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She Cries in her Crate!

March 8th, 2005, 09:57 AM
My 8 week old West Highland Terrier, Charlotte, came home on Saturday from the breeder....her crate is in our bedroom, and she cries for HOURS! Last night at 4 a.m. I looked over to see her hanging from the bars by her teeth with all four legs suspended SCREAMING! She is not just crying, or whimpering...I am talking full on sreaming and howling. (The entire dog only wieghs can she make that much noise?)
The crate is in our bedroom, we have a ticking clock beside her...does anyone have any suggestions that might make this little girl's nights a bit happier?

March 8th, 2005, 10:08 AM
Crate training is very trying on the nerves. Do you spend the days at home with her? What is the schedule like? I'm sure we can give you some pointers, or just sympathize with your predicatment :)

Give us some more info and we'll do our best to assist and support :thumbs up

March 8th, 2005, 10:52 AM
Sounds like maybe she has a mind of her own??? lol

If you want to crate train her you have to not give in...but you also should be taking her out to pee at night.

March 8th, 2005, 11:06 AM
Is she really only eight weeks old? That is much too young to be taken from her mother? No wonder the poor baby is crying! The earliest a pup should leave the mom is 12 weeks - in order to learn all the things only a canine mom can teach him/her. Why did the breeder give her to you at such a young age? No good breeder I know will do that - is this a new breeder maybe who is lacking in experience or a mentor to help them?

I really don't know if that is why she cries but she clearly misses her littermates and her mom. Can she see you when she is in the crate? For some reason, I am reminded of precrating days when one would use a blanket and a clock to emulate the mom's heartbeat and maybe a stuffed plushed toy. I always slept with mom puppies and never had any whining but I do know crate training is recommended now.

March 8th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Eight weeks is the standard for most breeders to send a puppy home--unless it is a tiny breed dog like a Yorkie, Chihuahua, or Brussels Griffon type dog which stays until around 12 weeks. This gives the tiny dogs a chance to build more mass before being shuffled to a new home where they will be fondled and handled by more people.

As for the crate training---you could try putting a warm magic bag wrapped in one of your shirts in the crate with the baby. Be sure to protect and secure the magic bag if you do this as the puppy may try to chew the seams of it. The warmth from the bag and the comforting scent of someone he/she loves and knows will help calm the pup for a little while.

You do need to be sure to take the puppy out to pee through the night though. It's way way way too young to hold it.

Also, can the pup see you up and about while in the crate?

March 8th, 2005, 11:46 AM
All the dogs I've ever had were "allowed " to leave their mom at 12 weeks only. Our first dog was a Siberian Husky but I was very young when he arrived so I am not sure how old he was. The others were a Fox terrier, poodle and a beagle. Why is there such a difference between the smaller and larger breeds if you or anyone knows the answer to that? A phsyician friend who breeds Yorkies also goes by the 12 week guideline so I will ask her about it. I do know cats are ready only at 12 weeks or older. Usually the rule of thumb is the longer time spent with the mom, the better? (Though I must say my Siamese's mom gave "my" baby a lick and that was it. As in "have a great life, see you later maybe", lol

Corrie, does she have toys with her in the crate? I know my beagle was harder to train than any of my dogs and absolutely hated to be left alone. I've never crate trained - he slept with me and adjusted to my schedule - but I think if the crate is next to your bed and she can see you, that might hep. Or are you doing that already?

It may also take time. I know it seemed to take ages with my beagle. And she is still so very young! She will take time to learn.

March 8th, 2005, 11:49 AM
I've been told that it is 12 weeks for toy breeds because of hypoglycemia being a risk, and because they are as said above more delicate. But, 8 weeks is the standard for most other breeds, and I've heard of way too many cases of people being given dogs at 6 or 7 weeks from BYB who didn't know better, or didn't care.

March 8th, 2005, 12:11 PM
According to Dr. Ian Dunbar (authority on dogs) 49 days or 7 weeks is the earlyist time to remove a pup from the litter. Also, keep in mind if the pup stays past the second fear stage (i think 12-16 weeks) they are already established in the pack structure and may not be willing to 'give up' thier dominant roles they worked so hard to achieve. There's many theories and logical reasonings the go with almost every differing opinion going it's sometimes hard to know which to believe.
I tend to lean toward the educated, tested opinions like Dr. Dunbar's. Too each his own I'm sure. I would never send a pup out before 49 days, and I would not want them to stay past 12 weeks either.... Longer is not always best or better :)

March 8th, 2005, 12:17 PM
Thanks for that info wjranch. It all makes sense to me.

