Two Big Problems..


Experienced Member
Lucky Lego, i can tell that you already KNOW to never "correct" a growl
Haha, I definitely do.. Unfortunately back then our family didn't nd we corrected our fearful malinois all the time.. Let me say, the result wasn't good. Luckily we learned better! I never get mad at Lego for growling, I usually try to find the reason for it.. And to determine if its really a growl, or whether its just her make half hearted happy noises that she does sometimes haha!

It's funny you should mention the fear stage possibility jackienmutts, because my older sister actually just phoned me with that same thought! I wonder if that really is the issue, because her crate issue started a month or two ago - when I had a different, dog smart roommate, and I can't see her having let anyone come even CLOSE to scaring Lego while she was in her crate. She pretty much was just as protective of Lego as me, so I'm confused as to what exactly sparked it all.. I'll definitely give that article a read tonight, thanks :)

I just had a NEW problem arise though.. Tomorrow I have to go back to work, and nobody is around to watch Lego... I don't trust her to be left alone unless she's locked up (unfortunately, I can't have her getting into anything/eating things that might hurt her, otherwise I'd leave her loose).. So we went out and bought her a wire kennel/crate, as suggested to me by a friend who thought it might make Lego feel less trapped. We set it up in the house and let her in.. Immediately she ran into the crate. She was SO excited though that she caused it to slide across the floor and the door swung and hit her in the bum.. She bolted out and hid in the corner, refusing to go anywhere near it again. I've spent the last 2 hours trying to coax her closer with pieces of meat and her favourite treats, and so far I've been able to get her to stick her head and ONE paw inside. She did go fully in once, but hit her head on the side, panicked and bolted again.. Leaving me back at square one. I know it wont happen overnight, but are there any suggestions that might help me encourage her to go back in, other than just throwing treats inside? I'd really rather not have to physically force her into the crate and make things worse, so I'm trying to encourage her to go inside on her own time. I've also tried putting her on a leash and just walking her around the kennel.. She's much more comfortable being near it, but still wont put more than just her head and maybe one foot inside :confused:. I'm thinking that I might send her to doggy daycare tomorrow just so that I don't have to worry about locking her up or leaving her loose, and spend tomorrow working away like crazy again on it!

Any ideas that might help??


Honored Member
Well, it sounds like, again, you ARE doing a lot of things right!! also, maybe a rug under the crate so it will never slide again..
Your idea on doggie daycare might be best move, cuz maybe maybe if you force Lego into the crate, she *might* develop a long-term aversion to your new crate, and that might be hard to overcome.

probably, until you can Lego to like her new crate,
the option of dog-proofing one room, like the kitchen, or even a bathroom full of kong toys,
and blocking her into that one room only, is not a reasonable option for your home set up, right?

This short video may, or may not, be helpful, as it is pretty similar to what you are already doing: (and you saw the short crate training video on page 1, right)



Experienced Member
Hahaha! I should have thought of a rubber mat! My solution was to try and duct tape the kennel down.. Needless to say, it was an epic failure. Apparently my brain is a bit fried lately :confused:. Thanks for that!

Also, I had a small success today in nipping a new fear in the bud before it got too bad. I was in the bathroom this morning washing my face with the door closed, and I could hear Lego sniffing around the bottom on the door on the other side. I threw my towel on the ground absent mindedly, and suddenly I heard her yelp and scramble to get away from the door.. I didnt think such a small thing would frighten her! So I went out there and tried to coax her into the bathroom with no luck.. So I grabbed her leash and gently lead her in there, and made her sit in the bathroom with me while I touched everything and showed her that it wasn't at all scary (I even had to climb into the bath tub before she thought it was safe), and encouraged her to sniff everything. Although she's still a tad unsure, she's totally fine with being near the bathroom again. So I've had one success!!

As for the kennel.. The night I posted this, she went fully inside the crate 2 times to try to get her dinner when we weren't paying attention (I left her dinner at the back of the crate to entice her). But the second she gets inside, she realizes "hey wait, I'm in the crate!!" and BOLTS. So, in a way its progress, but the problem is that every time she bolts, she scares herself even futher with all the noise she creates! I'm happy that she IS going inside, but I'd wish she could do it without scaring herself..

