(english version below)

De ce sa folosesti cusca in interior?

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  • Cusca este un instrument de nepretuit pentru invatarea unui caine sa isi faca nevoile afara si este una din cele mai rapide metode pentru asta.
  • Cusa ofera un refugiu sigur cainelui atunci cand este lasat singur acasa sau in momentele in care nu il puteti supraveghea.

Cand nu trebuie folosita cusca?

  • In cazul in care este folosita drept pedeapsa, cainele o va evita, va refuza sa intre sau va deveni foarte agitat si nerabdator sa iasa.
  • In cazul in care ai nevoie de un loc de ”depozitare” al cainelui pe termen lung. Ideal, un caine ar trebui sa stea in cusca timp de maxim 4-5h. In cazul puilor, timpul petrecut in cusca nu trebuie sa depaseasca capacitatea lor fizica de a-si controla vezica, ceea ce poate insemna uneori maxim 1h. 

Utilizarea custii pentru invatarea cainelui sa-si faca nevoile exclusiv afara:

Dureaza in jur de 3-5 zile sa inveti un caine adult sa-si faca nevoile afara. In cazul puiutilor, desigur, durata este mai mare din cauza ca pana la varsta de aproximativ 7 luni, inca mai invata sa-si controleze muschii vezicii. Cheia in acest training este consecventa, cu cat esti mai consecvent, cu atat mai devreme se vor vedea rezultatele.

Se recomanda sa tineti cainele in cusca de fiecare data cand nu poate fi supravegheat 100%. In rest trebuie sa il urmariti ca sa prindeti momentul in care incepe sa elimine pentru a-l scoate repede afara. Daca atentia va este impartita intre caine si alte activitati casnice, cel mai bine ar fi sa il legati cu o lesa de curea sau pantaloni ca sa se afle relativ in proximitatea voastra pentru a-i observa semnalele pe care le da cand simte nevoia sa faca ceva. In acel moment puteti iesi repede afara unde veti fi pregatiti cu o recompensa valoroasa si ii puteti da si o comanda vocala (”pipi” sau altele). In cazul puiutilor, ar trebui scosi afara aproximativ la distanta de 1h. Majoritatea isi vor face nevoile in urmatoarele 5 minute de la iesire. Dupa ce isi face nevoile trebuie imediat recompensat cu laude si ceva bun de mancare intr-o maniera calma si pozitiva, apoi va puteti intoarce in casa si dupa aproximativ 1h il pozitionati din nou in cusca lui care acum devine un fel de barlog/culcus in care se simte protejat si apoi repetati procesul. Daca dupa ce ati repetat procesul, puiutul nu isi face nevoile, nu ii dati recompense si nu ii adresati nici o vorba, il duceti inapoi in cusca unde il lasati inca 10 minute, dupa care iesiti din nou. 

Daca sunteti consecventi cu aceasta structura, puiutul va invata repede ca daca se tine, nu doar ca va beneficia de eliberarea care vine natural prin urinare si defecare, dar ca va primi si ceva bun pentru asta. 

Sa nu va descurajati daca nu vedeti rezultate imediat, pentru fiecare catel acest proces are durate diferite si doar prin consecventa vei avea succes. 

Odata ce puiutul a invatat aceasta ”regula”, puteti sa eliminati treptat recompensele culinare si sa le inlocuiti complet cu afectiune si joaca.

Sfaturi suplimentare:

Cusca trebuie asociata pozitiv de caine si e nevoie sa ii creati in ea un loc confortabil pentru odihna. Daca nu aveti un caine distructiv si deja a invatat sa-si faca nevoile afara, puteti sa ii puneti o saltea sau perna in interior. Mesele, de asemenea trebuie servite in interiorul custii, fapt care va contribui la asocierea pozitiva a acesteia.

Obiecte care sunt moi si au mirosul tau specific (un tricou, prosop, etc) puse in cusca ajuta foarte mult in cazul in care aveti un caine proaspat adoptat. Acestea il vor ajuta si sa se acomodeze mai usor si sa asocieze cusca intr-un mod pozitiv. Se procedeaza la fel si in cazul cainilor cu anxietate de separare, carora nu le place sa stea singuri. In orice caz, trebuie urmarite aceste obiecte, pentru ca daca urineaza pe ele sau le da la o parte, e cazul sa le eliminati si sa pastrati podeaua custii goala. Se recomanda sa ii lasati o jucarie rezistenta in cusca pentru a avea ceva de ros. 

Prin consecventa si repetitie, cainele va invata repede ca aceasta cusca este un loc placut de stat si rontait ceva bun. Cainii astfel dresati tind sa fie mai putin distructivi cu lucrurile din casa pentru ca vor asocia rosul cu statul in cusca. In aceeasi idee, va fi mai putin probabil sa manance de pe jos sau sa fure mancare de pe masa pentru ca va intelege ca mancarea exista doar in cusca.

