To Crate or Not to Crate???HELP

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Husky Love
Barked: Tue Jun 3, '08 5:55pm PST 
We are looking to see if other husky owners crate their dogs.

Blitz has hated his crate since he was 7 weeks. We have tried many recomendations on how to ease dogs into liking thier crates. We even watch the Dog Whisperer. He will go in when we leave or at bed time, but really has anxiety.
We have tried leaving him out during the time we are done, but he destroys things...even if we leave bones, toys and Kongs. We have yet to try and leave him out all night, but he is willing to be crated for bed, but wakes up every night at 3 am.

Any other husky owners that have advice or experiences would be wonderful. Niko our other husky doenst have these issues, so its night and day.

Thanks for the help

Blitz & Mom
Fun On The- Run Kennel- Racing

'10 Junior- Iditarod, 6th- place!
Barked: Tue Jun 3, '08 6:56pm PST 
I have dogs who will gladly go into a crate, and then I have Sierra. After she was spayed we took her home, put her in her crate and went to wal*Mart for less than 2 hours. When we got home, Her crate was covered in blood and moved all the way across the kitchen...She had chewed and scratched at the crate so much that she shreded her paws and teeth...now she doesn't go into the crate unless we are home. When she is left loose in the house she doesn't do too much damage, but it is better than having her destroy her paws/ gums over and over from panic...
Kristari's September Calypso

Calypso has- landed!
Barked: Tue Jun 3, '08 7:15pm PST 
Yikes, Fun On The Run! I could see Calypso doing that. She's never been a big fan of crates - she tolerates hers but, again, only when we're around. Not sure I would trust her loose in the house alone though. When we're away, she is outside in a large pen with the other dogs.

On the other hand, there was also my first husky who LOVED her crate. It was crazy. I would take her for a walk at night and when I brought her inside she would just about pull my arm off trying to get in her crate! I have no idea why she adored it and yet Calypso merely tolerates it.

I think it mainly depends on the husky. I am strongly in favor of crate training with any dog though.

Kristari's September Calypso

Calypso has- landed!
Barked: Tue Jun 3, '08 7:16pm PST 
PS - When Calypso was a small puppy, I had to get up AT LEAST once every night in the middle of the night to take her for a walk. She got over that as she grew older.

It's ALL About- The Nika!
Barked: Wed Jun 4, '08 7:48am PST 
Here is the thing.. I ALWAYS HIGHLY RECOMMEND CRATE TRAINING.. even if the dog doesn't need the crate anymore. The reason why is actually for many reasons. As dogs get older, vet stuff can happen and they are forced into a crate at the vet, or need to be kept calm in small area .. all leading back to a crate. So if the dog is already crate trained, these times won't be as hard on the dogs. PLUS... we use crates for things like eating, staying at hotels I am not accidently let loose by a maid or something. Who says that Do Not Disturb sign is 100%? They can still come in.. and away goes the dog. I go to events on occasion and I get tired! The crate is MY way of saying.. MOM.. I AM DONE! I go in for down time.

Now all that said.. how do you get okay with the crate? Well.. it needs to be a happy place. Not the ugly place. Often crates are ONLY used when people leave so they = bad place. You need to turn that upside down and recreate the crate as GREAT PLACE! So you can do this by giving HIGH end treats that they ONLY get in the crate. Maybe feed dinner in the crate. Give the great bone the dogs LOVEs in the crate. I will post in a few some other articles to help you too!

It's ALL About- The Nika!
Barked: Wed Jun 4, '08 7:53am PST 
Important Crate Tips:

· Your dog’s crate should be just large enough for your dog to stand up and turn around.

· There are two types of crates:

- Metal: Some dogs prefer this type of crate because they can see what is going on around them. The recommended brand of metal crate is the Midwest Champion Series crate.

- Plastic crate: Some dogs prefer this type of crate because they like the more confined, den aspect of these crates. The recommended brand is the Deluxe Vari Kennel.

· Never put your dog in a crate as a punishment! This means don’t say, “Bad Rover!” while putting him in the crate. The crate would then become undesirable to the dog; your goal is to make it desirable.

· Put a favorite treat (bone, stuffed kong, pig’s ear) in the crate with your dog. Let the dog only have that special treat when he/she goes in the crate. Then the crate becomes a good thing.

· In crate training: never let your dog out of the crate when he is crying to get out. If you do, he learns that by crying, he can have freedom.

· If you are putting your dog in the crate, don’t make a big deal about saying good-bye before putting her in the crate. If you make too much of a fuss and get her worked up, it would be much like putting a four-year-old who just had lots of candy in a small room.

Remember to never leave anything in the crate or on your dog which may cause harm to your dog. This includes choke collars and leashes.

It's ALL About- The Nika!
Barked: Wed Jun 4, '08 7:56am PST 
Separation Fun—Recognizing and Solving Owner Absent Behavior

When dogs misbehave during an owner’s absence the problem is summarily labeled separation anxiety. In reality, a more apt and descriptive term would be separation fun: In most cases, the dog just cannot wait for the owner to go to work in the morning so that it can go to work on the house and indulge in a well deserved chew, dig, leak or bark.
The problem is the product of an over-reliance on punishment oriented training methods. The dog misbehaves and the owner punishes the dog. Rather than learning the inappropriateness of its specific behavior, the dog learns that it is unadvisable to misbehave in the owner’s presence.
However, activities that humans consider misbehavior, dogs consider to be quite normal, natural, and necessary. Since the dog dares no indulge in these doggy activities in the owner’s presence, it simply waits for the owner to leave.
Separation anxiety is a normal fallacy, whereby merely labeling the owner’s perceived problem becomes the cheap alternative for really trying to understand the etiology, prevention and treatment of a dog’s annoying behaviors in an attempt to arrive at a solution.
Excessive Punishment
Attempting to train a dog solely by punishing the dog’s mistakes is a task of Sisyphean proportion – an everlasting and painfully laborious proposition. Punishment training is extremely ineffective, inefficient, and unreliable. In fact, it often exacerbates existing problems and creates additional ones.
Several problems are generated the first time the dog misbehaves and is not immediately punished. The dog has learned there are times it can act like a dog and get away with it. So it reserves its natural doggy behaviors for those specific times when the owner is 1) physically absent (away from home, upstairs, asleep, taking a shower), 2) physically present but mentally absent (daydreaming, preoccupied, chatting with friends), or 3) physically present but functionally absent in the obedience ring, in company, when holding a baby and a bag of groceries.
Delayed Punishment
Just because an owner cannot effectively punish the dog when it misbehaves does not necessarily mean he will not punish the dog. Instead, the dog is punished when he returns home. As a result, many dogs do indeed become anxious when left alone: the anxiety is prompted by the prospect of the owner’s return, (and expected chastisement). Physical concomitants such as habitual activity (usually bad habits like barking, digging, and chewing), and increased urination frequency and diarrhea usually manifest symptoms of anxiety.
Generally, punishment of any nature is hardly fun for either dog or owner and specifically, delayed punishment is extremely ineffective for resolving behavior problems and extremely effective at destroying the dog’s temperament. An owner can punish the dog upon returning home, and the dog will continue misbehaving in the owner’s absence. Moreover, each punishment progressively erodes the dog’s trust and confidence in the owner. Continued use of delayed punishment promotes considerable antipathy and fear towards the owner.
On the other hand, reward oriented methods resolve most behavior problems. Rather than beating the dog, why not just solve the simple (owner-created) behavior problem? If the dog really becomes anxious when left alone, let’s do something about it pronto.
Behavior Modification
First, prevent the dog’s problem from further irritating the owner or neighbors, and second actively set about re-training the dog. Either confine the dog to an area where its misbehavior causes minimal damage or rustle up a dog sitter to spend time with the dog until the problems are resolved.
If it is necessary for the dog to be left unattended for long periods of time and if the dog is not yet reliable, confining the dog to a single room will limit potential damage to the confinement area. For example, an indiscriminant eliminator may be confined to the kitchen or a utility room – areas with non-porous floors, which may be kept papered. Thus, long-term confinement becomes a passive learning process whereby the dog becomes accustomed to eliminating on papers. The owner may then take along paper to encourage the dog to eliminate in its toilet area, and it can be used to wrap up and dispose of the waste products.
Similarly, by confining a potential chewer to an empty room littered with chew toys the dog develops the habit of playing with chew toys (if only out of boredom and nothing else to do).
Excessive barkers and diggers should not be confined to the yard. Instead, housetrain the dog. A barker may be left away from neighbors, in a room (easily sound proofed) with a radio playing (both for white noise and comfort).
A digger may be left in the kitchen or in outdoor concrete run with a small digging pit that kept well stocked with toys and treats. After a week of daytime confinement in its run, the dog’s excavations will now occur in the digging pits in its run.
Real Separation Anxiety
It is unfair to acknowledge that a dog is anxious and then do nothing about it. Whether it truly misses its owner or whether it grows anxious at the prospect of the owner’s return owners must realize that they have created the problem so they should do something about it. First, stop punishing the dog during homecomings and second, teach the dog to weather unavoidable periods of social isolation.
Different breeds and different individual dogs are more dependent on their owners than others. Often however; the dog’s dependency is exacerbated by the necessities of the owner’s lifestyle and, also, unintentionally fostered by the owner’s good intentions. If the dog is smothered with attention and affection when the owner is at home it is more likely to become anxious when affection is withdrawn. Creating a Jekyll-and-Hyde environment produces a Jekyll-and-Hyde personality; the dog is as happy as a clam when the owner is at home but depressed, upset and anxious when the owner is away. The owner must endeavor to build up the dog’s confidence so that it can cope with the stress of isolation and confinement.
The only time the owner can realistically train the dog to cope with separation is when the owner is at home to train the dog. Here’s how:
1. When Rover is eating his dinner, gnawing on a bone or sacked out enjoying a tummy-rub by the fire, play a piece of classical or soothing music. After a few recitals, the music will acquire secondary reinforcing properties: It becomes a relaxation tape. Relax with Rover!
2. Either put the dog in its confinement area or let the dog have the run of the house and confine the owner to a single room to read a book. Turn on the relaxation tape and place some recently used and well-matured socks at the bottom of the door separating the dog and owner. The out-of-sight owner may monitor the dog’s behavior and periodically reappear to praise the dog for good behavior, or to reprimand the dog for excessive noise or other inappropriate activity. Dogs quickly adapt to partial separation practiced regularly during evenings and weekends.
3. On Monday morning, with the dog in its safe haven, turn on the relaxation tape, close the door put down the socks and then hurry off to work using an exit the dog can’t see. The dog can smell the owner and hear the owner (the music) but it cannot see the owner. The sounds and smell normally associated with the owner’s presence help reassure the dog during isolation.
The Dog that Cannot be Left Alone
(by Joan M. Locher, Board of Directors of the National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors)
Does your dog cause problems when you are not at home? Does he engage in behaviors such as destructive chewing, digging, excessive whining, or barking? Is your dog totally housebroken if you are home but often has accidents when you are away? (This causes many people to think their dog is being spiteful because he was left alone, but that is unlikely.) Does he greet you with a great deal of emotion when you return? He may be suffering from isolation anxiety, a condition which is becoming increasingly common among pet dogs.
Today’s lifestyle has a lot to do with this growing problem. Most pets enjoy the privilege of being treated as a member of the family. Including them in our everyday activities creates a special human/animal bond. This bond makes the average “indoor” dog calmer, more well-mannered, and more eager to please than their “outdoor” counterparts. However, the dog of today often lives in two different worlds: smothered with affection half of the time, and totally along the rest of the time. These two extremes can create emotional upheaval within the dog.
Excessive attention may cause the dog to “overbond” to the owner. This can result when the dog sleeps in the owner’s bed and is held or petted for hours at a time. Another contributing factor is leading a sheltered or overprotected existence, in which he is clutched anytime another dog or a stranger approaches. The overbonded dog follows the owner from room to room, constantly paws, leans, or nudges, and cannot stand to be outside in the yard for any amount of time by himself. He will not eat when the owner is not there… even if it’s for several weeks!
How does one develop a healthy bond with their new pet, without making him abnormally emotionally dependent? Make sure your puppy has his own bed, preferably near yours. Socialize the puppy well so that he will be calm and confident around others. Make him earn all petting. If he leans or nudges, tell him “sit” or “down,” and then give only 3 to 5 seconds of petting. If he repeats the nudge, give another command so he can earn another brief pet. When you leave, confine him so he cannot get into trouble, and give him chew toys, fresh water, and soft music in your absence. A good workout of jogging or fetch, before you leave, will tire him and reduce stress. Leave in a matter-of-fact manner, with no emotional goodbyes, and return just as matter-of-factly, with no emotional hellos.
If your dog shows signs of experiencing separation anxiety, what can be done to rehabilitate him? The dog be can conditioned to not overreact to departures by leaving him for very brief periods (perhaps just for a minute or two) several times a day. Also practice sit/stay exercises in a friendly, positive manner. Gradually lengthen the time and distance of the departures and the stay exercises when the dog does well. Shorten them and do them more frequently when he does poorly. Remember that stress is the root of the problem, so negative corrections for any related behaviors would increase stress and make matters worse. Separation anxiety is an emotional response, not the result of disobedience or spitefulness.

It's ALL About- The Nika!
Barked: Wed Jun 4, '08 7:57am PST 
Now what you are seeing really is not a crate issue so much as an anxiety issue.. which the dog associates to being crated. I go in crate = human leaves. So what you really need to work on is crating when humans are home with the aforementioned things of highend treats and meals in the crate. Plus try reading the articles on anxiety in the post above to work on things.