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Crate training/Nights Help please
  • dorapochdorapoch
    Posts: 131
    @deerpark Have you tried training her in the daytime to get her to like her crate? Like giving teats and praises if she goes in there willingly. Putting her in there, take her out, then put her in there with door closed. All with reward s...

    But it has only been 3days, she is still a baby in a whole new place. Where is she usually in the daytime?
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    I would highly suggest trying a more positive reinforcement approach versus spraying your puppy with bitter apple or shaking pennies at him or her.

    By using an aversive method (like those mentioned above), you can really damage your relationship with your puppy and create trust issues.

    Where is the crate? Have you ensured that the puppy does not have to potty? What are you doing when the puppy starts to cry? Does the puppy ever get tired and go to sleep?
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • jjlcjjlc
    Posts: 66
    @sunyata interestingly our trainer does not consider these "aversive methods" and is pretty consistent in stressing her reward based training approach.

    out of curiosity, how is shaking a can of pennies, which is really nothing more than a sharp distracting sound, any more aversive than giving a loud "AANT" to a puppy when it's doing something you don't want it to do? Both have the same impact and intent and neither physically interact with the dog.
    Post edited by jjlc at 2012-03-21 14:42:03
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    @deerpark if you're intentions are to use the crate only for travel or benching (I'm not sure what that means? sorry I'm Swedish) why do you try to make the pup stay there all night? I would suggest something like shibamistress wrote: make it into a game, hide treats in there, reward generously when she goes in, maybe put her in there when she's really tired and half asleep at daytime and praise her for being there. As you can read in my earlier comments I'm not for crating but if you want to train the dog like everything else it is probably best to do it gradually.
    @jjlc yes I totally disagree with scaring the puppy into being quiet, or forcing something disgusting tasting on their lips. It would probably help momentarily but I think you would risk the puppy developing fears and issues of not trusting you.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    @jjlc - ANYTHING that causes discomfort is an aversive. Loud unpredictable noises scare the puppy. Bad taste and messing with puppy's mouth causes discomfort.

    A short 'aaht' is not (or at least SHOULD not be) a loud noise and does not cause discomfort to the puppy's ears and hopefully does not scare him or her. It provides a brief distraction where the puppy's owner can then redirect him or her to an appropriate activity.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576

    A reward-based trainer should lean strongly toward giving rewards to do the appropriate behavior and use withholding rewards as a way to communicate to the dog that he has not made the right choice yet.

    A good trainer's job is to get the dog to WANT to do what you want, and not just get the dog to DO what you want. Subtle differences, but very different outcomes.
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-03-22 09:25:51
  • Wow, I would NEVER spray bitter apple in a dog's mouth! That's awful! What if it got in the dog's eyes? And it is pretty aversive, too.

    And anyway, we're talking about a BABY here. A very young pup. Why would you want to start doing scary uncomfortable things to the pup who has been in the house only three days, and is also away from the pup's whole world (mom, littermates, old house) for the very first time? I'm always surprised young pups aren't MORE freaked out then they are when they are first brought to a new place!

    And a trainer who suggests spraying a dog in the mouth with bitter apple is NOT a positive trainer.
  • deerparkdeerpark
    Posts: 237
    Thank you for the suggestions and information. We will continue to work on her crate training.
  • AnnaAnna
    Posts: 621
    I used bitter apple spray on surfaces and items Hammond kept trying to chew, but spraying it right in their mouth seems counter-productive. How does a tiny puppy associate the noise its making with getting sprayed? How do they get "rewarded" for the good behavior? Hammond's 'reward' for stopping chewing bad things was that the bad taste went away. But spraying it right in their mouth, the punishment remains even after they stop the bad behavior.

    If they only get sprayed or the penny-can when they're in the crate, won't they start associating the crate with bad things and want to go in there even less?

    I don't really have any helpful advice, unfortunately. I was lucky in that Hammond was not a screamer ever. He occasionally still whines/whimpers for a few minutes, but it's ignorable and he stops pretty quick. He rarely goes in his crate during the day, but he will happily run in when I point and say "crate!". But I do still give him a couple of kibbles every time he goes in.
  • sashasasha
    Posts: 11
    Help/encouragement with crate training please!

    We've had Sasha for about a month and she's exactly 4 months old today. Our breeder had a full-time job and her dogs are penned all day long, so we figured that Sasha would be okay going for 8 hours at night, more or less. She gets plenty of exercise and time out of the crate or X pen during the day, although I do keep her penned (not crated so much) when I'm at home too, because I want her to feel as though it's a safe place for her and not someplace she has to go when I leave. She's never cried in the crate or X pen and usually hangs out for a while before napping. So I'd say she's well-acclimated to crate training, except....

