Dog Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 31 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I'm so excited to have found this place, and I'm hoping to get some advice that might be more specific/useful than the more general training tips I've found online so far.

I have a 10.5-week-old Mini Aussie. I've had him for 2.5 weeks. He's completely gorgeous, so sweet, and he house-trained really fast. The main problem is that he cries, barks, and screams every morning at 5 or 6 AM because he wants to get out of his crate. He's happy to go in there at night to go to sleep, and to go back in after his middle-of-the-night potty trip, but once it's morning he just wants out.

The same thing happens when I put him in his "playroom", which is a puppy-proofed bathroom with a baby gate across the door right next to the living room/kitchen where I spend my day. I would really like for him to learn to be on his own and to entertain himself quietly in there so that I can put in a few solid hours of work each day, or go to the gym or go grocery shopping, but all he does is bark and scream. He ignores any toys or chews I put in there. He will lick a peanut-butter Kong clean in 3 minutes and then go right back to barking and screaming.

I have tried sitting outside the crate/gate, praising him and giving him treats when he's being quiet. I have tried completely ignoring him. I don't ever let him out unless he's being quiet. I thought this was working as there were two mornings when he only whimpered quietly to get out, but this morning he barked and screamed worse than ever. The same thing happened with the playpen--yesterday he barked for a while and then flopped down and waited quietly, but today he barked and screamed the entire time, and then actually managed to knock down the baby gate and escape. I guess I didn't secure it very firmly, and now I'm worried he'll think he can get out by throwing himself at it, and possibly hurt himself :(

Weirdly enough, he seems to settle down if I actually close the bathroom door, but somehow the idea of closing him up entirely in a room alone is just not very nice to me....

Anyway, a part of me thinks I just have to keep pressing on, but his banshee barking is so horrible, and I'm really worried about my neighbours, because I live in a townhouse and we share a wall. This is causing me an enormous amount of anxiety and it's making me dread (and put off) daytime crate training, which makes me think I'll never be able to leave him at home alone!

So, what do I do? Is there any way to make this go more smoothly? More quickly? More quietly? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,186 Posts
Close the door?

Seriously try that first if it seems to be working but in general this is pretty normal puppy behavior. Almost all of them grow out of it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,780 Posts
You are on the right track with rewarding him for being calm and only letting him out when he is quiet. You just need to keep at it. It may take a few days to a few weeks for him to really understand that quiet, and only quiet, is what it is that gets him what he wants.

The other thing is during the day make sure to play with him and tire him out a bit before putting him in his playroom.

Let your neighbor know that you are training your new puppy, that you are aware that he's being noisy and you are working to teach him to be quiet. Bringing over a small gift of food or something like that may also help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,643 Posts
that's normal.
many mammal babies, including humans and dogs, are helpless without their social group/adult caretaker.
If a human baby is left alone without someone to care for it, it dies.
of a puppy is left without their mother it will die.
because of this it is their instinct to be scared when left alone.
they're basically scared to die.
It's natural for them to make sounds to alert the adults of their social group when they feel trapped or isolated, so they can save them before they die.

However, even though this is perfectly normal and healthy, you still can condition a puppy to like the crate, by rewarding him being inside the crate, before he's showing signs of distress.
stressed and scared dogs don't learn as well and happy as carefree dogs, so try to keep him below the threshold where he feels scared and left alone.
Make crate training a big game and keep the door open until it feels safe for the dog to be in there.
you can also try to feed him only inside the crate or giving him special treats when he's inside there and so connect it with the position feelings towards food. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys. I get that it's scary being alone, and it makes me sad when I think about it because I don't really like being alone either! But the 5 and 6 AM wake ups are what's really the hardest to deal with. I know I can't expect him to sleep til 8 (my usual time) at this point, but I've been trying to get him to stay in there til 6:30 at least. But he barks no matter if I'm in the room or not, no matter if I'm laying down right next to his crate or not. This morning I tried putting a little food and water in there in case he was starving/parched...he was quiet for maybe 10 mins while he ate/drank and then started up again. My BF got irritated, got up, and let puppy out. Could that have just set us back? I'm starting to wonder if I should move the crate downstairs to the living room where I can play more crate games throughout the day and more easily ignore him during the early morning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
500 Posts
Pax used to wake up at the crack of dawn every morning. Figured out a big part of it was hunger and once he was up he wanted out to play so I started giving him a good size handful of kibble as his reward for going out to do his business right before bed and he immediately started sleeping in longer.

