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Hi all, just wondering if anyone could share their thoughts on puppy sleeping arrangements - We have a 4 month old boy and since we had him he has slept in his crate in our room and sleeps through the night without too much trouble. When/where should this change.......any thoughts?
 

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Obviously long term we would want him sleeping in a bed and get him out of his crate but unsure as to when/how we are best to introduce this change? Also it is a bit of pain dragging his crate upstairs every night and back down every morning (he sleeps in the crate in the lounge during the day when we are working) I am wondering whether he would be ok in staying in the lounge over night? Any ideas/thoughts welcomed?
 

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I never de-crate until a year old. I've twice lost my kitchen floor when the pups were 9 months old. Yes I appreciate the problems, (and safety issues) carrying the crate up and down stairs every day, but with the price of crates so cheap on eBay these days why not buy a second, so you have one up and one down? But where he sleeps is your choice. I've never allowed my dogs to sleep upstairs, and always use a stair gate to keep them down
 

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You just need to try it, so see how he is with the crate in the lounge one night, and take it from there. I've got a complicated house layout in that it's two flights of stairs down from my bedroom to the dog/utility room, and then there's access to a secure dog yard off that. I tend to leave the baby gate open these days, and whoever wants to come and lie on the bed can do, and if they want to stretch out on the sofas they can as well, but obviously it takes a while to train them and young pups shouldn't be going up and down stairs on their own.
 

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I never de-crate until a year old. I've twice lost my kitchen floor when the pups were 9 months old. Yes I appreciate the problems, (and safety issues) carrying the crate up and down stairs every day, but with the price of crates so cheap on eBay these days why not buy a second, so you have one up and one down? But where he sleeps is your choice. I've never allowed my dogs to sleep upstairs, and always use a stair gate to keep them down
agreed I think we’re going to stick with the crate for sometime, we only started him upstairs because it was suggested he would feel more comfortable knowing we’re with him - hearing us breath and being able to smell we’re there. Crate up and down is an option but the house doesn’t really cater for that in terms of size and logistics. I think we’re going to start him sleeping downstairs as of the coming weekend - he’s not allowed up and down the stairs and we too have a stair gate. I just think the logistics of going up and down the stairs each night and morning carrying both him and the crate is becoming a bit of a chore and he’s getting heavier by the day! Would you say given that he sleeps downstairs during the day the transition and change will be ok for him?
 

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I'm afraid I always start the way I mean to go on, with pup downstairs. OK, there is normally a little crying for the first night or so, but it very soon settles down. Having bitches I have the added complication of them coming into season so I don't really want them on my bed during that time with them spotting the bloody discharge on the bed. Even when de-crated they still seem happy to stay downstairs, with Chloe happy to just come up when she hears me moving around, ready to greet me outside my bedroom door.
 

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I'm afraid I always start the way I mean to go on, with pup downstairs. OK, there is normally a little crying for the first night or so, but it very soon settles down. Having bitches I have the added complication of them coming into season so I don't really want them on my bed during that time with them spotting the bloody discharge on the bed. Even when de-crated they still seem happy to stay downstairs, with Chloe happy to just come up when she hears me moving around, ready to greet me outside my bedroom door.
yes I tend to agree and I think that may have been the best approach from the word go. I think he will adapt easily enough to sleeping downstairs, we shall give it a go this weekend and see how he takes the change. Out of interest how do you approach bringing them out of the crate and into a bed when the time is right? I’d heard that putting the bed next to the crate with the bed next to it and leaving the door open is a good transition? Open to any ideas you may have?
 

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I've never found it a problem. I'll leave the door open over night for a day or two, but by that time they are so use to sleeping there that they just carry on. I then just remove the crate and put the bed where the crate was. I do it first thing in the morning so the pup has all day to get use to it being there and put the pup's food in it's bowl in the bed. But I always leave the kitchen door open at night so they have the run of both kitchen and hall. Amy decided that the bottom of the stairs was her place, and Chloe in the hall beside the stairs. To me, if that's where they want to sleep, that's fine by me.
 

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I'm lucky in that I have a dedicated large dog/utility room, so can keep crates up permanently and use when needed. If I'm working nights then four of them go into the crates in that room, and my old girl sleeps on the sofa. If I left my 11 month old pup out then she'd pretty much destroy the sofa, she's already nibbled a cushion and started pulling some of the stuffing out, thank goodness it's second hand and will hopefully be replaced by the end of this year.
 

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I've never found it a problem. I'll leave the door open over night for a day or two, but by that time they are so use to sleeping there that they just carry on. I then just remove the crate and put the bed where the crate was. I do it first thing in the morning so the pup has all day to get use to it being there and put the pup's food in it's bowl in the bed. But I always leave the kitchen door open at night so they have the run of both kitchen and hall. Amy decided that the bottom of the stairs was her place, and Chloe in the hall beside the stairs. To me, if that's where they want to sleep, that's fine by me.
excellent, thank you.
 