    When I take her out of her crate in the mornings, she pees. Sometimes it's just a little dribble, sometimes she really lets loose and voids completely before I can get her out of her crate. We usually take away her water by 7 pm (unless she's been to puppy training and eaten lots of treats; we let her take a drink before her last walk and bedtime). We've taken everything soft and absorbent out of the crate and that cut down on finding damp spots from previous pees. Her last walk is between 9:30 and 10, and I take her out between 5-5:30 am. But she does pee in front of me unless I can swoop in and get her out fast, which is hard so early in the morning. I NEVER make a big deal over her or talk to her until I've gotten her outside, and we don't have a "conversation" until she pees outside.

    It's hard not to compare Sasha with other dogs on the boards who are potty trained at day one, but it sounds like others have had problems with even older dogs. I'm worrying that Sasha is getting into the habit of peeing for me in the mornings, and if so, how can I break it? Am I expecting too much from a young dog to hold pee for 8 hours? I don't like the idea of getting up in the middle of the night and taking her out (it's so cold here!) but I will if I have to.

    Can you tell I'm a first time dog owner? :)

    My husband has had dogs earlier and says that Sasha is doing well, and she's trustworthy, for the most part, around the house although she does have some accidents very occasionally (usually when I'm not home and the kids and husband aren't paying close enough attention). I suppose I'm just looking for confirmation that I shouldn't worry, or suggestions on how to fix the problem if that's indeed what it is.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8588
    As I said in my intro thread, get up earlier and let her out. She is obviously not able to hold it as long as you want her to be able to hold it. I would suggest 5-6 hours at her age is the max she should be expected to hold it, especially if she was penned all day as a puppy (they get used to going in their pens... and it takes patience and consistency to break that habit).

    If she lasts goes potty at 10:00, get up at 3 or 3:30 to let her out. It might be an inconvenience and cold, but you got a puppy, so suck it up and take her out.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    Or try to take her out even later and then perhaps you can sleep a bit longer in the mornings.
    Personally I object to removing water from the dog. It is awful not to be able drink when you are thirsty. Juni often wakes up at night and gets some water. Small puppies also get dehydrated very quickly, for example if they get diarrhoea at night and nobody notices.
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    @sasha, it sounds like she is doing fine. She's still young, and like your breeder said, she'll naturally be able to hold it longer as she grows. Set her up for success - take her out earlier (5-6 hrs like sunyata said) - does that fix the problem? To make it easier, take turns with your husband or kids taking her out. It is a temporary discomfort for you! :)

    Make sure you are using an enzyme cleaner like Nature's Miracle to clean up her accidents, so she doesn't think it's okay to re-soil a particular spot.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    I agree with @sunyata and @zandrame in regards to you need to let her out earlier.

    Rule of thumb is age in months +/- 1 hour, so if she is only 4 months you would expect every 3-5 hours to need to take her out. Expecting 8 or more hours at 4 months is very unfair.
  • sashasasha
    Posts: 11
    Thanks so much for the comments. It IS a long time in the crate for Sasha. Because the breeder had crated for such a long time (and keeps assuring me that Sasha will outgrow the peeing), which goes against the 1 hour + age in months rule (which would work out to 5 hours), I was curious to hear what others thought. I know that on the boards, there seems to be a difference in opinion about the water in crate. She doesn't seem to be dehydrated based on the color of her urine (and the smell in the crate after she goes in the morning :( ), but it's something to consider.

    This morning, I got to her after five hours--my older son took her out at 10:30, when she peed, and I got up at 3:30 to take her outside, and she did exactly the same thing--the butt wriggle, the excited shaking, and the squatting. I did get to her in time for her to pee some outside, but then at 6:30, when I took her outside again, she had nothing. I will persevere--like Suntaya said, I got a puppy so I need to suck it up (!), but a part of me wonders if she is playing me. When I was away a few weeks ago, my younger son peed her out at 10:30 pm and took her out at 6:30 am for a walk, and she was fine. Not a dribble. Sasha is really smart about commands and will push the limits of how little compliance we demand before she gets a treat, and I'm thinking that the pee is becoming our little morning ritual. I'm cleaning out her pen out of her line of sight (so she doesn't think I'm accepting or approving of her "gift"), and I'm using tons of Nature's Miracle, which I hope is working. Sasha doesn't pee during the day when I have to leave her for 4 or 5 hours (I've never gone longer than 5), although she does do the excited butt wriggle. I'm going to start leaving the light on so it's harder to differentiate between day and night. The only other thing I can think of changing is to leave her in a small configuration of crate and X pen, because in the day when I take her out, it's always from the X pen and it's easier to scoop her out quickly.

