Author Topic: Puppy Crate Training Advice  (Read 1667 times)

dcozad999

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Puppy Crate Training Advice
« on: November 07, 2017, 04:43:41 AM »
I know a lot of yíall have dogs. We just added a 9 week old mini labradoodle to the family. Definitely antimustachian but I am allergic so we needed a hypoallergenic pup. Iím looking for advice on a great crate training book. We started on it but Iíd like to make sure Iím doing everything right. My last dog took to it in two days. The new little guy is struggling at night. Iím on about 2 hours of sleep this morning because he would not stop howling and whining all night. Itís only been three nights so Iím sure it will get better, but Iím willing to read and try anything. I really donít do well on little sleep so I need to throw everything into this. Any tips and book recommendations are appreciated 

Heís a cute little shit. But I need my sleep

APBioSpartan

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 06:02:21 AM »
In my experience, granted that I have only had one dog, there's not much to the science.  You put your dog in the crate, toss a blanket over top, and try your hardest to drown out the noise with a couple of box fans.  Leaving the crate open all day with toys and treats is a huge help.  Also, make sure that you don't give your dog attention when he/she is in the crate.  When it's bedtime, it's bedtime.  If you have to pee, it's straight outside and straight back in.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 06:04:19 AM by APBioSpartan »

katscratch

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 06:12:35 AM »
It'll take time for a 9-wk old to get used to being completely alone after spending his whole life until now snuggled up with siblings and mama.

Things I've heard most often that seem to have been successful with nighttime anxiety in new puppies:

Wrap a hot water bottle in a towel in the crate. If you have an old-school wind-up clock that ticks, put that in the crate as well. These two things are to simulate the cozy environment he just left.

I also think it helps to have the crate in your bedroom, at least until the separation anxiety phase has passed - the puppy will be comforted more easily being around his family. Dogs are wired to seek companionship. Once he gets used to his new environment and has security that you are there during the night, he should start settling in to a better sleeping routine pretty quickly.

And then of course making the act of going into the crate a good one, like by giving him a treat every time he goes in - most doodles are pretty food motivated during training, so a small treat or even a few pieces of kibble are dandy. Potty breaks of course will still need to happen for at least a few weeks - the general rule of thumb is that dogs can hold their bladder for (their age in months plus one) hours, so a 9-wk old puppy can be expected to hold his bladder for 3-4 hours at a time. 

It usually gets better pretty quickly with the breeds that make up your pup, but the first few weeks are definitely not filled with 8 hours of sleep for us as new owners! Hopefully you'll all have a routine that works for your whole family in a couple of weeks :)

Rufus.T.Firefly

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 08:01:04 AM »
Just crated trained my two puppies (about 2 months apart in age). The more consistent you make it, the better. We kept the crate in the same place, put them in the crate at the same time. A blanket over top of the crate is helpful for making it feel more den-like and secure. Other suggestions here about leaving snuggle objects inside the crate are a good idea. I did not keep the crate in my bedroom. Rather I found by leaving the crate far away from me, it helped them settle down and accept the fact that they weren't getting out.

Have you done any training with the crate? Here's what I did: during the middle of the day, I left the crate door open. I took their entire meal of kibble and treated them for going inside the crate on their own power. Then after several times, I would close the door for 2 seconds, and then let them back out. Then building up the time inside the crate to a minute. You have to build this trust up slowly and patiently. I don't think most dogs will ever love being crated, but you can create a positive association with food.

Even to this day, every single time my puppies go in their crate, there is a treat for them inside. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

This consistency created a very powerful association that has them running for the crate when I say "BEDTIME!" They are now 7 and 9 months old. They still don't love their crate, but they tolerate it and accept it as part of the routine.

Here is a good video that illustrates the initial steps of crate training: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vOXWCewEYM&index=3&list=PLBtxuj9LtXq0UO6SNR7M9__rOnt7Rbk7x

Good luck! It will get better.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:03:23 AM by Rufus.T.Firefly »

GizmoTX

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 08:48:38 AM »
We initially kept the crate in another room so we wouldnít hear any whining & wouldnít disturb the puppy. Play some soft chill music ó the good boarding places do this. You do need to wake up for potty breaks for a young puppy, but itís all business, out then back in with no excitement.

Later on, around 6-9 months, you should be able to move the crate into your sleeping area. We use a black poly crate cover because it helps his sleep time. We still put a treat in the crate every night.

Donít open the crate door until the puppy is well past the chewing stage, at least 2 years.

katscratch

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 08:53:41 AM »
That's a good point to have the crate where you actually want it to live long term. I'm just repeating stuff my veterinarian coworkers used to recommend and the bedroom rec was usually only for puppies under 12 weeks -- even if your dog is going through separation fear at he'll quickly figure out the routine and that he's not abandoned forever ;)

My dog is now 16 and would live in his crate all winter if we'd let him!  He was a nightmare to train, though, because he was 4 and had never been kenneled. The days of howling and shrieking paid off though. With a lot of beer given to my poor neighbors at the time!

zinnie

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 09:01:55 AM »
I'm not sure of specific books but the only things that worked for me was to get the dog to create a positive association to the crate before locking them in there. Crate time equals treats, food, attention, etc. Don't lock them in there right away, work on positive reinforcement for a few days until they go in on their own. Put a treat at the back of the crate to get them to walk in, once they do give more treats and praise. repeat throughout the day anytime the dog wanders in.

