Post # 1
Some of you may remember the post I made about my new blind dog (he’s 5). We’re attempting to crate train him because near the end of the month I go back to work as a teacher. My husband also works full-time, and we both work about an hour away. We’ve been trying to get him into a routine – we wake up, take him out, feed him his morning meal, we get ready, take him out, and he goes in the crate. Since I’m not working right now, I went and took an hour and 20 minute walk or so. He was barking when we left, and was barking when I got back.
We’ve tried to make the crate more inviting. I put water in there, we’ve been leaving treats sporadically throughout the day. We let him out only if he’s calm and we don’t make a big deal of letting him out so he doesn’t think it’s a reward. Since he’s blind I don’t feel comfortable leaving him out all day (we’ve only had him since Saturday). His foster told me he doesn’t like the crate, but will go in and that she feels like he’s testing our limits. I left an antler in there with him, but he hasn’t had too much interest other than licking off the kong peannut butter stuff we put on it lol. He doesn’t really play with much, though I’m assuming since he has no eyes, he can’t see it. His foster said he’s more of a lay around the house dog lol.
I’m thinking of getting a doogie play pen so he has some room to move around (though the crate has more than enough room). I just don’t know what to do because I don’t want him to be stressed out more than he is from leaving one family and coming from a new one. The problem is that I have anxiety, which I’m trying to squash because I know he can feel it. I don’t want to give him back, but I am so overwhelmed by the fact that all my decisions on what we do, where we go now revolve around this little guy. When I lived with my parents, we had three dogs and I was an active participant in their care, but this little guy is the first animal that has been my responsibility. I wish we could take him for a walk in the morning, but we work so far way and it’s a very slow process since he can’t see.
Does anyone have advice?
Post # 3
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@karatechick27: Give him more time to adjust and realize his crate is his bed and a safe place. It took about 2 weeks for my puppy to get used to his crate and stop barking/whining. Crate training is great, just give him more time to get used to it. Also, there is nothing wrong with crating him during the day until you feel comfortable enough to leave him out while you’re at work (it took me a year to feel comfortable letting my pup have free roam of the house while I was at work.) Until then his crate is a safe place for him to rest until you get home.
Post # 4
@karatechick27: What did the foster suggest? Would he be able to stay in one room by himself rather than a crate? It doesn’t sound like he associates it with a “safe” place. I can totally understand you wouldn’t want him out because he could get hurt, but if he is a lay around the house dog then perhaps he wouldn’t get into much trouble.
Maybe try to leave him in a room rather than confined in a crate for a short time and see what he does.
Post # 5
Part of my issue with leaving him out is my husband constantly leaves stuff on the floor. For example, he’ll pull his keys out of his pocket and a receipt will fly out and he won’t notice. Or he opened the pantry this morning and knocked one of the dog’s pill bottles onto the floor, and that’s where I found it after my walk.
This is what I’m thinking of putting in my dining room along the back wall where his crate is –
This way he’ll have more room while he’s in there for a while. My dining room is hardwod, so I’m going to talk to my dad, who installs flooring, about getting me some carpet to set in the bottom for him. He doesn’t seem to like pillows. I assume that’s because of his blindness – pillows aren’t a steady hard floor. Even with the thicker carpet in our living room he was pretty tentative at first. However, that’s where he plops down for a nap unless I’m on the couch. I don’t want him to have to lay on the hardwood directly. He actually sleeps in my doorless, carpet walk-in closet at night lol. I tried to get him to sleep on a pet bed, but he moved after about 5 minutes and went back into the closet haha. I don’t think he’d mind being up on the bed with us, but it’s a decently high bed and I’d be afraid of him falling off. I almost kept him out of the crate this morning, but I wanted to keep up the routine.
Post # 6
I’m thinking that after a while I might baby gate him into one room. I’d want it to the dining room with the hard wood in case of any accidents but he seems to favor the living room.
Post # 7
I’d put a gate at the entry of the walk in closet if I were you, he seems to feel safe there so maybe it would ease him to be somewhere he feels comfortable. Assuming you don’t have anything in there that he could pee/poo on or chew up on the ground, I wouldn’t find it to be a big issue.
Post # 8
Well my only concern is him pooping or peeing in the closet since pretty much all of my clothes/work clothes are in there and the carpet is pretty thick.