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Crate Training - Barking in crate

jayner
January 15th, 2007, 11:57 AM
House/crate training has been going well with my 4-5 month old puppy, but she barks for about 20 minutes each time. It's not such a long time and she always stops eventually, but I figured that she would start to get used to it by now (it's been over a month). There has been no decrease in the amount of time that she barks.

A colleague has suggested putting her crate closer to were I sleep so that she doesn't feel so alone, but I would rather not have her get used to sleeping right in my bedroom at this point so I haven't tried it.

Any other advice or suggestions?

SnowDancer
January 15th, 2007, 01:46 PM
Sorry, but have to agree with your colleague. Move crate to bedroom. This from someone whose dog has crate terrors and sleeps in the bed. At least your pup tolerates the crate and doesn't hurt himself.

TeriM
January 15th, 2007, 02:36 PM
If at all possible the crate should be in the bedroom. A lot of research has been done that says this is very important to the bonding and mental health of the dogs.

downloader
January 15th, 2007, 07:55 PM
you can also make the crate into the nice place for her. Feed her in the crate, give treats and toys in the crate. Get her to like it. When my dogs get tired they go into their crate to sleep by themselves. Good luck

www.bluewhippet.net

Spirit
January 15th, 2007, 09:46 PM
I would suggest not moving her crate. Putting the crate near you isn't a bad idea, but if your dog is barking because she WANTS to be near you (likely the case), then you're giving her exactly what she wants (hense creating a bigger problem).

What I did with my boy when he was little, was crate him and sit by the crate and talk/play with him through the bars. The second he barked or got overly excited, I would get up and walk away. If he stopped barking for even 5 seconds, I would come back. Another bark, and I'd walk away. If he was calm, I'd open the door. If he tried to push the door open, I'd close it again and wait. If he barked, I'd walk away. Etc.

From this he learned that calm and quiet got him let out during the day. And at night, he was so busy being calm and quiet (because he wanted out, I'm sure), that he'd just fall asleep.

I keep a metal crate in my back of my SUV, and so far, he's the ONLY dog I've seen there, who sits and waits patiently (with the door of the crate open), while I get my things together and tell him when he's allowed to jump out and play... and he's only 12 months old (and he LOVES the dog park!).

I guess the big question is how do you react during these 20 minutes when your dog is barking. Do you give her ANY attention? (Attention includes baby talking to her or sternly telling her to be quiet. Even through a closed door.)

If at all possible the crate should be in the bedroom. A lot of research has been done that says this is very important to the bonding and mental health of the dogs.

I just wanted to comment on this quickly.

Where your dog sleeps is up to the pack leader. Pack leaders NEVER share their bed, but to tell your dog to sleep in the living room (or wherever), is sort of like saying "This is your bedroom", when it's not your dog's bedroom... it's your living room. That is YOUR space, and because your dog is still young, I'd advise you to be careful that she doesn't make it hers. Once you uncrate her, even if she has her own bed out there, chances are you're going to wake up to her sleeping on your couch. I would agree that the crate should be in your bedroom, but you've already stated that you want her sleeping in the living room, which is why I disagreed in my above reply. If that's where you want her, then I commit to my last comment.

I'd also read studies that explain why sharing your bedroom but not your bed, is important. "This is my room, this is my bed, and that is YOUR bed". My dog has a bed on the floor of my room, at the foot of my bed, and he will sometimes come and check if I'm awake by very gently sniffing my face or arm. If I pretend that I'm sleeping (he doesn't touch me hard enough to wake me up), he'll walk right back over to his bed and lay down until I wake up. And he will NOT get out of his bed until I say "good morning".

Spirit
January 15th, 2007, 10:00 PM
oops, double post (edited above).

:)

jayner
January 16th, 2007, 06:19 PM
Thank you so much everyone for your advice...

Spirit: I do not give her any attention at all once she's crated (or even before that to reduce the separation anxiety). In fact, her crate is in the basement where she does a lot of playing and could easily be considered her home - our basement BTW, is fully furnished and very cozy, don't get the wrong idea!

