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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone sorry for the long post but please try to read if you've had experience with this,

My 3 month old Great Pyrenees is having some trouble with crate training and I'm looking for some helpful advice. Please no rude comments.

We've finally gotten him to sleep in his kennel through the entire night without any trouble and he's been doing great with that for about a month now.

Although, he is still having some major crate anxiety for when we need to leave him in the crate during the day. Now, I am very aware that puppies should not be in crates too long so fortunately my work schedule allows him to only be in the kennel 4 hours on monday, and 4 hours on thursday while the rest of the time during the week I or my boyfriend are with him =)

The issue is, whenever he does have to go in the crate, either during one of those 2 times, or if we have to run a short errand, he gets majoooorrr anxiety. He will bark as soon as we shut the kennel and walk away, and will continue to bark as we leave. When we get back he is always (and this is the weird part) soaked. And it doesn't smell like pee or anything but I think he drools alot when he gets anxiety and his toys are always soaked as well. We used to have blankets in his kennel but he went from soaking those (once again not pee), to chewing them up so now he has just the plastic floor which he sometimes manages to push somewhat out of the cage.

We give him toys such as bones, ropes, stuffed animal toys in his kennel. We have put a blanket over his kennel because we've heard that's calming to dogs. We put a ticking clock next to his kennel which we also heard is sometimes calming to dogs. We also just started giving him treats when he gets in his kennel, when he sits, and when he lays down in his kennel to help make it positive which has helped but only a bit.

From when he was younger we tried getting him comfortable with the kennel by keeping it open for him to sleep in during the day, which he is fine with. He just can't stand being shut in and seeing us walk away and leaving him.

The newest things we've tried which are helping actually the most (but he still has a good amount of anxiety) are giving him treats when he goes in, and not overly getting him excited when he gets out of the kennel just acting like it's normal so it becomes more casual. So should we just keep doing those things until he gets used to it? Or should we try something else? Any tips will be helpful =)
 

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I think this happens a lot to new dog owners. Your pup probably only ever has to go in the crate when you're not there, right? We used the crate all the time for both dogs. We would in the crate for "naps" when he was younger and at night, which helped him associate the crate with being calm.

Do yourself a favor and purchase Crate Games by Susan Garrett. It basically reinforces being in the crate with extremely high value rewards. We did that with Ace and he is literally obsessed with the crate now.
 

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Drooling is often a sign of separation anxiety. True separation anxiety isn't just being anxious or upset, it's an actual disorder. Besides drooling, other signs are: scratching/clawing to get out, so much so that it could cause injury, barking/howling a LOT, losing control of bladder/bowels, etc.

The first thing I would ask is, do you only use the crate at night, and then when you are gone? If so, he will associate the crate with being alone. It would help if you would do some crate conditioning when you ARE home, so that being in the crate isn't just for when you leave.

That said, you should probably start with short periods of time when you're home, like 1 minute. But, you can do 5 1 minute sessions during the evening when you're home, so that it becomes a regular thing. Then, after a few days, try 2-3 minutes at a time, when you're home, several times. After a few days, try 5 minutes. You get the point.

Of course, you still have to contain him when you work, for the 4 hour sessions, but, doing short sessions when you ARE home, will hopefully build up his tolerance and let him know the crate isn't just for when you're gone.

Also, some dogs just never really learn to handle the crate. Some dogs with SA prefer a puppy safe room, rather than a crate. If you have this option, I would use a baby gate to block the door, instead of shutting the door completely, as a shut door can be very isolating, which can make the SA worse. He's a big boy, right, so you might need 2 baby gates stacked on top of each other to make the barrier tall.


Now, there's no guarantee that this will work, because true separation anxiety can be difficult to solve. Some people try natural type remedies, I believe there's something called "Rescue Rememdy" that some have used. You can also see a vet for some anxiety meds.

That said, he IS just 3 months old. And, he could grow out of this. But, the drooling makes me think it's a little more than just being upset that you're gone.....
 

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Try to desensitize him to the crate and you leaving. Shut him in there when you are home, but just in the kitchen, and reward him for being calm. Or, close him in, put on your coat, get your bag, and then sit on the couch and watch TV. If he knows that every time you preform your "going out" routine, he'll be left alone, he'll be more upset then if the predictors don't mean anything now.

And, of course, you have to practice actually going out the door and waiting 10 seconds, then 20, then 30, then minutes, and work you way up so that he knows that sometimes you leave for barely a blink and everything's fine and there's nothing to worry about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey thanks guys for all of your posts!! It truly helps a lot =) I agree that crating him during the day while we are home would help. We just started using that technique. It sucks to do it but I truly feel as though getting him used to being shut in the kennel while we are home will slowly begin to comfort the idea of being in the kennel. ..Although just tonight we had to go to the grocery store for about 45 minutes so we had to kennel him and when we came back he was once again soaked as if he took a bath. There were legit small puddles of what looked like pee but it must've been drool? I smelled the puddles and his body and it just smelled like wet dog, and his face and feet were the most drenched. It sucks because he doesn't even touch his bone or other toys.

