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Crate Training in an Apartment

605 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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Thanks for the response.

Initially, he would start to cry in the crate when he could not see us. This happened during the day when one or both of us would leave the room for any period of time. He still does this even when he is out of the crate - though he gets distracted fairly easily.

We want to use the crate because he lived outside for most of his young life and received zero obedience training or house breaking. The confusing part is that he will go in there on his own during the day when the door is open to take a nap so long as somebody is in the room with him, but will begin whining when the lights go off and we get ready to go to sleep. We intend to have him sleep out of the crate at some point in the (probably very distant) future, but he hasn't had enough training to be left wandering without getting into trouble. At night, once he does calm down, he sleeps soundly through the night.

Update: Yesterday, we started moving back towards our routine from last week - more time in the crate and more positive encouragement to go in on his own when we're out playing or working on commands. After a short, short whining stint (20-30 seconds), we talked to him for a few moments, and he laid down and slept through the night. We're trying the same thing today.

We haven't had any success with the "ignoring" method and I don't want to use it because it feels like he simply does not want to be left alone. But, he's slept in the crate every night he's been home with us, and we sleep directly outside the crate so that he can see us through the night. Eventually, we want to start sleeping in our bedroom again, but that seems like it's weeks away.

I think the overarching issue is not wanting to be away from us. But we already are up at many points in the night to comfort him and sleep extremely close by; I'm not sure what else can be done to have him in the crate and also able to be with us.
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