't completely drained from vet bills and RXs for him!), my new theory is that his metal dog crate is too similar to the crate he was in while he was awaiting adoption and he can't let go of that negative impact? Maybe the plastic crate would be just different enough to make him less upset. (He wasn't housebroken when we got him, so it's been quite a struggle - house training, crate training, and while he is pretty good - he hasn't earned the right to roam the house during the day while we're at work).

The Two Country Poodles & Uncle Puppy said...

That movie was too cute! When I got Mollie she lived 3 years in a crate as a breeding dog so after a few months of her going under stools to feel safe we bought her her first crate. She would go in it when she felt the need. Bobo was a puppy when we got him and never had to be crated and in fact at the groomers it would be a hardship to get him in one. I did the treat method too and now he naps in his crate and will go in his crate when he gets scared. Its the best thing we ever did to crate train them.


Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo

brooke said...

I love Mr B's teepee! So when you go to work, he stays in his teepee the whole day? or does he get free reign of the house while everyone else is in crates?

Bobby said...

Well done with the cratr training.

Mack said...

We now love,love crate time, cause it means TREATSIES galore! Thanks to you guys!

Two Pitties in the City said...

Bruno actually has a crate anxiety issue which was a whole separate problem we were dealing with. He was using his face as a battering ram until we just decided to get him the teepee. We all pretend that he is going to stay in the teepee all day, but we know he goes out and sleeps. The best is when we come home and he has to try really hard to get back into the teepee before we see him. There have been times he runs right past us, but won't look at us, because if he can't see us, then we can't see him.

Lola said...

It looks like you're doing great. My brother and I, being Peis, don't need to be crated, but the Moms say that crate training was the best thing in the world for dogs they've had before. In pawticular a boxer/lab mix who they had from very young. Once she could be totally trusted in the house they still left the crate up for her to go in when she wanted.

wags, Lola

houndstooth said...

Well, we've had Greyhounds as adults, and they come crate trained. Morgan did as well. When we had foster dogs who didn't settle into crating well, we sometimes left a few toys in with them, and had a DAP plugged in. Some respond well to it. As it is, three of ours fight to get into the one crate while one wants nothing to do with it.

Mr. Pip said...

I like Mr. B's teepee. I wonder if it comes in a smaller size.

Your pal, Pip

elegy said...

Luce broke her first (metal) crate. I never had trouble getting her into the crate, but she strenuously objected to being left there. She got over it with time, patience, and food. The fastest way to a bulldog's heart is through her stomach LOL

Kitty+Coco said...

Kitty and Coco are not crate trained. I was not educated on that point when we got Kitty, and then when Coco arrived, it seemed odd to put one in and one out. Kitty definitely has issues with being confined, but you sure make it sound like a good thing. We are really considering it, but will they go bonkers if they have never been trained? Is it even possible? As it is, they are confined to a big den area during the day. Would love to hear your thoughts.

Kitty and Coco's Mom

Two Pitties in the City said...

Kitty & Coco,
We crate trained our pooches and Wilma, because when they play they knock stuff over and too much can happen when we are away. When Mr. B was first adopted he had isolation distress, which Curtis Scott helped with and he lived nicely in a crate. Then one day we forgot to engage the bottom latch on his crate and he broke out. After that fateful day, Mr. B will try to break out of any crate, which Curtis assures us is not isolation distress or separation anxiety, but just plain boredom. Ms. M loves hanging out in her crate, so it seemed natural to only crate Ms. M. If they weren't so big and clumsy, we would probably leave them both out. We feel that crate training was important for us, because our pooches are big oafs that have a tendency to breaks things.

Pibble said...

What precious pooches. Seeing the three of them in their crates/teepees makes me smile a real Pit Bull grin!

Rescued Pittie Family said...

Well, we're in about the same boat.
Haleigh and Greighson are crate trained and they love it - it's their house and they always get a Kong and treats when they go in there so it's always a positive experience for them.

Abbey and LuLu are just now being crate trained.
They sleep in a big crate in our room at night. Otherwise they would run all over and we'd never get any sleep. We found that out the hard way.
But during the day they're baby-gated in the kitchen so they can always get outside to potty.
Well, they're almost big girls now and they're going to have to stay in their houses during the day too.
We've started doing half days.
LuLu is in there the first half of the day and then when we come home from lunch Abbey goes in the house.
Since the are total BFFs I'm ordering them an extra large crate so they can cuddle during the day like they do at night.
I think this must be just like having a baby and getting them to go to bed.

Kari in WeHo said...

Big Carl was our easiest to crate train. Because Mesa's first owners locked her in a crate and never let her out, its still a struggle with her

road-dog-tales said...

Ummm, crate? What's a crate? Our crate is the WHOLE HOUSE! BOL!
The Road Dogs

ForPetsSake said...

I think I might be late catching up here, but why does Mr B have a tepee?

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