Kennel help needed please.
Please let me preface this with some facts:
-I CANNOT have this dog in the house; Wife says so! And, my daughter has hair allergies pretty badly. Also, although I Haven't weighed him yet, he is a very LARGE LARGE GR. So, I realize and respect that a lot of people keep their Goldens in their home and that's great. But in my situation, I CANNOT keep him in the house. And please do not scold me for that decision. I need constructive help with this problem. Bringing a dog in the house does not answer all problems.
-I have wanted a Golden for years now. I have clicker trained parrots and another dog. Although not professional, I'm versed in animal training somewhat and I enjoy working with them.
Now, to the issue at hand: Keeping my new Golden Retriever in an oustide kennel SOMETIMES.
Last week, I took in a 2 1/2 year old male GR. He was kept unsociailized in a remote friend's backyard, away from everyone. His physical needs were well met with food, water, medical and he is no neutered...yet.
He appears with a healthy coat, teeth, bright eyes, lively personality. He had a nice doghouse with new cedar shavings when I got there. The reason he was to be rehomed was twofold: #1, the owner has developed cancer and could no longer care for the dog. #2, the dog, out of boredom, had started climbing over the 4 foot wooden fence and getting into neighbors things..thus presenting a problem.
He had never had a collar, leash, or any sort of behavior training...just petted occasionally. I personally witnessed the owner DRAG Him down some deck steps with a leash around his neck so he could get him to us. He wouldn't come to strangers. He's not been around many except on his escapes. Honestly, I'm not sure he wasn't beaten, although he doesn't appear to have physical bruises.
After pouring him into my truckseat, we successfully got Bentley home. Over the week, I worked with him endlessly and very successfully on collar, leash training and walking to my right (not heeling yet, just walking on the leash with me). He is very bright and caught on quickly to all.
During this time, he was kept in the garage..a very LARGE attached garage. And he had free reign over it. He never destroyed anything except a cheap plastic tackle box.
Then, on Saturday, 5 days after getting him, I bought a nice 6' tall, 10x10 kennel. Set it up with a new large Igloo house positioned right next to the patio. It has my glove he likes, a chew toy stuffed with treats to keep him occupied, a soccer ball, a football, a blanket, new shavings, food/water of course. So, I've given him plenty to keep him occupied when we're not around. He likes it here, he LOOOOOVES me in particular.
And he's very obedient to me.
I have two teenagers and my wife and we have a lot of traffic in and out and he has so far enjoyed being part of that with his garage life.
Now, my goal with this boy is to leave him in the kennel while we are at work, or when it's required.
Otherwise, he can come into the garage, and honestly he doesn't appear to want or need to roam a lot. We live in the middle of 18 acres and about 1k feet from the road in the country. So, to let him roam in the yard if we are at home will not be a big deal. My plans are to get him neutered ASAP.
So, this is the problem: Saturday I had him in the kennel all day (first day in), and he did great. I spent time with him in there, I took him out often and let him go in and out the door freely with or without me. To not make him think the kennel is punishment because it's not really. But I spent a lot of time with him and the kennel training and he did great. Then, came sundown and a little storm.
First, he separated the fencing from one pole at the bottom and got out. We repaired that one and less than 1 hour later he had separated the wire on another side along the bottom where it attaches to the bottom pole. He's not BITING it, he's just finding a small loose spot and then expanding it to where it looked like the hulk busted out.
After his first escape, I wondered how he was about the Igloo house since it wasn't like his house before he came here. I sat out there in the rain and worked with him on the house. Gave him treats and praise for getting in, which he readily does. But, he wouldn't stay in it. As soon as I left, he'd get back out and stand in the rain, then eventually break out again. *he's so unexpectedly strong!*
He got out late last night so I just let him stay in the garage. I got up today and let him outta the garage and he was running so I came back in. Then, 1 hour later, I found him INSIDE his kennel again, eating and hanging out. I repaired that side he got out of, but then a couple of hours later he got out another place (there are two weak places he keeps returning and as of now, I 've fixed both of those. I guess he could create another at any time)
I looked out and didn't see him in the kennel and thought 'Great..he's in his Igloo doghouse'.