Totusi, cainii tineri, sub 12 luni, ar trebui supravegheati permanent cand sunt lasati liberi prin casa, pentru ca la aceasta varsta isi schimba dantura si tendintele de ros sunt mai puternice.

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Daca cainele da semne de anxietate sau agitatie cand este inchis in cusca, se recomanda perioade de izolare mai scurte si mai dese. Inchideti-l timp de 5 secunde, dupa care il eliberati si repetati. Cand ramane calm timp de 5 secunde, cresteti durata la 10 secunde. Repetati. Dupa ce sta calm timp de 10 secunde, cresteti perioada la 20 de secunde si asa mai departe. Secretul este sa il supravegheati in aceasta perioada de tranzitie ca sa prindeti exact momentul in care este calm pentru a-l elibera. In felul acesta va asocia starea de calm cu ceva pozitiv (libertatea) si in scurt timp, prin repetari consecvente, va invata sa ramana calm tot timpul petrecut in cusca. Daca prezinta semne de anxietate, nu parasiti incaperea cand este inchis in cusca! 

Un alt truc pe care il puteti folosi cu succes, mai ales daca aveti un catel mancacios, este sa ii impartiti cantitatea de mancare in mai multe portii pe durata unei zile si sa i le serviti doar in interiorul custii. Ultima portie din zi poate fi imbunatatita cu niste cascaval presarat deasupra sau chiar carnita. Portia aceasta imbunatatita i-o duceti pe la nas ca sa ii stimulati curiozitatea, apoi o introduceti in cusca inchizand usa cu cainele in exterior. Asteptati 1-2 minute ca sa devina nerabdator, dupa care ii deschideti usa. In felul acesta, majoritatea cainilor vor fi incantati si chiar vor cere sa intre singuri in cusca!

O alta metoda care da rezultate foarte bune in asocierea pozitiva a custii este sa ii oferiti jucarii de tip Kong care pot fi umplute cu recompense delicioase cum ar fi: unt de arahide, recompense pentru caini, iaurt, branzica, boabe inmuiate in apa si apoi puse in congelator in jucarie (ceea ce face scoaterea lor mai dificila si mai provocatoare). Acest tip de jucarii ii vor tine ocupati minute in sir pana cand vor uita complet ca sunt de fapt izolati intr-o cusca. 

Dupa ce cainele asociaza cusca intr-un mod pozitiv, o puteti lasa cu usa deschisa in casa si veti observa ca se va duce in interior din proprie initiativa pentru a se odihni, deoarece ei sunt animale carora le plac vizuinele si in mod instinctiv vor cauta pentru odihna un loc in care se simt in siguranta si protejati.

Alte situatii interzise in acest proces:

Nu ii lasati la gat zgarda. Aceasta se poate agata de tijele metalice ale custii si il poate rani.

Nu pozitionati cusca intr-o zona a casei cu trafic mare. Gasiti un colt linistit, fara prea multa agitatie sau zgomote ca sa nu suprastimulati cainele.

Nu permiteti copiilor sau altor adulti sa sicaneze cainele in timpul in care se afla in cusca. Cusca este locul lui de odihna, locul lui de refugiu si liniste.


Tips for Crate Training Why should you use a crate? 

  • A crate can be an invaluable tool for teaching a dog to eliminate outside of the house, and is one of the quickest ways to help housetrain a dog.
  • A crate can provide a safe haven for your dog when you need to be away from the house, or are too busy to supervise your dog.
    When should you not use a crate?
  • If you are trying to punish your dog – the dog will learn to avoid the crate and refuse to go inside, or he will become extremely agitated in an attempt to be let out of the crate.
  • If you are looking for a long-term place to “store” your dog for hours and hours on end. Ideally, an adult dog should not be left in a crate for more than four to five hours at a time. For puppies, you cannot leave them in the crate longer than their physical bladder capacity, which depending on their age and breed can be no more than an hour or so.
    Using crates to housetrain your dog:
    You can expect to teach an adult dog housetraining within three to five days using a crate. Puppies, of course, will take longer due to their smaller bladder capability. The more consistent you are, the more you will see a difference.
    Your dog or puppy should be kept in the crate any time that you cannot watch it 100%. This means that you are able to watch the dog at ALL times and move him quickly outside if he starts to eliminate. If your attention will be divided by tasks like cooking, talking on the phone, watching TV, etc, then do not crate the dog. Rather, use the “umbilical cord” method. Use the dog’s leash to tie the dog to you, either by looping the leash around your waist, or through your belt or a belt holder on your pants.
    For puppies, release them from the crate approximately once every hour or so. You can go for longer but the more opportunities you give the puppy to be reinforced for going outside, the quicker they will learn. Take them IMMEDIATELY outside by running with them on-leash to your door and outside. Have some especially good treats on hand when you do this. When you are outside, try to stand in one general area and give your dog the cue (Go Potty!). Most puppies will eliminate within five minutes of taking them outside.
    If the puppy eliminates, give him some of the treats, praise him calmly and happily, and take him back inside. It is ok to let the puppy run loose in the house, as long as he is supervised by you 100%. After about an hour, you can put him back in the crate, and restart the whole process again within the hour.
    If the puppy does not eliminate, take him back inside and put him in the crate for another 10 min. Say nothing to him and do not give him treats. Then take him back outside to the same place and try again.
    If you are consistent with this pattern, your puppy will quickly learn that if he holds his urine and feces until you take him outside, not only will he get relief and be able to eliminate, but he will get a treat as well. As your puppy or dog starts to demonstrate that he has learned the “rules” you can begin to phase out the food treats and replace with praise and petting, or play time with you or with a toy.

