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Wolfenstein 08-21-2014 07:25 AM

Tips on Crating With Distractions
So, we don't have our puppy yet, but I was hoping for some ideas for when we eventually get her. I'm a groomer, and one of the perks is that I'll be able to take my puppy to work with me so we can still go out for potty breaks and things like that within a reasonable time. The thing I'm concerned about, however, is how chaotic a shop can get, and how loud a GSD can get! Honestly, the noise doesn't bother me in the slightest, but when one dog starts barking, they tend to all get going, and we have neighbors to worry about.

The thing I'm concerned with is that there's going to be too much going on for the puppy to settle down. It's one thing when you're crating at home and it's nice and calm, but there's a constant stream of dogs and people walking past while we're working. I'm already planning on having tons of work-only busy toys/treats in the crate, but what I'm concerned about is active training while we're there. The crate will be able to be right next to my work station, so I'll be next to her most of the time. So, while I have the option of treating and praising for calm, ignoring behavior, I also don't want to get the dog worked up and excited about the attention.

I guess I could maybe treat for actively ignoring things like dogs walking past, or engage the dog if I know a really big distraction is coming, to try and encourage a positive response rather than letting the dog practice unwanted behavior. Any other thoughts or ideas to try? Anyone ever go through similar training before? I'm just trying to be as prepared as I can! :) Thanks!

GatorDog 08-21-2014 07:29 AM

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I'm usually prepared with some good chewys and cover the entire crate with a towel.

blackshep 08-21-2014 08:11 AM

Your puppy will settle, might take a week or two, to get into the new routine. All the chaos will become white noise. Puppies get tired easily, when I brought my new pup home, he was so exhausted by the end of the day, he was asleep on a blanket on my couch and my GSD was shoving him with her nose trying to wake him up and he was flopping around like a rag doll, didn't even open his eyes.

I always leave a couple of toys in the crate when they are young (the kind that are made for chewing, like a Kong), but not when they are older and could potentially chew pieces off.

Wolfenstein 08-22-2014 06:59 AM

Thanks for the encouragement! That is absolutely HILARIOUS about your puppy, blackshep. That's exactly what I'm hoping for, but I just worry, I don't want to inadvertently make things worse.

I totally agree about the plush toys. I'm just trying to figure out a good arrangement for while I'm working and the dog is going to be crated right next to me. At home it will be different. I definitely prefer doing rubber toys in general, anyway, because I'd like to see if I can avoid having the pup get in the habit of immediately gutting plush toys the way my current dog does, haha!

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