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Crate Training

(25 Posts)
ATrainSeat Wed 26-Jun-19 12:57:33

Hi all, we are getting a border collie puppy in 6 weeks and I’m just thinking ahead to how puppy will sleep. Our dogs sleep in our room, so puppy will sleep in a crate by our bed. However, this failed with my previous puppy who was never happy in the crate. I know I need to make the crate a happy place and gradually build up, but how did this work for those of you who are using the crate for the puppy to sleep in at night? Did you just go for it the first night and put them in? I’m just thinking I won’t have had much time to get the pup comfortable in the crate before it’s bed time!


OP’s posts: |
missbattenburg Wed 26-Jun-19 13:45:35

For Battendog, I only used a create at night and did so like this:

First night it was right next to my bed. Popped him in it when he was sleepy and spent 10-20 mins sat on the floor with the door slightly open and my arm inside the crate, gently stroking him. I just kept repeating Shush now, settle down, hush now etc" in a gentle voice until he seemed like he was asleep. Then I shut the door but stay there, talking. Then I slowly moved away into bed but kept my arm drooped down. It probably took about an hour for me to be comfy and ready for sleep myself.

When he woke for a wee, we'd go and then I'd pop him back in the crate and repeat the above (it was a bit of a quicker process).

The second night I repeated but moved a bit quicker.

The third night I didn't bother with the door open bit.

I think it was the 4th or 5th night that the bedtime routine was down to just 5 mins of gentle talking.

The crate stayed by my bed for about 2-3 weeks and then I started to inch it across the room. By now he was going in voluntarily at night time, with the ocasional play up. Each night I would push it back by 1-2 inches until it was the other side of the room. If I wanted him to sleep elsewhere, I'd have kept on moving it but I didn't so it stayed te other end of the room until he was about 6 months old.

At that stage I decided he was clear to sleep with the door open. He still took himself into his open crate for a few weeks but gradually started sleeping outside of it, by choice. I then removed it completely and replaced it with a bed that he never uses.

Fucksandflowers Wed 26-Jun-19 14:14:48

I have a border collie too.
I didn't really get her used to it at all.
I just put her in it every night for bed!
Sometimes I would give her a kong in there as a little treat.
I don't use it all now.

OverFedStanley Wed 26-Jun-19 14:26:30

This is something you need to talk to the breeder about. Take a crate to the breeders and get them to fed your puppy in the crate. This can be started as soon as the puppies are on food.

Also encourage the breeder to let the puppies in the crate to sleep - by the time they get to you your puppy should be happy in the crate and it will make life easier for the puppy to transition and for you.

Floralnomad Wed 26-Jun-19 14:55:35

Why not just use a play pen instead that way you can dangle your hand in as necessary and I think that because they are not so enclosed it’s not such an issue getting them ‘used’ to being in it .

Spidey66 Wed 26-Jun-19 17:47:59

We've got a border collie pup as well....coming up to 5 months, had her since 9 weeks. First we weren't keen keen the idea of a crate and she slept in a dog bed. But we changed our mind when we were having trouble training her.

For about a week or so, we kept it open and put her bedding and toys in there. When she felt comfortable in there, we started locking it, keeping an eye to hear her whin8ng. She did, but only for a few minutes. Now she's totally ok with it, we can leave her in it overnight and for and for a few hours during the day. My husband's retired so we only use it during the day if we're going for a meal or something and doing want to come back to a wet or smelly house. She's fine with it on those terms. Apart from overnight we'd put her i n it about twice a week.

Spidey66 Wed 26-Jun-19 17:48:40

house training

ATrainSeat Wed 26-Jun-19 20:16:07

Some great advice thank you. Definitely going to use a play pen downstairs but wasn’t sure how it would fit in upstairs in our room.

missbattenburg that routine is really helpful thank you.

overfedstanley the breeder lives three hours away and we will only be visiting once before we bring the puppy home. She’s a very very experienced owner/breeder and I wouldn’t like to tell her what to do with her puppies at all haha.

OP’s posts: |
ATrainSeat Wed 26-Jun-19 20:16:56

Yeah she definitely won’t be in a crate forever, it’s just to begin with to help house training and avoid night time destruction!!

OP’s posts: |
Lovemusic33 Thu 27-Jun-19 07:27:35

I had a collie x lab that was easy to crate train, he was then dry in the house after a few weeks and I got rid of the crate after a couple months.

