Please Help! Crate training 5yo

i adopted a girl from BRAT a few weeks ago.. the foster mom said she wasnt house destructive, so we didnt crate her when we got her.. and everything was going fine.. then after she had been home about 2 weeks she destroyed 2 of our couches :mad: .. we need to crate her, but her previous owner crated her for punishment so she is scared of being crated.. I need help crate training a 5 year old who has had bad crate experiences in the past. PLEASE HELP! i dont have any other option then to crate train her.. thanks

@DiegosMom:

i adopted a girl from BRAT a few weeks ago.. the foster mom said she wasnt house destructive, so we didnt crate her when we got her.. and everything was going fine.. then after she had been home about 2 weeks she destroyed 2 of our couches :mad: .. we need to crate her, but her previous owner crated her for punishment so she is scared of being crated.. I need help crate training a 5 year old who has had bad crate experiences in the past. PLEASE HELP! i dont have any other option then to crate train her.. thanks

Sorry about your couches…..ouch.

I think I'd start feeding in the crate, treats, everything positive. You have to turn that crate experience from a negative to a positive. You have a very tough assignment.....it will take time.

This sounds a lot like my EL D - he destroyed crates (along with other things) for the previous owner and wouldn't even get close to a crate with me. He doesn't need to be crated (never had any real problems with him and have him for several months now) but I can see situations where it might be helpful. I'll have to try the treats etc. as well.

@DiegosMom:

i adopted a girl from BRAT a few weeks ago.. the foster mom said she wasnt house destructive, so we didnt crate her when we got her.. and everything was going fine.. then after she had been home about 2 weeks she destroyed 2 of our couches :mad: .. we need to crate her, but her previous owner crated her for punishment so she is scared of being crated.. I need help crate training a 5 year old who has had bad crate experiences in the past. PLEASE HELP! i dont have any other option then to crate train her.. thanks

That is going to be a "long" haul… and you need to start from scratch...

Have you talked to the foster Mom? Was she alone, with other B's? In a confined room? How long was she with the foster?

You know it is not unsual that after a couple of weeks with a rescue and they start to feel secure that they "test" the water?... Is there anyway to confine to one area?

And by the way, a dog at that age with bad crate experiences may never be able to be crate trained.

You can however try and X-pen (with a top), that might be the solution…. of course you need to be able to secure it so that she can't "walk" it around the room or get it to fall over...

thanks everyone.. i figured it would be a long process.. she was with the foster mom for 3 months, with at least 1 other B but i think there was more, and she was not confined to a room, but had a doggy door, and they said she was not destructive.. but her previous owner (the one that crated her) said she was destructive.. at my house she is with another B(mix) and they are confined to the family room and kitchen.. i think i will look into an X-pen, but like you said i would have to see if there is anywhere i can secure it.. and i did feed her in her crate today(she is overweight and loves food, so she will eat anywhere), which i will continue to do..

Basenji Mix

I have a destroyed couch - It began when Duke was almost 1 yrs old. Then I got Daisy - now it's in even worse shape. It was an expensive sofa too. I wasn't going to replace it until after Daisy was house trained. Now she's a year old, and am hesitant to dash out for a new one. The damage is covered with a gigantic dog blanket. Not very presentable, but hey! We got dogs! I can't wait to buy new - in the meantime - I love my dogs and the couch is still comfortable. Sorry about your situation. Take advantage of advice here - easing your new little one to accept the crate. Also - spray Bitter Apple on every surface. Works for some - it did for mine - so far.

What I do in my bedroom I use for an office is put the computer desk/bookcase area behind an Xpen and secure it when I leave the dogs in there. There's a dog door to the backyard in the room, and I keep the door to the room shut when I'm out of the house. I tried the other way around–putting the dogs in the Xpen with access to the dog door, but that didn't work--I think they felt too confined (and weren't really crate trained when I got them). Putting my stuff behind the Xpen has worked great--but I happened to have a room that I can keep with very little furniture that also has a dog door. This has protected my house from 3 somewhat destructive Bs over the past 17 years.

@DiegosMom:

thanks everyone.. i figured it would be a long process.. she was with the foster mom for 3 months, with at least 1 other B but i think there was more, and she was not confined to a room, but had a doggy door, and they said she was not destructive.. but her previous owner (the one that crated her) said she was destructive.. at my house she is with another B(mix) and they are confined to the family room and kitchen.. i think i will look into an X-pen, but like you said i would have to see if there is anywhere i can secure it.. and i did feed her in her crate today(she is overweight and loves food, so she will eat anywhere), which i will continue to do..

T

That is what we wound up doing w/Koeki, our crating nightmare dog. His crate is inside an ex-pen w/top. It works out beautifully for him.

Best of luck; it can be so very frustrating . . . .

Getting him to like his crate will be a process but you can work on it a little every day. Finding good things to put in there that will help her change her perception of the crate. You could use the expen while you work on this.

Definitely start feeding her there so she knows that's where her meals are had & will be excited to go in to the crate at meal time.

If you've made some special treats…like yummy hot dogs or homemade turkey pieces feed them only in the crate.

Give her the best toys & blankets in the crate...and cozy bed in the crate.

Always always leaving the door open so she can get out when she wants to. After a few months of this you can start closing the door for a few seconds at a time...and gradually increasing the time little by little each week.

Good luck to you! Hope this helps 🙂

The Xpen is probably the best, quickest idea. But if you still want to crate train your dog, find out if the previous crate was a wire or platic. Get the opposite. Get a larger crate. Susan Garrett has some great suggestions in her Crate Games video. She advises, for crate phobic dogs, start by using the plastic tray (wire crate) or the bottom 1/2 of the crate for plastic crates. Use your clicker or marker word and treat for any interaction with the tray/half crate. So first you reward looking at it, then moving toward it, then one foot, then two feet, etc. Take breaks in your training session and keep it fun. Use really, really good rewards (liverwurst, meatball, roast beef, etc) for this. Then start moving the tray into the crate or put the top on w/o the door. Eventually the dog should go into the crate and you can close the door while rewarding heavily.

You also may want to consider a DAP diffuser while you are retraining behaviors. Especially if your pup has some anxiety related or not related to the crate. It may or may not help, but certainly won't hurt.

I have a 5yo BRAT boy that I am working on crate training. He would "explode" and freak out when I would try it.
I then got a carrier (more den like than the wire crate) and put it in his "room". The first week, I left the door open. Then I started giving him treats by it, then inside it. Now, the only place he gets the "high value" treats is in his crate. I have left him in there for a little bit and he didnt "explode"- so it is slowly working. But with our older B's it takes more time.
Get a soft bed or comfy blanket for it and some great treats (turkey, cheese, something really good) and only let her have them in there.
good luck

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