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New Puppy Help! Crate Fit!

May 13th, 2008, 03:00 PM

I just got my first puppy 2 days ago. She is very young (almost 8 weeks) and cute and beautiful. Most things are going very well.

Except closing the crate.

She views her crate as a place to rest, which is great. She goes there on her own sometimes when she needs a nap.
And she's never messed in it.
Also we feed her in there, and we randomly put a treat in the back for her to find when she enters
She seems to like her crate a great deal when she needs a bed..

But when that door is shut it's a different story.

It'd be alright if she just pawed and whined as the books/articles I've read said she would. It's heartbreaking but I could handle it at least - everything I've read has said "they'll do this. Put up with it for a while, if it doesn't stop after ~15 minutes say 'NO' firmly, and she should stop."

The problem I'm having is that's not what's happening. About half the time she goes into her crate, she is tired enough that she just goes to sleep. If she's asleep (or almost alseep) she doesn't mind having the door closed at all.

If she's not sleepy though, she starts whining. Then yipping. Then sort of barking. After about 2 minutes she's throwing a full blown FIT. I mean, she's really freaking out - not anything like the books/articles I've read talked about. She's really going crazy trying to get out of that thing, and I think she's really and truly scared because we're not with her.

She has a couple of toys in there that she likes during the day, and a chew bone.

Sometimes she'll calm down a bit if I go sit in front of her crate so she can see me through the grate, but even if it does she just gets right back up to full-on fit in a couple of minutes if I don't let her out.

At night we put the crate next to our bed. She will whine if she needs to go out, which is great! If she starts to whine when we put her back in, it's because she feels alone and she wants to be reassured that we're there. I read that we should leave her alone and let her whine for ~10-15 minutes, and if it isn't stopping to put my fingers in through the crate. This does the trick it seems, but I don't want to be doing this the rest of my life.

I'm trying really hard NOT to
a) come to her when she's whining, and I NEVER let her out of her crate when she's whining.and
b) not be too firm/scary when trying to calm her down. I read that this is a 'fear imprint' time for her, and if I scare her too much she'll be messed up when she's older.

With that said, every time this happens I try to start off using a comforting voice and work my way up to a big voice - and she never seems to respond unless I use a really big voice. A voice I would certainly not like to use in front of company.

I just have no experience to draw on here. I'm well read on the topic I think, I just can't seem to sort out what the best course of action is here.

I'm sure you can all agree, we need to be able to put her in her crate so we can shower/etc without her chewing everything in sight or peeing on the floor or getting into something dangerous. It's a safe place to put her for her, and for our stuff, for when guests come, for when we're cleaning spills, etc.

Is she too young to be 'alone' in a crate like this?
Am I expecting too much for her to find a way to settle in the crate?
Is she manipulating me with her whining/fit-throwing?
Should I be worried that she might hurt herself in one of these fits? (I am)
Should I be worried I'm going to scar her by being too forceful with verbal corrections? (I am)

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


May 13th, 2008, 03:34 PM
HI and welcome to the site first. Looking forward to seeing pictures and getting to know you.

I'd say you are going to have to remember ( although she is adorable, sweet, and your fur baby) she is a dog. She needs to learn and although I know it may be hard for you, she really is going to be fine in her crate. I have found that dogs are a lot like kids and will test and learn what they can do to get their way. If you stay strong you will both benifit in the long run.

Not much of a gambler but I bet if you can stick to your guns and do this for like 4 days in a row. ( put her in when your showering, or while you are eatting, or just for some 30 min time outs now and again say 4 times durring the day). You will find that she will understand that when you are ready you will allow her/him out. Good luck stay strong and look forward to getting to know you and your fur baby.

May 13th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Hi there

I hear you, the first time we ever used a crate was exactly as you describe it. We even phone the breeder after a couple of days ( a lot of good that did) We even took turn sleepling on with our hand in the cage for the cage for the first couple of weeks.

Eventually, things did quiet down, but like you we never thought it would. Sounds like you are doing everything right. Remember what Reality said it is a dog. The dog will survive but will you. Of course you will, we did and have had many more dogs which we had to crate train. It is the best method for the dog, as it will help them not to not create bad habits like chewing furniture etc.

Also in the end they may even like their crate..

