Troy's crate training, need some advice

Thanks for the advice - I'm absolutely sure the people I got Shaye from had done no crate training - I got her at 10 weeks (although they said she was 12 weeks, I counted back to her birthdate). They'd not had a vet check, or any shots or anything - they simply wanted to unload these unwanted puppies - great for me price-wise in the beginning. When we go anywhere in the car or the SUV with her, we wrap her leash around the back seat giving her some leeway but not much, and put her in there with a bed (not the one she sleeps in at night, a little round white thing) and a toy and a bone for puppies that she can eat, but very slowly. She would rather climb all over us but tuffies on her. At this point, we are leaving the house one at a time, not very convenient for us, but when we decide we are going out to dinner or something, we'll leave her in a smaller version of the whole house, i.e. close all the doors and try to block off everything but the kitchen. At least that's our plan. Maybe when she is older we will try the crate again - we aren't taking it away, just taking the divider out of it and putting treats in once in a while, some toys, and the quilts I made for the bottom. Maybe in time she'll be able to stand the sight of it, and it would indeed make it convenient for us, but the panic isn't worth it right now.

Oh - by the way, Shaye is housetrained. She goes to the door and sits there to let us know she has to go out. It's only when the crate's involved that she forgets everything else in life except hating the confinement.

@Shaye's:

When we go anywhere in the car or the SUV with her, we wrap her leash around the back seat giving her some leeway but not much, and put her in there with a bed (not the one she sleeps in at night, a little round white thing) and a toy and a bone for puppies that she can eat, but very slowly.

This is really unsafe for her. If you are in a car accident the majority of the force is going to be on her neck. If you are not going to crate her in the car then at least check out the threads about Doggie Seatbelts. There are some good seatbelt harnesses that are designed not only to restrain but also spread the force of impact in an accident.

As for crate training, you may want to check out the DVD Crate Games which has some great recommendations about how to make the crate a place that your dog wants to be and has positive associations with. http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=DTA287

As has been stated, crate training is not just for housebreaking. It gives you a safe place for your dog during travel both in the car and when you stay at hotel, relatives, etc so that when you can not supervise your dog is safe. It also makes recovery from surgery much easier because the dog can relax in its crate and you don't have to worry about it doing things that it is not supposed to.

Ivoss: Never thought…...thanks for the advice - I will look into the doggie seatbelts. And, we are not putting the crate away, we will leave it there and try to accustom her little by little - I hold out very little hope for it, but will give it our best shot. Do you think it might help to change the crate itself? We have soft sided ones we transport our cats in when we travel - large enough for Shaye - maybe if we put one of those in its place, or a different place in the house, and left it open with the toys, treats, etc. stuff, she'd think about going in it. What do you think?

@Shaye's:

Ivoss: Never thought…...thanks for the advice - I will look into the doggie seatbelts. And, we are not putting the crate away, we will leave it there and try to accustom her little by little - I hold out very little hope for it, but will give it our best shot. Do you think it might help to change the crate itself? We have soft sided ones we transport our cats in when we travel - large enough for Shaye - maybe if we put one of those in its place, or a different place in the house, and left it open with the toys, treats, etc. stuff, she'd think about going in it. What do you think?

What kind of crate do you have for her? You might want to try a wire crate if you are using the solid side ones…. and you might want to try feeding her in there so that she starts to associate it with good things.

Her crate is the wire one, with the divider to make it the right size. Perhaps I'll take the divider out, move it to another location, and take your suggestion about feeding her in there. Couldn't hurt.

@Shaye's:

Her crate is the wire one, with the divider to make it the right size. Perhaps I'll take the divider out, move it to another location, and take your suggestion about feeding her in there. Couldn't hurt.

And of course start with the door open or only part closed… all of mine eat in crates, always have... so they relate to a good place...

If she really doesn't like the crate you can start by just feeding her on the plastic crate pan until she builds positive associations with the pan then put it back in the crate and start feeding her in there with the door open. If she chooses to go in even if it is just to walk in and walk out, toss her a treat. Make the crate a place where good things happen.

Such good advice from everyone here! Our pup isn't coming home for a few more weeks, but I want to make sure I understand how crate training works!

@tanza:

Crate training is something that "if" possible all dogs, not only Basenjis should learn… in your case Shaye's Mom, as you will I am sure read of hear from other Forum members there are some that you can just not crate train.... but the reasons are many, not just house breaking, but a safe place if you are having work done in the house, no worries about someone leaving a door open... work in the yard, no worries about someone leaving a gate open... traveling, all should be confined/restrained when in a moving vehicle, visiting with family/friends... by taking the crate along there is always a place that your dog is familar with and comfortable...

Most responsible breeders have usually started crate training before you get your puppy... so usually they are somewhat used to them... however this is one reason I will never ship a puppy as cargo... and people need to personally pick up a puppy... one great way to freak a pup out (in my opinion) is remove them from their litter mates, stuff them in a crate that they have no idea what it is, haul them to the airport to be put in the belly of the plane.... well, you get the idea...

Of course that said... there are just some that can't be crate trained and have never had a bad experience

You're absoluty correct Pat. I had 3 that I could not for the life of me crate train. Crating would have been wonderful.

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