Puppy breaking my heart - crying in crate

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

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I have a thing- for plastic!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 11:43am PST 
We would like our new puppy to sleep in a crate at night. She is almost 8 weeks. She was an all outside puppy before she came to us. Although she likes being indoors, she seems more comfortable being outdoors where she lived with her mummy. I don't know if this adds an extra challenge or not.

We got a huge crate - she's already a big girl - that has a divider so we can change its size. I set it up in one of her favorite places to sleep. I put her blanket in there with a puppy chewy bone and her favorite stuffed toy. The blanket was mine so it has my smell on it. We also put some piddle pads in there in case she had to potty. I put her in it so she could check it out. I left it there with the door open so she could get used to it being there. When the time came to go to bed I took her outside to potty and then put her in the crate. She cried for 3hrs! I slept in the room to keep her company. I fought the urge to let her out as long as I could because I knew that it would only reinforce the crying, but she was so exhausted and panting so fast I was afraid she'd hurt herself with over exertion. I tried moving the crate near me. I tried covering it with blankets to decrease any stimuli. I finally gave in.

So, can a puppy damage itself physically or mentally by crying all night? Should I just set her up in it and sleep in another room so she can cry until she exhausts herself? What if she cries all night and doesn't sleep? Won't that experience make her freaked out anytime she goes in the crate?

We tried using a barrier to sort of section off a part of the room for her, but she is a BIG puppy and just topples over or knocks it down. I know that sometimes because of her size we expect too much of her. She is a lot bigger than most puppies her age.

Also, we got her at 6 weeks. I know that that is too early to leave mom and litter mates but the woman was going to give her away to someone else if we did take her then. We knew we could give an excellent home and we wanted her, so we took her home. Will this make training more difficult?

Being sassy is- my profession.
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 2:36pm PST 
Taking her at such a young age WILL make training more difficult for most things. Teaching her bite inhibition and teaching her how to be alone are two of the biggest challenges you'll face.

If you've taken her out of her crate while she was crying, you have reinforced the crying, and she will continue to cry now that is has worked to get her attention. You have to ignore her at all costs. Vacuum, put head phones on, watch TV, whatever it takes. Then, if she is quiet even for a minute, praise her and take her out of her crate. Yes, this is going to be much more difficult at night, but you have a very young puppy on your hands and it will be like this for at least another month. It's just like having a newborn baby in the house.

It's very hard for your baby to be on his own right now, especially being taken away from his mommy at such a young age. Just be very patient and consistent; you have a long but very rewarding journey ahead of you!

I have a thing- for plastic!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 3:07pm PST 
I read a section of It's Me or the Dog by Victoria Stillwell and followed the instructions of putting treats in there and praising her when she went in and out. I fed her her afternoon meal in there with the door open and she went in, ate her lunch, then laid down and took a nap in there. I haven't tried shutting the door yet. We'll have to work on that some.

Another question. I read that I am not supposed to keep her in longer than 3 hours without a potty break, which I already figured would be the case right now since she is still young and has a little bladder. What if it is time for her to go out and she is crying in the crate? Should I just wait until she stops before I take her out? What if she doesn't stop for a long time or the timing is off - it is time to have a potty break but she is crying. If I let her out for a potty break while she is crying I end up reinforcing the crying. What do I do then?

I just want to emphasize that I knew the puppy was too young and I asked the lady if we could pick her up in a couple of more weeks at least. She said that she had another person wanting this puppy that came to her after we did and if we didn't take her she was going to give her to the other person. She'd already given some away. So, we went ahead and took her. I knew it would be an extra challenge, especially with bite inhibition, but I didn't know that crate training would be any more of a problem. She's doing pretty well with potty training, but I'm not expecting miracles at this age.
We have other dogs that we have had since they were puppies and in the crate or at night they would cry some, but soon got tired and went to sleep. They didn't cry as much as Gretchen did, so I didn't have this dilemma. I've never had a newborn human in my care so I can't really relate to that. ;-) , just other puppies.

