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Old 12-12-2012, 08:30 AM
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Feeding in the Crate

Puppy comes home this Saturday and I'm trying to get all my ducks in a row since it's been QUITE a while since I've raised a pup. I've searched on this site for older threads about this topic, looked on the Net and read about it in various books. Am I right in thinking there seem to be 2 schools of thought on this topic?

Feeding in the crate seems to go half and half. Some people say it's a must when crate training, others say they've had success with just using treats and favorite toys to get the dog comfortable. A very small percentage say the dog eventually became Cujo with the resource guarding to the point that they were aggressive toward anyone who even went near the crate when food was out (that is definitely what I DON'T want). I am thinking I'd rather use the treats and toys method and feed the dog outside the crate. I understand feeding them in there is supposed to help make them like the crate, but is it really THAT necessary when crate training?

I guess I should note in the past I never fed dogs in their crates at meal times, but as they say, you can always teach an old dog new tricks.

Last edited by leesooim; 12-12-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:55 AM
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I feed my trainees and fosters in their crates. In my opinion, it helps with housetraining because dogs don't like to soil near where they eat. I've never seen it cause resource guarding, but if that's a concern, when you feed him in the crate, walk by several times and drop a high value treat into their dish as you go by. Make it so that your coming near the crate when he's eating is a good thing.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:28 AM
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Feeding meals in the crate is a temporary thing for most pups, it is a 'tool' that can help the pup make positive associations with the crate (toys and treats work well too). Generally once the pup is comfortable with the crate and being confined for short periods, then feeding meals, can be done elsewhere. Is it 'that' necessary to feed in the crate? No, but it can help the pup to see the crate as a great place to be, an option that I found worked very well for all the pups I fostered.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:15 AM
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I usually start feeding my foster pups in their crate. As these are future service dogs, they are usually comfortable in their crates before they come home. I feed in the crate mostly to avoid trouble. I have older dogs, and I do not want pup to wander over to their bowls, or for them to "steal" from pup. Food does not usually last very long with my dogs, and after a couple of weeks, I put puppy in the crate to eat but leave the door closed but not latched and when the puppy is finished he can let himself out. As mentioned above, it helps with housebreaking--you know how much puppy has eaten and when, and you can time potty breaks accordingly. I have never had any issues with resource guarding.
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