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Discussion Starter #1
We're about to adopt one of the foster pups we've had for 5 weeks. They're just past 9 weeks old. At night, they stay in a large pen with pee pads. We'll be crate training our dog, but the dilemma is what to do during the first nights. Just about every article or forum advice says to keep the puppy in a crate by our bed at night. This makes NO sense to me for a dog who is just starting to be crate trained. Our thoughts are to still put him in the pen (not the crate) at bedtime, but I'll sleep next to pen (it's way to big to put our bedroom), and I'll walk him during the night and gradually get him to use the crate at bedtime through the crate training process. Is this a reasonable solution?
 

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The thing about overnight is they're usually sleeping.

When we brought out puppy home (not crated trained), she fussed a little bit the second night, but sticking my fingers in the crate so she knew she wasn't alone quieted her down right away.
 

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When we brought out puppy home (not crated trained), she fussed a little bit the second night, but sticking my fingers in the crate so she knew she wasn't alone quieted her down right away.[/QUOTE]


So she was able to go a full night without peeing?
 

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Crate by the bed and set an alarm for halfway through the night. Have a robe and slip on shoes handy along with collar with leash attached ready to go (no collars on crated dogs for safety). Quick potty trip with NO playtime, use a flashlight to avoid turning on lights if needed, back into crate.

If pup has peed in crate before the alarm goes off, set the alarm a bit earlier the next night along with making sure he gets a last potty trip before bed immediately before bedtime. If after a week, pup has not peed in the crate before the alarm them set it a bit later. And then a bit later (maybe 45 minutes change each time) the following week. Then no alarm but take puppy out if he gets restless. Heavy sleepers may need to keep using an alarm for a hit longer if they won't wake up to the noise of a restless puppy.
 

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When we brought out puppy home (not crated trained), she fussed a little bit the second night, but sticking my fingers in the crate so she knew she wasn't alone quieted her down right away.

So she was able to go a full night without peeing?[/QUOTE]

Haha, no, I set an alarm for every 2.5 hours. But she settled back to sleep quickly each time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for the detail. There's still the concern about putting the puppy in the crate without any of the gradual steps that every article/website -- and I mean every single one I've read that deals specifically with crate training -- recommends gradual acclimation to the crate (ie, in the crate for, literally, a few minutes with the door open, then when the pup seems comfortable, close it for a very short time... etc etc). Every one of them says don't just put them in the crate and shut the door the first time (though for some dogs this may work). If all those articles are wrong, OK, but I'm just parroting what they all say, and I'm not trying to be sarcastic, just trying to figure things out.
 

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Thank you for the detail. There's still the concern about putting the puppy in the crate without any of the gradual steps that every article/website -- and I mean every single one I've read that deals specifically with crate training -- recommends gradual acclimation to the crate (ie, in the crate for, literally, a few minutes with the door open, then when the pup seems comfortable, close it for a very short time... etc etc). Every one of them says don't just put them in the crate and shut the door the first time (though for some dogs this may work). If all those articles are wrong, OK, but I'm just parroting what they all say, and I'm not trying to be sarcastic, just trying to figure things out.
The articles are not wrong per se. Their advice however is much more applicable to day time crating of an awake puppy where you are then leaving puppy alone. I have a post here from way back on crate games that has a detailed step by step for crate training ( i think searching "crate games seminar" and my user name will find it). Which I agree with the steps of.

But a crate by your bed in a dark quiet room with a tuckered out puppy is a bit different. Some will bark and cry the first night or two but MOST of the time, a hand dangled down by the crate and the sound of sleeping humans will calm the puppy just fine after the first night or two and sometimes even from the start.
 

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The articles are not wrong per se. Their advice however is much more applicable to day time crating of an awake puppy where you are then leaving puppy alone. I have a post here from way back on crate games that has a detailed step by step for crate training ( i think searching "crate games seminar" and my user name will find it). Which I agree with the steps of.

But a crate by your bed in a dark quiet room with a tuckered out puppy is a bit different. Some will bark and cry the first night or two but MOST of the time, a hand dangled down by the crate and the sound of sleeping humans will calm the puppy just fine after the first night or two and sometimes even from the start.
This makes perfect sense. It would certainly uncomplicate things and I'll give it a try.
 

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I never gradually did anything with the crate. I put my puppy in the crate, door shut. I used it during the day when I could not watch her. When she was quiet I put her outside. After she pee'd and so forth, I played with her. When she was tired, in the crate she went. A little food or something to gnaw on helped. I used a Kong stuffed with lo fat plain yogurt or Natural peanut butter (and I had a few of these, frozen in the freezer).

I did do "Crate Games" to make the crate positive. I still sometimes toss a little kibble in the crate even as adults just so crating is simply a thing done, not a bad thing done!

My last three dogs learned about crates from their breeder. None of the ones before these three had that.
I handled it all the same way.

Only the last puppy had the crate in the bedroom. All the rest I had a crate in the next room over (in this case it was the living room). I got up every 2 hours at night for the first week, then started to taper that back when I had to wake the puppy up to get her out at night.
 

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I think most of the articles you're reading are also designed for people who are bringing a new puppy into their home for the first time. A crate beside the bed is a good way to keep them safe and out of trouble at night. It also usually prevents potty accidents because generally speaking they don't want to pee in their crate, plus you will be right there to hear when they are awake and probably needing to go out. If they're just fussy/afraid you can put your hand down to reassure them. I would take one of the puppy's blankets (or something else with puppy smell) and put it in the crate for the night.

I'm curious - you say it will be the first nights, but that you've also been fostering the puppies for 5 weeks. So where have they been sleeping up until now? Will all the other puppies be gone now?
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I'm curious - you say it will be the first nights said:
They were in our garage, where we kept an 8'x4' pen that we heated as needed. When we were home, they had free run of the garage and had some good, crazy backyard time. We frequently brought them inside, usually one at a time. They went back to the shelter two days ago.

Yesterday, the one we adopted, Baloney, was neutered and he came home today. No more garage. He's in a room with a child/pet safety door and he'll be free to roam in that room when we're home. When we're not home, he'll be in a sizable octagonal pen in that room. Whether we go straight to the crate in our bedroom tonight (as others here have done) or put him in the octagon, which will have a pee pad, I'll be sleeping next to him.

Update: So far, he's peed inside 3 times -- not on the pee pad of course -- while I was in the room with him. With the group, he was great about using the pads. Twice he peed after I'd walked him and sat with him outside for about half an hour each time, but it's only day one.
 
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