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Thread: Agro Puppy In Crate

  1. #1
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    Default Agro Puppy In Crate

    I have a 5 month old male shihtzu puppy who has been crate trained since we got him at 8 weeks. Whenever we give him the command "in your crate" he happily runs in and sits down however the second i go to close the door he barks, growls and starts bashing into the crate!?

    I've tried telling him to sit down, drop and ive also tried ignoring him completely but it continues to go on.
    Can anyone please help me stop this behavior? what could be causing it? it distresses me so much to see him like that, i feel like im putting him in jail.

  2. #2

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    Hi sweet kisses,

    Try throwing a few treats in before he goes into the crate that will keep him busy then close the door and feed him some treats through the door for a while keep giving him treats while he is quiet. Start to increase the time between treats so he is quieter for longer a then maybe give him something to play with. Try an empty 600 ml coke bottle or similar with some treats in it this way being in the crate with the door closed is rewarding for him.

  3. #3
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    The crate needs to be a happy place to be, and he needs to know just cause he goes in the crate doesn't mean everyone leaves him.
    Put him in the crate give him a treat, and leave him in their for a few minutes, then bring him out again. half an hour or so later, put him the crate with a treat, close the door, sit with him for a few more minutes and let him out again.
    If he goes in his crate when everyone goes to bed, he probably knows crate=everyone leaving me.
    Education not Legislation

  4. #4
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    Or....he could be possessive over the crate and try to boss you away. He might be taking on a alpha role. If this is the case you might have to be more assertive and do a little obedience training to make him aware you are the one in charge. Hard to judge without being there
    Pets are forever

  5. #5
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    Oh I missed the growling part...yeah he could be being territorial.
    Education not Legislation

  6. #6
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    Maybe you could record the behavior, this could help people out with deciding what your pup is doing, being possessive over his crate or what not.

  7. #7
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    Yes you need to decide what the growling is about.

    The usual things are putting the crate in a quiet place, covering the crate, feeding in the crate, putting in the cate for short periods of time, putting in the crate when he is tired etc.

    Long before I knew about crates I had a young ACD (she is now 10). I put her in the back part of my car behind the cargo barrier for the long 5 hour trip home after picking her up from the breeder at 10 weeks old.

    She cried and scratched and tried to tear the cargo barrier down. I was worried she was going to tear my car to pieces or hurt herself. I eventually put her in the front next to me and she fell asleep immediately and didnt move till I got her home. This continued - any form of enclosed confinement that separated her from me and she would fight and she would never give up no matter, she was one determined missy. She would tear herself and anything else in her path to pieces. I did give up because she was so well behaved out of any confinement, totally bombproof actually.

    Today she is still a determined missy but I can leave her in a crate, but back then there was just noooo way on this earth!

    I have never had a problem with any other dog.

  8. #8
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    I agree that yes it probably is because he knows we're leaving him as he and my other shihtzu both sleep in there at night.

    Thanks for the responses.. I'll see what i can do

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfsie View Post
    Or....he could be possessive over the crate and try to boss you away. He might be taking on a alpha role. If this is the case you might have to be more assertive and do a little obedience training to make him aware you are the one in charge. Hard to judge without being there
    Resource guarding (if it is) has nothing or very little to do about dominance or taking an "alpha role". Needles to say that a dog cannot be an alpha to another species except its own. I'd say that puppy is probably feeling insecure and lounges in defense (submissive aggression) because he has no way of escaping. Are you 100 % sure that the crate is a pleasant place for him? Obedience has also nothing to do with dog feeling uncomfortable and intimidated at certain times and places.

    @Kalacreek

    She cried and scratched and tried to tear the cargo barrier down. I was worried she was going to tear my car to pieces or hurt herself. I eventually put her in the front next to me and she fell asleep immediately and didnt move till I got her home. This continued - any form of enclosed confinement that separated her from me and she would fight and she would never give up no matter, she was one determined missy. She would tear herself and anything else in her path to pieces. I did give up because she was so well behaved out of any confinement, totally bombproof actually.
    She suffers from separation anxiety and it's good you've given up. Such dogs should not be crated because they can injure themselves easily because they panic. It should be taken very seriously and try different approach slowly, perheps with guidance of a behaviour professional.
    Last edited by Fedra; 12-06-2010 at 06:51 PM.
    Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.

  10. #10
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    sweetkisses

    Something you are doing is encouraging the bad/undesireable behaviour. Ie the dog is getting what he wants by bashing against the crate door. Ie you open it. Talking to him, giving him new commands or even scolding him would all be reinforcing or encouraging for him, so he'd bark and bash more.

    You might want to consider getting Susan Garrett's "Crate Games" and retraining him for the crate.

    A vague idea of it (and not nearly all the detail), is as follows

    When he goes in the crate, give him a load of yummy treats (after as a reward not before as a lure). Then shut the door for a second and before he can start carrying on, open the door, and give him another treat, high and as far to the back as you can reach. And then back out close the door, open it again before he has a chance to carry on, and then another treat high and at the back. Don't let him out.

    Try to build up to standing up after closing the door and before opening it again. And also try to increase the time between opening and closing, just a little bit.

    The way Susan starts it is she puts the dog in there, and shuts the door, and waits for the dog to do a nice sit before opening the door. This can take a while. But she just stands there and waits without scolding or making eye contact or talking to the dog...

    My dog is a bit thick though, and she did the whole exercise while remaining in a sit so it was a bit hard to teach her she needed to sit on purpose to get the door open because she always was, and she figured all she needed to do was keep still to get the door open and the treat.

    The treats have to be outstandingly yummy and unusual treats ie not stuff the dog gets every day.

    You build up to leaving the door open a bit and the dog should not come out until you give a release word like "lets go" and the first time the dog comes out you should have it on lead and encourage it straight back in.

    There's loads more to "Crate Games" than that, but initially I think you need to practice dog in, then close and open door sufficiently quickly that he doesn't get time to make a fuss and reward him while he's in the crate and being good.

    If he fusses, you need to cover the crate. Only allow him to be able to see out while he's calm and quiet.

    You may also want to get separate crates for your dogs. You can still put them next to one another but it does seem a bit mean to restrict one for the bad behaviour of the other.

    Kalacreek - I had almost exact same problem with my acd x puppy when I picked her up from AWL. She freaked out behind the cargo barrier, but when I put her on the front passenger seat, she curled up and didn't move an inch. She travelled like that for the next few months, and then graduated to the back seat. But I will never put her behind the cargo barrier again. However, she is quite happy to regard the car, the house and even a crate or dorm room as her safe place and not rip it up when I'm out. Phew. Otherwise I think I would not have been able to leave her at home.

    I also agree with what Fedra wrote about alpha and about the sep anxiety. And I agree with most of the ideas about getting the dog to be better behaved in the crate.

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