I admit I will try some of these other suggestions first, but I may end up putting her in my bedroom if I have no other choice... oh well....

Spirit
January 16th, 2007, 06:27 PM
As cozy as it is, she could just be lonely. Is she the only one down there? Is it dark? TV or radio on? Please don't take offense, but don't forget that dogs are pack animals and don't always do well on their own (especially puppies).

jayner
January 16th, 2007, 06:43 PM
No offense taken... I leave the lights on for her and the radio is always on with classical music.

4thedogs
January 16th, 2007, 07:16 PM
Leave her where she is, she will get used to it. If she quiets down within 20 minutes that is still in normal range. It is possible that someone has given her a response for her barking at least once. I understand you are not talking to her but be careful you also don't look at her once she is in, just untl she gets used to it as that is a form of attention equal to talking or touching. I would continue to leave the radio on but I would turn the lights off and turn on a night light. Exercise, feed, water, washroom before sending to bed. Cover all your bases before she is placed in the crate.

Spirit
January 16th, 2007, 10:12 PM
Exercise, feed, water, washroom before sending to bed. Cover all your bases before she is placed in the crate.

I can't stress this enough. A good walk/run, training session (followed by play) before bed can really help. A tired dog, is a good dog. ;)

t.pettet
January 16th, 2007, 10:27 PM
I think she's trying to tell you how much she hates being in the basement in her crate and feeling lonely. I don't understand why you have isolated her? I have 2 dogs that are crated overnight but they're right beside my bed.

jesse's mommy
January 17th, 2007, 04:55 AM
I'm with you t.pettet. Dogs need to be part of the pack. I know some people don't agree with it, but our dog is welcome on our bed at any time. And because she does this, it does not mean that she thinks she is the pack leader, she is just part of the pack. She knows the command "off" when we don't want her up there. But the point is, she knows she's part of the pack. Your dog is lonely and needs to be welcomed in to your family. :shrug:

Spirit
January 17th, 2007, 11:38 AM
I STRONGLY agree that dogs should not be left alone to sleep in a different room, but this is where jayner said she wants her dog to sleep.

Please reconcider about allowing your dog to sleep in your room, Jayner. At least until she's an adut. Even with humans you wouldn't expect an infant to be comfortable all by itself... we wait until the child is a toddler before giving them their own rooms and teaching them how to sleep alone.

Jayner: At 5 months old, seperation anxiety is a pretty big deal, and if she's that unhappy sleeping alone, then you could be creating more problems for when she's older.

My advice? Get a second dog for her to sleep with (a real one, not a stuffed one), or move her into your room. If you want to remove seperation anxiety, do it during the day, for short periods of time, but please concider sharing your room until she's older.

Regarding the "on the bed" thing (as to not confuse with my last comment), I will sometimes invite my dog onto my bed for short cuddle times before bed or in the morning, but he knows that this is my bed, and he is (under NO circumstance) NOT allowed on it without my permission. If he wants up, he will sit nicely on the floor, and put one paw on my bed. He is VERY aware that this is MY bed, and I will not share it for sleep, nor is he allowed to take naps on it at will. When he is older, I will allow him to share it more often, but I have to remind myself that even though he's so well behaved, he's still only 12 months old. At that age, it's very easy to "untrain" or mistakenly reinforce bad behavior.

Pack leaders don't share their bed, food, and often even playtime is regulated by them. Some people allow their dogs (puppies) to sleep with them, or sleep/cuddle on your couch. If you have established alpha status, and you're not experiencing any other behavior or dominance issues, I say go for it. It DOES create a stronger bond with your pet, but by doing so, you're also saying "You're my equal", and that's something you should never tell a puppy. Adults know better... puppies do not.

Sorry if I'm overstepping. I strongly disagree with forcing a young puppy to sleep alone, but I'm sure there are others here (myself included) who are willing to help, if that's where you insist she needs to sleep.

