The Joys of Crate Training

Obviously a Dog that is Happily Choosing to Sleep in His Home

Some people will just look at the heading of this article and be emotionally turned off at the idea of “caging” an animal.  Some of you have dealt with the negative connotations of crate training in the past, or have simply all the pessimistic implications and have made up your minds.  I am hoping that today I can change a few minds with some truths about crate training and utilization.

Many dogs are alive, simply because crates allow them to be free from destruction and danger.  Not only are chewer’s euthanized at an alarming rate throughout this country every day thousands of dogs die because of consuming the wrong things.

There are toxins all over the average household, cold and flu medicines, gum, nutmeg, batteries, and plants that are a death sentence for dogs that eat them.

Bored dogs shred sofas and remote controls, they inadvertently swallow underwear, razor blades or batteries.  And, if their owners are lucky these dog will only require expensive and painful obstruction surgery to save their lives.  Obstructions are dangerous and kill dogs every day!  For a look at more check out our other article the 10 Strangest Things Eaten by Dogs.

Dogs with separation anxiety hurl themselves through windows, dig under fences, climb fences and get out only to be hit by cars or picked up and taken by animal control to local shelters.

Crates save lives and if used correctly can calm nervous dogs.  Not to mention they assist in potty training and help calm dogs at the vet and/or the groomer or anywhere else they will potentially be crated in the future.

Everything can be abused, and I realize that everything has side effects.  I have seen dogs with buckle collars that have grown into their skin and I know there are people who don’t believe in vaccines for people or animals, but you have to weigh the risks.

Most people don’t crate their dogs for 20 hours a day, most people have common sense, however there are some people who abuse animals and over crating is occurs.  However, if you are reading this, chances are you are not in the population of animal abusers.

crate training

Not Crating Can Lead to Personal Damage and Doggy Surgery or Even Death

Crates provide safety, for the dog and for your things.  They provide many people with a much needed break from puppyhood and an insurance of safety while they are away.  For your dog, they give him his own space a place to go and relax and a place to get away from other animals, kids, or company.  A crate should be your dog’s home away from home, or home inside a home.

Dogs are den animals and as such they like the enclosed feeling and safety that a crate provides.   Some dogs like wire crates, some like plastic crates.  However, most dogs must be taught that their crate is a safe haven and a place to relax.

In the beginning crate training may seem difficult and your dog probably won’t like it.  He may protest and cry each time he is put in his crate or even howl or scream.  But for most dogs the duration is short, if the behavior is not rewarded.  If however the human comes running and lets the screaming dog out of the crate he is taught to scream louder and longer the next time.

Most people make the mistake of taking their new dogs or puppies and  immediately closing them into the crate sometimes for extended periods, but this can make acclimation more difficult.

The crate should be taken apart if it is plastic and broken down into a half where treats and toys can be placed and the crate can be explored.  Metal crates can have their doors propped open and blankets laid down while treats and toys are tossed inside (never leave a blanket with a dog unattended or it may get shredded and swallowed).

The door, ideally, should never be closed until the dog is comfortable and is happily going in and out of the crate regularly.

I recommend clicker training and clicking when the dog enters initially and then teaching the dog that the longer he stays the more clicking and rewards can be accumulated.

Once acclimated to his new digs, you can swing the door shut behind him (not latching it yet) and click.  As his comfort level rises you can expect him to stay for a longer period of time.

Once you feel comfortable that he is enjoying this new game you may begin closing the door and latching it.  Click as soon as you latch the door and then take a treat and drop it at the back of the crate.  If he stays without panic, click and reward for a few moments or minutes depending on the tolerance level.

Next the game becomes to rush into the crate, and sit at the back and wait to be clicked and rewarded.  The crate should be a place of games and fun.

At this point I begin to introduce music to the environment.  I always recommend leaving the radio or television on while you are gone and this gets him use to the stimulation while you are still playing the game.  He should be going into the crate and going to the back and sitting or laying down and waiting for you to reward.  You may now begin extending the time that it takes you to deliver this reward extending for longer and longer until he seems comfortable with waiting.  He knows it’s coming!

