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Another new puppy and nightime crate training(19 Posts)
We are new puppy parents to a 9 week old labradoodle. She has literally only been at home 2 nights now and as may be expected we are having trouble with sleeping her in a crate at night.
We have put her in the crate when she is really tired at about 10pm and she has slept until about 2.30am / 3.00am but then she has woken up and really cried. My husband took her out for a wee both nights without engaging her but could not get her to settle again, she was really jumping around in her crate and crying and despite trying to sooth her she really wouldn't stop. He then probably made the mistake of getting her out and she then fell asleep on the floor next to him (which I'm worried could mean her getting too used to crying means getting out of the crate).
Unfortunately she has also got a bit of an upset stomach (apparently quite normal when going through the stress of a new home), so I haven't wanted to give too many treats in the crate during the day as I'm giving her a bland diet and water to try to settle her tummy.
There seem to be two schools of thought on the crate training. Firstly completely ignoring any crying (which feels really hard) or taking her out for toileting / sleeping with her which feels as if it may then be creating a habit of having us with her at nightime.
I've read so much information online and am completely undecided as to which way to go (and I'm finding it hard to be really strict). In the day she will just crash out on the floor beside me rather than in her crate - although will go into her crate to get toys / food etc.
Any advice or thoughts? Although I'm sure everyone does it differently. We don't want her upstairs or sleeping on our bed. I'm probably just expecting too much too soon.
You've only had her 2 nights. Of course she is upset and crying, she been taken away from her mother and siblings to somewhere strange. There is nothing wrong with you either sleeping on the sofa next to the crate, or taking the crate upstairs. As the dog becomes more settled you can gradually get her sleeping where you want, but at the moment you are essentially ignoring a crying 'baby' hoping it will just learn to be quiet. It doesn't work and you could be setting yourself up for bigger problems later on.
How much time are you leaving her in a crate? Are you shutting her in there during the day as well? Crate training takes time; there is plenty of info available on line about it which you say you have read. I am not a fan of crates anyway because I think they are too often used wrongly, with dogs left shut up for hours like a guinea pig, and only allowed out when someone wants to interact with them.
Current dog, when a pup, was never left alone at all (she was tiny and slept in a cat carrier in the bedroom), and was taken out once in the middle of the night until she was about 5 months when she could go all night. She never cried once and has no separation anxiety either, and I think this is partly due to the fact she was never allowed to get distressed.
I would be concerned about a puppy with an upset stomach, they can get dehydrated and go downhill so quickly. If it doesn't get better within a day she should really be seen by a vet.
Sleep by her. You won’t be making a rod for your own back. You will be creating a confident and settled dog who feels safe. I slept by my dog (downstairs) by the crate until she was happy. It’s not for long.
Sleep on the sofa for a few nights and if she does fall asleep on you or elsewhere, get her used to you touching her as she sleeps and then it will make it easier to move her to the crate without waking her up.
Also, never make everything quiet in the house, keep household noises the same.
We like you struggled the first few days. We moved her crate into the living room & when she woke for her 2am wee took her outside then back to her crate but slept in the living room with her at this point. She slept with my tshirt with her also. Over the course of the next 5 days moved the crate slowly back into the kitchen & the early wake up wee stretch moved to 3-4 am. It took about 7 days before full routine kicked in.
She is now 2 and no issues with her crate. This is her in the kitchen with me
Our puppy is now 11 weeks and we had the same issue the first week. Everything I read online said to leave her but we couldn't. We tried sleeping on the sofa in the living room but that wasn't enough. Then I resorted to sleeping on the floor next to the crate but that wasn't feasible. We then tried the crate in the room and she hated that too. We now have a pen In the bedroom and she settles no problem. We will work on moving her out and downstairs again but for now we are all happy. She gets out once through the night and then settles down again. We just need to work on getting her to sleep past 5.30am!
It's only two nights. It's very very very early days. She's gone from having her family all huddled round her at night to being totally alone. If she's crying.
I'd be either taking the crate upstairs to the bedroom or sleeping downstairs on the sofa with the crate next to you for a while. What we did was take turns sleeping downstairs, I did it during the week as husband had to be out at 5am for work and he did it on weekends. The first few nights were spent on the floor next to the crate tbh. Then we increased the time leaving her but I've read some people move the crate further and further away from the bedroom gradually too.