    Thanks again for the thoughts, and I'll keep posting. Hopefully I'll figure something out that can help others.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @sasha, I think there are some threads on excitement peeing and tips to work past it.

    Have you tried being sure that the "night" pee is not exciting. What I mean is you are very business like. Get up, take the leash/collar, put it on her saying nothing and not really paying attention to her, walking her still not talk, no play, outside to potty, then coming right back into the house and going into the crate. All with no special discussion, no special attention, no special treat and ignoring any of her energy ... all business when it is the night time (ie 3:30am) pee?
  • sashasasha
    Posts: 11
    Yeah--I'm not capable of much at 3:30 am other than brain stem function. Maybe the length of time crated plus the lapse between when she knows I'm up and when I get her out of the crate (sometimes it takes a little time, especially when it's dark) leads to a pee. I will look at excitement peeing again and see if anything else is suggested.
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    Make sure you keep everything handy so you don't have to fiddle around. Coat, leash, whatever you need right by your bed.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    You just changed Sasha's night time routine, so she may not be ready to pee, or she isn't sure what is going on. If she didn't have drink water when she went out at 3:30, her bladder may be empty. Give her a few more days of consistency and she'll catch on. And like redcattoo said, make sure the night time pee is not exciting. Let her do her business and crate.

    As far as Sasha able to hold her bladder when your son took care of her, it all depends on how much she had to drink and when she last emptied her bladder. We are all like that too if you think about it. If I eat salty foods, I tend to drink a lot of water. Then I end up waking up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. Same with the dogs. There will always be nights where they will wake you to let them outdoors because they need to go. It won't be every night, but it will happen occasionally. I would also turn off the light but maybe get a nightlight if she is scared of the dark.

    My rescue boy Taisho sometimes wets the crate. When he does, it is from being crated for anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours. My boys roam freely in and out of the back door when the weather is nice like it has been for the last month. We also have a set pattern M-F mornings when I leave the house and when I come home. When I return home and Taisho has peed in the crate, I put him outside. Then I carry him into the shower when he is ready to come in. He puts up with the bath even though he doesn't like it because he enjoys being clean. After he is washed, I clean the crate and the floor around it as well as the rug inside the crate. He usually watches me nearby and I talk to him or mumble but I don't scold. I'm sure he's not proud of himself but I don't think he can always help himself. If he needs to pee a little, his anxiety probably keeps him from holding it in. I've only recently started leaving him out of the crate in the mornings or taking him with me, and he seems to like those options better than crating. He has been very good with no accidents since I've started letting him stay uncrated in the mornings and when I leave for short periods of time. He doesn't cry or whine either, so as long as he keeps the house clean, I will continue to trust him.

    Anyhow, good luck with Sasha. She's still a puppy so there will be accidents.
  • sashasasha
    Posts: 11
    I wanted to update just in case someone else was in our boat. Sasha is now a little older than 5 months and we can depend on her enough to wake up in a dry sleeping area that we've given her a blanket to sleep on, which she loves. Some things that helped, other than her getting a little older, were:
    --moving her into an x pen with the crate inside for drama free ins and outs;
    --psyching myself into not being nervous, which I think she picked up on; and
    --never interacting with her till I had her on the ground outside. The one time I cooed to her about how good she was, she immediately peed on my leg.

    She does have accidents during the day now and then and still continues the excited peeing at times, but we can work around that and hopefully she will grow out of it.

    Having water in the crate doesn't seem to make a difference, so we leave it in there with her. She enjoys sleeping on her pad, which is just outside the crate and at night, if she's tired, she will go and put herself to bed. Her food and water are in her crate and as long as she doesn't mind going in and out of the crate, I don't have a problem with her being in the x pen.

    She did learn to climb on top of her crate to escape from the x pen (and peed on my yoga mat and destroyed my computer charger) so we keep the crate away from the edges of the pen now.

    Looking back, I'm kind of embarrassed that I made a big deal over it. Definitely easier than potty training my boys.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @sasha, there is also the option of getting a cover for your xpen
  • Mine go nuts if the crate door is closed, but they will sleep in an x-pen. One has a crate inside the x-pen and she sleeps inside as long as the door stays open.

