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Hi all, first time puppy owner here with lots of questions and worries! I’ve found this site super helpful already so thank you all!
We’re on day 5 of crate training, I’ve read lots of really helpful ideas and suggestions and I have been doing day crate training and night crate training but I’m still not sure I’m doing the right thing for Roman.
He goes into his crate no issues in the day to eat/play/train but rarely stays in there unless I shut the door which I have read not to do in the daytime. He also cries until I soothe him when he’s in there and I shut the door. He also falls asleep outside the crate, usually against my legs but then when I move him to his crate he rarely stays put.

At night time he has been crying when he wakes up, so I’ve been taking him outside for a toilet break and putting him back in, but again he will not settle unless I am there close to him and he’s waking up around 4/5 times from 10pm to 6am. The crate is in the living room so I have been sleeping on the sofa so I am close to him.

My question is after a lot of waffle (sorry!) is this the right way to approach this all? He falls asleep within a few minutes when I soothe him, but I have to be close for him to do that. I have read so much that it’s becoming quite overwhelming and I’m worried I’m not doing the right thing for him.

Thank you for reading this far!
 

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Dont worry 'bout the waffle, we all do a bit of that!

He goes into his crate no issues in the day to eat/play/train but rarely stays in there unless I shut the door which I have read not to do in the daytime.
I shut the door, but dont bolt it when feeding, but when putting my pup in for a sleep, day or night, I do bolt it.

He also cries until I soothe him when he’s in there and I shut the door
Bit of "Tough love" here. I ignore the crying! What he is doing is calling you, and found that crying works! Dogs are very clever creatures, make no mistake! My Chloe has worked out the meaning of so many sentences, let alone words! And they soon figure out what works for them. Yes they might cry for a little while, but then it stops, and next time the crying is shorter until there is no more crying.

He also falls asleep outside the crate, usually against my legs but then when I move him to his crate he rarely stays put.
Lovely isn't it. Chloe is always touching me. But dogs like routines, they know where they are with routines. I always have two daytime resting periods, an hour from 2pm to 3 pm and evening between 7pm and 8pm. Apart from that I'm quite relaxed where my pup sleeps, and if she wants to sleep on my feet, great! It's about getting the relationship right, and how right can the relationship be if your pup trusts you to the extent that it wants to be close.

At night time he has been crying when he wakes up, so I’ve been taking him outside for a toilet break and putting him back in, but again he will not settle unless I am there close to him and he’s waking up around 4/5 times from 10pm to 6am.
Two things here, "If I cry somebody will come!" A handler recall, I cry, you come! I have fixed times when I take my pup out. I start more often than I think is needed. In my case I normally go to bed at around 11pm, getting up to take pup out at 1am, 3am, 5am and the getting up at around 7am. But it's all about stretching my pup, so If I find my pup does not need one of these trips out I'll try stretching things to 2am and maybe 4-30pm, and if one of these is not needed then I'll just take her out at 3am. Of my last two dogs, Amy came to me at 7 weeks old and was clean all night in just 3 days. Chloe was 8 weeks old when she arrived and took 4 days. I try to avoid going to my pup in the night if they start to cry, I dont want they to think they can call me at any time. When I do go to them I keep it very low key. I dont speak, I just open the crate, carry the pup outside, (To try to avoid the exited wee.) Put the pup down and give my toilet command, "Be quick!" Pick them up after they have been with a quiet "Good girl" and take them back indoors, pop them back in the crate and go back to bed without another word. If after a reasonable time the pup has not performed I just pick it up without a word and put it back in it's crate. Remember, you cant get blood out of a stone, and to me this is a sign that I can delay getting up at that time tomorrow. Remember what I said about stretching the pup's ability to hold on.

The crate is in the living room so I have been sleeping on the sofa so I am close to him.
I'm not going to tell you this is wrong, several of my friends work things like this. It's just that I dont. My puppy crate is in the kitchen under the kitchen table, and I sleep in my bed in my bedroom. Several things are involved here. Firstly I'm getting my pup use to being left, Secondly, if my pup does have an accident, cant wait when I get her out of the crate it will be on an easy to clean vinyl floor, not on the living room carpet!! But thats just my thoughts, and others, who I respect do sleep with their pup, so it's very much up to you. Once my pups are around a year old I do away with the crate and my dogs have a bed in the hall. My bedroom door is always open, but my dogs never come in until they hear me getting dressed. Thats not something I've ever trained, it's just what they consider is the right thing to do.