Next, start to leave the room but come back quickly and often to reward.  If you see apprehension you can discontinue the training session after a happy, easy command like sit and begin again later.

Continue to work on having him sit or lay in the back of the crate while you leave for different intervals of time until you can easily leave him for several minutes without any signs of distress.  If he does bark or whine, do not return to him until he is quiet.  He must realize that only being silent will elicit a response from you.

Then teach I him to sit and stay at the back of the crate while I open the door.  I don’t want a dog that bum rushes me when I open the door and could potentially knock me or a child down.  I continue to click and reward as long as he stays in position when the door is opened.  Then I give him a release command so that he may calmly exit.

Continue this training until you can leave him for extended periods of time.  Continue to go back in and reward with treats at the back of the kennel for good behavior and also when the crate door is opened.  As you reach success you can leave him without stress, knowing that he is happy to be in his home.

This is a good way to teach puppies and adult dogs and even dogs that have had former trauma in crates, however the later may take longer to desensitize to the new environment.

Always leave the radio or some music on and make it a fun experience.

Don’t leave a dog for more than 8 hours or so, and illicit some help from neighbors, family and friends to come and let him out during the day if needed.  It is better to crate a dog and pay a neighbor to attend to him, than to risk his death or injury!

crate training

Aluminum Crate, Worth Every Dime!

Some people say their dogs break out of crates.  I respond by saying: there are aluminum, indestructible dog crates that even Houdini dog couldn’t break out of!  They are made specifically for hard to contain dogs and they even resist injury.  They are expensive but so is the thousands of dollars of damage a dog can do!  They are cheaper than one obstruction surgery and they are worth it if you need it!

With some positive reinforcement and some crate related games you can overcome almost any dog’s fears about being in a crate.

 

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Comments

  1. Jana Rade says:

    Our dogs ended up never being crated. We tried with Jasmine when she came to us. Set up the crate, nice and comfy and she liked it well enough … until we closed the door. At that moment it all changed. Crate yes, closed door? Nope. So we didn’t have the heart. Luckily she was very smart, house-trained in one week and never destroyed anything, so the crate wasn’t really needed.

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  2. Judy Stutts says:

    Both of our Cockers are crate trained and take afternoon naps and sleep all night in their crates. When we leave the house they are also crated. We just have to say “Night Night” and they race upstairs to their crates and enter them without any coaxing from us. We do reward them with a treat for their fine behavior.

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  3. melia says:

    I have to say that my dog is a crate trained dog & he LOVES his “NI NIGHT”! We trained him right from the start as a puppy that his crate is his special place & he does not mind it at all. In fact he even goes in there at times during the day on his own just to nap. We work from home & are home with him most of the time but we come an go alot. When he see’s us getting ready to leave he automatically goes in his crate. We just tell him that we are going “bye bye” & he trots off to his crate; we shut the door & he his very content. At night when he feels it is time to go to bed he will come & get us to follow him & he waltz’s into his crate waiting for us to shut the door. Sometimes we do & sometimes we dont & just tell ni night & give hime some lovin & he will stay in the crate until morning (door open!)

    We are very proud of him & he is a very well trained dog. We have trained him with the dog training secret’s suggestions & we get compiments on his behavior all the time.

    Thanks

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  4. Linda L. says:

    You didn’t mention using the crate for housebreaking a puppy. This was recommended to me many years ago by my vet. I have used it successfully with four dogs over the years. He told me to use the crate like I would a playpen for a baby. When I couldn’t have my eye on the puppy to put it in the crate and the puppy would not “go” where it lived. It never occured to me to “train” my dog to go into the crate. Two of the dogs loved the crates; two not so much; but all of them would go in voluntarily at night if I simply told them it was time to go nite-nite. They slept in the crates with the doors closed until I let them out in the morning. Two of the dogs used the crates as their safe havens and two only went in when I told them to.

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    Sandra Reply:

    Can you tell me what to do from the day you got the puppy. Mine screams and barks all night. Please help. Thanks.