  • Hi all, looking to get some input on crate training and to cross check with people who have had success in crate training their shibas. Our new puppy, Aki (8 weeks old) was crated on arrival at our home and kind of crated through nights, and some times for half a day when I had to go to work (currently I'm working half time). While she whined a bit when we crated her for nights and days, she would eventually quiet down and go to sleep. However, it's resulted in her developing an aversion to the crate (no surprises there).

    I've been trying to retrain her by letting her sleep outside while tied down (she never pees in the house), and slowly reintroducing the crate to her with treats and whatnot (basically following what is suggested on the Humane society website). We've made some small breakthroughs with her sleeping in the crate at night with me sleeping next to the crate, and no whining for the most part. We've gotten her to take a nap in the crate through coaxing her in and shutting the door on her and just letting her wait to tire and sleep. However, I keep reading that they're supposed to WANT to go in there, and I'm seeing no signs of that happening. Am I doing something wrong or just need to keep at it?
  • Kobe1468Kobe1468
    Posts: 1590
    This is my favorite article on crate training:

    Crate training is all about consistency. If you break down and allow the pup to sleep outside the crate, then it's really not crate training. You are just teaching the pup to get its way.

    All of my dogs have loved their crates. Properly trained and used, a crate will serve to be invaluable.
    "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened."
  • CandyCandy
    Posts: 51
    The first night we brougt our tiny shiba home he would cry no matter what we tried. So I decided to do what I had done with my cat which was let him rest his head in my hand. I put the big plastic kennel beside my bed and put my hand in through a opening and the puppy fell asleep on my hand. I did this for a few nights and it worked. I think its separation that they dont like. Once he was big enough to move around well he joined us on the bed. I put a blanket on one corner for him and 1.5yrs later he still sleeps on the blanket although the blanket has grown ;-)
  • ddavidddavid
    Posts: 94
    I love your picture. It's one of a kind.
    I don't even know how to crate train. I've had 3 pups (a Collie, Dalmatian and a Dingo) and now an 8 yr old Shiba just adopted who wasn't house trained.
    Out of pure ignorance I simply want to dog to feel the whole house is his, since I've heard (right or wrong) a dog doesn't go in his living quarters. I take one room at a time and place his bed in there than observe him and take him outside when he shows signs. I isolate the room with a slider divider. Then I place another bed in the next room, and so on every room gets a bed, right now he sleeps with us on his bed in our bedroom. The last to go will be the living room. So far we only had to yell twice at the very beginning when he thought a chair leg is a tree. We've been lucky so far. I really don't want a dog that I have to cage or lock up, he has learn the house is his cage. We do walk him 5 - 6 times a day around and 1 time per day on a long walk. He lets us know when he is ready to come home by sitting at our side, except when he becomes obsessed with a Gopher hole it takes a little more than a normal tug.
  • lbuebellbuebel
    Posts: 98
    So, I thought I'd bump this thread for some info since I'm having some problems.

    I've always let my dogs sleep in my bed/have free access to most part of my bedroom, and never tried crate training any pet, but I've decided to try this with my puppy.

    I don't need him to sleep inside, I just need him to get used to his crate and see it as his "safe haven". His breeder let him loose on her backyard so he's not used to being confined. I make sure he doesn't have to potty and I praise him everytime he goes in there on free will. His crate stays in my bedroom and he has full access to it whenever he wants.

    So, I've been reading some threads and most people suggest crate games/crate treats, so I thought I'd only give him bully sticks inside his crate.

    Problem is, once I put these inside his crate, he'd go inside to get it, but would suddenly rush to the door and try to get out. Also, he'll try to bring his bully stick outside.

    Is there a way I can make him STAY inside there working on his bully stick? Should I leave the door half open first and let him go outside (but his bully stick stays), so he'll get used to the idea of being there by himself?

    I usually stay by the door so he won't feel alone, but it might be doing something wrong since he just doesn't stay there..

    Any suggestions on how you crate trained your Shiba would be marvelous.
  • Lots of repetition is a start.

    I used the bully stick and was relentless until he accepted the crate.

    As soon as he gets in, shut the door, wait for him to relax (but not sleep) and hand him the bully stick. Once he is chewing and enjoying himself open the crate door. As soon as he tries to leave, "no mark" the behavior, take the bully stick from him and walk him to the crate. Put him back in, shut the door, and immediately hand him the bully stick (this time don't worry about him being calm. He's hyper over the bully stick. You want him motivated for it right now. If you wait till he relaxes, he's "given up" and you need to re motivate him to want the stick) Repeat this until he understands he loses the stick when he leaves the crate. At a certain point you can leave the door open and he'll stay in the crate with the bully stick.

    At that point the foundation is built that the crate doesn't suck.

