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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I'm revisiting this one!  I have major crate problems with Tonka and I need more advice!  I have not gone through this with my other dog.  I had a few pups when I used to foster who used to cry in the crate, but that was nothing compared to what is going on with Tonka.

I spoke with his breeder for about 1 1/2 hrs the other day (she is wonderful!) and she gave me some sound advice.  

Well, Tonka's behavior in the crate is VERY bad and yesterday it was worse than it has been over the past two weeks.  He gets super-agitated as soon as I put him in.  He starts off by crying, with his little chest heaving.  Then he goes into full fledged barking for a long time (and I mean a long time).  He gets louder and louder and is constant.  For such a little dog, his barking is heard throughout the whole house.  When he gets exhausted, he stops, closes his eyes, pants very fast (which makes me very nervous), and then quickly regroups for the next round and starts again until he exhausts himself and the cycle starts again.

I think that last night he was trying to chew his way out.  He actually had his mouth on the door and was trying to chew, pull...  I think he may have even lunged at the side of the crate.

As soon as we take him out (and I mean as soon as he steps out of the crate), he is fine.  Right now, he is peacefully sleeping in my daughter's toddler bed.

I don't know why he gets so anxious in the crate.  His crate has his fluffy blankets, his Cinderella plush chair, and some of his toys.  He is never alone and is always in full view of us.

Tonka's breeder said that I have to leave him in there and do my normal routine around him and ignore the behavior and not give in but with this little guy, easier said than done.  She said that I need to remember that I am the boss of the dog and not the other way around, and that this behavior as an adult will be even more unacceptable and harder to control.

It is really hard to ignore him and at night it is even harder because I have four children trying to sleep and I do end up taking him out of the crate because I can't have  him waking everyone up.  And there is no private place to put his crate where they can't hear it, other than in our detached garage and I would not do that!!!

I've tried many different things- putting a sheet over the crate, coaxing him in with pieces of his food, hot water bottle...

My friend said I should talk to the vet to see if he can give something to ease Tonka's anxiousness in the crate at night at least (he does behave like this when I put him in the crate in the daytime, too).

Other than his utter dislike of the crate, he behaves like a normal boxer puppy.
 

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Follow the breeders advice...it is gonna be hard but you are training him to know thatwhen he whines and has a cow that he gets to come out.  He continues the behavior because you are reinforcing that it is okay by giving in.  If he wakes your kids up, then just put them back to bed.  (I have 4 kids so I know how that one goes.)  DO NOT take him out of the crate until heis behaving and NOT crying.)    

We all knowit's hard, but if you're consistant and don't give in he will catch on VERY quickly and stop the behavior.  Your breeder is right.  If you keep giving in he will be a hard to handle/control adult...
 

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It is really hard with how he barks, cries and carries on, but I will try again and try hard not to give in.  It is so hard not to give in.  The noise is ear-shattering!

Between my dog and all the dogs I have fostered for rescue, I have never seen anything this bad...
 

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The toddler bed may be a bad idea too. He's learning that if he pitches a fit, he gets out of there and in the comfy wide open toddler bed

I feel for you. Hoosier will bark if I put him in mid-day..he'll cry (the worse crying and barking hes ever done) and bang the gate with his paw. He even broke out a few times this way...the front of the crate would collapse if he banged it hard enough. I had to clamp the hinges with plyers. He will stop the fit after about 10-15 minutes, but when he pitches a fit, he pitches a FIT!
 

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i had the same problems with Allie!!  Major fits..she once screamed for an hour or more.  I started to throw treats in her crate (with door open) and make it a game, then I would feed her in there (door open), and finally I would put her in there and as soon as she got in, I would feed her a treat and say good girl and feed her a treat everytime she was quiet for like 5 seconds or more ,  Then I would let her out.  I never had this problem either and I have had shepherds, shelties, poms, mutts, you name it.  Well, in the meantime I let her sleep in a big box next to my bed with the top cut off, she seemed to be less claustrophobic as I worked with her on her crate.  As of now, she goes in her crate and doesn't make much of a fuss.  Believe me , I nver thought that I would see the day!!!!!!!  Good luck and hang in there!!

