Crate for 8 month old - How to start? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Crate for 8 month old - How to start?

Hawkeye is 8 months old and has never been crated.... I'll never crated any of the dogs, but Hawkeye is proving to be a stealer.... if he can reach he steals it and destroys it..... so I guess he's going to have to be crated while we're at work, I absolutely hate the thought of crating him, but we can't leave anything anywhere because he steals it. My question is how do I start.... he's never been in a crate before. When we are at work he'll be in the crate for about 3 to 4 hours, my DH leaves home around 1:00 pm and I normally get home 4:00 - 4:30pm. Do we just stick him in it on Monday and hope for the best or should there be some sort of training first. Probably very simple for someone that has crated before but I don't have a clue, one thing I'm very happy about it is my husband that will be putting him in the crate, I don't know if I could, I'd feel bad for him.

Hawkeye (GSD):March 5/10
Chelsea (Boxer):April 21/08
Austin (ShihTzu):August 2/02
At Bridge: Callie(Bichon),Jackson(Boxer),Mickey(Spaniel),Keis ha(GSD),Stryker(Boxer),Fay(Terrier)
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 09:28 PM
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make the crate a good thing. toss in treats and praise when he goes in on his own. crate training is a good thing because they learn to handle overnight trips in the vet. Basically you just make it a good thing to be in the crate. if at times he doesnt want to go in on his own, you may have to shove him in. He will need to learn to go in it when he's supposed to and STAY in it. just make it fun and positive as you can.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-06-2010, 09:32 PM
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Yes do some short training sessions before you have to leave him while at work. Start with a 5 minute sessions then do 10 minutes and work up to 30 minutes or so. Give him favorite treat when crating him and name it (kennel, crate, whatever). He will learn to go in it when you give that command.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:12 AM
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Try not to think of the Crate as cruel or feel bad.

If he steals stuff and destroys it when you are gone, think of how cruel it would be to keep allowing him to do so knowing fully well that he is going to do it, and the fact that you have to correct him for doing something that you allowed him to do in the first place. It doesn't take much for a puppy to swallow something harmful.

My puppy is 4 months now, and when we tell him crate he goes right in and sits. When he cries never let him out until you are ready. Its tricky because you need to know when he is telling you he needs to go out to potty, or when is telling you he wants to come out and play.

Start slow...put a toy in there...something he can not rip apart or swallow. Put him in for different amount of times so he can get used to it. Even if you just are going to the fridge to grab a snack or something to drink.

No need to feel bad. You are in fact keeping him a lot safer.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 09:16 AM
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I agree with making the crate a good thing. I don't use mine unless we are going out....NEVER for if he misbehaves as a punishment.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 10:37 AM
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With my foster dogs, I have to go to work the day after I bring them home, so they're in the crate for 5-6hrs at a time from the beginning. I just toss in a yummy treat (cheese or a slice of hotdog) say, "Kennel up!" and close the door when they go in. Then when they're in there I give them a bully stick or peanut butter-stuffed kong. They ONLY get these things in their crates, to better help them think of the crate as a good place. I also only feed them in their crates. If they protest about going in, I'll push their fuzzy butt in anyway, and then give them something fun to chew on or play with while I'm gone. I've had some sketchy moments, shoving a dog I just brought home from the shelter into a crate, but *knock on wood* haven't been bitten yet.


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 10:46 AM
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Ease him into it if you can. I assume you will get a 42 or 48 inch crate. If you can, throw a blanket or a tarp over it that will keep him warm and it will make it his cave. My dog goes into hers on her own and doesn't resist. At first she rebelled but, when she learned that we only let her out after she was quiet for a while, all was well in the crate department.
She also like to lie on top of it because we put a pad under the tarp (you can see in her album).
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Couldn't do it......

On Saturday we took everything out of the spare room (the room that the dog door is in), to give us room to set up the crate, after the room was emptied DH asked if he should set up the crate and I told him not yet maybe next weekend.... we have scat mats that I've put near the kitchen counter that way Hawkeye won't steal anything of the counter. I know I'm being stupid about this crate thing, everyone I know crates their dogs and all dogs have survived being crated. I don't know what's wrong with me. I'm stupid about this! I'm I waiting for something to happen then say I should have . I just feel so bad for him having to be in a crate for 4 hours when the other dogs have access to the house plus outside and here he is in a crate, plus I always felt what good is a dog(guard) if he's in a crate, although none of the dogs are guard dogs, the only thing Stryker would guard is the couch. Maybe this weekend I'll set it up and see..... thanks everyone for you suggestions on how to make this easier for me.

Hawkeye (GSD):March 5/10
Chelsea (Boxer):April 21/08
Austin (ShihTzu):August 2/02
At Bridge: Callie(Bichon),Jackson(Boxer),Mickey(Spaniel),Keis ha(GSD),Stryker(Boxer),Fay(Terrier)
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 03:15 PM
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I understand why some don't like the idea of crating, but for me, crating is the one way I can set my dog up for success. It keeps them safe, and saves my nerves.

I just brought home an 8 month old. She's had some crating but mostly she's been kenneled. I worked with her for a bit last night and she caught on pretty quick. This morning, she opted twice to crate herself. I was ecstatic about that and feel it won't be long before she'll have the den like my Rotty did.

Hope this helps some.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-15-2010, 05:26 PM
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I understand why you feel sad about crating him; I feel the same way myself about crating my girl. However you should consider the negatives of NOT crating your dog. You said he'll destroy things within his reach? What if he, for whatever reason, tries to eat what he destroyed? He could possibly choke and die, and no one would be home to help him. It's really for his safety. You mentioned he'd only be in the crate for about 4 hours! That's really not all that long. There are many people here who crate longer then that and their dogs are fine. As for the guard dog aspect, you've mentioned you have other dogs. I'm sure your other dogs can hold down the fort until you or your husband is home.
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