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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, what are y'all thoughts on sleeping location for GSD?...puppy as well as adult.

Right now our 10week puppy is not really very good with potty training. She is slowly getting it but has to be watched and still goes on occasion :( She has peed a couple of times in her crate, even after a good amount of time outside playing, hanging out, going to bathroom etc. My concern is that if we have her sleep in her crate, she will get used to peeing in it.

Current sleeping setup is my 14 y/o son sleeping down in the basement in a small, tiled kitchenette. He has a pad, sleeping bag and the puppy sleeps next to him on her pad. No accidents in the kitchenette nook.

Eventually, once she is reliable with chewing and housetraining (12-20 months from now), I would like to let her have free reign of house at night.

In the meantime, once she is reliably housetrained, we will let her sleep upstairs in his room either in a crate or on a dog bed depending on how reliable she is.

So, that said, what are your thoughts on sleeping in a crate vs a bed? Puppy vs adult. I like the crate as a place for naps and when she needs to be tucked away for one reason or another for an hour or 2. I am hesitant to start putting her in the crate at night as I am concerned that she might become "out of site, out of mind" and not get the interaction she needs as well as develop an aversion to it.
 

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We got a GSD (8 weeks) a couple of weeks ago. I immediately began kennel training with him each day for an hour and he slept in it on the third day. Before going in to 21 questions on how you crate trained her or how often you let her out, etc., I will just give you some pointers:


Marshall's kennel is kept downstairs in the living area and he has free reign of the house during the day.
We keep the kennel door open during the day and I still (occasionally) *reward* him when he is just sitting/lounging in his kennel without instruction (reinforce it as a happy place)
I stop water intake for Marshall 2 hours before bedtime and let him out right before bed (he doesn't get to go to bed until he relieves himself) (Note, it is absolutely important to use leash training here to ensure that he knows its time to use the toilet and that when he is done it is time to come inside).
I began by waking-up every 2 hours to let him out unless he was whining (I suggest in the early stages to bare with the early hour whining and let him out - using the leash. If they are just mad because someone is not there, you can quickly bring him back - note, Marshall will sit when I bring him out and he is finishing reliving himself , another important part of leash training during daytime).
Each night, I increased the time between breaks. As of now I get up once at 2:30 and again when I get up for work at 6-6:30 and he has not had a single accident in over a week. Tonight I will let him out at 2:45, building up to having him sleep from 9:30 - 6:30 without needing to wake.


Do not let her continue to relieve herself in the kennel. She will think it is permissible and continue to do it. The kennel should be a happy and comfortable place. From what our vet told us at the beginning, the pups should inherently not pee where they sleep. If this continues I would talk to the vet, there may be an underlying medical condition.


*Important, it is annoying to come and let him out when he is whining. Marshall learned quickly because I led him on a leash to the 'pee spot' and if he didn't pee I immediately brought him in - no fun no games NO WATER. He took to whining for the first 10m or so after that but settles each time (and without messes).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply. The incidents happened when I was not around for a week and had to rely on the kids to take the dog out. Now that I'm back, I can control things a little better, go home at lunch, etc. In general, I try to never keep her in the crate more than 2 hours. That said, I stopped by for lunch today and she had been in there 2 hours and probably would have been in for 4 had I not gone home. There is no question in my mind that she has just been left in a little long a couple times while I was gone.


She does pretty good going every time we go out but does not do a good job communicating that she wants/needs to go out to pee and needs close supervision.


I do need to work on the leash more. She is by far the "worst" 10 week old puppy I have ever had on a leash. She is too curious and just has to smell everything.


In any case, we will eventually get there with her. Just curious as to what everyone's opinion is regarding dog bed vs crate for housetrained dogs
 

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Mine usually switch to a dog bed in a bedroom once they stop peeing, chewing and wandering. But, I have tripped over a dark dog in the dark, so think about using a night light. That dog never stayed on his own bed. I have one dog who is mature and is still crated because she climbs when left alone and bored.
 

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I got my pup at 13 weeks, gave him a bath when we got home, and let him sleep in my bed. He woke me once during the night then again in the morning in those early days but never had an accident overnight. At around 7 months we agreed mutually that he was better off on the floor near my bed....he comes up to say goodnight, hangs out for about 10 minutes, then hops down and spends the remainder of the night alternating between the hardwood floor and his bed. He will often come back up when he hears my alarm start (I snooze a couple of times) and start snuzzling me when he knows that snooze time is up. I think I was lucky, but then he was a bit older than the norm when he came home.

Also we started training him right away to ring his bell near the back door to go out. Now he rings that darned bell like a pro whether he needs to pee or just wants to go do his yard rounds.

We only use the crate when we are not home to keep an eye on him, but I don't think there is one right answer for everyone.
 

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Mine started out by not staying in the crate long, then as she got older she would put herself in there and go to sleep. After my husband eventually took the crate back to his warehouse, the dog started sleeping on my bed. She even licks my feet before she lets me on the bed -- won't let me on without getting my feet licked!! She will go back and forth to my husband's room also (he has the cats, & gets up at 3a, so he sleeps in the other room).
 
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