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We brought Wolfgang home yesterday from the breeders. He will be 9 weeks tomorrow. He did fine on the long drive and had a relatively quiet night in the crate. He took to the crate himself. I fed him in the crate all through the drive home so that he would have a positive connotation with it. I had him on my side of the bed and put my hand on the crate whenever he cried. But the MAJOR problem starts when we have to put him in the crate when we can't supervise, like taking a shower. He will whine and scream to no end. He cannot last even 5 minutes there. I put a toy, rawhide and a kong with goodies in them. Nothing doing. It doesn't matter if I am in the room and he can see me. It seems as if he is ready to tear the crate down and hurt himself in the process. The last attempt I took -- I kept him there until he was quiet for 2 minutes -- because I didn't want to reward his whining. He carried on non-stop for 30 minutes straight. It doesn't matter if I am sitting there right in front of him. I need advice -- big time!!! Things that I have tried so far but didn't seem to work -- having him in a different room where he can't see us, turning on the radio, putting a sheet over the crate, throwing a can full on coins at the sheet covered crate when he yowling full tilt so that he can't see it's me. None of these worked. Now after releasing him from the crate, he won't let me out of his sight. PLEASE HELP!!!
 

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Earplugs. Only go back to see him when he is quiet. It may take awhile, but soon he will learn that crying does not release him from his crate. As soon as he's quiet, go let him out. You can also try to stack the deck by wearing him out before you put him in the crate, but if he has to go in the crate, he has to go. It's for his safety, whether he likes it or not and he will learn. With my dogs, I found that as long as I kept feeding in the crate and putting yummy treats and chews they still always liked their crate in the end. It's only been 1 day. He will get used to it, but you have to be strong so you don't reinforce the crying.

Also what kind of crate? I prefer a smaller plastic one for at first because they offer less view and less for puppy feet to get stuck in than the wire ones.
 

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The best thing you can do for both you and the puppy during the initial crate-training is TOTALLY IGNORE HIM while he's crying in the crate. Kodee is the 2nd puppy I've ever had, and with both the 1st one (female lab) and Kodee (male GSD), that's what we did, and it worked great. The first night was terrible (our first pup cried all night the first night), but by about the 3rd or 4th night, she only cried when she needed to pee.

Kodee was the same way, only a little better. Cried a lot the 1st night, about 1/2 the time the 2nd night, and almost not at all from then on unless he had to potty. For both of these pups, the crate was in the kitchen, and they were crated at all times unless I was literally sitting on the floor with them, or standing in the same room (kitchen) with them. Also, for potty training, both pups were pretty much only allowed in the kitchen (linoleum!!! ) Kodee is almost 1, and he still is kept in the kitchen with a baby gate, if I can't be supervising him and my kids in the living room. My kitchen is now used as his "crate". He stays in the kitchen w/the gate up anytime I can't be watching him - if I'm in the shower, or if we leave the house, etc. He's kept in the kitchen only - I actually put his crate away this week, and he's been doing great without it.

And when I say ignore them, I MEAN ignore them TOTALLY! I instructed my DH and my kids (oldest was 6 years old when we got Kodee) that they are not to even make eye contact with the puppy unless it was quiet. Don't shush them, look at them, nothing.

Sounds harsh, but it's kinder in the long run to the puppy - they learn very quickly to be quiet in the crate.

Oh, and the other thing I did up until I put his crate away last week, was he got a treat EVERY single time he went in his crate. I taught him the command "Kennel", which meant "get in your crate", and he learned it very quickly. He almost always obeyed, b/c he knew he would get his reward when he got in it. Very rarely he would ignore me, and I would have to get a hold of his collar and lead him to the crate calmly, and once he was in it, I'd praise him and close the door (but no treat if he didn't go in as he was told).

Also - with Kodee - I had to teach him around 4 or 5 mos old to sit quietly before I would open the crate door. Otherwise, he would bolt out of it when I opened it. He learned quick, but the next puppy i get, I will teach it this as soon as I get him/her. Just another piece of advice...good luck! Congrats on your puppy!
 