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    Linda Reply:

    Sandra, I didn’t mean to imply that I am an expert in dog behavior:) The first dog I crate trained hated the crate. I gave him a stuffed animal to snuggle with and put him in the far end of the house so I couldn’t hear him cry. He was about 10 weeks old when we got him and though he cried steadily for the first night or two after that he settled in. He was the one who hated the crate and fortunately it only took a week or so to have him completely house trained. He never used his crate after he was house broken. The other one who hated the crate was a poodle but with her I had 2 other dogs who loved their crates so when I would tell them to go in their crates she would too. She only used her crate for sleeping and when I would have to go out. Right now my Hans is in his crate of his own accord. The door stays open all the time and he goes in and out of when he pleases. The puppy will quit barking as he gets used to it but the perserverance will have to come from you.

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  5. Can’t say enough good things about proper crate training. Cotton, our rescue Labradoodle, was unfortunately kept in a crate almost constantly by his first owner, and didn’t even know how to go up and down steps when we rescued him. He also had acute separation anxiety. Nonetheless, we bought him a new, larger crate, began training using the techniques mentioned above, and within about a month it became his special space.

    Now we usually leave the door open, and he goes in and out when he wants, often resting or sleeping or playing with a toy there on his own. We have trained him to respond to the command “Crate” by immediately going into his crate and waiting. This is particularly useful when someone comes to the door or there are people in our home who are not comfortable with large dogs. They are immediately reassured when they see him patiently waiting in his “room” for his next command. His separation anxiety is now a thing of the past.

    Everyone wins when crate training is properly and completely implemented.

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  6. Bob E says:

    Crates are simply a tool. Crates are needed for every dog when riding in a car; it is a place to sleep and rest. Crates are never to be used as punishment.

    We always start our new puppy in a crate, including feeding the puppy in the crate. At first, we place the bowl at the entrance. Then a little further in. Then in the crate middle. Then in the back of the crate. Everything is done in small steps.

    Now all we have to say is “Want to go to bed,” and he flys into his crate. We reward with a treat, too.

    A crate in the car is a must. Imangine slamming on the breaks at 50 miles a hour and your precious dog flying all around in the car. We would never allow this freedom with our childred; they must be in a child restraining seat.

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  7. Eileen says:

    My dog instinctively understood when a crate was for her own good and willingly went into one without training. Although in my absence, she doesn’t accept a crate, she treats the car as if it were a crate, with one exception: strangers who wander too close will arouse her from a slumber.

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  8. Rhonda Clark says:

    Bravo Chet!

    I have raised German Shepherds now for about 12 years and have owned dogs most of my life. Crate training is second nature!
    In fact, you sent me a gift certificate of $100.00 last year for the videos I sent in of “before” and “after” of my Shepherds rushing the door to go out to the barn and my results of just one time using your Clicker Method!
    I introduce the crate to the young pup immediately. They get all their meals as well as treats and it only took a couple times to realize it is a place of safety, security, as well as nourishment that they so love!
    Right now, I have 2 pups from 2 different litters I am raising up and
    due to limited space in my home, I am only able to accommodate the 2 crates in the house for them. when I am gone as well as bedtime, they are crated, and go in willingly as soon as they see me put on my coat, or turn out the lights to go to bed! Amazing!
    During the the rest of the day,or evening, the adult dogs(4), all take turns lying in them! The pups just look at their dens and wonder why they cannot go in! The best part? The dog who hogs the crates the worst? my 15 year female! Now, wouldn’t you think she’d be over that by now? Goes to show you they LOVE their crates when taught properly and natural Den instincts kick in!
    Thank you for all you do…you are fantastic Chet!

    Rhonda

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  9. Bette Mann says:

    I have 2 poodle pups, (now 6 months old), they are very comfortable in their crate, however, when we are at home one of them barks, and barks, i know they want to be up-stairs with us, we have a split level home, but i don’t want to answer her requests be letting her out to join us, as then she gets her way! I need a solution! They make it through the night fine, but by 6 AM the one starts barking, and doesn’t necessarily want to go out!
    So i feed them and let them out! i just have a problem with her barking to get out of the crate! Please respomnd!

