PDA

View Full Version : Sleeping and crate training help!



ashleighelizabeth
20th September 2011, 04:05 PM
So Sonny is 13 weeks old now and he has done excellent in his crate. THe first night we put him to bed he cried for about a minute and then settled himself down and slept the whole night. Since then he cries every once in awhile when we put him in for a couple of seconds, but then always settles down. He usually wakes up early morning (between 4:30- 5:30) to go to the bathroom, but then goes back to bed until 6:00 when we wake up. HOwever, last night he cried for about 10 minutes when we put him to bed. He has NEVER cried that long, so we went and checked on him to make sure that he wasn't hurt, sick ect... and took him out to calm him down a little. After that we put him back to bed and he cried for about a minute and then fell asleep. However he then woke up at 12:30, which he has never woken up that quickly after going to bed, but nevertheless I took him out to potty which he did and then put him back in his crate like I have done in the past when he wakes up. He then proceeded to cry and bark for 30 minutes. It was heartbreaking and awful to listen to. My husband and I had no idea what to do. I was torn because I didn't want to reinforce the crying and barking, but I also was worried something was wrong. I finally went and took him out and took him potty again which he went and then tried to calm him down again, but he seemed so riled up and unable to calm down. I ended up sleeping in the guest room with him in the bed. He was restless the whole night, but did sleep for little spurts of time. I don't know how he went from sleeping so well through out the night into what happened last night. I also don't know what to do tonight. Should I let him cry and bark so that he knows that won't get him what he wants?

sunshinekisses
20th September 2011, 10:13 PM
Well, I am probably the wrong person to give advice on this because I just gave up and let my boy sleep in bed with us. Once I let him in bed he slept all night.

But if you want to crate train him you will have to add training in the day. Give him the command "kennel" or "crate" and entice him with treats. Once he goes into the crate by himself praise him. Eventually you will begin to close the door on him and praise him for being quiet....open the door and praise him again. Continue to do this until you can work up to 30 minutes without him crying. Then work up the time until he no longer cries. It is hard work but worth the time. Do not crate him more than 4 hours during the day.

I have crate trained all my dogs before my Bentley but when he came to me I just didn't have the heart to let him sleep alone. My other dogs I would get up with them when they cried and gave them a potty break and put them back into the kennel at night. If they cried for more than 10 minutes I would get up and let them have play time but I would not interact with them. I also combined the day time training. Also remember to tired them out during the evening before bedtime so the pup will be tired!

Puppies are just like babies, you won't get much sleep for a few weeks but it will all be worth it!!

Mindysmom
21st September 2011, 05:21 AM
I wonder if anything else has changed in your pup's environment or routine? My guys have slept in their crates most nights since they came home and the only time they fuss is when they are ill or need to potty. If I don't think they are ill I'll take them out and let them potty without speaking to them or interacting with them and put them straight back in their crate. We did go through a bout of tummy problems last summer with Rylie and it was a bit hard to get him back into a routine. Is his crate in your room? It often helps if they can hear you breathing. I know someone who puts the crate for her young pups on her bedside table so they can see her if they wake up and she can stick a finger through to calm them if necessary.

BrooklynMom
21st September 2011, 05:53 AM
Well, this is an issue of do you want him to sleep in the crate as her usual sleeping place, or are you okay with him sleeping in bed or another place? If you really want to keep her crate as a sleeping place, then I really think you need to go back to putting her in there tonight and (and I know this is SO HARD!!) just letting him cry it out and go to sleep. He will go to sleep, it might just take a while.
I have been there done this with Brooklyn, I know that cry...it gets in your heart!! It is so hard. I remember one night when Brooklyn was about 4 months old, she suddenly had one of these cry bouts in her crate when we put her to bed (which was unusual just like you she had not done this before), but we knew we could not reward her so we stuck with it. For 45 minutes she cried..ohhhh, it hurt me so much! I cried too, to my husband, but he was strong and just knew we had to stick with it. The next night it happened again, but for less time. And the next night, but for less time. and then it just stopped. Now she takes herself to bed! Ha. The other night we were up late and we looked around and went "where is Brooklyn?", well, she has taken herself to her crate to sleep :)

It really is personal though, some people don't mind their pups sleeping elsewhere which is fine, but for me and my husband we prefer her to have her crate. Up to you though. I know it is really hard to stick with those times when they cry like that out of no where...but remember that sometimes they just would rather be with you than alone (alone is what we have to teach them...us is what they want)...if you are really more clingy to him that day or more cuddly to him than normal, this might be why he is over-crying because he is still so young and learning how to be on his own. So I would try to not over coddle him (not sure if you are doing this at all, so ignore me if not!) until he learns to settle better on his own in the crate. When we looked back at the night Brooklyn did this at 4 months, we had actually spent the whole day and evening being WAY too attention giving and coddling, and by the time she went to sleep she was like "what the heck, I don't want to be alone!". Now, I have a nice mix of cuddle and Brooklyn having her own time. She can sleep on my lap some times, but she also needs to be in her bed on her own and be able to settle on her own without me or with me sitting near.

Remember...he is still SO young!! Brooklyn is 11 months, and still has her off days/nights. They are just learning so much right now and I would expect that he will do this a few more times in the next year :) He is just learning if he is supposed to be with you, or alone...but as he grows he will learn that he can have both and be calm and happy.
It is important not to "over nurture" at this stage if you do want him sleeping on his own...because obviously, sleeping with you is a much better deal! So if he wants that or thinks he can get that, he will try. He is only learning. But, if you want him to be in his crate, he will learn that too and be just fine with it once he realized this is his space at night time and he just cannot come with you.