Just to doublecheck, I went out there.
As I was standing OUTSIDE the kennel looking into the doghouse, I found him; sitting on the ground... right beside my right leg.
Looking at the empty doghouse in the dark with me, like
'this is fun..what are we looking for?'.
So, as of right now, I've rednecked that kennel with stuff around the bottom and as I type this he's setting inside happy as a lark.I still take him out (if he's not already out lol) He's inside his house asleep in the warm afternoon sun.
My ORIGINAL thought was, once he bonded with us and learned some basic obedience, to get him kennel trained and then put in a nice big underground fence that would span a couple of acres or so as we have that much running room for him safely. But, now, I'm thinking if he's this stubborn and strong..he'll probalby just bust through that initial lil shock and get outside it's boundaries.
He's a VERY loving dog, rarely barks and like any good Golden..just wants to please. and to be near, around, on top, beside, velcored to me in particular. It's Glenn Close Fatal Attraction. Flattering for me, but very frustrating.
I'm really proud of him and have no intentions of rehoming him again. I want to get him neutered and just hang out at or home and in the kennel when need be, for his safety as well.
Have any of you experienced anything similar with your Golden Retrievers? If so, what was, if there was one, a solution.
Again, realizing a lot of problems are solved by bringing the dog indoors, that is not a solution for me. So, please do not judge me or my family for that decision. I just want help because I love this dog and want it to stay here and be healthy and don't mind putting time in, but ....I'm at a loss now. I've never experienced this sort of separation anxiety in an animal. I expect neutering will eliminate some of this anxiety. But, not all.
Even though we're actually on about 10 feet from his kennel.
Thank you for listening and understanding that I want to do what's best for this poor dog AND my family. Nobody else wanted him and the owner wanted him gone THAT NIGHT..Not later, but at 830 on a Monday night or he was going to do 'something else' with him.
My apologies for the post length, but this situation is not simply stated. A good history was in order for a good answer.
Edited 30 minutes later, he found a NEW spot and pried it up and got out and is somewhere on our place. I officially give up on the kennel idea. Besides that, he is destroying the fencing on the kennel. So, that's out now.
Last edited by goldenntn; 11-13-2012 at 10:17 AM. Reason: He got out again....
I have had many abused, neglected dogs in the past. Neutering is not a magic bullet or fix all. It sounds like this poor dog started life out very rough and now he will need LOTS of time, love, patience, and training.
You say you won't discuss having him in the house. I have no answers to help you in that case. Just imagine though, your life has been rotten, now it's turned completely upside down, you have no idea who these new people are and you're locked in a cage during a thunderstorm. I would be scared to death too.
I wish you luck and truly hope you can find a way to make this dogs life bearable. It sounds like he's already been through too much bad stuff.
I smile when I catch God watching me through the eyes of my dogs.
A bit of good news: I decided to crate train him. He's happily asleep in the big new crate I bought today in the warm garage and that's cool with me. Wasn't hard at all. He's actually very smart. Just some positive reinforcement and time spent in and outta the crate.
Also, Petsmart ASKED me if I wanted to bring the old kennel back for a full refund and I said well heck ya but it's damaged. and they said that's ok, it didn't do what it was supposed to.
So I did!
That said, this kennel was very very flimsey and not in panels. The wire, very thin gauge, had to be twist tied to the bottom rail. So, really, it was no challenge for him to get out. He's not made one attempt to get outta that crate. Of course, its in the garage. but,..one step at a time.
I have a friend who has a real kennel, the kind with heavy gauge wire and is in panels, that I may borrow a little later and just see how it goes. I really have a hard time thinking he could get outta one of those. Of course, he might dig.
I did speak with a trainer today and he says he doesn't think it's separation anxiety due to how he acted when I left him alone. He'd stay in the kennel hours after I left and then just bust out. He never barked, paced or any signs of distress. just after in a few hours, he pawed that cheap wire and got out. The trainer said true separation anxiety is a lot more defined and immediate. This dog really didn't display anxiety, I watched him out the window.