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  10. ellie rivett says:

    I know about surgery my robbir a beautiful golden retriever ate a piece o9f cloth we dont know what was on it but it cost him his life and 3000 dollars later. To this day i miss my loveable clown Ellie Rivett

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  11. ellie rivett says:

    I know about surgery my robbie a beautiful golden retriever ate a piece of cloth we dont know what was on it but it cost him his life and 3000 dollars later. To this day i miss my loveable clown Ellie Rivett

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  12. Pat says:

    When we brought our little six week yourkie puppy home we already had a create set up for her in the kitchen, with a little fleece blanket and a soft toy. We put her in the crate to get use to her new home and let her rest and kept a eye on her and after awhile she came out and ever since then that has been her safe place. She will be two in August and still goes in there. We also have a larger crate in the basement and when we go away, we tell to go get in her crate with no problem she just goes over and gets in with her blanket and some toys.

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  13. Lynda says:

    We have crated our toy parti poodle at night in a soft crate ever since we brought him home – very successfully. He took to it like a duck to water! He goes in around 10.30pm and is let out around 7.00am. As he was just a few months old when we got him, we had to put a cardboard box in there with him, restricting the amount of space he had to move around in and hence he has never had an “accident”. Now that he is almost full grown at 10 months, the extra box is out of the crate and he very happily goes in at night. He knows the routine, and knows he will be let out in the morning when we arise. We sleep peacefully knowing he is completely safe and happy.

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  14. Diane says:

    I have two American Eskimo-Sheltie combination dogs. One is 4 years and the other is 1 year. They both still use a crate when we leave the house. I am insistent on this as I feel it is for the safety of the dogs. I have many craft projects and would be devastated if one of the dogs ate something when I was out that injured or cost them their life. Plus there are electrical wires from lamps, TV, etc that they could chew on. I started both dogs in a crate as new pups and never regretted it. Neither of my dogs have to spend much time in the crate as I am home all day for the most part but when I do go out I can go with confidence that they are safe and out of trouble in their crate. Both dogs go into the crates on their own with out fuss. I do put treats in the crate when they first go in to reward them going in. The dogs do not seem to mind being in them. I use crates that are larger than what some recommend because I want them to have space to play and move around when in the crate for longer than an hour. I leave them water in a bottle on the crate door and I use the plastic crates with the metal doors. These remind me of a den more than the wire ones. They also seem more comfortable for the dogs. There is a pad in the crate for them to lie down on and we have never had them make a bathroom mess in the crates ever. Crate training has been wonderful I wish I had known about them with my first dog 40 years ago. We used our powder room as a crate back them. First dog was a chewer but lived to rip old age of 14 years. I still miss him.

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  15. Lise says:

    This is not about crate training but about car chasing!

    How can you train a dog not to chase every car that goes by? My daughter has a mixed jack russel and she is so fast and unpredctable. We are afraid that someday she will be hurt and maybe killed.

    Any help would be appreciated.

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  16. Yves Bernier says:

    I have a small pom/shish-Tsu. She is just over 3 months old and have a hard time to train her to pee outside. pppppppppppplease help

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    Ellen Reply:

    I have a pom mix. When I first got him I trained him to a litter box since he was so small. The trick is to have the pup on a schedule. I set the timer for 45 minutes, I put the littler box in a carboard box he couldn’t jump out of and gave him the command “go pee pee”. he couldn’t get out until he peed. I then gave him a reward, then payed with him for a few minutes. Little dogs take longer to train sometimes, and they have REALY small bladders. You need to be patient. If you want to train your pup to go outside then have her on a leash and take her to the same place every time. Have your timer set for a short interval like 45 minutes and take her outside and don’t stop until she pees, then praise the heck out of her and treat, then play with her and a toy. I also trained my dog to use ring a bell when he wants to go outside. I put it by the door and every time I took him outside I rang the bell. Then after a time a acctully used his paw and rang it as I took him out. I hope that is helpful

