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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my female gsd is now 5 months old. I have had her for 3 months. She sleeps in the crate next to my bed every night. It has a soft mat in there, plus chew toys, and we put her in there every night with a stuffed kong. Once she finishes the kong, she starts yelping, whining, and barking for at least an hour, sometimes more. For awhile, after her hour long tantrum she would fall asleep, and sleep through the night.

Now, she has stopped sleeping thru the night, and instead,she spends the majority of the night repeatedly banging on the door of the crate with her paw. I'm exhausted, I haven't had a decent nights sleep in weeks. I don't give in, and I ignore her, so I don't think I've done anything to reinforce the behavior.

Our trainer said to try her outside the crate, so we puppy-proofed our room and did that for two nights. It didn't work, she kept us up all night both nights barking and pawing at the door. She didn't have to go potty either, I took her outside and she wouldn't go.

Aside from that, she is generally an erratic, nervous dog that responds inconsistently to people, dogs, and everything else, despite our training efforts. I'm tired and at the end of my rope. Will it ever get better?

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My pup used to do that until he got used to the new schedule. I also now just to make sure it stays that way, get him thoroughly exhausted :) sleeps from 9 PM to 8:30 AM now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My pup used to do that until he got used to the new schedule. I also now just to make sure it stays that way, get him thoroughly exhausted :) sleeps from 9 PM to 8:30 AM now :)
What do you mean by the new schedule?

We have been following an identical schedule for 3 straight months, I would think that she'd be used to it by now.

Also, she gets lots of exercise and stimulation. An hour walk/run in the park with me every day, plus 1-2 hours of playing with my son and his friends after school at the park at least three days a week.
 

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Maybe take a step back... Do you also give meals in a crate? I have one downstairs for all meals and I also use it for training (like Susan Garrett's Crate Games)... Both activities have created a dog that rushes to the crate and jumps in tail wagging... Crate equals food equals happy place. This has payed off for the sleeping crate. Do u give a kong or chew in the sleeping crate? Have u tried experimenting with covering part or all of crate....I spent three long nights with the door covered before I realized that for this dog no cover on the door made the difference. Good luck and let us know what you tried...
 

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Sorry I missed the kong comment in the first post
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe take a step back... Do you also give meals in a crate? I have one downstairs for all meals and I also use it for training (like Susan Garrett's Crate Games)... Both activities have created a dog that rushes to the crate and jumps in tail wagging... Crate equals food equals happy place. This has payed off for the sleeping crate. Do u give a kong or chew in the sleeping crate? Have u tried experimenting with covering part or all of crate....I spent three long nights with the door covered before I realized that for this dog no cover on the door made the difference. Good luck and let us know what you tried...
Yes, I have given meals in the crate. And, I send her in there every night with a stuffed Kong. She finishes the food and/or Kong, then commences her crying.

Yes, I have experimented with covering all of the crate, part of the crate, playing music, white noise, and crate games. None of it has worked.
 

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I keep a kong (the bone shaped one) in the crate with him and it has treats shoved in the ends so it keeps him busy (mind you this is after 30-60 minutes of playtime) and he slept with us until he was 7 months old on the bed. We also took crating him slowly by letting him just go in and out of it during the day freely (when he went in we would click the clicker and he would get a treat) and once he got used to it being a safe calm place (a little under a week) we started leaving him in it when we left and that only took 4 days and then we put in our bedroom and he did just fine after two weeks of him throwing a fit for 20 minutes each night.
 

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What kind of crate do you use? Maybe try a different crate- plastic cave like one vs metal crate? Also, my dog prefers to sleep alone in the kitchen- so his crate is there. I think my snoring was too much for him- lol!!
 

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did your pup have full access to the crate initially? i read that it's good to give them a nice "snug" portion of the crate and expand it as they grow into it. i did this with my pup and she was fine with it after the first night (no sleep for either of us). that was a week ago. last night she slept in it from about midnight to 0700 with no whining or tantrums or accidents. the only thing she has in her crate is her blanket. we put an additional one over the front of it and that seems to be what she likes at night. and she only goes in there when it's time to go to bed. other than that she is free to sleep/exist wherever we can keep eyes on her. wish you best of luck with your training.
 

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What do you mean by the new schedule?

We have been following an identical schedule for 3 straight months, I would think that she'd be used to it by now.

Also, she gets lots of exercise and stimulation. An hour walk/run in the park with me every day, plus 1-2 hours of playing with my son and his friends after school at the park at least three days a week.
That is not enough. She is bored so she is making her own entertainment and it is keeping you awake. You have got to keep her awake and busy in the day so she will let you sleep at night. I take my dogs out in the morning for 1/2 -1 hour. Then again when I get home and once again before bedtime. We play nighttime shepherd basketball. Which means I kick the ball and they chase it in the dark. Also when I'm sitting on the computer like now or watching t.v. I'm either playing tug with one or more of them. Or they are snuggling on my lap. A tired dog who has had the attention they want in the daytime lets you sleep. Of course I have 4 of them and the younger ones also play chase and such with each other which helps to wear them out.
 

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I never used a crate. This method worked for us. Our kitchen table is right next to a big window to the back yard. So our guy when he was young would sit outside, thinking he's part of the group, but outside. We then made the trips outside longer...and longer....and longer. Now we can go away all day, and he's pretty good. He likes to chew on some things in the yard though. Like extension cords.. but he's not getting into too much trouble.

BTW: when we wanted our guy to get in the back of the truck. We went in ourselves, then called for him, making it his decision to come in. He wants to be a part of the pack. ...not saying you should get in the crate, but if you can, try to show its safe, and be calm and happy when you do it!

edit: Make sure you act how you want your dog to act. The best way for us to calm our guy down is to simply act like we are sleepy. Its amazing how you can get a dog to listen to your attitude instead of verbal commands.

If your dog is keeping you awake when he's in a crate in a different room, try moving the crate into the room, so he can see you sleeping. Dogs feed off of emotions and actions. Portray sleepy and tired to them, and they will become sleepy and tired. (usually)

edit2: If you also spend 2 hours at a dog park running with the dog, they will be more relaxed at home.
 
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