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Our 12 week old Min Pin lives in a puppy safe room that has his crate and a puppy pad. I attached a picture below. He sleeps in his crate with the door open every night with no problems. He’s been eating most of his meals inside the crate and he’s learned to run into his crate and wait for food as soon as he hears the rattle of his kibble. He will go inside on own his own sometimes if given a good treat and he responds very well to “go to your home” because that means he’s getting a treat in his crate.

Now that he’s 12 weeks old we were thinking he should be able to hold his pee for 4 hours, so we figured we will crate him at night and CLOSE the door for 4 hours then wake up in the middle of the night for an outside potty break instead of just letting him use his puppy pad. (When we leave the crate door open he will get out of his crate and pee once on the pad throughout the night)

This is how it’s been going: I tell him to “go to your home”, he runs in as fast as he can, I give him his treat and I close the crate door. He goes NUTS. I mean it sounds like he’s getting tortured inside. He screams as loud as he can and he bites and scratches at the door for hours. He’s only 3 lbs but he bounces around so hard inside that he will move his entire crate a few feet. Very often he will also pee and poop himself even if we recently took him out.

I tried giving him his favorite busy treat, a peanut butter filled Kong, but as soon as that door closes he gets frantic.


Can I get some help answering these questions please?


1. Do we need to just wait it out for a few days until he stops? He used to do the same thing when he’s inside his puppy safe room but he eventually stopped. Would the crate training be the same way?


2. I’ve had people suggest a squirt from a water bottle but I’m worried that will make him hate his crate even more.


3. Is there anything else we can be doing to make his crate “lockups” less traumatic for him? Would a DAP diffuser help? My wife found a puppy cuddle pet online that has a heartbeat and she thinks it might help.


4. Are we traumatizing him by just ignoring him in his crate or could he just be doing this to be let out?


Thanks!


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I would recommend moving the crate to your bedroom at night, and THEN ignore him. The thing is, at night a very young puppy like yours will be a bit more scared at night. So, now all of a sudden shutting the door is seeming to be scary for him. Even if he can smell you, hear you breath, or see you it can help comfort him.

Actually, i would have suggested you do this from the beginning. Leaving him in the other room, crate door open, that seems to me something you'd transition to as he got older....your plan seemed backwards to me. It's usually better to keep a youngerf pup closer and then transition him away as he gets older.

Sorry, got sidetracked. If your main concern is that he cries now when the door is shut, at night, I'd cover the crate, put an unwashed piece of your clothing in the crate, and ignore him.....
 
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