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Old 11-28-2009, 09:16 AM   #1
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Default Crate training - don't know what I'm doing

I really need to crate train this little guy. He's three months old, and some articles say it's too early, but my neighbor, who shows dogs, says to do it now and fast.

Night before last I put him in his crate, had to push him in there, and he whined and cried for about 1.5 hours then settled down. The crate was next to my bed, where he's been sleeping (in bed with me). He awoke at dawn and started barking again. I left him alone until 7am and let him out and took him outside. I think he's beyond using the crate for housebreaking as he now goes outside before I used the crate. Only one or two piddles in the house so far. Not bad!

Last night it was into the crate again, had to force him, and he cried and barked again for about 1.5 hours. Up again at dawn. My girlfriend said when she crate trained her dog she slept on the floor with him, so what the heck, I put the crate on the bed in front of my face and he settled right down.

What am I doing wrong or right? Should I start over by tossing a few treats in there during the day and start the night training later?

I really don't mind if he sleeps with me, but I'd like the option of not, and I really need to get him so I can leave the house for awhile. Fortunately I don't work 9-5, and have days I can spend with him nonstop.

He always wants to be with me (I've only had him four days) and barks when he can't see me, but yesterday was a little better. My neighbors are going to kill me if I don't get a handle on this. Otherwise, he's not much of a barker.

Thanks
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:49 AM   #2
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For starters, at 3 months old he cannot be staying in that crate all night! He should only be made to hold it for about 3-4 hours. That means waking yourself up in the middle of the night to take him out. Making him hold it for that long can lead to bladder infections or he may go in the crate. Once he soils where he sleeps it will be difficult to break.

I suggest leaving the crate door open for him during the day and start feeding him in there as well. Right now he views it as something bad because he gets shoved in there and closed up for 8 hours. Most little dogs love their crate, but they need to associate it with good things

Also, try working up his time alone in the crate. Put him in with a treat for 5-10 minutes. Only let him out when he stops fussing and praise him. Increase the time throughout the day to 30 minutes up to an hour and more. I give Wookie a kong with a treat inside to keep him occupied. Before long he will start going to his crate to get away from it all And he won't cry so much when you put him in. Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2009, 09:50 AM   #3
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And even if his potty training is going well, crate training is still a necessity especially if you want to travel anywhere with him. My mother-in-law is allergic to dogs, so Wookie usually has to stay in his crate when we are there. It's definitely easier to handle because he is comfortable in there and not whining or crying
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:15 AM   #4
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Thanks a lot. I thought this was going a little too fast, but I've never had a dog before so you listen to other dog owners. I also realize he needs to be crate trained regardless of housebreaking him.

I think the problem with "do it now and soon" was with my neighbor who's not the nicest guy in the world, but does have some beautiful show dogs. When I told my girlfriend he won't go in, she said, "He's only 3 lbs! Just put him in there." She's a sweet girl, but her dog isn't the best trained in the world. Great dog, however.

I'll start over using your guidelines. I think the treat/gentle way is the best, even if it takes more time. I'm just really happy he's going outside and don't want to screw that up.

It's also hard for me to be anything but kind and praising with him. I mean, look at that face. I have to learn to be more of a master than a wuss, but it's hard.
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:21 AM   #5
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Hehe I know they are so fricken cute! Praise is a good thing, but being firm is also a necessity. Don't be surprised if he really doesn't want to go in, just get some jackpot treats to work with and be patient. For being such a little guy you don't want him stressing or expending so much energy on crying to get out. He'll catch on quick at this age, no worries!
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Old 11-28-2009, 10:49 AM   #6
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Thanks. You've been a big help. I had another talk with my girlfriend and she said just do what feels right to you and him, and it was obvious to me that pushing him in that crate just wasnt' right.

I do realize that I have to be firm at times -- have to be the alpha -- but I'm just afraid of doing the wrong thing. I've never had a dog or a kid. This is all new to me.

I live at a resort in Colorado, and he seems to love the snow. I've been here 35 years and I hate it now.
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