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Hi everyone ...

We just picked up our new puppy from a shelter on Saturday. His name is Christian and he's a 2-month old JRT/sheepdog/misc mix. Cute as anything ...!!! :)

Anyway ... the foster mom said he was crate trained ... and on the first night he did fine in the crate.
Last night was completely different:
He was sleeping on the couch w/us as we were watching tv ... then we put him in the crate and he cried and cried. After about 10 minutes I figured I should check on him. So I opened the door and tried sleeping next to him w/the door open. I closed it once he fell to sleep and went upstairs but he cried again. He found a way to open the cage on his own and went upstairs (where he decided to poop in the spare room).

I put him back downstairs and into his crate (which is in a 3-season room) and closed the door to the room too. He cried but eventually stopped after about 30-minutes. In the morning I found him walking around the 3-season room, apparently figuring out how to escape from the crate again.

So today ... I headed off to work and put him in his crate. We have a dog walker coming around noon.

I feel so inadequate ... any advice is extremely welcome !!!

Thanks in advance!!!
Bill
 

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First thing I would do, is modify the crate (caribiners etc) to keep him from letting himself out. I think him falling asleep and basically waking up in a crate might be part of it. Make sure he is fully awake when you put him in the crate, or better yet encourage him to walk into the crate himself, then a kong with peanut butter etc that takes him some time to work on, along with praise for going in the crate.

30 minutes of crying in a new home etc doesn't seem too bad. If you get him use to the idea of the crate he will accept it as his safe place.
 

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I think this is a normal behaviour, he's in a brand new environment with new people. My puppy did so well the first night in his crate, I was laughing at all those poor suckers who had dogs that cried. Boy, was I in for some karma. After night one, he cried ALL NIGHT LONG. I set my alarm for every two hours (which translated into 12:00, 2:00, 4:00, and then we got up at 6) and took him out to go pee (on leash - this was not play time).

During the day, we worked on getting him to love the crate. We'd throw treats in there, he only gets Kongs with food while in the crate. There is a great crate training sticky on here that you should read. :) Within about a week, maybe closer to 5 days, he goes in his crate easily at night, and I don't hear a peep.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Last night (which is now his 3rd night with us), we tried something different: we covered his crate completely with a blanket and played some soothing white noise (soft rain) using an app we purchased on our phone. It seemed to help and he slept all night !!! Crossing our fingers :)

NOW ... the other tough one is when we leave in the morning: We wake up around 6 AM ... take him outside for potty ... feed him ... one more potty break ... play with him as we get ready ... then back in the crate around 7:30. Dog walker comes around 12:00. We get home around 5:30. QUESTION: is it ok for him to be in his crate that long ...? Should we consider weaning him off the crate in the day and perhaps let him walk around in the 3-Season Room (where we keep the crate) ...???
 

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Because you've just brought home your puppy and he's very young and not yet fully house-trained, I would continue crating him during the date for the next several months. It's far too early to consider "weaning him off the crate." Yes, ideally, you'll want to be able to leave your dog uncrated during the daytime, but definitely not now. Right now, your focus should be on establishing predictable routines for your new dog. Be patient!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I just feel soooo sad when I leave him in the morning ... feel bad for his crying

But I am covering his crate when I leave ... and I'm trying a different white music sound for the day time ... hoping that helps
 

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You've gotten some good advice! I just wanted to add that 5 hours in the crate at his age might be a little too long. 3-4 hours might be better. Also, you may want to consider taking him out for potty breaks at night if he ever has difficulty holding it for that long.

When my dog was a puppy, we took him out every 2 hours at night, then each week we increased it by 15-30 minutes. That meant even waking him up to go, because if we waited for him to wake up and cry, we had to rush him out the door to go! He usually didn't cry until he just couldn't hold it anymore. As was mentioned above, if you take him out at night, put him on leash, move quietly, minimize vocal contact or speak in a low, soft tone of voice to indicate this isn't play time.

Also, puppies can get a little freaked out in their new environment...it can be scary and lonely, especially if they've been with a litter up until now. Could you move the crate into your bedroom or just outside of the bedroom? He may feel a little more comfortable being closer to you.
 

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Really ...? Think 5-hours is too long ...? hmmmm

That's what I was a little afraid of. I don't want him to have a bad start in life.

I suppose we could get the dog walker to come twice a day ... but it's already kinda expensive once a day (costing $70/week).

But if you think it's important ... I could add a 2nd visit.

What does everyone think ...???
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What if I leave him in our 3-season room/porch when I leave in the morning so he can stretch his legs, but also allow him access to his crate (if he wants) ...? That way when the dog walker comes at noon they can take him out ... feed him ... play ... and put him in his crate at the end ...?
 

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I wouldn't crate the pup during the night and day for several months. He'll be very bored/frustrated after a while.

