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hanson

Hoping I Wouldn't Have to Ask for Support...

32 posts in this topic

Well... tomorrow will be 1 week now since I brought my new Lab home and there are a few things that are just frustrating the heck out of me.

Hopefully ya'll will say, yep... sounds like a Lab puppy. But I'm not so sure.

#1 is the Crate. He absolutely, and I mean ABSOLUTELY hates the thing. I chalked up the first few days and nights to being in a new home, new owner, separation anxiety, yadda, yadda. Maybe I introduced it to him wrong, I don't know, but he's never wanted to go into it and I hit the point where he HAD to go into it so I could leave. I thought it would get better as he got used to it, nope!

Right now... he's not sleeping in it. He's up ALL night. Either chewing on his toys, chewing on the crate, or flip flopping around, and howling up a storm. I ain't sleeping and he ain't sleeping.

I wasn't too concerned until Tuesday night when he decided to throw up in the crate. Not just once, he hacked and hacked and hacked and hacked all night. Last night, I know he did it again a couple times as well.

#2 I work 8am to 5pm. I've been coming home from noon to 1pm to let him out. The other day, my 80 some year old neighbor not so politely told me my dog barks and whines all day from the minute I leave to the minute I come home.

Once again, I was hoping he'd get used to it but I've realized he's been peeing in the crate all week and its been getting worse. Today I came home after work and he crapped all over the frickin' place. Tell you what, I was not happy.

The one thing that he's been doing very, very well is going #2 outside. This has been good!! Until he went in the crate today.

I'm absolutely convinced he can't handle me being gone.

When I'm home, he really is the sweetest thing in the world. The last few days, we've been playing some good fetch in the backyard. I can toss the dummy halfway across the yard now and he just recently started bringing it back to me rather than running around with it. He runs to the door when he has to pee, still a few accidents if I don't notice him at the door but he's been pretty good. And like I mentioned, he has #2 figured out.

I've decided I've got to take a step back and start over. I've got a few extra bedrooms and I'm going to empty one out tonight and let him stay in there tomorrow. I'm sure that will create a potty problem but I'm convinced he's going to hurt himself if he stays in the crate.

I really don't think I can start trying the crate again until I get him to calm down when I'm gone.

Thoughts???

How long is it going to take him to get used to me being gone for part of the day? Is this his problem or is it something else?

Like I said, was sure hoping I wouldn't have to ask for support or advice. He's a great dog when I'm around, heck, he's sleeping on my feet right now. Our "play time" in the backyard really shows me he's got some instincts, drive, and potential but I got to get this problem figured out. Don't want it to be habit forming.

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dont give up on the crate, and dont back off of it. Its like teaching a toddler that he has his own bedroom and needs to sleep in it. If he is messing in it he has too much room to move around in it, try putting a divider in it. I had a heck of a time crate training my pitbull, and there was a few instances of lost tempers on my part. dont give in though. I cant stress enough about positive reinforcement. If you have to put the kennel in the basement to not hear him at night do it. It sucks the first week or so but then he will get over it. maybe put a radio on a talk station and keep the volume real low. Crates are a wonderful tool, it just takes the dog time to figure out that that is his space. look up leerburg kennels, they have a lot of training dvd's and a wealth of info on dog training.

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Crates are a wonderful thing. As bigred1974 mentioned, give him only enough room to turn around in. No more. My crate is 36"L x 24" wide and when my dog was 10 weeks old he got just less than half that space to himself.

To get him to like the crate, start feeding him in there with the door open. If he's reluctant to go in, even with food there, get a hot dog, cut it up into cubes about the size of the tip of your pinky, give him a couple out side, then put one just inside the crate. Keeping luring him further and further inside until he loses the hangup about it, then start feeding him in there every time.

To deal with the separation anxiety, start with very short time periods. Put him in with no drama, no good byes, no excitement. Don't even say anything. Walk away and go to another room where he can't see you. Give it a few minutes, and when he's NOT crying or whining, go back and let him, again without any fanfare.

