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I know this topic has come up before, probably tons of times but please, humor me.

We have a 4.5 month old puppy (a shepherdxpitbull) and for the most part he is very well behaved and a quick learner. He is obviously quite intelligent and picks things up fast. Unfortunately, he has picked up one habit that is killing me.

Lately he has started to bark and cry at 4am. We have set up a schedule for him and this has not changed. He gets two walks a day plus play time outside. We take his water away at 8:30am and he goes to bed at 10:00pm every night and he is put out to pee right before bed. He never has any accidents at night so I know he isn't barking and crying because he needs to pee. Oh also, he sleeps in his crate and always has w/ dog bed and a couple toys. It is not in our bedroom anymore but it hasn't been for quite some time (doesn't fit).

We never EVER acknowledge him when he cries and he is never let out of his crate if he is crying. We haven't changed his schedule but his crying is, if anything, getting worse.

I am at a loss as to what else I can do. I have heard that having a clock radio by his crate playing softly helps. Does covering the crate with a blanket work? I am wondering if maybe he is crying because it is light out so much earlier.

Any tips, tricks or hints would be greatly appreciated. And if we're going about this all wrong, please let me know!
 

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Covering the crate will sometimes work, but make sure that he can't pull the sheet into the crate...

I'm guessing you've had him more than a month. And, I'm guessing that he had just started crying, and wasn't crying at all about two weeks ago???

If that is the case, then I think that he may be teething, so that means his baby teeth are falling out, his adult teeth are coming in, and his gums are sore. He needs some things to chew on, such as a Kong, a hard rubber bone, and possibly a frozen washcloth. Sometimes you can't give a washcloth to a Lab, b/c they will swallow it. Pits and GSDs typically destroy without swallowing, but you'll have to watch to make sure. You can also freeze the Kong. Crunchy ice (not solid ice cubes) might help also. You can try giving him the frozen Kong when he first whines .... but no other interaction. HOwver, just have the KOng (or something else) to chew on in the crate when he wakes up may be adequate...
 
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