Join Date: May 2013
Location: Great White North
I've never crate trained as so many do....Harry and Lola's advice is good regarding calming them...
I am pretty sure the first nights with the three GSD pups I have had over the years were all pretty much without much if any sleep....some may have been better than others. I just let them sleep on the floor next to the bed with the door closed...I'm pretty sure I spent a few hours on the floor "sleeping" with them as well...until they were asleep. However, if they ever woke up and seemed the least bit active...outside with them ASAP...I assumed every time they were up..they needed to take a squirt...so I'd take them outside...too many trips outside is better than too few....in the beginning.
I would think you could make the crate smaller if you feel it is too big..maybe folding up some towels and filling the crate a bit or something to that effect.
I read all the Monks of New Skete books and felt they were helpful...understand there are many in this forum who might differ with this opinion however.
Anyway, you're getting your pup very soon and I can appreciate how excited you must be.
First couple weeks will be incredible....a lot of effort perhaps but simply an amazing time as you start to bond with this little fur ball...make the best of it even if it turns your normal routine upside down.
I would also keep your pup away from any places where she could contract Parvo until her vaccinations are completed....Petco, PetSmarts any of those places where you have no control over what infected dogs may have been there. The vet office unfortunately may be a spot for this as well...I'd carry my pup into the vet and go early in the morning before a whole day of sick dogs have been there. I'd even be as thorough and leave shoes outside if you or any guests may have been in areas where the Parvo virus could be....like dog parks ....besides the pet stores which allow dogs. I know I might sound a bit paranoid about the parvo thing but if you read some of the threads in this forum by folks who have had a pup with parvo...it's absolutely no way to start a puppy's life. If you haven't read up on Parvo and how to do your best to prevent it..it might be a good idea.
One other thought...you get one shot at indoctrinating your pup to this world in which she will grow up in...do your level best to act the role of guardian and introduce her in the best way possible...mainly where YOU control the variables...I'm not suggesting to isolate her from the world as socialization is integral in a pup's development but just be one if not two steps ahead of any and all situations where an event could take place which might make a negative impression on your girl going forward. Believe me, this forum is full of folks who are having to "untrain" certain behavioral issues due to situations which took place to their GSDs when they were pups.
Your new adventure is about to begin and what you do in the coming months will make for the most wonderful loyal companion for many years to come.
Enjoy...and post some pics of your pup when you have the chance.