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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 10:23 AM Thread Starter
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Crate Training Nightmare.. Any Advice? :(

Bentley is 9 1/2 weeks old and he's very smart, but crate training has been a nightmare so far. I can't leave him at home at all, and he's getting better in the car, but he doesn't exactly enjoy it yet so even taking him with me when I can is stressful. And I don't want to be one of those people that gets their window smashed for leaving a screaming dog in the car to run into the store.

I know he's a baby, and he's been here for a very short time, but I have not seen any improvement. He cries/screams himself to sleep, sleeps for a few minutes, and then continues screaming. I have to sneak around to not wake him up.

I called a trainer, but haven't went through with it yet, as I hoping for some improvement, and I don't even know if the trainer will help or if I will just waste my money.

But he has screamed every day in his crate since bringing him home. I've seen improvement in everything else (housetraining, car - he was afraid, and in general) but nothing with crate training. Covering the crate, putting a t shirt in, Kong, peanut butter stuffed bones, toys, radio, beside my bed, one hand in, sleeping beside the crate (my back!!), rewarding every second he's not barking, teaching "crate" as a command, and just ignoring it - letting him cry it out. I walk him even though he's going, try to take him everywhere when I can. I keep researching, asking questions, asking friends how long their dog cried for, but nothing is helping. He literally screams until he falls asleep, sleeps for a few minutes and then screams again. Any noise that wakes him up creates more screaming. I bought TWO crates, and don't have many spots to leave him out/gate and don't want to use any puppy pads.

My mom his home with him all day and he just screams the entire time. I have a bunch of things I NEED to get done but I just sit at home with him everyday and skip it all. And his ears are now cropped so I can't even tire him out anymore. I was so worried about crate training not going well (#1 priority besides housetraining) and here I am, struggling. I love him but I'm so stressed. And I keep getting the same advice to just put a blanket over or a ticking clock. It seems more serious, but I'm hoping it isn't separation anxiety (is he too young?). Any advice?

Thanks in advance.





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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:40 AM
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I'm sorry you are having trouble with your new pup. I'm no trainer, nor have any great advice to give you, as it seems you have tried a number of things to get your pup adjusted. Zuko cried the first night in his crate, so my husband slept on the floor in front of his crate until he fell asleep. But since you have tried that and it doesn't work, I wonder if Bentley has some sort of severe separation anxiety going on, as you've guessed, and may need some professional training to help with this behavior.

The only other thing I can think of doing is opening the crate and sort of get into the crate with him (much like a parent getting in the crib with their crying baby, some people I'm sure oppose this idea but meh) and keeping Bentley in the other side of the crate while you lay down with him and stay until he falls asleep. Hoping you figure out a solution to this!!

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 03:31 PM
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Sorry you're going through this, I know how incredibly frustrating it can be to acclimate a pup to their crate. My boy actually regressed a month or so ago after doing so well and it was awful. What do you mean about not being able to tire him out because of his crop? He should still be able to exercise and do plenty of puppy things even after cropping.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 04:33 PM
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Exactly how long have you had him?

The thing that I wonder about is the number of things you've tried to get him to relax and be quiet in the crate. It kind of sounds like you try oe thing for a few minutes and promptly try something else if that doesn't work. That is bad form when training anything.

You don't say if he will go in the crate if you feed him there. You don't say if he will go in for a treat or a toy. Does he?

Over a whole lot of years I've crate trained a whole lot of Dobe puppies (and a few other breeds as well) and generally I end up with dogs who cried for the first night or two (the biggest hold out was a puppy I got at three months who took a full week to resign himself to the crate at night, in the car and if I was gone. And he was a reject from an earlier home who got him at 8 weeks and told the breeder they couldn't crate train him and he wouldn't eat for them.

When a puppy comes home with me (whatever their age may be) they are going to be crate trained because all my dogs start out with the idea that they are going to dog shows--first in conformtion and then for a variety of companion type stuff. They are going to be crated in vehicles and they will be crated at shows while waiting for thier turn to do whatever we are there to do.

So when they come home there is a crate (a big one) that lives eternallty in either the kitchen (or in this house in a space between the kitchen an the dining room)--I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen so they can hang out in the crate and watch (and get treats) when I can't keep an eye on them every second. They also get fed in the crate as puppies. If they bark or cry I ignor it and only give crate treats if they are quiet. But they don't spend a whole lot of time in that crate.