Hang in there:pray::pray:

P.S. Don't they look like an :angel: when they are sleeping.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.

May 15th, 2008, 11:37 AM
One of the hardest dogs to crate train was a mini dachshund I had. After experiencing all the same things as you--I finally resorted to what a breeder told me to do. After being sure the pup was comfortable and had no need to eliminate, I put the crate out in the car in the garage at night. I couldn't hear her. I did that for the recommended three nights in a row, 6 hrs for a 4 mth old pup. The fourth night I put the crate back in the house in the living room where I wanted it to be available for naps as well as all other times it was needed, including overnight. I followed up with never going to the crate if she whined--only when she was quiet, and I never had a problem after that, and she would go up to 10 hrs with no sound and no mess, as an adult. She loved her crate, if I moved it, she would leap to try and get in to go wherever it went.
I am certain folks will think that barbaric--but I loved that dog, and to keep peace in the family, and keep my dog, I did it. It worked. Dogs since have been much easier to crate train, but each is an individual.

May 15th, 2008, 02:15 PM
i'd try desensitizing to it. close the door for a second or 2. reward dog (with door closed). close door for 10 seconds, reward dog. work up to 30 seconds, 1 min, 2 min.... etc... all the while you need to reward the dog w/ the door closed. you want the dog to learn that the closed door = positive (treats, praise). this will take time, but since your pup is so young, she'll learn.

try using a high value reward - Solid Gold jerky training treats are GREAT stuff, it comes in squares that are easily broken into tiny half or quarter pieces, perfect for a small puppy. (and Solid Gold jerky training treats are good quality treats, not alot of junk in them) one bag will last A LONG time. it can be found at a high end pet supply shop.

what type of pup?

May 21st, 2008, 09:16 PM
Try putting in an old Tshirt that will smell like you. It works wonders. This way, they will always feel like you are around. You can also try covering your crate with a blanket. It can help make it feel more like their own den. Other than that, you are doing everything right. Every dog is different.

May 21st, 2008, 10:15 PM
Good advice up above :) Just want to say hang in there....Chase howled when his crate door was closed until about 10-11 weeks....but we were just persistent and when it got better, it was hard to believe he had been that awful before! It will pass....but I know it just breaks your heart :sad:

I used a hot water bottle wrapped in a shirt I had been wearing and a ticking clock right beside the crate at night....helped a little bit I think.

May 21st, 2008, 10:23 PM
A more specific answer:

Is she too young to be 'alone' in a crate like this? She'll be fine for reasonable periods of time.

Am I expecting too much for her to find a way to settle in the crate? It'll take some time.

Is she manipulating me with her whining/fit-throwing? Probably! But it will pass when she learns it doesn't work.

Should I be worried that she might hurt herself in one of these fits? (I am) No, just make sure she's only got good-quality safe toys and isn't wearing a collar in there.

Should I be worried I'm going to scar her by being too forceful with verbal corrections? (I am) From personal experience, I didn't really correct Chase to try to avoid negaiove associations with the crate....I went with ignoring.

May 27th, 2008, 04:07 PM
This question I believe fits into this section. I picked up my puppy finally this past Sunday its a wonderful experience, I have been reading books about puppy training and they suggested to put the crate by your bed, and when he whines and not right I might add to tell that puppy that they are okay and the only time that I do take him out of his crate is when he isn't settling down and I take him out to use the puppy pad and then he goes right back in. I also found out that putting a clock that ticks in there worked for him to. Am I doing it right or should I try something else. The first night he woke up about 4 times and last night he woke up only once, so to me it seems to work.

May 27th, 2008, 04:22 PM
Put a unwashed shirt belonging to you, in with him so he can smell you on it and calm him down.. Make sure he has lots of toys to keep him occupied. Dont leave him in there too long! Good luck with the pooche! Is he a calaveir king charles spaniel? (sorry its probably spelled wrong)

May 27th, 2008, 04:36 PM
Partly he's a yorkie-poo/king shih. I know both parents were mixed breed themselves. I have read up on all the breeds to kinda get te characteristics of each but both parents were really sweet dogs so hopefully king will grow up to be a good dog with alot of training

May 28th, 2008, 04:16 AM
King slept all night not a peep. I put a t-shirt in there last night and heard him when my alarm went off. Way to go King.