Crate training puppies.

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    How many nights disturbed sleep can I expect while my puppy is getting used to his crate?

    We collected our 7 week old G.Retriever puppy last week, and have been trying to crate train him overnight. He naps in the crate during the day, but at night, as soon as he wakes, he howls and cries on and off all night. We have been very brave and ignored him so far.

    He also wets in his crate, which I guess is because he is young and can’t wait all night to go, however, I was told they don’t usually mess in their sleeping area?

    Can anybody reassure me that this won’t go on forever and it’s the right thing to do. Any tips on how I can make it more comfortable for him and maybe more sleep for me?


    Congratulations on your new puppy,
    and welcome to the forum !

    For crate training, I found the following
    article helpful. It sure takes time and patience,
    but well worth it ! There are other good training
    articles as well.


    I also private mailed you with some site suggestions,
    please keep in touch with your progress.
    Good luck!!! 😀


    The info I am providing may all ready be in the info you were sent but just in case…. Your dealing with a baby and getting up in the night is expected for a while.

    When he wakes up in the middle of the night and makes noise he is telling you he needs to go potty. You must get up and take him out so he doesn’t potty in the crate. You don’t want to teach him to soil his crate on a regular basis.

    Feed early in the evening and NO more water 2 hrs before bed. Maybe an ice cube if needed. Take him out to potty before you crate him and see that he goes. Going to bed empty help a lot.

    Over time it will get better if you follow those simple rules. Lots of info on the web if you search house training for puppies.

    Puppy training is nothing more than positive praise when he does a good job and prevention so he doesn’t make any mistakes.



    Thank you Zahra and Mike B for the help. We have made some progress in the crate – Weston now going all night without doing toilet in there. He lets us know between 5 and 7am that he needs to go, so that’s not too bad.
    At 9 weeks old now, the only worry is that he still hates being in the crate. We’ve also built him a pen in the garden to keep him safe too. He doesn’t seem to get that idea, and howls/cries/barks to be let out. So it’s now the crate and the pen that he doesn’t like.
    Our trainer says it’s attention seeking and to ignore him, but I wonder if it could be because our other dog is not in the crate/pen with him? Do you think we need to start putting the 10 year old in with him too? Obviously I can’t get him in the crate but I could shut him in the same room. Our 10 year old is very spoiled and we are trying to be strict with Weston because we don’t want him to turn out the same as Hastings.


    At nine weeks old I would expect nothing less than what you are seeing in your pup. He is lonely when crated and kenneled but he must learn to accept it. You will be thankful later on for sure.

    Depending on the temperament of your pup it just takes time for them to get used to the new enviornment. It is important to alway have safe chew toys like the red KONG toys that can be stuffed with food treats as a means of keeping him entertained and less stressed.

    The white hollow sterilized marrow bones are excellent too and can also be stuffed with a little soft food. Remember at first to keep it simple for your pup so he can win the game and get the food treats out. As he gets older you can increase the difficulty over time.
    See the KONG web site for more info on stuffing.



    Its quite amazing how determined a puppy can be! Weston the 11 week old puppy still hates his crate. Never chooses to go in there, will only go in to eat his food, and when put in there at night, howls and barks to come out, even when we’ve ignored this behaviour, it doesn’t stop until he falls asleep! Then it starts again.
    We’ve tried favourite toys, treats and bones, but he’s not convinced. We’re going to stick with it until he doesn’t chew things or goes to the toilet in the house, but I have to say, I’ve not been all that taken with the whole thing.
    I wondered also if this is why he is still going to the toilet in the house sometimes, because he thinks that so long as he doesn’t do it in the crate, its OK!
    We’re getting a lot easier though, and things are falling into place with most other everyday issues. 🙂


    Sarah Jane,

    Some times you get a pup that it really stubborn about the crate. I had a German Shepherd once that just screamed when crated. I took to tethering her with a 10 ft. cable tether to the end of the bed. She had her blanket and chew toys. Had the same set up in the family room when we were all in there. She house trained quickly and we all got sleep at night.
    Later in her puppyhood she accepted the crate much better starting with short training sessions with a stuffed Kong toy.

    You will get there, it just may take more time so don’t give up the fight. Hang tough and you will win this battle.

    It may help a lot to start puppy obedience training to establish leadership with him. Using his brain at this age is a good thing. Certainly couldn’t hurt.



    Little Jumper congrats on the puppy. I just recently got an accident puppy. It is part Begal and part Jack Russel. He is only 6 weeks old to the day. I started crate training him yesterday. Is it to early to start with a puppy this young. I have followed on line articles on only letting him out when he is quiet. However, my only problem is he wants to only go in half way. I have been using treats to help lure him in but he stretches just enough to reach. The crate has box as a wall to make his living quarters small enough for him to move around and sleep. Any additional help would be greatly appreciated.



    A 6 week old pup can get used to a crate but can’t spend much time in a crate and be expected not to pee or poop. Must be very patient and do not expect anything near perfection till 4 to 6 months old.

    I think you will find great help on i-dog message board.


    Read the articles in Dr. P’s Library under Puppies too.


    Start puppy training in an age and size related class. PetsMart’s puppy training would be a good start if you can’t find a professional trainer in your area.

    Tony Scott

    Just a message for Dan really to say congratulations on the new puppy.
    We have to tempt Weston into his crate every time because even after 5 weeks, he still won’t go in voluntarily. We’re prepared to keep up with it because so many people have said how fantastic their dogs are, also at least they are safe while they are in there.


    Congrats to all with new puppies! Pups are like babies like you have been told; they do need attention …Im not against crate training by any means for the safety of the pet; I sure hope that these dogs arent in their crates the majority of the time; they do need love and attention just as a human baby does..they need excerise especially your bigger dogs…since they grow at such a fast rate…as I said Im not against crate training for safefy but people that keep their pets in crates they majority of time imo dont deserve pets..



    Thanks for the info. I will look into those new sites. I have been going home and lunch and letting him out. He has been doing very well.

    I also have to coax my puppy in there. I have been feeding him in his crate to show that it is a positive thing.

    The only time the puppy is in the crate is when we are not home or in bed. As soon as I get home I let him out until it is time for bed. Even then I am up ever three hours to let him out of his crate to go outside. I agree that leaving a dog or puppy in a crate over a very long period of time with out effection or letting them out to play can be detrimental to a puppies life.



    Great news on the crate training front. We decided to move the crate into another room and it worked. Weston would not go to bed without crying and barking unless you put him in the crate!
    Now we’ve moved on another stage. He is such a good boy we are leaving him at night in a “grown up” bed at the bottom of the stairs. He’s settled into this routine very quickly, and has even managed to stay asleep in the morning a little longer. Happy puppy, happy owner!


    [quote=littlejumper]Great news on the crate training front. We decided to move the crate into another room and it worked. Weston would not go to bed without crying and barking unless you put him in the crate!
    Now we’ve moved on another stage. He is such a good boy we are leaving him at night in a “grown up” bed at the bottom of the stairs. He’s settled into this routine very quickly, and has even managed to stay asleep in the morning a little longer. Happy puppy, happy owner![/quote]

    Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good boy, Weston!!! 😀

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