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Old 07-02-2013, 11:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crate Training help please

HI Everyone,

So my husband and I brought our little bundle of joy home on sat.. Dukes is 8 weeks old.
I need advice and or help or anything anyone can offer when it comes to crate training him. He absolutely hates it.. He has cried non stop for the last 3 nights.. We have put toys in there and treats and his kong filled with treats. Nothing- he does not care he just doesn't want to be there.
He is ok when my husband and I are around he will go in there but as soon as we close the door and leave he yelps and screams. This goes on all night all day.. Is this normal? I don't want him to make himself sick or anything and I don't know what else to do???

I work during the day so leaving him out is not an option. Also I would eventually like to sleep through the night since the last 3 have been sleepless lol. I know everyone is telling me that he is still new and a pup and this is normal. I just don't want him to hate his crate. It breaks my heart every time I leave him in there and he cries and cries and cries. I am trying to be strong as I know everyone says to ignore it. It just seems to be for so long with him and if he stops its like for 10 minutes then back at it. I hope this is just normal puppy behavior???

Thanks everyone, much appreciated!!!
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Old 07-02-2013, 12:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This isn't helpful but my beagle basset could not be crate trained. She poo'd and pee'd and cried and howled non stop. We ended up having to double gate a hallway instead of using a crate. Hopefully your settles down I know a boxer is harder to contain lol

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Old 07-02-2013, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have ALWAYS crate trained my dogs. I had 2 rottweilers and a pit-bull prior to getting baby Dutch....Try bringing the crate out in the family room when ya'll are settling in for the evening and leave the door open. Allow him to roam freely in and out of the crate while you and your loved ones are home. He needs to see the crate as a safe, non intimidating place to come and go as he pleases w/out being "trapped" in there suddenly. At night time, set the crate beside your bed and quietly talk to him while he is in it. You might also try putting a sheet over it at night time, it sometimes helps the dog recognize that its time to sleep. I am not saying thios will break the whining but it did help with Dutch when we were crate training him. Our crate is big enough that I can fitr inside of it with Dutch so I clibed in a couple times and sat with him and played rope just for him to see that it is a nice safe place and not a scary isolated place!
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Rememebr, as puppies they are use to sleeping with their litter mates and once seperated you have to find a way to ease them away from that bundle of fur he was use to cuddeling up with, maybe put a teddy bear of some sort in his cage with him
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Billie goat View Post
This isn't helpful but my beagle basset could not be crate trained. She poo'd and pee'd and cried and howled non stop. We ended up having to double gate a hallway instead of using a crate. Hopefully your settles down I know a boxer is harder to contain lol

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Rex has legit Claustrophobia and couldn't be crate trained. He won't even go under a table to retrieve a ball. Won't even stick his head under a chair or table.

I feel bad I didn't pick up on his claustrophobia sooner as I made him spend several sleepless nights in the crate where he was almost hyperventilating from anxiety. I'd also like to state that the crate I got for him was big enough for a doberman or bigger dog. This was no small box.
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Last edited by Ogien; 07-02-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm a little nervous of this happening too when we get our puppy. I've ordered a Snuggle Puppy....hoping that will help.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Snuggle Puppy

We just went through this with our 10 week old Boxer last week. Our first 3 nights were crying, yelping, screaming, you name it...we heard it! We bought this snuggle dog & calming diffuser and amazingly she slept like a baby til 5am when she had to go potty! Give it a try, it worked for us Snuggle Pet Products Snuggle Puppies Behavioral Aid Toy for Pets, Boxer/Bulldog: Pet Supplies Snuggle Pet Products Snuggle Puppies Behavioral Aid Toy for Pets, Boxer/Bulldog: Pet Supplies Comfort Zone with DAP for Dogs Diffuser and Single Refill: Pet Supplies Comfort Zone with DAP for Dogs Diffuser and Single Refill: Pet Supplies
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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D&R, sorry that you're having a difficult time with your new pup. He is very young and it may take some experimenting to see what is gong to work for him. Sounds as if there have been a couple of good ideas offered here that may help you guys out. I have been extremely lucky with my new pup his past week. She only had a problem with her crate the first day. It certainly helped that she had a crate of Bostons next to her. I had major difficulties last year with my Boston, she was 8 weeks old when I brought her home. I ended up putting her crate in the bed with me, she immediately settled down and all was well. Not sure if you'd wanna try that or not. Sure hope you get some sleep soon and that Dukes becomes comfortable with his crate.
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is all very normal. Puppies cry, pull at your heartstrings and do anything they can to get your attention. It is okay to let him cry. Training to use a crate takes time. It idoes not happen over night. Teach him slowly but don't let him manipulate you. I know it is hard on your heart but you are doing the right thing. Tolerate the crying. Act like it is normal and ignore it. Dogs have an amazing sense to understand emotions, feelings and human responses. If you respond to the crying they see this as a reward and will continue. The puppy learns if he cries he gets you to respond. It will be super hard but if you can ignore the crying you are going a long way to training independence and good behavior. If you act like it is no big deal, your pupoy will learn he can not manipulate you.

