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  #1  
Old 12-29-2005, 10:44 PM
ZBTHorton ZBTHorton is offline
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Default Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

Hey guys,

My fiancee(-EV) and I went and picked up our new dog today. He is a 1 1/2 year old Pomeranian. She is scared of big dogs and liked these the best, so, there ya go.

The issue I'm having is this. The dog used to be a stud, and is used to being crate trained nearly 22 hours a day. He has a VERY set schedule, and most of the time retreats(while happily) to his crate when he has nothing to do.

So we bring him home today, I take him out a couple of times to see if he needs to go to the bathroom, or whatever. He never goes. He won't drink anything. He won't eat anything, and now he won't come out of his crate like he was earlier today. I can tell he's just really scared, being away from his home for the first time ever, but I'm not sure what to do about it.

Should I let him have his time in there? Possible issues I see with this plan are him not eating/drinking much, and of course him going to the bathroom.

Should I take away his crate, and force him to adapt to the new house?

I don't want to make him scared or make him not like his new surroundings obviously. He isn't showing any signs of aggression AT ALL, so thats a good thing.

Anyway. This is the first crate trained dog I've ever been in contact with...not sure how to approach this.
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2005, 10:48 PM
DalaiLama DalaiLama is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

Don't get a pomeranian. hth
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2005, 10:51 PM
mostsmooth mostsmooth is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

eventually he will get thirsty/hungry enough to come out of the crate.i would say leave the food and water nearby. definitely dont take his crate away.
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:18 PM
7ontheline 7ontheline is offline
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Location: My dog will eat MicroBob\'s cat.
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

[ QUOTE ]
eventually he will get thirsty/hungry enough to come out of the crate.i would say leave the food and water nearby. definitely dont take his crate away.

[/ QUOTE ]

He should become more accustomed to your place over time too. It should be fine. Maybe get him out of his crate a little bit more each day.
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  #5  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:24 PM
IHateKeithSmart IHateKeithSmart is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

Yeah, just give him some time. Definitely leave the crate as well. He'll get used to the new environs with a little time.
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  #6  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:27 PM
UncleSalty UncleSalty is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

Definitely don't take away his crate, it is currently the only place he feels safe. Start by feeding and watering him inside the crate, placing the dishes inside near the door.

After a day or too, start placing the food and water immediately outside the door of the crate.

After a few more days of that, move the dishes far enough that he has to stand halfway out of the crate to reach them.

Continue to move his food and water slightly farther every day until he is comfortable coming completely out of the crate.

Crate training is very healthy, despite the anthropomorphic feeling that humans view it as a cage. Dogs spend most of their lives sleeping and relaxing, and they prefer nice cozy enclosed spaces.

For the bathroom issue, he will hold it as long as he possibly can to avoid soiling the space he calls home. Just keep taking him outside every hour or two for 5-10 minutes at a time until he goes. If he doesn't go, take him directly back to the crate until another hour or two passes. Once he does his business outside, praise the hell out of him, big happy smile and friendly tone of voice, like he just won the grand prize for best dog in the world. Simultaneously give him something really yummy like a piece of processed cheese.

Good luck!
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  #7  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:34 PM
ZBTHorton ZBTHorton is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

[ QUOTE ]

For the bathroom issue, he will hold it as long as he possibly can to avoid soiling the space he calls home. Just keep taking him outside every hour or two for 5-10 minutes at a time until he goes. If he doesn't go, take him directly back to the crate until another hour or two passes. Once he does his business outside, praise the hell out of him, big happy smile and friendly tone of voice, like he just won the grand prize for best dog in the world. Simultaneously give him something really yummy like a piece of processed cheese.



[/ QUOTE ]

I'm with ya till there..cuz he won't come out of the crate
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  #8  
Old 12-29-2005, 11:39 PM
wdcbooks wdcbooks is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

My wife is a professional dog trainer and what follows is her response.

First, I want to make sure that he sees a vet for a checkup. It sounds like he came from a background that was less than optimal. 22 hours a day in a crate is abusive and the dog may have been mistreated or neglected. A sick dog will exhibit these behaviors, but he is most likely just having trouble adjusting.

