• Beth

    Poor old Chuck. Change is hard. Sounds like you know what you’re doing.

  • Meg H

    I ask Rosie if it’s time for ni-night kisses. I kiss her velvety soft ears, she licks my cheek, then she trots into her crate, waits for me to remove her collar (so she can’t take it off and chew it, no, I don’t know how she does it, no matter what kind of collar), and curls up to go to sleep.

  • Janie T

    Amen! I had a dog that was crate trained as well. I don’t know why, but it definitely works to calm down destructive behavior. I don’t think it’s abuse at all, we would have had to give away our dog if we didn’t find a solution. Crating works for some dogs. Period.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000429747565 Maggie Spitler

    lol! Love it!

  • Leona Laurie

    We’re in the midst of housetraining a puppy, so I feel your pain. Thanks for the reminder about crating, Heather. I think there might be one in a certain puppy’s future…

  • Sarah Anne

    Absolutely adorable! I may have fudged a little and added an “l” in sleepy to sound less obnoxious. I’m known to say the most ridiculous things to Charlie. “ohhh boo-boo are you seepy seeps? Oh is my boo-boo ready for seepys? I get your bewwy! I GET IT! Oh you want scritches?! BEWEEEE SCRITCHES?!” Thank God there’s not a video camera in my house.

  • supapfunk

    My dog loves his crate! It’s his safe place. No cats allowed in there! ;)

  • Ann

    Who are these people who say crates are bad? They’re awesome! Well, for dogs, not your children. Perhaps the mysterious “crates are bad” people are simply confusing dogs and children. Although similarly sized, they have different brains and needs.
    My doggie LOVES her crate. Thunder? She runs in the crate. Tired? She snoozes in the crate. Worried because I am packing a suitcase? She sits in the crate. Got a new treat? Eats it in the crate. She loves that thing. If I took it away, she’d have a little doggie freakout. For my dog, crate = feeling safe.

  • Robyn C.

    Sounds like you are an attentive and dedicated dog owner! Great job!

  • http://twitter.com/nofreeshows Jennifer Wijangco

    My dog Dylan is seven years old and has been crate-trained since she was a puppy. Last fall, I thought, she’s mature, I trust her, I can leave her out while I’m away. For weeks, she was perfectly well-behaved while I left her for 8-10 hours a day while I was at work. And then Christmas eve, after being away for just four hours, I come home to find that Dylan has chewed up a whole section of my carpet right by the front door. I mean, she ate my floor! For whatever reason, she flipped out. Yep, she’s back in the crate, and she’s perfectly happy. Crate-training is totally the way to go.

  • http://twitter.com/barkingdogshoes Barking Dog Shoes

    Crates are man’s best friend. I like to think that my Harley is dog-journaling in his head when he has crate time. It’s good processing time for him. He can think about his poop-eating and how it’s wrong.

  • Kim Carter Taveroff

    My dogs both eat their shit. We have to watch them every moment we take them out for their potty breaks until they are disarmed. They are in fact, calculating and devious about it. Both of them have their own set of neuroses as well. We don’t crate them at night, but we certainly have to crate them if we go out.

    I haven’t read through the other comments but I’m sure others have suggested that you’ve been through a lot of upheaval and change in the past year and perhaps it’s taking a toll on Chuck as well. In any case, if it eases your mind at all, you’re not the only one with crazy dogs ;-)

  • cnico

    Perhaps, but I think the move stressed him out too. Animals know when we humans start putting things in boxes that some shit is about to happen… and they of course don’t have any idea what. My dogs get really clingy and anxious when the boxes come out and stuff starts disappearing. I think they get worried I will just disappear. I imagine for Chuck its something psychological, he is a nervous nellie afterall… but I am so glad the crate and being near Heather’s side when she is home is helping him. I love Mr. Chuckles.

  • 2 Labs

    Both my dogs go in their crate at night to tell us they’ve had enough and want to go to bed. One opens the door with his nose. The other eats her poop. But not in her crate. Gotta love ‘em.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    True. You can feed your dog filled cow paunch (don’t ask), which you should be able to get in a decent pet store (and maybe canned, as well). It stinks abysmally (don’t even think about cooking it), but it stopped the family dog’s poop-eating.

  • http://www.facebook.com/eunice.probert Eunice Probert

    Well it is understandable after so many changes in his life lately,. Poor old Chuck, he’s just confused and anxious. Letting him “hide” in the crate is a good idea to let him feel safe and secure. The important thing is to remember that he’s not doing this to spite you. He’s doing it because he’s a dog and has no other way to express how confused and frightened he feels.

  • http://www.facebook.com/angela.phillips.9809 Angela Phillips

    Amen to crates! They are the “safe zone” it makes them feel secure! I HAD a neighbor (HAD…she is no longer allowed in the house or on the property) who decided it was cruel for us to crate our dog at night so the cats could have the house. She was pet-sitting one weekend…when we came home my very special indoor Norwegian Forest Cat Dr.Tinay had been let out with the older cats so the dog could “be free”. Dr. Tinay was eaten by a bear. Crates are good…haters should be eaten by bears /rant

  • http://www.facebook.com/erinmareegill Erin Gill

    I had a dog that used to poop exclusively at the top of the little rock-feature waterfall that was embedded into a retaining wall above our pool. We’d have friends over for a swim and turn the water feature on and the force of the water would tumble all her poops down into the pool. Good times.