March 8th, 2005, 12:20 PM
Thanks to all you replied!

Just to answer your questions...yes she can see us from her bed and she has toys in her bed also...not sweeky ones but soft ones.... As far as her only being 8 weeks old, there were 4 puppies in the littler and they were all picked up on Saturday. The breeder (who is very well known in our area and experienced) does say that 8 weeks is her standard and I know that when I was speaking to several other Westie breeders they did say that 8 weeks was their norm also, but I understand that some folks feel it is too young. That being said, I have her now and I just want to make her happy!

Her crate is divided into a sleepling area and a potty area and she does use the potty area during the night. Her last outdoor potty is at 11:00 pm and then my husband does the morning one at 6:30 am.

Any suggestions! I am typing as quietly as I can as she is down for her afternoon nap!

March 8th, 2005, 12:26 PM
Not a good idea to encourage her to go potty in her crate. She is only 8 weeks old so should be taken out every few hours for potty until her little bladder can hold for longer intervals. Having a new puppy is like having a baby and your schedule gets pretty crazy for the first little while so be prepared for lack of sleep. Also, think Tenderfoot will probably come on and mention to you that all dogs are pack animals and at this young age it would be best for her to sleep in bed with you and if she stirs, get up and take her out for potty. :o

March 8th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Your breeder should have provided you with a starter package giving you tips on crate training specific to the tendencies of the breed.

I agree with BMD also---this dog should not be using its "safehouse" as a bathroom--ever!

March 8th, 2005, 07:05 PM
I was always taught that before 7 weeks, the dog has not formed a strong enough bond with other dogs and will likely be either very aggressive or very submissive with other dogs. On the other hand, past 8 weeks, the bond with dogs is too strong and the dog will not bond as well with humans. That's why usually it's at 7-8 weeks that the pups are removed from the litter. If they stay longer I don't think they are kept exclusively with the mother.

March 8th, 2005, 08:26 PM
I got my baby at 7and 1/2 weeks ol..Shih Tzu/terrier.the first nite he whined a bit..from then on when he sees me getting ready for bed..he just walks into his crate and i close it. He can see me..and i talk to him till lites out as i read for shep sleeps in bed w/ and Harley when fully trained will too i'm sure..he wakes me up about 6 am or 7 i let him out he runs to his paper in the other room..pees then comes back and i take him in bed..he is so sweet.He did very well adjusting to our household..i must say. :grouphug:

March 8th, 2005, 08:47 PM
it's been a while since I did the 'puppy thing' but, you mentioned an afternoon nap. Have you tried playing with her and keeping her up in the hopes that she sleeps better at night? I know that worked for us--just can't remember how old she(our puppy) was when we did it!!??

March 9th, 2005, 07:46 AM
Hi corrie! I have a beagle puppy that's about 9 wks now (I've had her for a week)and she used to cry in her crate, too. The first night I took a Gatorade bottle and filled it with water and wrapped my t-shirt around it that I had worn all day and she walked right into the crate and laid her head on it and went to sleep. But it didn't work everytime. Yesterday I started wrapping her in a towel when it was time to go in her crate, then setting her in there with the towel around her. It works like a charm. I guess she feels safe and secure and she just goes right to sleep without a fuss. It has been working at nap times as well as bedtime and after her middle of the night pee sessions.


