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erikh45

Crate Training???

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erikh45

So after deciding on the route to go with a pup the next concern is going to be housebreaking. I know it is not hunting dog related, but I know there is some good info here.

I have not had a puppy for about 10 years, and did not crate train that one either. I have read alot about crate training and there are some horror stories about dogs being afraid of the crate if it is done the wrong way. I am assuming that if I use common sense. Making the crate a hideout for the pup, and make the first several stays in it fun and short then I should be ok. If anybody has any guidance, or links to other info, that would be great. I think the biggest worry I have with getting a pup is the possibility of screwing it up.

Thanks

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lenny7

My 8mo old lab loves his crate and it has helped tremendously in housebreaking.

he was leery of getting in there when I introduced him to it at 10 weeks. I gave him a small treat, then put the next one right in front of it, then just in side it, then a handful way to the back. As I did this, I said "Kennel". (Now when he sees me going for those particular treats, he races to the kennel). I still give him treats when I kennel him at night and when I leave for work, but any other time he's kenneled he does not get treats.

At first I didn't shut the door so he could come and go as he pleased. After doing this 3 or 4 times I would keep the door shut for a few minutes, then let him out, then doing it for longer and longer periods. This was all done the first day he was home. Getting him in the crate was not an issue after this.

The first night he whined and barked for 90 minutes. Whatever you do, do NOT try to comfort him. Ignore him, no matter how hard it is.

Second night he did this for 30 minutes, third night for 5 and then he didn't do it any more. If he started barking after a few hours, then without any playing around or excitement in my voice I took him straight outside to pee and [PoorWordUsage], then put him right back in the crate.

Make sure you have a divider in the crate so the dog has just enough room to turn around. This helps keep them from peeing or crapping in the crate. I have a 36"L x 24"W by 27"k wire crate and when he was 10 weeks I restricted him to less than half of that and moved the wire grate back as he grew.

I've heard some dogs like a blanket over the crate so it's more of a den. I never did that. I've tried putting a blanket inside, a dog cushion, or some sort of mat in there but he just chews it up so he gets nothing but a kong and a nylabone in there now.

If they do make a mess in the crate, don't make punish it or make a big deal out of it. Clean it and the dog up and put him back in. If you don't the puppy in the act of soiling his crate, it's pointless to try to correct it.

Never use the crate as punishment. You don't want to develop a negative association. If I feel like crating him after he's been bad, I correct him, then wait a couple of minutes, then put him in the crate with no emotion.

Your puppy will probably see the crate as a den, or a refuge. Establish a rule with any kids that if the dog is in the crate, it gets left alone.

That's how I used the crate. I'm sure there are other good ideas out there.

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erikh45

Thanks, that is pretty much what I have read. I am going to bring him home in a crate, so I hope that doesn't traumatize him. I would have to think that most, if not all dogs are brought home in a crate or something similar. The plan is to take a week off of work when I first get him home to help make the housebreaking, homecoming easier on him. Thanks for the advice.

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Ralph Wiggum

Lenny pretty much nailed it. We had a rough ~2 weeks at night, but it did get better each night. I resorted to ear plugs and that helped. Other than that, I can't really add much more than Lenny said. Our guy has no problem going into his. I also found that ours preferred a wire crate--better vision, better airflow--not sure, but he didn't like the plastic one, which is fine because they don't make a 54" plastic crate smile

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lenny7

One other thing, which you've probably read about. To start out keep the dog in the crate almost all the time. Since they naturally don't like to mess in their den, what I did was to keep him in the crate until it was time to take him outside to do his thing (every couple of hours). We gave him high praise for that. When it was time to come back in, that's when I'd let the kids play with him for 10 to 15 minutes, then back in the crate he went. After a while I'd lengthen the time I'd let him out. Sometimes I let him out too long and he'd go in the house. My fault. I then watched the clock better.

Eventually we got to the point where he didn't need to be in his crate at all while we were home, so long as we were vigilant about taking him out every 2 hours or so.

At about 6 months I bought a bell and hung in on the door handle and in a couple of days had him trained to ring the bell to go outside, but ONLY to do his thing, not to play. If he rings the bell, we come right back in after he's done. Otherwise he'd ring it all day long trying to get out to play.

