claustrophobic? Crate Vs. Exer Pen

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claustrophobic? Crate Vs. Exer Pen

This is a discussion on claustrophobic? Crate Vs. Exer Pen within the Puppy Help forums, part of the Dog Training and Behavior category; Hello Dog Forum, I Finally got an amazing Aussie Puppy (Inuki). I've only had him for a week and a half and he is now ...

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Old 01-19-2016, 01:23 PM
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claustrophobic? Crate Vs. Exer Pen

Hello Dog Forum,

I Finally got an amazing Aussie Puppy (Inuki). I've only had him for a week and a half and he is now only 9.5w old. I know it is probably to soon to really tell but I am a bit concerned.

Within just a week and a half, Inuki is doing amazing at potty training. He is already going to the door whenever he needs to relieve himself. He already has learned Sit, Down, and almost has play dead. He also is good with fetch but doesn't quite understand the concept yet. He keeps trying to run by me when he brings it back.

The problem however is at night. I have been watching a lot of Zak George training videos about how to introduce and help a pup or dog enjoy his crate. Inuki however isn't falling for any of it. I have tried using his favorite toy, chew, or even food, but it is like he is terrified of being in his crate. I have tried beside my bed, covered and uncovered. Also in a different room covered and uncovered. I have a large crate with a divider to limit the space so he has enough room to comfortably stand, turn, and lay down. The first few days I thought it was just a separation thing, but the other day he new it was time to go to bed and as soon as I was trying to get him in his crate, it was like he was panicking. I tried to place him in it with the door open and pet him, reinforce him that it is a good place, try and put his most loved treats inside but he pounced out and into my arms acting scared.

When I put Inuki into his exer pen, either for when I have to leave or don't have the time at that moment to keep a constant watch on him. He whimpers and sometimes cries a little bit from when I leave eyesight, but calms quickly and plays with his toys or lays on his bed. He was having separation problems at first but we have been working on that and he is moving forward great with that. He is also almost going into his play pen on command. (Not quite, but close)

I guess my question is could Inuki be claustrophobic? and is this fixable or something that I will have to use the Exer Pen as his "Night Night" as well? I haven't tried the overnight in the Exer Pen yet because I would like him to have his den to go to as well. It would also make any travel easier if he needs to be in a crate.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-19-2016, 01:36 PM
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I would try taking the door off the crate and putting his bed in the crate in the pen.
See if he will use the crate on his own. That way he will get used to it without fear of being locked in then when he it a little older put the door back on and do the training again.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:28 PM
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I would toss some tasty treats in his crate at random times during the day, leave the door open and let him go in and out as he pleases. You can also try playing some crate games (google is your friend with these). Never force him into the crate, always make it his choice. Work on getting him comfortable in there with the door open. Once he seems calm and happy with the crate you can start closing the door. At first for a couple seconds then you can work up to a few minutes with you in sight, then with you out of sight. Always vary the time with the door closed and he should be comfy in there in no time.

In the meantime for sleeping I would just leave him in his ex pen, leave the crate in there at night with the door off or open and let him use it if he wants.
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:44 PM
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Thank you both for the reply. I will definitely try that. One more question on that then, should I take out the divider as well so he has the whole crate to explore? He is doing amazing on the potty training but I still wouldn't trust not watching him yet.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:34 AM
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Thank you both for the reply. I will definitely try that. One more question on that then, should I take out the divider as well so he has the whole crate to explore? He is doing amazing on the potty training but I still wouldn't trust not watching him yet.
Nope, I would leave the divider in and just give him as much room as he needs for his size. Enough to stand, turn around and laydown comfortably.
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Old 02-01-2016, 08:23 AM
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Thumbs up Update

Just Wanted to give an update. Thank you for the great advice. After a few days of having the crate attached to the play pen, he is now able to sleep with only a little whine or whimper in his closed crate. He still won't fully go in by himself yet but all I have to do is set him just outside the door to his crate and he will walk in and lay down. Thanks again, you guys are awesome.
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Old 02-01-2016, 01:11 PM
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Thanks for the up date, we don't get many. Glad things are working out.
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:10 AM
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Hello,

Some good advice here. For others who are considering getting a new puppy, ask the breeder is they start off crate training the puppies? During the this time with the breeder is a great time to introduce puppies to crate training. It make the transition MUCH easier going to the new home.

Good Luck,
Good Day~
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:32 AM
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Just Wanted to give an update. Thank you for the great advice. After a few days of having the crate attached to the play pen, he is now able to sleep with only a little whine or whimper in his closed crate. He still won't fully go in by himself yet but all I have to do is set him just outside the door to his crate and he will walk in and lay down. Thanks again, you guys are awesome.
Glad he's getting better! You might want to try putting a cue on going into the crate on a cue. When you set him outside his crate just say the cue (crate, bed, nap, whatever you want) after he goes in give him a treat.
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Old 02-02-2016, 01:44 PM
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I do have a cue and he often stands farther away when I say it because he does understand that "Night Night" means it is bed time. that's why I have to place him in front of the crate. I still try from time to time to say it and try and get him to walk up to it but that hasn't worked yet. I still say it when I place him in front of it to try and reinforce that it is not a bad thing with either treats, stuffed kongs, and chew bones.
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