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Hi there,

 

I have had my BC dog for over a month now, Ed is 12 weeks old today. Since Ed arrived he has slept in a crate at night and goes in there when we are doing things around the house that may be distressing or dangerous etc. Ed has been well behaved in his crate until the past 3 days. Recently he has started HOWLING and crying when we put him to bed. I am very confused (and sleep deprived!)! The only thing to have changed in the past 3 days is that we have constructed an indoor playpen and placed his crate inside (we thought he would benefit from some extra leg room as he is growing fast!) We ensure that he is well exercised both physically and mentally. When he goes into his crate he is initially sleepy and happy, the minute you get up to leave the cring begins! I dont want to get into the habit of sleeping downstairs with him or letting him out when he starts but he is becoming that loud and distressed that it is hard to ignore! What's gone wrong??? Could it be the pen??? Help pleeeeeeease. :rolleyes:

 

Thanks,

 

Tracey. :D

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If you are sure that he doesn't need to relieve himself and he was happily crated at night until 3 days ago- ignore him. Be aware that it may escalate for a bit before it stops (an extinction burst often happens before a behavior diminishes) . At 12 weeks he may be starting to test the waters a bit to see what works to get your attention. He may have gotten "howling" to work inadvertantly a couple of times and that is all it takes with a Border Collie. JMO. Laurie

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I'd agree with Laurie, if your sure that he is happy then I'd invest in some ear plugs, you might need them for the next couple of nights. Stick to your guns and the howling should stop when he realises he doesnt get anything out of it!

It may be the pen, does he howl during the day when he's in there?

 

Good luck

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I'd agree with Laurie, if your sure that he is happy then I'd invest in some ear plugs, you might need them for the next couple of nights. Stick to your guns and the howling should stop when he realises he doesnt get anything out of it!

It may be the pen, does he howl during the day when he's in there?

 

Good luck

Thanks for the advice. He's quiet when we're in the room but starts to howl when we leave. It's the kind of howling that makes your stomach knot.....i'm sure the neighbours hate us.....oops! :rolleyes:

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Just ignore him!

 

Gypsy was 9 weeks old when we got her and she only howled a few times when we put her to bed - probably because she quickly learned that (as we completely ignored her) she was there for the night! :D

 

It sounds like he's just hoping you'll come running to let him out. I can still remember the exact noise Gypsy made - Aroooooo - over and over again!!

 

You have my sympathy :rolleyes:

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In addition to ignoring him while he's howling, you can try praising him the instant he stops. If you have been going back to him for the last few days, it will probably take a while for him to stop.

 

Watch, though, for him starting to get frantic. If he seems to escalate beyond the howling (like to biting the crate, scratching,e tc.), you may want to develop a different plan so as to avoid a more serious case of separation anxiety--which can be quite a bear to deal with.

 

Other things to try: crate him near you rather than in another room; give him a frozen Kong or a chewie (or a filled Buster Cube) to keep his mind occupied rather than focused on the fact that you are leaving; put him in the crate at times other than when you're about to leave him so that he doesn't begin associating crate time with being left alone.

 

I"ve also had luck using mild aversives (a water gun or making a loud sound on the other side of a wall where the pup doesn't see you doing it), but if you use them, you have to be sure and praise the quiet behavior (which you can name with a command like "quiet") so that they understand that their barking/howling results in something unpleasant while being quiet is something pleasant (e.g. you give them a choice and clear consequences based on the one they make). This takes some time though and again, you want to be careful about the timing.

 

If you think it's disturbing to your neighbors, you could also explain it to them and tell them what you are doing to fix it. Often if the people know that you are working on it, they'll be much more sympathetic.

 

Good luck

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Lyric had started crate crying a while back when we did keep her in a crate. (Now she gets to sleep where ever.) Though when she was in a crate, all we did was ignore her after she had done in business outside and it was bed time.

 

From previous experience, we had put a blanket over the crate to make her feel safer. It's also good to feed and water your puppy in the crate to get them used to it.

 

That's just what I've done though. =)

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In addition to ignoring him while he's howling, you can try praising him the instant he stops.

 

You might not want to go back to praise him when he stops, because when he sees/hears you go back to his crate, he could start up again. When Gypsy was a pup she would howl, wait a minute to hear if anyone was coming to get her, and then howl again. If you think he's stopped and go in to praise him in the middle of two howls, this could just reinforce the behaviour. Just ignore him and put a blanket over his crate, and he will soon learn that crate time means sleep time.

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Ignore.

 

But during the night, a pup still needs to go out at that age - just wait until there is a little pause in the noise and move fast.

 

Get some ear plugs, an iPod, whatever - but don't reward behavior by going to Ed and giving attention. But also don't forget to let him out during the night for a potty break. :rolleyes:

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I can relate - my pup for the first week or two he was home was excellent at howling in the crate, and succeeded in keeping me(and a fair number of my family) up at all hours of the night. I agree with the "Ignore" tactic. By letting him out only to have him stop, you're rewarding the behavior and so prolonging the agony for both human and canine parties. And Kat's advice as far as letting him out for a nighttime potty break is indeed worthwhile advice - in fact, the first week Quynn was home he required an outing at 1:30 A.M., another at 4:30 A.M. and I took him out immediately after getting up at 5:30. I'm still feeling the effects of those lost hours of sleep. :rolleyes:

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Could his old view be cut off? That might be upsetting him.

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Thanks for everyone's advice.

We've been ignoring the howling for the last few nights now (painfully!) and it seems to be working......for now!

He's now taken to chewing shoes for attention....oh dear! :rolleyes:

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