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Discussion Starter #1
At the Obedience/Rally trial Ciana also embarrassed me by barking anytime I left her crate. She's always done this and hates being crated. If not barking, she'll spin like crazy. I bring an extra large crate just so she doesn't knock it sideways spinning. Yes, she has some anxiety problems and is "high-strung".

The only thing that keeps her from barking is a bark collar, which of course is not allowed at AKC trials. (I could completely cover the crate and discretely fit the bark collar. No one would know.)

Of course, she was the ONLY dog in the place barking.

Any suggestions? I'm minimizing her time in the crate when I'm not standing right there. But at some point I have to leave for walk-throughs. This is also going to be a problem when we go to agility trials.
 

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I don't know if if would work but I have a spray bottle and spray my male in the fast with water when he starts barking at training while crated.

He would bark like crazy while other dogs were doing protection work and a couple of squirts of water seemed to of done the trick.
 

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I see quite a few folks using the technique Betty suggests with good results.

Do you have the same issue at home? I would suggest that you increase the crate experience and separation while at home. Leave Ciana in the crate and walk away. Don't acknowledge and continue to ignore until she settles/quiet down. You want to get back and award as soon as she quiets, slowly expanding the time.

Then you want to try to do this where there are other distractions such as a class, a prearranged set-up where you have other friends at a park or location where their dogs are actively running around while you work with Ciana in her crate. Ultimate award is getting out and joining in the fun!

Also if you haven't yet done so, you may want to work on a quiet command with Ciana first outside of the crate and later migrating in the crate.
 

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Like Samuel says, start at home, then class, then look for informal events like correction matches/show-and-gos. Right now I am working on this issue with my Coke. I take him to Kenya's agility and crate him or tether him during her class. When she's done, he gets to have class and then play with the dogs. At home, his crate is open and he's just been starting to go in and out on his own and now likes to sleep in there. When we leave for work, he goes in on his own and is fine, it's just when other people and dogs are close by he has to be part of the action. When I do little trials in the crate, he always gets to do something fun afterward so he starts to see that going in the crate = his turn to do something.
 

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For some dogs being crated inside in cramped areas is too stressful for them and if you can working out of your car is an option that could be more relaxing for your dog.
 

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The barking is a tough issue, as much for you as it is for everyone else at the trial (especially other competitors). No one likes it when a dog is barking like crazy in a crate as it can easily disturb someone trying to show their dog. You may want to not crate her at trials until you can get this under control.

There are some things you can try in training. The water bottle can help, IF used consistently (which means if you walk away, someone else needs to be there to use the bottle). So can rewarding for not barking - again, it needs to be consistent for the training and that means someone needs to be right there to reward when you walk away and she remains quiet.

Covering the crate with a sheet may help, too, as she won't be able to see the other dogs. Then you can reward intermittently for her being quiet. The rewards are really important if she's anxious. The spray bottle is a correction/punishment, the rewards will help show her that good things come to those who keep their mouths shut .. *L*

I wouldn't put the bark collar on her and cover the crate. While the barking isn't desirable, breaking the rules isn't the way to go either (and will gain you a bad reputation if you're caught). Not only that, but the bark collar only puts a band-aid on the situation and certainly doesn't help her anxiety. Use of a bark collar probably heightens her anxiety, which makes her act even worse when the collar isn't on. So in the long run it's probably working against you.

Good luck. So far I've always managed to avoid having any of my dogs develop a bad crate habit, but I am really conscientious when they're young to encourage good crate manners and discourage bad ones. I see a lot of dogs that start out in agility developing some awful crate habits and I think it's because they get so over-excited. It drives me crazy to go to an agility trial where there are a dozen dogs barking their heads off.

Melanie and the gang in Alaska
 

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You could try the method that worked for me at a CPE trial this weekend. Morgan would bark and fuss for a time when I would take out my other dog for her runs. On the last run of the last day, I heard nothing and thought she had finally gotten over it. When I came back to my screen tent, I noticed a woman with two standard schnauzers and the most adorable puppy had put their blanket right in front of my tent, in Morgan's full view. She was so fascinated by the puppy, she forgot she had been left alone.
Any cute puppies to be had?
 

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Looks like I have some work to do. No puppies available, but Ciana is scared of puppies, anyway. Go figure.

There are 2 show n goes before our next trial, so I'll treat those like an actual trial.

