crate training - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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  • 4 Post By Thecowboysgirl
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Question crate training

9 week old pup. First night was horrible. She screamed the whole entire night. Crate was next to my bed and I took her out several times to potty. But the screaming never stopped. She's got a nice blanket, toys etc.... in there.
a friend suggested an x pen maybe with the open crate. Wouldn't this encourage potty accidents in the x pen in the house? I have two crates, one in the living room with her food in there but she won't go in there on her own. I've always had pups cry the first few nights but after letting them out to do their business, they just go to sleep once put back in. Should I wait it out? Put up x-pen? The more I talk to her and pat the crate at night letting her know I'm there, the more she screams.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 06:41 PM
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Pups cry the first few nights. They get used to it. My though is to feed pup in the crate to show that crate is a good place

Do not talk or even look at a puppy whining in a crate. They'll learn that whining gets attention. Only give attention to a calm puppy. If puppy is calm, give a treat

Do not let a whining puppy out either. Wait until it calms down and then release
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 06:55 PM
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I slept on the floor with mine. Right up against the side of the crate. He was just a baby with no littermates anymore. So I'd pet him through the bars until he fell asleep and then we'd sleep for awhile and then he would wake up and need to potty, potty him back to sleep. It only took a few days before I could sleep in bed with the crate right by me and i'd still touch him through the bars to settle him down. A few more days he could settle on his own and I started moving the crate across the room to the most convenient spot for it, and from then on he only woke me up if he really had to potty.

I'm a softy at heart. It's just a baby who is all alone now, and babies aren't supposed to be all alone.

If he hadn't been able to progress so well I'd think what I did was wrong but it seemed like just the comfort he needed to get through the transition and he needed me less and less every day so it was fine.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2018, 08:27 PM
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Oh this post brought back scary memories, lol! You won't believe it, but trust me you will miss those days, my dog now thinks I am annoying when I try to spoon her to sleep in my bed

Anyway, one trick that has worked for me is to put your hand into the bars until he falls asleep clinging to your hand then gently pull it out.

Enjoy the pup!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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update and I'm a bit stuck on what to do or if I'm doing the right thing...
Have had the pup now for 8 days. I mis-wrote age. She was 7 weeks not 9, 8 days ago. I just re-read my post.
Anyway.... 8 days later, puppy is adjusting slowly to her new home. She sleeps well in the x pen in the bedroom. Doesn't cry at all. I'm still trying to crate train her. She seems to be a pup that does not want to be closed up maybe??
I've been feeding her all her meals in the crate with door open. She will eat in there and seems content. Cannot close door yet or she will bolt out. I've played games with her by tossing in toys and she will go in for toys. she's not super food motivated so treats don't work so well.
After eating one of her meals yesterday, she did sit down for about 10 seconds before coming out. I guess that's progress.
What is my next step with her? If I shut the door (not latching it shut), she starts to panic. This is the first pup I have had that has acted like this towards a crate. ALL others have been so easy. So this is new to me.
Should I just keep feeding her and take it slow? I don't want to give up on the crate because she will need this so I can leave her at home safely while we are away from the house for a few hours.
She's going to out grow the x pen. She may never try and get out of the x pen but I want her crate trained.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 02:55 PM
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Have you put some clothes that have your scent in the crate?
How big is the crate? If it is a big one, put a divider in. Also, at night you can make it more den-like by putting a blanket or towel over 3 sides.

Did you deserve your dog today?
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Evohog View Post
Have you put some clothes that have your scent in the crate?
How big is the crate? If it is a big one, put a divider in. Also, at night you can make it more den-like by putting a blanket or towel over 3 sides.
Yup, I have put a pillow case (used) and an old t shirt in there. It's not a big one. there's a blanket in there. It's a plastic one not a wire one.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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ok.. after talking to several people, I'm just doing it! In the crate and she can just cry it out. I had a bad feeling with the feeding and leaving the door open and basically allowing HER to make the decisions. I could leave the crate there and door open but she has NO desire right now to go in by herself. She's not afraid of it, she'd just rather do what she wants.
My only question if anyone can answer this is.... should I have the crate in our living space where she can see me or in another room?
right now she's in the living room with me and she can see me. She cried and screamed for a half hour and right now she's quiet. I'm afraid to move tho - LOL!!!!
But she's quiet! I did NOT say anything to her, I'm just ignoring her. Before I was also talking to her and that made her scream more.
I have her x pen in the bedroom and I will continue to use that until she's real good with the crate. I don't think it will confuse her.
She's STILL quiet I have to get up soon to go feed the horses and I know she'll scream but when I get back in, I'll sit on the couch and wait for the quiet and then let her out to potty, maybe some play and then back in.
I know she's just a baby but I also think she's got my number. She's also been here for 8 days now and she is more comfortable here. That first night was a total nightmare but it was all SO NEW to her and I gave up on the crate.
this whole crate thing has had me so stressed because she needs to be crate trained for her safety. She's been getting into things she shouldn't and I find myself having to follow her everywhere constantly if she's not asleep. Chewing on electrical cords etc...
She NEEDS the crate training now! So it's happening. I found myself chained to the couch when she's sleeping or bouncing up to watch her. That's insane!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-08-2018, 10:20 PM
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My pup's crate is in the living room. Only during the day when someone is around and he's dead tired does he seem calm in there, and I can count on one hand the number of times he has gone in the crate of his own volition to sleep. It is not his "happy space", it is his "tolerated space", and I'll take the blame for it since I probably did not go through proper crate-acclimatization practices. He started wetting in the crate often because he got so worked up and frantic, and continuing to have a blanket or something with my scent on it became pointless.

At any rate, our workaround has been to contain the pup in a downstairs bathroom with his dog bed, a few chew toys, a pee pad and a water bowl with maybe 1/4c water in it. I can hear people reading this going, "you're crazy, you're undermining yourself." They're kind of right, except that it has been working for us. The pup likes the bathroom, so he's calmer down there, not screaming and barking for hours. He sleeps, we sleep, and since he's only 11 weeks we still set an alarm for 2 or 3AM to walk him then go back to bed.

So far, he has peed on the floor or pads only a handful of times and lately, very infrequently. We've theorized that the radiant heat floors we have make the living room crate a bit hot for him, and while I don't totally buy it, the bottom line is we found something that worked and is still getting the house-training done, albeit more slowly than other people are experiencing.

Like you, I experienced increased screaming and barking if the pup saw us. When he's in "time out", I sometimes put a towel over the crate door, and sometimes it helps. But for now, the crate is for short-term confinement, and I'll experiment with a wire crate and ex pen soon to see if he tolerates that better.

I'd say go with what works. All the more-experienced people's suggestions should help point you in the right direction but in the end you have to take into account any quirks your dog might have. Good luck!
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