Now I have a dog that will go pee on command before bed and not wake me up at first sunlight.

The getting up to feed him then leave him is just reinforcing that barking will get attention.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,630 Posts
We worked out that if we took Echo out at 3:30 a 4 am then she'd sleep till 9 am because it was early enough for her to go back to sleep, she couldn't hold toileting past 5:30 otherwise.

It eased up by 18 weeks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,599 Posts
Levi was an extreme early riser. Probably between 4:30 and 5 every day for ~3 weeks. They do start sleeping later and later. Hang in there. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone. I will try giving him a small bedtime snack and taking him out to pee earlier in the night--generally he wakes me up with a soft whine around 3:30 needing to go out, but maybe if I set an alarm to take him out at 2:30 instead he'll fall back into a deeper sleep.

I have a feeling that, despite my best efforts not to, I'm probably expecting a bit too much too soon, and I know I've made some mistakes that reinforced this behaviour. There are just so many things to teach them and get them accustomed to. It's really overwhelming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, this morning went horribly. I did give him a handful of kibble before bed, and I woke him up earlier to go out, and I moved the crate downstairs so the barking wouldn't be so loud for us. But it started up at 5 again, and though it was muffled (enough for me to ignore it without getting too frustrated, at least), my boyfriend got super irritated and stormed out of the room. I had to yell after him not to let the puppy out but he went downstairs and lifted the blanket, which is reinforcing anyway.

I only let the puppy out when he was being quiet but I don't know if it mattered at that point. Usually I ignore him for the first 30 minutes to an hour (no playtime or fun stuff, at least, so he doesn't get the idea that coming out of his crate is a reward), and usually he realises I'm ignoring him and just wanders around and finds something to play with himself. But just now I was sitting on the couch typing this and he barked at me for attention.

I am crying my eyes out right now because I feel like we've made our puppy worse and it's going to be that much harder to teach him to be quiet, and I can't handle it when the people around me are stressed out and full of negative energy, which obviously the barking will cause. I really don't know what to do from here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Well, this morning went horribly. I did give him a handful of kibble before bed, and I woke him up earlier to go out, and I moved the crate downstairs so the barking wouldn't be so loud for us. But it started up at 5 again, and though it was muffled (enough for me to ignore it without getting too frustrated, at least), my boyfriend got super irritated and stormed out of the room. I had to yell after him not to let the puppy out but he went downstairs and lifted the blanket, which is reinforcing anyway.

I only let the puppy out when he was being quiet but I don't know if it mattered at that point. Usually I ignore him for the first 30 minutes to an hour (no playtime or fun stuff, at least, so he doesn't get the idea that coming out of his crate is a reward), and usually he realises I'm ignoring him and just wanders around and finds something to play with himself. But just now I was sitting on the couch typing this and he barked at me for attention.

I am crying my eyes out right now because I feel like we've made our puppy worse and it's going to be that much harder to teach him to be quiet, and I can't handle it when the people around me are stressed out and full of negative energy, which obviously the barking will cause. I really don't know what to do from here.

I'm sorry. That does sound really stressful. I think it is important for you and your boyfriend to have a talk and come to an agreement about what you are going to do and then stick to that decision. Inconsistency is very confusing for a puppy and he needs to learn that he gets the same reaction from both of you. Have you thought about getting a white noise machine for both your bedroom and the living room? Then you won;t hear the barks from your bedroom and the living room one will drown out his barks for the neighbors hopefully. We have these and they are great:

Amazon.com: Marpac DOHM-DS White Noise Sound Machine, Black: Health & Personal Care

