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Read a lot about crate training before we brought home our 3 year old rescue dog a couple of weeks ago.
Every article suggests to take it slowly, make it a happy place, feed him there, give him his favorite toys etc etc and make them spend more and more time in it without being pushy and not treating it as a place of punishment. I get all that, however, the same articles say to crate the dog overnight from day 1. What's the point of taking it so slow, if I'm going to leave him there for a whole night straight away?
He spends every night in his crate now, only cries for about 5 minutes and then settles. I'd love to let him roam free and choose his own place of rest but still not fully house trained.
During the day, he's not really interested in the crate. I must admit that I don't spend a lot of time getting him to like it, but i do leave treats around and in the crate, give him his chews and kong in there. But he'll never choose to go there unless there's something in it for him.
I know I'm probably doing something wrong, but also wondering if the crate is indeed right for him, being an adult dog.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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You are right, the key to crate training is to never have the dog feel distressed or trapped. If you want to crate overnight from night one, it's a good idea to have the crate open and next to where you sleep for the first few nights so you can reassure the dog, who will be bewildered and anxious in his new surroundings.

Even crying for 5 minutes before he settles isn't ideal, dogs sometimes appear to settle but it's not necessarily because they realise everything is fine, it's because they give up.

Whether you want to continue with the crate is entirely up to you - if you would find a penned off area easier then go for it.

But if you do want to continue to try, keep taking it slow. Never let him think he can't get out, keep tossing treats into the crate. Feed him treats through the bars, feed him in there - every time he is in there, make good things happen.
 

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What you are saying seems reasonable, it's just hard to believe that the dog will never, ever feel trapped. The crate is also cited as a solution when complete confinement is needed, such as when left home alone and supervision is not possible. In this case, the door will have to be closed, and i won't be around for him to feel reassured.
Anyway, having crated him for 2 weeks now every night (seemingly against his will if we judge by the crying) , is it possible to take a few steps back and retrain properly?
On the other hand, if we were to scrap the crate overnight, what are the chances of potty accidents, given that he is used to sleeping through the night and holding his physical need, albeit with the help of the crate?
I appreciate it might be a hard question to answer
 

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I'm just curious - Do you need to crate your dog at night? If so, why? I have had my current rescue dog for a year. Since day one, he has slept through the night on a dog bed in my bedroom. There's no reason for me to crate him. He's house-trained and he doesn't destroy anything. You could probably stop using the crate, especially at night.
 

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To be fair, the advice on crate training and the dog never feeling trapped is normally about training puppies, and when they are very young you would normally be around for toilet training and so on. The best guide to crate training I have seen was written by Emma Judson of The Canine Consultants. If you can find that, it describes in detail the steps to take.

But as an alternative, a more open pen might help - something like this

 
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