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Michael Ellis' Philosophy of Dog Training

Michael Ellis' Philosophy of Dog Training

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2014 Clearance Event
Leerburg Q&A
Ask your training question

Question: My new 3 1/2 month old puppy goes berserk in the crate or ex-pen. Would a Tri-Tronics collar be warranted?

Good day, 

I searched the site and founds lots of interesting information. My question is about my new 3 1/2 month old Belgian Mal. Understanding that she is not in control of her bladder and bowels yet, I have trouble crating her overnight and leave her outside. If left in the crate she makes a huge mess and acts like she is being tortured. 

For whatever reason, she is happy going into the crate and sleeps in it outside. But, while in the house if I place her in a crate or expen, even while sitting there in view she goes berserk, biting the crate/pen and screaming her head off. Nothing changes if I am not in the same room. As soon as I close the door to the crate or pen it is drama... hours of drama. 

In this case, would a Tri-Tronics collar be warranted or is she still too young for this? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. 

Thanks in advance

Cindy's Response:

This is not really unusual behavior for a puppy that hasn't been taught to be calm & quiet in the crate. I would absolutely NOT use an ecollar or bark collar. She's much too young and you mention she's new to you. She's likely worried about being alone & is suffering from some separation anxiety.

I'd suggest the videos Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months and Living with Your Puppy ~ Establishing Pack Structure.

You're going to have to ride this out and work in small steps. I would make sure she's really tired before ever putting her in the crate in the house. Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to this and some puppies are extremely challenging to crate train. I believe there is quite a bit of info about this on our website as well.

Cindy Rhodes


Thank you very much. The information and reassurance is very appreciated!!

For more questions on this topic, see our Q&A on Puppies.

We get a number of Q&As every week, if you would like to read this week's Q&As, click here and check out the 'Recent Questions' section!

Have a question for Ed & Cindy? Try the Leerburg Q&A Search. If you can't find the answer to your question by using our search engine, you can email Cindy here at Leerburg at If you have your spam filter on, make sure you set it to receive our replies!!!

Customer Comments

On Leerburg's Elk Antler Chews

These are great!! I have used these for years. A friend of ours gave the dogs some of these about 8 years ago. Honestly, I thought they were crazy when I first saw them. Boy, was I wrong. My last 4 Dobermans... I swore by these... My 3 oldest are gone now. But, they were the biggest power chewers I always worried about them chipping teeth on regular bones. The friend told me about them.. we tried. What a difference. So, at times we used these as an extra chew alternative. The firmer surface seemed to slow them down on chewing so hard.

My new puppy at first wasn't interest in chewing them... but we rubbed yogurt sometimes or just a bit of ground meat in the ends. She loved it. They're great. And I love that they last... so they are economical too.

The Michael Ellis School for Dog Trainers

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