There is a crate in my bedroom--all the dogs (and usually all the cats) sleep in there. I usually have more than one dog and there are also big dog beds. Puppies however are crated--they are next to the bed so if one is fussing in the night I can put my hand on the crate--if they continue to be fussy I'll get up and take them outside with a flashlight so I can actually tell if they peed or pooped. We don't play, we don't ge treats--we go directly back to bed.

But if a puppy is new and is screaming and crying in the crate (especially in the bedroom) he doesn't get out, he does't get petted, I don't talk to him and at 9.5 weeks they should know how to put themselves back to sleep and my experience is just that you have to be prepared to out wait them.

If he sleeps so lightly that he wakes up easily and doesn't go back to sleep you might think about a vet visit just to make sure there isn't something physically wrong. Young puppies usually sleep like the dead once they go to sleep and if wakened will usually go promptly back to sleep.

Things I don't do--I would not crawl into a crate with him--personally I think this is a bad training technique. I also don't sleep with any of the dogs--one of the forum members (Beaumont) claims he has never been able to crate train his Dobes so they start out sleeping with him and that's it. I know several people who regard this as a solution so that you don't have to crate train but from what you read above my dogs need to be able to deal with being crated because of what I do with them. And I slept with my very first Dobe (since we were sleeping in an unheated basement when he was a puppy we'd probably both frozen that winter but I learned that Dobes are bed hogs and ever puppies can shove a adult human out of the bed--they also have extremely boney elbows and knees. So my dogs don't sleep with me in my bed--they do share the bedroom. They also don't hang out on the people furniture. Every room has a big plush dog bed in it--I might sit on their beds with them but they don't sit on the couch with me.
I also don't give puppies stuffed Kongs or anything like that in crates. They get meals and they get toys to chew on. They may get the meals in the crates but they have a given amount of time to eat and the food is removed. They always have a couple of toys. Treats are for training.

The bottom line is that I don't change how I crate train--and I've had puppies from many different breeders who came to me at a variety of ages but my training methods for some things (crates and house training) don't change from puppy to puppy. I really have never had a puppy do what you are describing. Maybe for a few nights but certainly not all night, every night.

Cropped ears should not stop you from making sure he has enough exercise--breders can tell you that when a litter is cropped the puppies start interacting and playing wih each other as soon as they are out of the anesthesia.

Good luck with the training--I think since you are having such a hard time with this that it would be a very good idea to involve a trainer with some behavioral skills to help you sort this out. Without seeing what is going on it's hard to tell from narraive where the problem starts but the problems you talk about are very atypical for any Dobe puppies I've raised. Actually not just Dobes--any puppy of any breed so something is either wrong with your techiques or something is wrong with the puppy. Have you talked to the breeder about this? You might think about doing that if you haven't already.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 09:16 PM
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Where is the crate? Bedroom, living room, garage? What I changed that completely worked with Molly (she could care less about tasty kongs in there, having a blanket over, crate games etc.) is that I did talk to her in the crate, which was against my own rules before. What I learned with my second Doberman is that okay, ignore blatant screaming or tantrums yes, but don't give her the total silence treatment in there or treat her like a prisoner, because then she'll feel like a prisoner.

You said you tried with your hand in there, what does he do? Put the crate on a table/nightstand right beside the bed, stick your hand in there and pet him, talk to him nicely, "no crying, the crate is nice, good crate, etc.)" and pet him with the door open until he falls asleep, then close the door? Could you try that? Here is me doing that with Molly! As you can tell, she fell for it and fell asleep, hehe! After about 4 nights of that at 8 weeks, she has never cried in there again, and she's a little over 3 years now.

Also, I carried her little crate around EVERYWHERE around the house with her in it when I was doing chores, like a little purse! I never left her alone in a room for more than like 3.7 seconds so she'd never associate the crate with being isolated. Haha my poor back... But I don't regret it now! I would put her down in the kitchen and vacuum around the crate and she'd be like AHH good thing I am safe in this thing..!!


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-04-2017, 11:48 PM
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 08:49 AM
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Can't give any advice on crating as I do a different method and use the lead as a training tool which has worked for me everytime and in time they get use to having their lead on all the time.

