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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new wire crate with divider will be delivered today, and I plan on setting it up and beginning the process of introducing my 7 1/2 week old YLF to it tonight. I've read a few articles and some threads about it, my plan is to slowly work my way from feeding her near it, to enticing her in it with treats with the door tied open, to feeding her inside it with the door tied open, to feeding her in it with the door closed, to putting her in it with the door closed for slightly longer and longer periods of time while I'm in the room, eventually leaving the room and extending the time she's in there and I'm gone until hopefully she's good in there for a few hours at a time while I'm away and shorter amounts of time while I'm home. I know it's important to always make it a positive experience for the puppy and not use the crate as punishment. I've watched some of the "crate games" videos on youtube, and those look promising, but my pup doesn't have the attention span or the basic OB (sit, stay) to start those yet. I just have a couple questions...

1. The crate comes with a wire divider, and I plan on using it to make her living space just big enough so she won't be tempted to eliminate in her crate and sit on the other side. It was suggested by some friends that I use a blanket/sheet on 3 sides of the crate so it's more "den-like" but so she can still see what's going on. Should I worry about putting something on the divider so she can't see the blocked off part of the crate, or is that unnecessary?

2. Any tips for a beginner, things you did that you wished you hadn't or didn't that you wished you had in hindsight? This is my first puppy and my first time crate training, so I want to do my best.

3. I know to be patient and not to expect too much from such a young puppy, and that each dog develops on his/her own schedule, but with 2 or 3 5-10 minute training sessions per day, how long would you guess it might take before I can comfortably leave her unattended in the crate for 2-3 hours?

If you've read this far down, thanks. Here's a picture of Honey B. as a sign of my gratitude!

 

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People have conflicting opinions on this, but I started overnights with the crate in our bedroom. It seemed to help the little guy, knowing we were right there..... seperation is a big part of most problems. We eventually moved the crate out of the room, after he was comfortable in it. Good luck, the first few nights are quite fun...... ever had a newborn?????

Sleepless regards.......
 

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Oh, she is adorable. Sounds like you've done your homework regarding crate training. To answer your question...no I would not bother covering the divider. The three sides should be good. In fact, I found out for when my dog was a pup, I covered the entire crate with a sheet or blanket to keep him from whining for a longer period of time. But for a young pup, you've got to figure out the difference between the whine to get out to potty versus the whine to just want to be by you.

Enjoy the journey!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies. I failed to mention I planned on keeping the crate in the living room during the day and when we start overnights it will be in the bedroom with me. The last few nights we've spent in a spare room (with linoleum flooring) with her free to roam the room (door blocked) and me sleeping on a mattress on the floor. So far she's done a pretty good job of letting me know when it's time to go out, and she's been pretty consistent as well, which I'm hoping she keeps up. That consistency will help me determine the difference between potty whines and let me out whines.
 

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The last few nights we've spent in a spare room (with linoleum flooring) with her free to roam the room (door blocked) and me sleeping on a mattress on the floor.
Based on that, I would think she should do well almost immediately sleeping at night in her crate, with her crate beside you and your mattress on the floor. In my experience, she might fuss for a short time, but if you lay close to the side of the crate and simply pretend to be sleeping, she will likely fall asleep pretty quickly. One or two nights like that and you can move the crate to your bedroom so you can sleep in your own bed.

Jim
 

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My new dog owner experience for what it's worth...

My wife and I did pretty much what you are describing with our first pup a few months ago. You'll learn the diffirence in their whines pretty quickly. The "I want to get let out whines" will diminish quickly when the pup figures out that it doesn't work. We moved the crate from the living room to the BR each day and had no real issues but like others say there are differing opinions on this. My wife and I like having our little guy in the room with us so we just accept it as part of our routine. We found that he started to like his crate much more quickly than we thought he would. I remember the first time I left him outside of it alone. I ran a piece of misdelivered mail to the neighbors. I was gone for less than 2 minutes (yes I know not necessarily a good idea but nobody is perfect) and came home to him sitting quietly in his crate with the door open. There's no doubt that he associates the rate with security.

If I have any regrett it's that we probably didn't put him in the crate enough while we're home during the day. I don't think he entirely made the connection that the crate doesn't always translate into sleep at night or of us not leaving the house. In other words we fell into a pattern that he easily deduced which means that occasionally he's not 100% enthusiastic about getting in it.

Beautiful dog by the way! Enjoy the journey. My guy is at the trainers for the next few months and I miss him a great deal. I'm excited about the future and love hearing about his progress but life is just not the same!!
 

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Having just gone through this introduction 2 weeks ago, and 2 years ago, I would offer this tip: hold your ground while pup screams the first couple of nights, no matter how hard it is. It actually doesn't last more than 10 minutes on a pup that little and they'll learn to calm themselves and accept the crate faster if you wait them out. I was a wimp with my pup two years ago, and he never did take to the crate. He does now, but he's only crated when traveling and he is old enough to realize what's going on.

With my newest pup, we crated her the night we got her and she screamed a good 6 or 8 minutes, but finally fell asleep. The next day I did a couple sessions of treat training her with the crate and that night she only screamed about 2 minutes. The third night she didn't make a peep til morning.

Good luck,
Jennifer
 

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Having just gone through this introduction 2 weeks ago, and 2 years ago, I would offer this tip: hold your ground while pup screams the first couple of nights, no matter how hard it is. It actually doesn't last more than 10 minutes on a pup that little and they'll learn to calm themselves and accept the crate faster if you wait them out. I was a wimp with my pup two years ago, and he never did take to the crate. He does now, but he's only crated when traveling and he is old enough to realize what's going on.

With my newest pup, we crated her the night we got her and she screamed a good 6 or 8 minutes, but finally fell asleep. The next day I did a couple sessions of treat training her with the crate and that night she only screamed about 2 minutes. The third night she didn't make a peep til morning.

Good luck,
Jennifer
Agree with this 100%. The more resolute you are from the start the quicker the whole things works out as intended for you and the dog. If you give in you are just reinforcing his initial fear and making the transition that much more difficult on him.
 

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I had a great experience with this. The breeder had left the crate in the kennel for the pups to sleep together at night. When I picked my pup up she met all the neighbors played in the back yard, and she was good and tired. When I put her in the crate she was fighting off sleep anyway. She was used to sleeping in a crate, just like a den. After a few minutes she was down for the count. Up to go potty, and then back in and quiet. I know karma will get me with my next one!
 

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Here is what I do, dont know if it is right or wrong, or maybe even luck, but my puppy loves his crate and has slept through the night since the day we brought him home.

Put his crate in the opposite side of the house as we sleep so when we wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom he doesn't wake up.
Put him in crate with a nylabone.
Turn the radio on real low. He seems to like Country the best! Smart puppy!!!
Wake up in the morning and carry him outside (did this for the first two weeks until he was getting the hint to not potty inside)


That's it, crate trained dog...so far at least! He barked for about five minutes up until we put the radio in his room, now no barking at all.
 
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