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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
GiGi came home yesterday. we hit the ground running with potty training and crate training. She just had a couple of accidents inside but also has done very well going outside. Particularly at night. we played some crate games early on when she got to the house and she has already started to take her favorite toys into the crate to play with them all by herself.

last night I slept on the floor next to the crate and had the door closed while she was sleeping. She would fuss a little bit when I put her in the crate but settled down pretty quickly with me right there.
Each time she woke up I comforted her and if it had been a reasonable amount of time I took her out to pee which she did most of the time. Couple of false alarms but by the end of the night she went a three hour stretch sleeping.

The issue now though is at this extremely early stage we are noticing that if we close the door to the crate, or if she's alone for any length of time at all she not only whines but screams and howls bloody murder. It's like a horror show is happening in that room. And today she seems more content to nap just outside her crate.

I understand that the crate is new and it's distressing for her to be away from her litter mates and in this new place with all the new smells sights and sounds. And I don't want to encourage her screaming behavior by rescuing her when she's in the crate but I'm a bit surprised by the intensity of her distress it's so clearly distressing that I'm looking for tips as to how to get her to progress to remaining calm in her crate when it's closed and no one is with her. I sit outside the crate when she's going bananas and wait for her to have a calm moment when I can reward her, but thus far there have been no such moments. LOL. Thanks in advance for your advice.

EDIT: She's 8 weeks old
 

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Do what you can to just ride it out and ignore her. They can be real quick to figure out when screaming gets them somewhere. Something else I do is take them out on a leash to potty, and treat it like an obedience. No reward or excited praise, but if you can calmly create a little obedience around it, its helpful later on for dogs that go to work, travel, or do anything formal.
 

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If you have only just brought her home having crate melt downs is pretty normal. Personally I don't let you puppies just cry it out if they are distressed. I don't feel like they are actually learning anything positive by getting themselves into that sort of state. Right now everything is still very new and scary, and freaking out when left alone is natural and what a puppy is suppose to do so they can be found again by Mom if they get separated from their litter.



I like Sarah Stremming's Happy Crating method. She takes a different view from the traditional ignore them and let the puppy cry it out advice.
https://thecognitivecanine.com/blog/happy-crating/





There are lots of various methods out there so just do some research and find one that you like and that works for you.
 

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You are already starting to spoil her....Easiest way to tolerate her is to leave the house when you can and let her howl for like 1 hour.
 

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By nature, very young puppies are not designed to be alone, it flies in the face of their self preservation. Kudos to you for understanding and comforting your puppy through the night. It will make everybody's life much easier.

Stonnie Dennis put out a video on housebreaking and crate training. Maybe it can be of some use to you.

 

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For Seger and now Faren, I put the puppy in a small crate and put the crate on the bed where I could put my fingers thru the crate door. They sleep thru the night and you can move the crate to the floor in a couple of days. It doesn't take long to make the transition from their litter to you.

I'm not a big believer in letting them scream it out. I've seen a boxer break her teeth on the door with that method. Tire them out, give them something to chew on and put them in the crate.

All good things happen in the crate. They get fed there, treats there.
 

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Unless she is in extreme distress, to the point of causing harm to herself, I would not give in. Puppies are master manipulators and learn shockingly fast that you have sucker stamped on your forehead. This will translate to other lessons as well.
Sitting in front of the crate may be making it worse. I only do that when I have a problem dog who is at risk of hurting themselves.
I would cheerfully pick her up, pop her in her crate with a toy or two, give her a cheery see ya later baby and exit for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
We certainly have! And I should clarify that she's already hanging out in her crate a lot of the time. This is only her second day home. She's a little bit depressed, obviously missing the litter. She will take a favorite toy and just go right into the crate. Today she napped twice in the crate with the door open spontaneously.

since it's so early on I'm trying to remain confident and hopeful that she'll continue to transition into a more confident place in the crate.

I do like the thinking behind Sarah Stremming's happy creating method although it makes for a lot of sleep
deprivation early on I'm guessing!

Thanks for all the suggestions so far everyone! I'll keep you posted with what we wind up doing and how things go.

Feel free to keep the tips coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Unless she is in extreme distress, to the point of causing harm to herself, I would not give in. Puppies are master manipulators and learn shockingly fast that you have sucker stamped on your forehead. This will translate to other lessons as well.
Sitting in front of the crate may be making it worse. I only do that when I have a problem dog who is at risk of hurting themselves.
I would cheerfully pick her up, pop her in her crate with a toy or two, give her a cheery see ya later baby and exit for a little while.
this being my first puppy in adulthood I couldn't tell you what constitutes serious distress but she definitely is impressively distressed. she's mouthing and chewing the bars and tugging and I'm pretty sure she's doing so hard enough to hurt her teeth.
 

