Hi everyone, We got our English Toy Spaniel about 3 weeks ago. My question is which is best/better between a crate or a playpen gate for pets. My reason for asking is when we bought Rudy we got him from a woman who was in a wheelchair so he was mostly in this little dog house w/ fenced in yard inside her house. When I went out to buy something for at night or when we are out I decided to get the playpan because it seemed most like what he was used to. The problem is when we put him in it he barks. Not whines but barks. Ofcourse we can't put up w/ this t 11pm when we go to bed plus, we are in a 4bdrm townhouse so it would bug the neighbors so he ended up sleeping w/ my oldest 10yo son. I don't have a problem with this he is fine in there. But, to date we haven't left him alone yet. So would he be better if I get him a crate because he is more closed in and not open? I guess more like a dog house. If so should it be covered w/ a blanket or something so it's dark so he can sleep? Or does he just need to get used to the playpen? The lady we bought him from said he barks in the house occasionally but I don't wanna bug the neighbors while we are not home. Any help would be wonderful! Thanks!
i'm not sure what a playpen gate for pets is; do you mean a gate in a doorway that keeps him in a room, or a little dog playpen that is an area for him to run around in? he barks because he wants out of it; have to condition him to it. one way to do it is put him in, ignore the barking, when he stops get him out. that reinforces that the barking doesn't get him out. start in small amounts of time, maybe even 10 seconds at first. then start going to another room with him in it when he will be quiet with you in the room for several minutes. do not get him out or even look at him or talk to him when he is barking in his pen/crate or that will reinforce the barking; that if he does it he will get attention, "hey, i bark and they come to me!!!" feed him in his pen/crate, give treats in there, have toys in there so it's a positive place. he may like a crate better, it's hard to know till it's tried. another way is to when he barks bang on the crate or gate and say "quiet!" you could tell your neighbors you have a new dog and are trying to train him not to bark in his area, so they know that there will be some barking. sleeping with you guys is great, he gets to be with you more. i don't let my dogs on the bed; they are gated in my room or tethered to a bed post if need be. i don't think a crate needs to be covered at night. as for leaving him, he may cry when you leave him alone, but should be quieter after you have left. give him something to do, a stuffed kong toy (stuffed with food- peanut butter, cheese, treats, etc.), nylabones to chew on or something he likes to chew. again, letting the neighbors know may be necessary! as before, leave the house for short periods and come back, going in if he's not barking, gradually lengthening the time. at first even just go out the door, then back. he was probably use to being with someone all the time before, and needs to get to know you guys too to feel more comfortable in his new home.
Pearl, Thanks so much for your reply. The playpen I am talking about is like an octagon pen. Basically 5 gates linked together. He is also gated into the livingroom area because she told us he likes to eat whatever he finds so we figured this was safer. He'll occasionally bark at us in the kitchen or bathroom from the gate. I actually haven't heard him whine or growl yet. It's just barking. He only goes upstairs to sleep at night. He has only been in my older sons bed. He cannot jump onto the bed or couches himself we put him up there. He can jump down though. I have no problem with him sleeping there so night isn't a problem anymore. So far everytime we have gone somewhere we've taken him with us because we are usually just dropping off or picking up. He does alot better when left in the gated livingroom rather than the playpen but I don't trust him not to chew something up that he wouldn't if we were sitting there.. I'll try everything you've said. I think as long as we try all the things w/ the pen during the day he won't bother as much. Also, should we leave the pen up at all times? We take it down if we are not using it because it is pretty big. But would it be better that he sees it at all times?? Also If I didn't mention before he is 9 months old. His previous owner had him and his brother so he was used to having another dog around. Also since she was in a wheelchair and had no limbs. He didn't get as much attention as he does here but he was very socialzed w/ people since she had many coming in and out taking care of her. Anyway, thanks again!