After awhile do it again, but for a longer period. What we're doing is teaching him that you will come back, and that he will be let out when he's quiet.

If you walk up to let him out and he starts barking or whining, turn around and leave the room. Absolutely do NOT let him out when he's doing that or you'll be teaching him that whining works (same thing applies to kids...never give in to whining!).

Same thing at night. No matter how bad it gets, do not go check on him if he's whining. If you feel he needs to go outside to take a leak in the middle of the night, that's fine, but wait until he's quiet to let him out.

Between feeding him in their, and only taking him out when he's quiet, hopefully you'll starts making progress soon.

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I also would not recommend giving him a whole room to himself. You'll be taking a step backwards in house training him.

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Taking him out of the crate is the worst thing you can do. Leave him in the crate as often as possible-feed him every meal in the crate period-feeding him only in the crate will make him like it more and will make him want to go outside when he needs to. The throwing up was probably due to something he ate or a change in food. It's amazing how soon a pup will figure out how to push your buttons to get what he wants. wink

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I agree with bigred, we have now a one year old lab. He too did not like the kennel at first, now he races to get in. The one thing that I was told about puppies is you go by their age for how many hours they can hold their bladder. So if you have a 2 month puppy, they can only hold out a couple hours. If you put the divider in, take the toys out and night, and cover the kennel with a blanket to block out light etc at night it does help.

Dont give up, it sucks for the first couple weeks but you will soon get into tune with each other. If you have to get up a couple times a night to let the pup out to use the bathroom, then that should be the thought for during the day. You might look into someone that can come in a couple times during the day to let the dog out.

We limit the amount of water our dog gets after 8 pm. while he can drink, we try to keep him from drinking the whole bowl. Same with meals, the last meal is at 430 or 5, this keeps him from having to go out for number 2 at 3 am.

Some of what you are experiencing is separation anxiety on the dogs part. He/she will get use to being home alone, stinks but that is life, remember you took it from the mom or family and introduced it to new surroundings.

I cannot stress enough to consider having someone come to your home, a pet sitter, neighbor, whomever you know that can do it.

When our puppy was fixed at 6 months, he started going to doggy daycare. While this sounds crazy, it is the best thing we ever did. He is able to run and play with other dogs in a controlled environment for a few hours a day. You have to check out all options. Talk to your vet to see what they recommend for the separation part too. Good luck, you will get through it just fine.

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Sounds like the attitude is coming out.

If you switch it up now, you will just be rewarding the attitude.

Suggest getting him walked in the AM before you leave for work and then again walk him at night before it is time to crate up.

They are more than eager to sleep when tired. Also you could try to feed him a half hour before crate time in the AM and then again at night...sleepy on a full tummy.

Another thought is to introduce a treat after he goes into the kennel to make it not such a bad place.

I dont believe in treats to get your dogs to do what you want because they are only doing it for the treat. We put a hand full of dry food in side the kennell so she can nibble at night but more importantly she goes in there during the day by herself and nibbles and then lays down.

My pup has an attitude when she gets tired and then the devil dog comes out when you try to correct her for biting something...showing teeth and trying to bite hands etc. She gets 2 chances for the correction to work and if the 2nd one failed we just grab her lead her into the crate with no speaking. Soon after that she is asleep. Turns out just like kids they have temper tantrums when they are tired, so rather than getting worked up correcting a agitated puppy we just avoided the tantrum. The kennel is not a punishment, but rather a place to be calm and rest or sleep.

I have found that you cant treat the puppies like kids (not saying you are) but I stay firm with mine and correct her immediately on issues in the house and some times leave the leash on her while in the house to get that immediate "tap" so she knows that is not allowed. We still have our play time outside and she can run all she wants, but structure is very important. The wife talks to the puppy like a little kid and gets her all excited and she wonders why the dog never listens to her and ALWAYS wants to bite her but never bites me and obeys with out a leash outside.

