Screaming in Crate

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Postby SisMorphine » October 8th, 2006, 10:34 am

So now that I have to move at some point, and I know there is a 99.9999999999% chance I won't be living in a situation like this again, I need to fix one of Mike's very bad habits. When he is crated he will SCREAM like he is being pinned down and is having his nails ripped out one by one (that's a description one of my clients used and it's very accurate). He doesn't scream incessantly, and he does love his crate, but he is very attached to me so when he sees me and he is crated he screams in anticipation, or if he sees me with another dog he'll throw a holy fit, or he'll scream if he hears me talking. Also he will sometimes scream if he thinks I'm in the room (though usually it's just one of the other animals bumping around in their crate). His screaming NEVER gets him out of his crate. It never has and never will so it isn't being reinforced. And the second I am within 5 feet of his crate he will become silent, but as soon as he hears me start to walk off he'll scream again.

The "quiet" command doesn't work with him. I have tried covering his crate and that's done nothing. Because it isn't a bark it doesn't set off a citronella collar because it's too high pitched. I think I've gone through a million different options in an attempt to make him stop. It is a necessity I end this prior to our move so that wherever we end up we don't get kicked out because of his screaming. I've never dealt with anything like this before.

Suggestions? Right now I'm open to anything.
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby mnp13 » October 8th, 2006, 11:18 am

An e-collar or one of the bark collars that is set off by vibration and not noise.
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Postby SisMorphine » October 8th, 2006, 12:39 pm

On October 08 2006, 11:18 AM, mnp13 wrote:An e-collar or one of the bark collars that is set off by vibration and not noise.

Well the cit collars are actually vibration, but because it's a sound that isn't coming from his throat, it's not getting set off. It's like a high pitched screech that comes from the top of his head. Very annoying.

I still can't bring myself to purchase an electric bark collar. Though there are times when I wouldn't mind poking him with a cattle prod :twisted: The electirc bark collar will be my very last choice, but obviously if it has to be done to be able to move someplace then it has to be done. I would just prefer to exhaust all other avenues first. There HAS to be a way to deal with this without shocking the crap out of him.
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby msvette2u » October 8th, 2006, 12:56 pm

No but when you figure it out, let me know. Lambie screams sometimes, although she's gotten better. Basically we ignore it. I'd never shock her or anything and a sound activated ultrasonic thing doesn't work since she's deaf.
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Postby DemoDick » October 8th, 2006, 1:48 pm

In my opinion, the problem is an underlying flaw in your relationship with the dog.

He doesn't scream incessantly, and he does love his crate, but he is very attached to me so when he sees me and he is crated he screams in anticipation, or if he sees me with another dog he'll throw a holy fit, or he'll scream if he hears me talking. Also he will sometimes scream if he thinks I'm in the room (though usually it's just one of the other animals bumping around in their crate). His screaming NEVER gets him out of his crate. It never has and never will so it isn't being reinforced. And the second I am within 5 feet of his crate he will become silent, but as soon as he hears me start to walk off he'll scream again.


All of the things you describe are symptoms of a dog who hasn't yet learned that his place in the relationship is that of a subordinate. He gets out when you bring him out, and he has to become resigned to that. The best way to fix it is not to treat the symptom (screaming), but to fix the underlying problem (the relationship). The fact that he gets quiet when you approach the crate is telling; he's anticipating that you're going to take him out. When you don't, he reverts to his screaming.

Where do you keep his crate?

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Postby SisMorphine » October 8th, 2006, 2:12 pm

On October 08 2006, 1:48 PM, DemoDick wrote:In my opinion, the problem is an underlying flaw in your relationship with the dog.

He doesn't scream incessantly, and he does love his crate, but he is very attached to me so when he sees me and he is crated he screams in anticipation, or if he sees me with another dog he'll throw a holy fit, or he'll scream if he hears me talking. Also he will sometimes scream if he thinks I'm in the room (though usually it's just one of the other animals bumping around in their crate). His screaming NEVER gets him out of his crate. It never has and never will so it isn't being reinforced. And the second I am within 5 feet of his crate he will become silent, but as soon as he hears me start to walk off he'll scream again.


All of the things you describe are symptoms of a dog who hasn't yet learned that his place in the relationship is that of a subordinate. He gets out when you bring him out, and he has to become resigned to that. The best way to fix it is not to treat the symptom (screaming), but to fix the underlying problem (the relationship). The fact that he gets quiet when you approach the crate is telling; he's anticipating that you're going to take him out. When you don't, he reverts to his screaming.

Where do you keep his crate?

Demo Dick

His crate is in the kennel, where it's always been, though I'm going to be moving it up into the spare office tomorrow or Tuesday once it's all cleared out (he was having a "potty" problem that has FINALLY seemed to become a non-issue in the past two weeks . . .which is VERY exciting). He doesn't scream when other people are around him, and can be crated at other people's houses and be quiet provided that I'm not around.

He is VERY intent on working/training. He LOVES it, which is why I'm assuming he's screaming in anticipation of training. Maybe I should make his training schedule a bit more strict (ie: specific training times)? Though I don't like to stick with specific schedules with my dogs as my own schedule changes on a daily basis. Especially now that I don't know what kind of job I'll be taking on, and I don't even have a time frame as to when it will change. I just don't know . . .