OntarioGreys
January 17th, 2007, 07:23 PM
I work an 8 hour day, so the dogs are alone when I am not home, when I am home the dogs enjoy my company, and all 4 pile into my bedroom to sleep when I sleep even my fosters had their crate in my bedroom. As others mentioned dog are pack animals in a wild pack the pack all sleep in the same den, when the adults are not off hunting, they spending their time with the youngsters, this helps with teaching communication and pack structure, only time a pup is isolated and ignored for a short period is as a form of discipline. When you leave the house and the pup is alone, it is as though you have gone off the hunt, but isolating when you are home you are sending a message that the pup has been bad eventually ignoring the pup when it is around for bad behaviour or when you want it to stop doing something no longer becomes an effective training tool, the isolated dog will have more behaviour issues, since it needs to be around its pack to learn structure and how to behave in an appropriate manner which helps to develop a strong sense of self confidence and a greater willingness to please, so it will less likely develop SA. Dogs that have SA already have insecurity issues and are not comfortable with their position in the pack, so what you are doing by isolating is actually setting up a dog to be insecure.

2 of my dogs get to sleep on my bed, by itself it will not have them challenging me for the alpha role, they know they have been invited up and also know they can be told to get off. If I had young children say under the age of 7 who might want to crawl into "my" bed in the middle of the night would be a different story as then I would to need to reserve the bed space for the children to help show the dogs the children have higher rank in the pack then they do, with a young pup that was raised around the child and has learned already that the child ranks higher than it is possible for the dog and child to share couch or bed space, but the ground should be laid first and special care should be taken taken thru the pups "teenage" period where if it is going challenge it may try at that time

Angie J
January 19th, 2007, 10:17 AM
You probably chose the basement for a reason that suites your familys lifestyle. You have made it clear that you don't WANT the dog in your room.

So don't.

4/5 months is old enough to sleep on it's own. Does it have a favorite stuffie toy? Does it need a bone to keep it's mind off of your absence (that was my dogs distraction)? Some people have Doggie vidios (I've never used one). Perhaps others here have more suggestion in that area.

Your dog will adjust unless there is some underlying problem. Unless it starts to escalate, keep at it!

Angie J

Spirit
January 19th, 2007, 10:55 AM
If I had young children say under the age of 7 who might want to crawl into "my" bed in the middle of the night would be a different story as then I would to need to reserve the bed space for the children to help show the dogs the children have higher rank in the pack then they do

This is a really great example of pack leadership. In the wild, the pack has one leader, and everyone else is equal to each other. In a household, the pack leaders are the humans. There could be one "alpha", but all humans rank higher in the pack. So long as this structure is stable, there should be no problems, even if you have multiple dogs.

tenderfoot
January 19th, 2007, 04:30 PM
I have to admit that I have not read every entry in detail. Just thought I would interject our take on this and see if you think it makes sense.

The pack sleeps together - often touching. The whole idea of the 'alpha' being physically higher is not social as much as it is awareness on his part to keep the pack safe (he can see further along the horizon from higher up). We are higher in rank than our dogs, and our pack of 5 (the sub-pack) has its own leader. We all sleep in bed together and it does nothing to damage our leadership and only serves to bond us more closely. Yes, we have a king sized bed - because of the dogs.

If you are up for it we encourage you to have your dog in the bed with you. It is a great opportunity for bonding - especially for young pups. If, however, the dog becomes possessive of the bed it is not the bed that caused the problem it is your relationship that is out of balance and the bed is merely the symptom.

If you don't want your dog in your bed he at least belongs in an adults room. Pack members are not ostracized from the pack for sleeping, and a young pup would not be left to himself. Leaving him alone can create insecurities, or too much independence. He cries - no one is with him, and he then learns no one is keeping him safe so he becomes generally insecure (no leader) OR becomes independent and disconnected because he learns he is the only one he can count on.

I am not saying cater to his whining. I am saying set him up for success. When it is nap time - lay beside the crate for a little bit until he settles down. Ignore him and act like you are taking a nap too. He might complain for a bit but you say strong and he will settle down. Then you can quietly sneak away. This is just in the beginning to get him used to the idea - like helping a fidgety child learn to relax. Try to make the crate a very happy place - treats and toys happen in the crate and as he adjusts you can become more nonchalant about putting him in and walking away - a matter of days not weeks.

