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Ok - we have a 13 week old puppy, Raleigh - we got him on x-mas eve. He was never in a crate until now. He has been sleeping in there - it's not too bad - he has been waking up around 4am to go out but going right back to sleep. We have had his crate in our room. Here is the issue....today was the first time we have ever left him - we were gone for about an hour and 15min. We put him in his crate w/ a treat and his toys and left. When we came home - it looked like he had been in there for a week and went out of control!!!! He pooped (even though he had went before we left) - he tore everything to shreds! He can get his paws out and likes to scratch the carpet - so we put a lg piece of cardboard under it - he shredded it!!! He went nuts in his poop - it was everywhere!! I just can't even explain what we found when we came home!!! So - here's my question. My husband does not want him in our room - so we thought we'd set the crate up downstairs on our main level. I did get a kong today and have it stuffed and freezing - so when we leave tomorrow (just as a test) he'll have something to keep him busy. Do you think this is a good spot? Should it be where he can go lay in it when he wants to? Does anyone have any suggestions for the clawing he does? We have hard wood floors/carpet - we have more cardboard to put down - we just don't know what else to do. I don't know how to get him to like his crate? I'm a stay at home mom - so we are home a lot - but when we do leave - I just don't want this issue. He is a pretty good puppy - but this is the major issue we are having right now. He is our first golden and first puppy - so any advice is appreciated!! :confused:
 

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Sully hasn't slept in a crate at night only during the day. Scotty slept in a crate at night until he was about 4-6 months--outgrew the puppy crate, but still uses his crate during the day. Miley, granddog, sleeps in a small crate in the bedroom at night and has a separate crate for the daytime. All of the daytime crates (large and extra large sizes) are in the basement because we are gone all day plus I don't have enough space upstairs. I also don't want to come home to a mess on carpet. Sully, who is 2 1/2, went through a phase of shredding anything near her crate or in her crate; it didn't last long, but I did keep a kong in there with her with a little bit of food and a few cookies. Good luck! I'm sure others will respond with more advice or similar situations.
 

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Tess and Liza
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Hi, and welcome to the Forum. Do you have the idea that he likes going in his crate? And have you ever left him alone before the time you went away? It sounds like he was very afraid. It may be a good idea to get him really used to the crate before leaving him for a longer time. My puppy is 10 1/2 weeks old and we have our crate just off the kitchen. The crate is open during daytime, so that she can use it whenever she wants, and she does go inside when she's looking for a quiet spot. I try to plan my trips to shops during the hours I know she will be asleep, and so far I've not had any trouble...
 

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Can you have practice runs, where you pretend to leave during the day before you leave for that long 1 hour period? Go through the motions--put the puppy in his crate, grab your car keys, start the car (and maybe drive around the block). Try it in 5 or 10 minute increments throughout the day to desensitize him?
 

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luv my goldens
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I would suggest do lots of short time in the crate with you there and going in another room or something. Make the crate a fun place. Hide treats in there and stuff.
 

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the party's crashing us
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What is with the cardboard and him being able to get his feet outside the crate? Is the pan missing? Is the crate missing a piece? This shouldn't be able to happen. Buy a plastic airline crate otherwise.
Do not put ANYTHING in the crate with him except a bone or kong. No bedding. No cardboard. They will go to the bathroom in the crate if there is any sort of bed, towel, etc. Make sure he goes #1 and #2 directly before being put in the crate.
He didn't "go crazy" with the poop -- he probably pooped soon after you left and just by walking in it, it got all over the place. It happens.
Sounds like a normal puppy, just a little mismanaged with the crate situation.
 

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What is with the cardboard and him being able to get his feet outside the crate? Is the pan missing? Is the crate missing a piece? This shouldn't be able to happen. Buy a plastic airline crate otherwise.
Do not put ANYTHING in the crate with him except a bone or kong. No bedding. No cardboard. They will go to the bathroom in the crate if there is any sort of bed, towel, etc. Make sure he goes #1 and #2 directly before being put in the crate.
He didn't "go crazy" with the poop -- he probably pooped soon after you left and just by walking in it, it got all over the place. It happens.
Sounds like a normal puppy, just a little mismanaged with the crate situation.
Maybe, maybe not. My Flora would poop 15-20 seconds after being in her crate and it was nervous diarrhea poop, not "I have to go and you're not letting me out poop!" She would then proceed to smear it everywhere because she would be panicking in her crate.

Anyhow, I would work on making the crate a happy place - treats, special toys, stuffed kongs, bones, etc., should only be available when your pup is in his crate. Also, start getting him used to you being out of his sight while he's in the crate. Even just popping him in there, walking outside to get the mail, and coming back in will probably help. Flora was an absolute freak in her crate, but after a while of desensitizing her to being separated from us, she tolerated it.

Of course, it could just be a case of him having to poop, pooping, and then getting excited about the cardboard and coincidentally smearing his poop everywhere while playing w/the cardboard. ;)
 

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aka Ali, Oscar's mom
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What type of crate is it? (Wire or plastic?) With a regular dog crate, there is no way he should be able to reach "outside" the crate (except maybe to snag a piece of a loose blanket or towel slung over the door, which is why that is not recommended), so maybe you should start by purchasing a different type of crate? Ours is a large "wire" crate with a removable plastic pan for easy clean-up of accidents or food spills, but the spacing between the bars is pretty narrow, and I don't think Oscar can easily reach outside of it (nor has he tried to that I can tell?).

An hour alone in a crate when he has never been left alone during the day in his crate before does sound like a tough experience for a baby puppy. Nighttime is different somehow-- he probably knows you are close by, plus he is naturally tired. Oscar was very cooperative during the night time, but during the day we started out with MAYBE 5 minute crate sessions, building up time from there. Take it slow!!! :) Fortunately due to our schedule, he was never left alone for an hour during the day for a long while, and if we need to leave him for that long, we always make sure he is TIRED so he just wants to nap anyway!

I agree with NO DESTRUCTIBLE TOYS and NO BLANKETS in the crate. He should really just nap in there anyway, if he has been played with somewhat beforehand. Puppies that little sleep a lot anyway ;) If you want to put a Kong with some frozen treats in there, that should be good for a distraction, especially when building the CRATE = POSITIVE associations (treats, quiet naps, etc.) that he needs to feel comfortable in there. Give him something nice and/or yummy every time he is put in the crate, and you can even work on a "go to your crate!" command so that he will run in there himself to get the nice reward!

Regarding where in your house to put the crate... we originally had Oscar's in our bedroom as well, and he so also never had free access to it during the day because we close our bedroom door so he can't wander in there. He never seemed to build any negative associations with it due to that, and I honestly think it made the crate time=quiet time (and no one will let you out even when you make a big fuss about it!!!) association easier because he was less likely to hear/see us moving about the house when we did our "practice" crate time sessions during the day when we were home. Now he sleeps in our living room in the crate, so he does occasionally go in there during the day to nap or exchange his toys, but that is recent development.

Best of luck!!!! It does get easier, but it sounds like maybe a new crate and some new training techniques are in order to speed up the process and make using his crate more enjoyable for all involved :)
 
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