First time owners, help please! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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First time owners, help please!

Hey - sorry for the long post, thanks in advance if you take a read and offer to help.

We got our GSD pup (11 weeks, nearly 12) on Sunday night and have had a great time during the day but a nightmare at night time so was hoping for some general advice but also some tips based on your guys’ experiences.

First 2 nights we had her (Minnie) in the kitchen - radio on low volume, in a corner to create a cosy space but in a dog bed. First night she went from 9.30pm to 11pm fine then yelped for 20 minutes (pre and post letting her out for potty). Back to sleep until 4am, yelped (pre and post again) for 10 minutes then slept until 6.30. Second night much of the same aside from an extra wake up around 2am. So on and so forth until last night (Thursday).

We put it down to first few nights in a new house etc. but noticed in the night it was a fight to get her in the kitchen, she preferred the front room instead. The more I read, the more I warmed to getting a crate for her so we did that - kept the door open all day and lured her in with treats to get her ‘used’ to it coupled with overpraise. We went out for an hour or so and I (sad I know) left my iPad video recording her noises to hear what she got up to. Cried for 10 minutes at the beginning when we left then was good as good for the remainder. At night, though; up 2/3 times and not just for potty, she was yelping and scratching at the door.

More I read about crates the more I then saw about recommending them to be in a room which the pup associates with a family room so we’ve made room and placed the crate in a corner of the living room to make herself a little den. Inside the crate is; food, water, bed. Inside the bed is; 1/2 toys, teddybear with mum’s scent on, bone. We went out for 2 and a half hours today, same thing, recorded her and she yelped for 5 minutes at the beginning then not a peep for the rest of the time. Better!

When we go upstairs during the day (I’ve read leaving her alone for a few minutes during the day helps them get accustomed to being alone and therefore night time) she yelps again for a few minutes (15 max) then calms down. Her day is made up of a few little walks and the occasional big walk, play time in the house and garden, praise and treats - the standard for a pup. When she sleeps during the day, she prefers to lie down on the living room floor but I started moving her into the crate today when she did that - one time she stayed, the other she got out and went back to the floor.

We get she’ll be up every couple of hours anyway for potty which is fine - just wish it would be a yelp, go down, let out, go back to sleep but the last bit is another 10 minutes of yelping because she’s been left. I’m ultimately looking for tips on how to make sure she doesn’t yelp every time she’s left - especially at night. I completely understand she’s young so it’s expected but I’m looking for advice on what you guys did in your first few nights. Any undiscovered tricks which helped yours feel at ease etc?

Thanks a lot in advance for your help!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 05:48 PM
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Time. She’s a baby, she’s gonna.. it takes a little bit to stop it, best thing you can do is ignore to the best of your ability... as she’s helping for your attention. Giving her any during this would be a reward. Kuru took 3 months for complete training
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 06:44 PM
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I have a almost 10 week old puppy. Take her out every 2 hours, crate her when I feed her or have to leave the house, and if she yaps, she yaps. She's actually really good until she hears us on the doorstep coming back.

Do NOT reward the yapping by soothing her, or you are rewarding her for the behavior. Ignore that behavior, but praise the heck out of her when she becomes quiet. We don't let Daisy out of her crate til she sits and stops yapping, then she is rewarded and released.

Some puppies just have to cry.

Don't commiserate with her when she's noisy. Don't even look at her. Only reward quiet the moment it happens. Sometimes you can interrupt them making noise by attaching a long line to the crate, going to another room and shaking the line on crate when she is noisy. Tell her Quiet. Then--praise her soon as she's quiet even for just a second. They are very smart and will learn.

I read years ago that if a dog has separation anxiety, they will usually kick up noise and tear stuff up for around 20 minutes, and then they are usually done. So coming back before that 20 mins if they are quiet, helps re-inforce you ARE coming back. In my personal experience, that's about right.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 08:13 PM
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Yeah, they're gonna cry and protest. You just have to stay strong and not give in to these tantrums.

I used to sleep on the floor right in front of the crate. So he could see me and he never protested. I think that's the key, as long as they can see you, they'll be fine (at least for my pup). I did what I had to do and slept on the floor for a couple of months. It may be a stupid method but it worked for me.