Assuming the animal is healthy you shouldn't find that he starves himself to death. No healthy animal will forego food and water to the point of serious damage. If he eats little for a few days it shouldn't do any lasting damage.

She suggests that you make sure that the crate you have is a bit larger than is usual for small dogs and is one of the open construction wire crates. You should hang a food and a water dish so it is accesible from inside the crate. Keep the door open at all times and keep the crate in a central area.

Over the next few days the dog should get used to the house and become more comfortable. Don't force the issue, do not take away the crate. A calm low key approach should help him adjust to the new surroundings. Most crate trained dogs will not mess in their crate, but he may step just outside and go on the floor. I would carry him out every hour or so to make sure he gets a chance to go. Please give updates.

A note on crate training. While it is abusive to have an animal crated constantly, most dogs should be crate trained. Dogs naturally seek a den, and a crate is a natural substitute. There is no reason to let a young dog run free and destroy your house when crate training is relatively easy, quite humane, and effective.
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2005, 05:11 AM
Blarg Blarg is offline
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Default Re: Dog Advice Needed(serious question)

Agree VERY strongly that he came from an abusive background.

I'd suggest some things from handling cats that I learned. Cats are very fearful of new owners and new environments. Much more so than dogs, as cats are actually prey animals to many species, while dogs genetically are not.

When moving a cat to a new environment, or getting a new cat, you must first of all make sure a very uncertain or even terrified animal has little scary stimuli. Do so by letting them keep the crate, but keep the door open. You do not want to force your ways and pace on the animal, but let it adapt itself. You do the animal no favor by rushing things.

Put it in a spare bathroom or another nice warm room that does not get many visitors, if any. CLOSE the door and leave it closed. Ignore the animal for at least a couple or three days, although of course providing it food and water.

What you want is for the animal to get used to the idea of being in that place on his own, and eventually not afraid of the place, but at home enough to explore it. Wandering in and out of it is thus counter-productive. Let the animal first feel comfortable with one single room for a few days. The fact that it might actually get bored with one single room is actually a great plus, because it will do the double duty of making it comfortable where it is and raising its curiosity and need for other stimuli.

After a few days, open the door to the room. If the dog comes out, don't greet it with a shriek of delight and a dogpile of all the kids on its shivering carcass. Don't even look at it, as dogs take a direct look as a THREAT. Let it walk around while you pretend to be oblivious. It takes a heap o' sniffing to make a house a home. Let the dog explore and get comfortable on his own. He, and you, have a whole lifetime ahead of you. No need to rush. Eventually he will lose more and more fear, especially if you don't press him and rush things. As a pack animal, if he is mentally okay, eventually he will want to fit into his new pack. That's you and your family. Don't jump up and down and shout with glee; just let it happen naturally and make him feel it's natural too. If he wants to be petted, that's cool, and if he doesn't, that's fine too.

Eventually he will see his environment as not dangerous, and then familiar, and then, if you guys have your act at all together, as a good place to be. Remember to let him have his space when he needs it; he will love you very much for it. It's when they come to you voluntarily that you know you've won them over.

On an afternote on general dog behavior and getting them relaxed -- if you are not familiar with dogs much, be careful how you hold your hands. Don't hold the flat of your hand, or your hand at all on approaching a dog, above a dog's head, as that is the position you would whack him from. Even if you wouldn't, somebody probably has, and anyway it's probably genetic recognition of a position of disadvantage. Approach a dog with your hand with your palm open and turned up, and beneath his mouth, slowly. Let him sniff you even if he's known you forever. If you want to approach a skittish dog, speak to him first, so his first consciousness of what you're doing isn't physical or a sudden move. And don't look at him the way you would a person, as I mentioned, because while to a human that is a possible way to be disarming and honest, it represents a threat to a dog. Only when he comes to know you will he be able to read the human pattern of staring directly into the eyes as loving and not a challenge or admonition.

Finally, don't be too egotistical. Realize he's not you and that he needs his own psychological space and pacing. If you recognize and respect that, all the rest comes more easily and naturally. Works with people too.
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