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    Isha Medina Reply:

    Hello My Name Is Isha I Am 12 Years And…I have an astralian shepered and she is about 7months and she ruins the back yard! Holes everywhere ruining bushes pushes open garage door and starts taking out dirty clothes! She gets on my nerves but she is a beautiful dog! Just if i was able to control her!Ughh my mother wants to give her away! But i Sure dont! i need help to control my dog she is like more than half my size and it is very hard for me so if somebody can PLEASE HELP so my mother doesnt give her away! Thanks

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    Ellen Reply:

    Hi Isha. In answer to your question. Austarialn Sheperds are herd dogs so they are bred to have the job of herding sheep, cows etc. Since your dog is put in the back yard ,she is probably bored. She is a dog who needs A LOT of excersie. If you know someone who live on a farm and has sheep , maybe they would let her herd them awhile. Also,you probably need to take her to obedience shcool. I have 3 dogs and they have all gone and they are good dogs and do what I want them to. I think both of you would benifit a great deal from that. You could have the contorl of your dog and she will respect you and what you ask of her. plus it’s really fun! You have taken on a very big job, but if you can do any of the things I have suggested, you will have a lot more fun with her. I hope this was helpful:D

    JillyBean Reply:

    Yes Isha, I agree with with Ellen. Aussies are so full of enegry. They have been bred to keep up with herds of sheep or some type of live stock , for days at a time. Can you and your mom look into getting invloved with a local 4-H club or herding culb. There are tons of them out there. Aussies are wonderfull canine friends. I have had them for years and years and found them to be very loyal and very smart!
    4-H clubs will teach you how to train your aussie and they do lots of fun things. I was involved with 4-H for years. All five of my kids went! They loved it. In the mean time, keep your furry friend buzy. Throw a ball or a frizby. Play tug of war. Teach your aussie tricks. You will have fun and your aussie will ware of that energey!

  17. JillyBean says:

    I think crates are dogs best friend. Our cainine buddies are wonderfully curiouse and will get into trouble and since life is a busy place for us all, we can’t possibly be there every second to watch over them. So crates keep them out of harm and from causing trouble. I have found that if you creat train your dog you are less likely to get angery at your furry friend for getting into trouble and you will have more good times!

    I have two adult Australian Shepards and a Bull Mastiff puppy. The Aussies are so full of energy and have to be created in the house when noone can play or be with them. and the Bully is a huge baby with bursts of energy that will wipe out my house in twenty minuts if left unattended. They love to go ni-night in there own crates where they each have a special blanky, toy and chewy.

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  18. Mindy says:

    I have a 10 month old male yorkiepoo that we rescued from some people that just had NO IDEA AT ALL how to potty train a dog much less a terier mix!!!!!!! Now I am stuck with a very sweet but “not potty trained dog”. I need help getting him to go outside…not inside.I love him and hate to have to get rid of him but my husband has had enough of the poo and pee and so have I. HELP before I have to buy new carpet and find a new home for this sweet little dog.

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    Minette Reply:

    treat him like a puppy! Go back to square one with him and do crate training. Keep him with you or decrease the size of his environment so that he can’t sneak off and pee or poop in another room. If he is on a leash with you everywhere you go, he will begin to get the idea he can no longer sneak away to use the bathroom.

    Also get him outside every two hours go out with him and learn his schedule for using the bathroom, all dogs have a schedule. If he doesn’t go to the bathroom and you know he has to go…then he comes in and goes into his crate until he does go outside! He will get the idea if you are diligent and treat him like a baby, he just needs to learn what you want while not having room to make a mistake!

