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  #1  
Old 09-16-2010, 07:33 PM
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Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

My wife has the fun task of trying to get Champ (11 mo) in his crate each morning and it's not easy. When he realizes what our intentions are he will lay down on his side so it's nearly impossible to get him up. We literally have to straddle him and walk him in the room and kinda push him in there.

We started the introduction of the crate when we first got him. We followed all the advice of the forum so he sees it as a safe place and not as punishment.

Luring him with treats doesn't work. He's too smart for that and won't even go in to the room when he knows it's time to get in there. We've tried to leave a trail of treats in the room to lure him in there and that doesn't work either.

I've had dogs in the past and a simple "go in your crate" statement and they get right in. Unfortunately Champ doesn't seem to like his one bit. It's plenty big (the XL size) and we keep new toys in there that are special "crate" toys... and that doesn't seem to matter. He doesn't even eat treats if we give them to him in there.

Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2010, 07:56 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

But once he's in there he's fine ? No moaning and complaining ?
To me it sounds like he's just having a game with you - it's his idea of fun :)
How about changing the whole situation, I wonder if that would work. Move the location of the cage and start from scratch. So that if you have indeed been reinforcing his play with your actions it's a fresh start for you all.
Move the cage, play games with toys, let the toys roll into the cage for him to fetch and bring back to you.
Sorry I'm not much help on this one, I've honestly never had a dog that didn't adapt well to a crate.
There are some clever people on this forum hopefully one of them with have a brainwave.
Alison
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  #3  
Old 09-16-2010, 08:08 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

I honestly don't think it's a game for him, he legitimately doesn't like it. He's decent when he's in there. If he's really cranky he'll bang around for a few mins and whine but he eventually calms down...almost like anxiety.
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  #4  
Old 09-16-2010, 10:08 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blask
...he legitimately doesn't like it...
And what, exactly, is the "legitimate" reason he doesn't like his crate?

Don't be fooled--Champ is crate trained and he's got you trained to think he doesn't like it.

Champ's got you and your wife's number. He's figured out you both haven't put your feet down to mke him go into his crate, so he's decided, as a self respecting Rottie, that he's going to make it as difficult as he can for you. You don't lead on this issue, you don't make him do what you want, so what do you expect?

Set Champ up. Give him a cheery Champ, crate! or whatever command you use and the second he doesn't comply, give him a hard, serious correction by the leash you've attached to his collar and get him into his crate, even if you have to drag him every step of the way and you have to force him into his crate once you're there. Once he's in it, tell him in a pleased, admiring tone that he's the best dog in the world, toss in a couple of treats, and walk away. Don't get angry, don't yell--just tell him to go into his crate and if he doesn't, make him.

His behavior is garbage and he's blowing you and your wife off.
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  #5  
Old 09-16-2010, 11:12 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Quote:
And what, exactly, is the "legitimate" reason he doesn't like his crate?

Don't be fooled--Champ is crate trained and he's got you trained to think he doesn't like it.
He probably doesn't like it. Dogs don't usually refuse to do something they enjoy merely out of stubborness.

While some dogs like the comfort of their make-shift "den", there are plenty of reasons a dog might not like a crate.

How long is your dog in his crate daily? Perhaps he knows that he's going to be there for a long time, and literally dreads going in because of this fact. Many people put their dog in the crate all day while they are at work, and then all night while they are asleep. Out of a typical day, many dogs only get a few hours outside of their crate. If this is the case with you, maybe you could let your dog sleep outside of his crate--but in your room so you'll be able to hear him if he gets into mischief while you sleep? I would also make sure to exercise, exercise, exercise him when you are home with him. You may be tired from work, but he's been cooped up all day.

Perhaps the crate is uncomfortable? Does he have a comfy bed (or will he chew it up?) Or maybe he does have a comfy bed, but he doesn't like it because it makes him too hot?

Are you sure the room doesn't get too hot or cold during the time you are gone? Is the crate in a drafty area or in direct sunlight?