So there you are. There are a dozen ways to skin a cat, this is just my way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dont worry 'bout the waffle, we all do a bit of that!


I shut the door, but dont bolt it when feeding, but when putting my pup in for a sleep, day or night, I do bolt it.


Bit of "Tough love" here. I ignore the crying! What he is doing is calling you, and found that crying works! Dogs are very clever creatures, make no mistake! My Chloe has worked out the meaning of so many sentences, let alone words! And they soon figure out what works for them. Yes they might cry for a little while, but then it stops, and next time the crying is shorter until there is no more crying.


Lovely isn't it. Chloe is always touching me. But dogs like routines, they know where they are with routines. I always have two daytime resting periods, an hour from 2pm to 3 pm and evening between 7pm and 8pm. Apart from that I'm quite relaxed where my pup sleeps, and if she wants to sleep on my feet, great! It's about getting the relationship right, and how right can the relationship be if your pup trusts you to the extent that it wants to be close.


Two things here, "If I cry somebody will come!" A handler recall, I cry, you come! I have fixed times when I take my pup out. I start more often than I think is needed. In my case I normally go to bed at around 11pm, getting up to take pup out at 1am, 3am, 5am and the getting up at around 7am. But it's all about stretching my pup, so If I find my pup does not need one of these trips out I'll try stretching things to 2am and maybe 4-30pm, and if one of these is not needed then I'll just take her out at 3am. Of my last two dogs, Amy came to me at 7 weeks old and was clean all night in just 3 days. Chloe was 8 weeks old when she arrived and took 4 days. I try to avoid going to my pup in the night if they start to cry, I dont want they to think they can call me at any time. When I do go to them I keep it very low key. I dont speak, I just open the crate, carry the pup outside, (To try to avoid the exited wee.) Put the pup down and give my toilet command, "Be quick!" Pick them up after they have been with a quiet "Good girl" and take them back indoors, pop them back in the crate and go back to bed without another word. If after a reasonable time the pup has not performed I just pick it up without a word and put it back in it's crate. Remember, you cant get blood out of a stone, and to me this is a sign that I can delay getting up at that time tomorrow. Remember what I said about stretching the pup's ability to hold on.


I'm not going to tell you this is wrong, several of my friends work things like this. It's just that I dont. My puppy crate is in the kitchen under the kitchen table, and I sleep in my bed in my bedroom. Several things are involved here. Firstly I'm getting my pup use to being left, Secondly, if my pup does have an accident, cant wait when I get her out of the crate it will be on an easy to clean vinyl floor, not on the living room carpet!! But thats just my thoughts, and others, who I respect do sleep with their pup, so it's very much up to you. Once my pups are around a year old I do away with the crate and my dogs have a bed in the hall. My bedroom door is always open, but my dogs never come in until they hear me getting dressed. Thats not something I've ever trained, it's just what they consider is the right thing to do.

So there you are. There are a dozen ways to skin a cat, this is just my way.
Thank you so much for this invaluable advice! I worry about leaving him to cry in the night because of the neighbours and it just hasn’t shown signs of stopping yet when I’ve tried it for up to 20 minutes of ignoring him. I will try again though. He’s been really good with his toilet and hasn’t messed inside yet so I don’t want to make backwards steps here. I will try the set times of getting him up rather than waiting for him to tell me.
Thank you again. I have read so many of your responses to other similar posts and all the advice is really gratefully received. I just want to make sure I’m doing the best thing for him.
 

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I'm a bit lucky in that I have lived beside my neighbours on both side for well over 50 years and get on well with them. They know my pups and know any inconvenience will quickly pass. The neighbour on one side used to run a "Rainbow Troop" and I used to go from time to time to give little talks on looking after their pets, and my Anna used to go with me. In fact she was an Honorary Rainbow, and I still have her 100 years of guiding badge. This was her posing for their Christmas Calendar, would have been around 25 years ago. Just think, most of those children would be married with children of their own by now!


Face Smile Outerwear Rainbow Dog
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm a bit lucky in that I have lived beside my neighbours on both side for well over 50 years and get on well with them. They know my pups and know any inconvenience will quickly pass. The neighbour on one side used to run a "Rainbow Troop" and I used to go from time to time to give little talks on looking after their pets, and my Anna used to go with me. In fact she was an Honorary Rainbow, and I still have her 100 years of guiding badge. This was her posing for their Christmas Calendar, would have been around 25 years ago. Just think, most of those children would be married with children of their own by now!