Using the Crate to “Train” Your Dog to the House 

Always make the crate a pleasant place for your dog to be. If your dog is already housetrained and your dog is not a chewer, you can add some soft bedding, such as towels, blankets, or a dog bed inside the crate. Items that are soft that smell like you are particularly good for dogs that are newly adopted, as it will create a pleasant association for the dog with your scent, and this actually is helpful for dogs that are anxious when left alone. However, be sure to monitor this to make sure that the dog doesn’t chew on these items or kick them to the side and eliminate on them. If the dog does this you may need to not leave any bedding in the crate.Give the dog something to chew on, such as a toy. Make sure that the toy is a sturdy one that will not break or be digested by the dog while he is in the crate with it and you are unable to supervise him. 

If you are consistent, the dog should quickly learn that the crate is a nice place to be—he gets to lie down in a soft spot and gets to chew on something he enjoys. Dogs who are “housetrained” with the crate tend to be less destructive with your household items when left out of the crate because they associate chewing with being in the crate. Puppies under 12 months of age should still be supervised in the house however because the teething stage is a powerful stimulant for chewing. You can also feed the dog in the crate. Many dogs will eat their dinner and cuddle up and fall asleep in the crate. With puppies, you will need to wake them up to take them out to eliminate, and then you can bring them back to the crate to go back to sleep. 

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If your dog shows anxiety about being in the crate, crate him for very tiny increments. Let him in the crate for 5 seconds and let him out. Repeat. When he appears calm for the 5 seconds, increase to 10 seconds. Repeat. When he has learned to be calm with 10 seconds, increase to 20 seconds, and so on. Do not lock him in the crate and leave if he is anxious. You can also feed an anxious dog in the crate -split his meals up into ten portions, and feed him each portion stretched out during the day to increase the positive association with the crate. Let him out immediately after eating. For his last meal of the day, make it a particularly good meal by adding some sprinkled cheese, or a dab of peanut butter, or some beef or chicken broth to his kibble, and then put it inside the crate and shut the door with out letting him in. Wait a minute or two to get him eager to enter the crate and then open the door to let him have his reward. It won’t take long before most dogs will be begging to be let in their crate! 

Another method for helping a dog to enjoy the crate is through the use of toys that you can stuff with food such as the Kong, Busy Buddy or Buster Cube, among others. You can stuff the hollow rubber toys with food treats and then give the toy to your dog when he goes in the crate. Most dogs will become very fixated on getting the food out of the toy and will forget about the fact that they are in the crate. You can stuff these toys with a little bit of peanut butter; cream cheese, cheese wiz, cottage cheese, applesauce, plain yogurt, dog biscuits, etc. Be creative! You may even try to freeze it, as this makes it harder for the dog to get the food out and increases the time his attention will be occupied. 

Another method for acclimating your dog to the crate is to set him up in the crate with some toys and then set the crate near where you will be. For example, if you are sitting down to read the newspaper in the kitchen, set the crate in the kitchen where the dog can see you, and then sit down and read. If you planning on watching a TV show, set the crate up near the couch and proceed to watch your show. Intermittently talk to your dog in a calm, happy tone of voice to let him know he’s being a good boy for calming lying in the crate. 

Once you have successfully trained your dog to accept the crate, you can leave the crate open in your house. You may find that your dog will go into the crate and lie down there on his own with the door open, as dogs are “den” animals and instinctively enjoy a nice cozy place they can snuggle into and retire from the world. 

Other Don’ts: 

  • Don’t leave your dog’s collar on when he is crated. A collar can catch on the metal grating and accidentally injure the dog.
  • Don’t put the crate in a high traffic area of your house. Find a nice, quiet area for your dog so he will not be overly stimulated by noise and activity passing by him.
  • Don’t let children, adults or other animals in the home tease the dog in the crate.