28 Mar 2008, Comments Off on Friday Dogblogging: Crate

Friday Dogblogging: Crate

Author: Helen

Li’l Ollie has settled in a treat. Every sunday, he goes to the Hobson’s Bay dog obedience club (which is in Port Melbourne, just to be different.) We take Maggie too. She used to go there when she was a crazy little basket case from the Lost Dogs home, and now she is a real goody two-shoes, heeling, staying and dropping like a pro. I don’t watch Ollie because he’s in the beginner’s class, but he comes to call better than I ever hoped he would after this long, and he responds to Sit and Stay, and he walks nicely on the leash.

He’s everybody’s friend and teenage girls, in particular, think he’s adorable – they’ll stop you in the street to squee! over him. Boychild doesn’t yet appreciate how this will work in his favour in a few years’ time. He (Ollie, not boychild) does like to race up to other dogs and people somewhat precipitately, but because he’s so delicate looking and has such a funny face, we haven’t had any screams of terror and/or glares from parental units yet. You can put a leash on him without chasing him around and he hops in the car without a thought. He still thinks he ought to be able to hang out in the kitchen and put his front paws on people, two habits which I’m still trying to get out of him, but in general he’s a cute, cuddly, intelligent little dog. Both his owner (boychild) and Maggie love him dearly. He does get called “the little bug-eyed freak”, but with love.

Ollie only has one major flaw.

When we first got him, he’d poo on the floor about once a week. This always happened overnight and always on a friday or saturday night – the nights when we’d have visitors over, or disappear somewhere else for a few hours. So I wasn’t too worried. He’d demonstrated he had the ability to go the distance and dogs who have been rehomed always have a few psychological kinks to straighten out. Once he was confident and secure, he’d get over it.

Unfortunately, the little devil upped the ante and now he thinks he can poo on the floor every night. I bought some repellent spray from the vet, but it seems to work only intermittently. So, today the boy and I went to Ascot Saddlery in Flemington, one of those places that’s heaven to poke around in (all those saddles!) We bought a crate.* It’s not one of those plastic ones, but a metal mesh one which allows him a good view of the surroundings.

At the moment it’s sitting there with the door open, and a nice thick sheepskin pad inside, onto which I toss the odd good-O to encourage him to go in and have a wander. Let’s see what happens tonight. Will Ollie go into his crate? Will he make a god-awful racket at 3 am, forcing us to get him out again? Stand by for the next exciting episode of Ollie Learns Bowel Control.
*For non-dog people, the idea is that a dog will not go anywhere that’s too near to its bed.

Comments (0)

  • lauredhel says:

    Crate-training was the best thing we ever did with our puppy. Not so puppyish now at nearly two years old, though.

    Toilet training went from hair-pulling to easy. He no longer sat under the bed chewing electrical cords in the night. It became his “safe place” – he trots in there at night and curls up to sleep without any fuss. He can use it to get away from marauding toddlers. Also terrifically handy when we have a reason why he can’t be out and about, like an allergic-to-dogs visitor or needing to have the gate open for a while. Much better than locking him howling in the laundry.

  • Helen says:

    Ollie is already three. He’s house trained – there aren’t any accidents, as such. He’s just ee-vull.

  • suze says:

    Does he go in the same place every night? Near a door? Not that I think that’s a sign he wants to go outside, more a sign that he’s guarding the entryway or marking his territory – if that’s what he does. Our deceased dog did that just about every night and he was a very nervy rescue dog. Our current dog is perfect in the house-trained dept, but one thing I’ve noticed is that male dogs seem to have about triple the bowel output of females.
    Anyway, I hope the crate training works.

  • Helen says:

    Suze, he used to go just in front of Boychild’s x-box (of which, as an aside, I disapprove but he bought it himself with Xmas money; Grrrr) – and occasionally next to the keyboard/drum kit. A swipe against Boychild’s competing interests perhaps?

    It’s definitely not a housetraining thing – he never wees inside and he only poos when no-one is looking, and then only overnight.

    One of his foibles that I forgot to mention is that he loves to eat plastic, and will chew up (and swallow) any small objects such as ballpoint pen caps and little toys he happens to find. I’m trying to convince the kids to be tidier as I don’t want any late-night dashes to the Lort Smith animal hospital. But he doesn’t touch shoes. Absolutely does. not. touch them. He must have had some shoe training from his former owners!

    Crate report: He didn’t object strongly to the crate, no barking or shaking of the prison bars, and was curled up asleep when Boychild came to let him out in the morning. No revenge shits have been done. So far, so good. He actually curls up in there to relax during the day, which is nice.

  • lauredhel says:

    Good news about the crate. Comfy sheepskin and a familiar toy help.

    Georgey used to go about as far from his sleeping place as he could get. Under the dining room table was a favourite.

    Poo volume, we’ve found, increases dramatically when he has had any processed/commercial dogfood. Alone with the smell (oh my, the smell.) On raw, the output is small and dries up fast, and he doesn’t fart much or have skin trouble – a far cry from my previous dry-food-fed dog.

    OMFSM dogs and their chewing. He had a trip to the vet not long ago after swallowing an entire stuffed toy. When he was teething and we forgot to buy bones for a couple of days, he chewed the walls off. Literally. Chowed down on the plaster all along one corner. And I’m on at family and houseguests to STOP leaving pens lying around on the tables… when he chews those up, not only do I worry about shards in his intestines, but the ink gets everywhere. Shoes go in a cupboard near the door.

    He once sneaked a slipper right off the dangling foot of my snoozing father-in-law. Which was hilarious, I admit.

    The lad’s toys all go in his bedroom, cordoned off with a baby gate. I bought him a copy of “Bad Dog, Marley!” (the picture book), too.

  • ChrisS says:

    Dear old Miss Betty started leaking about six months ago, hence our lounge room looking more like a foyer with several meters of that roll out plastic flooring stuff over the rugs. She’s not incontinent, more like forgetful with selective hearing and blind as a post.

    We’ve got a routine now of looking for dog leaks and the occasional carpet cigar, but the old darling is over 20 and we could forgive her for just about anything.

  • Helen says:

    Bless, what a lucky dog to have such a good owner. Twenty is such a great age for a dog. What breed is she?

  • ChrisS says:

    Blue Heeler x Kelpie. She’s also completely off her trolley and keeps getting “stuck” in corners. And darling though.

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