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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Several weeks ago, after being fine with her crate for about a month, Mercy staged what I have come to call "The Great Crate Revolt". Her walker called me one afternoon to tell me that Mercy had practically disassembled her crate with her fussing. From that point forward, I couldn't get her to stay quietly in her crate, so I decided to leave her at large while I was work. I kept feeding her in her crate, and planned on gradually reintroducing her to her crate when she'd had a chance to get calmer about it.

She hasn't been doing particularly well out and about. She started off chewing the odd piece of paper, but it has progressed to blankets and pillows. Even this I could live with, but Friday I came home and found that she had chewed my phone charger. I'm just grateful that she didn't hurt herself.

To make matters worse, today I realized that she's been going potty on the bed room rug for quite some time. I have no idea how I didn't notice this before, but there it is.

Obviously she is not ready to be out of the crate. Fortunately, I already started closing the crate door for short periods while I'm in the room and that's been going well. Unfortunately, today I put her in the crate with some toys and treats to see how she'd do if I went downstairs. She started whining loudly and trying to get out. left her for about 20 minutes to see if she'd settle down, but she didn't. She calmed down when I came back into the room and I waited for her be quiet in the crate for several minutes before I let her out.

Now I just don't know what to do.

Mercy was found as a stray in September, when her leg was amputated, so she probably never had a lot of formal crate and potty training, although her foster mom told me she'd been doing well with both while she was in foster. She about a year and a half old.
 

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Any way to set up a small outdoor kennel somewhere in your house? Many places sell 6x6 kennels that are 6 feet high. You can cap them too so a dog can't crawl out the top.

Once a dog has succeeded in chewing out of a crate, they are more likely to fight harder next time around. The odds of them hurting themselves in the battle is pretty high. Avoiding the all-out-battle with the crate is important in long term success.

You can introduce the crate again and do it well and succeed, but if you really need containment now, the kennel might be the way to go. Reinforce it like you expect your dog to fight it. It is better to prevent the accident than to react to it after. Just like with the crate, once a dog excapes a kennel, they will try harder next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is Mercy's current crate. Is it even worth trying a solid plastic type of crate?
 

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FWIW--

Wvasko's crate looks absolutely fantastic. I am sure that it will contain just about any dog. It would be an answer to prayers for a dog that needs to be crated but is eating through crates.

The only risk with that crate is with a dog that is so hellbent on escape that they are willing to severely self-injure. I had one that broke off several canine teeth. Fostered another that severely damaged a front leg. These two dogs were in tough spots. They HAD to be contained whether they got hurt or not. Their options were being euthanized or learning to crate/contain. The tooth-breaker learned to crate. The leg breaker did not. The leg breaker would also go through a window and dig through sheetrock. She was incredible. Perhaps I could have saved her if I had had Wvasko's crate. She couldn't be kennelled either. This dog didn't appear to have any SA. She was just a force of nature. She wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. A fall grown Cane Corso. Beautiful dog.
 

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FWIW--

Wvasko's crate looks absolutely fantastic. I am sure that it will contain just about any dog. It would be an answer to prayers for a dog that needs to be crated but is eating through crates.

The only risk with that crate is with a dog that is so hellbent on escape that they are willing to severely self-injure. I had one that broke off several canine teeth. Fostered another that severely damaged a front leg. These two dogs were in tough spots. They HAD to be contained whether they got hurt or not. Their options were being euthanized or learning to crate/contain. The tooth-breaker learned to crate. The leg breaker did not. The leg breaker would also go through a window and dig through sheetrock. She was incredible. Perhaps I could have saved her if I had had Wvasko's crate. She couldn't be kennelled either. This dog didn't appear to have any SA. She was just a force of nature. She wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. A fall grown Cane Corso. Beautiful dog.
That's one of the reason in a perfect world the crating is started with pup when they are not strong enough to break out and then for the most part when they have the strength needed they never try. The tooth breakers are a puzzlement to say the least.

Truth be told I have never used one of those crates as I've never needed one, I'm assuming/hoping they are as strong as advertised and look. There is no doubt they are stronger than the average crate.
 

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Susan Garrett's Crate Games DVD has been wonderful in getting my two adult dogs to love the crate. They can be crated for any period of time around any kind of distractions and be completely content and relaxed there. Giving treat dispensing toys like a kong or everlasting treat ball in the crate while you're gone is also a good idea to keep boredom at bay, although most dogs usually sleep most of the time people aren't home. I work nights, my dogs sleep all night while I'm at work and then sleep when I sleep during the day as well!

You can find more info here on the Crate Games DVD: http://www.dogwise.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=dta287
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I now have a 5' x 5' kennel set up in the corner of my living room. To say the least, it makes an interesting addition to my decor :D. I think this is the best solution to the immediate problem since it will let me contain her without teaching her her hate her crate.

I've got her special blanket and a bunch of her toys in there and I've been throwing teats in by the fistful. So far, she's been playing happily in there while I watch TV. She's even gone in on her own to lay on her blanket when the door was open. I'm hopeful that this will work *knock on wood*.

Lindbert, I'll definitely look into Crate Games as I continue working with her and her regular crate training.
 

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It looks like you may have already solved the problem, but if you feel as though she might be able to manage a crate again in the future- we had a German Shorthaired Pointer (~50 lbs, very lean, but STRONG) that was extremely reactive to loud noises. She succeeded in almost tearing through a crate exactly like yours until we "reinforced" it on the edges with large versions of the clips that are used with dog leashes. Since the crate was collapsible, she would paw at it and begin to "collapse" one of the sides until we just clipped the edges in place.

Sorry if this makes no sense, I can try to explain better if you need me to!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It looks like you may have already solved the problem, but if you feel as though she might be able to manage a crate again in the future- we had a German Shorthaired Pointer (~50 lbs, very lean, but STRONG) that was extremely reactive to loud noises. She succeeded in almost tearing through a crate exactly like yours until we "reinforced" it on the edges with large versions of the clips that are used with dog leashes. Since the crate was collapsible, she would paw at it and begin to "collapse" one of the sides until we just clipped the edges in place.

Sorry if this makes no sense, I can try to explain better if you need me to!
It makes perfect sense to me and sounds like a great idea.
I'll definitely keep this in mind, as we move forward with retraining Mercy in her crate.
 
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