Crate Training a Puppy

Updated on December 16, 2008
E.M. asks from Louisville, KY
22 answers

I just got my first puppy since i was 7 yesterday so this is all pretty much new to me. We are crate training her and its going ok so far. however she cried all night long in her crate i hardly got any sleep! i remember my other puppy doing this too but is their anything that can help calm her down while she is in the crate at night so the family can sleep? also i read that if you get a small enough cage they wont go to the bathroom in it well we got the smallest cage i could find and she poops each time she gets in. and i think last night she may have eaten some of it. i know their is something you can put in the water to make the poop taste bad but im scared to do that without talking to the vet who we see on tuesday. any ideas to hold us over until then?

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K.G.

answers from Raleigh on

Try putting a warm rice sock in the crate for the puppy to snuggle with at night.

And I think the potty training just comes with time.

Good luck!

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L.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Pet Smart has a puppy heating "bag". You put this in the crate with them after warming in the microwave. You can also take a coke or water bottle(20 oz.)fill it with warm water. This will let him feel not so alone. Also a wind up clock will help because of the steady clicking. But the water bottle worked well with my mini schnauzers.

L. B

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B.E.

answers from Asheville on

You might try a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel and an older style (Big Ben) clock for the ticking sound. Animals are part of a pack and do not like being alone. A soft place to sleep with a warm body next to them helps a lot. Even put a stuffed animal in with them. You might also try calling the local pet store like Pet Smart and they may be able to help you with the stuff you put in the water that makes the poop taste bad. Potty the dog before you put it to bed. We always cleaned up an accident from the dog with an old rag and then stacked in out in the yard and then always to the dog to that place to do it's business. This way the smell reminds them what to do there and soon they will associate that place with what to do there. If it has an accident tell them doing this in the house is bad and immediately take them to the stacked rag and encourage them to do their business there and praise them when they do. Good Luck. B. E.

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R.W.

answers from Charlotte on

congratulations! I remember us getting our first little pup and she is such a sweet dog now and just turned 2!!! We crate trained her as well and I would never do it any other way again!!!! Actually, at night we would put her in one of those 18 gallon totes beside my bed and when she would whine, I would just reach over and pat her little head and she would eventually go off to sleep again. But she eventually would sleep in her crate, which we call her "home" and she knows that when we say "get in your home" she goes directly to it and waits for someone to open it. The "home" method is also great if you have small kids because if she gets upset and doesn't want the kids picking on her or dressing her up, she'll go straight to her home and the kids know the rule is you don't mess with her when she is in her home because that is her safe place! Have fun!

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A.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Her crate needs to only be big enough for her to be able to turn around and lay down. If she has enough room to go to a corner and use the bathroom she will. Sometimes you can buy divider panels to put in the crates that you can adjust as the puppy grows. Crate training is a wonderful thing. My Chocolate lab will be 10 yrs old in May and still enjoy's his crate. The best way to house train is to only let the puppy out of her crate when you are able to keep an eye on her, constantly take her out to the bathroom, as soon as you let her out, as soon as she eats ect... If you want to email me personally my email is [email protected]____.com Good Luck and have fun!

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S.U.

answers from Raleigh on

I'm about 2-3 weeks ahead of you in the crate training dept! We got our new pup T-giving weekend. Nighttime was THE PITS the first few nights, and still isn't perfect. My suggestions: 1) try the crate in your room with you, if that is miserable and does not start working, put the crate in the most remote part of the house so she can bark it out and you can get some sleep; 2) put her in the crate a few times during the day and stay in the room with her. Let her bark it out and see that it has no effect. 3) re: poop, ugh. An extra long walk before bed, and get up once during the night to help with this. This is unusual unless she was a pet store puppy or was in a crate at her breeders where she never got out to potty (only pottied in her cage/crate). 4) never respond to her whining, only let her out when she is calm so she doesn't associate whining with getting out. It will get better! Our puppy still fights it for about 2 minutes but she's good after that. If people are directly in the room playing, etc. that also upsets her but I'm working on that. You can pretty much expect about a solid week with a new puppy to be pretty miserable with crate training. As for putting something in her water, I wouldn't do that. I'd walk her enough before bed to help her with one last poo, then get up middle of the night for a little while. Hopefully she'll fix that little habit. Good luck!

