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Our lab puppy has reached 6 months and is becoming more curious and confident every day, as well as becoming an cheeky adolescent. He's generally a calm, chilled, happy dog and we feel lucky to have him.

Suddenly our pup is refusing to go into his crate at night, Right from day 1 he slept in a crate through the night. It's in the utility room next to the kitchen done up like a den with old curtains over it to make it dark and a cosy bed with some of his favourite soft toys in it. A few yards away is the back door to the garden

We leave it open during the day and he very often goes in it for a little snooze and on the odd occasion that we need him in it if we have to go out for an hour. It's never been forced on him - he'll happily go in.

After his nighttime wee and prowl round the garden, then a drink, I put a handful of kibble in his crate and he goes in, snuggles down and I sit with him and settle him down and then shut the gate . Suddenly these past two nights, the little monkey eats his kibble and scuttles back out before I can close it up and goes and sits on his other bed in our kitchen and looks at me as if to say "off you go, I'm sleeping here" and he refuses to go into his crate.

We get him in eventually- you don't want to be hanging around at midnight trying to cajole a cheeky adolescent lab puppy to get into his crate. We don't want him to view the crate as a punishment, so should we persist and make him go in his crate or should we start transitioning him out of his crate to a bed?

He’s clean through the night, apart from 3 episodes of diarrhoea, which seems a thing of the past now we’ve put him on kibble for sensitive stomachs so that’s not an issue

We could put a baby gate up to separate the utility off from the kitchen, and put his other bed in there as well as his open crate and leave him there to chose where he'll sleep. The kitchen-diner is all open and connects to the utility room by an archway where we’d put the baby gate, I worry that he'll chew things or won't get settled and won’t sleep or won't be safe. Perhaps we should try it out during the day and see how it goes before doing it at night.

So, wise lab folk, what would you advise me to do?
 

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I’d say make him sleep where you want him to sleep. If that’s in the crate (and I’d favour that) then you’re the boss. My guess is he’s pushing boundaries.
 
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