Thanks everyone, I think we’ll carry on sleeping next to the crate downstairs for a while then.
We haven’t put her in the crate in the daytime, although have fed her in there and put toys and warm bear/blankets to make it inviting. I did manage to get her to have a snooze for about an hour in the playpen section today while I pottered in the kitchen.
I’m hoping upset tummy has settled a bit, only one runny poo today and she’s full of beans (if a bit bitey) and drinking water, still weeing etc.
We won’t ever need to leave her for long periods in the crate but I’d like to leave her for an hour or so a couple of times a week so I can go to Pilates or supermarket and know she’s safe and not eating anything she shouldn’t or destroying the kitchen.
sleep in the room next to her with the crate open. Slowly move to shutting crate door but stay next to her with your hand in the crate if she whimpers when you are trying to resettle after a pee/toilet in night. In the daytime encourage her to sleep in the crate next to you, with first door open and then shut. Never leave her in the crate if there is any chance she needs to toilet. (so only put her there if she has toileted very recently, and you want to shut the door, puppies hate using their crate as a toilet area but will if desperate)
Make crate the loveliest association she has, warm cosy, you nearby, favourite soft toy (not squeaky) and never leave her in there longer than it takes her to settle and sleep. If she doesn't settle and sleep and cannot calm down, take her out, leave it for a while (a day) and start again reassuring and making positive associations. A tired but not overtired puppy, given a cosy warm bed, human company will settle in a crate with door shut if he doesn't associate it with being abandoned or desperate for a pee.
At puppy training, the leader said it was quite good to get puppy to sleeping in his crate for daytime naps, and then you can time your leaving them for short periods with a safely sleeping puppy in the crate. For us that was, a hour after breakfast (8am) at 9am. He would sleep till at least 10 if not longer. So that was a window to pop out for 45 mins after a week or two.
I have never used a crate and have always slept next to my puppies in those early weeks. Not a big fan of crates tbh.
We ditched crate or shall I say grew out of needing it, by 6 months. But for a puppy it can be a very safe haven, if not used in the wrong way. We had a nice big crate for a miniature poodle, (picture of labrador on the front of ours!) No need for it after 6 months, he slept happily downstairs in a bed and the room was safe for him too. Even if we left him for two hours after 6 months he was happy to sleep in a bigger space and I felt happier not leaving him locked in a crate.
We tried our pup in the crate in our room at first - she went batshit, absolutely hated it. We tried laying on the floor next to her - also went batshit. Tried laying next to the crate with the door open - batshit there too. By 3am she was in our bed and slept there for the next 2 weeks, during which time she slowly started happily taking herself off for daytime naps in her crate with the door open, then door closed. Now she spends all evening sleeping happily downstairs in her crate (other than when we wake to let her out, we have alarms set for 1 and 4am). She’s now one of the most independent dogs we’ve ever had, and we’ve had a few! If letting her sleep on my chest for weeks didn’t ‘make a rod for my back’ as they say, then sleeping next to your pup definitely won’t. She’s a tiny baby, with a tiny bladder in a big, strange place. Give her time and comfort, she’ll get there .
I don’t know what you have read online but you need to crate train. If you put a puppy in a crate and leave her to cry you are only teaching her to hate the crate. While you can put her in the crate when she is small, soon she will be a lot larger and you will have trouble forcing her into the crate to begin with.
It takes a few weeks to crate train. During the period the door of the crate must be open at all times. Create only positive associations with the crate and only close the door when your puppy is happy in there.
For sleep you have to remember that you have taken an animal that has evolved to be with others of its kind in close proximity at all times and removed it from her mother and siblings. Someone needs to keep the puppy company, so you need to sleep next to her even if it means moving to the sofa. Creating a good bond now will help you with things like recall later.
Thanks again all. We have been sleeping on the floor next to the crate. Last night (night 3) she actually slept from 11pm to 6.30am without a peep (amazing) and today we have been giving her chicken treats in the crate and she’s been sitting in the crate waiting for chicken to appear. Keeping our fingers crossed.
I'd put an item of your clothing in the crate too - just helps them feel safe. And Adaptil plug in can help too.