View Full Version : Crate Issues

July 12th, 2008, 09:23 AM
Hi Guys!

We switched Giada into a larger crate, because she just is not ready to be out of one yet due to the carpet incident and she is a chewer in general.

Well, she has only been in her crate a couple days. We thought now would be a good time to get the bigger crate due to us having relative visiting and whe are very busy. We went out of town yesturday all day (9-5) and had someone come in and let her out and play with her, but noticed she eat the cardboard under her crate, and today when I put her in the crate to take a shower she was not happy (which is unusual) and she started to chew her on her crate. She has NEVER acted like this before. What do you think is the problem?:confused1:

July 12th, 2008, 09:44 AM
Hmmm... could be a couple of things. Is the new crate the same style as the old one (plastic, wire) but just a bigger size? Is it in the same spot, or did you have to move it since it takes up more space? Sometimes if you switch crate type or location, it can be stressful and confusing for sensitive dogs.

The other thing that may be a problem is that shortly after putting her in the new crate, you left for a whole day, which might have stressed her out a bit, even though you did the right thing by having someone come in to let her out mid-day. It also sounds like this is a busy time for you and she may not be getting as much attention and exercise, so this might have happened even without the crate change.

I did have one client's dog who was TERRIFIED of his new crate, and it was exactly the same crate, just one size bigger... nothing else had changed. I think he was just an especially sensitive guy and he thought he was in a parallel universe or something... he just knew it wasn't his crate and it freaked him out. We just did the exercises outlined in the crate acclimation article (http://www.thehousebreakingbible.com/training/crate-acclimation.htm) as if he'd never been crated before and he was fine after a couple of days.

I'd suggest you do the same... and, of course, check back in if she's still having problems or to let us know she's doing better!

July 12th, 2008, 12:05 PM
yeah, the crate is same exact crate only one size larger and in the same room and same spot--so I think you are right about the attention. I will read the crate article and let you know how it goes!


July 12th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Poor Giada. I always recommend the beef marrow bone- cures all ills, especially anything stress related in a crate. (Kind of like me and Starbucks Mudd Pie ice cream :laugh:)

July 12th, 2008, 08:33 PM
Ha:laugh: Is it safeto give a bone to her in the crate while I'm away?

July 12th, 2008, 11:42 PM
You have to know a dog's chewing (and swallowing!) habits. My dogs eat bones all the time, and I feel very safe feeding them bones and giving them toys when I am gone. My malinois scarf food down and love to tear a toy into a million pieces, but they are not known for trying to swallow over-large objects, like big chunks of bone or toys.

A small dog with a marrow bone will probably never make more than a dent in it, so in that case I would say it's as safe as a hard kong, which is (to me) very safe. Big dogs with powerful jaws always need to be watched until you know their chewing habits.

In 15 years of feeding beef bones I have only had one incident- Marco got one wedged between his upper molars and couldn't get it out. I watched him work at it for a minute or two and it was apparent he was having no luck, so I finally decided to help him by pulling it out. Funny thing- he is such a chicken about all procedures- vet, toenails, ear cleaning, wound checks, etc. But in this case he just held real still while I figured out how to get that bone out of there :thumbup: Sometimes they really do seem to understand a lot.

In any case, the stuck bone was not life threatening, but it is something to watch out for. Another thing I would worry about with powerful chewers is wear and tear on the teeth. Marco crunches right through beef ribs and I stopped feeding them to him- I didn't like the sharp edges or the sound it made when his teeth went through those hard bones :eek:

October 4th, 2008, 08:41 AM
Okay! Many months have gone by with Giada in her larger crate, and well I am sick of having this thing in my kitchen!! We have to move the dining table over a bit for the crate to fit where we want it..........so the light fixture keeps hitting us in the head :(.

I know I was going to wait for Giada to reach a year to get her out of the crate, but we would like to do it now (she is 9 months old). She has been house broken for a long time (last accident first week in April). She sleeps through the night extremely well..........10-11pm to 8-9am if we want her to with out problems!! She hasn't chewed anything in our house since July. She is such a good dog:biggrin:.

Now she will be in our laundry room---it is large enough for both dogs, but do you think this is a good idea? I probably will never let her have run of the house seeing how we hardly ever let summer either. This is the best place for both dogs, but no room for her crate to, so the transition would be a bit fast.

I read the crate article, so I guess night time is the best, huh? Do you think doing it now is "pushing it"?

Thanks you two............don't know what I would have done without you this last year!!!:thumbup:

October 4th, 2008, 10:28 AM
I think you'll be fine to give this a try now. Make sure the area is as destruction-proof as possible and start leaving her there for short periods... you can even start her out with just 5-10 minutes at a time so she gets used to the area. This way, you avoid the stress of a sudden transition from crate to laundry room. After she does okay for short periods, try leaving her in there for an hour or two when you're running errands or something, but still leave her in the crate if you're away from the house for longer periods. Once she survives that okay, you can get rid of the crate... hallelujah!! :biggrin:

Of course, you should make it as pleasant as possible in there... toys, chew bones, a comfy bed or blanket.

If you have any problems along the way, check back in...

October 4th, 2008, 03:45 PM
So, we should NOT try it at night the first time?

October 4th, 2008, 09:57 PM
I'd probably do short periods during the day first, particularly if the laundry room isn't where her crate is kept. Normally, the overnight thing works best as a first step for dogs who are used to sleeping in the crate in that same room. A new location may be stressful or exciting for her so a little slow acclimation over a few days or so would probably be best.

October 5th, 2008, 11:24 AM
Thanks! We'll let you know how it goes in the next few weeks.............first need to puppy proof a bit:)

October 6th, 2008, 10:53 AM
Also, be careful on any days where you short her exercise routine. If she gets a little hyper she is much more likely to discover new bad habits- like chewing the door frame :eek: 9 months is still very young so make sure she is good and tired when you put her in there, especially since she's had a tendency to chew in the past.

October 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
:thumbup: Giada slept out of her crate and in the laundry room for the first time last night, and she did great!!!! No problems, except I had a hard time sleeping, thinking she would be sad or bothering Summer or anything (kind of like when you bring them home the first night). She seemed confused at first, but then went right to her bed and slept the night. My husband went to work @ 5:00 and they were fine, and never made a peep as they watched him leave through the gate at the laundry room entry............such GREAT dogs we have :)

October 29th, 2008, 09:10 PM
FABULOUS news... congrats!! :thumbup:

Keep doing what you're doing and we'll hope that the good behavior trend continues!!!

October 30th, 2008, 08:38 AM
such GREAT dogs we have :)

"The harder you work, the luckier you get." Congrats on your good training :thumbup: