Author Topic: Crating worries  (Read 590 times)

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Offline Stanleys Mum

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Crating worries
« on: January 21, 2021, 11:02:27 AM »
Hello all, I am new to the forum and for the last couple of days, have been reading lots of threads. You  all seem a lovely bunch so thanks for having me.

A bit of background, I have had dogs all my life but never a Cocker and I have not had a puppy in my life since I was about 12 and crating was not a concept I knew about - there was a lot of newspaper involved from what I can remember.

Anyway, I live with my Mum and we lost our last dog in October 2019 at the age of about 15 (he had been a stray and we got him around the age of 2) he was good as gold from the off. I was devastated but knew after a time, I would have another dog in my life.
Fast forward to just under a week ago and we got Stanley, he is beautiful, nearly 9 weeks old and a really good little boy considering his age.
The problem is me and my fear of crating him at night, I have seen such conflicting information on how to start crating but made sure the crate was a very welcoming place and fed and watered Stanley in the crate, he also has cuddly and chew toys in there as well as a scented blanket from his litter- this all makes perfect sense to me.
Then I start to become a little bit baffled with it all. The breeder advised to put him where I intend him to stay, which would be in the utility room downstairs and hindsight tells me he was probably right. Instead I decided to have him in my room for a few nights until he had acclimatised to his surroundings and more importantly, us!
He has a small crate in my room upstairs and a much larger one downstairs and he takes himself in there sometimes but I wouldn't say he loved it. He normally falls asleep out of the crate and then we put him in it which disturbs his sleep. Most of the advice is to leave the door open on the crate but I can't see him ever choosing to sleep in there of his own volition any time soon.
Last night he fell asleep on me and I fell asleep too and I am now starting to worry he is bonding with me much more than Mum and we are going to start having separation issues soon if I don't sort this out.
I suppose I am looking for a bit of advice and moral support because I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and crate him on his own in the utility with the crate closed. I have closed the crate door a couple of times when he is eating or already asleep and he is fine for a few minutes after finishing his food or waking up but it is a different matter if i leave the room and he cries but I don't let it go on for very long before going back (i wait until he is quiet for a second before walking in as I don't want to reinforce the crying).

This is a real ramble and I apologise and if you have got this far, thanks for reading and I hope someone can helpx


Offline bizzylizzy

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2021, 01:49:52 PM »
Hi and welcome to you and Stanley (love the name!).
Bearing in mind that all dogs are different, I can only relate what I did which worked ok for us.
Humphrey had a large travel crate which I put in the lounge next to the couch, which I slept on the first couple of nights. Gradually I moved the crate (with the door shut) bit by bit to the other corner of the room but stayed on the couch for another couple of nights. After a week I went back to sleeping upstairs and Humphrey stayed in his crate. (Inset up a baby phone for a week or so but he settled pretty quickly).
As he got a bit older and was house trained, I started to leave the crate in the  kitchen with the crate door open but door to lounge and other rooms closed and eventually we did away with the crate altogether and he sleeps on his bed downstairs.
In the beginning I used to pop him in his crate during the day for half an hour or so and just go into the garden or upstairs, just to get him used to the idea, and then gradually built up from there.
Humphrey is admittedly a very laid back cocker but we‘ve not had any separation issue at all up til now.

Offline Shaun W

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2021, 03:41:32 PM »
A slightly different approach here.
Alfie has a crate, which he has been in since day 1, and we have left him there on his own at night.
He had a bed in the lounge and another under the desk, but they have been trashed and he now has taken ownership of the 1 chair, which is known as the cuddle chair.

He very rarely goes in his crate of his own volition, but he does get enforced time outs, and nap times and is fine with it.

Offline MIN

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2021, 05:30:26 PM »
Gemma was crated from the first night we got her at 10 months old. She whoo hoo 'd her self to sleep. Luckily we have no neighbours so didn't worry us. It stops eventually. Fast forward 8 years. Yes she sleeps with us in bed but is just as happy in the crate. Pursever with crate training because they are not just for sleeping. Travel, vet stays or just confinement at home are their many uses.
You're always there when I need you. Devoted, loving and true.
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Offline Stanleys Mum

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2021, 09:20:13 PM »
Thank you all! We have just had an online grocery delivery and I thought it would be a good time to try him out with the crate door shut in the kitchen as we would be in and out. He screamed lime a baby and I ended up in tears feeling like the worst person ever!

Offline Barry H

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 09:27:33 AM »
Crates are a personal choice, not a necessity, though I appreciate they may be the ideal solution in some cases.  Just seems to add another layer of complexity and/or stress to both puppy and owner, more so if the pup dislikes being crated.  I never bothered with one.  At 8 weeks, Jack had his bed in the kitchen with a baby gate across the door (still does - very useful!).   You need to decide whether you're willing to persevere with a crate or not.  If pup isn't keen after a fair trial then ditch it.

If he's going to sleep in the utility room then start as soon as possible.   If the crate is a failure, use a baby gate so he's not completely shut in.  There will be the usual pandemonium till he gets used to being left alone but that's par for the course so you'll need to persevere.

Offline cazza

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 10:30:13 AM »
Hi and welcome to the forum

Well I can still remember 14 years ago - Fern slept in her crate from day 1, I slept in the kitchen with her the first couple of nights (sorry we have a big kitchen with a small sofa in - so I slept on the sofa)

I had a blanket covering 3 sides of the crate (not 100% cover to allow ventilation)  I moved to the bedroom and she cried for about 15 min and then all went quiet - she was great after a week or two  :luv: Well that was until she was about 4 months old and I was working night shift and OH felt sorry for her so took her to bed with him  >:D so that was the end of the bed time crate in the kitchen  :shades:

We kept the crate in the kitchen as her bed and she would go in there on her own, I would occasionally lock her in so I could go and have a shower in peace etc or like you having grocery delivery and so she was out from under our feet but safe

You need to work out where you want Stanley to sleep and stick with it - it's like having a baby and getting them to sleep in their own room -start as you mean to go on  ;)

Totally agree with this (i wait until he is quiet for a second before walking in as I don't want to reinforce the crying).
Totally the right thing to do  :luv:

Wishing you all the best and look forward to hearing how you get on

Offline Stanleys Mum

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2021, 10:43:05 PM »
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate you all taking the time to message me!

Well there has been a bit of progress, Stan doesn't completely go up the wall when I close the crate door now so he will go to sleep after a bit of protest.

I crate him randomly throughout the day and will leave the room as part of my natural daily routine and come back without much ceremony. I have more confidence that we will get there now and I know you guys are there which really helps!

 :D

Offline MIN

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2021, 08:56:05 AM »
Could save a few biscuits from breakfast or extra treats (which is a pups preferred option) and give one everytime you put pup in the crate. This makes the crate a good place to be. Our trouble is rattle the cooker jar and Gemma flys into hers even if she doesn't have to
You're always there when I need you. Devoted, loving and true.
No one could wish for anything more, Than a faithful friend like you
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Lorna & Gemma WCS




Offline ejp

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Re: Crating worries
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2021, 06:49:53 PM »
Min makes an excellent point.  Daisy was fed in her crate for the first wee while and had a treat/chew/kong as a reward, if you like, for going in.  Made the whole thing a positive place for her.