Bedtime crate advise! 8 week old pup

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by guzcaster, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. guzcaster

    guzcaster Registered Users

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    Hi
    After our first few nights with our new pup we are looking for advise on crating at night. As a side note we have been following the advise of getting him used to the crate downstairs during the day (placing toys, treats etc with door open). That’s where we eventually want him to go but at night we again followed the advise to have his crate next to our bed.
    First two nights went well, probably novelty of new house, new people, lots to explore. We put him in a crate next to the bed and when whimpering we put our hand to see if he stopped or if restless took him out. That went well and to be honest we’re currently not having potty issues. 3rd night he whimpered and whined periodically still in the crate, again we soothed him and that was ok but more whimpering than normal.
    4th day and night. During the 4th day we tried closing the door on him in the crate in the downstairs location for around 20 minutes but he howled and woofed very loudly with no break so difficult to follow the “let him out while he’s quiet” advise. We did eventually let him out. Looking at other posts looks like we over did it.
    That 4th night with his crate back by our bed he would not settle at all and howled and woofed and would not stop even when we tried to sooth him by stroking him through the top of the crate. We let him out when there was a break from the yellping but he was never truly quiet. That was after 45mins When he fell asleep again we placed him back in and again he woke up and started woofing/yelping etc. We tried him downstairs but this made it worse. By 2am our solution was to just let him sleep where he collapsed in our bedroom, generally by the bed. He whimpered once or twice but slept well till we woke him for breakfast. No mess no fuss!

    However, we want to be able to put him in a create downstairs to counter the destructive stage, times we need to go out etc. So that’s our challenge! Our confusion is the difference between day crate training and night crate training. There is A LOT of advise about day crating...softly softly approach, not spending too much time in it during the first week etc. but then all of a sudden from day 1 he’s expected to spend around 3 hours in the dark in a crate with the door closed! Confused? I would be if I was a 8 week old dog.

    Are there any alternatives for night crating? Playpen setup? Or making him feel more comfortable and settled during the night in the crate? We want really make this work so we’re open to all suggestions.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    I'm never quite sure why new owners think there should be no noise when crate-training. Of course there's going to be noise - the puppy needs to make noise, to learn that it doesn't work. And you need to be more strong-willed than they are, in resisting it.

    You don't say where you were, when you did this. It's important that you were sitting right next to him, right up against the crate. Give him a Kong. Ensure he is sleepy, has been out somewhere interesting and new and is ready for a nap. Work on your ipad or laptop sitting right by the crate and ignore all noise - put headphones or earphones in if necessary.

    Remain at that point until he accepts it and goes in there and doesn't make noise (or is quickly quiet). I really can't stress that enough. It's something you need to be practising over and over again, throughout the day, in repeated sessions of him being crated.

    I'm afraid you just have to ignore this.

    It is very important that the puppy learns that his noise is not going to result in him being let out. He may sound incredibly loud and have a tantrum in there, but if you are right next to the crate and he knows that, he is not experiencing separation anxiety or abandonment - he is simply requesting very loudly that he would like to get out. Your job is to teach him that doesn't work. If you keep giving in and letting him out when he makes noise too long/too loud/too [whatever], then you are only reinforcing him for making noise that long and that loudly. He will learn that he must make noise for 45 minutes because if he does, he gets let out after 45 minutes...

    Sorry to say it but there's no shortcut and you really do have to be quite firm and boundaried about it. As long as you are sitting right by the crate, you need to repeatedly crate him (in different sessions throughout the day, not immediately right after each session...) until you see that he is getting the message and learning this.

    Why? Don't you lie in your bed and not move for 8 hours every night? Wouldn't you go stir crazy if you were expected to lie in your bed all day for 8 hours?

    Dogs sleep at night, even when older and out of the crate they will rarely move other than to resettle themselves in a different position. Whether they are in a crate or not, makes no difference in terms of welfare issues at night - meanwhile it keeps your house clean of dog mess and prevents things getting trashed if a dog gets an idea in the night...

    I think you're overthinking things and being waaayyy too lenient. Have you thought about why you had 3 relatively good nights of sleep - then on night 4 started not to...? It's not a coincidence that occurred after you crated him in the day and 'eventually let him out' when he made noise for too long. He learnt it is possible to get let out, if you make a lot of noise. You taught him that, in the day. You also taught him how amazing it is to be out of the crate at night and in bed with owners, so he now knows what an amazing reward lies in wait if he can just make noise for long enough....
     
    guzcaster, Saffy/isla and Tokalosh like this.
  3. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

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    Hi,I know it's really really hard listening to your pup crying but I think you need to start again with crate training. Jo Laurens advice is so good, especially the head phones,I wish I'd thought of that!

    I would keep the crate next to your bed until your pup is sleeping all night happily before even considering moving it.

    Good luck, it does get easier
     
  4. Shannon Murray

    Shannon Murray Registered Users

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    Hey!
    This is the steps I followed for night time crating, hope this helps:

    I slept on the couch next to my puppy's crate for the first week of him being home. When he cried or whimpered I would let him out for the toilet but tried not to make a fuss over him so he would learn night time wasn't playtime! If he still cried when I put him back in, I would lie directly next to the crate and try to soothe him or just lie on the couch with my hand next to it. Most of the time, he would soon go back to sleep for another couple of hours until he needed the toilet again. Sleeping next to him for the week helped me learn which times of the night he would need to do the toilet, so I started setting alarms for 5 minutes BEFORE he would need to go, and I would let him out before the crying /whimpering even started.

    After a few nights, he seemed a lot more settled and he cried less and less. I went back to my own room after a week but I would still set alarms for times of the night he would most likely go to the toilet. It got to the point after a couple of weeks I would go downstairs to let him out and he wouldn't even bother and just stayed asleep! He was soon able to sleep from 11pm to 7am in the morning without crying throughout the night (he would still cry in the morning though sometimes because he would be desperate for a pee).

    We also tried to have a good play with him at nighttime to make sure he was extra tired an hour before he was put in his crate and took away his water bowl about 1/2 hours before bedtime.

    Hope this helps, and good luck with your new puppy! It gets easier!

     
  5. guzcaster

    guzcaster Registered Users

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    Thank you to everyone for their replies....its been another 2 weeks and we have done everything suggested and are doing well during the day....he always carries on and barks and howls.....but eventually gives up, at night though he will not settle even after 4 hours with us next to the crate doing everything you all suggested - so he’s currently sleeping in a puppy playpen in our bedroom - this is working....hope to try night crating again soon as eventually I do want him out of the bedroom....he’s sleeping 11-6 with no breaks so not too bad with that
    He’s so different from our last lab puppy with the crate - that one would happily go in at night and not during the day.....he’s doing well otherwise though leaning basic commands and is such a sweet boy! He’s quite funny on his “walks” he won’t do a wee unless we are at home in the garden....
     
  6. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Puppies should always be crated in the bedroom until they are happy and content at night.
     

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