Crate Training (8 week old) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 08:25 AM Thread Starter
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Crate Training (8 week old)

Picked up my buddy on Saturday. The first night I tried crating him in the living room. he barked and cried for a few hours. Stepped outside just to check the noise level and I could hear him loud and clear from 1am-3am. Waited for him to exhaust himself and go to sleep and he never did. Thought someone was going to call for noise so I took the bed and put it next to mine for the first night. He slept in 2 hour intervals throughout the night. Would wake up and I would take him outside to do his business. One time stood up in bed and peed and the second i made the mistake of letting him walk out and he peed inside.

Last night I exhausted him around 11pm. He was sleeping on the floor and i picked him up and placed him in the crate. He woke up and saw me locking it but was too tired to realize what was going on. Around 2am he started barking and crying, I wanted him to understand that being alone sometimes is ok especially when I start to go back to work. He went on for two more hours and it stopped. Around 6am he started and it was time to get up. He torn down the barrier inside the crate and ripped apart the bed. When the gate opened began crying and circling me he was so happy. Took him outside to pee and poop, then let him roam inside for a little where he ended up peeing.

Overall, no pee in crate from 11p to 6am
Looking for some information on if I should continue the way I did it or not. Water and food was taken around 11p and when he woke up all he was looking for was water.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 09:25 AM
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Congrats on the new pup! 11pm is a little late for him to be eating and drinking. Is it too warm his crate? That can make them restless and thirsty. Also "exhausting him" before bed can really backfire. Same as with toddlers lol

I am no expert but I have a 12 week old that I am crate training and it is (finally) going well.

As for the screaming..he was BAD about it for like 3 weeks. Now he grumbles a bit for 5 minutes, but will kick up when he figures his 2 hours or so is up during the day lol (I crate and rotate with my other dog). I never let him out while he is making noise. I wait for a quiet moment no matter how long it takes. Don't want to reward that noise stuff.

If there are neighbors you are worried about a little hand written note with a Dunkin Donuts gift card in it, explaining you are training a puppy and the noise should diminish as he learns, may go a long way.

Schedule is pretty much, give or take:
I get up at about 615am and let my 2 yr old male out (he sleeps on my bedroom floor) then crate him at 6:30 a.m- because, puppy out of the crate, outside to relieve, and say "hey!". Inside, about 5 minutes of fun training with food..feet on the bowl, some luring. A little tug. This takes all of 8 minutes. Short and fun. Then I feed him. 15 minutes of him hanging out saying good morning the kids (when they are here) or milling around the kitchen while I make coffee (when kids are at their dad's). Then outside for another relief, then back in his crate by like 7:15. Time to get kids ready for school.

I am crating and rotating with my 2 year old male, so he my 2 year old comes out at 7:15am. He is fairly autonomous and trusty worthy at this point..goes with me to take kids to school etc.. so he gets a light breakfast and stays out of the crate and with me until about 9:15. He gets a quick training in too after the ride to drop the kids at school on kid weeks. About 15 minutes. Not every morning though.

After that I rotate them out in about 2 to 3 hour intervals. Put in short 5 to 10 minutes training sessions, play, tug. On days when I have to work out of the home the pup is crated for up to 4 hours. Beyond that due to his age I pay my sitter 15 bucks to come and let him out, play with him for half an hour and feed him if needed. My big dog is good for up to 8 to 9 hours if need be (rare, but it is good that he is fine with it). My goal is for pup to grow into same crate friendliness. It's very valuable to have a well crate trained dog.

Last food 7:30pm last water about 8. He goes out last time about 10pm and then gets put to bed. I personally do not put anything in their crate for night time. It can get warmer than the room in a plastic sided crate and blankets do not help that.

The pup at 12 weeks old sleeps 10pm until 6:30am no problem. He pretty much did right from the get go. But like infants some will sleep through the night some will not. His nighttime crate is next to my bed. My other dog sleeps free on my bedroom floor all night. Maybe that stuff helps? IDK not sure maybe others who have had more variety of puppy personalities will chime in with different ideas
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Last edited by CometDog; 05-20-2019 at 09:27 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-20-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for responding, that was a lot of help. I just need to figure out a constant schedule for him and stick with it.

He did great last night, but during the day I’m not sure how to go about it. I start back up work soon which is 8a-4p. I will be having people stop by to feed him, play with him and take him out.

I was planning on crating him when I’m at work with the door open and a gate around the crate, but was told that was not a good idea and that I should not let him roam. The reason i was thinking that is because I wanted him to have access to food and water and not be stuck in the crate.

So on days were I am not working. Should I still have him in the crate when I’m just hanging out around the house? Feed him, take him out and play once he does his business give him some free roam in the house or is it just back in the crate?

Also is it okay to leave him in the crate during the night or should I take him outside every 2 hours or so?

I am currently leaving him in crate at night without food or water, should this change?

When he is home and I’m working 8-4 he will have water access all day and food will be given when people stop by

Sorry if that’s all over the place, i appreciate all the help.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 01:09 AM
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I'll be getting a pup this fall and trying to get a head of all this stuff. Great info. Thanks for sharing!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-22-2019, 11:30 PM
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Did you introduce him to the crate and made sure he had a positive association with it on the first day home? Or was the first time in the crate was when you put him to bed?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:31 AM
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I generally do crate and house training all in one and tie it all in to manners, conditioning and routine. Unlike some, I don't generally make a thing of the crate. It's just where they go when I put/send them there.

With pups I remove access to food around 6-7 and water around 8, last pee break at around 11 and straight to bed. I may get up once through the night if need be but I don't wake them if they are sleeping. More commonly I have found that an early pee at 5am or so suffices. The one thing I always do with pups is carry them from the crate to outside, especially for that first morning pee as I find that they often don't make the door otherwise.
Puppy crate stays by my bed.
If you cannot have someone let him out halfway through the day when you are working then you should leave him in a secure area WITHOUT A COLLAR ON! I don't like doing that as it encourages toileting in the house and slows house training but it really isn't fair or productive to leave a young pup alone in a crate for that long.
On days you don't work I would suggest that you crate him at least for a few hours, for the first while. It helps with setting a routine and also teaches him that there will be times when he needs to kennel up even if you are home.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 09:39 AM
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Think about this from your puppy's view. He has never been alone in his life, no for one minute. He has come to a whole new place with people he doesn't know and doesn't yet trust and in surroundings he's never seen before. He's put in a cage away from everyone and anything familiar and left there in the dark, alone.

I would at least put the crate next to my bed, where I could hear when he gets fussy. He could be comforted with just reaching into the crate and assuring him everything was okay. And he could alert you to when he needs to go outside and relieve himself. At his age, this should be every 3 or 4 hours during the night, at the most.

This pup has no confidence in this new place he is in. How could he? Of course he's afraid and upset. Why put him through that at this age? I would want him to know there is always someone there for him and build his confidence in this new situation. If you want to make changes, you can do that once he's older and more secure.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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