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HELP! Brock HATES his crate.


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I've never had a dog that hated his crate, until now. Or at least didn't settle down within minutes. Brock on the other hand will scream, howl, and whine constantly. At night it takes him 30-45min to finally give it up and go to sleep. I take him out at 5am and put him back to bed and he hollers for at least an hour dry.gif He is in the other bedroom right now because I can't have him wake my son up all night long. I tried to put him in our room last night thinking he would do better if he was with us but that didn't work. He LOVES to be with us and that's great but he needs to learn to be by himself as well. Especially at times when I'm trying to feed my son lunch or put him down for a nap etc. I took him potty, gave him a hoof chew and put him to bed over an hour ago and he's still whining! It is almost lunch time for him so I'm sure at this point that's what he's whining about since he is extremely in love with food lol

So do I need to just stick to my guns and hope he learns to settle or is there something I can do to help him be OK being alone? Thanks!

 

P.S. And because he never settles I am letting him out when it's time for potty, food whatever when he's whining which is just making the problem worse I think!

 

***UPDATE***Feb 27

Brock is doing just just fine now. I think it was the third or fourth night my son decided he didn't want to go to sleep at his bedtime so he stayed up with us. I figured that was a good opportunity to try Brock in our room when we went to bed. He did great. He's been in our room ever since now. I got him a elk antler for his crate and he LOVES that! He also gets his stuffed Kong if we're going to leave the house for a time. He's settled in great now.

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How old is he?

 

IMO, a baby puppy (8 weeks old) is too young to be completely alone at night. I put young puppies in a crate in my bedroom near enough that I can stick my fingers in the crate until they are 12 weeks old, then slowly transition them away from the bed, into the hall, and then into the front room by 5 or so months old. When he cries at night, talk to him, let him get to your hand through the crate, make a lot of sleepy noises. I think sometimes the fact that you are sleeping in teh same room helps the pup understand its sleepy time.

 

Yes, he will need to be left alone, but at his age and newly separated from his previous living situations, he isn't ready for social isolation.

 

When he is crated when you are about then, yes, you might just have to talk quietly to him and allow him to adjust to the idea. Offer him a puppy meal, and try to time crate time to when you are pretty sure he is ready for a nap (full belly, post playtime, teach him something so he tires out his mind). If he likes the hoof use that but you might also consider upgrading to something more attractive like baby food stuffed Kong frozen because its smellier and the licking and sucking he does can be soothing. Sing to him in his crate while you go about your business. Be calm.

 

Hang in there. Its tough when you are not sleeping!

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If you are letting him out of the crate when he screams and cries, he is teaching you a really nifty trick. He is learning that if he keeps it up long enough, you will eventually let him out. Why would he stop?

 

Crates are a super happy place in my house. All puppies get fed in crates (until they demonstrate enough self control to be able to eat around everyone else -- takes longer for some than others). They get a small treat every time I put them in the crate (like a few pieces of kibble or whatever I have on me). If I put them in the crate during a time when I don't expect them to sleep (like while I'm showering in the morning) I give the puppy something to chew on to keep them busy (current foster keeps dropping hers outside the crate... :blink: I always know this when she starts screaming).

 

All puppies get crated next to the bed and I sleep right on the edge so they can see me/so I can reach down to quiet them if needed. Puppies get a good sized stuffed animal to sleep with them in their crate (otherwise I don't have stuffed toys in my house). I make sure everyone is TIRED when we go to bed.

 

Sounds like you have a young human in the house in addition to a puppy? Sorry about that. Not generally the best choice for the reasons you are experiencing. Puppies are at least as much work as infants for a couple of weeks. If you are already exhausted from the human mom experience, throwing a puppy into the lot isn't exactly going to make your life easier.

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He'll be 11 weeks tomorrow.

Yes I knew going into this I would now have 2 toddlers running around ;) It wouldn't be a big deal if we weren't co-sleeping with our son. He does get fed in his crate 3x a day. I will suck it up and move him to our room I guess. A few interrupted nights of sleep won't be too bad if we can get him to settle and be quiet. He was crated alone at the breeder's in a separate room. I wonder if crating him out in the garage with the other dogs for bedtime might help? He is already pretty manipulative with his sweet face wanting to cuddle for his naps lol I'm trying my hardest not to treat him like another baby :)

Thanks for the replies so far!