March 9th, 2005, 03:20 PM
perhaps she jsut does not like it, is that a consideration here? i never understood crate training, it is not very popular over here (australia) and had never heard of it before i started coming here, and a good many here also know i dont like it. sorry if i sound harsh but you asked, and i really worry about this sort of thing. i also know it is unecessary, i have never in my life met a dog that is crate trained, and everyone i know seems to be happy, no chewed houses etc, its all about training..

and if she really does not like it are you going to keep forcing it? she sounds pretty stressed out, doesnt that really worry you, doesnt long term damage worry you??

if a dog is that stressed i would not consider that normal and she could hurt herself in there. please reconsider this training method, all people i know just train their animals normally, to hang out as all family members do, not so that it can be put away in a cage when i feel like it. that is how i view crates, to be put away in a cage when i have had enough, well my girl just hangs out, she does not destroy anything, she is happy and very comfortable, it is not hard to train in this manner, you could even pen off a special room or kitchen for the baby.

and jsut a q to all the crate people, i am not being smart here but this is a genuine concern for me in this method, dont go gettin all cranky, its an inquiry-, if you lock you dog in a cage when you feel like it, how does that make them an equal and respected member of your family?? when they seem to have no rights or choice of freedom??and cannot hang out or come and go as they please? isnt hanging out what a dogs life is all about???also i would like to know how this method fosters a healthy pack, when one member of the family is only in the pack when choosen?

i hope it all works out for you, and that little baby is not so stressed, it sounds really worrisome.

March 9th, 2005, 09:39 PM
Me again, corrie, just wanted to let you know that Sophie actually went into her crate on her own tonight when she got tired. I was looking all over for her and finally found her in there. She had even pulled the door to. She didn't lock it of course :D but she's been sleeping in there for 2 1/2 hrs now. I would try wrapping her up like I did. Might not work but wouldn't hurt to try. And she certainly doesn't hate her crate and I don't think it's mean.

She isn't in there all the time, just when she's napping and I take her out as soon as she wakes up, and she's in there at night when we're sleeping so she doesn't get into anything like electrical cords or leave any surprises for us on the floor. I'm a stay at home mom, so she's out in the house most of the day unless I have to run to the store or something, but for the last couple of days she's been fine with being in there when she has to be. Just be sure to keep it a positive thing. I only plan on using the crate until she's totally potty trained, and after that if she wants to sleep in it that's fine.

March 9th, 2005, 11:14 PM
Melanie-- I don't agree with crates either, none of my babies were ever caged except at the SPCA... The thing about North America (AND I HOPE I am not offending anyone too badly) but work is a huge priority here. People are so busy and work so many hours that they just don't have the time to spend with a puppy, in training and in supervision.

Working at a clinic in the city, we saw so many dogs with worn out skin between the toes from rubbing on the bars. People would ask "How do I fix it?" :mad: and it was all I could do to not say, "Don't put him in the crate 16 hours/day. Next time get an adult dog if you don't have the time." It just seems like a lot of people who get a dog don't feel the need to understand their dog. The dog has to conform to our lifestyles or he gets crated.

Bring on the Rebuttals...

March 9th, 2005, 11:46 PM
Prin, i live in North America and i am not offended at fact i completely agree with you. I think you nailed it right on the head. It's not like i think crate training is cruel, when used in moderation of course, but I know a family who has this beautiful,extremely energetic chocolate lab and not only do they leave him in a crate when they work their normal 9-5 job, but then they turn around and put the poor guy in a crate overnight too! So basically he is confined to a cage for two thirds of the day. Makes me wonder what the point of having a pet even is in that type of situation.

March 9th, 2005, 11:53 PM
I don't know why people don't adopt 5-6 year old dogs that are way past that stage. There's an old guy at our park whose son gave him a black lab puppy--- you should see this. It's so sad. The dog jumps on him and almost knocks him over. I tried to help him train her but he's just not strong enough to be dominating...

I say, if you want a puppy, borrow an excited adult dog (like a 2 year old lab) for a weekend first and see how you handle it... If it's too much, either get a hamster or get an older calmer dog.. (I strongly suggest the hamster in this case...)

I'll start a new thread for crating agree or disagree because the topic seems to have monopolized this thread and the original poster may not get her question answered...

March 10th, 2005, 12:01 AM
I have never crated any of my dogs.But I have to agree with what BMD has said.You don't want to teach your puppy to go potty in the crate.That's a big no no...It's different if you were using the X-Pen.You definately need to get rid of the potty part in the crate.

8 weeks is fine for this puppy to have gone to you.

My GSD's all have been 12 weeks when I got them.And trust me,they bonded VERY well with everyone at that age.

Any pics of the little one?

My mom had one named Scottie. :)

March 10th, 2005, 12:05 AM
I started the new thread, "to crate or not to crate" so we stop monopolizing this thread. It's here: