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Hello everyone!

I am having some issues crate training my 3 month old wheaten.

Initially (at 9 weeks old), things were going pretty well. She would sleep in her crate next to my bed all night. It sounds like this is mainly because she was in her adjustment period. Anyway, because things were going well, I moved the crate out of the bedroom two weeks ago. Now, pretty much every night, she is waking up and throwing a fit at 3 am. She barks for at least an hour before settling down (we ignore her so she doesn't get rewarded with attention for barking)

She goes out to potty before she is put in her crate (usually about 1 am) and we get up between 6-630. I don't think it is a potty issue, as she has lasted longer when she was younger.

I have read the old posts, as well as done other research, and am working with her as much as I can. I get her to 'kennel up' with a treat a few times a day, then leave her in there for increasingly amounts of time. I only get her out when she is quiet. She still whines and barks occasionally, even when she has only been in there a very short amount of time (a minute). I don't make a big deal when she comes out of the kennel, so she doesn't think going in her crate is a big deal.

It sounds like it may be a separation issue; I want to fix it before it gets any worse. When she can hear or see me while in the kennel, she is fine, but when I'm out of the room, its back to barking. She doesn't have issues being alone while outside of the kennel -- she likes to play outside by herself (with me watching from inside of course), it is just while in the crate it is a problem.

Obviously, putting the crate next to my bed at night would probably solve the crying at night. However, she is going to be put in her crate during the day while I am at work and it won't matter where the crate is -- I won't be there. She is going to be let out midday to go potty and play, but she will go back in for the afternoon. I don't think she is potty trained enough to just be gated into the kitchen; I don't trust her enough yet not to chew the cabinets.

I'm running out of ideas. Any suggestions?
 

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well ignoring it is correct. One way to help with seperation as well and get an old shirt and wear it like all weekend, that way it has your smell on it and then put it in her crate. She needs to be somewhat self sufficient and entertain herself, thus you won't have seperation issues. I did this with my dog and as long as she had somethign close by her (as a puppy) that smelled like me she seemed to calm down!
 

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I think you're on the right track. It doesn't sound like actual separation anxiety to me, she's just used to being in your room with you and I think if you can wait it out, she'll most likely get over it. A shirt with your scent on it is a great idea!

This is why I never had our puppies' crated in the bedroom. I set an alarm to get up and take them out. Of course the change is going to cause a problem. Hang in there!
 

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i'm guessing when she is barking you go back into the room and either scold her verbally or take her out, yes? There's the positive reinforcement for the behavior.
What you can do to make the crate a happy place
kong toys
feed in the kennel
special toys only allowed to have in the kennel
small food reward when quiet.
here's how to work on that last part. Put the crate right by the door in a room. leave, shut the door and count to 3. if silent, come back in praise and give a food reward. If she makes ANY sound go in very fast, growling angry and bang or jiggle the crate if you have to to make her hush. you only do as much angry dog behavior as is needed to get the desired result. then leave and shut the door. count to 3 repeat whatever action is needed.
once quiet for a count of 3, make it 5, then 7, then 10. then see how long you can stretch it for.
I've never had a dog become fearful of the crate using this method and usually it only takes 1-2 sessions til you have a happy quiet dog in the crate consistently.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! I'll definitely try everyone's suggestions.

Here is my next question.

I have been visiting family for the past week with the puppy and was planning on leaving tomorrow to return to St. Louis, as I start work on Monday. Because the puppy is still having problems with crate training, and I have neighbors above me, I was considering leaving Darby at my family's house (4 hours away) for the week while my family works with her, and then returning over the weekend to get her.

Would this be a good idea? With her being so young and her spending basically all her time with me, would this make things worse?
 

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Short answer to your question: Yes it would be tough on her AND can you depend on your family to be 1oo percent consistent with the training you have been doing so far? If not, you may be set back quite a bit. At 12 weeks she is not quite through her initial socialization period and any negatives at this point can have long lasting consequences.

As for the waking in the night, I do not recommend the shaking of the cage etc. I also think an hour of barking is a bit much, twenty minutes is okay but an hour DOES represent mild SA. Too be perfectly honest I would put her kennel back in the bedroom until she's a bit older OR I would try putting a ticking clock or something that smells like you in or over the crate at night. Her association with the crate should be as positive as possible. Do you leave something for her to chew on (a big bone? or a filled and frozen kong) in the crate at night? I understand the need for her to become independent and confident being alone at night and during the day so this is not a 'coddling' thing, just an understanding that this pup is a YOUNG pup and that it often takes time for them to become accustomed to being crated away from the bedroom. Maybe put it in the hall outside the door to the room, so she can hear/smell you..etc.
 

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Leaving a 3 month old dog for more than 3-4 hours without a potty break is an unreasonable expectation. Although your dog may have gone for long periods of time at a younger age, dogs go through growth spurts and perhaps she needs to be let out once to potty at night right now. Dogs do not have much, if any, muscle control over their bladder until around 6 months of age. Until then you are just playing the odds for how long it takes for the bladder to feel full. Picking up the water bowl two hours before bedtime will also help lengthen the time between night time outings.

Wheaten...barking...hmm....every wheaten I've met has WAY more energy than most pre-school children I know! If you want to curb the excessive barking I would be sure that your dog is good and tired before crating. My neighbors have to do a strenuous walk, run, play hard at the park three times per day with their 2 year old wheaten or she is just not manageable in the house. I hoped someone mentioned this to you about the breed. We see a lot of them at our shelter due to destructive problems. A tired dog is a good dog.
 

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I just want to add that I'm having the same problem with my 1-year-old beagle mix, who was recently adopted from the shelter. Well, I guess it's been 3 weeks now. The crate won't fit in our bedroom, so the crate is in the living room. I was sleeping on the sofa to keep him company and quiet for the first week and a half. But then I was advised to stop doing that, so I did, and he wakes up and whines or barks every 1-2 hours. We either ignore him, or come into the room and order him to be quiet. He'll calm down for a little while, then start up again.

Toys and treats don't work. He ignores toys in the crate, and as soon as he's worked his treat from his bone, he's bored again. I haven't tried putting a sweatshirt with my scent on it because I figure he'd probably pee on it or eat it. But maybe he won't. I'll try that tonight.

And no, I'm not rewarding him for whining/barking, except that once in a while I'll take him out to see if he needs to potty. Usually, he doesn't - he just wants to play. I put him in the kennel again with a tiny treat (the one I always give him for "kennel") and go to bed. I give him as little attention as possible.

I'm exhausted and almost ready to go back to sleeping on the couch. DH thinks we should just let him sleep in the bedroom, but I don't trust him to be loose in the house at night yet.
 

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. We either ignore him, or come into the room and order him to be quiet. He'll calm down for a little while, then start up again.

And no, I'm not rewarding him for whining/barking, except that once in a while I'll take him out to see if he needs to potty. Usually, he doesn't - he just wants to play. I put him in the kennel again with a tiny treat (the one I always give him for "kennel") and go to bed. I give him as little attention as possible.
Every time you go check on him you are rewarding/reinforcing this barking. If you ignore him, it will stop the cycle.
 

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Look, I understand what you are saying about rewarding/reinforcing. I know that the standard advice is "Just ignore it and it will stop."

However, when an animal is barking/whining incessantly for HOURS, you need to see if there is another issue. I would not ignore an animal who is clearly in distress for long periods of time any more than I would ignore a baby who is sobbing in their crib for extended periods. I know there are people who do this - even to their infant children - but I don't. I believe that you need to find out what the problem is, or you risk doing more harm than good. And I don't believe that correcting him with a sharp "No!" while he is barking is a reward, either. Though I know there are those who would disagree.

Clearly, this shelter dog has separation anxiety. Ignoring him only makes him more hysterical. I am not exaggerating about him going on for hours. And if he is trying to tell me he needs to potty, then ignoring him encourages him to mess in the crate. So, if he has persisted in crying for a couple of hours, or wakes us in the middle of the night after a period of quiet, I have to ascertain if that is the problem with a quick, no-nonsense potty break. You may consider that a reward if you choose. I consider it necessary. I do the same for my older dog on occasion when he needs out during the night.

With that said...
I tried putting one of my sweatshirts in the crate last night and it worked!!! It really worked!!!!! Not a peep out of him all night.

Thank you, Cracker!!! Excellent advice, yet again. :D
 

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Hello everyone!

