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Thread: Suddenly destroying inside of crate!

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  1. #1

    Unhappy Suddenly destroying inside of crate!

    Hello! I'm the foster mom of Skip, up until recently he was doing a super job in his crate, he'd walk in and hang out for about 4 hours (while I was at work) and then get let out until bed time which was about 8 hours later. He got plenty of walks and play time, and would occasionally hang out in his crate for a few minuted on his own.

    For the past week my Mom has been home on vacation so Skip has had no crate time. When my Mom had to run out of the house for a few errands she put him in his crate, and when she returned he had destroyed his crate pad and bent the wires of the crate itself trying to get out. The next day she left again for a few minutes and he destroyed the blankets that were in the crate. Her vacation is up on Monday, and I work full time, so he needs to be cool with his crate. Today I tried starting at square one and re acclimating him to the crate by putting treats inside and rewarding him, but as soon as the crate door closes and I'm out of site he starts crying and trying to dig out.

    Should I keep trying to start from square one, and reintroduce the crate like its brand new?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Sunny California
    Posts
    1,672

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    Oops! Forgetting to continue with crate time when you have time off can cause problems for dogs that are in the early stages of training... they get used to all that freedom and suddenly don't want to be in the crate anymore! Fortunately, this is totally fixable!

    First, I'd suggest that you consider buying a heavy-duty crate like the ones shown at the bottom of this page. Since Skip has already bent the wires on his crate, I'm concerned that he may escape or injure himself while trying to escape. The heavy-duty crates are pricey, but worth it in cases where the dog is at risk of getting hurt.

    To get him to chill out in the crate, I'd follow the instructions in the crate acclimation article, then, if needed, use the methods outlined in the article about teaching your dog to be quiet in his crate. Also, remember that your dog will do much better with any kind of confinement if he's well-exercised, so be sure he's getting plenty of activity. Giving him something high-value to chew that he gets only during crate time can also be very helpful. And be sure to be calm and low-key when putting him into the crate and getting him out... if you're animated when leaving or greeting him, you're sending the message that you coming and going is a big deal, which may stress the poor kid out.

    Keep me updated!
    Rebecca
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