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When I began crating my pups, it always seemed to calm them down if they have a sheet or blanket over the top of the kennel with only the door part opened so they could still see me. At first all of my dogs were crated right next to my bed as well. It does seem to give them a little bit more comfort knowing I am right there. I also got each dog a new soft, stuffed toy that they got to have in bed. Kind of like a kid has a blanket. My BC now carries his fish everywhere with him. Heaven help me if I forget it when we go on road trips! :P

 

Perhaps you could also start some crate games with your puppy. If you Google crate games or something similar, I know there are a ton of great ideas out there for making crating fun. That is how I got my BC to absolutely love his crate. He knows its not a punishment to be in there, only a happy place. :)

 

 

Good Luck!

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Instead of just feeding him in his crate, I'd give him something to work at. Try a stuffed Kong filled with mushy kibble or a mix of kibble and canned food. You can freeze it so he can work at it longer. The quite activity combined with the exercise of cleaning it out should help him settle.

 

I'm guessing even if he was crated at the breeders that there were other dogs around. And dogs don't transfer well, especially now since EVERYTHING in his life has changed. I think that I'd have a crate that you can move around for right now. Then crate him with his kong in whatever room you're going to be spending the most time in. That way he won't be isolated when he's in his crate.

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Can't imagine having a kid in the mix but I use to have a screamer and he seriously wouldn't stop! If I left him by himself he would scream himself into a frenzy. I had tried crating in the room with a human, crating without a human, feeding him only in his kennel, toys in the kennel. He had no problem with his kennel if it was open but try to shut that door and walk away.... Haha the world was ending! >.< kings, bones, treats lost all interest if I walked away and the door was closed.

Anyways I thought you said something about having another dog? If you do can you crate him near your other dog? Or with your other dog? O.o that's how I finally got my screamer to shut up.

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Brady hated his crate when he was a puppy, absolutely hated it.

 

But, like everyone else has suggested, try and make it a happy place with goodies like kongs and chews. It helped when I played Crate Games with him and just sort of worked it up to being this grand ol' place of fun. Feeding in the crate helped me, too.

 

If I remember right, you've only had him for a couple of weeks now? He's still getting used to being in a new place without Mom and the siblings around and that's probably pretty frightening for a young pup. Just give it time and a lot of patience, it'll work itself out in a month or two when he's older and a little more independent.

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What kind of crate do you have for him? Wire or plastic? He would have been in a solid plastic puppy-size crate on a counter beside his sibblings at Martha's in a room rather separate from the rest of the house. So putting him with another dog for the night may help. Covering it with a blanket is a good idea too. You have only had him for a few days so he is still adjusting...just grit it out. He would likely be used to bedtime around 10pm and wake up around 7:00am.....unless Martha told you different? Her schedule may have changed since the last time I stayed there.

When you crating him at lunch time, is it in the same room as you or is he out of sight? If he can see you, that may be partly why he doesn't settle.

Don't have him sleep in your bedroom at least until he accepts his new routine.

cheers Lani

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I've never had a dog that hated his crate, until now. Or at least didn't settle down within minutes. Brock on the other hand will scream, howl, and whine constantly. At night it takes him 30-45min to finally give it up and go to sleep. I take him out at 5am and put him back to bed and he hollers for at least an hour

 

Can you spell s-l-e-e-p? One thing about difficult situations they never stay that way forever. Things will get better.

 

You might try successive approximations. Here is a website that explains it in a dog training context. Wikipedia has an article on theory and practice, as well.

 

http://www.cincinnatibulldogclub.com/behavior/shaping-training-through-successive-approximations.html

 

What are the variables for your crating objective: time in crate, your proximity to crate, things in the crate, how crate is covered, where crate is located? There may be more, but that is a good start.

 

Keep it simple to start a new puppy getting accustomed to crating. Reward for looking at crate, reward for stepping in direction of crate, reward for sniffing crate, reward for touching crate. You see the progression.

 

Your puppy already is OK getting in crate, so you may be beyond the initial stages. For example, you may be able to start at a level like this one: you could partially cover crate so Brock can see you, stay in the room with him, crate for only 10-15 mins, have lots of toys for Brock, provide food/water in crate.

 

You reward when a level is successfully accomplished. Be creative in stepping-up the levels. Be cautious to not jump too far developing a new level, and don't move too quickly through them. If Brock regresses, you back-up a level or two, and bring him through them again.