I am having some issues crate training my 3 month old wheaten.

Initially (at 9 weeks old), things were going pretty well. She would sleep in her crate next to my bed all night. It sounds like this is mainly because she was in her adjustment period. Anyway, because things were going well, I moved the crate out of the bedroom two weeks ago. Now, pretty much every night, she is waking up and throwing a fit at 3 am. She barks for at least an hour before settling down (we ignore her so she doesn't get rewarded with attention for barking)

She goes out to potty before she is put in her crate (usually about 1 am) and we get up between 6-630. I don't think it is a potty issue, as she has lasted longer when she was younger.

I have read the old posts, as well as done other research, and am working with her as much as I can. I get her to 'kennel up' with a treat a few times a day, then leave her in there for increasingly amounts of time. I only get her out when she is quiet. She still whines and barks occasionally, even when she has only been in there a very short amount of time (a minute). I don't make a big deal when she comes out of the kennel, so she doesn't think going in her crate is a big deal.

It sounds like it may be a separation issue; I want to fix it before it gets any worse. When she can hear or see me while in the kennel, she is fine, but when I'm out of the room, its back to barking. She doesn't have issues being alone while outside of the kennel -- she likes to play outside by herself (with me watching from inside of course), it is just while in the crate it is a problem.

Obviously, putting the crate next to my bed at night would probably solve the crying at night. However, she is going to be put in her crate during the day while I am at work and it won't matter where the crate is -- I won't be there. She is going to be let out midday to go potty and play, but she will go back in for the afternoon. I don't think she is potty trained enough to just be gated into the kitchen; I don't trust her enough yet not to chew the cabinets.

I'm running out of ideas. Any suggestions?
Hya, just thought i'd pass this on because it's like a miracle to me. Our 10 week old puppy would not let us leave her alone for a second either in her crate or in a room without her whining, crying and howling none stop. I decided to try some advice off the forum and put a t-shirt that i'd been wearing in her crate. I also put some radio on for her fairly loud. I just cant believe what a difference its made she is as happy as a puppy can be.I may have to buy a crate load of cheap t-shirts but its worth it for some peace!!
 

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We had some definite separation anxiety issues with our newly adopted 6 month old shih-tzu/maltese mix... however things have been so much better lately.
We crated her at first when we went out... then we switched to confining her to a small room via a baby gate. We were advised by our vet to continue with the crate. So for the past week, she has been back in the crate... and its been great!!!! We do keep her in her crate as night as well, and we keep it in our bedroom. We usually put here in there around 10-11ish.... and she doesnt usually wake us up til 6-7ish (still being a puppy... she usually NEEDS to pee at that point). It has been getting later in the past week which is great. We don't however let her out while she is crying. We wait til she quiets down for a few mins, then let her out.

We have had to get her used to her crate however, and it has taken a few weeks for sure. We always keep the crate in an area for her to get to, leave the door open while were home, and she will even get in there and just chill. We will also put some treat in there without her looking, and she will go in and discover them on her own. She has gotten very used to the crate!!!

Another thing we tried was putting a towel over her crate so it feels like a 'den'... sounds simple... but it actually worked in calming her down.
 

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I just want to point out that what your dogs have is NOT "Separation Anxiety" which is a medical condition and due to an imbalance of hormones. This is all normal -- VERY normal -- puppy behavior that can be resolved with training, patience, and behavior modification.

I think a lot of new dog owners jump to the "Separation Anxiety" conclusion (hey, myself included) without understanding what it is. It needs actual medical intervention, and is far, far more severe than whining and barking at night in the crate.
 

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I want to add that I had to try something else, as the sweatshirt was only good for one night. He is definitely calmer than was without something with my smell, but still waking up. That is to say, he still barks and whines, but less frantically!

I finally asked my vet about melatonin and he said yes, we can try it, though it may not work. I looked it up on the web and supposedly it relieves anxiety in some dogs. So I gave my dog 3 mg last night before bedtime. He still woke up at 3 a.m. and started whining and softly barking, but I went in there, shook the cage and said "No!" very fiercely, and then went back to bed. He was quiet until the birds woke him up this morning. So, I think the melatonin may have helped settle him a little.

If I can get him to be quiet until at least 5 a.m. I'll be happy!
 
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