(Closed) HHEEELLPP!!!! crate training!!

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
Member
5755 posts
Bee Keeper

It took me a few months to get mine crate trained, so I ended up sleeping in the FR with her in her crate so my husband could get some sleep. It is also the room with direct access to the sunroom to the yard, so it was as convenient as possible for the middle of the night walks. On the nights she cried more than normal, I caved in and let her sleep with me on the couch. I thought it would make it impossible to get her in the crate again, but once she knew she could see me and she’d be fine, she hasn’t had a problem since.

A week is nothing. I’d expect it will take you several if not months like it did me. Just hang in there and she’ll get used to it.

I’m home all day too, so only put her in it when going out. She cried, but was fine. Once she got older we no longer had to crate her when we left, but she sleeps in it every night with zero problems.

Good luck. I know how hard it can sometimes be.

Post # 4
Member
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

@graygodess20:  This is gonna sound horrible, but you just have to wait it out.  Make sure to exercise her before bed, take her out every few hours or so to go to the bathroom (puppies can hold it ~1 hour for every month old they are), and make sure her crate is warm and cushy with a good chew toy.  And then go upstairs, stuff a towel under the door to block sounds, and turn on the fan for some white noise.  And just wait it out.  It was completely horrible for us the first week, and DH kept wanting to crack, but if you stick it out I promise it will get better.

Other tips are to bring the crate in your room, but honestly I didn’t find our dog was any quieter, and then we couldn’t sleep either.  And we both work, so not sleeping wasn’t an option.  Now when we travel we keep her crate in our room and she sleeps fine in it, but at the beginning the dog just has to get used to it.  It will get better, I promise, but it will suck a little in the meantime.

Post # 5
Member
3123 posts
Sugar bee

I’m with PP. It took our puppy a good month to stop crying/screaming/barking for hours on end at the top of his voice when we put him in his crate for the night. 

My advice for the rest of your dog’s life: Don’t EVER do something once that you don’t want to continue doing later. If you don’t want your pup on the couch for the rest of its life, never invite it up that first time. If you don’t want it begging at the table, don’t EVER give it one little scrap from the table the first time. If you have already caved, you are going to have to just suck it up and deal with the consequences of enforcing your rules now. 

Yes, those first months sucked sooo bad. But this is good practice for when you have a child. The best thing is just to let them cry it out. It is terrible being sleep deprived and it is heartwrenching to hear your baby crying like they are being tortured, but don’t give in anymore! 

Now we look back on that time when our puppy was such a pain with a “thank god that is over” but also a HUGE “thank god we didn’t give in and cave when the going got tough”. Also, don’t get mad and yell at your pup while in the crate. If you need to get away and let off some steam, go in another room and beat up a pillow or yell in it if you want/need to do that. But stay strong!

Good luck. The first year is terribly hard as you are trying to resist the cuteness overload that tends to make people give in with hardly any resistance. However, all the hard work you are putting in now will be paid back 100 fold when you have a well behaved dog that respects your boundaries and you have a loving relationship based on their deference to your wishes! 

ETA: We also didn’t move the puppy out of the room when he was crying. It was hard because we just wanted peace and quiet to sleep. Keep in mind that this time is horrible for your puppy too. It is feeling alone for the first time in its life. It is used to sleeping with its littermates/mom and now you have gotten it used to sleeping with you. It is scared and lonely and feels like you are abandoning it. Your pup has feelings and wants/desires too and the only way you’re going to reach a happy medium is if you don’t set norms (like sleeping in the bed) and then all the sudden telling her “no, that is wrong”. Good luck, I know it is so hard!

ETA again (sorry!): Also, don’t praise/play/make a big deal out of letting her out of the crate. That will teach her that it is the best thing ever to get let out. Just open the door and let her come out on her own, let her out to potty, do a few things as she trails around the house behind you and THEN play with her and be really fun. You don’t want her to think that getting let out of the crate/you coming home from a trip away from home/leaving the house/thunder/fireworks/loud noises is(are) a big deal. It will just teach her to make a big deal out of everything and she’ll get into trouble, even though that is what you taught her to do. Sorry for the novel, we just have had a lot of experience and have consulted professionals on these matters so I want to try to help others benefit from the wisdom we purchased 😉

Post # 6
Member
1865 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Our rescue dog HATED the crate the moment we got him. He was so scared of it that he injured himself trying to escape from it (and the little Houdini dog actually did get out… twice). We only crate him at night now when we sleep, but we found that doing a few little things made him less scared of the crate.

We have a designated “crate treat” that he ONLY gets/ finds in the crate. We used to throw it in there while he was watching and then step away and praise praise praise when he went in there to get it. We would immediately stop the praise when he left. He felt a lot calmer about it knowing that we weren’t trying to trick him into getting in the crate. Lots of positive attention for going near the crate at first, and later inside the crate, and then basically ignoring him when he came out. Second, this isn’t for everyone, and I know several dog owners who are totally against this, but a family member of ours who is a dog trainer suggested we put his food bowl in his crate. It has helped him associate good things with the crate.

