Crate Training Puppy

Updated on December 20, 2009
T.A. asks from Lake Oswego, OR
14 answers

Hello ladies,

So just recently we decided to get a new addition for our family of four. Now we have a 8 week old Boxer puppy, and I am in the process of training her. She is doing awesome with potty training, I just am unsure how to go about kennel training. We bought a metal crate (pet smart suggested), and it is in our living room. I know that i need not to force it but it seems when i do put her in there she yelps and screams and starts biting at the cage. Right now I put a blanket, some toys, and a couple treats in there, and she still wants nothing to do with it. I am not sure what else to try.

Please help.. i have to go grocery shopping within the next couple days, and i don't want my neighbors turning me in for a yelping dog.

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L.O.

answers from Seattle on

At 8 weeks old you are not going to be able to crate train her with out some whining and crying. Its unfortunate, but it doesnt last too long. Our dogs Eat and sleep in their kennels. Many people thing this is cruel but you never know what a dog will want to chew on, one of our dogs became very attached to chewing on electrical cords, pluged in or not, kenneling when you are not home or sleeping is definately a safe alternative to vet bills. We start out by feeding them in there (putting the bowl in the far back corner so they have to go in to eat) In our experiance it helps to make the process quicker. As well as sleeping in the kennel right from the start, they do whine a bit at night but it will also help the process to go quicker... Some dogs do well with a big stuffed animal (be prepared to have it chewed up)to sleep with, or a favorite chew toy. And covering the kennel is also a good option, though sometimes they will pull whatever your using to cover it through the bars and chew on it... you could also try leaving a radio or tv on so the puppy can hear things. It is also important to make sure shes had time to exercise and go potty before you try to put her in the kennel for any amount of time.

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H.O.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi T.~

Congrats on the new puppy! My advice is to cover the crate after she is in it. If you at first only put her in it for the night, and only when she will be unsupervised..when its covered she will just go to sleep. "Nap time, quiet time". We call it lots of things. With our youngest dog crate training was tough until we covered it just because he was always scared of everything for awhile. He could see out the window through his crate slats and that made him nuts. So, cover it with a light weight blanket or sheet..just enough that she cannot see out through it. Make sure it drapes and doesn't tuck..you don't want her to get too warm. Then, whenever you open the crate to let her out she's always seeing you as though "you just came home" as well. We can now put ours in his crate, cover it and be in the living room with him and he doesn't cry or anything..just takes a nap. The crying is simply separation anxiety. At Eight weeks old she's very young. You will want to make sure she is warm enough..the covered crate will help that. Also maybe something near her that ticks. My mom wrapped an old alarm clock in a blanket for one pup we had that was crying all the time. Sometimes music helps. Little puppies are afraid of things they don't know..so shadows on the walls are huge and frightening..just like with kids. The less light she has in her "den" then better! Start with two hour increments..at quiet times of day when no one will be in the room, or possibly even in the house. She cannot hurt herself in the crate most likely. I prefer the solid sided with the windows around the top side. This gives them a four walled house and a place to hunker down sort of out of sight if they want too. We gave our youngest dog a couple of my old ratty sweatshirts too. Stuff that smells like you. We also made sock-toys..and sock spiders out of old holey socks. We do that for all the dogs, but you get the idea. Give her things that smell like you and she won't be so alone. Good luck! I work in a doggy daycare and see all kinds of behavior issues. Many of them are solved just by giving the dog some much needed "quiet time". Marda hit the nail on the head..leaving a puppy untied or uncrated..(really the den option is best.. as tying can hurt them depending on their size etc. ) But you can crate them and when you come home your house is in one piece, your carpets don't smell and your dog learns where to go when he/she needs alone time, sleep, or just a place to keep it's stuff.

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S.B.

answers from Anchorage on

Have you tried putting a blanket OVER the crate while she is in it? Also you said "recently" if it has only been a few days or a week since you got her then she might still just be scared. And it depends on how often and what time of day she is in there. If she is in there during the same time your family is in the living room, then she will be more likely to whine rather than if she is just in there at night. Our puppy whined the first two days we had her continously (when crated) but once i started putting the blanket over the kennel she would be more calm. Also you can try saying "sssshh" really sharply and when she stops say good girl. Some people try shaking the crate or throwing something at it to startle the dog.IF you do that method you are supposed to make sure the dog doesnt see you do it, but when they get quiet be visible and say good girl. But i never really used that so in not sure of its effectiveness. Now our puppy is 7 months old and she doesnt whine in her crate unless she needs to go out, and no longer uses the blanket over it. Hopefully you will have good results also! there is a good book at walmart in the pet section about crate training that is only 4 or 5 dollars. OH, also it is important that the crate is never used for punishment or "time out" so that they don't think it is a bad place. A crate should be like what a crib is for your baby, a place to be cozy and sleep in safety from things that may harm or be harmed. It just has a top because they can jump lol. Our puppy will run into her crate when you say "get in" because she knows its a special place for her <3

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M.T.

answers from Portland on

We crate trained our GSD puppy, and at the time I also have a 18 month old. You will reap the benefits of this training in more ways that you probably realize. It has a lot to do with not only facilitating potty training, but also establishing pack structure and your leadership in the family. This is critical with dogs and small kids. She will whine and cry. You need to ignore the behaviour and reward her when she is quiet and calm. When she is acting out/throwing a tantrum basically, just pick up the crate and put it in another room. Use isolation as a punishment. When she is quiet and calm, bring her back out to the more social area. But stay strong.

Here is a very useful website - great free "E-Books" on topics such as crate training, potty training, establishing pack structure, kids and dogs, etc. They also have a fabulous board with lots of active members and excellent moderators. Lots of pros on this site.

www.leerburg.com

Just fyi - Leerburg himself can come across harsh/direct when you read his stuff. And that can be a turn-off to some. But if you get his DVDs at all, you will see his character is strong/firm yet kind and loving. He's a very good trainer that balances reward with discipline (he's definitely not one of those all-positive types). He mostly works with breeds that are working dogs like your boxer, so I think you will find this a good fit.

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E.W.

answers from Portland on

We crate trained our border collie, and she loves it. It has become her domain. We set it up as a bed for her. Bought her a dog bed and put it in it. We only shut the door at night or when we are gone. We would encourage her to lay in there during the day, but would leave the door open. She did cry the first couple of nights, but quickly settled down. After she got use to it we taught her to go into it whenever we say "kennel". We didn't put food in the kennel because it was her sleeping and settle down place, not her eating place. Having a couple of quiet toys or chew toys in the kennel would be good to keep her busy when she is awake.

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M.L.

answers from Seattle on

One thing we did to help our dog (when she was a puppy) was we put a blanket over the top of the crate. It made it a little cave and also blocked out some of the things going on around her. We also made her crate a positive place every time. There were always treats and a soft blanket. We've had her 4 years now and she's completely crate trained. She is in her crate during the night and while we're gone and she will often go lay down in her crate just because. It'll happen!

While you're working on it, you might write a note to your neighbors explaining that you've just gotten a puppy and are working on training her and to please pardon if she's barking a little in the process. Just acknowledging it might help them be less annoyed. :) And a plate of cookies can't hurt either! :)

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J.K.

answers from Mansfield on

Ignore Irma. This is a place for moms to seek advice! About What the heck ever they need advise about!
I found this awesome training method... works for everything (and super friendly people too who will answer questions.) the website is how to train my puppy.com there is a fee for the E book but you get tons of info that really helps and alot of extras! However I will give you alittle of what I got from this book: "Dogs can sense your emotions like no other… And if you are placing them in the
crate with a ‘I’m sorry about this’ attitude it will bleed over to your dog and it will be much tougher for him to adjust."
"Feeding the puppy in the crate keeps the puppy from having aggression about his bowl." and it helps them want to go in the crate if you only feed them there! My pup loves her crate now and runs too it instantly from coming inside everytime because she expects food there. "This is the ultimate tough love. "
I am willing to share more if you send me a message. Hope I don't get in trouble for it since I had to buy mine.
Hope this helps :)Let me know

