New To Crate Training - Seeking Input - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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New To Crate Training - Seeking Input

Hello all,

My family recently brought an 8 week old puppy into our home, it is magnificent. Crate training is not so much. As I've never done this before, I'm not sure whats normal and googling gets me results all over the spectrum (Crate train in 48 hours! Crate training may take weeks!), and I'd just feel better with some input from anyone willing to share their expertise, experience, etc.

We've had our puppy since 8/19/2017. The first night home after our exhausting day to get her we put her in the crate at night (yes we know this was a terrible awful mistake now!), which ended up disastrously.

Fast forward to now (8/23/2017) and we've been moving at a slower pace, following some instructions from various websites online about how to get the pup properly acclimated to the crate and being inside it. At this point she eats her meals in there, with the crate door locked, and has no problems. When she is done eating she doesn't whine to get out, although she is eager to leave as evidenced by her pawing at the door. She will go inside the crate willingly throughout the day as she has some good chew toys in there, and will go in there when prompted by me by patting on the crate mat and providing some encouragement (sometimes treats).

But, outside of the time it takes her to eat a meal, she appears to detest spending anymore than a few seconds inside the crate with the door latched. If the door is unlatched and she has chosen to be in there, she'll stay for as long as she entertains herself in there.

Is this progression normal, abnormal, no way to tell?

I'm concerned that A) She can't be crate trained and B) I'll traumatize her permanently somehow by doing it wrong.

Assurances, advice, anything welcome.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 06:04 PM
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You're actually doing it right by letting her go in and out during the day,feeding her there,etc.One thing never to do is let her out when she's pawing or crying.Wait until she gives you a few seconds of silence and release her very matter of factly,no big deal.If you have the space, keeping the crate next to the bed sometimes helps a puppy settle at night.Covering the crate with a blanket sometimes helps.Unfortunately sometimes not much helps at all and you'll have a couple of sleepless nights until she gives it up.Be strong!She's not as distressed as she sounds,it's just different than she's used to.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 06:19 PM
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She'll definitely get used to the crate. I made the same mistake with our pup the day we got him, he went absolutely crazy and so for the first few days was allowed to sleep wherever he pleased. In those few days I tried to ease him into the crate with treats and giving him his meals there, and as long as the crate was near us he'd settle down after a little while. But yeah as @dogma13 mentioned, don't let her out if she's whining and wanting to get out. Covering the crate early on didn't help and usually got him even more riled up but I guess it's different for every pup. He likes having his crate covered up now as opposed to before though.

I wouldn't say our pup absolutely loves his crate now (almost 5 months old), but he definitely knows that's his resting place. After a long day he'll happily go in there himself ready to go to sleep for the night. Just keep it up and take it day by day, before you know it she'll get used to it.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 08-23-2017, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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ALL - Your advice has been much appreciated and very relieving to hear. I think we had a bit of a breakthrough earlier today. She had a big day of play outside, and when she came in she was all still riled up (just had a bath because she got all muddy) and I put her in the crate and my wife told me to just close it up, sit by her, and let her whine it out.

So I sucked it up and did it. Put her in the crate, closed it up, sat by her until she stopped whining and, she did, and she fell asleep! She slept in there for a good 30 minutes then woke up, and stared at my calmly, and then I opened it up.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-16-2017, 04:38 PM
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Some really good points here.

Stacy
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