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  19. Beverly says:

    Minette, I’m glad that you replied to the post about not knowing how to potty train a dog. It was what I needed to hear also. I got a jack russell terrier cross with a rat terrier..and he is my baby and spoiled but to tell you the truth..I don’t remember how I potty trained him. I then got 2 registered papallions. Not related. They were kennel dogs and they were 4 and 5 months old when I got them. I’ve had them for several months…and they STILL aren’t potty trained. I had part of my kitchen cordoned off with gates and my ironing board..and it worked for the most part…until they learned how to jump over it! Before they learned how to jump it…I always took them outside at intervals…but alot of times they would come back in after 30 minutes of being outside and would seem as if they waited to get back in the house and wait til my back was turned and mess right in the floor! I always had a crate in there. Now, they are in the crate for a few hours and then I let open the door and tell them “go o your business” and they rush outside. I let them outside and we stay out there for about 30 minutes and then I holler for them to “go home” which means go in the house. When they come in..they go over to their water bowl and get a drink and then I tell them “go to bed” and they go in their crate and I shut the door. I’m just wondering HOW I need to change this in order for them to spend time with me around the house instead of being in the cage all the time until I let them go potty? Another thing is that these dogs are POO EATERS! I’ve read some of the replies on feeding pumkin or pineapple juice to them..but I feed them the dry adult food…how to I get it in their systems? I mean..if I put it on the top of their feed…would they eat it? Thanks for all ya’lls help.

    [Reply]

  20. Heather says:

    I have a 5 month old Shitzu/ Maltese female puppy. I have been crate training since I got her in October. I leave the radio on for her I give her a Cheerios and peanut butter filled Kong every morning before I leave She is excited to go into her crate because she gets her special treat.

    The problem I’m having with the crate training is she poops in her crate every day while I’m at work. I have the crate partitioned off so she basically only has room to curl up in a ball. The crate she stays in during the day is a different crate that she sleeps in. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong that she poops in her crate every day. She never pees in her crate its weird. Can she not hold her poop at 5 months old or am I asking her to hold it too long. Please someone help, giving her a bath every day is horrible for both of us.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    I am not sure how long you are crating her, but it may be too long!

    I would try changing the time you feed her in the morning to earlier so you can ensure that she has pooped prior to your leaving and I would try cutting back on the cheerios and pb so that she has less in her tummy to poop.

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  21. Grizzly Bear Mom says:

    I walk my Siberian Husky a mile every morning and afternoon and kick a cantelope sized soccer ball around the house with him each evening to adequately stimulate and exercise him. I kick the blue ball across his paws when he’s playing with the organge one, and use one as a cue ball to hit the other across the room for his stimulation. We also spend 4 hours each weekend at the dog park. Because he (and I!) are worn out, he is not destructive.

    When potty training take him out regularly after sleeping, play and rest. Take him to the same spot (the third tree on the left) each potty time. When he goes say “good pee pee” or “poo poo”, whatever you feel comfortable repeating in public. Give him the tinest bit of treat.

    After my 5th dog walker quit and let my dog run down the busy street, I started using wee wee pads instead of people. He gets plenty of exercise otherwise so I feel okay about it.

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  22. Robin says:

    Our 12 wk old puppy does great in his “night crate”–goes into it on his own, snuggles in and sleeps all night. But he will NOT go in or stay in our second crate in the family room if we close the door. He’s fine to go in and out on his own and we feed him in the crate, but once we close the door, he cries and howls continually. We do not respond to him then, but we fear he is crying the whole hour or two that we are gone. I;ve tried sitting in front of the crate and treating him as he is quiet–but he really wants OUT. Any ideas?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Try leaving him in his “night crate” and see if it is an association problem.

    And, then work on crating him often when you are still home.

    Even though I only leave my puppy every few days, I still crate train him and put him in his crate a few times daily. Sometimes it is only for 5 minutes or less. That way he doesn’t feel like very time you leave him you will be gone for 2 hours or more.

    Also exercise!!!! If he is tired he will fall asleep after a few minutes of howling.

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  23. Jessica says:

    My 9 month Yorkie does a great job going in the crate at night and only barks for a few minutes before he settles down for the night. However, after about 6 hours he wakes up and barks for 2 more hours! He has never had an accident in the crate. I don’t let him out until he is calm (he actually stops barking when he hears me get out of bed and is calm for the 5 minutes it takes for me to get down to his crate) Any advice? I would really appreciate if he could stay calm in his crate for 8 hours. Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Give him lots of good exercise before bed to see if you can extend his sleep time.

