Crate training woes - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Crate training woes

So we have a 10 week old German shepherd and we have gotten nowhere with crate training. This is our first puppy and I'm sure we are screwing up royally but we want to do a good job

When we first got her, we had read everywhere that we should slowly acclimate her to the crate. So we tried to do that with food and treats inside and then she slept in a playpen. Unfortunately, on the second night, she climbed out of crate and slept in our bed. Since then, she's been sleeping on our bed. Now, that hasn't been a problem. She's quiet and hasn't had any accidents. But the problem is that hasn't helped crate training and we are now concerned she has seperation anxiety. During the day, she spends the day with my husband. Then, she spends the night with us. We feed her in the crate and give her treats in the crate, but she doesn't like staying in there. as long as the food or treats she loves are in there, she will stay, but after that she will try to get out and cry and whine and bark. If she can't see us or if we leave her at any point, she will cry and whine and bark. We have tried leaving her in there until she stops crying but she just won't stop. Eventually, I'll have to sit near the cage,
Petting her and feeding her through the cage for her to be quiet for two minutes at a time. She isn't really food motivated either so treating her after going in there has no result.

Please help! We love playing with her and we will play with her for hours, but we can't operate on only her schedule. We haven't been able to leave anywhere or even get ready in the mornings or night without someone staying with her and playing with her.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 01:56 PM
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Lol. She has won. You guys give in to her eventually and coddle her.

Pick a day you are both home. Feed her, let her out, play good and hard with her, then put her in the crate with a chewy. And let her cry! Let her cry until she stops ON HER OWN! Then let her out. Or, most likely she will cry until she falls asleep.

Stop giving in. No matter how heartbreaking her tiny loud cries are. Stop.

If you have neighbors, warn them.

I would get a crate for the bedroom as well. I have no problems with dogs sleeping on the bed. But she is going to get bigger soon, and she is going to be able to get off that bed soon when you are sleeping. So while as a baby it's working. A 5 month old loose in bedroom while you are sleeping can be a nightmare. My dogs were always crated at night and then around 7-8 months they started getting free reign of the bedroom.

And hey, we all had our first puppy once. We all messed them up good. It's a learning experience. Laugh at your mistakes, recognize them. But have fun! Take pictures, don't over analyze. Enjoy your first baby dog.

Oh and pictures are required. We all need to see all the baby dogs.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, we are well aware of the fact that we are spoiling her. We just don't want her to hurt herself or become destructive.

Do you recommend we stay in the room with her when we crate her? Should we leave food or water in there with her, because the last time we tried this, she made a mess of everything?

And here are a few photos:
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 02:28 PM
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Leave her. Quiet, no food, no water. She needs to learn to relax and sleep. Its quiet time. She only comes out when she's relaxed.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 04:21 PM
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She will eventually stop! you just gotta push through, it really does suck. Sometimes it can last up hours on end but you got to stay committed if you give in after a long time that will only make it even harder in the future will take a lot of time but don't give up they definitely will learn!

EDIT: also maybe try making it a little more cozier for her. What helped bane was a soft bed and covering the crate with a blanket (we used a comforter all sides covered except the front/door) makes it feel a lot more den-like, safer and cozier.

Last edited by le.tetrish; 09-21-2016 at 04:23 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Is there a reason why both of us should be there for crate training? I was planning on working from home tomorrow and trying this. The plan is to feed her, play with her and take her for a walk for an hour, and then put her in her crate after she's hopefully calmed down.
Then I was going to put in some stuffed toys, bully stick, antler bone (her favorite thing), and a frozen kong treat with pumpkin.

Then I should leave her without food and water, and then leave the room? Should I cover the crate?

And then if she hopefully calms down and actually stays in there, when do I let her put? After she's quiet? For how long must she be quiet? Last time, she cried and barked (loudly) for an hour? Should I be worried that she will hurt herself?

And what do I do after I take her out? Play with her for a bit, another walk and bathroom break, and then back in her crate? I would let her out while I work but she bites and barks when people aren't paying attention to her. And ignoring her or yelping only incites her. I would let her roam free to explore, but we have cats and they already get freaked out when she barks at them.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 05:17 PM
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How did she climb out of the crate? Close the door and latch it. When you want her to come out, open the door. If she cries, ignore her. When she is calm and quiet, let her out or reward her. You are in charge. It's not what she wants, it's what you want. I have crate trained all but the most nervous rescues who could not be crated or confined.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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She didn't get out of the crate--she got out of the playpen. She did a pull up. We eventually got rid of the play pen and now just have the crate.

It's not that I want to be ruled by my puppy, it's that the advice I've been getting does not seem to coincide. On one hand, I'm supposed to make the crate a happy and wonderful place to be and on the other hand, I should leave her in it when she cries, barks, and overall acts like she's dying.

So can I get a consensus--should I leave her alone while she's barking and whining or would the crate training work better if I start in the room and then gradually move to leaving the room. I'm honestly worried that she has separation anxiety since she hates being left alone for even a minute, unless she's sleeping. Otherwise, when either hubby or I (or sometimes both of us) aren't around her, she'll cry and bark and whine until we come back.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 06:13 PM
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I put my young puppies into the crate and then walk in and out of the room, sometimes 100 times before they get used to it. Eventually they do. You can try that. Or try leaving gradually and hope she doesn't notice. In my experience, they notice everything.

You won't find consensus here on anything. This is a very diverse board and the only time we agree is when we say we have different opinions. Instead, find something that works for you and use it.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-21-2016, 06:16 PM
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A happy,wonderful,CALM place.It's a place of relaxation.Put her in with one thing to chew,latch it and just go.Sometimes a cover helps,other times they will pull it in and shred it.When you want to let her out again,wait quietly until she gives you a few seconds of no whining.Then out to potty.No talk,no fuss until she potties.Wait until she chills a little to interact with her.
It's almost like putting a child down for a nap.Calm and peaceful before and after.


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