When do you bring the new pup home? Do you have a name for him yet?

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Powerstroke

I think lenny pretty much hit all the high points.

I put my pup in his kennel the very first night he was home. He had been in there during the day so it wasn't a shock.

My routine was every time he came out of the kennel he had to go straight outside and I told him "go potty". He would relieve himself and then I would bring him in. He could play for up to 30 mins and then back in the kennel. I never used treats, only praise.

The routine of letting outside immediately after leaving the kennel reinforces housebreaking. It practically does it for you. My dog has never ever soiled his kennel. He has thrown up twice in there, but that is his comfort spot.

When he turned two I started leaving the kennel open during the day. Even though he can go anywhere now day or night, I always find him in his kennel.

It works great for travel, having guests over or having his cared for by other people.

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CrazyLabs

We made the mistake with our first dog by not crating him at all since someone was almost always home. When he got to be about 18 months, things changed and he was home alone for about 8 hours a day. Long story short...he hated - and I mean HATED - that crate...to the point that he finally busted out of the thing. Luckily we realized that he could be trusted in the house, so we haven't needed to crate him since.

With our second dog, we started crating from day one. Using the same methods listed above, we were successful...he's even bell trained too. It's nice to be able to close him in there if we have company or whatever.

Looking back, I wish we would have done it right with the first dog and more importantly, will crate train every dog from here on out!

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erikh45

Thanks for all the good info. Pretty much what I thought it was going to be, but I am glad to hear success stories. Like I said I will be taking the first week off. I will probably sleep in the basement with her in the kennel for a while so my wife and child can get some sleep.

Lenny, it is actually a "her" I have a "him" right now, so it will take some adjustment to use a feminine term. She will be 6wks on 1-23. The breeder says she can come home after that. I always heard puppies come home at 7wks, but they say anytime after the 6wk mark, so we will see. As far as names go I was thinking Phaedra or Xena. Phaedra is from the Nancy Sinatra song from the sixties. Xena is just a name I saw somewhere else

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Ralph Wiggum

We started bell training right away. Took a week or so, but the first time he rang that sucker, I was soooo proud!

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Tom7227

I learned a couple of tricks.

I dog sat one of the Raven dogs for PF and Mr. Schara showed me how building a pen out of 2x2 and some fencing, putting a towel or blanket or something in it for the dog to sleep on, and having some wood shavings at one end. The dog usually does his/her business in the shavings and so you only have to clean that area up. Gets them used to going on one place. The transition to house training is a bit easier.

A second idea is to train the dog to ring a bell when it wants to go outside. Laugh if you want, but it works. We put a bell on a hook by the door. Every time we put the dog out we rang the bell. After abour 3 weeks the dog started doing it alone. Now it works like a charm.

Good Luck.

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CJH

Another vote for crate training. We followed the same patterns as mentioned above. Worked great. Plus, moving forward, they always feel like they have a "safe place" to go when you have a bunch of guests over or if it gets crazy in the house.

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caseymcq

If they do make a mess in the crate, don't make punish it or make a big deal out of it. Clean it and the dog up and put him back in. If you don't the puppy in the act of soiling his crate, it's pointless to try to correct it.

I have used shredded paper in the crates with both of my dogs and now with the puppies we have when I have delivered them. The nice thing about the shredded paper is if they do happen to mess it gets absorbed in the paper and doesn't make a bigger mess. One p00ped in the crate and it just turned into a little matt of the p00 and paper. I could just pull that clump out and throw it away. It works really well.. The pup can also use the shredded paper to "nest."

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labsareus

The bell things sounds like a good idea. Do you just use a

rattle type bell or something electronic ?

Might be fun to work with our 11 month old on these colder nights.We haven't had the accident issue since we crated our

pup from day one--but preventions keeps the Ms of the house

happy and we all know what that means !!

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CrazyLabs

I bought a set of bells for a cat collar and hung them from a ribbon next to the door at about nose level. My pup was about 12 weeks when we started training him to use the bell. We started the bell because he was not at all vocal about going outside. He would stand at the door for about 30 seconds and if nobody noticed him, he would go in the living room and do the deed...our fault, since we should've been paying more attention, of course.