 

I use a form of the method to train many things, including sheepdog herding. Of course, food reward is not utilized for herding. Some forms of sucessive approximations use a clicker, but IMO it's not needed. If you want a "marker", use a short easy word that won't pollute some other command, and quickly reward following the word. Set-up scenarios for success. This is all about molding/shaping, so that your puppy learns in little easy pieces of behavior.

 

You'll soon be able to tell Brock to "crate-up" from anywhere on your property, and he will happily run to the crate, nudge the door open with his nose, and wait for a reward. Then you'll put your coat on, bundle your baby, and be off for a couple hours, knowing Brock is contented and settled. -- Best Wishes, TEC

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Well Brock had an accident tonight :/ I put him in his crate which was in the living room. He whined maybe a few minutes and was quiet the whole time it took me to clean the mess up etc! I have a plastic crate for him right now. When he outgrows that he will be in a metal kennel. Earlier when I crated him he was in the other bedroom with the door closed.

We left earlier for an hour or so and I gave him a Kong with some wet kibble in it. He was quiet when we got home. So hopefully we are making some progress :)

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Don't laugh but when I got Maggie I started telling her a "story" every night before bed which included rubbing her legs and petting her. We are still doing it. She gets so relaxed she almost falls asleep sitting up. Then I put her in her crate with her Kong and she doesn't make a peep. This has worked from day one.

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Brock did much better at bedtime last night! He only fussed for 5 minutes and went to sleep :) However at 5am when my husband took him to go potty before he left for work he did NOT want to go back to sleep. So finally at 6:45 I got up :/ Right now he's taking a nap in his kennel, quietly in the living room :) We'll get there, he's just much more insistent than my females were lol

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Thats a tough one...dern it now I am awake! Why aren't you guys awake!

 

Hopefully soon he can hold it until alarm time. But in the meantime, I wonder if hes hungry because hes awake? I would consider making a stuffed Kong with a little food in it and give it to him after the potty run in his crate or a biscuit.

 

My little old guy has heart disease and he is burning calories like mad, hes a sound sleeper but he wakes up starving, even if its way early on a weekend. So I give him a Milk Bone (well, lets face it, I end up giving everyone a Milk Bone) and that tides him over and he lets me go back to sleep for a while.

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... I gave him a Kong with some wet kibble in it. He was quiet when we got home. So hopefully we are making some progress :)

What ever treat you give him, the crate should be the only place he gets that particular treat. I used marrow bones, which the boys still love.

 

It's not all that much different from teaching a baby to sleep in the crib...Good luck!

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I had a screamer as well. I finally had to give in and let him sleep in the bedroom in a crate. I put the crate on a chair beside the bed and slept with my hand in the crate. One thing that really helped settle him faster was changing my routine at bed time. I would put him in the crate as I got ready for bed and that seemed to start things off badly. I changed up and let him stay out while I got ready (always in view of me) and only put him in the crate when it was really time for bed. All my moving around didn't help matters.

 

In the mornings when your husband lets Brock out, is he giving him something like a frozen stuffed kong? Giving him something tasty to chew on in the morning may help instead of expecting him to go back to sleep.

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My dog hated the crate with a passion for a long time. What I hadn't realized was that despite the dog blanket I was putting on the floor of the metal pan in the wire crate, every time he moved the pan would shift and make a little noise. He was literally terrified to move too much in the crate when alone because he HATES the metallic noises. Once I realized this (dumb mom) I wrapped the whole pan in an old blanket so that there wasn't the metal on metal noise, and it has helped substantially.

 

You'll need all the crate games ans such other people have mentioned, but this may help a little!

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My dog hated the crate with a passion for a long time. What I hadn't realized was that despite the dog blanket I was putting on the floor of the metal pan in the wire crate, every time he moved the pan would shift and make a little noise. He was literally terrified to move too much in the crate when alone because he HATES the metallic noises. Once I realized this (dumb mom) I wrapped the whole pan in an old blanket so that there wasn't the metal on metal noise, and it has helped substantially.

 

You'll need all the crate games ans such other people have mentioned, but this may help a little!

 

I had to change Brock's bedding too. I had a thin towel in there at first but now he has a soft fleece blanket and he seems much happier with that ;)

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