View attachment 27466
She’s absolutely beautiful! I have spoken to my nearest neighbours and hope that they’ll be as understanding! I put Roman in his crate and let him cry it out for his 7pm rest time and he’s currently sleeping so hopefully can do the same again tonight!
Jeans Human body Mesh Fawn Carnivore
 

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Hi all, first time puppy owner here with lots of questions and worries! I’ve found this site super helpful already so thank you all!
We’re on day 5 of crate training, I’ve read lots of really helpful ideas and suggestions and I have been doing day crate training and night crate training but I’m still not sure I’m doing the right thing for Roman.
He goes into his crate no issues in the day to eat/play/train but rarely stays in there unless I shut the door which I have read not to do in the daytime. He also cries until I soothe him when he’s in there and I shut the door. He also falls asleep outside the crate, usually against my legs but then when I move him to his crate he rarely stays put.

At night time he has been crying when he wakes up, so I’ve been taking him outside for a toilet break and putting him back in, but again he will not settle unless I am there close to him and he’s waking up around 4/5 times from 10pm to 6am. The crate is in the living room so I have been sleeping on the sofa so I am close to him.

My question is after a lot of waffle (sorry!) is this the right way to approach this all? He falls asleep within a few minutes when I soothe him, but I have to be close for him to do that. I have read so much that it’s becoming quite overwhelming and I’m worried I’m not doing the right thing for him.

Thank you for reading this far!
Never used a crate for any of our 5 Labs over many years. Our latest is 17 months and all he ever had was his bed in the kitchen. He slept all night without interruption since day one. Every night he goes into his bed on his own volition and we pet him there before leaving kitchen and shutting door. I know crates seem to be fashionable but old ways often are good too. Suggest try this, although he will obviously have to adapt. And don’t stay with him otherwise you add separation to the mix!
 

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No, nobody has to use a crate, but there are very good reasons why it's a good thing to do.

I was a bit like you. Never use a crate for the first 40 years in dogs. In fact, when I started there were no such thing as crates. Then after all that time I had one who ate the kitchen floor. No problem at all until she was 9 months old, then one day, no floor! But we worked our way through it and eventually the destruction stopped and everything was repaired and the house seemed habitable again. So I got another pup. . . . . . . and she ate the kitchen floor AGAIN! That was the last straw, and for domestic harmony I brought a crate, and have used one with my pups ever since. My pups take to it very quickly and go in to sleep of their own free will, and since using a crate I've never found overnight house training easier. Amy for example was clean all night in just 3 days, Chloe in 5 days. And particularly with Chloe it was a godsend. A week after she arrived I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and for the first year of her life I was in and out of hospital undergoing treatment. My neighbour was coming round to feed her and let her into the garden during my days in hospital. The added advantage of a dog being familiar with a crate is that if they ever need a stay at the vet then they will be crated, so knowing crates makes it so much less stressful.
 

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I resisted crate training until I used it for one of our puppies 20 years ago. I am now a firm believer that it is an essential tool in raising a puppy especially the piranha puppies that are the Labrador. Not only does it save your kitchen flooring and baseboards or couches, but it protects the puppy from intestinal blockages that may require life saving surgery. It makes the difficult task of raising and training a Labrador puppy easier on the brain of the main caregiver allowing the brain to relax from the need to be constantly listening for the sound of silence that may mean the pup is sleeping but may also mean he is chewing on an electrical wire.

And there have been major studies that show that a medium to large breed dog that is regularly crated (and forced to rest) have less risk of developing joint issues. I find this especially true in the Labrador due to their much higher than normal pain tolerance which allows them to continue to play hard after an injury causes inflammation. The periods of forced rest allow that unseen but still present inflammation to subside and promote rapid healing.

We always shut the door on the crate until the crate is no longer needed to protect the curious and piranha like puppy (as long as three years!) can be trusted not to damage the house and endanger themselves. I have never heard (and don't understand) the idea of not shutting the door during the day-time - I think it would be the rare Labrador puppy that chose to nap in there when your foot is much nicer and the couch even better maybe.

We have crates out all the time and every one of our six has been crate raised with the door shut during the daytime and night time until they were at least 18 months - two years of age. And all of them will now spend a part of their day in the crate with the door open. And will quite nicely tolerate being confined all day for weeks if needed when ill.
 

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I put the crate away when Amy no longer needed it. Some years later I got it out when Chloe was due to arrive, and straight away Amy went in, curled up and went to sleep! Which just goes to show what she thought of it! :)
 
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