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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all
I am in need of some guidance when it comes to cracking this crate thing! Sunny is 8 weeks old and we have had a week. From day one she has slept at night in her crate with the crate door closed and with the exception of a few tiny whimpers when we first leave she has been really good. She goes down about 11, we wake her at 2ish for a wee and then she sleeps well until we wake her again at about 6.

Its the crate time during the day that is proving more of a problem. We have been following a schedule in a Kennel Club Training book which suggested starting with 5 mins several times a day with the door closed but us in the room then the next day gp up 10 etc etc until you are at 30 mins with you in the room but door shut. We did that and she whimpers, whines, crys and sometimes also wees as well for a large part of it (we always take her out for a wee before and after tho) We are ignoring the whimpering and not opening the door until at least a minute after she is quiet but its so hard!! Today we tried her with just 10 mins as she has not been in at all over the past 2 days as we have had 2 excited toddlers here with their parents and the schedule went a bit mad. Today however she just went totally loopy - whining and yelping loudly, jumping up at the door with her front paws to try and get door open etc. The minute she was quiet and calm and had stayed that way for a minute we opened the door and she leapt out.
What do we do? The next part of this schedule suggests starting again at 5 mins but with us out of the room and then building that up etc again. I can't face starting that yet if she goes mad enough with us sitting in the room next to the crate :cry:

So after that ridiculously lengthy description here are my fevered questions!
What is the right way to get them used to the crate and in what time frame?
Are we trying to do too much to fast?
Are we just being soft about leaving her - should we just pop her in and go out for a few minutes or will this in fact be more detrimental?
Is it really better to get her used to the crate or would she be ok left in the kitchen on her own when we went out with the crate door open?
Whats a good way to get her used to being on own without freaking out?

My husband and I are both teachers so are off until September but need to get her used to being on her own for a few hours by then when she will be 13 1/3 weeks.
Any help/advice etc would be fab (can you tell we are brand new puppy owners :)
 

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I've never really put mine in their crates unless I am really leaving them - as in going out the house gone!! (other than at night) So perhaps I'm no help. I wouldn't just put her in and still be in because they simply know!

I'd say construct a reason to leave her for a quick 10 minutes. Put her in her crate, give her a wee food treat and then matter of factly leave. No long loving looks and cheerio toodle pips, just all matter of fact! Like leaving a child at school!! ;)

Then go out of the house. When you come back if she is squeaking, wait till she is quiet then enter the room with the crate.
 

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I don`t have the crate in the same room, both are in the kitchen, I`m not really surprised she doesn`t like being in it when you are there, labs are people dogs and she wants to be with you :)

Try putting her in and going out for a while, don`t go to another room go outside and shut the door, dogs aren`t daft they know if your in or not :lol:

She will get used to the crate but doesn`t need to be shut in it when your at home, unless your upstairs and she`s likely to chew anything, I still put CJ and Cindy in theirs when I go up to clean, he`ll look for something to chew and she`ll toilet :roll: (Im sure she does this on purpose :lol: )

I don`t think there is a right or wrong way to it tbh, have you tried giving her treats in there?, a bonio or whatever you use, this will make it a fun place to go and she`ll soon learn that going in means a treat :)
 

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you are doing just fine :)

to be honest many pups struggle more with you in the room than they do when they can't see you - I think if your pup does ok at night then she'll be fine.

the first few times I left Nellie for an hour (to walk Basil) and I came back and she was still yelling and wialing and crying - I could hear her outside my house through the air vent 8O
I waited, the first time it was another 15mins (so 1hr 15 in total) the second it was only a minute or so. Since then there has been no noise when left - I did used to listen to check but now I don't bother.

Try to crate her when she's tired anyway and that will help, leave her with half a carrot or a bit of apple to much or a kong. The other thing I used to do is when she fell asleep I would pick her up and pop her in her crate anyway, sometimes leaving the door open and sometimes shutting it but opening it when she awoke before the crying started.

I think you have to build up to crating them when you're in the room after being left, not the other way around :)

Do you feed her in her crate - that can help them think it's a great place.
 

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cross posted with mary - i'm a slow typer :oops:
 

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Basil said:
cross posted with mary - i'm a slow typer :oops:
LOL Sarah, that usually happens to me but it means we agree on the way to go about things which will hopefully help OP :D
 

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Hiya,

I was in the same boat as you - had a few weeks off work when first got the pup and then she absolutely had to be ok to be crated for a couple of hours when I went back. I also have a very noise sensitive neighbour who moans if he can even hear a pin drop, so I was on a mission to have a quiet contented pup!