    I know they say never shut the door on a dog in the crate. I ignored that. Someone else with more experience probably has a way to do so that doesn't violate the rule. I think they meant don't shut the door and leave. That's not what I was doing so I figured it would be okay to desensitize him this way.

    Defer to someone more experienced than me on the technique if its a concern to you.
  • JeffSTiJeffSTi
    Posts: 11
    @sasha My 3.5 months old (Aka) is doing that EXACT same thing. I was wondering if you have resolved Sasha's AM excited pee yet?

    Thank you
  • sashasasha
    Posts: 11
    Jeff--yes Sasha rarely excited pees anymore except when we pick her up from the sitter's house after we are away. We take this as a compliment. What helped us the most was setting up her x pen in a perimeter around her crate. She was able to sleep in her crate but when we came in to get her, she would run out into the x pen and I could scoop her up and get her outside quickly. I think having someone fumbling with the crate latch made it hard for her to control herself. There were accidents but not many after that.

    Aka is the same age Sasha was when we got her. Like I wrote earlier, I think part of my frustration came from reading about other dogs getting potty trained quickly. Enjoy aka while he (she?) is still a puppy. In a month or two or three, you'll have gotten over the worst of it.
  • JeffSTiJeffSTi
    Posts: 11
    Sasha, thank you for the reply! That sounds so similar to my pen and create setup. Just this morning, he only barked three times, dripped a little when I was trying to put a leash on him ( I had to carry him) and walked him outside (he held it the whole way from my unit, to the hallway, elevator than outside of the condo). I praised him like mad when he peed outside.
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    I want to bump this thread so I can go through it, myself. I have put Endo in his crate, and OH MY GOD - I had to lie down in the room to show him that I was 'tired' and he slept in the crate okay. But I noticed since he spent the WHOLE day in the kitchen, during the evening he was obsessive about going back to the kitchen. We let him in and he just fell asleep in that room so we moved his crate there, placed him in his crate (with toys, blankets, etc) and hardly a peep out of him. :|
  • Do you feed him in the kitchen?
  • poltergeistpoltergeist
    Posts: 426
    I did, but I fed him last in another room.
    So we have a 3 month old Shiba. We started out trying to crate train Jango when we first got him when he was 8 weeks old but after 2 weeks of him screaming through the entire night we had to stop. We have downstairs neighbors and we also are in our last semester of college and getting 2 hours of sleep every night was just not okay! We let him sleep on the bed with us and he has been good at that. He usually sleeps above my head or else at the foot of the bed. He can't sleep on the bed forever so I've wanted to start putting him in a crate at night again. Problem is HE HATES CRATES! I have a big metal wire one, that I've blocked off into a smaller space which he doesn't like, I've tried the smaller plastic carrying crate, covering it with blankets, pheromone spray to calm him down, putting my worn shirt in with him, putting the crate by the bed, out in the living room... And he still SCREAMS all night long. Sometimes he will stop and sleep for like 2 hours but then wake up and scream again. I just feel awful because I know his crate is supposed to be a place of refuge and comfort that he loves but he just hates it! Should I just keep to a tough love regimen? He gets into way too much trouble if he's not watched so I can't just let him roam around the room. He's basically completely potty trained. He sleeps through the night without any accidents when he's on the bed... Any suggestions of what others have done? I'm at a loss!
  • LilikoiLilikoi
    Posts: 1269
    Well, a crate should be introduced gradually and positively. Should start by just tossing treats in it and leaving the door open, letting him go in to get the treat and come out as he pleases. It should be a pleasant experience haha. After he’s learned to go in, that doesn’t mean it’s time to lock him in for 8 hours. But start with like 30 seconds. 1 Minute. 5 minutes. He’s just a baby, so I wouldn’t just lock him in and disregard his fear or discomfort. It’s new to him. When Ozzy was a puppy, I had his crate right next to my bed. If he made any noise, I would stick my hand up to the crate and reassure him. But I would wait for him to be quiet before letting him out. Every time. If it was absolutely necessary to let him out, or if I thought he needed to go outside or needed out for any other reason, I would do something that would distract him into being quiet for a second so I could still stick to only letting him out when he’s quiet. Like dropping a shoe, tossing something across the room, jingling some coins or something that would spark his curiosity or startle him a little.

    You could try letting him sleep in an ex pen with a dog bed so he has more space, or not allowing him on the bed and giving him a spot to sleep next to the bed (like a dog bed). Not everyone uses a crate, but a puppy especially needs some way to manage space while they can’t be supervised. Crates work great for some situations, but others do fine with having a safe room for their dog to stay in or an ex pen / gating things off.

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