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Please help!

My 14 week old Newfoundland/Bernese Mountain Dog mix is a sweet boy (when he wants to be) but he is driving me crazy! He wanders into his crate by himself, and will even stay in there for extended periods of time (even if I am not in the room) but the second I try to close the gate and crawl into my own bed (or leave the room to go out for very short periods of time, never more than 2 hours) a switch flips and he gets very distressed. He loses control of his bladder/bowels and will jump around throwing himself at the side of the crate. I am very afraid he is going to injure himself physically, and very worried that I am causing undue mental issues! I tried a couple nights sleeping on the ground next to him and he was okay with that, but it killed my back. I also need to be able to leave him in the crate when I leave until he is potty trained. Has anyone had a similar issue or have any advice?
 

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Please help!

My 14 week old Newfoundland/Bernese Mountain Dog mix is a sweet boy (when he wants to be) but he is driving me crazy! He wanders into his crate by himself, and will even stay in there for extended periods of time (even if I am not in the room) but the second I try to close the gate and crawl into my own bed (or leave the room to go out for very short periods of time, never more than 2 hours) a switch flips and he gets very distressed. He loses control of his bladder/bowels and will jump around throwing himself at the side of the crate. I am very afraid he is going to injure himself physically, and very worried that I am causing undue mental issues! I tried a couple nights sleeping on the ground next to him and he was okay with that, but it killed my back. I also need to be able to leave him in the crate when I leave until he is potty trained. Has anyone had a similar issue or have any advice?
Hi!

Sounds like your pup is a bit dramatic! lol. Anyway I would try feeding him in the crate and closing the gate at the same time. Do it in another room away from you, and coming back shortly to let him out. Before he gets to being upset so you can reward when he is calm. Try to create a positive association with you closing that door and coming back. So you could try having a small treat with you when you come back after the feeding.

Also give chew toys in there, like a bully stick or a hoof, and close the door behind him. Make sure you don't stay in the room. He should be more focused on something like a bully stick than being dramatic about you closing the door. Try to come back and reward only when pup is calm and you are opening the door.

Also try going for short walks or playing a lot before trying to leave them. They will put up more of a fight and be more dramatic if they have the energy for it. If you can achieve leaving them in there calm when you close the door and leave, and with less energy, that is the key. Then it will be fine for them to wait for you.
 

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Before I discovered Crate Games (which I highly recommend, I'm sure that's why my dogs love their crate, and have amazing sit stays), I used to do this with my Aussie: Around his meal times I would take his bowl, put his food in it, put it in the crate, and close the door (with him outside the crate). He was super desperate to get in the crate since that's where his food was. I would let him in, close the door, and wait for him to finish. After he was done eating, but before he started whining, I opened the door and let him out. After doing this for about a week, three times a day, he had lots of value for his crate. I also upped the ante by giving him a frozen or stuffed Kong to keep him busy. Now he RACES to his crate when he hears "Crate" and is quiet and happy inside it.

Stay positive and patient, crate training takes some time. :)
 
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