I abadoned the books and just found my own way of doing it. I stayed at home with her for the first week (other than taking her with me places in my arms). Second week I went out once every day, but gradually built the time up. I did this when she was sleeping. So, day 1, she'd fall asleep whevever she conked out...I scooped her up, put in crate, shut door, waited for her to settle back down to sleep, then went out...10 mins to buy a paper and back. Next day, 20 mins... third day 30min whirlind trip round ASDA. Then I built it up to a few times a day - sometimes just 5 mins while I nipped out to put washing on the line. I did all of this when she was tired and ready to sleep. Then I gradually built it up to awake time - so same routine, but I'd put her in her crate with a puppy kong, and go. I also made a conscious effort around the house not to let her follow me everywhere. After the first week I started pulling doors closed behind me if I was just nipping from one room to another to get something (e.g. go back to the kitchen for a biccie to go with my cuppa!!) She whinged like no tomorrow to start with, but soon realised that I was coming back and she wasn't being abandoned.

Even when I was at home, if she fell asleep, I'd always pick her up and put her in the crate and shut the door. I'd leave her to sleep as long as she needed but keep an eye on her so I could open the crate and get her out for a pee before she even had the chance to scream in the seconds between waking and realising she was shut in. Wasn't always possible, because I sometimes took the chance to grab a snooze myself... in those instances, the neighbour just had to 'swallow' the screaming until she was quiet and then I let her out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This was all really helpful! Thank you all so much - I feel less stressed about messing up the crate completly now. We do feed her in her crate and her favourite treat so far is a kong stuffed with mashed banana and she has that in her crate too. I should start popping her in while she sleeping too but she looks so sweet curled up asleep in the bean bag that I haven't yet :)

Now I just need to bite the bullet and actually leave the house :( So if its not another dumb question - can you reassure me that they will actually stop crying eventually?!! :)

Am going to aim for a 5-10 min walk around the park without her today then! If she is still yelping when I get back in do I just wait until she quietens before coming into room? What if it takes ages?!
 

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Yes I can reassure you that she will eventually stop screaming/crying when in the crate, put some of her toys in with her too, if you don`t already.

I know mine and I think most members dogs go to sleep when they know owners are going out, my pair positively charge for their crates (CJ`s is behind the door and Cindy has learnt to wait til he`s in before she moves else she`d get a Pug makeover :lol: :lol: ) and wait for their biccies.

Don`t make any fuss about her going in, no goodbyes or anything, put her in and go, I think by the time you get back from your walk she`ll be asleep :D , when you get back and open the crate don`t make a big thing of that either, if she gets over excited just ignore her til she calms down, this will help her to learn that you going out is no big deal and you`ll be home.

Dogs have no idea of time, you`ll get the same greeting if you`ve been gone 5 minustes as you would if it was 4 hours :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well we braved the leaving today! First DH and I went for walk around park for 10 mins leaving Sunny girl with a cheesy kong and some nibbly treats. We paced around determindly talking about anything but the pupster :) When we got back all was silent and she was still chewing Kong. All good - ma and pa breathed sigh of giddy relief! :lol:

We tried again several hours later in the afternoon - same routine, out to toilet, treats and calm closing of crate door and leaving without fuss. This time however my DH stayed outside the door to listen while I went off to do actual errand (alright I am the softy and couldnt bare to listen yet!) Not so good on 2nd attempt - apparantly she was all quiet for 8 mins then just as DH about to go in to open door she went mental - yelping, crying, banging against crate door. In the end we had to wait nearly 20 minutes before there was enough of a silent minute to go back in :( When we got in we found towel in her crate sopping wet with wee :cry: - do you think this because she got so anxious?

So feeling less good then earlier but will keep going for short times - firm voice of DH saying we must get her used to it :)

Anyway thanks again for all the helpful reassurance - I hope we still doing it right! This forum is sanity saver :)
xxx

BTW am still working on adding some pics of the litle Sunnyside but am technologically challenged so it may be some time!
 

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She will get used to it, it just takes time.

I'm a bad mummy...from day 2 of Alfie being home he was put in the crate with the door shut and i left the house and stayed out for 15 mins. By the end of the first week i was out for 30 mins and now can leave him in there for up to two hours(only did that once though as i had the hospital).
But now when going out i put him in the crate and leave the door open...he hasn;t touched a thing and eats his kong or sleeps...
Aflie goes in and out his crate all day, he prefers sleeping in there but often is found lying on my rug or the kitchen floor.
 

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Another thing you could try is popping something with your scent on it in the crate too. I forgot to say that in my earlier reply - I used to wear an old top and then leave that with the pup, along with a cuddly toy for her to snuggle into. You could also maybe leave the radio or the tv on (chatty programmes rather than music). Gradually you can then do away with these things.
 
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