So, that's a little more comforting.
Will get him out several times a day and walk/run him. And actually, just let him roam around the garage. I just need a definitive way to control him, and to protect him. Also, when we go camping, I may take the big crate with us. He needs to go too!
But, tonite he's happy, I'm happy he's crate trained.
We'll see how it goes.
Please keep in mind that Golden's are very social dogs, more so than any other breed I've ever owned. They really need physical companionship, they are not a breed that does well in isolation. I know you're trying to find a solution to some issues but I fear you will be creating new issues that you're not aware of by isolating him in the garage.
Just something to think about as Golden's do get depressed if they don't get the companionship they require.
I smile when I catch God watching me through the eyes of my dogs.
Bless your heart for trying to do right by this boy! It will take a little time for him to settle in and realize he is loved and will be taken care of. Rehoming - regardless of the circumstances they leave, it is hard on them. I have three rescues that took some time to realize that they were here for good, be patient. You sound pretty dedicated to making this work, and making sure your new boy gets the attention he needs, that is most important! It sounds like he does okay in the garage, is there a way to attach the 'outside' run to the garage, so he can access to the garage when the weather turns bad? Put some time and training into him, and he will be all yours heart and soul.
Again, Bless you for giving him a chance!
Forums are a mixed bag. Sometimes you get helpful and reasonable comments. I like your idea about the run, I'll have to look into that idea. The only back door to the garage opens directly onto a huge patio, so I'm not sure of the logistics. But I surely appreciate the suggestion. Also thank you for taking in some rescues as well. I've taken in several rescue dogs/cats and even a couple of parrots. All have been successfuly rehomed or just lived out their lives. Except for a dog named Booger that just disappeared one day.
Again, many thanks.
I'm going to try very hard to be nice on this one, but it's a stretch for me. I have a rescued golden, one who was kept in a chain link kennel with a dog igloo in it. Not quite the same circumstances as your situation, since he rarely set foot on grass, but the storm phobia was astounding and still is. Go crawl into your dog igloo in a thunderstorm and listen to the magnification of the raindrops or hail, not to mention the thunder. It won't be pleasant for you,and you have the ability to know what it is. So think how much more frightening it is for your new dog, who has luckily bonded with you but can't figure out why in the world he's left outside in a storm with all that terrible noise or at all. My two cents. If he happily went in the crate in the garage, why not happily in the crate in the house? My son was a severe asthmatic growing up, so ourprevious golden wasn't allowed upstairs on the bedroom level of the house, and my son had to wash his face and hands thoroughly after playing with the dog. If this dog is as nice as you say, your wife will come around quickly. Get your daughter involved in the training, nothing is more precious than a child and a dog together, playing and training. I'd like to say that I don't mean to be harsh here, but I actually do. It has taken lots of desensitization, Rescue Remedy and more than a bucketload of love to make my dog "normal". I forgot to mention the extraordinary amount of money to repair his broken back, courtesy of his previous owners, but hitting him with a baseball bat or a pipe was just an extension of keeping him terrorized in a concrete kennel.
Golden retrievers think life is a party thrown especially for them
I have him scheduled to be neutered next Tuesday, that's not a fix-all, but it can start things maybe in a more manageable direction. And, I have no desire for him to sire.
He's out of the crate now and running around. We have already went outside for a good romp in the 29 degree air.
Again, thanks for the kind words!
Thank you for rescuing him!
You need a more secure kennel! It does not sound like Separation Anxiety so much as boredom to me. None of my dogs would quietly stay in a kennel- They would all bark and such but mine are also not used to living outdoors.
Buddy is an ex-runner who loves the freedom the invisible fence give him.
I do what I like and like what I do. Yorkies- Cozy (4/1/06), Roxy & Zoey (2/11/08), Lucy (4/6/09); Golden- Buddy (4/13/09- Rescued 12/11) Maine Coon cats- Mika (1998) and Tallulah (2000)
GOLDWIN's Buddy Got Wiser CGC . Future AKC Therapy Dog