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Old 04-30-2012, 08:24 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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This is the ONE behavior problem I have with Mia. Let me first say that she no longer does this at all in a class setting. In class, she doesn't exactly 'settle' but has learned to sit in her crate until being released. This has taken quite a while to get there.

At home though if I take out Summer, she's a mess. I've done crate game after crate game. It works until I get Summer out and Mia is stuck in a crate.

Here's a video where I just waited her out a minute to let you all see what she's doing. I'm really worried she's going to hurt her teeth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFakC7AOPZw

One thing I'm wondering is that this is her travel crate that I use at home. I use her bigger wire crate and mat at class. Maybe I should use that one at home too to make things more consistent?

I am feeling bad because I'm not getting any work done with Summer and when I do try to pay a lot of attention to Mia while Summer is out, I often miss when Summer is doing what I want. I guess when I really want to work with Summer I should take her outside and then treat these sessions more as a time to work with Mia in the crate and use Summer as a distraction?

I'm so frustrated with this. I've been working on it for months and am seeing no progress at all.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:26 PM
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Probably things you've tried, but can you cover the crate with a towel? Put it in another room? Give her a stuffed kong or a special chew she gets *only* when you are working Summer?
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:45 PM
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I'd start by turning the crate around so she doesn't have bars to bite at while looking at you.

If she's only doing it at home I'd probably just put her in another room or work Summer in another room/outside as you said. Would remove my temptation to inadvertently reward by giving her attention while carrying on.

Boston Banker has nice suggestions -- she might still throw a fit but if you are covering or giving her something to self-sooth plus working out of her immediate area she could eventually calm enough to take advantage of those cues later if you want to work toward being able to work Summer right outside her crate.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Shai View Post
I'd start by turning the crate around so she doesn't have bars to bite at while looking at you.

If she's only doing it at home I'd probably just put her in another room or work Summer in another room/outside as you said. Would remove my temptation to inadvertently reward by giving her attention while carrying on.

Boston Banker has nice suggestions -- she might still throw a fit but if you are covering or giving her something to self-sooth plus working out of her immediate area she could eventually calm enough to take advantage of those cues later if you want to work toward being able to work Summer right outside her crate.
As simple as that solution is it has NEVER occurred to me to try that.

I guess that means a no for the wire crate since every side is wire?

I have tried giving her a kong and it works for a nanosecond until she realizes that Summer is getting worked with. A big problem with her is that there really isn't anything more rewarding to her than being able to do something, especially training.

I think I'll try a combination of putting her in another room in the crate with a kong and a blanket and see if that settles her down after a while. I have tried leaving her loose in another room and she tears at the door. I've also tried putting her in her playpen (with a kong) but she bites at the bars there too.

She's not perfect in class, but she's so much better than she is here. But I pretty much have to work on crate games most of our down time there too. I know it's my fault because I did not ever wait her out as a puppy (and if you think she is annoying now, she SCREAMED back then) I was in an apartment and was afraid she'd get me in trouble for being so loud. I tried the first night and she screamed for about thirty minutes before I let her up on the bed with me.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I guess when I really want to work with Summer I should take her outside and then treat these sessions more as a time to work with Mia in the crate and use Summer as a distraction?
Yes, do this.

In the video, at about the third second in, she puts her head down and huffs. I would totally suggest clicking that. Any resemblance of calm behavior - if you see muscles relaxing, putting her head down, sighing, etc. - should get clicked. So yeah, you'll need to be paying really close attention to her.

When you practice, start with Summer just out in the room, and work Mia on being calm in the crate. Then do quick simple things with Summer - eye contact, quick sits, etc. - so fast that Mia doesn't really notice you're training with Summer until she notices Summer getting rewarded, at which time you should definately be rewarding Mia too for being calm while Summer's getting worked. Then just lengthen out the duration between reinforcement and the distraction level, similar to how you'd teach stay or any other long-duration behavior.

I do this at work a lot, it's a great way to proof stays: if one dog can stay while the other dog gets trained, then you know you've got a good stay. Plus it's fun to train two dogs at once. Once I did it with three - two dogs in a stay, one working with me. Course that got annoying because the two in the stays kept breaking to play with each other.

Know too that it does take a LOT of mental energy to do a session like this. You basically really have to split your attention two ways. I know to keep these sessions short, because otherwise I'd get tired and my training would get sloppy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurelin View Post
I know it's my fault because I did not ever wait her out as a puppy (and if you think she is annoying now, she SCREAMED back then) I was in an apartment and was afraid she'd get me in trouble for being so loud. I tried the first night and she screamed for about thirty minutes before I let her up on the bed with me.
Waiting it out is not the best choice for all puppies. My parents tried that with our first puppy - she was six weeks old, they put her in the kitchen in the crate and they went to the other side of the house, and she literally broke out of the crate while they were "waiting her out." Nearly hurt herself, too, it was quite dangerous. She was never able to go in a crate again. So, maybe you've done the right thing, waiting to crate train Mia until she's a little more mature and you have a better technique ("Crate Games") to use with her. Don't beat yourself up!
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizzybeth727 View Post
I do this at work a lot, it's a great way to proof stays: if one dog can stay while the other dog gets trained, then you know you've got a good stay. Plus it's fun to train two dogs at once.
I was going to suggest this, too, if you think you could work on a down-stay with her out of the crate and split your attention.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:16 AM
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I was going to suggest this, too, if you think you could work on a down-stay with her out of the crate and split your attention.
You don't even have to have her in a stay, though, just train the crate as if it were a stay.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:38 PM
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Have you tried, mat/placement work? If both dogs understand that behaviour (you can also use the crate with the door open) then work them together if that is possible. Or use a chair/sofa etc. Ask each dog to go to a place (crate/chair/sofa/mat) reward both for staying while you walk around, make sure to break eye contact. Reward staying and quiet, progress to releasing one dog, reward the other for staying, work for a couple of seconds with the dog on the floor but keep a high rate of reinforement to the dog in the place position. Send first dog back to place, release second dog. In the beginning, the dog in place earns a very high rate of reinforement for staying, as they start to understand the game, the sessions can get longer and you can start to fade the rate of reinforcement. Also the reward for placement and not breaking will transfer to the release and working with you. You can also tie them up on a loose leash to ensure they stay on the placement and reward for any quiet/calm behaviour. You can work both dogs with crates and play the Yer Out Yer In game, but again they have to have at least a decent understanding of the game first before attempting to do it with both.

Good luck.
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:31 PM
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Laurelin Laurelin is offline
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Thanks for the ideas! I think the majority of the problem is me and getting frustrated trying to work both dogs at once and them not being up to par with their settles and stays. Also I think I need to just start viewing the crate work as one thing and then do our class homework in other sessions. I'm trying to combine the two and it's just too much for Mia at this point. I can't work on Summer's rally while Mia is in the kennel. I need to focus more on Mia during those sessions and less on Summer. So I've been kind of looking at this backwards.

Mia does mat work in class and some at home. To be honest we have always struggled with getting her excitement level manageable. She overstimulates VERY fast and I am just now at 3 years old seeing some improvement/maturity in her.

Yeah the waiting it out did not work for her. First week home we were at my dad's and I put her upstairs by herself in her crate for the night and she screamed for hours and hours every night. She was no better by the time that I moved to the apartment so that just never happened. With future dogs I'm just going to go straight into crate games and forget the stupid 'wait the dog out'.
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