Crate Expectations

We are huge fans of crate training at Foster House.  Crates act as a dog’s “den” and become a safe place for them to go to sleep, hide, or just chill. They’re also extremely handy when potty training a puppy, or introducing a new foster dog into the house.  And we’ve had pretty good success at it so far.

Oscar slept in “his room” without complaint beginning the day we got him and never looked back.

I love my room.

Tucker took to the crate instantly and loved it as his little hide out.  Sometimes when we’d be watching TV or cooking dinner, we’d look at each other and say, “Where’s Tucker?” only to find him curled up in his crate taking a snooze. 

Don't mind me, I'm just chillin'.

Kaylee on the other hand has been a bit more challenging.  After starting her life on a backyard chain, then spending time in an outdoor kennel before coming to us, she hadn’t really had a lot of experience in a crate.  The first couple nights we had her, she cried for about 5 minutes before settling down to go to sleep.  Unfortunately it went downhill from there, to the point where at its worst, she was crying for upwards of an hour every night when we’d put her in the crate, and then off-and-on all night long, then again starting around 6:00 AM.  She would rather have slept anywhere but the crate, like here:

Here:

…or here:

It was rough.  Finally, we got a suggestion to move Kaylee’s crate from the kitchen into our bedroom, with the idea that maybe one reason she’s so distressed at night is because she’s separated from her “pack.”  So we did just that, and you would not believe the difference it made.  We thought for sure she’d still cry a bit, at least at first…but the very first night we moved her crate into our bedroom, she didn’t make a sound. Not. One. Peep.  All night long!

Then, last night, we had a major breakthrough.  As we were starting to power down for the night, Kaylee walked back to the bedroom and went into her crate on her own.  And laid down.  All by herself.  Without us even asking her to!

Let me say that again, because I’m not quite sure you really get how amazing that is: this is the same dog who would dig in her heels when we said “time for bed.” Who we had to literally drag into the crate at night, who could not be coaxed or bribed by treats or toys or anything.  When it was getting late, if we so much as said her name and took a step towards the kitchen, she would pancake herself against the couch, as if to say, “No way, no how, my friends, I am stayin right here.”

I'm good right, here thanks. No crate for me, no thank you.

It’s now been four nights since we moved the crate, that’s four nights of quiet bed times, and sleeping through the night without a sound.  We may eventually work on gradually moving the crate back into its normal spot in the kitchen, but for now we’re just enjoying the peace and quiet. Bliss.

For information on adopting our Sleeping Beauty, please contact Agape Animal Rescue.

~ 

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6 Comments

Filed under Our Foster Journey

6 responses to “Crate Expectations

  1. Amanda Myers

    So true! We had so many of the same issues with Barney. Bella was always so amazing with the crate. If she was tired, that’s where she went. If she saw us so much as thinking about getting ready to leave the house (shoes on, keys in hand, etc) she was in the crate. Unfortunately, Barney wasn’t so easy. And you’re right. So much of it seems to depend on where his crate is. He doesn’t hate the crate, he just hates be separated from his “pack”. Crate at night, in the bedroom, no problemo. Crate in the living room as we’re leaving the house, no thank you. And he makes it very very clear he’s not happy with it. When we leave the house, and he’s in his crate, we can hear them all the way to the point that we get in the car. In fact, as I type this, he in his crate, on his own accord. If I walked out of the house 5 minutes from now, he’d have a heart attack. It’s hard.

    BTW. Barns actually ALMOST passed the CGC test. I was most worried about the part where the dog has to be away from the owner and left with a stranger for 3 minutes. During class, (after 3 months of class) he had the hardest time with that part.. But he passed that part during the test itself. The only item he failed was the approaching another dog part. He just wanted to sniff bootie. Not cool by CGC standards. We’ll be trying again in January. More than anything, it’s just a good goal to keep us involved in classes with him. He’s a great dude and has come such a long way! 🙂

    Like

    • Amanda I’m SO glad to hear Barney’s doing so well! We still think about him quite a bit. I can’t believe he almost passed the CGC! That’s amazing!! To let you in on a little secret, we were so scared Oscar wouldn’t pass his (same section Barney failed on) that we decided to take him to doggie day care that day to wear him out before we went! Cheating? Ehh…. Good luck in January, I’m sure he’ll get it then!!

      As great as Kaylee’s doing at night, we’re still having some of the same issues that Barney is dulling the day – not so happy. She’s getting better but it’s a work in progress! 🙂

      Like

  2. WOW im so impressed, great advice!

    Like

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