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Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the board. We just picked up our beautiful 8 week old girl Stella 5 days ago.
From the very first day she has hated being in her crate. We have tried giving her treats, a warm t-shirt that we have worn, even lying in front of the crate while she is in there but she still yelps and screams for an hour after you put her in there. It is really hard to listen to her crying like that. It was stressing our other dog out so much we had to send him to stay at a friend's house for a few days.

I know Vizsla's are known for being an affectionate breed, but Stella doesn't seem to be happy unless she is lying right on top of you. I'm worried about her developing separation anxiety. Any suggestions for helping her adjust to the crate? We had no problems with our first dog..he loved going in his crate but we just have no idea what to do to help Stella.

P.S..she has no issues with potty training as of yet. She hasn't had any accidents in the house. The crate is more to keep her out of trouble during the night and when we are at work during the day.
 

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Hey Ms1234,

I imagine that there are a few of us in this forum who have encounted the same situation with our V not being happy unless you are in their line of sight. My 10 month old was just the same with her crate and we used it about as much as you did (while at work and through the night). My first question for you is: where is the crate? We initially had the crate in a bedroom we weren't using. It was right beside the master bedroom and we thought Hally would be happy close by while we were sleeping, but it was a diaster. We ended up deciding to move the crate downstairs into the family room, which was further from our bedroom but in an area that we use more frequently and that helped a bit. So, placement of the crate is important.

You also want to help your V understand that the crate is a safe and comfortable place for them to be in. Make sure you have a crate mat, access to water and a soft toy that isn't easily destroyed. Put your V in the crate after a walk or at a time when you know they are tired and leave the door open just so that they learn that the crate is good for relaxing in and they can leave it when they want to. Then slowly introduce closing the door. Your V will cry, but you really do have to ignore it for the most part and not open the crate until they stop. You could also try feeding all meals in the crate to further build a positive association. All this takes time of course...time which you may not have (you need to sleep at night and I can't imagine the boss giving you a month off so you can crate train the puppy! :)

We ended up compromising with our V: she is still in the crate while we work through the day. We have a dog walker that comes for an hour mid-day to feed and exercise and although she doesn't like going in the crate in the mornings, she will go in on her own without a fuss and not make too much noise. At the end of the day if I am caught in traffic and home a little later than usual, I can hear her screaming in the house when I open the car door. She stops when she hears the keys in the lock (because she knows she has to be quiet to be let out). I hope for the neighbour's sake the crying doesn't start until she hears my car pull up....It only really took a week to build up to this. I started leaving her in the crate for 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes while I was at home (by this time the crate was in the family room, so I would just sit and watch TV where she could see me), then built up to 5, 10, 15, 20, 60, 120 minutes in the crate with me in the house but not in the family room and then built up to a few hours in the crate with me leaving the house.

The compromise is that she is no longer crated at night. She instead gets to sleep in her own bed beside ours in the bedroom. We shut the door or put a baby gate accross so she can't leave the room and she is MUCH happier up there and doesn't move a muscle until morning which means I can sleep! :)

My post feels a little all over the place, so I hope this helps somewhat. It is important (in my opinion) to get this sorted out in a way that works for you, but sorted out none the less due to the Vizsla's tendancy to be anxious when alone
 

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Our Ziva is just 10 weeks old and she went right into her crate at night with no problem. She wakes up, cries, and wants comforted, but then she'll go right back in. I do give her lots of lov'n before putting her in and she is usually so tired she can hardly keep her eyes open. A friend let us borrow a pet heating disc that goes in the microwave and then you wrap in a towel. She really likes to lay next to it. Her crate is in our bedroom and I go to bed and read at the same time, so there is still a small light on.

During the day when she is crated it is a whole different story. Lots of screaming before she settles down. Good Luck!
 

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Hi and welcome!
I would just like to say that this is a hard time for you with the crate training but stick at it. Don't think you are being cruel (like I did) because in the long run you and your dog will benefit. Here are some tips:
1. If your crate is in the kitchen, sit out of sight (on the stairs was my spot at night) and every now and again say "Be quiet" or whatever but in a firm voice. Your pup will know she is not alone, but she will also know by the tone of your voice that you are not in the mood for playing. After a few times, go to bed and put the pillow over your head! Don't give in.
2. During the day practice 30 minutes in the crate at a time, and when you do this either listen to an MP3 player whatever or actually leave the house, because the crying will have you in tears (it did me)
3. Play the radio during the day when you leave her.
4. Make sure the crate is proper cosy, put a soft dog bed in there, one with sides as well if you know what I mean, that was a breakthrough with our pup because it made her feel more secure. Make it so cosy you could sleep in there yourself!

