tips on crate training

Training and behavior topics, guidelines, and tips for Chow Chows.

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Simba's mom
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tips on crate training

Postby Simba's mom » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:17 am

Just got my Simba 5 days ago he is 4 months old, Everyone is telling me to crate train, is it really necessary? I do have one and set it up, but he has no interest what so ever.. I tried putting treats and toys but still nothing.. I do work outside of my home so that would be the only reason for the crate..

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Re: tips on crate training

Postby Cindy J » Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:28 am

All of my dogs are crate trained. The only one of my dogs that is currently "sleeping" in the crate is the 12 week old puppy. She will continue to sleep in the crate at night until I am confident that she will not get herself into trouble. Right now she chases the cat and chews on EVERYTHING that she can get her mouth on. Most dogs at my house earn more freedom around a year of age.

During the day none of my dogs are crated. The puppy has a crate that she often goes in on her own when she is sleepy. Sometimes she prefers to sleep at me feet while I work at my desk.

It will depend on your personal life style. I personally see no harm in having a dog accustomed to a crate. If you ever need to put your dog in a crate, he will not stress if he is used to being in one. (going to a vet... or emergency evacuation)

I have two intact males and an intact female. When my female is in heat all dogs will be crated to prevent an unplanned litter.

There are many different things that you can do when crate training. I leave a crate where my puppy can go in and out whenever she wants. I often toss in yummy treats or feed her in her crate. I leave the door open at first. Gradually I will close the door for a short period. When she throws a fit I wait for a brief period of calm and reward her with very yummy treats. She learned quickly that she gets a reward when she is quiet.

A friend of mine set up a crate behind her sofa. Her puppy was placed in the crate. The puppy could hear everyone but could not see them. The puppy threw a major tantrum. They ignored him. Every time the puppy stopped screaming, she tossed a treat into his crate. It worked for her.

At night time, we began nights in the crate right from the first night at home. When Raine would begin crying I took her out to potty and then put her back in the crate. The first couple nights I actually made a pallet on the floor and slept beside her crate. I talked softly to her, but would not let her out even when she cried. After two nights I was exhausted and slept in bed. She could see me in bed and only whimpered for a short time. I also left the TV on, playing soothing music. (Funny for you... my Rottweiler loves listening to Beethoven at bedtime)

There are times when she will still fuss a bit. I simply turn off the light and tell her goodnight. She settles down and falls to sleep within minutes. It is basically a matter of making certain their bladders are empty and then being firm, yet reassuring to them. If you cave when they throw a tantrum they learn that they only need to fuss to get their way.
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Re: tips on crate training

Postby Brisco » Thu Sep 01, 2016 6:32 am

Simba's Mom,
I personally really dislike the Idea of crate training and would never do it and never have in all my 40+ years of dog ownership. I feel if you don't have an adequate yard or property to keep a dog then you shouldn't have one. And if you live in an apartment or something then get an appropriate breed or some other type of pet. Cindy J has a couple of reasonable points in regards to why you might need a crate but I've never had to evacuate and if I did, my dogs would get in the car just like they do whenever we go out. When they go to the vet they walk in on a leash etc... I think that for most people, not all, it is a very easy and lazy way out of training and for some others, not all, it's just a selfish choice to allow them to have a dog in a situation that is not nice for the dog. I know of people that automatically put there dogs in cages, you can call them crates if it makes you feel better, every time they leave the house including all day when at work. They can tell themselves all day long that the dog likes it or is comfortable in there but they don't really have any choice in the matter, otherwise they wouldn't have to lock them in it, they would just leave the door open and the dog would stay in there all day just because it loves it so much. I've never had a Chow destroy or damage anything at all. If your dog is left in the house for long periods and is damaging things then he is, not happy, bored stiff or wasn't well trained, maybe all of the above. It sounds like you don't want to, but feel you should, why? Don't do it just because others says it's O.K. and normal.
I know there are going to be many of you that are angry at my views on this but I am just stating my views against cages just like some of you give your views for them. You are welcome to treat your dogs however you want as long as I don't have to like it.
Last edited by Brisco on Wed Sep 07, 2016 7:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: tips on crate training

Postby 612guy » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:50 pm

I really don't think anyone is going to be angry with your opinion about crate training. I too have had dogs for over 50 years and never used one until 5 years ago because we started going to dog shows. I'm also not replying thinking I would ever change your mind. I don't think they should be used all the time either but your lifestyle may be different than others. My dogs have gone to the kennel for the weekend because we had to go out of town and couldn't take them. It made it easier on them. Or when we were selling our home we had to drop them off for showings or inspections while we were at work.

Everyone in the car is safer if the dogs are crated. You can also buy a strap the buckles into the set belt and attach it to their harness or collar. What would happen if you got into an accident or had to brake hard? You never know when a deer or kangaroo will cross the road in front of you.

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Re: tips on crate training

Postby Rory's Dad » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:00 pm

I agree 612.

And I too have very specific reasons for my dogs to be comfortable with crate training. Certainly for shows and for travel. My girl, Amber, has never been comfortable in the crate. And for that reason, we never force it on her. And then she stays home when we travel and complains vigorously. But for safety sake, she can just ride loose in the car. So, she doesn't travel with us.

My boys never complain about the crates. They hop on in without hesitation. They understand its not a punishment and its likely going to be a road trip to meet some new folks. They get comfy and just enjoy the ride. Since its usually a bunch of highway miles, they just relax and when we stop, they sit up and take a look around. No stress involved whatsoever.

They were all crate trained as pups. Two reasons. 1st to keep them safe from anything they shouldn't get into in the house, and 2nd to identify their space. Chows will not usually 'spoil' their homes. Helping them to identify their homes limits accidents and helps with potty training. All of my dogs were trained within 2 weeks using a crate and then expanding their space toward the exit.

The decision to crate train or not has nothing to do with the amount of space available to the dog or your commitment to training.

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Re: tips on crate training

Postby Cindy J » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:12 am

Crate training with Raine has been possibly the best decision that we made in her early development. She is almost 8 months old. Last week she had to have elbow surgery and must be crated/confined for 2-3 months to allow the joint to heal properly. If I had not taught her that her crate was a safe comfortable place to rest she would be miserable right now. It is fairly big ~ 48" x 29" x 32". She still comes to work with me and is not crated at my office. Here she is puppy gated. The crate is not lazy training... It is helping her from further injury and she is comfortably resting.
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Re: tips on crate training

Postby Rory's Dad » Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:33 pm

So sorry to hear the news Cindy. You are right though, that is one of the unforeseen circumstances we have been preaching as a positive for crate training. Sad that you are giving a 1st hand testimonial.


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