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Our 12-week-old pup Mila (whom you may remember from 6 weeks ago) absolutely does not like either of her crates. She has a daytime one and a nighttime one, and she barks incessantly in each one for at least five minutes before settling down and finally going to sleep. We make sure she's gone out and had enough to eat and drink before she goes in, she has about twenty minutes of play time prior to going in, and she has her favorite toy in with her at all times, a plush squeaky bone. She used to have a bed, but she disliked it so we removed it from her crate. Any tips are greatly appreciated.

TL;DR: Our 12-moth pup barks incessantly when she's in her crate even though she has everything she needs.
 

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5 minutes of fussing, followed by settling, is perfectly "normal" and actually quite good at this age!
You are doing everything right to make sure she has had a chance to potty, exercise etc.

Do NOT respond in ANY way to her barking: neither scold nor reassure. (both of which will encourage her to keep trying to get your attention.)
This behavior should fade gradually over time if you do not do anything to reinforce it.

She's only 12 weeks. You are doing fine! :)


Same principles apply to your 12 month old. Reflect upon your own reactions to her barking. Do you tell her to stop? Do you go to her to see if she's OK? Do you ever let her out of the crate when she is barking? Do you reassure her that everything is OK?
ANYthing you do like that, will teach her to fuss in order to get your attention.

So be ABSOLUTELY sure all needs are met before crating the dogs, then walk away and don't look back! :)
 

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Glad to be of help. And remember, just because she fusses for a time, does not mean she hates the crate. Just like a child who does not want to take a nap, that does not mean the child does not like her bed. Often puppies and children just don't want the fun to stop! :)

The fact she does settle comfortably in a few minutes, means she feels safe in her crate. A dog who really does hate a crate, will panic inside it and try to chew his/her way out, may stand and shake or drool when in the crate, or may try very hard not to be put in it, and so forth.

I always give my pups a small treat when ever putting one in the crate. Usually I use a happy voice and phrase like "time for crate!" as a cue as the dog enters. This does gradually build and maintain a positive association. Also, eventually you can use the phrase as a "command" and you have what's called a "conditioned response." If you always do this with positive energy and food, the dog also has a positive "CER" or conditioned emotional response. That means when the dog hears "time for crate!" then the pup feels happy, because the whole routine is happy, and she'll cooperate by going in the crate easily. You can even practice this several times in a row when you don't need to leave the house. Just make it a fun training game. Give out lots of treats and make it fun. She'll feel even happier about the crate and the phrase.
 

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Another useful thing to do with crates is to teach the dog to sit quietly before you open the door. The way you do this is for you to simply stand still in front of the crate. If the pup fusses, just wait... don't move. After a while, the pup will try something besides fussing, to get you to open the door. If she sits and looks at you, then slowly begin to reach for the door. If she gets excited, then stop reaching for the door. Its kind of like playing "red light-green light" as a kid. What you are showing the pup is that the pup can get you to open the door, only by sitting quietly.
The first time you try this lesson, it may take 10 minutes to open the door. That's OK! The pup will have learned a lot about how to "control" your body movements. The key in this training is the way you are very careful to read the dog's body language carefully, and you don't make any progress towards opening the door unless the puppy is sitting quietly.

It usually does not take very many lessons for a pup to learn that you will only open the door when she is sitting quietly. So when you come home from work, and pup is in the crate, go up to the door and stand quietly and wait for her to settle. She will no doubt be very excited to see you and will take a few minutes to realize you won't open the door until she settles.

Doing this training will help overall with the settling in the crate thing, because it teaches the puppy that good things happen for puppies who are sitting quietly. It also teaches self control, a very useful thing for dogs (and people too!)

This type of training works best if you don't actually give a lot of "commands" about "sit!". If you feel like she is having trouble figuring out what is expected, you can say "sit" in a calm voice a couple of times and "good!" when she does so, but overall, you want her to "think this out" so she feels like she is solving the problem of how to get you to open the door. The revelation will be much more powerful for her that way.

Hope some of that makes sense.
 

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Glad to be of help. And remember, just because she fusses for a time, does not mean she hates the crate. Just like a child who does not want to take a nap, that does not mean the child does not like her bed. Often puppies and children just don't want the fun to stop! :)

The fact she does settle comfortably in a few minutes, means she feels safe in her crate. A dog who really does hate a crate, will panic inside it and try to chew his/her way out, may stand and shake or drool when in the crate, or may try very hard not to be put in it, and so forth.