Whenever I would go to let him out, I would physically take his head and make his nose hit the bell. Once it rang, I would let him out. It took about a week before he was doing it on his own. Usually he rings it only when he needs to go and do his business, but occasionally he will ring it just to go out and play.

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lenny7

The bell things sounds like a good idea. Do you just use a

rattle type bell or something electronic ?

I got mine from [PoorWordUsage]'s Sports in the dog training section (a very small section). It's sold under the Remington name. I found out later that Fleet Farm has it cheaper.

I might replace the bell though. This one isn't all that loud.

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Ralph Wiggum

I just got some bells at a craft store (Michael's). Cheap and effective. I have several. One that is by the door, and I usually have one or two that I bring on trips. We forget them places so I like to have extra.

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ironrangegemneye

I did a similar process to Lenny's with my male lab puppy. He is now 11 months old and still loves his kennel. We put a Nalgene bottle (water bottle) with warm to hot water in it and covered it with a blanket. He cuddled up to it and this is 100% true; He did not whine at all when we kenneled him for the night. He would rest his head on the warm bump on the kennel floor and be content.

We finally trust him and leave him out during the day while we work and also when we go to sleep at night. The kennel door is open all the time and he tends to sleep in there and go in and out of the kennel. It is a safe place for him. We tried not to yell the word kennel or show anger when putting him in it at any early age.

He only had one "explosion" accident in his kennel that went off like a helicopter when he was sick last summer but never peed in there.

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archerystud

My Springer is 6 months and does great in her crate. We put her in there from day 1. She had one or two accidents in the crate early on but I cleaned it out each time and it hasn't been an issue.

She now stays in the crate for about 8 hours while we are at work and it hasn't been a problem. She also just goes into the crate to sleep when she is real tired.

I also began tapping on the top of the crate when I put her in. Now I just tap on the top of it and she goes in by herself.

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labsareus

Thanks for the suggestions on the bell training. I will start this soon as it sounds like a neat idea.

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ironrangegemneye

Has anyone ever heard of litter box training small dogs? A family member of mine is going to try doing it and I am just keeping my mouth shut and am not saying a thing to them about it.

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Ralph Wiggum

Has anyone ever heard of litter box training small dogs? A family member of mine is going to try doing it and I am just keeping my mouth shut and am not saying a thing to them about it.

I would think it'd be pretty easy. Personally, I'd like to train my Dane to use the toilet, but I think aim would be a problem for him smile

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ironrangegemneye

I would guess it will be pretty easy also. Yeah I agree, it sure would be nice if my lab was trained this way....like this morning, it was -25 and I had to take him out for a walk and wait for him to do his business.

I already told my wife that if we end up watching that munchkin (length of a man's hand) at our house, there is not going to be a litter box coming over with it.

The person is also one who gets up and comforts the dog every time it wakes up in the middle of the night. Once again though, I am keeping my mouth shut about their ways of training.

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Ralph Wiggum

I already told my wife that if we end up watching that munchkin (length of a man's hand) at our house, there is not going to be a litter box coming over with it.

The person is also one who gets up and comforts the dog every time it wakes up in the middle of the night. Once again though, I am keeping my mouth shut about their ways of training.

I think the majority of our friends and relatives are idiots when it comes to training their dogs smile Sleeping with your dog in bed? Come on! We watched one for a week and it cried to be let in bed for hours each night. After that, no more dog watching unless the dog is crate trained!

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jigging-matt

I don't like having friend or neighbors watch my dog. He can be a little high strung and if we are gone for more than a day I prefer to take him to the kennel for the time. They do a great job and are better suited and have more experience. I hate to put that responsibility on someone, especially if they do not have a dog of their own.

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ironrangegemneye

I hear ya! The first time my inlaws and parents were allowed to watch my little boy, they had a list of does and dont's to follow. My wife says I am obsessed and need to chill out, but when my dog that I have been working so hard with and put a ton of time into, starts doing things opposite of what I am training him to do, that is when it stops and I need to make other arrangements.

It is just like having a child, with the grandparents or others spoiling them but also gets me upset.

I want to the family members that by getting up with their dog in the middle of the night is going to create a monster of needing to get up all the time and also knowing that if it cries, it will get the attention it wants. It happened with their previous dog. It would sleep for a couple hours and need to go out every couple hours (the dog did that for 15 years).

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