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We have an 11 (almost 12) week old Cocker Spaniel puppy that we adopted about a week ago. He's a great puppy and we love him already.

Here's my problem. During the day I'm trying to gradually crate train him and he does.......well, ok, but at night he HAS to be in the crate to avoid the complete and total destruction of my house and everything in it. When he is settled in his crate at night he does great all night with no accidents and no noise until morning. HOWEVER, when he first goes in he barks and whines and jumps around for about 20 minutes. I don't know what to do. Should I comfort him? Should I leave him alone and let him "cry it out"? Will he get used to it and eventually go in without a fuss? I know letting him out is a no-no because then he'll think all that barking and whining works, but I feel so bad for him and I'm afraid he's being somehow mentally damaged by being locked up. Am I just nuts, or is this sorta normal??

Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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We have an 11 (almost 12) week old Cocker Spaniel puppy that we adopted about a week ago. He's a great puppy and we love him already.

Here's my problem. During the day I'm trying to gradually crate train him and he does.......well, ok, but at night he HAS to be in the crate to avoid the complete and total destruction of my house and everything in it. When he is settled in his crate at night he does great all night with no accidents and no noise until morning. HOWEVER, when he first goes in he barks and whines and jumps around for about 20 minutes. I don't know what to do. Should I comfort him? Should I leave him alone and let him "cry it out"? Will he get used to it and eventually go in without a fuss? I know letting him out is a no-no because then he'll think all that barking and whining works, but I feel so bad for him and I'm afraid he's being somehow mentally damaged by being locked up. Am I just nuts, or is this sorta normal??

Thanks in advance for any help.
First - it's normal for puppies to cry and bark. Responding to his calls will impede his crate training. So..plug in your ears and ignore him. They're like babies, they will cry and cry in hopes you'll pick them up and comfort them. But if you do it too much, it doesn't make them independent or they will never learn that it's okay to be left alone. (I don't have kids, so don't rely on my quote, but I've heard that you just allow babies to cry them out even though you just fed them etc).

He'll get used to it. Always make it a positive thing when he goes in the crate. Hide a couple treats under his bed. Put in a simple toy - I would not recommend any squeakers unless if you don't mind squeaking noise all night.
Every night my dog gets a different toy with her, even though she doesn't touch it at all...it's the scent that matters. :)
 

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It is hard to hear them cry and whine, but leaving them alone is really the best thing. It should get better with time. And some posters here can tell you that 20 minutes isn't bad at all, even if it seems that way.
 

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They do get used to it. 20 minutes really isn't that bad. I've got a basset hound who's 10 and was never crate trained before I got him. He still whines and barks in the crate at night. It's part of his routine, but he's definitely a lot better. We have a night time routine. The dogs come inside and insist on patrolling the floor for any food that may have fallen on the floor during the day. Then I give them the crate command. They get in their crates and the hound goes nuts banging his tail against the crate and barking his head off. I turn off the lights and tell them good night and the hound lays down and barks a lot less louder for about 5 minutes or so.
 

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Thank you.

That about what I was expecting to hear, but, like a human baby, it's hard to hear him cry. And I really was afraid that letting him cry would make him into a neurotic and crazy dog later on. Hopefully, he'll adjust sooner rather than later so we can both rest a little easier.
 
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