Post # 1
This is Ellie Mae. First time inside dog owners, my husband and I have had her about a week. She is a 3-year old yorkie that some friends of ours found running around on a highway on christmas day. They took her in for a few weeks and love her dearly, but they have two other inside dogs so they decided to give her to us.
We took her and love her. She’s so sweet, loving, good-mannered–she’ll play fetch, walk on a leash and sit/sit up on command. She’s housebroken and good with our two cats. our only issue is the dreaded crate!
She’s too little to jump on the bed, and we travel to our parents’ houses quite a bit, so we’ve been trying to train her to stay in her carrier in our room overnight. After proving to be housebroken and not one to chew anything or chase the cats, she gets to be free on the hardwood floors during the day while we are at work. I live close so I take her out at lunch. She takes naps with us and gets lots of cuddling/playtime during the day. Her crate has a soft bed, one of my old shirts and several toys, but she hates it. She wont eat, play with her toys or eat any treats while she’s in there. She whines. We’ve tried ignoring it, but she goes on for hours. My husband will tell her to be quiet, but that doesnt work either. Last night we put her in the guest room and she started barking–we’re in an apartment, so barking at 2 am will wake the neighbors.
All she wants it to be with us, but I’m trying to get her to think of her crate as her own bed. To no avail so far. We feel like it’s a no win. Feel like horrible dog parents, and we’re really tired. Any ideas to help us?? Thanks in advance.
Post # 3
Try leaving the door open with a few treats/ toys inside, it might take a few days for her to show interest, and when she does just let her explore. Don’t shut the door until she ‘trusts’ the crate as a safe place and goes in there on her own.
Post # 4
In addition to troubles advise, make the crate a fun place to be. Toss a couple high-value treats inside, (a piece of cheese, a slice of hotdog, a piece of chicken…something so yummy she’ll go into the dreaded crate to eat it) and tell her “Kennel Up” (or whatever you want to be the command for her to go in her crate. If she goes in on her own, great! If she doesn’t gently put her in the crate. Shut the door and let her eat her treats, praise if she’s quiet, and let her stay in there for a minute or two then let her out and repeat. You want her to realize she is not going to be in there forever. IF she is barking and pitching a fit, don’t let her out until she’s quiet, or that will teach her that if she barks and pitches a fit, you’ll let her out. NOT something you want her to learn! So this might be something you want to do during the day, if you live in an apartment. Gradually she will go in the crate when being told “Kennel Up” without the treats, though you should still give her a treat or two for going in, and because you want the crate to be an enjoyable place to be. The treats won’t always have to be high-value, either.
Make bedtime fun, too. Our dog runs into the crate at bedtime before we even ask, because he always gets two bedtime treats in his crate, (BilJac Liver Treats or Goobers, or something small but yummy). If she has to be in there for a long time, give her something quiet to play with that will keep her attention off the fact that she’s in the crate…maybe a Kong stuffed with peanut butter, (you can freeze it once it’s filled to make it last even longer).