Also, I'm starting to suspect that my dog is too smart for me.. This morning I decided that if she wanted breakfast, she'd have to go into her kennel to get it. So I seared up her food to make it smell extra yummy (long story, she eats raw due to health issues), and stuck the bowl in the back of her crate, along with a handful of her favourite treats, some bones and peanut butter. Thinking my idea was foolproof, I left her loose while I went to work... Annnd came home to this:

That cheeky little dog just pulled the entire blanket out of the kennel, treats and all, and just ate everything! I need to find a way to secure that blanket down next time so she can't do the same thing! I could only laugh when I walked in the door, she looked SO proud of herself.. But I really do need to figure out a way to get her to go inside. I guess just time?

I can't find that crate training video though, what section is it in?

And I'll try to get a video in a moment and post it tonight, my roommates are out there making lots of noise and I'd rather have it quiet while we do it, so as not to agitate Lego any further.


Experienced Member
*Sidenote*.. I just noticed now that she'll walk over and stick just her head inside to sniff, all on her own.. But the second I encourage her or try to coax her to go near it, she backs off, goes to the other end of the house and lies down. It seems weird that having me there, even with treats, makes her even mmore nervous.. maybe she thinks I'm going to throw her in? :confused:


Honored Member
too funny about pulling the towel to get the food!:ROFLMAO:

lol, no idea how to prevent that, ha ha! Velcro strips came to mind, but i think a determined dog could outdo a velcro strip...but wow, what a smart dog!


(THAT looks kinda weird, doesn't it...:ROFLMAO: but you know what i meant )

so you can't "dog-proof" one room in your house, right? The idea of closing up a dog into a bathroom full of kong toys, might sound mean to someone reading that, but, it's gotta be roomier than a crate, for dogs who are still being destructive...

//It seems weird that having me there, even with treats, makes her even mmore nervous.. maybe she thinks I'm going to throw her in?//
well, has this been done?? dogs can have marvelously strong ability to make associations and remember.

you might wanna try a clicker for this...
when all else fails, try a clicker.
dogs "get" clickers, and focus a bit on the clicker, and love trying to make it "click", and sometimes, maybe maybe, that can help a dog reduce his ability to stay completely 100% focused on a fear of a crate...?? PLus, dogs LOVE clickers. If you get a super loud one, put a dab of playdoh on it to soften the sound a bit.

a super-loud inkpen can be used, too, but, it should be loud enough the dog can hear it across a room for use with other tricks yet to come...

ey----- no way that crate fits in your car, right? i was just thinking, if the Kikopup "fear" video above, or the Kikopup "crate training" video on page 1 of this thread are not helping (?) maybe, if you get Lego to build new idea "crate = trips to the park" or something?? (with Lego getting into the crate willingily, perhaps out sheer shock it is in her car!)

and then, IF that works, after a few days of "crate = go someplace fun"
then maybe have crate beside car, etc etc.

or perhaps, if you brought crate outdoors, and see if that helps Lego??


Honored Member
but hang in there, i really think,
once Lego is getting enough daily exercise, and tricks lessons are daily thing, etc,
and you've done the "Home Alone" work on page 1,

maybe maybe, in a pretty short period of time,

you won't even need a crate.


Honored Member
OMG TOOO FUNNY about the blanket thing!!!!:ROFLMAO:
And CONGRATS on the progress!!!!!:LOL:
And I agree with Tigerlily, nothing to add.:D


