Eight week old pup going crazy/barking/whining when left in crate...

(49 Posts)
mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 12:02:34

... think that says it all really!

We've had him five days. We have the crate in the living room and have been alternating sleeping down help stairs with him at night, but he makes such a terrible racket when he's put in his crate and we leave the room. We have neighbours on one side and I worry they may complain.

I've trawled the internet for advice, particularly about night time, but there seems to be such conflicting opinion. Many people recommend bringing the crate upstairs and having it by the bed, but we're reluctant to do this and would prefer to keep it downstairs. Also, this doesn't really help with the main issue of him freaking out generally when left in there.

We put him in there for about half an hour in the morning when everyone has to go upstairs and get ready for work and school. He goes bonkers. He goes in there if we go out (which so far has only been for an hour or so the last couple of days). Both times we've left him barking and crying, but come back to quietness. Don't know how long he takes to calm down though.

I'm really worried he's going to give himself a heart attack the way he carries on. Please someone tell me this is normal and it will pass.

Please also give me any advice. Is it just a case of persevering and trying to ignore it?

I've tried putting a filled kong in there, a warm rice comforter thing, an extra blanket, putting a cover over etc...

OP’s posts: |
ender Wed 09-Apr-14 15:05:32

He needs to be crate trained. Go slowly, it can take a week or so, for dogs with no negative associations with crate so may take longer for yours.
Crate in bedroom at night is kinder for pup, you can gradually move the crate out of the bedroom later if you want.

Princessolipops Wed 09-Apr-14 15:08:13

I used to give a wee treat when he went in the crate although he would still get upset but I'd leave and listen through the letterbox and he always settled in minutes! So he may be upset but if he's quiet when you come back he is prob settling ok once he knows you's are gone X

Lovemyfriends Wed 09-Apr-14 15:16:16

We have crate-trained two dogs, and always have the crate in the kitchen. Our dogs are not allowed upstairs, even as new puppies.

You have to make being in the crate a positive experience. We give a treat each time we put the dog in. Also, don't make a big fuss when you go back into the room to let the dog out. Ignore the dog for a minute, then calmly open the door and take the dog outside for a wee. Dogs need to be used to being left in the crate for short periods as well.

Don't worry, your puppy will get used to it. It is a safe and cosy place for it.

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 15:22:34

Thanks ender I'm sure it will just take time. I've tried the treats princess but he's not interested. He's so keen on getting out if the crate that nothing else concerns him. I've been using the training technique (ie softly softly approach but unfortunately we do also need to just put him in there at the times mentioned.

I've had a little success getting him to go in and out for treats with the door open and he's had both meals in there today, again with the door open, but as soon as I try and close it, he forgets about the treat and panics.

OP’s posts: |
mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 15:24:49

Thanks lovemyfriends I'll try the treat each and every time he goes in and see if that helps. Really keen to keep him downstairs!

OP’s posts: |
Princessolipops Wed 09-Apr-14 15:26:13

I left the crate open all day in the living room and put his blanket in from the litter and a bigger dog teddy which he used to go in a lie beside or just go in for some peace! He came in and out Whenever he wanted. Would close door give him a wee treat and leave quietly and quickly and gradually built up the time. Just takes lots of time x

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mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 15:44:27

I'll see if I can procure a big teddy from one if my DDs!

OP’s posts: |
Floralnomad Wed 09-Apr-14 15:52:51

Would a puppy pen be better ,it sounds like its the thought of being trapped that's worrying him ,with a pen they don't feel so enclosed.

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 16:15:38

Hi floral. It's quite a big crate so he's not really confined too much. He'll just about tolerate it if there are people around, but as soon as we leave the room, he's off. It seems to me that he just doesn't want to be alone. He literally follows us everywhere and lays on our feet to go to sleep. Cute but not helping matters!

OP’s posts: |
Lilcamper Wed 09-Apr-14 16:42:54

He doesn't want to be alone because he is a baby. He has just left his mum and litter mates and is confused and scared. He needs to be with you right now for reassurance and his confidence can be worked on later.

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 17:00:03

Hi lilcamper. Thanks for posting. It's fine for him to be with us most of the time (it's Easter break now so we're at home and that's why we collected him last weekend - to give us maximum settling in time without distractions).

I'm just concerned about the times when he needs to bf confined. Basically night time and when we go out. I can't see any way around that. At a push we could abandon the crate and confine him in the kitchen but he would still raise the dead with his noise. I know because if I close the kitchen door briefly and leave him there for a couple of minutes, he starts crying and scratching the door.

I just feel like I'm not sure what else to do to help him and I guess just need some reassurance that this is normal and will pass. Tell me it's so!!

