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EVERYLABDESERVESAKID

Tips please - crate training adolescent dog

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Today we picked up a 13 month old boxer that had come available for re-homing. While he is a placid and gentle boy, he is not yet desexed and has had little exposure to other dogs and cats and I have just introduced him into a house with 3 cats and another dog. My dog was reactive to him, so I need to do slow and controlled introductions and I also want to be able to have them all inside at night, with the nights getting down to -5 degrees. I bought a big crate today, I have never crate trained before and he is past the puppy stage, I need tips on crate training. 

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He went in ok in the middle of the lounge room and quite happily curled up for a nap for half hour and then we let him out again. Later I moved the crate to the family room, so that I could rotate the other dog and the cats into the lounge room, he could still see us, but he got himself in a real state of anxiety, whining and panting and scratching to get out, he was worse when I shut the door and he couldn't see us. I didn't want him to associate the crate with feeling anxious, so I waited until he was quiet for 30 seconds and then let him out. He has gone back in there by himself and and got his antler out of the crate and bought it into the lounge room on his mat. I am not sure how to work out the accommodations over night, if I can't get him happily in the crate. 

 

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Ok so that's a great start. I would use the same tricks as for puppies. Firstly make sure the dog is well exercised and done some brain work. So physically and mentally tired. Then pop him in the crate with something to chew and only let him out when he's quiet. Just as you did. You might need to build this up over time. At night I would simply put the crate near your bed. Once he's sleeping through the night gradually shift it further from your bed until it's where you want him to sleep. A cover over the crate at night might help too. Mine all sleep in my room anyway - unless someone is in season and then I leave her crated in the lounge room. They ALWAYS get a big biscuit for bed time which tells them where they are sleeping. In a crate, in my room, in the car, at a friend's house, in the tent...

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Tassie   

What TSD said!   

And I'd add, which you're probably doing anyway .. feed him his meals in his crate - preferably when it's in the family room.  For other times when he needs to be in the other room, I'd give him something extra special to chew on .. frozen chicken wing or something that he only gets when he's in that situation.  it's all about adding value for being settled in his crate..   Can you leave the door open between the two rooms for a while until he gets used to the whole new situation?

 

 

ETA covering the crate, at least on three sides, is usually beneficial .. I'm assuming it's a wire crate.

Edited by Tassie
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Maybe also sit next to the crate with him and chuck a treat in, let him go get it and practice him going in and out with treats so he isn't scared of that? Also try not to put him in it physically, you have to get him to like walking in on command. :) 

Neither of my dogs have a crate, but I practiced crate training on my cousin's spare crate one day with my 7 year old dog just for fun/in case. :) 

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Panto   

How are you going with the crate training?

 

I remember when I first read about the concept, I used K9pro's free document to train my then 7 or 8yo dog with success - a great read whatever stage of crate training you're at I think.

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Thanks, I will look up K9Pro's document. I haven't had any more attempts at using the crate, I just decided not to put all of the changes on him at once and stress him out, so I keep him on a lead when he is in the house at the moment. My Jack Russell decided that he was ok on day 2 and they have become great mates and I can put them outside all day together and they sleep in the lounge room at night. The fact that they get along is a relief and the crate training isn't as urgent. Introductions to the cats are going slower but showing promise, they can be in the same room together and he is starting to be able to take his focus off them and look away and even nap with them there.   

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