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RosietheDobie

Novitiate
Hello! I'm new to this forum and to owning a Doberman. I know they are wonderful, smart, and loyal dogs. I recently adopted a 7mo old female, red/tan doberman named Rosie. She is the absolute sweetest. I've only had her a week and she already is great at sleeping in a crate overnight without fuss. I have been trying to get her to "like" her crate for leaving her alone during the day. I first tried confining her to just the living room while I'm out but she cries, whines, etc., and I'm in a condo so don't want to disturb my neighbors too much. I know all of this is normal since (1) she's still a puppy and (2) I just got her, but looking for some help!

I've been trying crate games and can't get her to go in the crate unless I chuck a treat inside and she hesitantly goes in. With other dogs, I've been able to give them the command to go in the crate and once they do, I give them a treat. With her, I can't even get her to go in most of the time. I also tried slowly working up to giving her treats while the crate door is closed and walking away for a few seconds, which she does fine with...for only 30seconds without making a huge fuss. I also tried giving her her favorite beef neck bone to chew on while in, and she'll just stand up in the crate looking for me instead, not even caring about the high value treat.

I'm not sure what to try at this point to work up to being able to leave her home alone while I take short trips for errands, let alone longer ones if I have to go into the office for a meeting, etc. Any advice?? THANK YOU!
 

JanS

DCF Owner
Administrative Staff
Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
Welcome from Minnesota and congrats on your new addition! :welcome:

Right now she's a little confused with her new situation and owner so it's going to take a bit of time for her to get used to you and her new home.

I always feed our dogs in the crate and it's a place they look forward to going when they want to rest or feel safe.
I also tried slowly working up to giving her treats while the crate door is closed and walking away for a few seconds, which she does fine with...for only 30seconds without making a huge fuss. I also tried giving her her favorite beef neck bone to chew on while in, and she'll just stand up in the crate looking for me instead, not even caring about the high value treat.
The biggest thing you can do there is walk away and ignore her until she remains quiet. No eye contact, no talking to her or anything else. Our younger dog will still occasionally try to pitch a fit when we first leave her but as soon as we're out of sight she settles right down and goes to sleep. She's no longer crated when we leave but it's the same concept.
 

Ukesox

$ Forum Donor $
A warm welcome from England U.K. to you and Rosie. What a beauty she is:smile:

In your breed description you missed out ”Velcro”. As a breed they are renowned for wanting to be constantly with you so in many cases getting them to accept separation can be tricky and quite a lengthy process. If she currently sees the crate during daytime as a place of confinement while you abandon her she’s not going to like it. Personally, I’d keep the crate & separation anxiety issue separate.
I only used a crate as a bed substitute (while anything bed like was apt to be destroyed) rather than for confinement, but on that score carry on with what you’re doing with threats, (plus add toys, games, meals etc) to the daytime crate routine so it becomes somewhere she wants to go even with you around & feels safe. Make it as comfortable as possible & cover all sides & back with a blanket so it becomes like a cave. Don’t close the gate until she’s very sleepy & only for a very short time, initially when youre still in view & when she’s settled in it ignore her.
With the separation anxiety your idea to confine her to one room (the one with her crate in) is what I’ve always done & with a very anxious pup 30 seconds for starters isn’t so bad. So leave the room (as Jan S said with no contact) & walk out of sight. Go back in after 20 seconds, again ignoring the dog.Repeat a few times. Add in closing the door when you leave the room. Bit by bit extend the time for which you leave the room. As you progress there will be times when she’ll make a fuss before you go back in so if you can let the neighbours know that it’s part of your dog socialisation & it wont be forever, they’re more likely to be accepting.
As Rosie becomes more accepting of separation do the same but leave the house & stand outside for a short time before going back in. Again gradually increase the time that you’re outside & ignore the dog when you leave and go back in.
At this stage I used to give mine a small hide chew treat when I left, again with no speaking or eye contact, the idea being that when you leave her, something good happens.
It also helps if this training comes when she’s tired & settled after exercise & you might find she takes herself off to her crate for a nap at some point.
Eventually with repetition & consistency you will get there but depending on the nature of your Dobe & the level of its anxiety it may take some time (think months rather than weeks)before you can leave them with confidence for any length of time , uncrated. My current girl, (just turned 3) took an age to get used to being left alone but after slow gradual improvement from about 18 months we were able to leave her for 3-4 hours without fear of returning to some form of destruction (usually the corner of a rug) :(
 

RosietheDobie

Novitiate
Hello to you both!! Thank you for the advice! I'm trying 30min in the crate and 1hr away all day for a week (while I'm still home and in another room) and hoping for good results :) She is now used to the crate at least with me doing some positive association with treats and slowly closing the door with treats, opening with treats, etc. Fingers crossed!
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
Glad you are able to train her while home....that is the key - so you can reward quiet behavior. And when you practice going outside to listen; see how long it takes her to finally quiet down. Many just do it for attention, and when you leave, "sometimes" they give up the howling, and settle down with whatever bone or treat you have left them. A great thing to put in crate is a kong filled with wet food, then freeze it. Or at least a big tablespoon of wet food. It is a very trying time to get them used to your life, but will be worth it!
Keep us posted!
 

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