Post # 1
I adopted my pitbull mix about a year ago. He has separation anxiety and were told he didn’t do well in crates, so we have never crated him when we left. Here’s where the tricky part comes in. I live with my parents while in college to save money, so their house their rules (totally fair). When we leave the house we leave Leo in the kitchen with baby gates up because my parents don’t want him roaming the house when we all leave. He has recently been breaking through the baby gates, so my parents say he needs to be crate trained or we have to move out. It is extremely hard to find pitbull friendly housing where we live and I would love to contiue living with my parents for the next year because I do not currently make enough money to get a place without taking out loan. Any advice on quickly crate training a dog safely. My parents want him crate trained in the next two weeks. Please no hateful comments about my parents or about me living with my parents. Just crate training advice. He gets lots of exercise everyday and that doesnt seem to help with his anxiety much
Post # 2
Definitely get a very good trainer to come over and guide you through this process! If you try to do it on your own and make a mistake, it will take even longer to fix. I know trainers cost money, but much less money than moving out (if it helps to think of it that way).
Post # 3
happyowlbee : Agreed! I am very willing to hire a trainer! Getting rid of puppers inst an option so Its I either have to move out or figure out. Very willing to hire a trainer
Post # 4
becomingmichi : I hope that will do it. If you’re not sure where to start, your vet should be able to give you a few solid recommendations. Good luck!
Post # 5
Google Crate games. It’s a training DVD by an AMAZING dog trainer and very much worth it, esp. for an adult dog with anxiety issues. The key is to make it super rewarding to go in there, never a place of punishment.
Post # 6
I crate trained my adult resue dog in a couple days. Is your dog food motivated? Start while you are home. Leave the door open and put a kong filled with peanut butter and other treats in the crate. Slowly encourage your doggie to go in the crate to get the Kong. If he just goes in, get’s it, and leaves, thats okay. Work up to having him lay down in the crate while he has his Kong, but keep the door open. Once you are at that point, close the door for a few minutes while he’s eating it, but stay in the room. Also, feed him all his meals inside the crate. After about doing this for a week give him his kong, close the door, and go outside or leave the room for a bit. It’s all about baby steps. Once he associates the crate with getting meals or treats, he’ll like it. Never put him in the crate as punishment. Also keep the crate around with the door open at all times. You’ll find he’ll start going in there to chill.
Post # 7
A trainer will definitely help, but in general you want to make sure the crate is a safe place and he gets rewarded when he goes there. Make sure the crate is big enough for him to comfortably turn around and lay down. Start slow, with the crate open and in the area, and let him sniff it and get used to it without having to go inside. Then place treats/ toys at the entrance of the crate, and then inside, to tempt him in slowly. Praise him when he goes inside. Work up to closing the door while he in inside, and then open the door right away and praise. Repeat with longer periods of the door closed until he is comfortable. Don’t try to do too much in a single day, keep sessions short and fun. good luck!
Post # 8
Another vote for “crate games.” You want the crate to be a place they go without thinking you are going to lock them in. Ideally, the dog will go and stay in there and not notice whether you lock the door or not.
Post # 9
Do NOT use one of those plastic crates with hard sides. I have never seen dogs that like them, even tiny timid dogs. You definitely want one of the wire one if you don’t have it already. The two-door styles are the best IMO. It should be big enough for your pup to stand, turn, and lay down in with plenty of spare room.
Put it in a place you frequent together such as the kitchen and leave the door open. Put some of his favorite bedding and toys inside and hang out in the area. Praise him when he investigates, treat him if he goes inside. Once he has gone in on his own accord a few times, close him in and remain in the area doing normal things, not watching him. If he cries, ignore it, if he’s quiet, praise and let him back out. Repeat for longer times, then leave the room for a bit, then the house, etc. Don’t do this all at once! Maybe two sessions a day. Never force him into the crate and never enter the crate yourself (don’t drag him out, pet him, etc).
Don’t be discouraged if he’s adverse! If he won’t go in by himself, start putting his food dish inside. Just don’t close the door while he eats.
Post # 10
Can I just ask, – genuinely wanting to know – why crates are routinely used? It seems to be an American thing , I have never met anyone in the dog community in the UK or here in Australia who has used one, except one person whose rescue dog compulsively ate things ( furniture, plastic, carpets) !
Why cannot dogs be free in the house? OP says hers can’t be ‘roaming the house when they are out” Why not ? Do they leave him for many hours on end? No dog should be left for hours on end, let alone caged up imho. And honestly dogs don’t do that much roaming, they sleep heaps !
Post # 11
elderbee : I’m amazed by this too. There’s certainly a time and place for crates and the dog welfare organisation Dogs Trust produces this guide that may be useful to the OP, but you’re so right – it seems people think it’s ok to leave dogs alone in a cage all day 8 hrs +
Post # 12
Try feeding meals with the food inside as well. I’ve taught my dog the command ‘crate’, which means go into your crate and sit down. When I first tried closing the door, I only did it while she was distracted during her meal. She’d notice, but go back to eating. Then I’d open it once she was done. Then I’d slowly work up to more and more time before I opened it, but SLOWLY.
Might take a little longer than 2 weeks to get him ok with staying in there for a very long period of time, depending on how freaked out your pup gets, but hopefully if there’s substantial progress your parents will cut you some slack.
We also in the beginning had certain toys and treats that she only gets when she’s in her crate. We take it away once she leaves the crate.