My first dog still hates her crate because I didn't know how to train a dog back then so I just locked her in, and even years of trying to turn it around for her hasn't worked. She just associates it with me leaving, still. Which is funny, because I later trained her to go in her car bag easily--which is even smaller. At the same time, my second dog happily jumps in his crate on his own every time he thinks we might be leaving the house. Even though he was also terrified of the crate when we first introduced it, I used the positive reinforcement method and now he loves it.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:05:10 AM by zinnie »

FIFoFum

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 09:58:22 AM »
This is normal, and, of course, it sucks. I agree that going to crate is always accompanied with kong or chew or at a minimum treats at this age.

The major tip I'd add is that you should aim to NEVER let your puppy get what he wants when he is howling/whining. Otherwise, that's what you've reinforced. If you let him cry for 20 minutes and then let him out, he's learned that howling for 20 mintues works. I wait for substantial quiet before letting puppy out.

This is incredibly hard to handle when you don't know if your young puppy needs to toilet. This also doesn't include a dog with any form of sensitive/upset stomach creating diarrhea or very loose stool.

For this reason, I sleep right next to the crate at this age (though I use cover so puppy isn't staring at me). That way I can hear if the puppy is stirring or up BEFORE they start whining and crying, and I can take them out at that time. They learn that a person will let them out without the crying/howling piece. (They also learn that crying does not work).

Assuming puppy is healthy, I'd focus on getting the toileting dialed in - even if it means playing around with meal times & then setting an alarm for every 3 or 4 hours to take puppy out - so you can just ignore the crying/howling part until it subsides.

At 9 weeks, some puppies can't hold it overnight (some can). Middle of night toileting outings are unceremonious. Take puppy out, toilet, reward, back to crate (+ treat/chew). No play, no attention. It shouldn't take more than a week or two for the puppy to mature to be able to go longer in between.

This sucks. There are sleep deprived nights. The first 72 hours are the worst for everyone. It can take a week or two to get much better. It's still better than having months of barking/crying/howling with confinement or separation.

zinnie

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 10:04:39 AM »
This is normal, and, of course, it sucks. I agree that going to crate is always accompanied with kong or chew or at a minimum treats at this age.

The major tip I'd add is that you should aim to NEVER let your puppy get what he wants when he is howling/whining. Otherwise, that's what you've reinforced. If you let him cry for 20 minutes and then let him out, he's learned that howling for 20 mintues works. I wait for substantial quiet before letting puppy out.

This is a really good point too. Whining should never be reinforced. Wait for quiet before you open the door, and they will start to believe that being quiet is the best strategy.

dcozad999

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2017, 10:17:38 AM »
Thank you all for the tips.  He has a chew toy, and I do put some food in there for him, but I will go and get some special treats and maybe a softer toy.


katscratch

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2017, 10:28:57 AM »
The best dog training advice I ever got was that you can't teach a dog what you don't want them to do - you can only teach them what to do. Positive reinforcement is definitely the way to go; all modern research backs this up.

Have fun with your new little guy!

startingsmall

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 07:50:14 PM »
DEFINITELY agree with the advice to never open the crate when puppy is barking or whining. Even if you just have to sit there and wait for quiet, sit there and wait. Worth it.

Also, most (not all) 9 wk old puppies can only hold their pee for 3-4 hours. Set an alarm for every 3-4 hrs the middle of the night so you can take the puppy out. Go out, quick potty, quick treat, then right back into the crate.


dcozad999

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 11:34:32 AM »
DEFINITELY agree with the advice to never open the crate when puppy is barking or whining. Even if you just have to sit there and wait for quiet, sit there and wait. Worth it.

Also, most (not all) 9 wk old puppies can only hold their pee for 3-4 hours. Set an alarm for every 3-4 hrs the middle of the night so you can take the puppy out. Go out, quick potty, quick treat, then right back into the crate.


Did this last night.  Got up at 2:30, took him out to pee and right back in.  He whined for about an hour before he stopped.  Wife got up at 6:00 to let him out and he had gotten out of his crate took a dump on the floor and was sleeping on the guest bed. Little bastard. In my half sleeping state I must have somehow not latched the door completely, lol.  Guess we will try again tonight.

MNBen

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Re: Puppy Crate Training Advice
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2017, 11:56:30 AM »
Just a few tips I can add for all crate training...

  • I had made the 'mistake' of putting the puppy where he couldn't see or smell me.  I put the crate on top of a tall box next to my bed and it seemed knowing I was there helped him settle down and sleep.
  • When you get them up during the night to go to the bathroom, carry them the entire way.  Do not set them down until they are outside.  That will help prevent accidents if they are holding it.  As present them a treat the second they start to go to the bathroom.  They might not take it until they are done, but they will quickly associate the reward with their action.  As you start to recognize their signs (i.e  They might circle, or have a special squat, etc) you can also introduce a word, like "potty" and that will help you as they get older too.  Hearing "potty" will help remind them what their focus is.  Then they go, then they get reward.
  • Ignore!  Ignore!  Ignore!   They will get better as they get used to it.
  • Always use the crate as a reward (give a treat to go inside, teach them "crate" to go inside) and never as punishment.  When you want some quiet time, just put them in the crate with you in the same room so they learn it's okay to be inside there and you're around.  It shouldn't always mean that you're leaving them.