In about two or three weeks time you will have a breakthrough and it will be easy from there if you keep to a routine. Its going to be tough in the short term, I remember! I used to cry and feel cruel, but now I am so pleased we seen it through. These dogs are master manipulators and the first few months they are as hard work as a new born baby, but they are so worth it!
My dog is 10 months now and she has a crate in the kitchen and a crate in our bedroom. Both of which during the day she will disappear to on her own, She sleeps in our room at night, but in a crate because otherwise she would be in our bed. During the day she sleeps in the kitchen but usually with the crate open because she is never on her own for very long.
My advice is keep with it because it gets better and it is nice to know you if you do go out you can come back to your house being in one piece, and your dog will be safe.
Good luck
 

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Oh the joys of crate training.

We brought Mischa home about 8 or 9 weeks ago, so the trauma is still very fresh in my mind.

We kept our crate in the living room. Our breeder specifically said not to have the crate in our bedroom, to help mitigate any separation anxiety that she may develop. For the first 3 or 4 days she would whimper, then cry, then scream bloody murder. It would last about 30 minutes or so and then she'd fall asleep. Fast forward 2 hours later, and it would start all over again. The first night was definitely the worst. The second night, every 2 hours we knew it would only last half an hour and that's how went for the next few days.

After about a week, it got much better. I can't remember exactly when we had consistent nights without crying but I can tell you it wasn't too long. Maybe 2 weeks, tops?

We fed Mischa in her crate. We kept her nyla bone and a kong stuffed with apple slices or peanut butter (I freeze a kong with peanut butter over night now since it's summer time). People had suggested a cuddle buddy, which is a plush toy with a microwavable bag to put inside. She didn't care for it. Would just chew it up. We also sprinkled kibble in her crate, and hid it under our t-shirts that we kept in her crate. She now looooves her crate. At night, when it's time for bed I turn off the lights and she knows to go in.

It's tough. It may seem like it will never get better, but as I'm sure a lot of us can attest to, it does. Just be consistent. If she wakes you up, take her out to potty and then straight back into the crate. No playing when you take her in, keep it strictly business. It might sound cruel, but we're so grateful we suffered for a little bit to now have it pay off big time.

Stay strong Ms1234! There is hope! :)
 

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Chester is now 11 weeks and we put him in the crate from the moment we took him home in the car.

This is a repeat from everyone else's comments!

He would cry/wimper/bark for about 30 mins every time he went into the crate. I strictly didn't give eye contact, talk or let him out when he was making a noise or unsettled. Every time I just ignored him (pretty difficult ... maybe wear ear plugs?!). He doesn't cry at all now but I still continue to walk in and out of the kitchen (where crate is), sometimes letting him out, sometimes not even looking at him.

At night I would let him out once, no talking just the que for toilet "quick quick, hurry up". He'd then follow me back in and walk back into the crate. No fuss, shut the door and covered the crate back over again. We try to play with him around 10pm to wear him out then in the crate by 10:30/11pm. He'll sleep in now till 7am.

He now doesn't expect to come out of the crate when I'm around and is happy to go in there by himself.

Keep going, you will get there! Good luck :)
 

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Hi there!

We didn't have any problem with crate training our V Imli, but that might be because of several reasons that I will try and enumerate down here -

1. When we picked her up from the breeder's, she was given her favorite toy, a small blanket with her mum's scent on it and a couple of treats.

2. When she entered the house, the first thing we did was to line her crate up with a warm and cozy blanket and transferred her toy and the small blanket she had into her crate so she has familiar things around her. Luckily for us, she followed her stuff into the crate and thus introduced herself to crate training.

3. We placed her crate in our living room which overlooks the kitchen and the dining area so no matter where I was during the day, she could see me. The other thing that worked well was that the crate was also right next to a window and we made sure to raise the blinds just a little bit so she could look outside and keep herself entertained.

4. We also covered her crate from the outside with a sheet from 3 -4 sides to give her a feeling of security (also so it looks more like a cave)

5. We gradually introduced her to being alone in the crate while we were away. We started off by putting her in the crate for smaller intervals whenever we felt she was sleepy (she used to sleep a LOT as a puppy) during the day. The first time we left her alone in the crate, was for around 10 mins when just drove around the block and came back. And I have to admit, initially, we put her crate right beside our bed at night for the first couple of days. So she was in the living room during the day time and in our bedroom at night.

6. We gradually increased our bed's distance from her crate. We moved her crate to around 3-4 different corners of the room, all within a gap of about a week or two, till her crate was finally out of the room. By doing this transition gradually, she felt comfortable with the increase in distance and didn't even seem to notice because it was a matter of 1-2 feet every time!

As of now, at 14 months, she LOVES her crate and sees it as a sanctuary. We do not crate her at night anymore as she has to be in her crate during the day while we're away at work. We did take the slightly longish route, but it has worked really well for us.
 

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Wow, I now realise that we were very lucky with crate training our pup. He had the benefit of being crated at the breeders, so when we took him home he was quite happy to go in there. We dropped dog treats onto his bed in there to encourage him to go in, and practised shutting the door for longer and longer times while he played with his toys/stuffed Kong etc. He also eats part of his meals in there.
I hope it gets better for you soon!
 
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