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Thread: New dog, won't stop!

  1. #1

    New dog, won't stop!

    Hi, newbie here. We adopted a boxer/bulldog/??? mix from the SPCA today. She is about 16 months old. We have had her for about 5 hours.

    Given that she was a stray and we know nothing of her history, we are crate training her, or attempting to. The crate is in the basement.

    1) she has not yet eliminated, either outdoors or in her crate.
    2) she lays down and suddenly seems to weigh about 2000 pounds when I try to put her in her crate. (it is a roomy wire cage with a comforter in the bottom.
    3) while someone is in the basement, she is fine. When we come upstairs, she begins to bark after about 30 seconds. oh, now she is quiet, making a liar out of me! Anyway, that does not seem to fit any other problem barking scenarios I have found, as we are still in the house making noises and things. well, she has now been quiet for over a minute.

    Ok, well, I will have to assume she fell asleep... nope, there she goes!

    4)she was completly oblivious to the other dogs at the spca. They were all barking and howling and jumping like crazy. (Ok she has a little problem with jumping up.) She was also quiet when we brought her out to play a bit, and to petsmart, and in the car. Not a single bark. So we thought we got a quiet one. oops!

    Any advice??

    She will be crated when we leave the house, probably forever. <<ETA: I am home full time, so this would be at night or for errands>> Once she gets housebroken, she will not have to live in the basement full time. We have given her several walks and sessions of playtime this evening, and she is always very quiet during these.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Tabbyville, PA
    Think of things from her perspective. She went from one cage to another. She's confused and scared, and only wants some loving and reassurance that this new place is a nice one. Shoving her in the crate was a big no-no. Encourage her to go in on her own or you'll have a fight like that for the next 10 years.

    As for the barking in the cage, thats purely for attention. Do NOT reward this by taliking to her, either by cooing her and telling her everything's ok or by screaming at her to be quiet. Say NOTHING. Don't touch her, don't look at her, don't talk to her. Ignore her completely. Only let her out of the crate while she's perfectly quiet. If you let her out while she's making noise she'll figure thats the magic key to getting out and playing with you.

    Oh, and the ignoring thing works equally well for the jumping up thing.

    PS: get yourself back to Petsmart and sign up for training classes. Its training you as much, if not more so, than its training her.

    Good luck

  3. #3
    I have truly tried to look at it from her eyes. She was with others before, even though it was a horrid environment, and now she is alone in the basement.

    We tried to gently coax her into the crate, but she does not respond to treats, not even beggin' strips! She just lays down flat to the ground like she is made of concrete. I cannot let her be lose in the basement, well, ok, will not, as I don't want her thinking that the house is her toilet. I have always crate trained puppies, mostly successfully, but never tried it on an older dog.

    I have waited until she was quiet to enter the basement. She stays quiet, even if I leave her in the crate. (ignoring her. which I am trying to do also for the jumping. She tends to follow me, dancing, though, so that is tough. She is about 50#)

    It seems she can sit, though not always when I want her to, so I have been trying to redirect her jumps into sitting, and rewarding that with a good girl and a few pats on the head.

    one step ahead on the classes... next one starts in 2 weeks. We also kind of figured she needed to know her name before we started class!


    The cat is in hiding under the bed!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Binghamton, New York
    May I ask why she must be crated in the basement??? All she wants is to be with her humans. I would suggest trying to crate her in one of the main room sin the house. She has got to want to gon in thecrate, since you have only had her a little while give her time to adjust.

    I didn't slap you, I just high fived your Face!
    I've Been Boo'd!!

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by critter crazy
    May I ask why she must be crated in the basement??? All she wants is to be with her humans.

    knew this would bring comment... love dogs, but they are dogs after all. New-ish house that I want to keep newish.....

    I would suggest trying to crate her in one of the main room sin the house.

    .....also not room for the large cage in the living room, hence she is downstairs.

    She has got to want to gon in thecrate, since you have only had her a little while give her time to adjust.

    [B]I have always just been able to pick up and put a puppy in the crate without trauma. Can't do that too well with her....[B/]
    Thanks...She is quiet again. I need to go see her and take her outside. I am patient, just trying to get help in advance, in case she continues this barking.

  6. #6


    The good news is that she is quiet now for the night. The bad news is that she wet in her crate.

    I know she is used to going in her cage at the spca, so I am wondering about how effective crate training will even be with her... Hadn't thought about that before... my bad.

    I will give her some time to adjust, and me, since we have been dogless for 1.5 years, and the last dog was a 7# yorkie... quite a different experience!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Tabbyville, PA
    I almost said something about the crate last night. You mentioned it was roomy.... just how large is it? A properly sized crate should be no larger than she needs to stand up, turn around, and lay down. Anything more and she'll pee in one corner and sleep in another.