Edited by author Sun Jul 20, '08 3:18pm PST



Where's the- ball?? stick ??
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 3:57pm PST 
I am afraid I can't offer any good advice but I can relate. I am a crate training failure. red face When we got Bailey I planned to crate train him because everyone said it was the way to go - the best for you and most importantly, the dog. (When we got our first two dogs I had never heard of crate training.) My husband however did not agree although he initially said he would go along with it. way to go
However Bailey howled and cried pitifully for hour after hour and my husband refused to wait it out so it didn't even last one whole night. frown
I think it was unfortunate because he is a very timid dog and I think he would have benefitted from having his own safe place. Hope you have better luck than me. I am sure the advice you are getting here will go a long way to insure that. I just wish I had had Dogster back then although I don't know that it would have helped with the hubby.shrug
Ursa Bella- Minima

I'm a hound- dog...
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 4:52pm PST 
Abby is right. Do what you can to ignore her. Try it during the day like you said and try leaving the room for a few minutes. She might stop if she doesn't have an audience.

Stay strong. It might take some time, but it will work out.

I swear crated puppies can smell guilt... laugh out loud

Little puppygirl
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 5:33pm PST 
How soon does she start crying after you put her in the crate? You may want to try putting her in there and shutting the door at times other than bed time. Sometime during the day put her in the crate, shut the door then reopen it (provided she does not cry). Then after a bit of that leave her in there for 30 seconds and then open the crate. It will take a while but it will help show her that she is not only going to go in the crate at night.
Gray Dawn- Treader

Don't Tread on- me
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 5:43pm PST 
Treader used to cry like crazy in his crate. I just ignored him, even when I let him out. Now, he normally doesn't cry in his crate anymore.
However, when I was letting him out, I probably should have told him "quiet" and the minute he was quiet I should have let him out.
Try that with your puppy. If saying something to her doesn't work, then try distracting her with something like a favored toy or dog treat. That's when you are about to let her out, not while she's staying in there.
Good luck.puppy

Edited by author Sun Jul 20, '08 5:45pm PST

Bretta - **Guardian- Angel Now**

10/2005 RIP- 12/2008
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 7:51pm PST 
First, take the piddle pads out of the crate. Dogs don't like the use their dens as a rest room and those that get into the habit are harder to housetrain overall.

At this point, it is all about the frequent trips outside and either having her in the crate or attached to you so as to prevent accidents.

When she starts crying (and you know she needs to go) tell her to hush (or whatever command you want to use) and then reward the silence.

I have a thing- for plastic!
Barked: Sun Jul 20, '08 9:41pm PST 
Thanks everyone. The crate has been adjusted to be smaller so she just has enough room to stand and turn. Took out the pads, just her soft blanket and some toys in there. I don't think I'll try again tonight. I'm going to work some more with her tomorrow and this time practice shutting the door.

Big Boy
Barked: Mon Jul 21, '08 2:38am PST 
Where I live it's not common to crate - unless you have show dogs and so on. I'm not necessarily against crating (-some dogsters on some threads have made quite a good case for dogs being used to the crate if they have to go to the vet or travel). But with all our dogs we've never crated - and I can't think of an occasion where it has yet been an issue.

Man, my heart just goes out to that (big) little pup - away from her mom and siblings at six weeks and all alone in the long long night! I can still remember new puppies howling and howling before they got used to it when I was a kid. But we don't do any of that now. Our present boy (and any dogs we will have in the future) are always welcome to sleep on our bed and we don't have any of that fuss. (Now he's a big boy our boy only sleeps on the bed if it's cold, but that's his choice). Or if your pup is going to be too big, just being in a dog bed next to you so you can put your arm down every now and then in the night might be nearly as good. (But if you are going to crate as the other dogsters have said, your pup will eventually get used to it).

Edited by author Mon Jul 21, '08 2:41am PST

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