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Crate Hate

845 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  forgotten
We have a 5 month old Mini Dachshund named Oliver. We have had Oliver for about 6 weeks, and he's been doing great on most fronts, including crate training! The typical whining for a few minutes at night time quickly turned into going to sleep. However, recently this past week, he started to regress. There have been a few nights where he gets into this frantic barking and just wont stop. He will go for an hour or more. When I've finally given in and gone down to let him outside, he'll go to the bathroom. After calming down for a few minutes while I hold him, He goes back into his crate and sleeps.

Am i don't anything wrong? How do I help him to self-soothe when he gets into the frantic barking? Should I leave him for longer?

I am starting to work with him more during the day - treats to go in, and come out of crate on command. Leaving him in there for short periods of time while I'm still at home, etc.

Anything else I should consider? Please help!! My wife and I would LOVE a full night's sleep.

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No, definitely not. If he is agitated, the crate won't be the happy place you need it to be, and you risk poisoning it altogether. Dogs that stop barking often do it because the are giving up, not because they suddenly realise everything is ok. Think trauma victims - it's an extreme example but the silent ones are most damaged.

Leaving dogs to 'cry it out' is old fashioned advice - see this for an explanation.

For the crate, we have an excellent guide here.

Thanks for the great information and tips!
Your description reminds me a bit of kids who have to pee as soon as they're packed into the car - no matter how many times you ask if they need the washroom before you depart.

Have you tried pre-empting the barking phase by putting him in the crate for a few minutes to get him in the right frame of mind, then letting him out to pee before he asks loudly?
Thanks! Ya, We've been able to do that a few times. THe problem is that sometimes he'll start the barking just minutes after going outside, and then being put in his crate. Unfortunately, his barking is now rarely meaning potty...
Ok - Some good news - I think. I left today for about 45 minutes. I set up a phone on facetime to watch him. He whimpered for about 30 seconds, and then went to sleep and didn't make a peep the whole time I was gone.

So, it seems that his only time of real anxiety is when he knows we're in the house, but just in a different room or upstairs...
And at night, which is a scarier time. Is there any way you could have the crate in your room for a bit? It doesn't have to be forever, but it would let you reassure him and settle him. Once he is doing better, you can gradually move him back downstairs, by a foot or two at a time with two or three nights in each new spot.
thanks - ya, I've read the suggestions that say that. I guess it's hard to know, because I've read other suggestions that advise against it.
Success! I hesitated to try this, but everywhere I was reading recommended putting his crate in our room... So, we did. At first, it was rough for a few minutes, but then I laid down on the floor next to his crate and offered a, "it's ok" every few minutes. Quickly, he quieted down and went to sleep. I got up 2 times for potty breaks in the night, followed by a few minutes of laying next to the crate... and it seems to work!

Now, hopefully after a few nights of "shhh-shing" he'll be able to do it without that... we shall see.
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