Perhaps, even with the toys, your dog just gets bored in the crate, and doesn't want to go because there are better things to do outside. Does your dog ever "watch" tv? Every dog I've ever had seems to ignore it (except for one incident with "Animal Cops") but some people swear by those "doggy dvds" of squirrels, birds, etc. It might worth a shot to put the crate in view of the tv and play one of these videos. Or perhaps you could place the crate by a window, but make it so the dog still won't be in direct sunlight?

Obviously, you will have to continue making your dog go into the crate until he decides to go on his own. However, there are things that might make it easier.

Make sure that you are training your dog in all areas. The more you train, the greater bond you build with your dog. If you can create a relationship where your dog respects your leadership, he's more likely to do what you ask of him.

It's ironic, because the bf and I just had this problem tonight. Suki refused to get in her crate for him--she showed her little teenage self, and ran downstairs and hid under the coffee table. Now, I do the vast majority of her training, so I gave her the command, and she went right to her crate. She got in the crate because she respected my leadership. That doesn't mean that your dog will necessarily mind on this one issue--even if he respects you. If he really hates his crate experience, then I don't blame him for not wanting to be there all day. However, circumstances beyond our control often make the crate a necessity.

I want to compliment you for all you have tried already. This is tough, because it sounds as though you are trying everything you can think of. You introduced him to the crate as a pup (good!), you have special crate toys (good!), and you've tried treats (good!) I wish you the best of luck in figuring out your situation!
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  #6  
Old 09-17-2010, 01:40 AM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

He's never voluntarily went into his crate on command? Have you always had to place him in there?

Last edited by urfguy; 09-17-2010 at 01:48 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-17-2010, 06:19 AM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

When I'm not planning to use the crate, I sometimes toss a treat in there so Xoe gets the idea of going in and not being locked up.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2010, 09:01 AM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

We have one high value treat (a strip of chicken jerky) that Niko only gets at crate time. He loves them. We started with luring him in the crate with the jerky. Now I can give him the piece of jerky anywhere in the house and he carries up to his crate to eat it.

I realized last night that does not mean he is crate trained. I tried to get him to go in a crate at class last night and he wanted nothing to do with it. No lures or prodding was going to get him in. Not sure if he refused because it was not his crate or because there was too much excitement going on around him.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2010, 02:36 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Our nine month old golden has started doing the same thing when he doesn't want to go in the crate, laying on the floor and not getting up!! Other times, though, he'll run right into his crate so I don't think he minds the crate. Our one rotti, Zoey, normally a very obedient girl, LOVES going to the pet store and has figured out that it's hard to get her back in the car to go home if she lays on the ground and becomes "dead" weight (she REALLY doesn't want to leave the store as she gets attention and food, her two favorite things). I kid that they are being passive aggressive.
That being said, if a behavior doesn't work, they eventually stop that behavior so once your pup figures out it won't keep him out of the crate, he should stop doing this. As mentioned earlier, do randomly toss treats into the open crate so that he learns that every trip into the crate doesn't result in him being confined. I had a 120 lb foster who I had to try to wrestle into a crate...not suprisingly, he won. Tossing treats into the crate got him freely going in...when he did that I'd give him a jackpot of treats. Then I'd start briefly closing the door. Within a short time he crated without a problem.
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  #10  
Old 09-17-2010, 07:26 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

I'm going to try to answer some of the questions and as always I appreciate the feedback.

We do make him go in there when we want him in there, it's just an unfortunate struggle every time. We have to drag or pull him in there. He is in his crate about 6 hours a day during the week with a break in the middle when we come home during lunch to let him out and run around. During the weekends he's never in there for more than an hour or so when we run out. At nights he's in our room or has full reign of the house so he can go get water or sleep on the cool hardwoods downstairs rather than the carpet upstairs.

The crate is very comfortably set up - it's big, in a cool spot of the house, a soft bed to lay on, toys, etc. We've tried the treat thing and it doesn't work. He really doesn't even like to eat in there if we give him treats. We would try to give him praise after we put him in there but he doesn't even want to eat treats in there.