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this being my first puppy in adulthood I couldn't tell you what constitutes serious distress but she definitely is impressively distressed. she's mouthing and chewing the bars and tugging and I'm pretty sure she's doing so hard enough to hurt her teeth.
I am not a fan of wire crates mostly for these reasons but also because they can pose a serious danger to determined pups.
She really is a cutie by the way, that face. Just want to hug her.

Please make sure you never leave her crated with that collar on.
 

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Just remembered something I used to do to help her relax in the kennel. I would just look up "puppy relaxing/calming music" and play it for her. Also seemed to help out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Update: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (not necessarily in that order)

The bad: Gigi likes her crate but definitely does not like being confined in her crate. As soon as the door closes that's when she freaks out. She's the same way confined in her ex-pen.

The Ugly: frustration and sleep deprivation got the better of me last night and I snapped at her as her screaming came to a head around midnight.

The Good: she quieted down almost immediately after that and was only up one other time during the night. She got up around 1:30 in the morning and I took her to pee with absolutely no ceremony whatsoever. Came back inside, went into the crate, fussed for about 20 seconds and then fell back asleep until 6 in the morning. I even woke up at around 4 wondering if she had peed in her crate but she had not.

Plenty of love and praise when we woke up, she peed in her spot outside like a champ, came in, ate breakfast, went outside and did her business just like a pro! Huge treats and celebration of course.

The Lessons: no matter how many times people tell you how much work a puppy is, you never really get it until you're in the weeds with it. Thank God I have a stressful job and have raised a child so I had some experience to draw on.

No matter how experienced You think You Are, sleep deprivation and frustration are the enemy. Patience and a sense of humor are the allies ?

interesting side note... Of course I feel horribly guilty for yelling at her. After all she's just a baby and has no idea what's going on. But the fact that we got more sleep last night has left us more equipped to have fun with her today. ?

Lessons learned. Onward.
 

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The Lessons: no matter how many times people tell you how much work a puppy is, you never really get it until you're in the weeds with it.
Patience and a sense of humor are the allies.
Yes, and yes! I think those first few months can be about 50% fun/50% hard work. The good news is that is does get easier. Sometimes so slowly, in such tiny increments that you aren't even aware of the changes at the time but then one day you suddenly realize she hasn't had an accident in awhile, or chewed anything, or got you up at night, and that the biting has reduced significantly.

Stay consistent, keep your expectations reasonable based on her age and developmental stages, and definitely remain as patient as you can and you'll find that in a couple of months the work/fun ratio will have started to shift in the other direction.
 

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I think being in her crate and able to see out makes it more difficult for a puppy. That's why I like plastic crates. When Halo was little, I'd throw a towel over the top so she couldn't see out the grate at the front of her plastic crate, and it helped a lot. We also have music on all the time and there are speakers in the bedroom - if she couldn't see us and couldn't hear us she fussed much less than if she were in her crate and knew we were around and could hear us in the house. Do you have a cover you can toss over the crate?

I have a wire crate now, which I bought for flyball a couple of years ago when Halo, after being perfectly happy in her portable soft crate for FIVE YEARS decided to break out! Cava's breeder uses wire crates, so we set it up in the living room as a place to put Cava when we needed to confine her while we ate dinner or to give her a nap break while we watched TV in the evening. She was fine with that since she was already used to being in a wire crate and she wasn't isolated from us. At night she sleeps in a plastic crate in our bedroom.
 

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The Lessons: no matter how many times people tell you how much work a puppy is, you never really get it until you're in the weeds with it.

I am blessed to get probably my last GSD in less than a week and out of the 8 I have owned in my life I always had the same regret ..... that they could stay puppies longer. Love it while you can...

I have never raised a Gsd that bit anyone or got in a dog fight. They all stayed in their yards even in the front where we had no fence. They were all crate trained along side my bed for a few nights until they they could be moved to the foot of the bed. I have raised babies after having grown Gsd's to see them look up on their back to see a drooling 1 year old hanging on them. What I have been blessed to see has been a gift and I can not wait to do it all over again...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just a quick update... Giada has slept through the night for two nights in a row. Occasional accidents but potty training is actually going really well. This is one smart little puppy. You never really appreciate how eager to please German shepherds are until you see it for yourself, but it's really remarkable.

Now we just have to get the cats to settle down and love her. Lol
 

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This is one smart little puppy. You never really appreciate how eager to please German shepherds are until you see it for yourself, but it's really remarkable.

It truly is! They are incredible dogs.
 

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Just a quick update... Giada has slept through the night for two nights in a row. Occasional accidents but potty training is actually going really well. This is one smart little puppy. You never really appreciate how eager to please German shepherds are until you see it for yourself, but it's really remarkable.
So happy to hear this Ozymandiasmv, congrats again.
 
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