I dont remember if you said you keep the crate in the bedroom with you or if it is in a different room. We never kept the crate on the same level of the house that we slept on. It is best to keep them in their own space, that way they are not used to you being "There" when they are in the crate.

Another option is to move the crate close to the door and then act like you are leaving and when he starts barking make a correction thru the door. I would say to open the door, but then if not done correctly he might associate you coming in the door with barking...but a definate correction is needed.

Lastly dont use a regular collar, get a puppy sized choker chain to use in the house and on walks. Ours doesnt listen with the regular collar on, but when the choker is on, I just give it a small tug along with the correction and it is working very well. Puppies are small, but they still need to be reminded who the boss is.

I'm not saying these are right or will work for you because all puppies are different, but this is what I have been doing with our 15 week old chocolate and we have no potty issues or anxiety in the crate. As I said in an earlier post, the very first day we had the pup we put her in the crate and worked with her to sit in it. Then reinforced that so she had to sit before opening the door...this has stuck with her and I feel that it taught her to be calm in the crate.

Drain his energy with running in the yard or long walks so nature does the work for you.

Steve

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To stop the whining and barking, we used a spray bottle with water in it. Kind of set her up to whine or bark while in the crate - a couple shots from the water spray and we quickly had her attention.

Remember, it's not that they can't do what you're trying to tell them, it might be they're not quite understanding what you're doing.

Consistency and repetition will do - stay the course.

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Make sure to never use the crate as a punishment. The crate should be the happy place, only associated with good things.

When we got our pup 4 months ago we started the crate training the first few hours we had him. We would throw treats in the crate and he would go get them and we'd praise him for being in there (only praise him when he's silent though). We started by just letting him be in there with the door open for awhile and then we started closing the door for a few seconds and slowly increased the duration. The key is to praise him only when he is calm and silent. When he whines he gets nothing, no attention, no treats, no nothing. When he's in the crate don't be telling him "everything's alright, its alright" stuff like that. We got to the point where we would put him in the crate and leave the room, he'd whine for a little while and we'd ignore it every time. We'd only come back when he was quiet and then we'd treat him and praise him. If you walk by his crate and he's calm through him a treat, make sure he associates being calm with good things. He'll learn that the whinning doesn't work sooner or later you just need to be consistent with it.

The biggest thing for us with our dog was to start slow with the crate, only leaving him in there for a few seconds at first and then building to a few mintues and up from there that first day.

In the end he whined for the first few days he was in the crate but only for a few minutes to maybe a half hour at the most and then he'd settle down.

The harder step for us has been having him stay settled while he's crated and we are at home. When he's alone he's all chill and life is good. When he's in the crate and I'm home he would start whinning becuase he'd rather be playing with me then sitting in his crate. A little time and he realized that his crate is the good place to be no matter what.

Good luck with it. Its tough the first couple of weeks for sure but the crate is a life saver when he's older and when he starts hitting the defiance stage. Thats where my pup is at right now. He knows what he should be doing but he does the exact opposite just to get a rise out of me. The crate is a god send when I just need a breather from him jumping on counters, climbing on furniture, chasing the cat, etc, etc...

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Sounds real familiar. I went through that with my dog. I remember having to clean him up after he [PoorWordUsage] in it and must have rolled in it all night. I also was concerned that I had a very lazy dog because all he did was sleep when I was home. I figured out that it was because he was not sleeping in the crate when I was gone and was catching up on my lap when I was home. He is now 3 and will jump in the crate with no problems.

I remember feeding him in the crate worked well. Good luck and stick with it.

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All I can say is read everyone's post, follow that and welcome to the Lab owners group! It does get better. 4 or 5 years from now you'll forget all about it, (Just kidding)

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I can't add anything. All good advice above. Just stick it out and you'll be rewarded.

One other thing, make 100% certain that he's never got a collar on in his kennel/crate. I have a friend who made the mistake and came home to find her pup had gotten the collar caught on the crate and strangled frown

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Its going to take time till the pup accepts his new arrangement. That would be away from his mother and liter mates.

