Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Crate Training, Flood Edition

Yes,  dog crates are a wonderful tool.   The dog has a private place of his own to rest, take meals and stay out of trouble.  The crate system works well.  It has worked well at my house.  That is, until the crates took on water.

Thanks to the August 11th mega storm, the basement stayed full of ankle deep water.  The liquid remained in place for some three, four days.  During this interval, the dogs lost their crate availability, at least in the old manner of use. 

We came up with a new routine.  For the older dogs, it meant offering an alternative location to dine.  Thus, when the bowls were full and ready to be served, instead of following the dogs down the stairs to their crates to serve the meal, access to the basement was casually blocked.  The dogs were steered to separate areas of the kitchen with the invitation, "let's eat our food".

For the puppy, at large eating was not a sensible option.  Conveniently, we had a second crate already in place in the bedroom.  (At night, the adult dogs sleep on blankets on the floor of the bedroom.  Puppy Henry sleeps on a blanket inside a crate.)  So at mealtime, after the big dogs got their food, Henry was led to his crate upstairs for his meal accompanied by the suggestion, "let's eat our food".

Interestingly, several days later when we moved to the new house, the older dogs easily transitioned to eating in the new kitchen.  (The big dog crates, now dry, remain folded in the garage.)  Puppy Henry continues to eat and sleep in his crate in the bedroom.

"Let's eat our food" may not technically be a command, but it worked just fine for our impromptu flood retool/training.


  1. None of my critters would have any part of crates. Our German shepherd actually took my mom's dinner (very gently, of course) right out of her hand. No wonder she always said they were like a large brood of kids!

  2. You let that little skunk out of his cage, and he will be Dinner.

  3. Naw, too scrawny, will just eat his dinner.

  4. When thehamish was a puppy he had a crate. and it worked for him. It was a quiet space for him to nap and sleep. But I never fed him in the crate. Then Watson liked napping in the crate. Pretty soon they were both napping together. So I got another crate. When we travel or visit friends the boys always have their crates. But they still sleep together off and on.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. I can't recall any of our dogs ever spending time in crates.

  6. My guys come and go into their crates as they please.

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