Here are so me tips on crate training.

Crate Training : The Humane Society of the United States

Crating caution!

A crate isn't a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.
  • Never use the crate as a punishment. Your dog will come to fear it and refuse to enter it.
  • Don't leave your dog in the crate too long. A dog that’s crated day and night doesn't get enough exercise or human interaction and can become depressed or anxious. You may have to change your schedule, hire a pet sitter, or take your dog to a doggie daycare facility to reduce the amount of time he must spend in his crate every day.
  • Puppies under six months of age shouldn't stay in a crate for more than three or four hours at a time. They can't control their bladders and bowels for that long. The same goes for adult dogs that are being housetrained. Physically, they can hold it, but they don’t know they’re supposed to.
  • Crate your dog only until you can trust him not to destroy the house. After that, it should be a place he goes voluntarily.
Selecting a crate

Several types of crates are available:
  • Plastic (often called "flight kennels")
  • Fabric on a collapsible, rigid frame
  • Collapsible, metal pens
Crates come in different sizes and can be purchased at most pet supply stores or pet supply catalogs.
Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size. Block off the excess crate space so your dog can't eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. Your local animal shelter may rent out crates. By renting, you can trade up to the appropriate size for your puppy until he’s reached his adult size, when you can invest in a permanent crate.
The crate training process

Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training:
  • The crate should always be associated with something pleasant.
  • Training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast.
Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate

Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at his leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them:
  • Bring him over to the crate, and talk to him in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten him.
  • Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If he refuses to go all the way in at first, that's okay; don't force him to enter.
  • Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If he isn't interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days.
Step 2: Feed your dog his meals in the crate

After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate.
  • If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate.
  • If he remains reluctant to enter the crate, put the dish only as far inside as he will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed him, place the dish a little further back in the crate.
  • Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat his meal, you can close the door while he's eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as he finishes his meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until he's staying in the crate for ten minutes or so after eating.
  • If he begins to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving him in the crate for a shorter time period. If he does whine or cry in the crate, don’t let him out until he stops. Otherwise, he'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so he'll keep doing it.
Step 3: Lengthen the crating periods

After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you're home.
  • Call him over to the crate and give him a treat.
  • Give him a command to enter, such as "kennel." Encourage him by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand.
  • After your dog enters the crate, praise him, give him the treat, and close the door.
  • Sit quietly near the crate for five to ten minutes, and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time, and then let him out of the crate.
  • Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave him in the crate and the length of time you're out of his sight.
  • Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving him crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting him sleep there at night. This may take several days or several weeks.
Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave

After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house.
  • Put him in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave him with a few safe toys in the crate.
  • Vary at what point in your "getting ready to leave" routine you put your dog in the crate. Although he shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate him anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving.
  • Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give him a treat for entering the crate, and then leave quietly.
When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to him in an excited, enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low key to avoid increasing his anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so he doesn't associate crating with being left alone.
Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night
Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside.
Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation.
Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Potential problems
Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.
If the whining continues after you've ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Separation Anxiety. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help

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Old 07-02-2013, 08:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Where is his crate?
If it's not in the bedroom, is there room for it next to the bed?
Sometimes just being able to put your hand down near him as reassurance will help.

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