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Well, why not let him be with you? Take him in the bathroom when you shower. Tether him to you when you move around the house. See how that works.

Sometimes you need to do what works for the dog.
 

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You know in Raising Arizona where they steal the baby...that's kind of what happens when we purchase or adopt a dog. They are totally out of their element and missing what they know. Kind of like our first days on a new job, where you want to go fetal position.
We don't though because we are adult humans, but kindergarteners run away from school, have tantrums and wet their pants and puppies cry from their crates, hoping that maybe mama will come get them out of this foreign place.

Put yourself in your puppy's place and you will find yourself making some good decisions!

Enjoy!

PS-My 15 year old dog does a similar thing now if he wakes up alone...vulnerability is a scary thing.
 

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the biggest mistake i made was not crate training in the beginning. at night we had a small crate that we put next to the bed. he would go in there and sleep just fine but if u shut the crate door he would whine and cry. i just figured that since he staid in there it would be fine...well little did i know i was createing an problem that is going to take a long time to fix and eventually did...next time i get a pup, crate training will be the first training on top of house training that will be top priority
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for the advice. I will try the ignore routine today in a dedicated manner even though I feel afraid that he is going to hurt himself.
 

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Trainning my boxer to the crate was AWFUL. I think she faught it two weeks straight. If my husband didn't have a back bone then I would have caved. She would foam at the mouth, the whole throw herself against the bars tantrum.

Thankfully Quincy was not NEARLY so bad. Within a week he had the routine down. Still it is difficult to go threw. Quin could holler on and off all night.

Establish a routine so they get used to the comings and goings. I am a big believer in a set schedule. Dogs thrive on predictability.
 

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Jackson sounded like he was being beaten the first month we would crate him....we ignored him and now he is fine at 4 1/2 months old
 

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Lots of suggestions.

Just a few more.

I second the plastic crate, it is more Den like, pups really don't seem to claw as much in this type of crate.

Lots of cuddly stuffed animals.

A wind up clock wrapped in a towel. The ticking is like another heart beat in the crate.

T-Shirt you have worn.

Val
 

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I have a 10 week old puppy right now. I do exactly what Val has described (except the clock. All our clocks are digital!
) *Small* plastic crate; I mean, like the size people use for cats. I'd rather spend an extra $40 on a crate that is only going to be used for a few months (then I store it for the next puppy) to make the transition easier.

My puppies have never been chewers (as in, they don't destroy their bedding), so I take one of our bed pillows (the human gets a new one), which is just loaded with scent, cover it with a t-shirt, and that becomes the bedding in the crate. I put about 4-5 stuffed animals in there, one in each corner, and a small one that's perfectly chewable right where pup's head goes. I also put a *small* nylabone way off to the side if pup wakes up and wants something chewy to snack on. I learned the hard way that if I put too many harder toys in the crate, it made it lumpy to sleep in (and she complains about that). So perhaps you need to substitute out some of the rawhide and kongs as well.

If it's warmish, I set up a fan, not so that it blows directly into the gate of the crate, but so that it blows into the side. (The fan blowing straight into the crate would make my GSD, when he was a little guy, and this current pup howl. They hate it!) Also, don't put a plastic crate up against the wall. You need lots of circulation. It gets warmer in there than you realize.

I've had my newest puppy just over a week, and she really loves her crate. But I think it's easier when we surround our pups with evidence that we're there, all around them, and that even when they can't see us, we're there.

Also, my GSD loved soothing music. Enya, and similar Celtic music, was (and still is) is favorite. I put that music on and he sacked out immediately. Still does. Find something that is so soothing and play it really softly, so that you can barely hear it. Fans running on low work well.