Experienced Member
well, has this been done?? dogs can have marvelously strong ability to make associations and remember.
Wellllll... It has been done on two separate occasions, but for her own safety. The first was when I first got her, she was too hyper for her own good (even at triple times the dosage of sedatives), so she was confined to her crate, as advised by the vet. She didn't like it, but she was never scared of it. In fact, by the time her leg (or stump at that point :ROFLMAO: ) had healed, she LOVED her crate.. she would even go in there on her own just to hang out. Then after she developed her fear, there was ONE day where I had to throw her in against her will.. We had construction going on in our tiny basement suite where I lived at the time, and workers were coming and going through the house and into my bedroom all day long, leaving the door open, tools lying around and making lots of noise. I had to run to a walk-in clinic (I was pretty sick), and I couldn't find anyone to watch her for the day, plus I didn't trust her to be left loose with so many strange, loud men coming and going. And there was no room that I could have dog proofed at the time... I was afraid she would eat something, or hurt herself on the tools, or get loose.. So.. I was forced to throw her in. I felt like such a horrible person when I did it, and I'm sure it sounds silly but I almost choked up a little.. But I felt so bad for leaving her in there, even for just an hour. So I'm almost positive that she thinks I'm going to force her inside at this point, which is a little upsetting to me, but I'm sure she'll get over it once the crate starts looking more appealing and becoming a safe, comfortable place right?

so you can't "dog-proof" one room in your house, right?
Unfortunately I can't.. The house is pretty much laid out so that its one big common area, and then everybody's bedrooms. I COULD confine her to our room, but we've had a bad experience with that... Lego decided that even though she had a mountain of toys and treats there, she'd rather eat our WALLS instead, and ate a nice big hole in our bedroom wall. Needless to say, my boyfriend refuses to try that again lol

I definitely want to try bringing the crate in the car actually.. Funnily enough, I've never remembered her having any problems with sitting in the crate when its in the back of the car, so maybe that's just the thing to get her started! Thanks :D

Also, after watching all these videos using a clicker, I think I just might have to cave and go grab her one tomorrow.. Is there an intro to clicker training thread on here? Perhaps I'll have to do some searching, because I have no clue how to begin! Haha! I took some tips from the kikopup video and I'm going to try to implement some of those tonight.. VERY helpful video! And hopefully I can dig up that crate training one too


This morning I decided that no way was Lego going to trick me THREE times (last night she did the blanket thing again to get her dinner out).. So I put the blanket in the crate as usual, but this time left about a foot uncovered at the back, and put her food dish there.. So that way, when she pulls out the blanket, no food dish would come with it! I got home an hour ago and sure enough, she'd pulled the blanket out again and managed to drag some treats with it (cheeky girl!).. BUT, her food dish was EMPTY! It was all the way in the back of the crate, and completely licked clean. Now, unless it was one of my roommates who helped her, I think she went in all by herself! She likely didnt stay in there and eat her food, she usually likes to carry it from her food dish onto her bed and eat it there (since it's raw food she only has to grab one or two chunks of meat).. So that's probably what she ended up doing, but STILL! I can't believe she went inside! Maybe after enough times doing this, she'll finally figure it out that its not a scary place after all..?


Honored Member
YAY for Lego!!!!:LOL: I hope putting the crate in the back of the car works out!!! There is a thread somewhere about clicker training, I just need to find it....


Honored Member

Well, most ppl, with a dog NEW to clickers, do what is called "load" the clicker. IN thread above linked by dogster, i reply to look at "classroom" but now classroom is currently gone.

this is a one time thing, maybe 2 or 3 times for some dogs, dogs QUICKLY almost instantly "get this" lesson---------that a click means a treat.

To "load" a clicker, you just click, and give a treat,
dog QUICKLY learns, "clicks are great! clicks mean YES!"

that's it, you are done.

You can repeat that whole process a few times that first day or so.

and you never ever ever have to teach that again, the dog WILL remember that, for life.


Honored Member
Remember, every click, gets a treat, no exceptions. Even if YOU mess up, and click the wrong thing, you are supposed to still give a treat.

Some clicks, for breakthrough, super-fabulous moves,
we give multiple treats, while praising the dog the whole time. That is called a "jackpot" by some of us.

we also click for ATTEMPTS in right direction, for some tricks or cues, or moves.

we silently ignore wrong moves.

Keep lessons short for beginner dogs, always stopping before the dog zones out/stops paying attention, or gets frustrated. Like even 5 minutes for first lessons, and slowly add a minute per lesson.
It's better to have multiple short lessons,
than one long long long lesson for a beginner dog.

