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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, we got home last night from bringing home our new puppy, Geiger, who is 7.5 weeks old. We had a 5.5 hour drive, pretty much 100% rural, and made it home OK.

Anyway, I have a few questions about crate training and, related to that, what to do at night.

1. How can we get our girl to love her crate? She was great for about the first 2 hours in the car, then cried (loudly) for about 30 min. (btw, we stopped for potty and leg stretching before she started crying). Then she settled for about 30 min. then just basically cried the whole rest of the way, no matter how many stops we made (4 total). When we got home, we tried to give her some space, but when it was bedtime, she did not want to go into her crate. Today, we're trying to play more around the crate, put some treats in there and praise her when she goes in, but if I intend to live my life tomorrow (take kids to school, get in the shower, etc.), I need her to be OK with the crate for a period of time without crying.

2. Related to #1, what pointers do you have during the night? We put her in the crate (in the same room we were sleeping), she would sleep for about 1.5-2 hours at a time, then start wimpering. We took her outside to do her business, but when she was done and we put her back in the crate, she wanted nothing to do with it. The first time, we let her "cry it out" a little, which lasted 45 minutes, and then the other times, we put her in with the door open, and rubbed her until she settled, slowly closing the crate door and walking away.

What advice does everyone have on these things? Did we do OK last night, or are we conditioning her to not fall asleep unless we are right there? I know she's so young and still getting used to our house and family, but we really just want to do the right thing and not start out doing something that isn't the best approach.

Thanks!
 

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We just got our puppy on Friday. The crate is not something she likes yet. She cried repeatedly through the night just like yours. It wasn't non stop but she would cry for about 3-5 minutes then be quiet for a half hour and then repeat the process. I agree that it definitely got worse after I took her out (twice) during the night for potty breaks. I am anxiously awaiting responses to your post and congratulations on the new puppy!
 

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Glad to know there's someone else in the same boat! I have 4 children within a 5 year age span, and feel pretty confident about my ability as a parent. But I've never had a dog before and feel like I've kind of been thrown one! I'm sure things will get easier over the next few days, but I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed right now, despite the fact that I've read seriously about 50 puppy and dog books. Like children, you can read as much as you want about it, but it never fully prepares you for the real thing!

Hoping for lots of responses to this post!
 

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Bogart cried for the first couple of nights. It's understandable that they are going to cry at first as they are removed from everything that they know, mom, littermates, etc.

I think it is best not to rub her until she falls asleep because she'll get used to this and expect it every night. It's hard I know , but just let her cry (unless of course she has to go potty ). It will get better, I promise
I think you are on the right track by trying to make the crate a positive place by placing treats, toys, etc in there.

You will get all kinds of advice and tips on this site, it's great and has helped us alot.

Bogart's Mom
 

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Hey ! congrats on the new puppy and welcome to the Theishof Family ! I was in your place 4 years ago and it takes patience ! Kai spent 9 hours on a plane and then an hour in the car til he got home. Put a fuzzy dog toy in the crate with her. Remember she had a bunch of fuzzy bodies to sleep with before. Make sure there is down time before bed. Just like the little ones you wouldn't try to put them to bed right after playing. She will soon get the idea of what to do. It will just take a little time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
OK, I'm feeling better about the crate situation - she has happily gone in there and stayed several times today, so that's a big relief.

I just want to clarify about tonight: we'll put her in her crate at bedtime, with some calming time before. Again, she'll sleep in the same room as DH and I, and we'll take her out to do her business when she starts wimpering. My question is what to do after she goes out. If we put her back in the crate and she starts crying (loudly) for 45+ min., should we soothe her a little before closing the door, or just "cry it out?" I want to feel more prepared tonight than I was last night. Thanks so much for all your advice!
 

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I always put the crate right next to my bed so I can stick my fingers in there to reassure the pup that I'm right there. That helps a lot. Remember that she had her whole pack to sleep with before so she has cause to be lonely. I would follow the same routine--always give her a treat for going into her crate (I usually throw it in when they're tiny and then shut the door as they're eating it).
 

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What she said!
 
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