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We have a puppy, a 5-month-old Bernedoodle named Gormley. We've been crate training her, and she took to it just fine for several months (we got her at 2 months). However, for some reason, she doesn't want to sleep in her crate at night anymore. A couple weeks ago, she started barking in her crate 15 minutes or so after being put to bed. Thinking she needed to go potty or was thirsty, I let her do both, but she would just keep barking in her crate. When I opened the crate door and left her to her own devices, she just walked over near the couch and laid back down, and fell asleep after a little while.
She has never done this before, and has been completely fine sleeping through the night in her crate up until now. I always keep her up and active for a few hours before bedtime so that she's tired enough to sleep through the night, and give her plenty of water a couple hours before a final night-time potty trip. When she barks, it doesn't seem like she's distressed or afraid or anything, and nothing bad has ever happened to her in her crate (beyond my wife and I leaving the house). We've moved the crate to different locations in the house before and after this started. Should I let her just bark it out and go to sleep? I want her to know that bedtime is bedtime, and to reserve barking for when she really needs something. Anybody have any ideas why this may have started, or any tips on how to fix it?
Should I let her just bark it out and go to sleep?
Yes absolutely. Get some ear plugs if you need to. She needs to learn that barking does not grant her freedom. Definitely don't let her out when she is barking (unless she's in some sort of distress of course).