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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't know what to do. I have read everything I can find about crate training, and it all seems to suggest the same thing: if I put treats in there and encourage him to check it out, he will be interested if not take an immediate liking to the crate.

I have not had that experience. I adopted a roughly six month old beagle from the Humane Society four days ago, and he has not warmed on the crate at all. If I am actively trying to encourage him to check out the crate, he won't take his attention off of me long enough to venture in and get the treat or toy I'm offering inside the crate. If I move away or stop paying attention long enough, he will only go as far in as he needs to grab the toy or treat, then leave and play/eat elsewhere. If I am not actively encouraging him but I happen to notice and try to praise him, the sudden noise worries him and he leaves the crate. The same is true of meals. I put his bowl in the crate, and if I'm anywhere near it, he will grab a mouthful at a time and eat it outside the crate; if I go somewhere else, he will eat inside the crate, but usually with one or both of his hind legs still outside the crate.

I don't really know how to acclimate him to the crate when I can't get him to spend more than a second in it of his own accord. For the record, I do occasionally have to place him into the crate so that I can leave the apartment for errands and so forth. When I do this, he whines and barks once I am outside the door. I do not know how long this goes on, but I would guess about five minutes. Until last night, I was leaving him in his crate in the living room, and he was whining, barking, pawing at the door, and digging at the base (nothing destructive, more like testing) for at least thirty minutes before going to sleep. Last night I put him right next to my bed, and he still whined and pawed and dug a bit, but only for about ten minutes and it was much less intense, and no barking. I worry that he may be getting the too much negative reinforcement for any positive reinforcement to be effective. Am I just going to have to spend several days not leaving the apartment at all in order to get him accustomed to the crate not being a torture chamber?

If anybody has any similar experience or advice, I would very much appreciate it. I want my puppy to think of his crate as a pleasant room of his own like everybody suggests he should, but I just don't know how to get there.
 

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This is normal for lots of people! Keep that in mind!
Do you know much about this puppy's history? Was he brought in to the shelter recently? Was he born in a shelter?

You ARE doing the right thing with the treats, and with feeding him in the crate. Have you googled "crate games"? That has helped many people here! :)

The other thing to do is start conditioning him to being in the crate with the door shut. I know you said you DO put him in the crate when you have to leave. But, try doing it throughout the day when you're home.

Here's how you could do it:
- start with just 30 seconds. Give him a frozen, stuffed kong. For lots of dogs that's a HIGH value treat, better than just a few normal treats. You can stuff it with anything, really. Peanut butter is the favorite at our house, but you can also use yogurt (plain, not flavored) or cottage cheese. Freezing it overnight will make it take longer to lick it out! :) ANYWAY, give the kong, in the crate, and shut the door for 30 seconds. Don't hover, move away, out of sight. Come back after 30 seconds and let him out. BUT, wait for a break in the whining/crying, no matter how brief a break, even just seconds! Otherwise, he'll think whining got him let out.

- Do this 30 second thing as often as you have time for throughout the day, for a few days.

- Then, increase the time to 1-2 minutes. Wait for a break in the whining and let him out. Do this as often as you can throughout the day for a few days.

- Next, try 3 minutes, as often as you can for a few days.

You get the point. It's hard listening to the whining, I know. BUT, keep in mind that you aren't hurting him, and it's NOT mean. If you can get your puppy to be comfortable on his own in the crate, it will all be worth it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you so much for all of your help, doxiemommy.

I will start trying the conditioning. The issue was that I was under the impression that for training purposes, placing him in the crate was frowned upon. If that's an acceptable way of starting out the training, I will start doing that.

How much peanut butter a day is acceptable in addition to his normal food?
 

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Well, when our puppies were young we used the "puppy sized" kong, and just filled it with peanut butter, and then froze it overnight.
Now, we usually put a variety of dry and moist treats in the kong, and then just a couple tablespoons of peanut butter to "seal" the end.

As for not actually placing him in the crate for training purposes, that would be great if every pup love the crate from the beginning, or was at least open to going in to investigate for awhile.
But, since you're having trouble on that front, there's nothing wrong with putting the kong in the crate, having him go in to investigate the kong, and then shutting the door behind him! :)
Good luck!
 
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