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My puppy is 9 weeks old and has no problem going into the crate. I give him a treat he loves and runs straight in it. He will eat his treat and then go to sleep and typically is fine with no crying or whining as I leave the room. The issue is when he wakes up an hour later. He will start barking, crying, howling etc. I have a baby camera on him so I can see what he does and if he's crying when I'm out of the house. He's cried for over an hour without stopping once. Currently he's been going for 30 minutes. He went potty before I put him in.
At nighttime he will stay in his crate without any whining or barking since I'm in the room sleeping close to the crate. He can hold it from 3-5 hours at night and when I take him out he will go potty and go right back in without issue and back to sleep.
Any suggestions for what to do? Is it just something that takes time? After an hour of crying I sometimes need to take him out but I don't want him to learn that crying will get him out. I try to wait for him to calm down for a minute and go get him but I'm not sure if there is a better solution.
We haven't had the type of issue you describe, but as a hopeful 'preventative', we leave classical piano music playing to help foster a calm atmosphere. Perhaps there are also some enrichment-type toys/activies that will help during crate time to distract him from thinking about you being absent?
We take a stuffed toy and put it into the wire frame of the crate, so our pup can decide if she wants it, then work to pull it all the way in.
Thanks for the response. I think it was just him getting used to being in the crate alone and learning that we would come back. The last few days he has spent around 3 hours in the crate and from what I can tell is fine with minimal crying or whining.
What I would do: Take 2 weeks off.
Teach your puppy that the crate is a good thing and that you will come back if you leave.
How to do it: The crate is the chillout place. Always give your pup something to chew on while it is in the crate. Combine it with super delicious treats. This way the dog will connect the crate with good things.
Second: You want to build up the time alone slowly. This is why you need to take a few free days for training. And by slow I mean really slow. Not only will your dog learn that you come back, but also frustation tolerance.
The first step would be to leave the room and close the door for not more than 1-2 seconds before coming back. You do that until your dog is starting to show signs of relaxation in the crate. After that, you slowly increase the time outsite of the room. Maybe to 20 seconds first, then further and further. Always increase the time IF you see the dog relaxing.
While doing so, don't give the dog attention. Just ignore him and do whatever has to be done right now (like washing dishes). By doing so, the dog learns that you leaving and coming back is normal routine and no big deal.
And please do the training in intervals. Train for 15 minutes, then take 1 or 2 hours break. Repeat.
I know that this sounds like a weird thing, but you will not even need a crate anymore if you do this once and take your time with it. The dog will sleep while you are gone after that.
Last edited by GermanSoKa; 02-16-2019 at 09:17 AM.