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Crate training is not going well

June 2nd, 2008, 01:56 AM
Hi folks,

I'm hoping someone can help me out here, because I'm at a complete loss!

We brought our Lhasa Apso puppy home at the age of 10 weeks. We noticed immediately that she did not like being left alone (alone meaning, us being just out of sight) and would cry and even howl until she could see us again.

I decided to take crate training slowly, and so I introduced her to it by putting treats in the back, closing it for five minutes at a time and letting her out only when she wasn't whining/crying/barking. I've put a heart tones player in the crate, as well as a warm bottle of water in a towel. She is fine in the crate so long as my fingers are in there with her, otherwise, she will go absolutely frantic.

Well, after a week of having her sleep on my bed with the crate door open and my arm inside (omg it's like having a newborn again! lol), we decided that we needed to try to let her cry it out. It really was our last resort, I've been working hard with her to enjoy her crate....but it just isn't happening. :(

So on Saturday night we tired her out before bed, and gave her a product called "Calm Stress" (couldn't find RR). She cried/howled/barked for 25 minutes straight, and then went quiet. Off and on through the night she would wake up, or hear us and start all over again, but for the most part she would settle.

Last night we repeated the process, but this time gave her a walk before bed.

She cried all night. ALL night. Hardly a 30 minute break in there, aside for her potty break. Getting her back in the crate was brutal.

I know that sometimes it gets worse before it gets better...and I'm hoping that that is what last night was....but I have a feeling she is just too afraid to be alone! She is still crying when we leave a room. We cannot confine her to the kitchen because she will bark/cry constantly and get progressively louder. Since we now allow her to have the main level to roam, she does much better, though we have to take her to potty every 20 minutes to avoid pee puddles. At least she feels some control and can follow us if we leave the room.

She will also cry if my son or daughter leave the room, even though she is sitting on my lap. It just seems to be more than a puppy who misses their littermates and momma. :confused:

Do you think that I'm correct in assuming she has some severe issues with separation?

Luckily I run a home daycare. She gets a TON of attention from the children and myself throughout the day, and I'm able to be there for her during the day. Honestly, if I worked full-time outside the home, she would be an even worse mess!

Please, if you have any suggestions, I'm open. I'm open to criticism too, if I've done something incorrectly! I've crate trained two other dogs and while one was a challenge, it wasn't nearly this difficult. I'd really like to know how to teach Molly that she is safe, even when I am not in sight.

I'm sorry if this is all disjointed and confusing, I'm exhausted!! Help!

June 2nd, 2008, 02:57 AM
Sorry...I just realized I should have posted this elsewhere! :o

June 2nd, 2008, 04:24 AM
I just recently got a rescue dog (about 1 year old) who also grew very attached to me, and would cry and whine when I left, went to another room, even when I went to bed! (he's not allowed in the bedroom)

I found being calm but firm has really helped, and making sure he is calm and lying down before I leave.
I slept on the couch the first few days, and would give a firm "lay down" everythime he paced or whined. letting him know this was not acceptable.
and when I leave the house I again use a very firm "lay down" and will not leave the house until he remains lying down, even if we have to do it over and over.
He's doing amazing now, and I rarely have any problems with whining and barking and crying. We have had him for a little over a month.

I biggest part is say what you mean and mean what you say, be very firm and very calm, you have to address the whining and crying and barking firmly. Don't ignore it, and never baby talk, or tell him "it's okay" because that just reinforces that "bad" behavior.

Keep going, you can do it, be firm and calm, and you will succeed!!

June 2nd, 2008, 05:15 AM
Thank you for your response. :)

I'm curious about the "don't ignore it" part. I am not really sure what this means. Should I stay by the crate (we had to put it in the laundry room as she was sooooo loud!) while she barks?

If she is out and about and barking, I give her a firm, "no bark" and she will stop, but that is not even remotely possible when she is in the crate. I've seriously never seen a dog go as frantic (and it isn't whining, it's all out screaming at times)...

I just hope I am not making her worse or scarring her by forcing her in overnight, but we don't have any other option..even on a pillow on the floor by my bed (we were desperate one night last week) she will bark/howl and cry to be touched.

June 2nd, 2008, 06:37 AM
WHat I meant by don't ignore it is, give her a firm but calm command, like "lay down" or "no bark" if that's what you say.
I find the more anxious and stressed and upset you get, the more the negative behavior.
So stay real calm, and be real firm in your commands, make her lay down and be quiet, and keep repeating this until she stops, I know it will take awhile and you may loose some sleep, but you will get sleep in the long run if you stick with it.

Address it right away, before she gets full blown freaking, and keep addressing it until she settles.

June 2nd, 2008, 02:45 PM
I got my puppy a week ago he will be 8 weeks on Wednesday the first three days was hard at first I had his crate beside my bed and I read to reasure everything is fine but not on every whine or cry it worked it calmed him down abit then I put a ticking alarm clock under one of his blankets and he slept for 6 and half hours that night really good the next night I added a T-shirt I have worn and he still slepts the same amount of hours I walk him before bed and feed him alittle bit before the walk he is going to bed full belly and excersied. The crate now is farther away and left open for him all day he goes in and takes his naps in there plus after his late snack and walk he goes in there on his own and I shut the door still whines alittle but for about 5 minutes. Good luck this is what I find that works for me.