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I'm lucky in that I have a dedicated large dog/utility room, so can keep crates up permanently and use when needed. If I'm working nights then four of them go into the crates in that room, and my old girl sleeps on the sofa. If I left my 11 month old pup out then she'd pretty much destroy the sofa, she's already nibbled a cushion and started pulling some of the stuffing out, thank goodness it's second hand and will hopefully be replaced by the end of this year.
A dedicated utility room would be perfect! I’m very jealous and if any word of this conversation gets back my other she would be on right move within minutes! I think we’re going to remain with the crate and simply transition to him sleeping downstairs until as John says at around 1 year he can move into his bed at night time.
 

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I must admit, it's incredibly useful. When I'm working during the day time the dogs have access to a secure dog run off the dog/utility room, and on top of the crates I've got wood so it's sold enough for them to sit on, so they have a bed on top of and inside their crates. It's a concrete floor so easily cleaned as well.
 

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Hi all, just joined & so glad I found this forum & this post!!!
We pick up our beautiful 8 week old girl at the end of the month & I’ve read so much stuff about having the crate in your room with you initially that I was starting to feel guilty that we’ve never had any of our pets sleep upstairs & didn’t intend to with our new puppy. We have the crate in situ now (so our cats get used to a few doggy things in the run up!) and it’s at the bottom of the stairs in a big, safe, room with a tiled floor which is at the centre of the house, where she will have most supervised access to during the day to begin with. We will be easily be able to hear her during the night so keeping everything crossed that this works out ok!
 

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Hi all, just joined & so glad I found this forum & this post!!!
We pick up our beautiful 8 week old girl at the end of the month & I’ve read so much stuff about having the crate in your room with you initially that I was starting to feel guilty that we’ve never had any of our pets sleep upstairs & didn’t intend to with our new puppy. We have the crate in situ now (so our cats get used to a few doggy things in the run up!) and it’s at the bottom of the stairs in a big, safe, room with a tiled floor which is at the centre of the house, where she will have most supervised access to during the day to begin with. We will be easily be able to hear her during the night so keeping everything crossed that this works out ok!
Hello
We too have never allowed any of our dogs to go upstairs. We too are expecting our 6th lab at the end of the month and she will stay downstairs too. Exciting times and sleep deprivation awaits ;)
 

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Hello JollM. My crate goes under the kitchen table. I always start with a 24 inch crate for babies so there is not too much room. The theory is, a dog wont foul it's bed so it encourages pup to try to hold on. But logically, if you follow this route then you MUST take pup out regularly during the night. I normally take pup out for the last time before bed at about 11pm, I then get up around 1am, 3am 5am before getting up for breakfast at 7am. If I find pup does not need to go for one of these times then I'll reduce the number of times I get up by one and space them out a bit more. Of my last two dogs, Amy was clean all night in 3 days and Chloe in 4, so it is not so onerous as it sounds! With a larger crate I found the pup created a toilet area at one end, which really does not help with house training! The small crate does not last for long before they grow out of it, but by that time it has done it's job and we put it up into the roof to await the next pup. My large crate is a 36 inch, big enough for my bitches, but for males a 42 inch is probably better. Either way, I normally "De-crate" at about a year old, after the risks of chewing has passed, at which point it joins the small crate in the roof awaiting my next pup. Crates are so cheap these days on places like eBay, and mine have both been use for 3 pups, plus the small one loaned to my neighbour for taking her rabbit to the vet a few times, so they don't owe me anything on cost!
 