Earlier during the day when we kenneled him while we were home he barked very lightly for about 10 minutes and then relaxed and fell asleep or stood awake quiet for the rest of the half hour. So I assume what we are doing is somewhat working? I just feel awful when we get home and see him soaked and worried :/
 

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Hey thanks guys for all of your posts!! It truly helps a lot =) I agree that crating him during the day while we are home would help. We just started using that technique. It sucks to do it but I truly feel as though getting him used to being shut in the kennel while we are home will slowly begin to comfort the idea of being in the kennel. ..Although just tonight we had to go to the grocery store for about 45 minutes so we had to kennel him and when we came back he was once again soaked as if he took a bath. There were legit small puddles of what looked like pee but it must've been drool? I smelled the puddles and his body and it just smelled like wet dog, and his face and feet were the most drenched. It sucks because he doesn't even touch his bone or other toys.

Earlier during the day when we kenneled him while we were home he barked very lightly for about 10 minutes and then relaxed and fell asleep or stood awake quiet for the rest of the half hour. So I assume what we are doing is somewhat working? I just feel awful when we get home and see him soaked and worried :/
Maybe when you are home, try SHORTER time periods. Really, like 1-2 minutes. But, do the 1-2 minutes several times a day. Not just one 10 minute or more session, but, several short sessions. I really, really think you're doing to much at a time for a dog that seems to get seriously anxious. If he barked lightly for 10 minutes before calming down, then try leaving him for 1-2 minutes in the crate. Make that 1-2 minutes seem normal and then increase it.

A dog that is so anxious it is drooling enough to soak himself in 45 minutes is really anxious. It's like a chemical imbalance in their brain.....you might want to visit your vet.....
 

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I just came here looking for answers to this very issue! Our 10 week pyr is drenched even if its an hour that we are gone! Did it get better!?

Hey everyone sorry for the long post but please try to read if you've had experience with this,

My 3 month old Great Pyrenees is having some trouble with crate training and I'm looking for some helpful advice. Please no rude comments.

We've finally gotten him to sleep in his kennel through the entire night without any trouble and he's been doing great with that for about a month now.

Although, he is still having some major crate anxiety for when we need to leave him in the crate during the day. Now, I am very aware that puppies should not be in crates too long so fortunately my work schedule allows him to only be in the kennel 4 hours on monday, and 4 hours on thursday while the rest of the time during the week I or my boyfriend are with him =)

The issue is, whenever he does have to go in the crate, either during one of those 2 times, or if we have to run a short errand, he gets majoooorrr anxiety. He will bark as soon as we shut the kennel and walk away, and will continue to bark as we leave. When we get back he is always (and this is the weird part) soaked. And it doesn't smell like pee or anything but I think he drools alot when he gets anxiety and his toys are always soaked as well. We used to have blankets in his kennel but he went from soaking those (once again not pee), to chewing them up so now he has just the plastic floor which he sometimes manages to push somewhat out of the cage.

We give him toys such as bones, ropes, stuffed animal toys in his kennel. We have put a blanket over his kennel because we've heard that's calming to dogs. We put a ticking clock next to his kennel which we also heard is sometimes calming to dogs. We also just started giving him treats when he gets in his kennel, when he sits, and when he lays down in his kennel to help make it positive which has helped but only a bit.

From when he was younger we tried getting him comfortable with the kennel by keeping it open for him to sleep in during the day, which he is fine with. He just can't stand being shut in and seeing us walk away and leaving him.

The newest things we've tried which are helping actually the most (but he still has a good amount of anxiety) are giving him treats when he goes in, and not overly getting him excited when he gets out of the kennel just acting like it's normal so it becomes more casual. So should we just keep doing those things until he gets used to it? Or should we try something else? Any tips will be helpful =)
 

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Guys we had a bernese mt dog a boxer and a giant schnauzer in a 3rd floor condo! Never crated. Its not a must have. And it sounds like your dogs are suffering. One of the other OPs suggested a puppy safe room with a baby gate...
I know much of the literature and current thinking is about crate training....
and some dogs do love it.... (We had a giant size crate always open in our living room , and.... none of our dogs voluntarily went into it, except to snag the occasional treat we would throw in there ...)...
Oh and for anxiety issues talk to your Vet there are medications you can give them (not sure about pups)...
And, we currently have a 3/4 great pyr/ 1/4 anatolian pup- but now we live on land in the mountains.... He is outside and comes in at night....(if he wants to, often he is guarding at night with the other dogs as we now have a bear issue)....
 
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