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Jilly
08-06-2010, 03:48 PM
So we got our first family dog yesterday, and I had a very sleepless night, which I was prepared for. I do however want to get our dog on a schedule fairy quickly, and I had planned to crate train him, but every time I put him in the crate he cries and barks. I know this is expected, but we live in an apartment, and I just get so nervous because of the neighbors. I am just wondering if anyone knows how long it takes to get a dog use to their crate, and if there is anything I can do to make it more comfortable for him. Do I just need to put him in it and let him cry for a bit, or should I gradually introduce him to it?

Thanks for any advice.

dbmamaz
08-06-2010, 04:26 PM
I've never crate trained a dog, but i thought you were supposed to start slowly - leaving the crate open in a room where you spend time with him, and leaving toys and treats in there so he discovers it on his own, without any trauma. I'm sure you can google it and find lots of info

Melyssa
08-09-2010, 04:33 AM
We crate trained our dog and the first few nights were pretty rough. I remember it well! What helped actually, was putting her crate up on our bed the first few nights. But she's a very small breed so it was a very small cat sized crate. She seemed comforted by the fact she was nearer to us. Then I eventually put her on the floor next to my bed and I'd reach down sometimes and let her feel my fingers if she got fussy. It took a good 2 weeks before she stopped crying totally though. And she did not hold her pee through a night for quite awhile, seemed like it was 4 hour cycles for a bit but maybe it's because she was so tiny. I'd take her out around 2-3am each night. Just hang in there. Crate training really is wonderful. Before long they see it as their sanctuary cave and nap in it, etc. And it's nice when you have to go somewhere and say "go bye bye!" and they just run into the crate on their own. We eventually stopped locking her in the crate when we left the house when she got older but even now at age 5 when we tell her bye, she runs into her crate (we keep it open in our bedroom and she uses it at night). So funny. Good luck to you!

hockeymom
08-09-2010, 06:35 AM
A couple of suggestions...you might put an old sweatshirt or something that smells like you or the kids in the cage; that can be very comforting to a dog. Also, depending on your puppy's personality, you might consider covering the cage with an old blanket or sheet to make it more cozy. Some dogs like the coziness, but if you have a real nippy pup (I hope not!) it might try to pull the sheet through the holes so that wouldn't be good. Maybe try it when you are around first. I think a key is that the cage should never be used for punishment, it should be offered up as a refuge and a happy place. My DH had a pup in college and the dog would go in his cage during thunderstorms, to feel safe.

Good luck. Let us know how it's going! :)

mjzzyzoff
08-09-2010, 10:27 AM
We had an older puppy (5 months) and did the crate thing with a large blanket covering most of it so she felt safe. A few months later I tried to remove the blanket (I thought we were through with it!) but she was NOT happy so back it went! We actually have two crates, one in our bedroom for nights and one downstairs so when we go away during the day she can be near the other dog. She's about 9 months now and many times I actually find her just hanging out in there of her own accord.

One thing that helps control the barking when we leave is to take a Kong toy and fill it with peanut butter or crushed up dog treats. It keeps her busy for quite a while. The other thing was creating a routine. She's a basset hound so when she was younger my husband had to carry her up the stairs because she just couldn't figure them out. So he would carry her up and snuggle with her for a minute, tell her it's "night night" and put her in the bedroom crate. Now that she can manage the stairs on her own, she still expects to be carried up at bedtime and will stop and sit (sometimes just outside the bedroom door!) until he carries her over to the crate!

Good luck!

hockeymom
08-09-2010, 12:25 PM
She's a basset hound so when she was younger my husband had to carry her up the stairs because she just couldn't figure them out. So he would carry her up and snuggle with her for a minute, tell her it's "night night" and put her in the bedroom crate. Now that she can manage the stairs on her own, she still expects to be carried up at bedtime and will stop and sit (sometimes just outside the bedroom door!) until he carries her over to the crate!

Good luck!

OMG How cute! :)