Please HELP, 3 month old Puppy does NOT sleep - German Shepherd Dog Forums

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Old 04-15-2014, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Please HELP, 3 month old Puppy does NOT sleep

Hello everyone my girlfriend and I are in desperate need of some expertise. We have a 3 month old German Shepherd that we got at 8 weeks from a breeder, and he has been amazing at everything, EXCEPT sleeping at night. Currently we are crating him in the plastic kennel, we leave it right next to our bed. Its a perfect size for him, he has plenty of space, but not enough room to go to the bathroom and still have a clean space. We also have the standard wire style crate as well. We may switch to that depending on the responses we get here.

My girlfriend and I are running very thin on patience. We've literally averaged 3-4 hours of sleep per night since we got him because he howls, barks, and paws at the gate, and floor of the crate.

We let him out before we go to bed around 10:30, he goes pee and poop, then we let him walk around just a little more, his last outing is probably 10-15mins Then we bring him back inside and put him in the crate. Within 10 minutes he starts howling, barking, etc. I am 100% serious when I say this, he will bark from 10:45pm to 2:00am non stop, then sleep for 10 minutes and then bark, and howl for another 2 hours, this is how it is the entire night, I'm not exaggerating.

We feed him at 5:30pm, and pull his water bowl at 6:00pm. He gets plenty of exercise during the day, but he does take several naps throughout the day, lasting anywhere from 1-3 hours.

Sometimes when he is barking and crying we will let him out of the crate, and put him on our bed, or he will just pass out right next to the bed on the floor. I know this is probably a bad idea, but he its the only way he will sleep. Once he falls asleep, we pick him up and guide him into the crate. Sometimes he will fall asleep (If we are lucky). Other times he will just sit there and howl and bark.

We also feed him in the crate, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We have tried putting toys, no toys, Kong filled peanut butter, chew toys, etc and none of them help. We leave a blanket in the crate to lay on. It honestly feels like its getting worse.

If ANYONE can give us some advice it would be greatly appreciated because we are almost at a point where we can't function haha.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Why not try a night without closing the crate door? Shut your bedroom door, close all the closets, make it puppy proof, leave the crate in your room with the door open and see what happens. You may want to leave a small bed on the floor, next to your bed and you can reach down and pet him. Set your alarm to wake up and take him out for a pee in the middle of the night. Probably not the best advice, but I know what its like to be sleep deprived.

When our first dog was about 4 months old, she started doing a similar behavior in her crate, we couldn't sleep either so we let her out and she never peed or bothered us or destroyed anything. It was like she was telling us she was ready to be on her own.
She grew to be a very good dog in every way.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Maybe you're taking the water away too early and he's thirsty? When Zoe was 12 weeks she needed water until bedtime around 9pm and I'd let her out around 11pm and then she'd sleep until morning. If I noticed she didn't drink a lot of water she would always wake up crying in the middle of the night and run right to her water bowl.
We also used a larger wire crate with a blanket over the top of it. If he's doing okay making it out to potty then maybe he's ready for more room?

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Old 04-15-2014, 12:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by woogyboogy View Post
Sometimes when he is barking and crying we will let him out of the crate, and put him on our bed...
And that's why he keeps doing it, because it works for him. Can you use a baby gate and section off the very end of your bed? That's how I solved the problem.
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Old 04-15-2014, 12:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I can think of a couple of things.

You mentioned that your dog gets plenty of exercise. May I ask how much you think is "plenty"? I have found that people have widely different viewpoints on what is "plenty" of exercise.

Whatever the level of exercise, I suggest you double or triple it for a couple of days. If he likes fetch, keep throwing until his tongue is hanging--being careful not to overheat him or cause injury. Wear him out really, really well. See if he sleeps better after been completely and totally exhausted.

Also, is it possible he is getting rewarded for the noise he is making in the crate? Even negative attention like scolding can be rewarding enough for the dog to keep on doing it. I suggest covering the crate with a blanket, totally ignoring the barking and only letting him out when he is calm and quiet.

Best of luck and hope all of you can sleep better soon,

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Old 04-15-2014, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
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And that's why he keeps doing it, because it works for him.
+1

Agreed.

It's really hard not to give in to his complaints but by doing so you are making the problem continue.

A good friend of mine from Brazil has a saying that roughly translates to "Love me, hate me, just don't ignore me!"

Nobody likes to be ignored...it's worse than being loved or hated. That includes dogs. Ignore the behavior you don't want and reward the ones that you do. It's much easier said than done but good advice nonetheless.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like you are really trying, but some pups can be exhausting when it comes to crate training. Your first mistake was to put him on the bed- unless that's where you want him all the time- think about it, how comfy that must seem to a puppy. I will say he may indeed need some more water later at night, but you can limit what he drinks. If you want him crate trained, an alternative method is to put a crate in an ex-pen at the foot or next to the bed. Only put a pad or blanket(if he wont chew it) in the crate. I wouldn't put anything else in there, just maybe a cover over the top of the crate(makes it a den-like area for him, a safe zone). If you set it up like this, he will come to know this is den is for sleeping, nothing more. Now, you can try leaving the door open. No toys, chews, etc., this area is JUST FOR SLEEPING. I know it's VERY HARD, but be consistent, no putting on the bed, or next to the bed, etc. I hope this helps, it's worked for us for many, many years. IMHO, Bob
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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try to put a blanket over the top, back and sides of the crate. and face the opening NOT looking at the bed. Seems to work for my pup.. i did that but i also have it in another room while we sleep.. i only slept next to create the first week to let him know it was ok.. also i leave crate door open during the day and throw treats in there so he know he can go in and out and its ok!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe gate off a section near your bed, so he's not "crated per say?" he also jsut might like seeing you.. the wire crate may be enough.

When I had my girl, I had a plastic crate, and in order forher to stop crying, I had to be in physical sight of her. The first few nights I even draped my hand in the front of the crate to comfort and she would fall asleep.. but if I was out of sight she would scream!
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Old 04-15-2014, 02:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Or you can move the crate into another room and completely ignoring his requests. Just like a baby they have a way of barking differently when something is actually wrong. You come to learn how to read that
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