That's called an 'exercise' pen, and it can be very handy. I'm personally against putting dogs on the couch or beds, because it can upset the social pack order, IE, the dog thinks that because it can get up on the couch, it is higher ranked than perhaps you or your children. However if your dog is this old, you would have seen more dominating behavior before now, and you haven't mentioned any. Regarding him barking, Pearl is right, you cannot go to him at all when he is barking and in the play pen, all you do is reinforce the bad behavior, by catering to his desires. Work on getting him usedt o being alone in it during the day so he is less likely to freak out at night. Feed, water, extra special treats should only go to him when he is in that crate / pen. When he gets those, if you can, leave him completely alone.
i don't think you'd have to leave it up all the time. supervision to guard against chewing is good! dogs and pups have to learn that if they are somewhere you will come back. likely in time he will get used to being in the pen and know you are going to come back, that it's part of life.
Minniyar, He is not dominating at all. He is a very sweet lapdog. That is why I wanted him. When I read about them it said they were very sweet and eager to please their owner. They just want to sit on your lap. English Toy Spaniels have low energy also. so he could really careless what people are doing around him. He doesn't care who he is sitting or sleeping with just a warm body to sleep next to. I bought him a dog bed which he does sleep on when he is on the floor. My 2yo daughter will lay on it next to him and he doesn't mind it at all. Everyone in the family award him treats, he even sits and gives paw to my 2yo. (we've taught him paw since we got him) English Toy Spaniel Height: 10-11 in Weight: 8-14 lbs Life Span: 10-12 years Watchdog: **** Protection: * Energy: * Exercise: * Training: *** Temperament: Obedient, affectionate Description: In the United States and Canada he is known as the English Toy Spaniel and the name "King Charles" is given to the black and tan variety only. The English Toy Spaniel is the ultimate lap dog, as he loves to sit by his owner's side. He is sweet, shy, easygoing and is affectionate to his owners and those he is familiar with. Makes a wonderful companion for the elderly. Thanks for your advice. I am def. going to try everything you and pearl suggested. Thanks again
Heh even in a breed that is bred to be a companion dog, there are dominant personalities, and submissive personalities. Quite a few people have domineering Cavaliers, and they're also companion dogs. But you're right, thats why I said you would have mentioned other problems if they existed. He sounds like a real sweety pie, either way, and it's great that he's so good wtih your kids.
Thanks, he is a sweetie. Even as annoying as my 2yo can sometimes be like hugging him and stuff he doesn't care. From what i've read they are supposed to be "OK" with kids. Better with older well be haved kids but he is good with all of them. So far we have lucked out in not having dominant personality dogs. We only had one female Siberian Husky that was dominant towards our female Boston Terrier but not towards us kids. Again, thanks for all your info and I'll keep you updated. P.S. I swear he knows I posted this. He is barking now more than he has since we got him. He is just gated in the livingroom not the pen and I am sitting in the livingroom and he is barking at every noise.. The little stinker!
Hello. Congratulations on your new adition. I would have to ssay a playpen, because it gives your puppy more room to run around. Outside dogs can be hard dogs to housetrain. You were right to go with the playpen, but put a crate inside the playpen, so he can have somewhere to sleep. Barking really annoys me too. It is a complicated problem. There can be many reasons for a dog to bark. Some dogs where bred to bark. I can't guarentee that you can prevent him from barking. Almost all dogs will bark. When he barks he may be too hot, too cold, hungry, thirsty, or has to go to the bathroom. It may be that he is requesting something. He could be bored, anxoius, or excited. He may need attention, such as social and mental stimulation. Barking is very difficult to correct. When he barks he knows he will get rewarded. There are things you can do to minimize barking. There are things you could do that could stop it, but not all work for every dog. Don't leave him outside. Make sure all his needs are met. Increase play and exercise. Do not reinforce barking. Do not let him out of his playpen when he barks. Do not punish him for barking. Do not let him see the things that trigger his barking. Socialize you dog. When he barks give him the sit command. Do not reinforce the barking. I guess it would be fine to let him sleep with your son, as long as he behaves. You need too gradually increase the time you leave him alone, so he can get use to it. A crate wouldn't do much. I can tell you when I put my dog in her crate, she goes to sleep right away. If you want a crate like a dog house, by a plastic crate, not a wire. The playpen would be fine, but I think in your case, go with the crate. He should stop barking if you put him in a crate and leave him alone. I hope my advice helps. Your very welcome!