Getting our new rescue dog tomorrow and he’s already used to a crate so I have bought him one just to use until he’s used to being left and is fully house trained, have made it nice and cosy for him and will get him used to using it with the door open at first but he does sleep in a crate at night and when left apparently.

OverFedStanley Thu 27-Jun-19 08:41:49

Its your puppy and you DO need to tell her what to do with the puppy. A good breeder should be up to listening to you and discussing this with you. If not I would not use that breeder smile

A good breeder should already be conditioning your puppy to recall and being alone, and also used to the care before being sent home to new owners. I would be interrogating all breeders on this before deciding on the puppy. I would want to see the socialisation plan that the breeder is using.

OverFedStanley Thu 27-Jun-19 08:42:50

care = car!

Floralnomad Thu 27-Jun-19 09:00:17

Why should a breeder be getting dogs used to a cage , perhaps the breeder is among the many people in this country that manage to raise pups without keeping them in cages .

ATrainSeat Thu 27-Jun-19 09:42:52

overfedstanley it’s not my puppy yet, it’s very much still her puppy and quite rightly she could meet me and decide we’re not a good fit for her puppies. I am very happy with this breeder and won’t be changing. The pups are brought up in a fantastic environment with lots of opportunities but I won’t be telling her she has to introduce them to a crate because it’s what I want. It would be incredibly patronising for me to do that to someone who has years of knowledge of the breed and raising puppies. Comes across as ‘I know better’.

OP’s posts: |
OverFedStanley Thu 27-Jun-19 12:11:15

A crate is not a cage - many many breeders will have puppies in puppy pens and in a restricted place whilst they are little for their safety. Good breeders will also place a crate in that area so the puppies can come and go into the crate. It is very common for the puppies to be fed in the crate. No biggy, no cruelty just a life skill. Most puppies will bundle in it together and see no issue. A good breeder will also be separating the puppies for short periods of the day so that when they do go to their new homes they are used to being on their own.

In the same way a good breeder will be taking the puppies out together in a car on a regular basis, a good breeder will also be using ENS which is an absolute must for all puppies.

This is not a demand or saying your "know better" it is the normal role of a good breeder - that is what your are paying them for.

The first 8 weeks of a dogs life are the most important and will affect you and the dog for the next 12-16yrs . You would be mad not to ask how they are dealing with early socialisation.

I am glad that you are happy with your breeder but they would not think this an unusual request at all. Does depend how you ask it though.

missbattenburg Thu 27-Jun-19 12:18:32

It's a fair point about the breeder. Battendog had already been exposed to crates (and cars) before I picked him up and these were two areas where we had almost no trouble at all.

Floralnomad Thu 27-Jun-19 16:23:20

Sorry but a crate is a cage people just don’t like to call them what they are because no one wants to say they keep a dog in a cage .

Lovemusic33 Thu 27-Jun-19 16:26:59

No ones saying they are going to “keep their dog in a cage”? You are employing that the dog will be shut in it all the time. They are good for toilet training and for saving your furniture when you have to pop out on the school run. No ones saying they are going to keep their dog locked in a cage all the time.

Fucksandflowers Thu 27-Jun-19 16:31:32

A lot of dogs really like their cages....

Floralnomad Thu 27-Jun-19 17:06:38

i never said that anyone would keep a dog in a cage 24/7 , all I said was is that a ‘crate’ is essentially a dog cage , which it is

missbattenburg Thu 27-Jun-19 17:28:38

My puppy slept in a cage overnight.

That was easy smile

Floralnomad Thu 27-Jun-19 17:31:43

Exactly grin

OverFedStanley Thu 27-Jun-19 17:41:02

My dogs are search and rescue dogs and they are caged smile The cage tells them it is time to rest and chill out where ever they are. They will work until they drop. The cage shows them to relax and they love it

They love their cage so much I dont even have to lock them in - the irony!

OverFedStanley Thu 27-Jun-19 17:43:27

They are also caged in the car for their, your and my safety. If I were to have a crash with your car Floralnomad my dogs will not kill you or be running around on the road causing a danger to others. I am sooooooo cruel smile

Floralnomad Thu 27-Jun-19 18:41:03

I never mentioned the word cruel , and my dog would also not be running about loose if I had a car crash because he wears a seat belt.

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