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Refuses crate in the night

762 Views 17 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Invisidog
My 11 week old puppy refuses to go back into his crate in the middle of the night after a potty break. If I lift him in, he doesn't seem to mind, no fussing or whining or anything at all. He just refuses to go in on his own. I know I'm not supposed to be force my dog into crate but does anyone have any ideas on how to resolve this issue?
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What does he do? Is he wanting to play? Or trying to lay down elesewhere? Or trying to stay with you?
First thing I would do is evaluate how much time he is crated over a 24 hour period. Guidance is very limited in regards to how long is too long and only refers to single confinements periods, so it's easy to over crate without realizing it. If he is being crated all day while you work, all night while you/he sleeps, and various other times, he could potentially be spending upwards to 18 hours crated in a 24 hour period - and that is too much crating. And he may be balking because he's tired of being locked up.

If he is crated at least 12 hours a day, you may want to find an alternative for some of that time. A baby gate can confine him to one room. Depending on his size, an exercise pen can confine him to a smaller area in a room. Both will allow him free movement (which he needs for his muscle and bone development) while still limiting his access to trouble.

If under 12 hours, then you should go back to the beginning and re-crate train him.
Thanks. I'm working on crate training again. He has a pen but otherwise I don't put him in his crate for more than 2 hours at a time, twice a day. So 4 hours total. So I don't think it's too much crating.
Definitely not too much crating. In that case, I would do as the others suggest. Just put him in the crate. He doesn't have to necessarily want to go in the crate, just as long as he's not avoiding or afraid of or actively fighting the crate.
11 weeks old puppies certainly are not all capable of going 6-8 hours without a potty break. A few can do it, but for the vast majority, their bladders are too small to hold it in that long.
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