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M.B.

answers from Louisville on

Puppy should be taken outside as soon as they wake up. They should get at least 15-20 min to do their business If you go out with him/her every time you should begin to notice a bathroom pattern. My dog would pee, 10 min later poop, and then pee one more time. It's important to give them enough time to "clean" themselves out. If the puppy is pooping in the cage, then he/she's not getting enough time to go to the bathroom. Rule of thumb-Potty time: 15 min before they eat and 15 min after they eat. They should be let out about every hour to try to go to the bathroom. As they get older you can make them wait longer. To keep a dog from going in their crate, they have to know they will be let out-so they can hold it. They should not be feed any closer then 2 hours before bed. About night time....it works better if you go to sleep when the dog goes to sleep. Make sure he's let out right before cage time. Turn out the lights and go to sleep. If the dog keeps crying-you can let him potty again and then put him right back in the crate. DO NOT talk to the puppy-just pick him up, take him outside, if he potty's pat him on the head and say good doggie, then right back inside to the crate. He will eventually get it. If you wake up in the middle of the night, take the puppy for a potty break-no talking. The more they understand night time is just for sleeping, the quicker the sleepless nights will end. Plus, the less accidents they have in the crate, the faster they will potty train. Good Luck....the first couple nights are ruff, but stick it out....it will get better.

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M.F.

answers from Memphis on

I have never crate trained a puppy. I have had several though. I trained all of mine to go to his/her bed at night. (There were items to blockade him/her to the area immediately around the bed.)

The only thing I can think to tell you is to first of all start implementing the feed, water, walk method. You feed and water the puppy (this is for inside dogs and housebreaking) and then pick up the food and water bowl after he/she has left the food and water bowls or they are empty. Then after a few minutes (depends on the size of the puppy... mine current dog is a German Shepherd and it took about 30 minutes) take the puppy out to go potty. Keep taking the puppy out every hour or so after that. Praise him/her for pottying outside. (Verbal praises and petting are good things to use.)

The crying at night is just something like a baby- The puppy has to grow out of it.

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A.J.

answers from Memphis on

Crating is a good idea, but is for puppies just a little older. Newly weaned puppies can't hold their waste for longer than a few hours so she may think that the crate is somewhere for her to go to the bathroom, and eat it if there's no food or water in it!

Try crating her for 30 minutes to an hour at a time. Potty training will take a few months, also. When you get to where you're putting her in her crate for the night, wrap a hot water bottle in a soft blanket or towel. You can also add a clock- one that actually ticks, or a baby toy that simulates mother's heartbeat. She's still a baby, too! Good luck!

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K.S.

answers from Huntington on

I have never crate trained a puppy but I have house trained a few. Is it possible you could fix her a bed in the bathroom and put things out of her reach? Do not feed or give water after 1pm. This allows plenty of time to take it out several times to do its business outside. After it learns not to use the bathroom in the house then you can adjust feeding and water times. Remember, puppies can still need to go to the bathroom up to 8 hours after food or water. This trick also works for pets who have started using the bathroom in the house after years of being good. We help them develope bad habits.You may also want to get her a stuffed toy slightly bigger than her so she can sleep with it. This worked great for a kitten I raised, she carried the toy around from room to room till she out grew it. Every now and then she still does. Good luck.

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A.F.

answers from Nashville on

E.,
It is true that if you have a small crate the puppy will eventually learn not to go to the bathroom in it. This will still take some time as he has to claim it as his safe place and then he will keep it clean. As for him crying all night you may try a hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket and something that has a tick (clock). This simulates the puppies mother and her heart beat and will help him to sleep at night! Make sure to take him out at least once an hour. Puppies who are learning to potty train need frequent trips so it is difficult if you must be at work all day. If you do have to go to work try going home on your lunch break if at all possible. Depending on the size of dog you have remember that the cage size will have to be changed and could cost quite a bit of money. Good luck with everything!

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G.G.

answers from Charlotte on

Congrats on the pup! Feed her pineapple... it makes the poop taste bad per one of the cable dog training shows recently! Also, make absolutely sure the cage is small... just big enough for the puppy to stand up and turn around. They won't go where they sleep, so you need to make sure they can't go on one side and sleep on the other. If you have to, separate a bigger cage with a piece of wood or something to make it smaller until pup gets bigger! Good luck!