    He is young and requires less sleep than you 😉 A safe chewie or toy may also keep him busy when he wakes up.

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  24. Londa says:

    I have a 6 week old Yorkie mixed with shitzu. He whines when in crate, he has toys and I feed him in there. The longest I’ve left him is 4 to five hours because of work. I have a wee wee pad in there also. Do I just be patient because he won’t stop whinning. And sometime he pees when I let him out of crate. I need help

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    Minette Reply:

    6 weeks is too young to even have a puppy unless you have the mother and siblings. There are things a human can’t really teach a dog, that his mother and siblings must.

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  25. Dee says:

    I just got a pup that was supposed to be raised in a home and found out the hard way she was raised in a kennel. She is 11 weeks old and she uses her crate for a bathroom. I have crate trained all my dogs before and never had one do this. How do I break her of this?

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Read this http://www.thedogtrainingsecret.com/blog/dirty-puppy/

    [Reply]

  26. Fluffhead88 says:

    Great articles here on this site. I really enjoyed your advice. Will absolutely be sharing with my wife.

    Quick Question. My lab mix is 11 weeks old and has been crated in our home since the day we got her (8 weeks). She was a rescue so I know she has been in crate before (probably not the best experiences) but at her foster home she was with her mom and litter. She cries a lot when I leave for work, but we never let her out until she stops because we don’t want her to think she can cry and “win”. I do believe though that I introduced her to the crate too fast, with the door shut & I am wondering if it’s too late to fix that with crate games and exploration, now 3 weeks later. Can I still save my pooches opinion of her den? I want her to love it!

    keep up the great articles!

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    absolutely! play crate games and be sure to crate occasionally while you are home

    [Reply]

  27. Darcy Black says:

    My dog has severe seperation anxiety. She was a stray for all of her life and had no training until I used These methods. I have tried to give her that special treat when I leave and that gets me out the door but when I return 1-2 hours later she is still barking and howling and crying. Ive put her in the crate but it seems everytime she pees and poops in the crate and her whole crate has a bed in it,. I do let her out before I leave, has changed times that she eats but to no success. I leave her out now and so far shes been pretty good. But she still does the vocals. My dog sitter has suggested using a “THUNDER SHIRT”. I have to leave town this weekend and she will have my dog so we will see how it goes. Just wanted to throw it out there to see if it works for anyone else. She has had greaxt success with it. if not I will have to see if meds help which I hate to do.

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Try doggie day care or lots of exercise so you have a tired dog before you leave.

    [Reply]

  28. Katie says:

    We have 11 week old boxer puppy. The first two nights we had him he was great with crate- went in no problem, no crying or barking. Then it all started. I’ve read so many articles and have tried everything! (All but the article of our clothing in his crate (bc I just don’t feel comfortable leaving something he can tear apart in there with him)).Special treats he only gets in the crate, playing with him tiring him out, making sure to take him out before putting him in his crate, all meals in the crate, only taking him out when he’s quiet, tv on for noise, etc. I’ve even tried sleeping in the living room where his crate is (bc it doesn’t fit in my room), right next to it, to help matters, but it has no effect. I’m at my wits end-I just don’t know what else I can do. I KNOW that a crate is very important (I’ve had other boxers who at most gave us a couple of sleepless nights but eventually they all grew to love it), but I’m seriously at a loss. I’m not sure what else I can do. Any help anyone can give would be GREATLY APPRECIATED!!

    [Reply]

  29. Brendon says:

    We’ve run into a weird little issue when using the “crate only” special toy.

    No matter how successful we are in removing the toy when she is let out of the crate without her seeing, she’ll panic and search for the toy for about 20-30 minutes afterward. This includes pacing around, whining, panting, and even searching back in the crate and digging under lining (something she NEVER does while in there under instruction.) In fact, she ignores the toy while in the crate and doesn’t; seem to care about it until she’s out.

    [Reply]

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