Oh, and do you give him a treat when he goes in his crate at night? This works great for us, Brooklyn will run in there after her last potty knowing that a treat is coming and it is a special fish jerky that she only gets in her crate at night. This soothes her and she settles down. We also cover her crate, that makes them feel a lot safer so definitely do that if you have not already. You could also put a kong in with her with some frozen stuff, peanut butter, anything to settle her to sleep. Or a bully stick or something. He should have something to munch on or chew to settle him in (a safe chew, like a kong or a jerky or something).

Hope that helps!!

BrooklynMom
21st September 2011, 05:55 AM
Oh, and my above advice is as long as you have ruled out any medical issues like the others mentioned :thmbsup:

Zumie05
21st September 2011, 05:55 AM
I let Coco cry it out, I never reinforce her barking and whining in the crate. When she was little I made trips outside and transitioned to leaving a potty pad outside her crate surrounded in an exercise pen until she was consistently not using them at night, then she was going all night with no potty breaks.

With a really young puppy he probably was scared or really did just have to potty more than usual, crying strange this one time wouldn't mean that he has learned to cry for attention. I just would not readily get up EVERY time you hear him make a noise. You are lucky its only 10 minutes, Coco cried for an hour or so her first few nights of crate training!

ashleighelizabeth
21st September 2011, 06:36 PM
Thank you ALL for you wonderful advice and support! It really helps to have people to talk to about all of this. I have only been a part of the forum for about a month, but it honestly has helped me so much. :)

Just a little update, we had puppy class yesterday evening and then my husband and I ran him around for about 30 minutes before bed last night, so I think the extra stimulation helped. Usually he doesn't like to play outside at night because our backyard is not very well lit, but I think with both of us out there it helped! We are working on getting some better lighting for out there. Sonny put himself in his crate last night , didn't make a peep and then slept for 7 hours, yay!!!:jmp2: I am soooooo relieved. My husband and I had decided ahead of time that we were going to be tough if he cried again (even though I knew it was going to be horrible for me) and leave him in the crate.

I have not tried giving him a treat yet when he gets in his crate, but I am going to go buy special "crate treats." Also we currently don't cover his crate because when we first brought him home he would pull the cover through the crate, but I am going to try a dark sheet instead. Our neighbors have a motion sensored light on the side of their house and I think it goes off every time a car goes by and the light shines through right into Sonny's room, so I'm wondering if that is sometimes waking him up.

And finally for those of you that were wondering about a change in his schedule, I had forgotten to add that he had been at the vet earlier in the day before he had the bad night and both times that he has gotten his vaccination he has acted VERY hyperactive, so my husband and I think that he might have a sensitivity to it. We haven't been very happy with our vet and we are currently shopping for a new one that will spend more time explaining things to us and taking into account that all dogs are different and not all dogs can handle the same medicines, pills, ect....

Anyways thanks again for all of the support! I know that most important thing with a puppy is patience and consistency!!! So I am going to just keep trying.:p

ashleighelizabeth
21st September 2011, 06:42 PM
I wonder if anything else has changed in your pup's environment or routine? My guys have slept in their crates most nights since they came home and the only time they fuss is when they are ill or need to potty. If I don't think they are ill I'll take them out and let them potty without speaking to them or interacting with them and put them straight back in their crate. We did go through a bout of tummy problems last summer with Rylie and it was a bit hard to get him back into a routine. Is his crate in your room? It often helps if they can hear you breathing. I know someone who puts the crate for her young pups on her bedside table so they can see her if they wake up and she can stick a finger through to calm them if necessary.

I love that your friend had her puppy crate on bedside table so they can see her. So sweet!!!! We currently have Sonny in his own bedroom, because we have a 4 year old kitty that sleeps with us and we were worried how he would react with new puppy and we didn't want him to feel booted out of the room. He already gets less attention just because a puppy needs a lot of attention and training right now, so we kind of had decided that our bedroom would be his safe haven and his special time with us. He loves to cuddle with my husband in the morning. :) We are hoping that eventually Sonny's crate can be moved to our bedroom.

BrooklynMom
21st September 2011, 11:26 PM
Wonderful news!!!! You are doing all the right things, great work! Maybe for the next few weeks, just really tire him out before bed. Soon enough he will know this is his space and call it home :) And there will be hiccups again before he reaches adult hood, or if anything changes in the house or he gets sick, etc. So be okay with knowing that it does happen, and now you are just better able to handle it when it does!

A nighttime treat is a great idea, I think a lot of us on here use one to get them thrilled about going in the crate. It is amazing what one little treat will do! b*n*n* Also, then Sonny will associate his crate with a special treat every time!

These are what I use for Brooklyn's Nighttime Treat...again, she only gets them in her crate so they stay really special. You can give him anything, I thought I would just share what I give her because I found these to be really great because they all last a tad bit longer than say a small treat of dried liver. Gives her a little chewing time while I close the door :)


These they only sell in Australia I think...but are good because they are really chewy and take a little bit to munch up:

http://www.vetsallnatural.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=eny_fly_default.tpl&product_id=33&category_id=10&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=90

These are straight dried fish jerky and the smell makes her SO excited also take a bit to chew up (you should be able to buy these anywhere):

http://www.fish4dogs.com/Categories/Dog-Shop/treats.aspx

And I used to use these too which she loved, until I cut out wheat:

http://www.kongcompany.com/products/dogs/stuffn-dog-treats/puppy-snacks


Basically all these treats are a little bit chewier and bigger than a piece of say liver. More like a good night cookie :)

Glad everything is going well!! There are so many questions and ups and downs through puppy hood, that is why this board is so wonderful...there are so many great ideas, so much advice and so many people to tell you "no, your not crazy, this is normal" ha!