She spins in all her crates, so maybe it's time I teach her some crate manners.

But those eyes! Those soft pleading eyes that want out!
 

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Originally Posted By: BlackPuppyBut those eyes! Those soft pleading eyes that want out!
RESIST! RESIST! Look the other way! Those are not the beautiful eyes of a wonderful GSD. They're trying to control you. If you give in under trial conditions, the mind meld will be next. RESIST!
 

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I love ex pens. But at some of the trials we've gone to they have not been allowed unless you have multiple dogs, due to space considerations.

So you should be prepared to have to use a crate as well.
 

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I do NOT recommend an x-pen. If your dog is anxious and missing you they can easily be knocked over or jumped over.

One of the reasons I'm glad I go to trials now with my older dog, and then add a puppy, is that 'new' puppy comes with me to trials from the start. So they are crated at trials from when I get them, and I also crate at home when they are young. So they learn early on that the barking NEVER gets them out. So they don't bark for me (cause if they do, and I come, it's cause they are in trouble, NOT cause I'm letting them out).

IF you can use a fabric crate, the Kanine Kampers are good cause they have flaps that can be pulled over the mesh all the way around. Good to make a quiet and non-distracting crate that seems to work for many dogs. If you have to use a metal/plastic one, maybe covering it? Course on a hot summer day, you aren't going to be able to do that.



I'm almost thinking it's time for going to trials JUST to crate your dog and use the squirting or verbals or whatever to get the proper crate manners going. Fact is, a quiet calm dog in the crate is a quiet calm dog at the trial. So THAT is the real reason you need to get a handle on the barking and spinning. Too much stress for our dogs with a day of that at a trial!
 

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^ I use a sturdy wire crate, but like that camping crate with flaps, I had my crafty sister make me a crate cover for my wire crate (it's black on the outside and beige on the inside but is reversible). It has a front flap that I can roll up and tie. If I have to leave Kenya, I usually unroll it and fold the flap halfway down (so she still gets air and can see out at the very bottom if she wants). She seems to like it and often sleeps most of the day at trials.

She has never even tried to bust out of a soft crate (have one at home for emergencies like needing dogs out of the way to clean), but I still take her wire one to trials and shows.



My trainer found this little dog and is keeping her and they have been working on crate manners. She covers her crate with a blanket and when she is calm, we say "good quiet" and drop a piece of treat in the top, then fold part of the cover back. If she starts throwing a fit again, we say "eh eh!" and roll the cover back down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Originally Posted By: MaggieRoseLeeIF you can use a fabric crate, the Kanine Kampers are good cause they have flaps that can be pulled over the mesh all the way around.
That's exactly what I used last week. I think she needs the shades pulled down, but I left the front flap at home, so that part was open. She might be quiet if I put the front flap on. She did quiet down when a stranger stood in front of her.

(I also have the other soft crates by that company without the flaps.)
 

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Originally Posted By: Liesje I use a sturdy wire crate, but like that camping crate with flaps, I had my crafty sister make me a crate cover for my wire crate
I wish I had a crafty sister. That looks nice.

Originally Posted By: LiesjeShe covers her crate with a blanket and when she is calm, we say "good quiet" and drop a piece of treat in the top, then fold part of the cover back. If she starts throwing a fit again, we say "eh eh!" and roll the cover back down.
I saw Victoria Stilwell do this on TV for dogs that got excited in cars. I seemed to work for her.
 

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I had a soft crate once. I put a 4 month old puppy in it and drove to training class. The drive took 1/2 hour. The crate lasted not quite that long.

I put the crates in the back of my vehicle, and leave the dogs in the vehicle with the windows down and the back open. If I do not have someone with me when I do the walk-through, I beat it back to the car aftewards to collect the dog and let it potty before going in the ring.

My dogs spend so much time in the back of my car, that they are for the most part easy going and do not make a nuisance of themselves. However, if they do bark, it is a dog show. Here we have tons of barking dogs EVERYWHERE!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The canine camper is very strong, my girl, Ciana, scratches at the front screen and has never broken through. I call her "dragon lady" because her claws are so long. But, I'm sure there are dogs who would have no problem destroying it.

Doerak, however, did learn how to unzip the door. I have to "lock" him up. He's performed some Houdini feats to stay at my side when I try to leave him places. (I still want to know how he got out of the back of my van that's full of crates.)
 
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