Crating puppy at night- is it too late? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Crating puppy at night- is it too late?

This is long but basically asking is it too late to start creating puppy at night when he has been sleeping with my son for the past week and a couple nights.

Smokey is doing great but we haven't really had him in the crate. I've been doing crate training slowly and he's up to 2-3 minutes happily in the crate with the door closed during the day and will often stay in the crate after I open the door. I

Our other dog (not a GS) had a horrible time with his crate after sleeping fine in it for a month (After a specific incident with an overnight visitor) and took most of the year to get him back to happily to stay in his crate for any time at all (he's doing great now) so I'm a little weary of pushing the new puppy too fast too soon. He now sleeps in my youngest daughter's room and is completely house trained.

We have not put Smokey in the crate for bedtime but rather have him sleep with my son (13 yrs old). We originally planned on having him sleep in the crate next to my son until potty training was done but since we got him while staying in a hotel we did not want a whining puppy all night disturbing other people.

When my other dog was a puppy(before the incident), he would be able to stay in the crate at night for 5-6 hours at a time with scheduled potty breaks before and after. I have seen this puppy last 5-6 hours before but at night he won't go more than 4(absolute max) and then gets off the bed (mattress on the floor) walks to the edge of the dining room (where he and my son are staying until he sleeps all night and potty reliability is more consistent) and goes.

Would crating him at night be possible without being crazy or should we continue doing what we are doing? would it increase his desire to try to last longer? Would love to stretch it slowly from 4 to 6 hours and I know puppies generally don't want to go where they sleep.

Little more (probably unnecessary) information. My kids, including my son, are hard to wake so my husband and I do all puppy night time toileting.

Last night I had to do all night toileting since my husband needed to sleep so he would be rested for today. Usually he does a lot of the nighttime cause my body needs more sleep than he does. Water was taken away at 9ish. Smokey slept from about 10:30 or 1 till 2. I woke him at 2 to take him out. Then he slept til I took him out at 6. Then he went out again when my husband and daughter got up at 8.

Sometimes he goes again between 6 and 8 (not sure on the time). He has also been known to go before 2 or between 2 and 6 so while he did great last night it is not consistent. If he was consistent with the times listed i would tell better with not creating at night but I'm hoping creating may increase his consistency of that makes sense.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 11:35 PM
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No. It is not too late to start crate training your puppy. If you want him to sleep in the crate at night, put him in there. You are making in harder on yourself, having allowed the puppy to sleep in bed with your son. The puppy won't like the change. You will have to be consistent. You will have to let the puppy cry. It is always easier to crate train from get go.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 11:38 PM
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Crate-training is one of the most important basic training that a dog has to be taught. From your story, it looks like if you're gonna start crate-training your dog, it'll be from zero, and THAT'S OKAY. Many dogs learn basic trainings so much later in life and they can. The 1st few nights he might react by whining, crying, or even biting the crate. When I 1st crate-trained my pup (he was 7 1/2 w), he cried ALL NIGHT the 1st 2 nights. But tough love WORKS. He's learnt that by crying and whining, he doesn't get attention. Don't forget to PRAISE him like crazy everytime he goes into the crate calmly. He needs to be rewarded EVERYTIME he acts accordingly. It's okay to ignore, that's called a learning process. When he's successfully trained, and I hope he will be, it'll help diminish any separation anxieties and you will have an independent but loving dog. Good luck!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-22-2018, 11:43 PM
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In addition, my pup now sleeps with me in my room. Sometimes on the floor sometimes on the bed. But should I wish him to sleep in his crate outside in the living room (like just last night I had him sleeping in his crate because he had raw beef bone and I'm concerned how his bowl is going to react,) he will quietly spend the night there. No harm, no foul. He knows I'll come back everytime. That's how dogs gain their sense of security: trusting their owner. And his bowl turns out normal as per usual thankfully. 🙂
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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So we adjusted the dining room so my son's head was closer to the puppy part of the crate (huge crate with divider), had my son work out on his treadmill with a junk shirt (to get his smell in it) to put in with puppy, and put puppy in the crate. He was quiet for 10-20 min and then started whining. When he took a break from whining we took him outside (to show him that if we take him out its time to go potty outside not to play or cuddle) he didn't go so we put him back in with no playtime. He immediately started whining again for another 10-20 min but is now quiet. We'll take him out again at his normal 2a.m. and 6AM time and then at 8 when it's "wake up" time. Wish us luck. 🙂
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 03:21 AM
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Really good call on putting your son's worn shirt for him to feel comfortable in the crate! Just make sure he doesn't chew and then swallow it. You're doing the right thing. Let him adjust to the situation, he'll eventually will understand that 'crate' is not associated with 'bad things' or 'punishment. Keep it up!
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-23-2018, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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He did great! Whined the first 10-15 minutes then was quiet and went to sleep. At 2:00 potty break he whined for 2-3 min after going back in and went back to sleep. At 6:00 potty break he didn't whine at all! Hoping tonight will be just as good or better (although knowing he may decide to protest more)
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-24-2018, 10:50 PM
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Hopefully you keep making progress! Well done
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2018, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGloomy View Post
Hopefully you keep making progress! Well done
Thanks! He's still doing pretty well but his first "whining and complaining" at night has gone up to half an hour. But that is still much better than all night. If my son is actually laying next to the crate trying to also go to sleep Smokey does better with less complaining. Kinda like his complaining has more to do with "why do I (Smokey) have to sleep when he isn't" lol
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