Sasha and Lucy never cried once when I brought them home as I kept them next to my bed on a dog bed. Sasha who is 11 weeks now automatically runs inside and jumps on her bed waiting for me to put her lead on so she can sleep .

Hope someone else can help you out.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
Exactly how long have you had him?



The thing that I wonder about is the number of things you've tried to get him to relax and be quiet in the crate. It kind of sounds like you try oe thing for a few minutes and promptly try something else if that doesn't work. That is bad form when training anything.



You don't say if he will go in the crate if you feed him there. You don't say if he will go in for a treat or a toy. Does he?



Over a whole lot of years I've crate trained a whole lot of Dobe puppies (and a few other breeds as well) and generally I end up with dogs who cried for the first night or two (the biggest hold out was a puppy I got at three months who took a full week to resign himself to the crate at night, in the car and if I was gone. And he was a reject from an earlier home who got him at 8 weeks and told the breeder they couldn't crate train him and he wouldn't eat for them.



When a puppy comes home with me (whatever their age may be) they are going to be crate trained because all my dogs start out with the idea that they are going to dog shows--first in conformtion and then for a variety of companion type stuff. They are going to be crated in vehicles and they will be crated at shows while waiting for thier turn to do whatever we are there to do.



So when they come home there is a crate (a big one) that lives eternallty in either the kitchen (or in this house in a space between the kitchen an the dining room)--I spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen so they can hang out in the crate and watch (and get treats) when I can't keep an eye on them every second. They also get fed in the crate as puppies. If they bark or cry I ignor it and only give crate treats if they are quiet. But they don't spend a whole lot of time in that crate.



There is a crate in my bedroom--all the dogs (and usually all the cats) sleep in there. I usually have more than one dog and there are also big dog beds. Puppies however are crated--they are next to the bed so if one is fussing in the night I can put my hand on the crate--if they continue to be fussy I'll get up and take them outside with a flashlight so I can actually tell if they peed or pooped. We don't play, we don't ge treats--we go directly back to bed.



But if a puppy is new and is screaming and crying in the crate (especially in the bedroom) he doesn't get out, he does't get petted, I don't talk to him and at 9.5 weeks they should know how to put themselves back to sleep and my experience is just that you have to be prepared to out wait them.



If he sleeps so lightly that he wakes up easily and doesn't go back to sleep you might think about a vet visit just to make sure there isn't something physically wrong. Young puppies usually sleep like the dead once they go to sleep and if wakened will usually go promptly back to sleep.



Things I don't do--I would not crawl into a crate with him--personally I think this is a bad training technique. I also don't sleep with any of the dogs--one of the forum members (Beaumont) claims he has never been able to crate train his Dobes so they start out sleeping with him and that's it. I know several people who regard this as a solution so that you don't have to crate train but from what you read above my dogs need to be able to deal with being crated because of what I do with them. And I slept with my very first Dobe (since we were sleeping in an unheated basement when he was a puppy we'd probably both frozen that winter but I learned that Dobes are bed hogs and ever puppies can shove a adult human out of the bed--they also have extremely boney elbows and knees. So my dogs don't sleep with me in my bed--they do share the bedroom. They also don't hang out on the people furniture. Every room has a big plush dog bed in it--I might sit on their beds with them but they don't sit on the couch with me.

I also don't give puppies stuffed Kongs or anything like that in crates. They get meals and they get toys to chew on. They may get the meals in the crates but they have a given amount of time to eat and the food is removed. They always have a couple of toys. Treats are for training.



The bottom line is that I don't change how I crate train--and I've had puppies from many different breeders who came to me at a variety of ages but my training methods for some things (crates and house training) don't change from puppy to puppy. I really have never had a puppy do what you are describing. Maybe for a few nights but certainly not all night, every night.



Cropped ears should not stop you from making sure he has enough exercise--breders can tell you that when a litter is cropped the puppies start interacting and playing wih each other as soon as they are out of the anesthesia.



Good luck with the training--I think since you are having such a hard time with this that it would be a very good idea to involve a trainer with some behavioral skills to help you sort this out. Without seeing what is going on it's hard to tell from narraive where the problem starts but the problems you talk about are very atypical for any Dobe puppies I've raised. Actually not just Dobes--any puppy of any breed so something is either wrong with your techiques or something is wrong with the puppy. Have you talked to the breeder about this? You might think about doing that if you haven't already.