Michele
 

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I don't know...I don't agree with everyone else on this one, mainly because I went through that situation also. My previous boxer was the same way. I don't remember how old Tonka is.? It sounds like Tonka has seperation anxiety.  My previous boxer boy had SA severely! He would bark for four hours straight while I was at work. The neighbors let me know this!  :?  I would let him out when I went home for lunch, he would be soaked with saliva from all his panting. He would throw up in his crate and be covered in vomit. He learned to break out of the crate. (It was a wire one) I had to cable tie all the ends together. It was horrible!! I finally said to hell with the crate. At night he slept in my room on his bed next to our bed. During the day I confined him to the gated off kitchen area until he started jumping the gates. I finally puppy proofed the house real well, and he was fine. Sure he found some toilet paper or a magazine a few times, but he was fine out of the crate. No barking all day long anymore or howling and crying in the crate at night. He pretty much made his seat by the window and waited until someone came back home.
Now, I normally DO NOT recommend not leaving a boxer in a crate. It is the safest place for them to be when we are not there to supervise, but if they are going to stress all the while they are in the crate, and possibly injure themselves trying to get out of the crate, then I think you may need to look at other options.
Do you have a spare bedroom that you can make into a doggy room? What about doggy daycare? Can someone come over while you are away and bring Tonka out for walks and play?
Good luck with Tonka, I know how difficult dealing with this can be. Here are a few articles that I had regarding separation anxiety.

http://www.ddfl.org/behavior/sep-anxiety.pdf
http://www.peteducation.com/article_pri ... cleid=2266
 

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I'm so sorry to hear this is still an issue for you. So sad and tears come to my eyes thinking of the heartbreak. Hang in there and stay strong, I believe it will happen some day.

My only other suggestion which you may have heard already is to get a old style alarm clock or something that ticks to simulate the sound of a heartbeat and this may work to comfort him.
 

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One thing that worked so very well with Reese was what Liz suggested to me in training chat. We took the sheet off my bed and placed it in her kennel. She calmed down becuase she could still smel us and we arent having many issues at this point, but we have to work daily on behaviors. Also we moved her kennel upstairs in our room so she is closer to us. She is such an almost angel now :) at least when it comes to the kennel that is!!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the great tips once again!   I will try a pillowcase next!

Tonka turned 10 weeks old this week.  

He is not alone much, maybe 4 hours out of the day.  But would it still be called separation anxiety if he is in the crate throwing a "tantrum" and we are next to him?  His crate is not isolated from the rest of us...

It is REALLY hard to stay tough and keep him in the crate.  Maybe I will try to figure out how to record him on the digital camera and post it somehow.
 

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Leesa,

My heart breaks for you and your baby.  I agree with the other posters.  Try to ignore him.  I know it is hard.  We used a tee shirt that a family member had worn for our girls, and I keep a fan going for white noise  You could also try a room diffuser with a MILD dilution of lavender oil & water.  My girls like the smell of lavender, so I keep an 8 oz bottle of filtered water w/2-3 drop of lavender oil in it.   I spray a couple of squirts in the room & on the window treatments. It may not smell like much to you, but their  little noses are very sensitive.  The lavender is a natural calming agent.  jJust make sure you use theraputic grade oil.
 

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Oh man, sounds like my Vega awhile back.  It is very very hard not to give in. The sounds they make when they don't want to be in there were terrifying and, well, scary because I didn't really understand if she was hurting herself or what not. She sounded the way E.T. sounded when he ran away scared.
A blanket over the crate seemd to help Vega a bit as well as a sweaty shirt of mine after a workout. But mostly it took a lot of constant & consistent work.  Treats in the crate praise when she would go in without crying.  We started by closnig the door for a few seconds and then opening it and saying,"ok". when she would come out a simple pat on the head. No praise or anything like that. Slowly the time built up longer and longer.

At night she would still whine because she wanted to be in the bed with us. We used the foam earplugs and dozed off. after a few days sleeping in there was no issue. It was only when we left the house she owuld ahve a fit. But after the work and training her she came along and now we can actually go to a movie and relax with no worries. It is tough and hard to do. But You can do it.  Hide treats that she loves in there. In a blanket or under her bed. Drop some through the holes IF she is being quite, then let her out.  Just NEVER let her out for crying. (the hardest part) I wish you the best of luck, and don't give up! Youcan do it and it will workout just fine for you.  perhaps foamy ear plugs for the kids would work too :D
 

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When we first crate trained Zara, she started howling etc when she was in the crate at nights.  We would bang a couple of times on the top of the crate and say "no bark".  She would go instantly quiet and after waiting a few minutes we would say "Good Quiet".  I would wait not far away if she started up again and if she did, I would repeat the same process.  If she did this after a long break where obviously she had been sleeping, I would wait for "Good Quiet" and let her out for a wee, put her in her box and begin the process of controlled whining (they are such babies).  I think this lasted for two nights and we have never heard a peep from her.  She hated the taps on the box and learnt quickly that "good quiet" was the better option.  We may have been blessed with zara and the next one could be a ratbag - who knows.
 
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