View Full Version : Pickles and sleeping arrangements

28th September 2007, 02:19 PM
Allison's post on her puppy, Charlie, prompted me to write one about Pickles.

Pickles is the only dog. She hates being alone. We bought a crate for her but she dislikes it. Even though I left the door open and put treats in there and toys and a nice bed, she wouldn't spend any time in it and the few times that I shut the door for even two minutes she cried. She actually seemed horrified but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

Pickles usually sleeps in the livingroom. My DH stays up late and she falls asleep and then he creeps off to bed and normally she'll stay downstairs and sleep. (I'm an early to bed person so I'm usually asleep by then.)

However, if she wakes up she scratches on the door and cries. Twice she "broke out" of the livingroom and ran upstairs and got into our bed and just looked at us as if to say, "well... why didn't you tell me we were all going up here to bed?! " And of course she's SO ADORABLE. I've ended up going downstairs and sleeping on the sofa with her sometimes so that we can get some sleep.

I have a feeling that I'm doing something really bad.
Do other people have problems getting their puppies to sleep alone at night?
Do other people just give in and let them sleep in the bed?
Do other dogs really hate the crate? Do they come to love it?

Any other experiences with getting your cavalier to be a little more independent?

28th September 2007, 04:17 PM
First of all, I would find a crate that Pickles can't escape from. Second of all, her crate should be a place where she feels safe and comfortable. I'm sure other members of the board will have some advice on how you can transform the crate into a happy place for Pickles.

Kingston has never slept in his crate a single night. The first night we had him, he cried so much that I took him out and put him in bed with me. Now he sleeps in our bed every night, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I love falling asleep snuggled up against him. However, if you really want Pickles to sleep in her own crate, you'll have to ignore her cries. Otherwise, she will just become more attached to you and less independent.

29th September 2007, 06:44 AM
Thanks for answering my questions. I totally empathize with you about keeping Kingston with you in bed.

I don't know that I'll ever be able to crate Pickles at night. Just last night my husband told me to put the crate away because it isn't going to happen. He told me to sell the crate but I told him no because I might need it for another puppy some day :)

29th September 2007, 07:24 AM
Both our dogs have their own crates, which they know as "home" and go there when told. They both see it as their comfort space. And yes, they both cried rivers when put in them as puppies (I could even hear Charlie crying from the driveway outside out complex he was so loud). You just have to ignore them and eventually they get used to it. They were allowed bed priveleges once they were house broken, and now they both sleep in bed with us each night, but still understand the kennel as home and will go in them with no issues, even overnight. Be strong! Pickles will get over it eventually.

Bruce H
29th September 2007, 10:00 AM
I would suggest trying very hard to get her to sleep in a crate. If she ever has to go to the vet overnight or have someone else watch her overnight, etc, etc, it's going to be a lot less stressful if she is used to a crate.

I see you put treats and toys in her crate, that's good. I would also suggest feeding her in her crate. Put her in with her food and let her stay for until she finishes and then for maybe another 15 minutes. Just keep increasing the time she is in there. If she cries, just let her cry; as hard as it is, think of it as tough love. You could also try turning on a radio next to her crate; a few people have told us that helps. Once she will sleep in a crate, then you can let her sleep with you if you want.

BTW, we have between 3 and 4 dogs that sleep in bed with us every night. We rotate them every few months so everyone gets their turn and no one objects when it's their turn to go back to sleeping in their crate.

29th September 2007, 10:51 AM
OK Bruce and Katc10 -- you've convinced me to give it another try. I'm going to move her crate to a more optimum place in the lounge and I'll start putting her in there for food and treats at different times during the day.

I know you're right. I just have such a hard time with this because... you should see her face when she wants to be with us. I actually think Pickles would crawl inside of me if she could. And I know that's not good... it's not good for anything to be so dependent on another.

She really needs to learn to be alone at night as our bed is small and my DH's eyes get irritated with dander so I can't have her in the bed. And I can't keep sleeping downstairs because that's not nice either.

Thanks for your advice.

29th September 2007, 05:15 PM
It is very very useful to have a dog that can sleep in a crate. Mine all are in crates when they are home boarded and are fine. But at home they all sleep in my room. They were all crate trained. :)

Tips: get a crate she cannot escape from. Put her in at night right before bedtimne with a handful of dry food or a little biscuit treat and something like a nylabone to chew on, or maybe a stuffed small kong.

Don't make a big deal out of bedtime (eg don't drag it out by fussing over her -- just have it be matter of fact). I'd even have a phrase you say when she goes into her crate at night as a cue -- like "bed' or 'kennels!" or 'nighttime' or whatever. If she is unhappy, you can leave a radio on low, and/or try covering the crate with a lightweight but dark cloth to reduce stimulus. Don;t ever let her out when she is barking for attention -- only polite behaviour earns the right to have that door opened. :)

29th September 2007, 05:44 PM
Have you tried putting the crate in your bedroom? She might not cry if the crate is in the same room with her pack.

29th September 2007, 08:12 PM
I use the crate a little differently. I use the crate for when I leave the house so the puppy doesn't get into any trouble. At bedtime the puppy sleeps with me. That has worked for me.

30th September 2007, 01:08 AM
Believe it or not your little one will actually look forward to having their own little place eventually.
My Mum has crate trained Toby her Cav but he does not sleep in there, he goes in there at mealtimes, when the door bell goes and if he wants a snooze. He actually loves and takes himself off there as the dinner is being prepared or when he hears the door bell.

If you can not handle the idea of a crate ( I regretfully couldn't) just create a place (space) that is pickles.
My dogs have their own bedroom and know this is where they go to sleep and when I go out and again they like it that way if i say on your bed for any reason they will happily trot off to their bedroom.
The main thing is be consistent, its in or on you go and thats it. Make sure your dog has been toileted last thing, has a nice warm bed and is comfortable then just leave them to it and don't be soft and give in the crying, eventually as with all things it will become routine.

1st October 2007, 03:16 AM
Already great advice offered here, so I am only going to chime in too & say "persevere with the crate (a strong one)". They are invaluable and once you've had a dog that is crate trained, you would never consider going back. Good luck & be strong. :flwr:

1st October 2007, 04:24 PM
Thank you everyone for your encouragement and advice.

I've been using the crate more and she's not too unhappy. I think moving it to an open area in the lounge has made a difference.

I ALWAYS put her in there for treats and food. And very soon... like within a few days... I will put her in her crate at night after her last "wee" in the garden.