Please don't throw things at the crate though. You're trying to teach your pup that the crate is always a safe place. And a fun place to go...we use the word "Boardroom!" and at bedtime, and other times, puppies and adult dogs go into their crates with snacks, pets, and happy voices. We all run into the bedroom and they fly into their crates. The first one in gets their snack first. Since it sounds like your pup is an only child, he'll always win. So make it a game throughout the day. Just shout out Kennel, or Crate or Boardroom (or whatever word you use), and run into the room where the kennel is. Toss in a snack and wait for him to run in and get it. When he does, lots of applause and hoorays. Crate training is a skill you train just like Sit and Down. Move the crate (or crates if you buy a plastic one) around the house, so he always has a crate for you to play the crate game with, and so that he can be in the crate and still be near you.

You might wish to pre-load the crate with delicious-smelling snacks so that during the day, your pup will curiously wander over and check it out on his own. When you notice him doing this on his own, again, lots of applause and Hoorays. Pretty soon, you'll have a dog that LOVES his crate.
 

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yes to games!!!! Ava loves her crate, but she didnt always. I also second the wind up clock in a towel, worked wonders with Ava. I actually did clicker training to get her to volunteer to go in her crate, I would spend about an hour every evening playing with her around her crate and tossing in some treats, letting her go in and come back out, if she went in by herself JACKPOT!!! lots of treats!!! and then she could come back out. Now when I say kennel (shes two now) she races as fast as she can for her kennel and litteraly throws herself inside and waits for me.
 

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Originally Posted By: JKlatskyEarplugs. Only go back to see him when he is quiet. It may take awhile, but soon he will learn that crying does not release him from his crate. As soon as he's quiet, go let him out. You can also try to stack the deck by wearing him out before you put him in the crate, but if he has to go in the crate, he has to go. It's for his safety, whether he likes it or not and he will learn. With my dogs, I found that as long as I kept feeding in the crate and putting yummy treats and chews they still always liked their crate in the end. It's only been 1 day. He will get used to it, but you have to be strong so you don't reinforce the crying.

Also what kind of crate? I prefer a smaller plastic one for at first because they offer less view and less for puppy feet to get stuck in than the wire ones.
how does a puppy's feet get stuck in a wire crate?
 

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Thank you everybody for the suggestions! We followed the ignore advice scrupulously. We are seeing some improvement. Last week it got to the point where he would no longer go nuts. But when I pull into the garage, I can hear him complain. The second my key touches the door, there is pin drop silence though. I introduced him to the kong this Saturday. Absolutely loves it! He only gets it when he is truly alone. Now I don't even hear him complain when I pull into the garage. I walk into the house and he is still going at the kong. I don't crate him when I am in the house though - except when the floor has to be cleaned.

Regarding, wire versus plastic crates - my vet recommended the wire crate. She says that some pups have a tendency of chewing on the plastic ones. My Wolfie is definitely a chewer. I bought so many different kinds of toys for him - the only thing that will entice him and keep his attention are rawhides.

The other thing I read elsewhere and am trying is putting the crate where he can look out the window. Not sure if this makes any difference for a 10 week old. What do you think?

I will post introductory pictures soon!
 

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THIS IS MY BIGGEST FEAR IN 7 WEEKS! I am dreading this.... i got lucky with my previous 2 dogs as they were quiet from day one. Please have mercy on me gsd pup! LOL
 

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Jeager was 6 weeks old when we brought him home ( now 9 weeks ) I built a crate from 2by2 and lined the outside with white latuce,,,,2 foot high,,,had no roof on it the first 2--3 days,,,I had it on my side of the bed during the night and jeager would cry only to wake me so I would take him outside for a squirt. ( 2--3 ) times each night. He did learn to climb !!!! got out of the crate,,,so now there is a roof over his head. At 9 weeks of age he still is asking to go out 2 ---3 times each night. It is amazing how smart GSD are even at this early age. He loves having his chest gently scratched and he will wrap one of his front paws around my wrist to keep it in place formore scratches. got to love;em best of luck ...
 
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