In­flict­ing A Reign Of Ter­rier On A Pup

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - Amy Alkon

Iknow hu­mans are typi cally your s ub­ject, but this is a re­la­tion­ship ques­tion, so I hope you’ll con­sider an­swer­ing it. I have a new puppy ( an 8- pound t errier mutt). I even­tu­ally want her to sleep i n bed with me. How­ever, she’s not t oil et- t rained yet, s o I “crate” her at night in the laun­dry room (in a small dog cage). She cries all night. It’s heart­break­ing. Please help!

We call dogs “man’s best friend” and treat them just like our hu­man best friends — if at 11 p.m. you say to your BFF, “Wow — wouldja look at the time,” gen­tly re­move her beer from her hand, and usher her to her cage in your laun­dry room.

Crate t r ain­ing, r ec­om­mended by vets, breed­ers and the Amer­i­can Ken­nel dog to a “den” — a cage or gated-off area — with her bed and her fa­vorite toys to dis­mem­ber.

How­ever, the crate is not sup­posed to be used for pun­ish­ment — as a sort of Doggy San Quentin — but, say, for times you can’t watch her to keep her from us­ing the $3,000 leather couch as a chew toy or the an­tique Per­sian rug as an op­u­lently col­ored hand-knot­ted toi­let.

The prob­lem you’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing in crat­ing your dog at night comes out of doggy-hu­man co­evo­lu­tion.

An­thro­zo­ol­o­gist J ohn W.S. Brad­shaw ex­plains that over gen­er­a­tions, we hu­mans bred dogs to be emo­tion­ally de­pen­dent on us.

Not sur­pris­ingly, dogs miss t heir own­ers, somet i mes des­per­ately, when t hey are s eparated f r om t hem — and other dogs tional void.

I n one of Brad­shaw’s stud­ies — of 40 Labrador re­triev­ers and bor­der col- lies — “well over 50 per­cent of the Labs and al­most half of the col­lies showed some kind of sep­a­ra­tion dis­tress” when left alone.

For­tu­nately, pup­pies can be t r ained t o un­der­stand that your pick­ing up your car keys isn’t hu­man-ese for “Good­bye, for­ever!”

Brad­shaw’s ad­vice in Dog Sense: “Pick up keys, go to door, praise dog.” Next: Pick up keys. Go out door. Come right back in. Praise dog. Next: Go out for in­creas­ingly longer in­ter­vals — and “go back a stage” (time­wise) if the dog shows anx­i­ety.

And good news for you: You prob­a­bly don’t have to spoon with your dog to keep her from feel­ing sep­a­ra­tion dis­tress at night.

My tiny Chi­nese crested now sleeps (uh, snores like a cir­rhotic old wino) on my pil­low, rest­ing her tiny snout on my neck. How­ever, back be­fore she had her bath­room busi­ness un­der con­trol, I went t hrough t he cryin­gat-night-in-the-crate thing (ac­tu­ally a gated al­cove by

I felt like the sec­ond com­ing of Cruella de Vil. Then I re­mem­bered some­thing about dogs: They have a sense of smell on the level of su­per­hero pow­ers. May- be my dog didn’t have to be in bed; maybe near bed would do. I snagged a big see-through plas­tic con­tainer (maybe 4 feet long and 3 feet high) that my neigh­bors were toss­ing out.

At bed­time, I put it next to my bed and put my dog in it with her bed and a pee pad. She turned around three times, curled up, and went to sleep — af­ter giv­ing me a look I’m pretty sure said, “Hey, next time you’re gonna throw me in ‘the hole,’ gimme some no­tice, and I’ll men­ace t he mail­man and chase the neigh­bors’ bratty chil­dren with a sharp­ened Ny­labone.“

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