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Crate Training in an Apartment

608 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  DSoar32
Hi everyone,

We're first time dog owners and recently adopted a sweet Australian Cattle Dog/Beagle mix from a nearby shelter - he's a little over 2 years old and hasn't had any training. Despite being a cattle dog mix, he's a relatively mellow, super sweet little guy.

Unfortunately, he's got some anxiety and is having trouble acclimating to his crate in the apartment - we've had him for a bit over two weeks now.

On the crate:

When we first brought him home, we started crate training the right way. He got treats when he went into the crate on his own. After some first night anxiety, he was completely content with sleeping quietly in the crate. He spent a good chunk of the day in there. We'd leave him in while we were working, then take him out every two hours or so to go outside, play, and learn some commands - he was quiet most of the time.

Since he was doing so well, we decided to allow him out a bit more during the day. He's been out roaming around, but still would go in and out of his crate at his own leisure with the door open and nap in there for an hour or so at a time.

In recent days, he's been whining and barking uncontrollably at night - something he did not do last week. Two nights ago, he whined immediately after we put him in for the night. I took him outside (knowing that he didn't need to go because he went in immediately before going in) and took him directly back upstairs and he went back in the crate. He went to sleep after that.

Last night, he did the same whining and barking, so I took him outside again and put him back in the crate, but he continued. We had to sit directly outside the crate to keep him from barking until he tired himself out and went to sleep. We've been sleeping right next to the crate because he doesn't like when he can't see us.

We don't know what to do because we live on the 4th floor of a 5 story apartment building and have neighbors to the left, right, above, below, and down the hall that I'm assuming can hear him because he gets very, very loud. Ignoring him is not really an option at midnight. We're not sure if we gave too much freedom too early or if he got too used to being with us all the time and does not want to be left crated at night, but we cannot continue having him bark so late at night. Any input is greatly appreciated.

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I don't think it's that you gave him too much freedom, but more that he is not so happy in the crate as you thought. I'm going to attach a guide to crate training which is quite a long read, but is the best one I have seen - it was written by Emma Judson who is a behaviourist who specialises in separation anxiety.

Does he stop the barking when he can see you? If you are sleeping right by the crate, does it have to be shut - would you hear him anyway if he were to move? D you actually need a crate at all?

But - please don't leave him to cry. Apart from the problem for your neighbours, the dogs that stop don't do it because they suddenly realise that everything is ok, they do it because they have given up hope that you will come to help them. It is an extreme example but in trauma victims it is the silent ones who are most damaged. This article explains more.

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