Crate Training

by Terri
(SE Minnesota)

We are providing a temporary home during the 12 month deployment for a now 13 month old GP, Luna. We've had her consistently for 4 months. Prior to the 12 month deployment of her person, we had her for a few 1-2 week stints, along with her newfie sister. In the beginning, Luna used her crate at night, albeit requiring a lot of patience and bribes (treats). She was crated at home. When she returned for the 12 month deployment, she was very, very, very skittish around her crate--and refused it entirely. She is EXTREMELY sensitive to criticism--really needs (and gets) only positive reinforcement but we struggled to convince her to go in, even for her favorite, favorite treat--which her newfie sister (bonded pair) happily took instead. The crate traveled with her, so no new crate. After consulting with her person, it was determined that she did not intend to crate Luna when she reclaimed her after her deployment over seas so we have NOT been crating her since then, in order to try to keep Luna's life and expectations as consistent as possible. At night, she is in a restricted area of the house where she has access to dog beds and a couch and can enter our bedroom at will (she prefers the stair landing and 'guards' us all night.

Recently, we've had a cold snap of bitterly, bitterly cold weather, with windchills in the minus double digits. Because of the seriously cold weather, we have eliminated 1 long walk for the sake of the humans and the small dog who we are also caring for. This is short term only due to severely cold weather. She gets one long walk (over a mile) every morning, at least 30 minutes playing at the dog park (lots of running), and a short walk before bed. We are nearly at the end of our bitterly cold cold snap and will add back in the other mile long walk. She is rarely left alone at home--as in, virtually never. She is allowed outside whenever she wants to go out, which is frequent.

She's begun a lot of destructive chewing. Shoes, magazines, today the tv remote, which is concerning as it could have been dangerous for her (and is expensive for us). I understand that she's probably bored with the confinement even though her newfie sister likes to wrestle and play with her and she gets as much outside time as weather allows. How can I curb chewing? How can I reintroduce the crate? I am concerned about ever being able to leave her alone for us and when she returns to her mom, who is single, and who works full time. I am concerned for her safety and also because I want her to have as easy and happy a transition back home and I'm concerned if she is destructive at home. Note: She is NOT destructive at night but during the day, she WILL take any moment of inattention to grab something she should NOT have and destroy it. Tonight it was the TV universal remote.

She is otherwise a lovely, lovely dog. We want to return her to her person in October a happy dog who is not destructive. HELP?????

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Feb 16, 2021
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Crating
by: Donna

Yes, it's important to have a crate-trained dog. And, I know it's cold out, but two hours of exercise is what is required. That, and plenty of intentional games so she isn't bored, and keep her mind occupied.

As for her favourite treat, that can constantly change. You can start by feeding her in the crate. If that isn't enough, put the dish just outside her crate for a few days until she is more comfortable, then just inside the crate, etc. You want to make it a good place for her to be.

Here is one game you can play and grow it.

Here are some resources for you:

Crate Games

Free Online Dog Training Workshop


Dogsthat Podcast

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