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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So today marks 7 weeks with my foster dog Duncan. I've been crating him when he can't be directly supervised and overnight since he's been with me. Every time he goes in the crate he gets a treat. I tried putting a stuffed kong in the crate with him when I left for work at the start but he really won't work very hard for food and he wouldn't eat much of it so I stopped that.

Since day one he'd been fine in the crate no whining/crying and only barking briefly at strange sounds from outside. Last weekend I got up to let the dogs out to potty and feed breakfast like normal around 7am and then head back to bed for a few hours. Normal weekend routine, Duncan goes back in the crate until I get up and we go for a walk. Starting last weekend when I put him back in his crate and went back to bed I heard him whining/crying. I went down to check on him as he'd never done that before, let him out of the crate and took him out to potty again just in case. Back in the crate and back to bed for me. He starts whining again and I just ignore him and he gives up pretty quickly. Sunday he does the same thing only I didn't come down to check on him this time and there are a few barks mixed in with the whining, again ignored and stopped after not too long.

Friday night (last night) I put him in his crate for the night and he's fine for 45min-1 hour and then he starts up the whining and barking. He keeps this up off and on for close to 2 hours before quitting for the night. If he does this again on a weeknight when I have to get up for work I'm not going to be happy.

Every night both dogs get a dentastix at bed time, both LOVE them. I noticed about a week ago that Duncan wasn't eating his when I gave it to him when he got in his crate. When I let him out in the morning he'd run out with the dentastix and eat it then. After a few days of that I started breaking off about a 1 inch chunk and giving him the rest out of his crate to eat and the 1 inch chunk after he finished and got in the crate. Him running out with a full dentastix in the morning would eventually lead to a scuffle with Jubel if he noticed so it was best to avoid that possibility.

So yeah... It looks like the more time that passes with Duncan here and the more trust he's earned to more out of crate time the more he's starting to dislike his crate. When he first got here he'd go in the crate on his own to rest so he did like it to start. Any suggestions to help him like it again? He still can't be trusted not to mark in the house 100% so he has to still be crated some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Guess I'm just going to have to power through and ignore any and all whining/barking. Hopefully the 'phase' will pass quickly. Though this morning getting him back into the crate wasn't as easy as usual. I had to get higher value treats out for him to get in the crate, he cried a little bit shortly after but not too bad. He used to go crazy for the freeze dried liver, now the only high value treat are the salmon & sweet potato treats or dentastix at bed time.

This is on top of not eating his breakfast. Haha feeding him in his crate isn't an option as he won't eat it and I'd have to actively keep Jubel away from the crate. Duncan may not eat the food I put in his crate with him but he WILL defend it if Jubel gets too close. So Duncan gets about 15 minutes tops to eat his meals in the kitchen (gated) and if doesn't eat we try again at the next meal time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hmmm... whining and barking may not be the worst thing to deal with. He's progressively getting harder and harder to get in the crate "by choice." I haven't physically forced him yet but I might need to if he continues like this. He really wants the fish treats just slightly more than not going in the crate, took a few minutes of 'internal conflict' for him to go in the crate this morning. I think not going in the crate will win out over fish treats pretty soon.

I'm on the fence about dog proofing the kitchen a bit more and leaving him in there. I really don't want to 'give in' to his new developing refusal of the crate but I was getting close to willing to try him out for the short time between me leaving for work and my brother returning from work. Not liking the possibility of him peeing in the kitchen but there really isn't any better place in our house to confine him without carpet.

I've been bad and haven't been doing as much NILF with him as I planned, mostly because it is so hard to get him to 'work' for anything BUT a desired treat. He doesn't care about his food, hard enough just to get him to eat let alone have him sit for his food. Yesterday I did make him sit before we left the house for a walk. Took about 5 minutes to get a sit in the morning, in the afternoon he wouldn't sit and I ended up putting him in his crate and taking Jubel for a walk alone. When we got back I let him out and got a sit from him as I put on his slip lead, and took another 5 minutes to get another sit from him to go out the door for a short walk. All he knows is sit so that's all I can ask for and he isn't very inclined to do so simply because I asked. He also doesn't seem to be that smart so I don't expect him to pick up on the concept that fast.

And no I'm not saying his isn't smart because I haven't been able to teach him any new commands. He really hasn't seemed to pick up a lot of simple environmental cues like it's easier to balance in a moving car when you sit down or lie down and I've taken him on a number of drives just for the socialization experience, he stumbles and falls a lot from turns and acceleration that are in no way 'extreme.' He never completely got used to dragging the leash around with him which he did for close to the first 2 weeks. Until the last day he'd still spaz out like something grabbed him if he stepped on the leash, still does when we get home from a walk and I let him go get a drink before removing the leash. A number of little things like that, he doesn't seem to figure things out very quickly if at all. Jubel is definitely a thinker who figures things out so maybe it's just in comparison, I'm used to a problem solving dog and Duncan is not.
 
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