    Congrats on signing up for the doggy class. Where do you live, I could very well be teaching you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Dogs are social animals. They live in packs in the wild. Being isolated in teh basement doesn't feel good to her, and never will.

    Can you move the crate upstairs, to an area where she can see people when she is in her crate? That would be a huge first step in helping her adjust.

    Here is a link which you may find helpful:

    Please don't be put off by the fact that this is a bichon website. Most of the articles apply to ALL dogs, all sizes. Scroll down, watching the middle column, until you get to Puppy Info. In this section, you will see several articles specific to your question. Housetraining 101 has a section on crate training your dog. Again this applies for ANY dog, and should provide you with some ideas and suggestions.

    Nurturing Basics also talks about the use of the crate, so check that one out as well.

    I hope these articles give you some things to think about. Best wishes with your new dog!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Virginia US
    She needs to be around " her people" to help her adjust to things. As far as wetting in her crate- she probably just held it too long.
    Remember- its not easy to adopt to a dog - especially with one you have no history on at all. She needs love, time and patience.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    indianapolis,indiana usa
    Please don't take my question as a put down, but can you say why you
    adopted the dog ? What were your hopes & expectations for this dog? Thanks.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted

    Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  11. #11


    Thanks to all for your advice and replies. We are in Northern Kentucky, so I doubt you will be our trainer, catnapper!

    Lizbud, no offence taken. We have had dogs off and on for years. We have been dogless for about a year and a half, are settled into our new home, and wanted a family pet. We were looking at a different dog last weekend that had been fostered for a couple of years, and was housebroken and crate trained already. (We were rejected by the agency, as we don't have a fenced yard.) The new dog knows nothing. I also did not realize she would have such an aversion to the crate. Must be some history there.

    As to the size, the wire cage is a bit too large for her. However, we do have an airline crate that is abaout half a size too small (she can turn around and lay down, but has to duck to stand up) which we put in the kitchen, and she is doing very well in it, except she refuses to go in by herself.

    She pottied in the basement, but that was our fault. We had just taken her out, and then bathed her (she stank... the spca is a pretty gross place) and took her back downstairs to dry a bit, and oops! should have taken her out again after the bath. She has wet nicely outside twice, and received praise, not too lavish... few pats and ear rubs and "go potty, good girl" s. She is so starved for attention that just looking at her seems to make her happy!

    We just went on a nice walk around the block, and she is playing in the basement with my 10 year old daughter. She loves "bo-bo" (loofah dog from petsmart) and will play fetch, even brings is back and lets go!

    You forget a lot of things in not having a dog for a while, and we have no experience with adopting a non-puppy stray!

    Oh, and she will not always be in the basement. It is just unfinished, fairly empty, and a great place to run and play, and no carpeting to soil. (there is a large rug) We want a companion, but need to get her to learn some manners and housetraining before she can be loose in the house. Just like with training a puppy. She does seem to be smart, though she will not "work for cookies"...

    thanks again!

  12. #12
    You are doing a few things wrong.

    First, crate training is to be done slowly. Putting the dog in the crate, closing the door and leaving her alone for any stretch of time isn't the way to properly crate train. This will only cause her stress and more issues - including crate issues. Crate train slowly.

    Bring the crate upstairs. Remember, the idea of crate training is that she won't pee in the crate - not that she's isolated from the family. When I potty train using the crate, I cart my crate around to where ever I'm going to be spending most of my time. So, in the mornings, the crate gets hauled out to the den, where my dogs can see me in the kitchen as well as the den. At night, the crates are hauled back to the bedroom where my dogs can sleep with me present. When they are potty trained, obviously, the crates go into the dog's room.

    As you get an adult dog used to the crate, you must work in small increments of time and build on them. So say put your dog in the crate with a Kong with some peanut butter inside. Leave the dog there for a few minutes with you in the same room. Let the dog out. Later, repeat with maybe his breakfast. Five minutes later, let the dog out. Later, repeat, only increase the time to say, 10 minutes. Let the dog out. You slowly increase your dog's time in the crate until they are comfortable going in their crates. You never let the dog out when the dog is barking. Ever. If you do, you're rewarding the barking, and it will get worse.

    Your dog's crate is it's bedroom. You never punish a dog by putting it in the crate. Then the crate becomes something to dislike. You want your dog to view the crate as "it's spot." It's the safe haven. The den of peace. If your dog goes in it's crate to escape kids, then kids need to know they cannot go get the dog out of the crate. Don't force your dog into the crate. I throw in a few kibbles to get my dogs in their crates. Then it's their idea to go in...not mine.

    Go to Petsmart and ask the trainer there for a brocnure on crate training. It should be free and will give you some good tips on how to crate train properly. Also, they hava a book, "Potty Training Is Possible" that will tell you how to use the crate to properly potty train.

