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I have crates for both of my boys to sleep in at night. I have trained them to head to their crate when it is time to go to bed. They love to sleep and relax in there, so I feel as if I have established a nice place for them to feel secure while unwinding. However, I would like to use the crate to control them when they are playing too rough or doing some other behavior in the house in which I do not approve of (ie jumping on people, playing too rough, etc) If these inappropriate actions are occurring, should I be putting them in their crates until they calm down? Would this eliminate the positive associations they have for the crate and make them begin correlating being inside the crate as a punishment? Are there any other methods you would recommend for controlling unwanted actions? Please comment…
 

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Crates are good for the "time out" that you're describing. Whether or not going in there comes off as punishment will depend on how you do it.

When the boys get too roudy, just announce that it's nap time, get their attention with a treat and lead them to their crates. Put them in, give them a crate toy, close the door and walk away. As much as possible you want them to think they've traded the roudy behavior for something even better--crate time!

What you don't want to do is to scold them, then force them into the crate, slam the crate door, etc---all things that would make it seem like punishment.
 

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Originally Posted By: Luca_stlWhen the boys get too roudy, just announce that it's nap time, get their attention with a treat and lead them to their crates. Put them in, give them a crate toy, close the door and walk away. As much as possible you want them to think they've traded the roudy behavior for something even better--crate time!
That's what I did with Morgan when she was young. Worked like a charm and kept me from going crazy!

Luther was older and we only had one crate so when I sent them for nap, she went to her 'room' (the crate) and he went to his room (the mudroom, 4 X6, not much bigger than a crate). And yes I did say 'It;s nap time, goto your room' Works better for dogs than children.
 

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...what Tracy said. Your boys want to be with you or the pack so by putting them 'away' for a few minutes when they are acting up is a pretty big punishment and something that they will catch on to in a big hurry.

The hardest thing for me was not to yell or be 'mad' when I put either of my naughty dogs in the kennel. But by simply kenneling them and then letting them back out a few minutes later sends a pretty big message to them. And both of my dogs still go in there to chill out.

So if done correctly, there will be no adverse effects.

Lu
 

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Quote:Luca_stl - - - When the boys get too roudy, just announce that it's nap time, get their attention with a treat and lead them to their crates. - - - Put them in, give them a crate toy, close the door and walk away. As much as possible you want them to think they've traded the roudy behavior for something even better--crate time!
No matter what your reasons, your guys need to believe that crate time is better than sliced bread!! Whether it is sleep time, time out, company's coming, noisy/roughhousing or contractors are in the house, our kids get a food reward EVERYTIME they step foot in their crates. When they hear the "klink" of the cookie jar everything stops and there is a bee-line for crate land!

Crate training is an absolute must IMHO. If your dogs are properly trained they will always see their crates as a good place to be. I wish I had a safe, secure comfortable den to go to!
 

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When Reich gets too rowdy....or knocks something over with that insanely long tail that I must now clean up....she's sent to her crate.
I just make sure that I keep my voice even and don't let her know that it's for any negative reason. I just say 'crate' the same as always, and she trots in.

She stashes all of her goodies in there usually, so it's always a happy place to be.

It's not a bad idea to let dogs have high value items like bones and things by themselves. I'd use their 'time outs' as the opportunity to let them each have a nice goodie to have without worrying about anyone bothering them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This is good stuff, thank you. What type of "toys" or other things do you all place in the crate to spice up the experience for our dogs? Should their be a specific toy that they only play with while they are in the crate, would this make it that much more special for them?
 

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Kongs are good crate toys--they are hard rubber things you can put food inside of--a smear of peanut butter, for example. Dog spends an hour or so licking it out. Nylabones, or other "indestructable" toys are good too.

Just don't put any toy in the crate that the dog can consume or destroy. Choking risk. That's why I also don't put any bedding in a crate with a puppy--they could chew off a hunk of blanket, or swallow the stuffing inside a bed.

Mostly they will just sleep in their crate. They don't need hours of entertainment. Just enough to make the idea of going in there fun--they get a special treat or toy that is reserved just for the crate. Then by the time you're gone, they don't even notice. They settle down and sleep.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you Luca, I have never used the Kong spread that I see all the time at the store to fill the toy. Just curious, is that stuff messy?
 

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It's not too messy--the dog will lick up every molecule. But I don't buy the "Kong Stuffin" brand stuff that comes in a can (it seems kind of expensive.) I'm sure it's fine goo. But I just use peanut butter, cream cheese, or even a smear of Brie, liverwurst, anything that I've got on hand that can smear in there. It doesn't take much---just a little bit, smeared on the inside wall of the Kong will keep them busy for quite a while licking it out. There's no need to fill up the Kong with goo. That would be a lot of junk calories that could upset a pup's tummy, or make them fat.
 
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