Reality is he is going to need his people at some point (diarrhea in the middle of the night) and if you are not there to help him he will become very stressed and possibly have to soil his crate. This sets him up for failure. He also learns that no one is watching out for him.

So make it simple and easy for everyone. Teaching takes time and patience on your part, but lets be fair to the little one too and set him up for success.

H.P.
January 19th, 2007, 08:21 PM
Until Sydney got used to the crate, I would stick my hand in through the door, until she settled down and went to sleep, usually with her head in my hand, then I would just slide my hand out. after a while, I went to just sticking my fingers in, petting her with them, or letting her lick them until she drifted off. Now when I tell her it is bed time she goes straight to her crate, waits for her bedtime snack, then lays down.

All that being said, her crate is in the room with me, and some nights, she is allowed in the bed (by invitation only).

jayner
February 7th, 2007, 01:34 PM
I just wanted to update you all. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and helpful advice. Due to the overwhelming response from people advocating for having the crate in the bedroom, we have done just that. Of course, the barking has subsided even though I do have to sleep with my little one in the same room :sad: I suppose this is part of having a puppy... making concessions; I am certain this won't be the last!

Thanks again, this site is only as good as it's contributors and it's obvious that you all are very dedicated and loving petowners who value sharing your knowledge with others!

itscindy
February 21st, 2007, 01:32 AM
Hi Jayner,
I just joined today to find some solutions for my 14week old Schnoodle's separation anxiety and came across your post. I was shocked to see the photo of your dog...she looks a lot like mine. I wonder if the schnauzer/poodle cross demonstrates this anxiety often? I'd love to communicate with you to see if there are behaviour similarities...it might help explain a few things!

Does your dog eat her own poo too? Ewww! :yuck:

How has the crate training been going since your last post?
Cindy

we3beagles
February 21st, 2007, 05:54 PM
I would suggest not moving her crate. Putting the crate near you isn't a bad idea, but if your dog is barking because she WANTS to be near you (likely the case), then you're giving her exactly what she wants (hense creating a bigger problem).




I just wanted to comment on this quickly.

Where your dog sleeps is up to the pack leader. Pack leaders NEVER share their bed, but to tell your dog to sleep in the living room (or wherever), is sort of like saying "This is your bedroom", when it's not your dog's bedroom... it's your living room. That is YOUR space, and because your dog is still young, I'd advise you to be careful that she doesn't make it hers. Once you uncrate her, even if she has her own bed out there, chances are you're going to wake up to her sleeping on your couch. I would agree that the crate should be in your bedroom, but you've already stated that you want her sleeping in the living room, which is why I disagreed in my above reply. If that's where you want her, then I commit to my last comment.

I'd also read studies that explain why sharing your bedroom but not your bed, is important. "This is my room, this is my bed, and that is YOUR bed". My dog has a bed on the floor of my room, at the foot of my bed, and he will sometimes come and check if I'm awake by very gently sniffing my face or arm. If I pretend that I'm sleeping (he doesn't touch me hard enough to wake me up), he'll walk right back over to his bed and lay down until I wake up. And he will NOT get out of his bed until I say "good morning".

The above statement is indeed true if you have a dominant dog. If you have a dog who knows thier place in the pack sharing your bed is perfectly fine and does in fact strengthen the bond between you and your animals. Pack leaders do assign sleeping places, but that does not necessarily mean they can't sleep in the bed. You should be able to move the dog without him or her getting riled up or else they should be sleeping in their own bed. Also, none of my dogs move until I get out of bed. They all snuggle happily until I am ready to get up and let them out and feed them. Even my 12 year old incontinant Polly Pocket.
If you do want your dog to sleep in a crate it really depends on what kind of dog you have. Some dogs do like to be a bit more independant from their humans and some cannot stand to be seperated from any part of their pack. Seperating these dogs from you can lead to certain behavioral issues stemming from them feeling like you are not part of their pack.