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Old 09-03-2012, 07:27 AM
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mollygirl1975 mollygirl1975 is offline
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Default Crate Training an adult dog

I need some help with crate training an adult dog. I have a 5 year old chihuahua/dachshund mix. He has never had a crate until we bought one yesterday. The only reason we bought one is because he has started becoming destructive lately when left in the house alone, and my husband (who works from home full time) has to travel for work for three days this week and three days next week, and I don't want to come home to a mess. I am having a hard time training him to go into the crate. I am keeping it positive and as stress free as possible, but he seems very resistant. He wouldn't take any treats from me when I was using them to lead him into it by dropping a treat closer and closer to the crate so he could get used to it. Anytime I would even try to get him close to the crate, he would roll over and show his belly. I did finally get him inside with a lot of coaxing and nudging and he stayed for a bit even though the door was open, but I am concerned that he is going to be highly stressed out when he is left in there on the days that my husband is traveling and I am at work.

I feel like I am missing something but I guess it is because he is older. When I crate trained my pitbull, she was 6 months old, and she took to it immediately. I just led her to it by dropping treats closer and closer to the crate and praising her as she got closer and then started dropping some inside so she would have to go in and praised her when she went in to get them. She is almost a year and a half old now and she absolutely loves her crate. She goes in there all the time to rest even though we didn't send her. That is what I want for my older dog, along with the reassurance that I am not going to come home to a mess while my husband is traveling.

Is there something I can do to help him not be so resistant so he won't roll over and show his belly to me and not get up, and also not stress him out over the entire thing at the same time? I appreciate any advice given.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:45 AM
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CaliTerp07 CaliTerp07 is offline
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I really don't think there's that much difference between training a puppy and an adult dog. What I think you're seeing is just a difference in personalities.

Realistically, you don't have time to make him love his crate in just a few days. I would stack the deck in your favor by plopping him in the crate with a long lasting treat (Kong frozen with chicken broth soaked kibble? Peanut butter in the kong?), put the crate in an area away from windows and exciting things, and put the two dog's crates side by side if they get along and you think one will reassure the other.
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:52 AM
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Look up "Crate games" on Google. There is a DVD, but there are some basic videos on Youtube if you want to try to start before you can get the DVD. It's VERY simple a method.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:16 AM
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mollygirl1975 mollygirl1975 is offline
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Well after posting this, I had to crate both dogs because our neighbor's dog was at our front door and my dogs were barking at him, and I still had sleeping family members. Wiggles (the one I am crate training) resisted a little when going into the crate, but I gave him a good belly rub for going in before shutting the door, and didn't whine at all while in there. He was in there for about 45 minutes and laid down and rested the entire time without a single peep. I am going to work with him throughout the day today so hopefully he will get used to it more and more by the time my husband has to travel for work.

Thanks for the suggestion for crate games. I will definitely have to look that up and see what that is all about.

I will also try the frozen kong since he loves a stuffed kong. I do have the crates close to each other so both dogs can see each other. I do think my pitbull will be a good reassurance for him as long as he can see her.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:40 AM
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mollygirl1975 mollygirl1975 is offline
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I checked out crate games just now, and I had no idea that is exactly what I was doing with my pitbull last night. We were having so much fun playing. I never would've imagined that training could be so much fun with her. I could tell by the look on her face, her energy level, and the way her tail was wagging wildly that she was having a great time. I will definitely have to do that with her more often because that was so much fun, and she was responding to the commands the first time, instead of being her normal stubborn self and sometimes listening the first time, and other times not listening at all. She even learned a new command (roll over) during our little playing session last night. My hope is that one day I can get my other dog to do some crate games like that with me. I love it when training feels more like play and less like work.
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