crate attachemnt

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Debbie Meyers
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crate attachemnt

Post by Debbie Meyers »

I have rescued an 8 year old male from a shelter. :D I have found he wants to spend all his time in his cage .He is friendly, but very nervious when we get him out. He is very loving and gets along well with our other dogs. I need to know how to help him be comfortable out of the cage...seems to have no training and am guessing he was an outside dog. When outside he spends his time peeing on everything and running around. He did go for a walk with a harness today , but wanted back in the cage as soon as we came in.

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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by rtropeano »

I would spend time with him doing pleasurable things outside the crate. I would slowly lure him out of his crate with treats and feed him his dinners outside of his create etc. Most importantly, I would never force him out. Let him come out at his own pace.

Since he had no training - taking him to obedience classes would be a great idea. Class is not only a good place for socialization, it also builds confidence and helps straighthen the human/dog bond.

I think he'll come around it is just going to take time and patience.


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Barb Wright
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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by Barb Wright »

Ditto what Rose suggested. It really sounds like you are dealing with a dog that has little or no experience with the world beyond a cage :cry: You are going to have to be really patient and realize that almost everything you do will be a new experience for him.....sort of like being dropped on a planet where you know nobody, know nothing about what you should or shouldn't do, and seeing things you've never seen before. Cultural shock, if you will.

Almost all dogs that come into rescue have to deal with the huge change that has taken place in their lives....some make all the adjustments easily, depending upon what their history is and what baggage they bring with them. Eventually, 99% of them finally relax and become the personality that they truly all depends upon when they finally figure out that they are HOME, feel safe, secure, know what the rules and regs are, and have learned where they fit into the pack, human and otherwise.

Just give your boy lots of love, kindness, and above all, patient guidance....he will hopefully figure out that life is finally good for him :)
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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by Puddin Man »

Barb and Rose covered virtually all the bases.

I had a foster years ago that stayed in the crate for 3+ days the first week here.

Crate was in the basement. I parked a portable chair and my little Brit gal down there, and spent a lot of time reading a book. When it was very quiet, I'd shoot a beam from a laser pointer by the crate opening. It was just curiosity in a state of boredom that finally got her out. The laser pointer was/is a long-time play-thing for me and mine, so it was natural to try it.

I never did get the foster to play (too much baggage, I guess) but she integrated into the household pretty well after "coming out".

Don't worry about it too much: the dog will come out when he's ready. Let him stay in when he wants, but demonstrate the benefits of life outside the crate whenever it "fits", and avoid anything that might be traumatic for him. If you can get him to play a little, you will be "over the hump".

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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by kat »

Ditto, ditto, ditto. We have a foster (not Britt) who came from a commercial breeder, she took a good year to really come out of her crate much, and even now, two years later, still prefers her crate or under a table, etc. She will come out to greet visitors now, and follows me around the house, but she has crates or hiding places everywhere. Six years as a breeding bitch living in a crate is taking a long time to undo, who knows what your boy did for 8 years. Be patient and try not to expect more than he can give right now. Our girl was also terrified of my DH, he spent almost a year tossing pieces of chicken or hot dog at her when he walked by her just to convince her he was a nice guy. Of course he can't eat without her in his face now, but he can actually pet her now!! Good luck with this guy, he'll come around with lots of love and patience, and THANK YOU for adopting an older dog! Hope to hear good stories and see pictures soon.
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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by swillow66 »

Just like everyone else said - quiet patience, understanding and love!!

You are awesome for taking this guy in! Sounds like he deserves to be spoiled a bit - welcome to the board and hope you post some pics! Shelli
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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by Lisa »

Ditto what everyone else said - and a few suggestions -

If you can, put his crate in whatever room y'all spend the most time in. When I have fosters that are very attached to their crate, I will stick an extra crate in the corner of the living room and take the door off. That way, the dog can hang out in the crate and still be with me.

When the dog does come out of the crate, don't make a big deal about it. In the crate, out of the crate, it's all good. If you want to reward coming out of the crate, just glance at the dog, and toss a treat in front of him, but don't make a big deal out of it. It's more like - "hey, look, you came out to's a treat. I'm going back to what I was doing now."

You can do a reverse sort of crate training at dinner time. Generally, when I'm teaching a dog to tolerate a crate, I feed in the crate, slowly moving the food bowl in, then shutting the door, etc. You can do that in reverse. First, let the dog eat with the bowl in the crate. Do that for a few days, then move the bowl to just outside the crate, so that the dog only has to stick his head out to eat. Keep it at that level for a few days, then move the bowl a litle farther out so the dog has to put front feet out to eat. Every couple of days, increase the bowl's distance from the crate.

When the dog is worried and obviously wants back in his crate, let him. Don't shut the door, leave it open, but let the dog retreat. Just make it a non-event, like going to lay down on a dog bed. Treat being in the crate as no big deal, nothing to reward. When he comes out, that's a non-event too. If he actually comes to you for attention, that's when he gets cookies, or pets. Typically, with dogs that are worried or stressed, having a party for them when they come out of the crate can be scary and send them right back to the crate.

If you absolutely have to get the dog out of the crate, and he really doesn't want to, use a leash. Change the picture for him by putting a leash on him and quickly moving him out of the crate and to where ever you need him to be, then reward. Don't make a big deal out of it, don't try and bribe him to come out, or beg him or whatever. The more attention (either positive or negative) the dog receives around his crate, the harder it will be to lessen that attachment.
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Re: crate attachemnt

Post by AuntieMom »

We have always let our fosters hang in the crate if that is what they want. We leave the door open so they can come and go as they wish. The crate is in the kitchen and my current foster quickly figured out that while the crate is good Auntiemom dispensing treats as she cooks is even better.
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