Try to work on potty training and exercising. Set up a morning routine that involves a walk. He is young and you'll have to build up his leash tolerance and stamina so start small. Walk just the sidewalk in front of your own house if you must. Wake up a half hour earlier so he can have a half hour of exercise. This will be SO useful, once he gets used to the leash and walks with you he'll be worn out from his walk. Especially so young a few blocks will work wonders.make sure he poops and pees before you put him in the crate- a last minute pee break is well worth it.
Then he's tired, hungry, and emptied.
Put him in there with his food, a favorite bone, and a SMALL amount of water. He should be hungry enough to eat instead of cry, and even if he cries he will be tired enough from the walk so that he will need a nap.
When you get home, immediately go outside. Carry him if your worried he'll pee on the way. Take him out again in 5-10 minutes just to be sure. You can relax for a moment but itd be well worth it to go for another really short walk. Remember hes been laying in a little box all day. Again after the walk he should calm down pretty soon. If it was long enough, he'll nap and then you MUST take him outside the second he wakes up, and again 5-10 minutes later. Before bed, go for the walk of walks. Really tire him out. Make sure he's empty, and he should sleep well enough.
That'll fix multiple problems at once. If you tire him out enough that he falls asleep, then he wont whine (or not as much) and you can run outside the second he wakes up. That will potty train him very quickly! After a few weeks of this (for me it only took 2-3weeks) then you can eliminate the crate completely as long as you keep up with the walks. The more tired he is, the easier it will be to potty and crate train!
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I know waking up early for a walk/going right after work isn't exactly what you will want to do at those times, but it really works wonders, and besides that, raising a pup is work. Its all part of the package.
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the advice Jadeofeye ...!!!

I really look forward to not having to put him in the crate ... but here's the question: At night, he seems to fall asleep in the crate fairly quickly (or at least not whining), within about 5 minutes. He still doesn't go in willingly, but it's not a huge struggle either (I place him into the crate with his blankets & toys, he tries to get out as I close the door ... but he seems to calm down fairly quickly). Same thing for the morning. So ... which crate time would be better to remove (if any) ...? The evening crate ... or the daytime crate ...?

I think he can be good enough to sleep in our bedroom at night ... but I fear that the crate may seem even more foreign to him during the daytime then. We both work so he really can't have the run of the house yet.

Also ... the little guy is still only about 2-months old
 

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UPDATE: He's doing much better in the crate (both at night and during the day) and is hardly whining (until he wakes up in the morning).

That said... if I get to the point that I can eliminate the need for a crate at NIGHT and allow him, say, to sleep in our bedroom with us at night ... will that make him RESISTANT to going into the crate during the DAY ...? I'd hate to create a problem now that he seems to be doing well in the crate at night.
 

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honestly I have no idea. I think thats one of those things thats different with each dog. He might just think he's gotten his way and can persuade you not to leave him in the crate each and every time by throwing a puppy tantrum. OR he could be more willing since he hasn't been stuck there all night.
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Because you've just brought home your puppy and he's very young and not yet fully house-trained, I would continue crating him during the date for the next several months. It's far too early to consider "weaning him off the crate." Yes, ideally, you'll want to be able to leave your dog uncrated during the daytime, but definitely not now. Right now, your focus should be on establishing predictable routines for your new dog. Be patient!
Much agreed here! Time in the crate will help with house training anyway. Their beds are very special to them and very private--they do not like to mess in their crates. Being in their will help him adjust to your lifestyle while feeling safe. Our Lab puppy had accidents in his crate on just a few occasions, and they were all because he was sick. The only way they'll deliberately defecate in their bedding area is if it is too big, then they might go on one side and sleep on the other. They should be cozy but have enough room to stand up comfortably and turn about only to lie down again.

The crying is ok and will subside with time too. They are just figuring out a way to cope with the brief loss of your attention. If you appear every time they cry they will continue to do so. However--puppies do need to go out like every few hours, so you may end up on a night shift anyway but do not be afraid to let him cry a little.

Just work on making him "love the crate" as you were suggested earlier. They often like blankets in and over the crate. Coax him in with treats and set them on the floor of the crate rather than feeding it to him directly.

At the time I am writing this, I'd be willing to bet you've already seen some improvement!
 

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UPDATE: He's doing much better in the crate (both at night and during the day) and is hardly whining (until he wakes up in the morning).

That said... if I get to the point that I can eliminate the need for a crate at NIGHT and allow him, say, to sleep in our bedroom with us at night ... will that make him RESISTANT to going into the crate during the DAY ...? I'd hate to create a problem now that he seems to be doing well in the crate at night.
I wouldn't want to have him sleeping out of his crate at night until he's 100% house trained, same with leaving him out during the day. Every time the puppy goes to the bathroom in the house is a setback in getting him to only go outside. That being said if you really feel bad about him being in the crate all day, you might want the try getting him a pen or isolating him in a small room that is completely puppy proof while you're out.

I have a little guy that just hit 4 months, he's crated at night and in a pen with water, many toys, food puzzle (treat ball, kong or kong wobbler), his bed, & a pee pad. Our routine is similar to yours. Most of the time now he'll make it from 11pm - 6am in the crate without a potty break, then we're outside for a pee, back in his crate for 30mins. (I only do this because he cries to be let out to pee, so I'm trying to keep him to only associate crying in his crate with pee time and not play time) Then we play until 8-8:30 when I have to go to work. Someone is home at 5-5:30 to let him out. He still has a pee pad in his pen in case he really needs to go during the day, but he hardly uses it. (he was also getting a lunch time visit for a play and pee until last week, now he stays by himself) Then he gets lots of play time, walks, and training time in the afternoon/evening. It's really working quite well. Even with the pee pads, which a lot of people warn against using, he's been a very good puppy. Rarely has an accident in the house, and everyone he has had is because I've given him a bit too much freedom, or tried to stretch it when I knew he probably had to go out.

The pen is really great though. He goes in there if I can't watch him like a hawk when I'm at home without a peep. Just plays with a toy or chews a bone he only gets in there and a lot of times on the weekend he goes in there for a nap or to lay down.
 
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