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Hi, I am a new member in this forum. We have a seven week old Lab/Collie mix pup, and it's been a week since we've had her. She's a cute little thing with a tremendous amount of energy. We've been trying to crate train her but it's not as easy as we thought. We bought a play pen for her and put an open crate in it with some toys and towels in it. We feed her in the crate and she also sleeps in the pen, seldom in the crate though (she sleeps in the crate sometimes at night, but never during the day). The problem is when she is awake she doesn't like to be in the pen. She wants to be out playing with our four and a half year old Shiba Inu. If we ignore her, she howls and whines and tries to climb on the pen. She is not housetrained yet, so we can't let her play ALL the time without watching her. We don't want her to become a whiny dog, so we let her out before she even starts whining. Is that where we are wrong? Should we ignore her? She does this at night too and we've been having sleepless nights for the past one week. Help!!
Welcome! With your puppy only being 7 weeks old it was very young to be taken from its litter mates and mom. It's definately weaned but when they don't get to experience the litter experience for until about 12 weeks of age this crate training becomes a much more difficult job. One thing you need to do to try and help her is give her a special bone or toy for ONLY when she is put into the crate. At night (this is very hard to do and may take weeks to stop the whining) put her in your room by you and let her know you are there right beside her while she is in the crate. You always have to ignore her if she is whining or barking to get out of the crate. Since she is not housetrained you will need to keep an eye on her constantly to let her out everytime after she eats, sleeps or plays. It's good that you let her out of the crate before she whines because if you let her out when she whines all that will do is reinforce the whining and all she will know is that she is rewarded for whining. Another thing to try is to put her in the crate for 5 minutes, give her treats while she is in there, make it a fun time. And then let her out. Slowly build up to making her stay in there overnight. It's easier to do this if you have a couple days off work but chances are you don't so if you could have someone "dog sit" for you and do this slow transition to the crate it would be very helpful for you and your puppy and not make the situation so stressful for your puppy. Good luck!
Whining is one behavior that will require a large amount of patience on your part. Yes, you need to ignore your dog's whining no matter how annoying it may be. There is no punishment that will stop the whining. In fact, punishment may only make the problem worse because you are only reinforcing the whining with attention...even if you yell at the dog, that's still attention. Ostracism can be a severe form of punishment, as long as you follow through. On top of this, you need to praise your puppy when she is calm and quiet to reinforce the good behavior. So, ignore the bad behavior, and praise the good behavior. Finally, give your pup plenty of exercise to help drain that pent up energy...you may find your pup will sleep better too.
I ignored her this morning and she kept whining for almost an hour, without even a 5 minute rest in between so I can praise her and pick her up!!!! I had to let her out. She was so tired from all that whining that she fell asleep on the living room floor next to our older dog. I don't know how to calm her down without giving her any attention.
We do put her in our room at night. The whole pen and the crate is moved into our room. We also left the crate top open so she can see us. She has no problem going to sleep if she's tired. The only exercise she gets right now is playing with our dog and us at home. She is not done with all her vaccinations so we're not taking her out for walks. We play with her in the evenings so she gets tired before bedtime. But she still wakes up every two hours and usually has trouble going back to sleep early morning. I don't know if I should play with her then as I don't want to make it a habit.
Lets back up a little...you'll need to teach your dog to accept short periods of confinement before leaving her alone for long periods, as GSD lover suggested. Spend time with the dog in the area where she is left and show her that this is a fun place. If she starts to whine or cry when you leave, don't rush back to let her out or reassure her. Again, if you do, she will learn that she can control you with vocal, emotional blackmail. If she does bark, whine, or complain, she probably is not yet comfortable in her confinement area. Spend a little more time with her there. Then, when you leave, if she barks or whines, give her a firm but calm NO! She's still a young pup, so much of the whining should be expected. But you can start laying down the foundation for the commands you'll want to use to control this behavior. After she has been quiet for a few moments, return and praise her lavishly. Practice leaving and returning several times, so she becomes accustomed to your departures and realizes that you are not abandoning her forever and that you will return. Practice leaving her for longer and longer periods, but start out by leaving for just a few minutes, then returning to let her out, but only if she's quiet. The more you practice this, the quick the whining will go away. Remember, there are no quick fixes, just be consistent, persistent, and calm.
If your dog is whining when you are at home, either for attention or just out of habit, provide her with daily routines of play, exercise, and training. Play is good, but limit the play sessions for only ten minute periods, and don't be afraid to start basic training now. If you're afraid of walking her outdoors, walk her around the house. Often, these special times of undivided attention will stop the dog from whining for the rest of the day. Ignore her whenever she begins demanding your attention. Each time you give in to your dog's demands, you are training her to continue demanding. If you want a few moments of peace, you can teach the dog to be quiet on request. Gently ask your dog to please "Be Quiet." If she ignores you and continues whining, say, "BE QUIET!" louder, and squirt the dog in the face with water. After a few repetitions, she will get the idea and obey the first gentle request of "Be quiet," rather than waiting for the loud voice or the spray of water.
yes!!!! your right!!!!!! good job!!! but no water spray... thats negitive reinforcement. reward for if she does not bark or whine .. if she does grab her face and say ''NO whining'' loud!!!! ''NO BARKING'' then reward.
Well, we had a wonderful day yesterday. Everytime I put her in the play pen she would curl up and go to sleep or play with her toys for a while. Whenever she wakes up she lets a low short whine to let us know she's up (when I am in the other room) and I let her out to play before giving her a chance to whine.
Today was a different story, she woke up at 5:30 am and expected us to let her out to play. We didn't have the energy to get up and play with her or watch her play so we ignored her, and then she started whining and barking and didn't stop for an hour. Her pen was right next to our bed.
Finally, she stopped and my husband brought her in the kitchen to play while we had breakfast. After breakfast I put her in the pen (in the kitchen), and then she started again. I ignored her but she just went on and on. Finally, I told her calmly to go to sleep and SHE DID!!! I am totally confused as to where I am right and where I am wrong with handling her whining and barking problems. Sometimes she listens and is an angel, sometimes she is just adamant.
You're right Dog_Whisper. It's us who needs training. We read a couple dog training sights and are also reading Dog Whisperer and The Art of Training a Puppy by New Skete Monks. We learned a lot and are still learning.
The weekend was great, especially because hubby took over and I got to take a long much needed nap. I was rejuvenated and was up for the challenge again. My husband has more patience than I have and he was great with the pup. I watched him with her so I can follow the pattern. We are also doing clicker training with her - positive reinforcement. Everytime she does something good, even an eye contact, we click and treat her with tiny bits of food. It seems to be working. She loves the fenced in backyard and figured out the doggy door. She goes out on her own and does her business, and at night she still wakes up every two hours to go out and doesn't like to be in her pen after 5:30 am. This morning I slept on the carpet outside her pen and she went to sleep too. Both me and my hubby got an extra hour of sleep.
How long will it take for her to hold her bladder for a longer period of time? She's turning 8 weeks tomorrow.
Classes that offer socialization periods for your pup I think are wonderful, so look for a small group class over individual training. Your first obedience class should teach you and your dog basic manners (like bite inhibition, and how to treat jumping), come-sit-stay-down (at a minimum), loose leash walking, and use positive reinforcement. The sooner you can get your pup enrolled the better (most likely between 12 and 18 weeks old)...but most of the requirements are will be determined by the school because they require a certain level of vaccination. I would recommend you ask your vet, and consult other dog owners in your area for recommendations. Good luck and happy training!