Monday, May 23, 2011

Crate Anecdotes

This page is dedicated to Pibbles. However, I wanted to share this since we are on the top of crates.

Labrador Retriever “Jenna” absolutely loves her crate. As a puppy it didn't take very long for her to get the whole concept. At first it was used mostly as a place she went if and when she wasn't going with us somewhere. It was also her bed at night. We did try to encourage her to sleep with us but she refused. She much prefers her doggie den. As she got older she’d spend more and more time in it. This was her choice. If she wanted to go have a nap or just have alone time that’s where she went. We try to make a point of keeping everyone out her crate. For the most part the cats and dogs respect the concept. However, she has allowed the occasional visit . The only dog that can almost always go in with or without her is our Chihuahua. For some reason it seems she has given him his very own guest pass. She wasn't too fond of her former foster brother. When she was tired of dealing with him she’d spend a lot of time in her special hideaway. The most unique thing about “Jenna” and her crate is how she literally puts herself to bed. No I’m not referring to the nap times in the day. This is completely different. Somehow she has set her internal clock to a certain time. Whether it’s daylight savings or not she is very retentive about what time she must be in that crate. She will track us down and give us “the look”. When you ask her if it’s time for bed she will lead you down the hall. This has become a ritual with her daddy. This dog won’t settle down comfortably for the night unless you put her to bed at the precise time. You must also close the crate door and lock it so that intruders do not disturb her slumber. Funny thing is we didn't train her on the crate she trained us.

Chihuahua “Pepe” isn't really fond of the crate. We attempted the whole sleep in it at night thing. That didn’t go over well. I’ll admit we didn’t help the process. His father took pity on him and allowed him to break that golden rule that many trainers frown upon. Yes he shares our bed at night. Rather he shares my pillow. He’s almost as obsessive about that sleeping spot as his sister is with the crate. He has however gone in his crate on the rare occasions we have had to leave him home. Also he’s wandered in it from time to time. He is completely obsessed with a crate. However, it’s not his crate that he loves. His brother’s crate is always open and it’s in the kitchen. They take turns napping in it. Sometimes they’ve even napped together. The cats are known to use it from time to time as well. Apparently the whole one dog only in the crate concept does not apply to this particular crate. We figure why break  the pattern now. It helps them get comfortable with crating and learn that there’s some benefits to having your own little hideout.

Pit Bull puppy “Tango” has spent some time in his crate. Mostly this time is spent napping or hanging out with his friends. We have left him in it a couple times when we weren’t able to take him with us. He doesn’t sleep in it at night. Seems daddy has allowed another doggie into the bed at night. His ritual is usually sleeping at the end of the bed. I guess neither of the dogs has been taught by their sister that a crate has many uses. However, all three dogs have been exposed to the crate. They understand it’s not a punishment and that they are safe and can rest comfortably in it.

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