I've had other dogs in the past and never had a crate issue. He's just never gone in there on command. He's very well behaved otherwise but for some reason won't figure this one out

AB - we're going to try the leash thing again instead of having to push/pull with our hands. In the past when we've tried this we literally have to drag him across the floors with him on his side.
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2010, 07:29 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

On the treat giving at crate time, we used to use that to lure him in.. but he figured out by our body language what we're doing and refuses to follow the treat in to that room where the crate is.

When he's not crated, he freely goes in there and pulls things out so it's not like he's afraid of it.

odd
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  #12  
Old 09-17-2010, 08:31 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Dude, stop being such a wuss, grab him by the scruff and drag him in there. If he turns on you along the way and shows resentment give him what some people call a come to Jesus correction. Next time he'll run ahead of you to get in the crate. He's not going in there because he doesn't want to be locked up, and knows he can get his way.
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  #13  
Old 09-17-2010, 09:06 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blask
...AB - we're going to try the leash thing again instead of having to push/pull with our hands. In the past when we've tried this we literally have to drag him across the floors with him on his side.
You've done all the things you need to do to lay the groundwork for a crate trained dog: We started the introduction of the crate when we first got him. We followed all the advice of the forum so he sees it as a safe place and not as punishment. Now, at 11 mo old he's starting to think thru things for himself and is starting to test you.

I'll bet he's done things like been slow to respond to a command he knows--slow to Sit, slow to Down, slow to Come when called--that sort of thing.

I'll further bet that you haven't let him get away with any of these things, so he's straightened up and flown right.

For whatever reason only you and your wife know, you haven't come down on him for his slowness to kennel up so now you have an issue that is so full-blown you're posting here on RDN asking for suggestions.

Champ is giving you and your wife the middle finger salute.

I don't know about you and your wife, but it is not acceptable for a dog of mine to greet me in such a fashion.
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  #14  
Old 09-17-2010, 10:05 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

Actually it doesn't should like they did the right ground work to me. Getting the dog to go into the crate voluntarily on demand is a very important part of crate training. Blask, did you work on going in and out at the beginning with Champ? You know, shaping the behavior of going into the crate, practicing closing the door and treating, doing it random times of day and letting him out right away so he doesn't always think it's for 6 hours (as mentioned by others)? I have a hard time believing that any 8-12 week old puppy will resist treat training with a crate. Physically placing the dog in the crate is not a good idea, as you are seeing. It completely changes the dog's perception of the situation and the crate. It's easy to physically make a 2 month old puppy go into a crate, but not so easy with a much bigger and more wily older dog. I'm a Corrections Officer and I can TELL a prisoner do something, but I get a lot more mileage and cooperation by asking. Even though we both understand that the prisoner doesn't really have a choice in the matter.

Now since you have arrived at the point that Champ is resisting any attempts to shape his behavior through reinforcement, you are basically at the point where you need to make sure that dog knows that you are the boss.

I'm with Angelbunny, any dog of mine that was so deliberately telling me to shove it would be having a "Wrath of God" moment. But this, as with most things, could have been avoided by a little extra work at the beginning with obedience training and properly shaping desired behaviors from the start. It's a lot easier to avoid problems by doing the right things and working hard at 8 weeks than it is to try to fix them at 12 months.
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  #15  
Old 09-17-2010, 10:28 PM
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Re: Champ doesn't want to go in his crate

I never associated the crate with negativity.
I myself would go into the crate and play with dog and toys and treat with gate open.
I moved crate to be a little closer to family. I did a lot of positive crate stuff with doors open. I only locked him in if necessary like when my daughter had playdates over. Pretty soon he would just go in on his own. It was a bother free zone, when he was in there we left him be. Then he started to go in all time with gate open so we took down the cage. We must bother him a lot. LOL
You can try putting him in the crate with a treat and shut the door then open it etc extend the period of time etc. Make it unpredictable and sometimes just throw the treat in for no reason and walk away let him do his thing and then he will see the crate is not the enemy. I would not suggest a CTJ moment for this, if this was the worst thing my dog did i'd be okay with it, if this was some sort of teenage angst I'd wait till he did something more serious. If you give a CTJ moment for everything it becomes unimpressive.

Last edited by sebastianvoneli; 09-17-2010 at 10:38 PM.
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