SaveAFurryFriend, Thanks for your advice. He is not an outside dog at all. He is only outside for 1 walk a day. They only need about 10 mins of excercise a day then sleep all day except when in the pen ofcourse :) He is housebroken sort of the lady we got him from matt trained him (like paper but a blanket matt thing) anyway he always goes on that and I don't mind it because it's easier to pick up from that than grass anyway. We clean up as soon as he goes and wash the matt every couple days. So, the first day I put him in the pen I put in with him his food, his matt, his dog bed and his toys. But he barked the second we walked away from putting him in. Also, if he is sitting, with or on someone he is ALWAYS sleeping so he is good. Thanks
Most companion type dogs just want to be with you so your pups behaviour is perfectly normal.What you want to do is convince your puppy that being in the cage/crate is great, good things happen when I'm in my crate.I would perfer a medium sized crate, a larger cage for a small dog may be a problem. he/she may enjoy the small den type kennel.It may make the pup feel more secure. Here something to try. first always have the crate/cage out so the pup is familiar with it. Puppy is in the cage, stand in front of the pup with treats.reward for quietness.take a step back (ignore barking) reward again for quietness.You need to step back to the pup to give the treat.Do it again take two steps back, count to five then reward quickly for quietness.Eventually you'll take yourself out of the room and around the corner out of view from the dog,and always reward.this does take some time.Also when you do come back into the room on other occasions, say when you come home from somewhere ignore the pup for a few minutes, don't immediately go see the pup.(no eye contact either)You want your comeings and goings not to be a big deal.If he/she gets alot of attention when you get home from outings the pup will feel anxious for your return. Great toys for alone time: Kongs with frozen peanut butter inside/ will keep a pup busy for a while. At night leave a radio on for the pup to block out, outside noises.
I just want to Thank everyone for their wonderful advice! I tried everything you guys said and it has worked wonders. Particularly, the not going right to him when we come into the house. I left him for short times here and there and he wasn't barking when we came home. Just as soon as he heard us. The one time I took a nap with my daughter and put him in the playpen he was quiet for about 2 hrs then started barking which is fine since that's about the longest he would ever be left. He does wonderful at all times except when we are just watching TV in the same room. He doesn't like to be in there. So, another thing we have done that I think has worked/helped is I just left the playpen up but open one side up so he could go in and out. I have his matt, bed, toys, and food in there and just leave it open while we are in the room so he can come and go as he pleases and he does. Today was the best day though. I took the kids to the grocery store, brought the groceries in, and even unpacked them.. Not 1 single bark! My 2 yo actually freaked me out though. After I had all the groceries put away I said wow Rudy has been quiet what is he doing. My 2yo went in and looked and said oh my goodness mommy look what rudy did. But what I thought she said was oh my goodness mommy rudy's dead. I dashed in there and he was just looking up at me in the pen. He had just tipped his bowls out of their stand..LOL I tell ya it scared the crap out of me though! Guess it's like the first time a baby sleeps through the night and you freak out because you're afraid something happened to them. Anyway, Thank you all again for all the great advice! Nikki
A playpen gives them more room especially if you are potty training. In a crate, you limit their space so they don't go to the bathroom in it. There should only be enough room in the crate for them to lay down.
I got one of the playpens that you are talking about for my little puppy (and she is going to stay little). I think this works better for her than a small crate. She has her bed in there, a potty mat, blanket, toys and water. She does very well in there. The first night that we got her she barked and cried in there. We just ignored it and she eventually stopped. What also helps is that is where we leave her when we aren't at home, so even if she did/does bark, we didn't know and never went to get her...so she knew that if she barks...she doens't get to come out when she barks. I also give her small treats everytime she has to go in her playpen because she only goes in there for sleeping and if we aren't home.
I really liked Pearl's advice. I think that will help you a lot. But I just wanted to let you know that I also us the playpen and it works very well for us and it think it works better than crates...she just has more room to move around and play. Just make it cozy for her...blankets and toys...that kind of stuff.