Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.



On November 6th, 2012 President Obama was re-elected — and Ruby started crate training.

Which will have more impact on my life?

No disrespect to the President, but in the near future I would have to say the crate training, which I was inspired/shamed into trying after a potential dog walker came over last night and basically told me I was doing everything wrong. Considering I had spent practically the entire day recovering from a terrible hangover due to celebrating my late husband’s 45th birthday at his favorite strip club the night before, I had to agree with her.

I promised to start immediately and do my homework. From my research these are some do’s and don’ts and my scorecard so far:

1. Crates should be large enough for the adult dog to stand, sit and stretch out. (The crate I bought is big enough, yay!)

2. Place the crate in an area so She is with you and part of family activities, even as an observer. (check!)

3. At night the crate should go in your bedroom. (check, as of last night)

4. Never take a pup out of a crate when she is fussing, as this rewards bad behavior. Wait till she stops fussing for about five minutes, and then take her out without a big welcome. (I did this wrong last night and this morning)

5. Be sure to give lots of praise when she’s inside, lengthening the periods you leave her in. (did not praise her enough)

6. Close the puppy in the crate at regular one-to-two-hour intervals, and whenever she must be left alone, for up to three or four hours. (we just started last night, but noted)

7. Never clean up a mess when the puppy is watching.(guilty as charged)

8. To prevent mistakes, don’t let your pup have the run of the house. If you must leave the room, even for a phone call, crate him or take her with you. (again, guilty)

9. Start a regular feeding schedule. Confine her after eating for 10 to 15 minutes, and then take her to the elimination spot. Say “Go pee.” PRAISE him after he eliminates. (I have been praising her, but not telling her to “go pee”)

10. Do not turn around and head home as soon as he poops. (guilty)

11. After a half hour of play, crate her for a nap. Every hour (or so as she ages) take her out to pee. If she pees, give her play time, if not, back into crate. Just remember prevention of mistakes, and rewarding for good behavior. (noted)

Approximate puppy bladder control:
6 weeks—elimination every hour
2 months—pup should have 2 to 3 hours of control
3 months—4 hours
4 months and up—5 hours
Many young dogs can go all night at 3 months.

12. Always take the puppy out the same door, the one you are going to want her to signal at. Bells work great for some owners. The dog will learn to swat the bell to get the door to open. (I only have one door, no bell as of yet)

Part of me is feeling like “what the hell did I get myself into? I need to be writing a pilot and finishing my book!!”

Another part of me feels like A. I need to suck it up and step it up, and B. she’s worth it.

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

5 thoughts on “Crating

  1. Puppies are a ton of work. My mutt is a little over a year now, but crate training is a must. Didn’t do it with my first dog, and wished I had. In the long run it will save you a lot of agony. A couple of things I learned: I used to (and still do) hide treats in the crate at random times, for pup to find on his/her own, without concern of being locked in there. This makes pup happy to go in there and less wary of the times you do need to get them in the crate. We also used the crate to calm an over-exited, “hyped-up” puppy down. Wouldn’t make a big deal of it, just picked her up (or led by the collar) and quietly put her in the crate and walked away. Just no dramatic entrance or exit. It really works to re-set the “crazies”. Dogs do end up loving their crates as long they aren’t used for punishment. My dog waltzes into her crate all the time now. Good luck!

    • Thank you so much for your informative comment! I seriously need all the help I can get. 🙂 I took your suggestion of hiding a treat in there this morning and it worked like a charm! She’s going to be waltzing in there in no time. Thanks again.

  2. I remember this all too well. But so worth it. 🙂 We also use a “Kong” toy and put a treat and peanut butter and freeze it. Makes them tired from working at it. Also good if you need to write and need them not to be on your lap. 🙂

    • Yes, the Kong w/peanut butter works like a charm, though I have to admit I’m not crating her as much as I probably should be when I’m home during the day. She’s grown accustomed to sleeping right next to me when I write, or under my desk. I do crate her at night and she is getting used to that. Baby steps, I guess. 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  3. Pingback: Love = Responsibility | Riding Bitch

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