I always give my pups a small treat when ever putting one in the crate. Usually I use a happy voice and phrase like "time for crate!" as a cue as the dog enters. This does gradually build and maintain a positive association. Also, eventually you can use the phrase as a "command" and you have what's called a "conditioned response." If you always do this with positive energy and food, the dog also has a positive "CER" or conditioned emotional response. That means when the dog hears "time for crate!" then the pup feels happy, because the whole routine is happy, and she'll cooperate by going in the crate easily. You can even practice this several times in a row when you don't need to leave the house. Just make it a fun training game. Give out lots of treats and make it fun. She'll feel even happier about the crate and the phrase.

Actually, whenever she's in the living room near her crate, and we're about to put her in, she digs her claws into the carpet, and tries to run away.:eek:
 

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Actually, whenever she's in the living room near her crate, and we're about to put her in, she digs her claws into the carpet, and tries to run away.:eek:
Yes, that is not unusual, and may only mean that she does not want you to leave!

Work on having her go in the crate "hands free" ...

So take the most delicious treat you can think of (bit of cooked chicken, tiny cube of cheese, small sliver of hot dog...) and toss the treat in the crate. Then you walk away, so she does not think you are going to close the door.

Do this many times over a few days. Then toss the treat in the crate and say "time for crate!" and let her go get the treat, then come out again. Repeat, repeat, practice practice.

Then do this, but close the door for a short time. Talk to her real happy while she is in the crate. Then let her out but at that point ignore her for a few minutes. (You want her to get the positives while she is in the crate, to build that association.)

And so on. I think that would give you some ways to help her be more cooperative.

One of the things about small dogs, is that humans tend to "handle" them more than large dogs. Its so easy to just pick up a small dog, or puppy, or pull her by the harness or collar, and put her in the crate, rather than teach her how to go in by herself. We would not take this "short cut" with a full sized Rottie or Shepherd. I think for small dogs/puppies, because people "make" them do stuff so much, rather than teach routines and movements, it can result in them getting more resistant to what we want them to do. That is they don't feel like they have any choices in life, so they can get grouchy in the long run.

Hope that helps!

Yes, we are all learning all the time. :)
 

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I too am struggling with my crate training with my 12 week old. However I'm not sure this is normal, as I have successfully crate trained 2 puppies in the past. My puppy started off liking it, he would cry for 5 as well then settle in,then only cry in the middle of the night if needing to go and would settle right back in after. All of a sudden starting Sunday night, he has started crying non stop, literally. He won't stop for a minute, ALL night long.
Even more odd is he will cry during the day, not as extreme, but even when he is receiving attention. He is super lazy all of a sudden, i imagine from not sleeping at all at night, very little to no interest in playing. I scheduled an appointment with the vet for tonight, however he just had his new puppy check up on Sunday and passed with flying colors.
 

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I too am struggling with my crate training with my 12 week old. However I'm not sure this is normal, as I have successfully crate trained 2 puppies in the past. My puppy started off liking it, he would cry for 5 as well then settle in,then only cry in the middle of the night if needing to go and would settle right back in after. All of a sudden starting Sunday night, he has started crying non stop, literally. He won't stop for a minute, ALL night long.
Even more odd is he will cry during the day, not as extreme, but even when he is receiving attention. He is super lazy all of a sudden, i imagine from not sleeping at all at night, very little to no interest in playing. I scheduled an appointment with the vet for tonight, however he just had his new puppy check up on Sunday and passed with flying colors.

Good for you for getting a vet apt. That is where I would start. If he checks out ok then I would be looking for reasons he might have developed a fear of the crate. Could something have happened that scared him while he was In there?

If the crate is not already in your bedroom at night, I would put it there, right next to you. Sometimes what is most scary for a poppy is being separated from his people in the dark of night..
 

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Thank you Tess! Nothing has happened, it coincidentally coincides with his new puppy check up Sunday. I had it right next to my bed, next to me still cried, I laid on the floor with it, he was a little better, for a short while then cried. Nothing at all traumatic happened with the crate, I even had him on the bed (after being let out of the crate in the morning) and he would just continue to move as if restless and whine. I had to move him out of my room last night, hated doing it but it's getting unhealthy for me, until last night I hadn't slept since 7AM the previous morning and that was only for a few hours.
He just isnt being his puppy self that he was last week, my toilet paper hanging down in the bathroom is no longer a top target neither is any of my shoes that I would forget to immediately put out of reach :)
 

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Oh dear! Both of you sound in rough shape!

I'm really glad you are taking him to the vet. I hope its nothing serious, but it certainly sounds like he is not feeling well.

Has he been eating and drinking, peeing and pooping? Has he been playful at all?
 

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Did he get a shot in his back leg last visit?
Is he lame at all?
Did he get a rabies shot?


You know what, I think it might be a good idea for you to start a thread about your puppy in the health section. You might get a reply from Holly or Mythbuster there, both of whom know a lot about medical issues.
 
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