OP’s posts: |
MarcusAurelius Wed 09-Apr-14 17:01:51

Pick him up and take him to bed with you. I promise he won't cry then.

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 17:03:59

Oh marcus I'm sure he would stop crying then, but I've no intention of having him in my bed. I just don't want him there and don't think it's the place for him. Thanks though !

OP’s posts: |
whatadrama Wed 09-Apr-14 17:31:28

Have you tried it with a blanket over the top of the crate making it more like a den and lots of squishy toys for him to curl up into?

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 17:36:58

Hi whatadrama we put a blanket over last night and he wasn't too bad because DP was sleeping down next to him so it was manageable. It's really only a major issue when we leave the room. Will try a few soft toys if I can find some!

OP’s posts: |
Booboostoo Wed 09-Apr-14 18:08:44

He is young and very unsure of himself and to be honest you sound like you have unrealistic expectations. It takes a few weeks to crate train at the best of times not 5 days. You just have to persevere with the crate door open until he is comfortable enough, the more you force the issue the worse it will go. Unfortunately you also need to be with him 24/7 until he is happy to be alone, that is also quite common with a lot of puppies.

You may want to try Adaptil collars/diffusers to help him settle.

Make sure you take things very slowly, it sounds like you may have a bit of a worried puppy, either because of natural temperament or because he is feeling insecure away from his mum/litter, and if you put too much pressure on him now you may end up with more difficult problems like separation anxiety.

Lilcamper Wed 09-Apr-14 18:12:17

Put the crate next to your bed. You can reach out to reassure him when he stirs. This will also help with house training as you can pop him outside when he needs to go if he wakes you up.

You can worry about moving him downstairs when he is feeling more secure and confident. Letting a pup get upset and stressed can lead to separation issues.

Lovemyfriends Wed 09-Apr-14 18:16:45

He needs to get used to not being with you all the time.

With our newest puppy, we put a pet gate across the kitchen door for about eight weeks. The puppy stayed mostly there or in the garden, apart from when we gave her supervised access to some of the downstairs rooms. So she was sometimes with us, and sometimes alone in the kitchen. She had toys to play with, her bed in the crate and sometimes a chew or kong.

It is unrealistic for dogs in a family household to be with someone 100 per cent of the time when they are little and liable to wee/poo/chew things they shouldn't. They need to learn to be okay by themselves.

Lovemyfriends Wed 09-Apr-14 18:25:41

With regard to sleeping downstairs with the puppy, we have never done that. Shut the door, go upstairs and sleep. The puppy will go to sleep too, and he will be pleased to see you in the morning!

mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 18:33:44

Thanks everyone. I don't think we have unrealistic expectations. We don't really know what to expect or what's normal, that's why I posted. I just want advice and reassurance about him being upset when left. I fully expect it will take time.

I too feel that it's unrealistic to be with him 24/7, but accept that he does need a lot of attention which he is getting.

I've been thinking about a baby gate across the kitchen door and seeing if that helps when we need to leave him during the day.

OP’s posts: |
mintymellons Wed 09-Apr-14 19:05:24

Sorry just going back to the point about it taking a few weeks to crate train, my question is what should we do in the meantime when we need him to be confined safely? This is the problem.

OP’s posts: |
ender Wed 09-Apr-14 19:24:08

Could you take him with you when you go out? It'd only be for a few weeks and 8 wk pups can be easily carried, unless giant breed of course.

Boudica1990 Wed 09-Apr-14 19:36:48

I have crate trained 2 dogs both were very different.

first was the cocker spaniel, he was easy. He would whine and cry for about 10minutes maximum on a bad day but would settle and sleep. If he awoke and cried during the night o would take him outside to do his business and straight back in the crate to go back to sleep. Sometimes he would whine sometimes was too tired, as he was able to hold his bladder longer the night crying stopped and at about 12weeks he would settle immediately, great dog smile

Second the Rhodesian Ridgeback......horrendous. would whine cry, attack the crate absolutely go crazy in there. Solution feed the little ginger monster in the crate make it positive, play with puppy in the crate, lots of praise for going in the crate. By week 15 fully crate trained. Also did the whole if you whine for a excessive amount of time I will take you out to pee but then you go straight back in. Whining will not get you out of jail for play time.

Lovemyfriends Wed 09-Apr-14 19:38:57

We have left our pup in the crate from the beginning. My view is that you start as you mean to go on. The dog might be initially upset, but it will get used to it. Just don't leave it for too long during the day.

There is no right or wrong way to bring up a puppy, you just have to do what is right for your family. Our dogs are well-loved members of the family, but they are dogs, not humans.

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