Pricey I know, but medical grade and totally worth it for your sanity. We are also dealing with the early wake-ups, anywhere between 5 and 5:30 AM. I feel your pain. We tried putting him to bed later, taking him out to pee later, but I think it is just his internal clock :mad: So now I make sure to put him to bed at 9:30 and then I go right to sleep so I am at least not exhausted. I haven't watched my TV shows in 4 weeks :( I just keep telling myself that it is temporary and as he gets older he will sleep later. One of his annoying habits is he won't eat unless I am sitting in his pen with him, so there I am at 5:30 am sitting in the pen watching him eat. I have tried to break this habit and he just barks and barks and never eats so now I get my coffee and sit in there while he eats. I am picking my battles right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
"Pick your battles" seems like a really good way to put it. It was about 6 when I let him out and by 6:30 he was asleep beside me on the couch. It's almost 8 now and he's still asleep. Maybe I just have to set an alarm and go down around 4:30 or 5 so that when he wakes up he's not alone. Let him out, give him some company, and let him go back to sleep.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,837 Posts
Your puppy is still very young, and all babies, whether canine or human, need more constant attention around the clock. If and when you start your own family, you'll experience many, many sleepless nights. :p

Just hang in there. I think the idea of setting your alarm clock a couple of times and preempting the barking with a quick trip outdoors might do the trick. Keep the nighttime outings as uneventful as possible. Over time, your puppy will be able to go for longer stretches. It will happen!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
How was last night? Hope it was better :)
It was better, thanks :) What I did was set an alarm to get up at 4:00, and I went and laid down near the crate so that he could see me when he woke up. I dozed until I heard him rustling around/whimpering softly. It was a little after 5:00. I let him out to pee, and then instead of trying to put him back in, I sat on the couch and let him roam around. I left all the lights off, didn't interact with him more than necessary. He tried pretty hard to get me to play for a few minutes but gave up when I ignored him. Then he asked nicely to get up on the couch (I've been teaching him that he must sit politely and wait if he wants me to lift him up), so I took him up and by 5:30 he was asleep again, curled up by my legs. I went back to sleep too and neither of us woke again until 7.

I think this is just what I'll have to do for a while, and work very slowly on training him to be quiet during "isolation" time during the day. Hopefully he will, as others have suggested, start sleeping later as he gets older.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
184 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
An update: we're still doing the same routine, though Finnegan sometimes wakes up even earlier, and sometimes he doesn't go back to sleep for hours. The sleep deprivation is killing me.

I've heard so many people say this is a puppy thing and he'll sleep later as he gets older, and he'll adjust to my schedule.But how is he supposed to adjust to my schedule if he never actually experiences my regular schedule? And how long before he's old enough to start sleeping later? I'm guessing months, not weeks, and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Can you guys do shifts? I am a morning person and always get up with Jasper at his 5:20-5:45 am wake-up for the day. My husband has finally started taking over after about 8:30PM so I can shower and go to bed. Last night I was asleep by 9:30 so at 5:30 this morning I had gotten plenty of sleep. It sucks to have to go to sleep early, but I know it is worth feeling rested in the morning, as well as the time "off" at night now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
10 week old Maltipoo hates sleeping in crate

Just got my sweet puppy 4 days ago and have hardly slept. I'm trying to crate train her but she howls when I put her in at night. During the day I keep door open and she goes in once in awhile. I put her food in the crate and she eats in there. But nightime totally different. Cries from minute I put her in. She's so tiny, about 2 lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Mine cried for the first 4 nights he was home- it was brutal. But I ignored it after responding the first 2 nights at the advice of the breeder. She said to only respond if it had been more than 4 hours. So the third night I got him out to pee/poop around 2am and then at 6am. He did MUCH better the fourth night, only crying once around 3AM, and after that he slept through. It gets easier in time. I was so depressed and overwhelmed by having a puppy. He is 14 weeks old now and I am finally starting to feel bonded with him (though I still have moments where I question having a dog).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
An Australian Shepherd in a townhouse can be a handful. I personally feel it is decision time. Sit down with your bf, and see if you can get on the same page as far as how to handle dog issues. Be prepared to sacrifice sleep time. If you can't, find a home for the pup. If this is going to go down the road of misery and discord, it is not going to be good for the dog, or for you.
 
1 - 20 of 31 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top