Of coarse he'll accept you right away, it's the solo time that he's not accepting.

Your training starts immediately and there are commands you should be using constantly. What you are doing now is getting the pup to accept. Pretty much letting him know this is the ways things are through repetition and consistency.

I demand obedience from a dog at all times and is my believe a dog be under constant control.

Still I see nothing wrong with crating a new pup at night in the same room I sleep. I'll even put the crate at bed level next to the bed. I'm there to correct the barking as soon as the behavior starts. I might miss a one nights sleep at first but the pup accepts his new arrangement sooner. Eventually the crate goes in its designated place and stays there.

Keep up on the vigilant poddy training. I would be adding the command "hi-on" every time you let him out. You'll be killing two birds with on stone. That command lets the dog know its his free time. Later that free time would be upland hunting, stretching his legs during a road trip break, or whatever. Of coarse that is if a master is in the mind set that a dog should be under constant control of the dog. Which he should, the dog will be happier to know it. A dog needs that, if they don't have that they'll take on the roll in which you should be providing.

Use the command "kennel up" every time you put the pup in the crate. As always, Repetition and consistency there. If it takes you to physically put the pup in the kennel that is what you do.

Barking and Whining, if your in the room, you need to stop that as soon as it starts. Remember the pup will take the lead from you and what you allow becomes acceptable. The barking and whining is a dog that does not know how to cope with a situation. Their brain is like a record that is stuck on a continual skip. Stop the behavior immediately and they'll learn to deal with and accept whatever situation started the barking. Correction and the command "No" is what is needed.

Outdoor kennel/run would save you the lunch break trip back home.

Of coarse the barking from separation would need to be corrected first. A kennel should be situated so that outside stimulation observed from the kennel is kept to a minimum. You want to avoid the pup being introduced to situations that your not there to correct.

Having exclusively kennel dogs before, that is where they preferred to be. When they we're in the house they wanted out.

My current lab is crated indoors and kenneled when I'm gone for extended periods.

From observing his behavior, he'd prefer to be crated indoors.

Having to be crated all day when your not around is not the best of situations for a pup. We do what we can there and dogs are adaptable but IMO at first its a one step forward two steps back deal with poddy training.

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I can't really add anything more to what has already been said, but I will offer encouragement. Stick with it! Don't back down. In a week or two, this will be history.

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Lots of good stuff here. Most importantly: There's nothing unusual about it, so don't worry too much about it. I went through the exact same thing with my Brit. The first week is the toughest.

Try putting rice in a sock and microwaving it, and putting that in his kennel when you put him in it for the night. Didn't work for me, but I've heard it can work wonders.

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Try putting rice in a sock and microwaving it, and putting that in his kennel when you put him in it for the night. Didn't work for me, but I've heard it can work wonders.

No way could I leave something like that in for my dog. He's 17 months old now and I still can't put cushion in his crate. He'll tear it up and eat part of it.

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how big is the crate? Did I miss the size, if so I'm sorry. Any way, the smaller the better. It is comforting to them when they are confined to smaller quarters.

Try covering the kennel with a towel or blanket when he is in the kennel. Surface Tension mentioned "kennel up" when putting him in the kennel. What we do is similiar, say the dogs name and then kennel, " joe, kennel".

Regarding the noise issue, as most said you cannot let him get away with this. As often as you can, open the kennel, firmly squeeze his snout and tell him "no, quiet".

Hang in there, it is a bit stressful but the 2 of you will get thru it.

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No way could I leave something like that in for my dog. He's 17 months old now and I still can't put cushion in his crate. He'll tear it up and eat part of it.

LOL, my dane is the same way. I splurged on a heavy duty cushion that is made of nylon coated canvas (like the heavy tarps truck drivers use). That's holding up well. He's chewed a few corners on it, but I have patched them. I've found that Tobasco on the corners daily eventually made him leave it alone. Otherwise, we just throw towels in and accept the fact that he likes to shred them smile

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It amazes me how many posters say that this is typical lab behavior... I disagree. It sounds like he has an extreme case of seperation anxiety. He is obviously lacking confidence to spend time confined and by himself.

