A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper

A Day in the Life of a Zookeeper
Ever wonder what its like to share your world with a bunch of crazy critters? Tune in to find out!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Crate Training....

Let the crate training begin.  While for the most part we are incredibly lucky with 3 good puppies, it was apparent that the time had come that we needed to take back a bit of control of our household. Three pups means three personalities, three schedules and three distinct set of preferences.  As a result we were dealing with multiple potty schedules, middle of the night wake up calls, fighting for space on the bed, etc.  So - after conferring with a friend who crates her fur boys at night, I decided it might be the solution for us.  Pups will only be crated at night - bedtime has been set at 9 pm (may change as they get a bit older and mellow out some) or if we are going to be gone for an extended period of time.  Otherwise they will still have free reign of the backyard and the rest of the house when supervised.

I hopped on down to the pet store yesterday and found these lovely soft sided crates:

It's the Nature'e Miracle Port-a-Crate dog crate.  These fold up flat for storage or transport and are a snap to put together.  The top opens, as does the flap in the front and the panel on the side.  The pups had already been using dog beds so I stuck one in each and they fit great!  In a pinch we could also use one of these for Emma (I didn't get her one - I figure after 14 years she likely won't want to start sleeping in one) and we could use one for Winston if we needed to evacuate our property or get him to an emergency vet or something.  It will be nice when we travel for them to have their own beds for hotel stays or visiting someone's house.  It will also be nice to confine one if them if they are sick or injured and to have the option to take their crate with them to the vet for boarding or if they have to stay overnight for some reason.

Last night was our first go at crating the dogs.  These pups are so cautious and afraid of new things that when I set them up in the bedroom the dogs wouldn't even  go near them - they all jumped on the bed wondering what those large red boxes were.  I tossed some treats in each one and they proceeded to watch Emma who wasn't scared at all get all the goodies.  Finally Tango got brave and then Charli and at last, Juliett.  9 pm rolled around and in they went - with a bit of assistance from mom.  Tango was not pleased and made his opinion known (he is by far the most vocal of the pups).  Charli wasn't all that thrilled either.  Juliett laid down on her bed and went to sleep - not one peep out of her.

They all settled in after a few minutes.  When the hubs came to bed they got stirred up again but then settled back down.  All in all it was a pretty peaceful night.  It was nice to not have them scratching at the door at all hours, playing with noisy toys, etc.  This morning when we got up at 7 I opened their crates.  Tango and Charli hopped right out and went outside to go potty.  Juliett lounged in her crate for almost 45 minutes before she got up to go outside.

During the day today they were inside for a bit but not much.  They did not choose to nap in their crates but they also didn't avoid them either.  Tonight when 9 pm rolled around Tango reluctantly went in when told.  Charli was like a cat when you try to put it in a carrier - legs everywhere - she was not happy about it.  She fussed for a minute and then settled nicely.  Juliett did not want to go in but once in there she sprawled out on her bed and went right to sleep.  I think she likes it in there.

All in all I am pretty happy with the way things are going.  Thanks Auntie Cher for the great suggestion.  I will keep you posted on progress and I will try to get some pics of them in their crates in the next few days.

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