    I'd also recommend you sign up for some obedience classes. Even if you've had dogs before, an obedience class will help you and the dog develop a tighter bond. They are always useful, even if you know how to train.
    MACH Aslan RE, MX, MXJ, EAC, EJC, OCC, Wv-N, TN-N, TG-N, R-SN, J-SN, R2-CL, CGC, TDI, FFX-AG (five year old sheltie)
    Jericho OA, NAJ, R1-MCL, CGC, FFX-AP (three year old sheltie)
    Laika NAJ, CGC (nine year old retired American Eskimo)

    I've been defrosted.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Virginia US
    One more point- I start crate training alias " the dinner box". First I put dinner in front of the crate door ( with the door unable to close quickly etc- usually I tie the door open .) Then- we have dinners ( that means breakfast or dinner btw) in the box- door open. I do this for like 2 days. Then I close the door behind then gently as they eat. Increasing when I let them out from 2-5 minutes. Then let out casual- do something else to change the subject- then we go out. ( usually I wash bowls). Then this way the dog doesn't associate getting out as any big event..When the dog flies into the crate for dinner, and doesn't even flinch when I shut the door, and waits quietly for me to come back. Then I start with longer times- . I put a cookie in at night, and the the dogs spends the night in there. ( in our room of course). No activity in the house, and no reason to get up obviously. )
    Until the dog understands the crate is safe, except for the ride home in the car, I do not use the crate for any long term. Adults- or pups.. Its easier to take it slow and end up with a dog that will easily crate with no anxiety, then to rush it and end up having to fix problems.
    I was told femka was crate trained by the way. Well I watched her in a crate- and she was anxious. I went back like I would a "untrained dog", and soon she will curl up in a crate right away and go to sleep. With the shepherds, I had a few I bought as adults, that were crate " possesive". I solved it the same way..

  14. #14

    crate training...

    Agility, I am aware not to use the crate to punish. I also did not plan to use the crate-in-the-basement as isolation. It was just a nice place to put it, where all her stuff can be and a play area. I have never had a dog that would not go into a crate willingly, and stay by itself. Just lucky to this point, I guess

    There are obviously issues with Dottie that we do not know. She is eager to please, and seems to be intellingent. We are successfully and consistently ignoring her jumping, and already we can see a difference. She has a tendency to play very rough if we don't watch it.

    We do have her in a crate in the kitchen now. She is happy if she can see and hear us. If we go upstairs, she gets anxious after a few minutes. When she quiets down, we then speak to her.

    Borzoi, Not sure how well the crate as a dinner box will work right now, as she is off her food. I take her to vet Wednesday. What do you do with them when they are not in the crate? I am unwilling (no flack please) to let her be loose to potentially potty in the house... then we will have to undo THAT. We don't have a fenced yard, so I cannot just turn her out.

    Right now we are trying to get some sort of schedule. Since she is not a puppy, with the puppy-bladder, I was thinking I would not to have to take her out as often... maybe I was wrong?

    1. Take outside until she potties; if after 10-15 minute walk she has not gone, back into upstairs crate (we have always used "Go in your house" so we think of it as house, not cage or jail.) Take out again in 30 minutes.
    2. Play in basement, fetch, water, food if that time (though as I said she is off her food)
    3. walk for about 10 minutes or until she goes
    4. back into upstairs crate. She gets pup-peroni (yay we found a treat she loves) when she goes into the crate, and at various random times when she is being quiet, to reinforce the good behavior.
    5. repeat in a couple of hours. (I now realize I should maybe take her out more often?)

    We are also taking a couple of longer (about a mile each) walks a day for exercise. (great for me, too!!)

    I thought when crate training, you remove dog from crate and immediately go to the potty area (ie outside for us) If she potties you play a while, eat, or etc, in the house, then walk again and put her back in crate. If she does not potty, she goes back into crate. Then they eventually get that the whole house is the crate. If they don't soil their house, and you don't give them opportunity to soil yours, they learn to go where you want them to go. At least this is how I have always done and read about this in the past, though we were dealing with puppies, and not 1+ year old dogs.

    I have hopes for her, but we all have some learning to do! I also a) tend to want 'my mother's perfectly behaved cocker spaniel behavior' immediately, and b) forget that we have had her for less than 48 hours, and we are all still in shock from all the changes!

    Thanks again everyone for all the advice! Even though I have had pets for years, it is always good to have info so I don't make the same mistakes!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Bedfordshire, England
    Oh my gosh!!! I'm from england and I am in a state of shock, I only recently found out that you can actually get a cat de-clawed??? and now I read you can get a dog de-barked. I am totally gobsmacked. Both of these things are absolutely unbelievable, I thought I seen and heard of everyhting but obviously not
    [Gwen & Puppy

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