One thing I believe all dogs (puppies) will benefit from is adding crate training to the training regimen. Not just when you go to sleep and go to work, but actually work it into your activities and training throughout the time fram when you are home with him. Many times the problem is exasberated because the dog is spending all the out of the crate time running and playing and fetching with you, then it is suppose to be in a crate not only with you out of sight but out of the house. Try putting him in for short periods 5-10 times an evening and only let him out when he settles. Keep him in the same room as you at first so he can see you and when he quiets down, tell him 'good' and do some out of crate activity. Command Kennel and go about your business (again in the same room) cooking, cleaning, folding laundry etc. and when he settles for 10 minutes or so, let him out and do more with him. Make sure before he is to go in for exteneded periods that he is exercised till he is ready to sleep for a couple of hours... Let him sleep in his crate next to your bed at first... this should give him solace that you are there with him.

A nylabone in the crate can entertain him at times also...

Good Luck!

Ken

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How big is the crate?

I was gonna pop back in here and ask the question but since you asked...

Its the smallest crate Remington makes, believe the inside dimensions are 26"L x 17"W x 18" H.

Lab pup is 8 weeks old, about 18-19lbs right now.

I'll assume if smaller is better, I'll want to divide the crate in half or thirds somehow. Or am I better off just picking up a smaller one right now and then let him move into this one when he gets bigger? If smaller, suggestion on size?

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I dont see any seperation anxiety, he is still a baby and acting like it. 2 weeks of STEADY TRAINING and you 2 should be golden. I'd be careful about feeding him in the kennel, it very well could stimulate him to move his bowels. The kennel up command is what I used on my dogs as well. Only had to say it to them once, and they went. Dont use negative reinforcement- I cant stress that enough. He needs to know you are pack leader but you dont want a puppy that cowers and piddles everytime you walk in the room. Keep him on a leash with you while you are in the house too, keep him at your side and let him know you're in charge of where he goes and where he doesn't. this works wonders at establishing pack order.

Training a dog isnt too hard its just being steady and repetitive with them. My Rottie had his canine good citizen title by 7 months and was house trained and crate trained by 3 months. It was within a year he was trained by hand commands as well. Point at him to sit, point to the ground for a lay down, an open palm for a stay and he would speak with a hand gesture as well. (F'NG divorces) Good luck and see you at the porta mod show

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He sure is a cute little bugger Hanson.

I might have missed this, but do you have a radio going while your away?

"hooks"

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I tell you what... you guys have some great info and ideas.

Pretty much ignored all your advice and gave him the empty bedroom today while I was at work since he is scared to death of the crate right now. Also let him sleep in the living room last night while I crashed on the couch nearby. The crazy thing is I slept from 10pm to 4am, which is the most I've slept all week, and he never went to the bathroom inside or got into anything when I was sleeping. Pretty sure he was out the entire time as well.

Right or wrong, I want to give him a break from the "bad" experiences he's had and then slowly start introducing him to the crate and being alone again. I've got all weekend now to work him into this so we'll see.

So he's got his bedroom, I'm feeding and watering him now in this room rather than the kitchen, I just moved the crate in there and put the bowl of food inside the door. I will say he was very, very hesitant to go for that food. Its going to take awhile to get him going in their comfortably.

I think this is going to take a little bit and I'm not going to force him into that crate until he decides its his happy place. Putting him in there thinking he's going to get used to it didn't work.

I'll just have to take these things a step at a time. I know he has separation anxiety big time, I know he now hates his crate, and I know he still has a housebreaking issue but I don't think we can fix these all at once. I think the potty problem will solve itself once he can spend time in the crate without freaking out.

Outside of these problems, I think he's doing awesome. He is really good when I'm around. He absolutely LOVES to fetch. I think we're a day or two away from him figuring out that I'll throw the dummy again if he drops it.

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