ETA:
We are STILL very much working on his respect level for me, which I didn't even connect to his screaming. He is an alpha male with the a-hole Akita attitude so it's been trouble. But it seems that he is gaining much more respect, and my handling of him has become much better, through the agility class we are taking. I have also changed my demeanor in training a bit, a little more upbeat, and he is responding with a rapidly wagging tail. So we're getting there, but there are definitely still some respect issues, and he will shut down and try to dominate me when I get frustrated during training, so we do have more to work on. Hopefully that will fix the screaming. Thanks so much for pointing that out! It gives me a whole other way to look at it now.
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby DemoDick » October 12th, 2006, 7:10 pm

Another thing...if his crate is in a room that you usually don't enter, you might try putting it in the living room for a while. This will help him to understand that you walking around, or up to the crate has absolutely no bearing on when he gets out. If he assumes that you're (eventually) going to let him out every time you walk into the crate room or up to the crate then he's going to scream when you don't get him out. He needs to learn to accept the fact that no matter what, YOU are the one that decides when he can come out.

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Postby SisMorphine » October 12th, 2006, 7:36 pm

I do go in the room he's in as I have a couple of boarding crates in there, but I am definitely in there far less than I am in the main room or in the livingroom. Once the foster pup has moved on I'll put him in the livingroom as long as I can stand it. Thanks!!
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby DemoDick » October 12th, 2006, 7:57 pm

Don't do it for as long as you can stand it, do it until it's fixed! Otherwise you're relenting and giving in. Be strong!

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Postby bahamutt99 » October 12th, 2006, 9:01 pm

I'm no expert trainer, but if I were in that situation, the first thing I would do is walk back out of the room when the dog starts screaming, and not come back until he's quiet. If I walked back in and he started screaming again, I'd walk right back out again. It would probably take a while, but by not giving him the reward of your presence while he's screaming, maybe he'll eventually STFU.
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Postby Romanwild » October 13th, 2006, 12:09 pm

I know I keep bringing up Wilkes but.....

I have the same problem. His solution was to click and treat him every time he would make a noise while in the crate. He said it would take 3 or 4 sessions and it would diminish. When it was almost gone do a negative punisher.

I did it once for about 3 minutes. It worked for 3 weeks until I sent him the the kennel for the weekend. Amazing.

His theory is that the food changes the bio chemistry and calms the dog down.

What can I say. It worked. I was amazed!
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Postby mnp13 » October 13th, 2006, 1:17 pm

On October 13 2006, 12:09, Romanwild wrote:I have the same problem. His solution was to click and treat him every time he would make a noise while in the crate. He said it would take 3 or 4 sessions and it would diminish. When it was almost gone do a negative punisher.


The reason I never tried that was because both of my dogs shut up as soon as they hear me coming. For Riggs, that is the first step at the bottom of my staircase. At the begining he would scream and bark until I let him out, but that ended in May or June. I'm glad it worked for you though.

Bahama - that worked very well when Riggs would whine in his crate when he saw me. Approach the crate and he would shut up. It took me over an hour to get him out more than once.
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Postby SisMorphine » October 14th, 2006, 7:23 am

On October 12 2006, 7:57 PM, DemoDick wrote:Don't do it for as long as you can stand it, do it until it's fixed! Otherwise you're relenting and giving in. Be strong!

Demo Dick

I should explain a little further . . . not until as long as I can stand the screaming, but until as long as I can stand having a crate in my livingroom. I HATE that. It's tacky. I prefer having all of my crates shut off in the small office. I even hate having the rat cage in the livingroom and once the foster cats are gone that will be moved to the big office with the rabbit. Crate in livingroom = tacky. I am also dreading the number of times Wally will be pisssing on his crate when it comes upstairs . . .

On October 13 2006, 1:17 PM, mnp13 wrote:
On October 13 2006, 12:09, Romanwild wrote:I have the same problem. His solution was to click and treat him every time he would make a noise while in the crate. He said it would take 3 or 4 sessions and it would diminish. When it was almost gone do a negative punisher.


The reason I never tried that was because both of my dogs shut up as soon as they hear me coming. For Riggs, that is the first step at the bottom of my staircase. At the begining he would scream and bark until I let him out, but that ended in May or June. I'm glad it worked for you though.

Bahama - that worked very well when Riggs would whine in his crate when he saw me. Approach the crate and he would shut up. It took me over an hour to get him out more than once.

That's the same problem here. If I am near him he is quiet. But the second he hears me leave the room and turn the corner, or shut the door to his room, he starts his screaming. And I've tried pretending to leave but he's too smart for that :)
"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." -Anatole France
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Postby DemoDick » October 14th, 2006, 11:52 am

That's the same problem here. If I am near him he is quiet. But the second he hears me leave the room and turn the corner, or shut the door to his room, he starts his screaming. And I've tried pretending to leave but he's too smart for that


Think about it this way...

He screams for a period of time in an attempt to get himself out of the crate. You have to get him out eventually, so you walk to the door and before opening it, he stops screaming. You think, "Great, can't reward the screaming by letting him out but now he stopped so it's okay." You then get him out. You put him away and the screaming continues. Why? You didn't reward it before, did you?

Actually, what you taught the dog was that screaming will get you to the door (which he hears), THEN and some point you're going to get him out. But you can't get him out until you open the door and in his mind it was the screaming that initiated the whole sequence. Frustrating, huh? :)

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