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Hello JollM. My crate goes under the kitchen table. I always start with a 24 inch crate for babies so there is not too much room. The theory is, a dog wont foul it's bed so it encourages pup to try to hold on. But logically, if you follow this route then you MUST take pup out regularly during the night. I normally take pup out for the last time before bed at about 11pm, I then get up around 1am, 3am 5am before getting up for breakfast at 7am. If I find pup does not need to go for one of these times then I'll reduce the number of times I get up by one and space them out a bit more. Of my last two dogs, Amy was clean all night in 3 days and Chloe in 4, so it is not so onerous as it sounds! With a larger crate I found the pup created a toilet area at one end, which really does not help with house training! The small crate does not last for long before they grow out of it, but by that time it has done it's job and we put it up into the roof to await the next pup. My large crate is a 36 inch, big enough for my bitches, but for males a 42 inch is probably better. Either way, I normally "De-crate" at about a year old, after the risks of chewing has passed, at which point it joins the small crate in the roof awaiting my next pup. Crates are so cheap these days on places like eBay, and mine have both been use for 3 pups, plus the small one loaned to my neighbour for taking her rabbit to the vet a few times, so they don't owe me anything on cost!
Hello JollM. My crate goes under the kitchen table. I always start with a 24 inch crate for babies so there is not too much room. The theory is, a dog wont foul it's bed so it encourages pup to try to hold on. But logically, if you follow this route then you MUST take pup out regularly during the night. I normally take pup out for the last time before bed at about 11pm, I then get up around 1am, 3am 5am before getting up for breakfast at 7am. If I find pup does not need to go for one of these times then I'll reduce the number of times I get up by one and space them out a bit more. Of my last two dogs, Amy was clean all night in 3 days and Chloe in 4, so it is not so onerous as it sounds! With a larger crate I found the pup created a toilet area at one end, which really does not help with house training! The small crate does not last for long before they grow out of it, but by that time it has done it's job and we put it up into the roof to await the next pup. My large crate is a 36 inch, big enough for my bitches, but for males a 42 inch is probably better. Either way, I normally "De-crate" at about a year old, after the risks of chewing has passed, at which point it joins the small crate in the roof awaiting my next pup. Crates are so cheap these days on places like eBay, and mine have both been use for 3 pups, plus the small one loaned to my neighbour for taking her rabbit to the vet a few times, so they don't owe me anything on cost!
Hi JohnW,

Thanks for your reply & excellent advice! we are fully prepared to get up every 2 hours during the night to let her out & if she’s clean within a few days that would be amazing! But we’ll stick with it for as long as necessary & hopefully she’ll soon get the hang of things.
With regards to her crate, we have borrowed a 30” crate but when I put it up, I did think it looked huge. I was expecting to buy a larger one later on but I’m wondering if I should invest in a 24” to begin with. I think for less than £20 on eBay, it would be well worth it if it prevents her from making a toileting area. Then we will have the 30” she can move up to & then a 36” when she’s big enough.
Any advice on bedding for inside the crate? From what I have read, vet bedding seems a good choice.
Thanks again for the advice :)
 

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You can always put some form of patrician in there to restrict it slightly more, maybe a piece of plywood, held in place with cable ties. (I love cable ties, just about everything can be fixed with either cable ties or duck tape!)

Yes, I use a vetbed type fleece, Profleece is cheaper. I usually get a piece big enough to cut 3 or 4 pieces to fit the crate, so I have plenty of changes of bedding. I always feed my pups in their crate, it helps them to look upon it as a nice place. These fleeces are easy to wash and will tumble dry in no time.

I also cover the crate at night. It helps them to sleep through during these light nights and effectively makes it into a "Dog cave" but remember, it's quite mild at this time of year to make sure there is plenty of ventilation. Maybe cover 3 sides and top, but leave the side furthest from the window uncovered.

Look cheap, because nothing will need to last, because pups grow so fast! :)
 

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One thing to look out for, and even after 6 females I’ve never come across this before, is juvenile vulva, where the vulva is more innie than outie. I’ve always crated. My pups have gone through the night from day one until....I had a female with a juvenile vulva. Nightmare. You don’t need to get up every two hours, honestly. Take pup out last thing, 11pm and get up at 5-6am. I bet your pup will be clean if the crate is small enough or they’ll wake you up if they need to go.

As John says, vet bed, feed in crate, make sure crate is covered and cosy. I have multiple sizes as I’m a multi dog house. My pup crate has seen at least 4 pups so far and has been loaned out to friends. Zoooplus is a great source for Inexpensive crates. For your final, adult sized crate, I’d recommend Savic. All my 5 adult dogs still have their own crates, they love them. They range from 14 years to 15 months.
 

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One thing to look out for, and even after 6 females I’ve never come across this before, is juvenile vulva, where the vulva is more innie than outie. I’ve always crated. My pups have gone through the night from day one until....I had a female with a juvenile vulva. Nightmare. You don’t need to get up every two hours, honestly. Take pup out last thing, 11pm and get up at 5-6am. I bet your pup will be clean if the crate is small enough or they’ll wake you up if they need to go.

As John says, vet bed, feed in crate, make sure crate is covered and cosy. I have multiple sizes as I’m a multi dog house. My pup crate has seen at least 4 pups so far and has been loaned out to friends. Zoooplus is a great source for Inexpensive crates. For your final, adult sized crate, I’d recommend Savic. All my 5 adult dogs still have their own crates, they love them. They range from 14 years to 15 months.
Thank you so much for the replies. I’ve actually managed to get a 24” crate so I’ll put the medium one away until she’s ready for it.

Never heard of juvenile vulva before. Is it something that’s present or obvious from very young? How is it diagnosed? How do you manage it & can it be treated?
 
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