YOu can have lessons as many times a day as you want, but for beginner dogs, keep lessons short.

IF DOG IS ZONING OUT on lessons, try moving trick to a new area, OR outdoors, etc.


Honored Member
I always try to end on positive note, sometimes going back to a trick Buddy knows well, and then end lesson.

when Buddy's lesson is alllll done, i say "ALL DONE!" so he knows lesson is over,
and then, we always always always play tuggy toy, or fetch, or some game, so Buddy gets chance to release any excitement,
and to further instill idea that lessons ARE FUN!!!


Honored Member
Timing is crucial,
you try your best to click during the move,
or right as move is ending.

not after.

this is a lil harder than it sounds for some tricks, really, and it takes a bit of practice.


Honored Member
You can use food or tuggie-toy play for "rewards"
Most of us tend to use food,
but you can use anything that is high-value reward for THAT particular dog.

since you will now be giving tons o treats to Lego,
you will want to use healthy treats.
Lots of us here make our own treats, to make sure it is healthy stuff,
and to save money, too.:D I use bits of meat, hotdogs cut up (hot dogs bits rolled in Parmesan cheese, too) bits of ham, occasionally cheese, or my homemade treats..

Here is my favorite recipe for dog treats, it is easy to make, cheap economical recipe,
and totally 100% healthy dog treats:
^in above recipe,
i do not mention til wayyy later on in the thread, :rolleyes: that one should also flatten down each treat, so it's not too thick to cook through. duh.

there are many other recipes in the "Treat" section to look over, too.


Honored Member
also, LuckyLego------------if you do use food for rewards,
use itty bitty treats.
LIke the size of a pea, or a raisen.

You want to avoid a full,
or a fat dog.
Somedays, when i have done a LOT of treats for Buddy, i even trim his dinner size back a bit.

dogs do NOT care how big a treat is.
dogs even search over the crumbs on a floor, no crumb is too small in interest a dog.

for jackpots, you can give lots of tiny treats, one after the other after the other, while praising the dog. I hear, to a dog, THAT is considered more valuable, than one giant treat.

some of us think our dogs seem to find it more fun, if there are occasional change ups in the treats we use.


Honored Member
and Tx_cowgirl taught me to attach my clicker to one of those stretchy key-chain coil wrist bands, so handy.

and buy a few identical clickers, too, in case you lose one.

and cheapest clicker is just fine, imo.

and don't leave the clicker lying about,
cuz ppl WILL mess around with it,
and that is confusing to the dog...


Honored Member
i forgot to mention a most VIP part of clicker training.

Once the dog totally KNOWS the trick, THEN you begin to fade the clicker.

AFTER my dog solidly understands the trick,
i fade the clicker,
and then give treats only.

then i fade the treats, so second time Buddy gets enthusiastic praise (my dog LOVES praise:rolleyes: ) and then 3rd time, he gets a treat, 4th time a treat, 5th time praise only, and so on........

slowly, slowly, withdrawing the treats.

there is no harm to click a lesson for too many days or weeks,(for complex tricks)
no harm at all,
but, stopping the C/T too soon, *might* confuse the dog.


Honored Member
When i said //sometimes we also click for ATTEMPTS in right direction, for some tricks or cues, or moves.//

i meant, sometimes, you click the first steps of a trick, even though, that is NOT the final trick, and then, from there, we build upon that, adding another inch, next lesson, yet another inch, and so on.

Like you might C/T (click/treat) any interest that Lego shows to the crate. Overtime, in later lessons, you might C/T interest, and then try to wait for Lego to put even the tip of her nose, or her paw, into the crate....and so on.

but, if you ever ever have to shove Lego into a crate against her will again, you will undo all these efforts.
i reeeeeeally really think, IF AND WHEN you DO keep Lego satisfied with enough chances to burn off energy and give her something to do,
you won't even need the crates.:D

Giving Lego long daily walks two times a day,+ daily romp and run times, + fetch or tug toy playtimes,
some tricks training,
*might* even be easier way to protect your walls,
than spending hours........ and hours........... on trying to get Lego to ever forget she's been shoved into crates and left there all day.