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My husband and I just recently got a Mini Aussie pup. He turned three months old the day we got him, exactly a week ago today. Ever since we brought him home, we have been non-stop applauding and praising him around his crate. Whenever he goes in, treat. When his sits or lays down in it, treat. When we go to bed, treat. We put the crate in the living room during the day (I am currently between jobs so I am home with him 24/7), and his crate is right next to our bed at night time. He wants NOTHING to do with it after 5AM.

Since day one, he has slept in his crate - with the door OPEN. Once we try to even sloooooowly push the door close, he freaks out. Its frustrating because we are trying to crate/potty train at night, but we can't keep him in! We are waking up multiple times at night because he leaves his crate to wander, and we don't want any more potty accidents. I've kept him crated while I've been out of the house to run errands up to about 3 hours max with the door closed and he is (mostly) quiet when I leave and come home. He mostly whines, but does bark quite loudly very infrequent.

He WILL NOT have anything to do with his crate until its bed time. Once he goes outside to potty twice during the night, he wants nothing to do with his crate again. Its like, he determines when "sleep time" is, and when he thinks its over - no more crate.

How in the world do we get him more comfortable with his crate during the day? How do we get him to be okay with the door closed at night? I am adamantly job-hunting, so he will be crated up to 4-5 hours once I secure employment. My husband and I need some sleep and some help!

NOTE: **we live in a condo, so we have neighbors on both sides of us. Just wanted to note that because we would hate to seriously disturb them for hours on end at night.
 

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Can you feed him in the crate and close the door? Give him a kong to work on and close the door?

Most puppies are going to have some moment of "oh, hey, why is this closed? I want out now!" that you're just going to have to wait out and reward once they're quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We have tried feeding him his meals in the crate and he will pull out pieces individually and eat them on the floor. We have tried to close the door while he's eating and he just flung his dish and made a big mess. :( We also recently got him a kong bone, we make sure it has treats on each end and he will sniff it and leave the crate and try to enjoy it elsewhere.

Should we crate him with the door closed while we are in the living room at night before bed? Should I do it during the day while I'm at home? I don't want to regress and have him hate it, but I feel like we need to desensitize during more "light" hours for the sake of our neighbors. Any insight would be fantastic.
 

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At some point you're going to have to close the door and let him work through it a bit. Neither of my dogs choose to go in their crate, and if the door is left open they'll take that treat somewhere else. But they're both fine being crated. Definitely do it while you're there at first so you can reward him and let him out when he's quiet. You also don't want him to associate crate with you leaving every time - sometimes he's just in there while you're home and it's no big deal. My current puppy was in and out of her crate constantly during time we were home (often as time outs for annoying the older dog, or because I wanted to train with the older dog and get her out of the way). She's fine with it because it's just a normal thing. She did bark and cry a bit at first, but only for a few minutes.
 

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Thank you for the advice. We will definitely be pushing meal times in there and having him hang out in there next to us during the evening for a while. Is there such thing as "too much time" while we are home for him to be crated? Maybe 30 minutes? Do we do frequent 10 minute sessions? I'm not sure to go about it. I don't want to make him hate it!!!
 

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There really isn't a good answer to your questions. Crate training is more of an art than a science sometimes because you have to look at the individual. Some get accustomed to it very quickly and others are more anxious about being confined or about being away from their people. As long as the puppy is getting sufficient exercise and interaction outside of the crate, putting him in there for a half an hour or a few sessions in the evening isn't going to hurt.
 

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So the dog is doing amazingly well except for your neurotic fixation with the crate. Hmm, I wonder what one thing you could remove there to make it just be that the dog is doing amazingly well. ;)
 

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So the dog is doing amazingly well except for your neurotic fixation with the crate. Hmm, I wonder what one thing you could remove there to make it just be that the dog is doing amazingly well. ;)
Would you feel comfortable letting a 13 week old puppy roam your house scotch-free when you weren't home or sleeping? We need something to assure total potty training. He's doing very well with potty training, but why change regressing? We need something to assure he is safe and not doing naughty things when he is not under our care. I'm not fixated on keeping him kenneled up his entire life; it's assurance for all of us. He doesn't ruin our things, he doesn't choke or stuff or get hurt. It's a win-win, wouldn't you think?
 

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Well, when you tried to get him to go into the crate and he balked, you let him get away with it. Now he has learned he can get away with it. Dogs are opportunists, they will test you. Now it will be harder to get him to go into the crate in the day time. When my JR was crated, I would put a towel over the crate to make it dark. That will help. I never let a puppy that is not proven that he won't get into trouble loose in the house. MY RULES RULE. In the crate, or on a leash, or perhaps in a pen under close observation. My JR now has the run of the house and follows the rules.
 
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