  • MckGagMeWithAWoodenSpoon

    I have dealt with all of these things too. I have given up on buying any sort of nice bedding because it quickly gets destroyed. And leather couches only in our house, they can’t rip those and can be easily cleaned up. For the poop eating, we got some stuff that you sprinkle on their food. When it comes out the other end it makes it less appetizing for them. It works. The only problem is that when you stop using it, they just start eating it again, so you would have to eat it forever. Tell me again, why do we love them so much???

  • LisaG

    Yeah, my dog’s name IS Eddie and he is a digger. When he was a puppy, and prior to us learning to use the crate properly, he chewed holes through drywall. We deterred the indoor digging, but he has now destroyed our vegetable garden.
    The crate is the only thing that has saved our lives and prevented him from being sent packing.

  • Stephanie

    Poor old man. His life was disturbed and you brought order. Crates are good. We use one for our 12 pound terrier and all is well. He likes the crate. He enjoys the peace it gives him. You two will get through this together. And poop eating is so unfortunate. I’m sorry, but I am the owner of a poop eater too. Really is nasty.

  • http://twitter.com/aphoenix Abby Phoenix

    I’ve read you for a long time, and will continue to as long as you write. I love your stories, and mostly, I love the way you tell them.

    But (and this is not a “but” for you, but for the haters) I sincerely wish that the situation was such that you could feel like you were telling a story to friends, or at least to friendly strangers at a party. I completely understand the need to address the haters and to assume that your stories are being shared with a part-(very!)hostile audience — I’m just sad that that situation is what it is, and that it’s all so ingrained that your wonderful storytelling necessarily features the strain of defense.

  • miranda

    Lock them up, I do and my dogs love me for it!!

  • Allyssa Wheaton-Rodriguez

    Crates rock. Kids also like to play in crates. Big brothers like to lock their little brothers in crates. Oodles of fun.

  • http://helloalle.com/ Alle

    My dog–a min pin/terrier mix–was not crate trained when I adopted him, but he had been starved, allowed to get a monstrous eye infection and thrown out of a moving car onto a busy street before he ended up at the shelter. So his insane anxiety was totally warranted, but y’know, not exactly optimal for life.

    My vet told me that because of his neglected/abused past, he’d probably really like a safe space that was only HIS where he could feel secure. That became his crate. It took a couple of weeks to really get him used to it, but he loves that thing now. He sleeps in there at night, spends time in there when I’m not home and even when I am, he’ll often hang out inside if he needs some time to himself. I’m not sure how many of his specific behaviour problems the crate has helped with, but I know that he’s a much calmer and more confident dog than when he first came home.

  • Becky Lott

    From one animal lover to another, thank you for taking care of him. It sounds like he needed you.

  • Jackie

    Agree. I travel for work, and even though my husband stays behind and the dog’s life is EXACTLY THE SAME, the dog freaks out when I pull out The Suitcase.

  • Sommer

    you gots to do what you gots to do. Chuckie’s a good boy.

  • http://twitter.com/LoPhoenix LoThePhoenix

    Crates are a good thing. They also have these things called “Belly Bands” to keep male dogs from marking. But it sounds like he’s doing better anyway.

  • Lisa

    when we were in the process of moving, our dog dug holes in our walls and in our kitchen cabinets. A couch is bad, but they come up with all sorts of things to destroy when they are scared. The cage sometimes is the best bet, and if you decide to let them out of it when they start behaving, just make sure you don’t put it away…they need to feel like they still have a “den”, a space of their own.

  • Sarah

    Crates our awesome. Our Lab LOVES his. He doesn’t need it anymore but he still sleeps in it every night on his own. It’s his safe place. You are doing the right things – dogs love structure and boundaries.

  • nicetrywiseguy

    Crate? Is that french for taser?

  • Lesh

    I used to think that crates were terrible until I had a dog that “angry” peed all over the house when we left. Her crate has now become her haven. She feels the safest when in there. She even sleeps in there sometimes at night when we are watching TV. Sometimes dogs need to have a confined space to feel safe and stay out of trouble. I feel for a dog that never gets time out of a crate, but there are many cases when some crate time is the best for a dog.

  • CW

    I had a friend that used a shock collar to stop the dog from eating poop. It worked. But now the dog stops and barks loudly at every piece of poop it comes across.

  • Kristin

    I wish I could crate my cats to keep them from scratching the furniture

  • WebSavvyMom.com

    –>Our black lab puppy walks right in to his crate when I say, “It’s time for work!” *fake enthusiasm* He then scowls at the older yellow lab who is un-crated and on the dog bed. She had already done her time when she was a wild puppy.