I also second the PPs suggestions to make sure that there is a toy or something positive to do in there. We put a peanut butter-filled Kong in with him, or a chew toy that he likes. Another thing to remember is that every behavior that your dog engages in is reinforced by you either positively or negatively; that’s how a dog learns your expectations. If your dog is in the crate barking and whining, and you let her out to sleep with you, she learns that barking and whining is the way to get you to let her out. Start slow by putting her in there and waiting for her to stop barking (even for a split second), and reward that. It’s going to require a lot of patience, but you can do it!! I never thought our dog would like the crate, but he happily runs in at night when it’s bedtime, and we’ve had him just over a month.

Post # 7
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@graygodess20:  I have to second@ZoeyGirl:. You’ll have to wait it out.

We have a 3 1/2 month old Cockapoo. Our first two weeks with her were brutal. She wimpered, barked, howled, yelped, and screamed any time we put her in her cage. We tried a few different things until we found what worked for her. We covered her cage so she couldn’t see us (just with a dark sheet). We also put her to bed with a kong that we froze with peanut butter in it (to lure her into her crate) and a warmed up bean bag (to simulate the heat of a mother dog). And we waited. We didn’t acknowledge the noisemaking because even telling her to stop was giving her what she wanted- attention.

Fast-forward a month- Lucy now sleeps 7-8 hours at night in her crate, only wimpering when it’s morning and she needs to  toilet. She no longer takes the bean bag in her crate. As soon as she sees the kong come out of the freezer, she’s in the crate waiting for it (the crate is the only place she gets her kong). She spends the day in her crate while we are at work (she is let out at lunch).We don’t let her sleep past 8pm- we play fetch, tug, practice obedience etc. so that we know she is TIRED when we put her to bed.

If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to be consistent. Even on the weekends if we are at home, Lucy gets up and goes to bed at the same time, goes outside to the washroom at the same time, eats at the same time and goes in her crate for the same periods of time, with the same routine. Originally we would cave and put her in to bed with us just to get some sleep- it totally backfires. That’s exactly what they want. Stick out the crate thing. You’ll be tired for a few weeks, but you’ll thank yourself in the end. We are so happy we stuck it out!

To make the most of our sleep time when she was having troubles in her crate, we would take turns- one of us would go to bed super early (think 8pm), to get a few hours in, while the other one looked after the dog. Then we’d do the reverse. The early-bedder would wake up early with the dog and let the other sleep.

Keep at it. It will get easier!

 

Post # 9
Member
520 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

This is all great advice! One more thing to consider – you might want to try moving her crate to a different location in the room where she might feel more comfortable. For example, our dog whined when his crate was at the foot of our bed in the middle of the room, but he was a lot better when we moved it between our bed and the wall. Sometimes they feel safer or something when they are closed in by walls. One of my parents dogs was the same way, too. 

Post # 10
Member
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@graygodess20:  What really helped us was giving him a Kong filled with wet dog food every time he was in the crate. Then he began to associate the crate as a good thing because he would get a “treat” every time he would go in there. It usually takes them a while to get everything out, maybe like 30 mins? And by the time he got all the food out, he didn’t seem to care as much that he was in there. Now he loves his crate and sleeps there at night and whenever we’re not home. Don’t worry, I promise it gets better!

Post # 11
Member
3123 posts
Sugar bee

@AlliRae:  I second this! Ours cried so much more when we tried to put him in the corner so we could have more floorspace, but it turned out he wanted an unobstructed view of us through the crate door.

Post # 12
Member
108 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@graygodess20:  It definitely will get better. We were so over the crying that we had considered having in-home dog training to help us crate train her. After speaking to our vet, she told us to save the $600 and just be consistent. I am so glad we stuck it out! Our days and nights are much quieter and worry free!

Post # 13
Member
131 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

If you take her out when she barks it will only get worse. You just have to let her bark as long as she wants.  She will eventually stop. My dog took about an hour and a half the first night.  The next couple nights it was about 15 minutes before he quit. He loves his crate now, although he is 4 so now he just sleeps whereever he wants and only goes in the crate in the car.

Post # 14
Member
227 posts
Helper bee

Calm her down befor you close the crate. Put her in the crate and sit in fornt of it, dont let her out out her back every time she tries eventually she will give up and sit down give her a treat when she does this and then when she lays down gine her a bigger treat and close the crate. I also found covering the crate with a large blanket helped. also leave the crate open with a treat in it for her to walk in and out when she isn’t being crated. My dog loves his crate now and he sleeps in it without me putting him in it. Just where he prefers to sleep. also put the crate next to your bed and put your hand on top. That worked for me and my dog as well. I calmed him a lot

Post # 15
Member
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Put a warm bottle of water wrapped with your or your hubbys shirt that hasn’t been washed yet. It should help her soothe herself to your scent. 

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