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K.H.

answers from Huntington on

Congrats!! Most dogs LOVE the crates, but if she is really little, she may be suffering from separation issues still. My St. B mix was upset when we finally got rid of his when he was about 3, but we just didn't have room for a HUGE crate anymore!!

I'd move the crate close to you and put something in there that smelled like you (stuffed animal, or if you are opposed to that, a small bathtowel). Also, cover the crate with a towel or old blanket to give it a more "den-like" feeling.

You are right that most dogs won't pee/poop if the crate is small enough to be a 'bedroom' only, but your puppy just may have had to go. I'd take her out last thing before bed and first thing in the morning.

Good luck!!

T.C.

answers from Lexington on

Try wrapping a ticking clock up in a towel or blanket and that will help. Also, my daughter has a teddy bear that makes heart sounds, you can adjust the volume as well.
As for the pooping. Try taking him out before you put him in the cage. Unless you have tried this at various times it may be his "poop time".

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L.F.

answers from Charlotte on

check out drsfostersmith.com. they have great products. Most of the no poop eating stuff is safe. Just read the label.s. Try to go as natural as possible. Also, sometimes if it is a habit, it means they are lacking some trace minerals in their diet. Try adding a pinch of kelp to the food. You have to be consistent and firm with a pup. Do not give into the whining. Like a child, if it is fed and has gone out recently, there is no reason for it not to sleep. So, you an try to cover the cage, make sure it is dark and buy ear plugs!!We are getting a puppy soon too for the first time in 12 years. We have mainly done foster and rescue work with holder dogs.

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G.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

Congrats on your new family member! We crate trained our lab and would never do it any other way since it worked so great. I only remember the all-night crying lasting for a couple of nights. I wouldn't stress too much over it because it really shouldn't last long. We did make a point to get up and take her out to pee a couple of times during the night.
Don't have much suggestion about the poo, though. We never ran into that problem, even when she was tiny.
Good luck and enjoy your new pet!

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J.A.

answers from Goldsboro on

Hi E., I have a puppy training video that my aunt gave me years ago. I remember one part on crate training your puppy. What you do is show the puppy a treat, throw it in the back of the crate to get him to go get it, shut the door for a couple of seconds, then let him out, show him another treat, throw it in the back of the crate again to get him to get it, shut the door again but a little longer. Keep doing this for a while and keep the door closed for a longer period of time. The more you do this the sooner he will get used to it. I know your busy so just do it for as long as you can, leave it alone for a while if you have to and then go back to it. I'm not sure how long it will take to calm him down but I know the more you do it, the more he'll get used to it. I hope this helps. Good luck!! J. A.

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S.J.

answers from Jackson on

Get a wind-up time clock that ticks. wrap it in a bathtowel.

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J.L.

answers from Louisville on

All of the dogs I've crate trained weren't perfect at first. When they are so young they just don't have the control to hold it all night long - and it just takes a little time. But I would say within a week or two the puppy will be doing just fine in the crate. As far as the crying goes I would give the puppy a shirt or something of mine to sleep with and then make sure the crate is in complete darkness. I know it sounds weird, but any light they would wake up throughout the night and want to play. good luck! :)

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E.P.

answers from Clarksville on

To stop the pooping in the crate you can throw some food in there. Our dog trainer told us that a dog doesnt like to go to the bathroom where they are eating. It could be worth a try. You could also try a kong toy with peanut butter in it, it will keep her occupied for a while and maybe you can get some good sleep. Good luck with your puppy!!

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J.P.

answers from Memphis on

Hi E.,
Where is the crate? When we first got our dog he cried too. So we put the crate in our room. Of course now he is my dog because I am the one that took care of him as a puppy but he is great with the crate.

I don't have any suggestions for the poo problem.

I also taught him to ring a bell to go outside....I would set the timer for 45 min to an hour then everytime I took him out I would take his paw and hit the chimes...now he does it all on his own...it beat pawing at the door or barking.

jen

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M.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hey E.! I helped train a puppy a while back. As or the whining all night, I would suggest you put a worn t-shirt or worn socks in the crate with the puppy at night. Your scent should help calm the puppy down and feel comforted. I'm not sure about the poop situation except when you catch the puppy in the act pick her up really quickly and put her outside. The crate is supposd to be the dog's den, so I would suggest feeding the puppy inside the crate as well. Let me know if this helps. Good luck at the vet tomorrow.

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