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M.C.

answers from Bellingham on

Hi when we crate trained our dog everytime she would lay down and go to sleep we would pick her up and put her in the kennel. We also fed her in her kennel as well. She got used to sleeping in it and we had a little trouble when I put her in it when she was not sleeping but like others have stated you have to just let her cry and do not let her out while she is throwing a fit because she will know all she has to do is cry and you will let her out.

If she is quiet then praise her a lot then let her out which will let her know she has to be quiet to get out. At night though we would bring the kennel to our room because puppies are just like any kids and want to be close to you at night. I never had any trouble at night with her crying at all because she was right beside our bed and i could lean over the bed and comfort a little. Hope this helps.

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L.C.

answers from Portland on

Crate Training is one of the best things, other than socialization you can do for your dog - but they wont like it at first, espically as small puppies. Your Vet will have tips when you take her to get her shots. We have an almost 2 year old Bernese Mnt Dog and crate trained her. At first it was rough and she screamed alot. We put her in the backroom with a blanket drapped over the crate. It would calm her and she got very used to it. By the time she was 4-5 months old, she loved her crate and would go in there at the end of the day or when she was tired because it was her place to sleep. We dont use it so much now - mostly because it is huge, but she has no issues with being crated when needed.

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J.M.

answers from Portland on

I thought crate training was just plain stupid - until we got our puppy 2 years ago. I found instructions on the internet and it worked great. It kept him safe and our house from being destroyed by puppydom! Our dog doesn't use his kennel anymore, but we have friends that the dog LOVES his crate, when he gets nervous or just wants away from the grandbabies he goes in his kennel..I highly recommend crate training now!

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S.C.

answers from Seattle on

most puppies will do that for a while in the process of adjusting to being away from you. we have crate trained 3 mini dachshunds along with five of their litters (we bred them for a while). I have found that a clock works great. Gives them the effect of a heartbeat. Another thing that works great is one of those 10 dollar heating pads under some blankets. We use any cheap comforter we can find in the crates ranging from twin size to king. Alot of dogs like to burrow. One last thing I would suggest is taking a shirt that you don't love and don't mind losing, wear it around for a day. Try to get a little sweat on it. YOu know so it is strong with your smell and put that in there. You will want to avoid giving treats in the crate too much. You want it to be a place the dog thinks of as its bedroom, not meal times. If you try these and still need more advice please feel free to email me at [email protected]____.com or give me a call ###-###-#### my name is S. I would love to help any way i can. I remember those days of trying to train and not go nuts with the whining. Good luck!

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M.H.

answers from Seattle on

Well, some dogs yelp during the day. It doesn't seem like it should matter that much.

All that said, my dog really quickly got used to the crate. After just a short time he realized it was his sanctuary, and not a punishment. The work paid off in many ways, as he is now okay with a crate for other reason, and because we could keep him safe while we were out of the house.

I think when we first put him in we'd put him in with the door open, and then with the door closed, but for a minute so we could let him out.

Good luck - with everything - you sound like a busy woman!

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M.S.

answers from Portland on

I don't know any puppy that DOES like their crate. That behavior is perfectly normal. You puppy's biggest problem is that she is lonely. Try turning on a tv or radio near the kennel. Not super loud, but not soft either. Make sure she also has something warm to cuddle with and something she can chew up and rip apart. That ought to keep her occupied and make her less lonely. It will take a while before she is perfectly quiet, but she should calm down fairly quickly.

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B.H.

answers from Seattle on

I personally am opposed to crate training..
Just try pottytraining them like you do your child. When they wake up from sleeping, and 30 min after eating. And very soon they get the hang of it and you dont need to force them in a metal cage.

Best of luck and Congrats on your new puppy they are sooo much fun!

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