Thank you! Definitely true that I may be switching techniques too much. I have crate trained before, and it was how you described. Was never a problem. But this puppy is definitely different lol.

I've had him since Friday, March 24. So a week and a half.

He knows "crate" as a command as well, and will go in whenever. Toys, to eat his meal, sniff around, and doesn't mind naps in there. It's just as soon as you walk away from the area, he follows, even if he was about to nap. If the door is closed and he can't follow, that's when he freaks out. At 8 weeks, if he was already sleeping he would continue OR notice you leaving but be too tired and just go back to sleep. Now, he freaks more often or won't continue his nap. Yesterday he did go into his crate to nap which was good.

In the night he is in my bed, I admit, and that I don't have a problem with (although YES they are bony lol) as his house training is going really well and he behaves. But I'm unsure if this reverses progress. I have to wake HIM up in the morning, so he isn't a light sleeper. But in the crate, he may be feeling anxious or something, because some noises do cause him to wake up and cry, like someone walking around his crate.

The vet was the one that told my to hold off on exercise/physical activity with the ears (done Monday and they coned him, all comes off next Monday). I now realize that it's not a big deal and I'll get him out there.

The breeder mentioned he was the most vocal in the litter, especially when they'd take the mom out for a pee break.

But thank you. I'm going to keep working at it and try to stick with a few things instead of trying everything.



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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandy&Melanie View Post
Where is the crate? Bedroom, living room, garage? What I changed that completely worked with Molly (she could care less about tasty kongs in there, having a blanket over, crate games etc.) is that I did talk to her in the crate, which was against my own rules before. What I learned with my second Doberman is that okay, ignore blatant screaming or tantrums yes, but don't give her the total silence treatment in there or treat her like a prisoner, because then she'll feel like a prisoner.



You said you tried with your hand in there, what does he do? Put the crate on a table/nightstand right beside the bed, stick your hand in there and pet him, talk to him nicely, "no crying, the crate is nice, good crate, etc.)" and pet him with the door open until he falls asleep, then close the door? Could you try that? Here is me doing that with Molly! As you can tell, she fell for it and fell asleep, hehe! After about 4 nights of that at 8 weeks, she has never cried in there again, and she's a little over 3 years now.



Also, I carried her little crate around EVERYWHERE around the house with her in it when I was doing chores, like a little purse! I never left her alone in a room for more than like 3.7 seconds so she'd never associate the crate with being isolated. Haha my poor back... But I don't regret it now! I would put her down in the kitchen and vacuum around the crate and she'd be like AHH good thing I am safe in this thing..!!





Thanks! I have two crates, on in the living room near the backyard door, and one in my bedroom.

The hand thing was the first night. He was absolutely screaming and freaking out and my hand did nothing. Maybe it was because there was no bond. I didn't take him out, but moved the crate to the other room. Whole night of crying I was so stressed in the morning and worried that my parents or the neighbors would be upset.

So the next night I put him in my bed. I don't mind him being in my bed, but that might be reversing progress. Was just so worried about complaints because he was screaming like he was being tortured.

Waiting until he fell asleep did work, but as soon as he'd wake up he would scream his head off again. Even now, he basically cries if he's not sleeping. And I take him on walks and to the park (general park not dog park) even though he hasn't completed his shots. He seems tired, I sometimes wonder if it's too much, but we get home and he still cries in the crate.

Everyone says it will eventually go away, and everyone had a different amount of time. I watched a separation anxiety video that mentioned a lot of puppies under 5 months exhibit the behaviors. Just not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I'm not sure what is going to work for this pup specifically.

She is soooo cute! Lol.


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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
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Thank you! Definitely true that I may be switching techniques too much. I have crate trained before, and it was how you described. Was never a problem. But this puppy is definitely different lol.
One of the common failures when it comes to training--any kind of training--is trying one thing and deciding after a very short period of time that it's not working, try something else...one of the places we hear about it a lot is with stoppng puppy biting--so someone gets a puppy and it bites--sure, that's how puppies play--so someone tells them to trade a toy for the part of human anatomy they are attached to and someone else says scream as if you are being hurt--someone else (like me) says, stop interacting with the puppy walk away, crate until they calm down if necessary. Any of these things will work with some puppies but you really need to pick one and try it out for several days--more often it gets tried out for several seconds or minutes. And that's what doesn't work well.

