Crate Training a Puppy

I have a 10 week old female Boxer that may have anxiety in her crate. We have trained on this consistently. She will freely go in to eat or get a toy, but the moment the door closes she gets anxious. I have sat in front of the crate and talked to her and fed her treats. She starts to drool heavily. When I return from school I find bedding soaked with clear liquid. Is she vomiting? Or drooling? What should I do?


By Amberly from Greenville, TX

January 26, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

No, crating is acceptable. It is not a form of punishment. You put babies into a crib to keep them safe? This is to keep your dog or puppies safe when you are gone. It makes housebreaking faster and easier. I have crated all of my dogs when they were puppies. Most dogs accept it as a safe and secure and never outgrow the use of their crate. My boxer mix would automatically go into her crate as soon as I picked up my purse to leave. I always thought It was cute and funny that she did this.

Your dog may have separation anxiety. That has nothing to do with being crated. Talk to your Vet and see if he recommends some mild sedation to ease her anxiety while you are gone. I think if you don't control the anxiety now it may get worse as she gets older. Hopefully she will outgrow it in a few months. Good luck with your new puppy and keep her safe.

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hello again, Amberly. I wrote a long post a few days ago in response to your question and somehow managed to delete it into the infinity of cyberspace. "xintexas" basically summed up my lengthy post as she is so correct in stating that crate training is not punishment, and just like you wouldn't imagine a crib as a jail cell for a baby you shouldn't consider a crate a puppy prison. Like a mother wolf that won't allow her pups to leave the den until they learn some of the survival rules, a pet parent needs to define the rules (via crates) for his/her domesticated puppy before he or she is allowed full roaming privileges in your home.

As I've said in other posts, crate training is not a life sentence and the ultimate goal is an always open kennel (safe place) for the dog to retreat. I've used crate training for all of my canine pups and all learned "the house rules" (potty training) within three to four months. Honestly, the only accidents they ever had over five months of age were due to illness, not misbehavior, and that is quite acceptable.

Yes it will break your heart as young puppies cry at night crated in those early days. But it will break your heart into many more pieces should you raise a spoiled puppy into a dog that you can't control or care for on a regular basis. Remember: You, as the owner of a instinctively pack orientated canine, are the Alpha animal. Act accordingly.

To address your concerns of wet bedding being drooling or vomit, I highly suspect it is drool. At ten weeks, teething issues could be the culprit. Consider buying her serious chew toys, such as the "Kong" toys that can be filled with peanut butter or treats. As a Boxer, she will most probably be able to destroy Kongs when she is full grown, but as a puppy with possible teething issues, the toys will give her hours of entertainment. Then again, our grown Mastiffs still treat their Kong toys kindly as we still use them for treat dispensers! :-)

Separation anxiety is to be expected of a puppy that has just moved away from his/her mother. Please don't even consider medicating a young puppy for this naturally distressful transition. Wrap a wind up clock in a towel and leave overnight in the crate; keep a routine "bedtime" "wake-up" time schedule; say "Good night" sweetly and "good morning" energetically. Again, in a matter of weeks, you will be glad you did! Good luck, Amberly. Best wishes for you and Luci.

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January 25, 20110 found this helpful

I would get anxious if someone locked me in a cage, too, wouldn't you?

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

Think of it from the dog's point of view. He can see out. Therefore predators can get him with no chance of escape. Try training so that a half closed door means he has to stay in the crate but it allows him to escape if he feels the need.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful

I'd like to add that it's natural for a dog to want to go into a den but there's always a way out. A cloth over the top and down two sides is more inviting.

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July 23, 20110 found this helpful

Why do you even have a dog? Poor little thing is being confined in "jail" for over 8 hours. She needs to have time out of that crate. She must have time to go potty, eat and have play time with you. You need to either find a better home for your puppy or hire a pet sitter to take care of her during the day. You are being very unkind to her. When does she eat/drink when you are gone? Please do the right thing for her.

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