  • Kelly B

    Dogs who suffer from anxiety — and it the internet thinks that was Chuck’s problem — benefit from crating. So do dogs who are den dogs. My 20 lb dog Sydney likes his den, but hates being crated. So we got him an indoor dog house/dog bed. Or he hides under Mom’s bed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/hskoconnor Heather O’Connor

    Yup. I was a anti-crate person too. Then I met my dog Mini Pooper. Her actual name. She pees, she poops.. whenever, wherever, OH And she loves to eat a diaper upon occasion. Yum! We do the crate thing too when we leave the house & dogs aren’t coming with. I dunno if you tried this.. I added some vitamins to my dog’s diet, for the please don’t eat the poop thing. Vegepet makes it so vegans can have their dogs eat vegan too. We have poop in our yard. No poop eaters, and I check their breath daily, cause they sleep with us and I will not sleep next to a poop eater it just goes against my whole sanity thing. <3 Chuck regardless of his "habits". Glad he's happier!

  • Robyn Beckman

    Maybe a boy dog pee’d and marked his territory all over that house and Chuck was just doing what male dogs do instinctively. At any rate – Heather, you are a GREAT dog mom! I effing L*O*V*E Chuckles! Your last sentence nicely tied it all together in this post. I’m sorry he’s been bratty towards you. I’m glad you continued to love him through it all. Coco is a bad girl to teach him such bad manners but you love that little satan as well. Awwwwwww. Hugs to Heather!

  • LouisianaHeather

    Don’t know if this helps, but I I was told dogs eat poop for the protein. Mydogs both stopped it when we switched them from processed dog food to raw meaty (soup) bones. Might worth a try.

  • Honeysuckle_Rose75

    Oh my! When we adopted our second pup (girl Golden) three years ago, my then 9 year old, PERFECT male golden retriever started the SAME bizarre behavior. Pees in the house and eats her poop (not his) There is not a thing wrong with him. We’ve tried everything possible to stop both bad habits. The vet that he’s had since he was eight weeks old just tells me “Rocket was happier being the only dog”. Well, I’m an only child but I didn’t pee and eat my college roommate’s poop!!! I’m thinking this “animal”, who is my only accomplishment in life…meaning I didn’t give up, love to pieces and kept alive and healthy all these years, has also become an asshole in his old age!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/caitlin.mcelroy Caitlin McElroy

    Our vet recommended a crate to help ease our dogs’ anxiety and it has truly helped our older dog. We picked up and moved around the world from Oklahoma to Japan and nothing helped him adjust quite like the smell of his bed in his crate. The only thing he digs in is his bed which I have to occasionally replace, but it is well worth it.

  • bettylonglegs

    Dude, crating is a miracle. Most of my dog-owning friends who don’t crate routinely have their furniture torn up or their beds covered in dog piss, and then they subtly imply that they think I’m a barbarian for crating my dog in the morning. I’d rather not have to wash my sheets every night, thank you.

  • REK981

    Been there. You are SPOT ON with the boundaries. His world, being such a HUGE part of yours, was upended too. It was chaos and disorder. Now, happy and calm again. Every one and every thing needs structure. Glad it is working out for you.

  • Lilly O’Handley

    I had a rescue Lab that was neglected as a puppy. We bonded so much that when I went to pee and shut the bathroom door he’d sit outside and whine. And tear at the door. Before the crate, his anxiety was soooo bad when I left for work he’d do unspeakable things to the house (picture a can of Crisco stolen from an 8-foot shelf, eaten and then dispersed through the carpeted portions (YES ONLY THE CARPETED PORTIONS) of an 80% hardwood house in the form of Crisco poops, that he then rolled in—WHAT?????) The crate was such solace to him that HE would get in it when he felt anxiety (doorbell ringing unexpectedly). Yes, I had a family dog that ran from the door. LOL. It got to where he would head for the crate when I picked up my car keys. Our life was then bliss.

  • Erin

    I’m sure you’ve read/heard that dogs are denning animals and that the crate is like their den. I have found this to be absolutely true – my dog even crates himself at times; its his safe place. So let the naysayers say “nay.” You are doing right by Chuckles.

  • Pansy Vore Narendorf

    Divorces are hard on the pups. Crates are not evil (dogs are frickin’ den animals). You are rocking it hard core.

  • Beth Horton

    So totally true. We have an old dog who was never crate trained, and is fine and never gets into trouble, and a 3 year old dog who did not come to us crate-trained, but we quickly realized that he is the kind of dog who needs a “bedroom”. We have the type of wood crate that looks like a box/table, and every night we close his door, throw a sheet over it, and he spends 5 minutes arranging his pillows and blankets and rattles so much that we call him Houdini. Before we got him this crate, he peed everywhere, any time, no reason. He hasn’t peed inside even once since he got the crate, and the only time we close the door on him is when we are sleeping. Some dogs are just happy with their own private space.

  • Vesta

    No advice for the poop eaters but after taking down the live Christmas tree this year I discovered that both of my dogs had been peeing all over it! It was the side against the wall so that was totally fun! Luckily, I do not wrap and put presents under my tree or Christmas would have gone something like this: Oh great! I got new PJ’s. Why do the smell so badly??????