Quote:
I've had him since Friday, March 24. So a week and a half.
That's not very long. And if you started sleeping with him in your bed before he learned to sleep in his crate you shot yourself in the foot for training him to sleep in the crate. Dogs are the ultimate pragmatists--if you want them to do something don't let them not do it even once--BECAUSE the way a dogs brain works is that if he got to do something once (sleep with you in your bed) and the way he got to do that was by throwing a fit and barking and crying until he got what he wanted. And it gets much harder to get him to then do what you want him to do--go to sleep in the crate and stay quietly for the night. I have friend who sleep with thier dogs--and that's fine--that's a choice but because they also (like me) show the dogs, travel with the dogs they know that the dogs, as puppies need to learn HOW to accept crating without a fuss for the sake of everyones sanity. So their puppies learn BEFORE they get bed privleges to go to bed in their crate without a fuss.


Quote:
He knows "crate" as a command as well, and will go in whenever. Toys, to eat his meal, sniff around, and doesn't mind naps in there. It's just as soon as you walk away from the area, he follows, even if he was about to nap. If the door is closed and he can't follow, that's when he freaks out. At 8 weeks, if he was already sleeping he would continue OR notice you leaving but be too tired and just go back to sleep. Now, he freaks more often or won't continue his nap. Yesterday he did go into his crate to nap which was good.
Well, I'd say that he got half the message about crate training but the other part is the need to finish the training--now he needs to learn that the crate door will be shut sometimes and that even though he's not going to go with you just then, you'll come back and he'll get out but that flipping out isn't what will get him out if the door is closed. And that is now a process that will probably will take a lot longer because you'll have to work through short periods with a closed crate with you in sight to short periods with you out of sight and working up to you leaving the house with him crated for varying periods of time until he is secure enough that he doesn't freak out.

Quote:
In the night he is in my bed, I admit, and that I don't have a problem with (although YES they are bony lol) as his house training is going really well and he behaves. But I'm unsure if this reverses progress. I have to wake HIM up in the morning, so he isn't a light sleeper. But in the crate, he may be feeling anxious or something, because some noises do cause him to wake up and cry, like someone walking around his crate.
Ummm--basically you taught him that if he flps out and cries, barks or screams he'll get out of the crate and get to sleep with you.

Dogs who get to do something even once via a paricular method will forever remember that--and keep trying to train you to repeat the sequence of events that got him out of the crate and into your bed. If you don't take some steps to fade that behavior crating may always remain a problem.

Quote:
The vet was the one that told my to hold off on exercise/physical activity with the ears (done Monday and they coned him, all comes off next Monday). I now realize that it's not a big deal and I'll get him out there.
Good--it really isn't a big deal--I think some of the vets are too concerned that the cup might come off--but that's a big so what too.

Quote:
The breeder mentioned he was the most vocal in the litter, especially when they'd take the mom out for a pee break.
Yeah, well I've had some very vocal puppies and virtually all of them have learned that noise doesn't really result in desired outcome when it comes to me. But I confess that my youngest dog who was the most vocal in his litter and who did learn things like barking at me didn't get him his breakfast or dinner any faster has never stopped barking, howling, whining and screaming if he is in the crate (I leave him crated for a half hour after meals becuse as puppy he'd get so rowdy after eating he'd puke--every time) and the phone rings--and he keeps it up until I let him out (evidently he's sure he's got a call coming in from the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm)--he really never has gotten a phone call specifically for him but I can't convince him of that. So we probably all have places where training fails.

Quote:
(But thank you. I'm going to keep working at it and try to stick with a few things instead of trying everything.
Good luck--consistency is what I've found works best in all areas of training.

Last edited by dobebug; 04-05-2017 at 02:57 PM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-05-2017, 03:52 PM
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Definitely seconding Dobebug's advice.

I'll also wholeheartedly suggest picking up Susan Garrets crate games, it's a great training tool for the crate and a marked spot (Dog bed, rug, etc...) being a place to stay and to stay happily and quietly.

Good luck, have patience and be persistent and consistent!
dobebug likes this.

The Red Devil Diva & Her Shamelessly Obedient Human
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