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My puppy, like many others, cries when first put in the crate. It can reach a howl or a bark, but he settles down after five or ten minutes. I've used a voice activated recorder to test this and he quiets down when I leave the house after five minutes. I find that when I am at home, though, he doesn't quiet down as quickly. My question is this: if my puppy quiets down in the crate after ten minutes and I am home, should I praise him? I'm afraid if I speak, it will wake him up and start the cycle again.

Some things I'm doing to make the crate less horrible and some of it I hope is working.
1) Feeding inside the crate
2) Putting him in the crate for an hour twice a day (sometimes two hours) -- partially so I can get out!
3) Giving him "frozen" kongs with food in them and some peanut butter rubbed on
4) Giving him a rawhide or nylabone to chew
5) Put my sweaty t-shirt in the crate and my shoes in front to make it smell like us (sadly, he had diarrhea the first night and I had to wash the blanket that came from his breeder with the smell of his family on it)
6) Opportunity to pee and poop before going in crate
 

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Have you tried any crate games with him? If not, you can google/youtube them, they may help you.

Typically, if my goal is to have the dog be calm/quiet, I will praise/treat for calm/quiet. Otherwise I'm not sure the dog totally understands what I'm looking for. At first this may rile them back up again - for instance, when my puppy lays quietly at my feet and I praise him he might get hyper and excited, seemingly defeating the purpose - but eventually they do figure out what they are being praised for, and if he stays calm even after I praise him I will treat him again. I haven't had to use this method with crate training, so I'm not sure if it would apply there, though.

Also adding that it sounds like you haven't had him for very long, so hang in there. Crate training takes time, even if the breeder started it before you got him. Some dogs take days, some months, but as long as you are consistent and never let him out while he is crying, he'll get it eventually.
 
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