I don't know how big your crate is. I used my previous dog's crate which was an x-large wire crate. It's big enough and I'm small enough that I can go in and close the door. I'd tease my pup and pretend like I'm throwing a party in there...playing with balls and toys. He wanted in so bad and barked and clawed. When I finally came out, he runs in and sniffs everywhere. I then threw high value treats in there so that he associated good times and treats with his crate.

During the day, I'd throw his favorite toy in there from time to time. When he goes in to retrieve it, I throw some treats in there.

When he learned sit, down, and/or stay, I'd practice those commands in the crate. When he sat or downed...treats. When he stayed, treats.

When I started closing the door to his crate, I'd do it for 5 mins. Throw treats in there. Then when he's not barking, I'd let him out. Do that a few times. Then up the time. 10 mins next time. 15 mins. 20. And so on. Eventually he realized that if he stayed calm, then I'd let him out.

He's now at the point where he'll go in his crate on his own to take naps or get away from the noise of the tv or whatever. It's his favorite place to relax. I only shut the door to his crate when I leave the house.

With my previous dog, he was in the crate for the first 1.5 - 2 years of his life. Then 1 night out of the blue, he threw a huge tantrum. Made so much noise. I made the mistake of letting him out and he slept in bed with me. The next night, he threw a tantrum again. I needed my sleep so I let him out. That was the last time he was in a crate. I found out that he was very trustworthy outside of the crate and that he didn't need to be in one. I've left whole chickens on the kitchen counters and left the house and come back and the chicken would still be there. So I knew I could trust him 110%. The current pup, no way...he would've eaten the chicken and the dish it sat on. So we'll be using the crate for his whole life. No big deal...he likes it anyway.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 08:33 PM
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I keep puppies either right next to or in my bed. Never had an issue. Puppy crate next to bed, no toys, no food, no water. Something to snuggle with is good.
I get up to let them out partway through the night, and then back to bed. It is perfectly normal for a puppy to cry when left alone. You would to in their place.
Honestly I feel really bad for people who take months to get puppies house trained and crate trained. It does not need to take that long.
If you bring a pup home at 8 weeks and follow instructions, you should be through the worst in two weeks at most.
Not trying to put people down but seriously why do you want to stress yourself out?
I have been tying crate training and house training together for a couple decades now and it has not failed with any dog or puppy I have brought home. It also teaches them to settle and works on general manners and schedules at the same time.

Separation anxiety is something entirely different and although degrees can vary it takes time, effort and sometimes meds to correct. They do not just get over it. It is also often created by owners.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-19-2019, 10:13 PM
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4 dogs...all one at a time....each pup, I slept on the floor with for the first few nights.....worked great because it wasn't great sleep for me and made it easy to get up and take the pup outside every few hours. By the 4th or 5th night all I had to do was hang my arm over the side of the bed so the pup could sniff it when she woke up and the dog knew I was right there. .After the first nights....I would most always lay down on the floor with the pup until they were asleep.....all seemed to take care of itself. Never have done the crating thing...




I don't know if my method is practical for most.......but I never had a whining pup from day one by doing what I did.....at most a week of my life with some restless nights....but that was it.




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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabis mom View Post
I keep puppies either right next to or in my bed. Never had an issue. Puppy crate next to bed, no toys, no food, no water. Something to snuggle with is good.
I get up to let them out partway through the night, and then back to bed. It is perfectly normal for a puppy to cry when left alone. You would to in their place.
Honestly I feel really bad for people who take months to get puppies house trained and crate trained. It does not need to take that long.
If you bring a pup home at 8 weeks and follow instructions, you should be through the worst in two weeks at most.
Not trying to put people down but seriously why do you want to stress yourself out?
I have been tying crate training and house training together for a couple decades now and it has not failed with any dog or puppy I have brought home. It also teaches them to settle and works on general manners and schedules at the same time.

Separation anxiety is something entirely different and although degrees can vary it takes time, effort and sometimes meds to correct. They do not just get over it. It is also often created by owners.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-20-2019, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much, so helpful and some really useful tips we’ll definitely be trying. Ultimately, as most of you said, it’s normal and can’t be stopped through random methods - just have to sit through it and suck it up which we’ll do. Thanks again, wish us luck! 😂
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