Dogs and Crate Training

Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
edited November 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
So we've had our very first puppy
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Barry, for about two weeks now. He's about twelve weeks old himself. We've been working on crate training him, but I wanted to get some opinions to make sure we're not being horrible puppy parents because I worry about everything.

I work from home, luckily, so I'm able to take him out pretty reliably every two hours or so. In between that, he chills out with me in the office in his crate with a comfy blanket and some toys. Outside of work, which for me can vary from 9-5 to 1-9 depending on the day, we take him out usually around six thirty or so when he wakes up initially, and then again for breakfast and another outside break around 8:45 or so. If the GF is off he usually hangs out with her downstairs, but again in the crate unless she's actively playing with him because he inevitably pees or terrorizes one of our cats (who clearly wants to be terrorized and/or play with him because
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Archer will stalk him quietly from behind until close enough to jump up when Barry turns around and then bounce away.) Not counting outside breaks for eliminating I feel like he's only getting out of his crate for like an hour or so each day. Counting those outdoor breaks, probably 2-3 hours, but I still feel like he's cooped up too much. I don't think he minds it, really, because he seems content as long as we're near him, but he goes crazy if we leave the room unless he's sleeping.

We tried putting puppy pads down in the kitchen for him, but he seemed more stressed with that that being closed in his crate (even though we left the crate in the kitchen with him.

Is he okay being in the crate for that much time every day? Once he's fully house-trained and can go without accidents I plan on letting him roam our bedroom/the office (after moving our computers onto our desks so he can't destroy the cables), but I read that house-training can take several months to a year and I don't want to give him any sort of puppy-damage during this phase by keeping him trapped.

Secondary questions: Anyone have good luck training a lab puppy to not devour hands and/or cats, and should dogs generally be crated when you're out of the house once they're house-trained? I've read that they can sometimes do better in a crate for extended periods (like if we went out for the night) instead of being along in a big space because they feel more comfortable in their 'den'.

Mai-Kero on
zepherinShadowfire

Posts

  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    We never crate trained but have trained many a puppy. Just be consistent with taking them out. When he wakes up, when he eats etc.
    What we did was gate our pup in the kitchen. If she had an accident, it was easily cleaned and kept her out of mischief.

    Also with the hands every time he nips yet out a loud howl like you are a dog and he hurt you. Those are the cues they would get from mom.

    If it's really bad gently press their tongue to the bottom of their mouth and give em a stern no. Don't do it hard just enough to get them to associate the tongue thing with biting. Between that and the yelping it will stop. Also redirect from hands to appropriate toy

    mts on
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    zepherinDeadfall
  • mtsmts Dr. Robot King Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Oh one more word of puppy advice. Get them used to you going in their mouth, (checking teeth and gums etc) . And checking/messing with their claws. It will make your life easier later and your vet happy

    mts on
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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    edited November 2016
    Nothing wrong with crate training. If he chooses the crate when you are there, that's not a bad thing.

    From his perspective the crate is "his." I think that exercising your dog regularly and more is always beneficial. Even after he is house broken, leave the crate, but you can leave the door open. He will geek out if you take his crate away.

    To expedite the house training process. Keep a firm feeding and pooping schedule. Set a time and take him out then even if you want to sleep in. 6:30 grab a couple treats and take the dog outside. After he pees give him a treat. If he poops give him a treat.

    The key to dogs is more than anything they want to be where you are. The crate isn't bad as long as they are with you. Also if you crate then be wary how you face your crate.

    Facing the kennel towards you so they can see you helps. Also grab a dirty shirt, undershirt or T-shirt and put it in the kennel with them. The smell will calm them.

    zepherin on
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    Oh one more word of puppy advice. Get them used to you going in their mouth, (checking teeth and gums etc) . And checking/messing with their claws. It will make your life easier later and your vet happy
    Quoted for emphasis.

    Vet visits are so much more pleasant if he is used to people opening his mouth touching his feet and paw pads, and tail. The worst my dog gives during a vet appointment is a dirty look when the vet puts objects up the butt. And I can live with a look and some sulking for a half day.

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