Hello. I told you all I was going to be in puppy hell for a few weeks. Today is Day 2. Day 1 went well. He adapted to our family fairly well. The older dog adapted to him well and is now his trainer in all things dog. The night was horrid. We had practiced crating him a couple times during the day at his nap times so that he would get the picture that sleep = crate. I’m glad we did this, but it was still a long night. I would shhh and say in a stern voice “Diesel Quiet!” only to have 2 seconds then whining again.
If you’ve never crate trained a puppy, let me first tell you that it sucks. I can’t even begin to tell you how much it sucks..but its like bringing home a baby. They cry, eat, poop, and sleep. Somewhere in there is about 15 minutes of playtime throughout the day. It is totally worth it though, so I highly encourage you to do it. The cute puppy face will keep you from killing him, promise.
So let me give you a couple of tips for crate training. First, you need good things to eat. The puppy will follow his nose to something yummy. Give him one first and then every time you crate the puppy give him a treat. He will associate the crate with yumminess. Next, tire him out! Play until the pup wont play no more! My pup will groan if I am trying to play and he doesnt want to anymore. He will stop trying to chew. Just because your pup is laying down, doesn’t mean he is tired. He might just be bored. Keep trying to get him to play until he just cant take it anymore. Then when he lays down to sleep, pick him up and place him in the crate with the treat. Cover the crate if it is a cage one so that it is dark. Make sure the pup is relaxed and either chewing on the treat, or laying down sleeping before you move away from the entrance and close the door. Yes your puppy will scream. Since your puppy is tired, it wont be long before the sleepiness takes over.
Do not open the door when the pup is whining! It will show him that whining means out. I usually crate a few times each day during naps. When he whines after waking up I say tsssst.. like Cesar Millan. Then wait a few seconds..if he is still quiet I walk over and open the crate. I also block it so he cant get out right away. They cant come out until you tell them or you will have a large dog beating it out of the crate every time you open it! Just push him back saying tttssst! Don’t wait very long, but a nice 5 seconds is good. You can extend the period later after he is listening to you more. Tell him “ok” to release him to go out and take him outside immediately!
Night crating is different slightly. You still need to tire him out and give him a treat when you put him in, but he will wake up every 2-3 hours to go to the bathroom. This is the sucky part. The first day your dog will not respect you or listen to you. He will not be quiet when you tell him to. He will yelp and yelp. Buy the family ear plugs and be prepared mentally for no sleep at all. When he wakes you up with a whimper or a whine. Tell him tttsssst! Once he is quiet go over and open the crate. Again do not let him come out right away. I usually let him walk out on his own but then scoop and bring him out side quickly so he doesnt get distracted and pee on the floor on the way out. ** Let me just take his opportunity to tell you that the first time he whined to get out at night, I couldnt get him to shut up. I couldnt take him out because he was whining..so I had to wait….20 minutes! Finally he was quiet long enough for me to make it to the crate and open it.** After you let your pup back in from going to the bathroom, play with it. I know you are tired and it sucks..but trust me..play with that pup until it is wore out again. It took mine 30 minutes. If you dont play with the pup…it will whine for 30 minutes anyway and keep you up. Just play with it. Once the pup is tired again, give the treat in the crate, make sure it is comfy, and close it in. It will whine, but it wont be for 30 minutes. You can ignore it because you know he’s went to the bathroom and all is well.
Another thing is to walk your dog twice a day. This post is getting mega long so I will write one after this and post it. Walking is super important to a new pup and you. Here is what I went through my first two days. Not all is on here, but I did let you know when I crated.
Day 1:- Walked a mile and then crated at 11am-whined for 10 minutes. Played until tired and crated at 3pm-whined for 10-15 minutes. Walked another mile before dinner, we ate, dogs ate and we tried hard to keep the puppy up for hours until 9pm when we go to bed, crated at 9pm,whined for 10 min,woke up at 10:30pm. Bathroom break and no play,crated,whined for 20-30 minutes, woke up at 1am. Bathroom break, played 30 minutes until tired, crated, whined 5 minutes, woke up at 2:30. Bathoom break, played until tired, crated, whined for 5 minutes, woke up at 5. Bathroom break, played until tired, crated, whined 10 minutes, woke up at 7am. We all got up.
Day 2: Walk a mile and then crated at 11am-whined for 5 minutes. Played with pup and crated again at about 3pm, whined for 5 minutes. Walked another mile before dinner, we ate, dogs ate and again we tried to keep the pup up till we went to bed at 9pm. Crated at 9pm, whined but quieted quickly with tssstt! and a finger pointed at him,me starring until he layed down, woke at 10:30. Bathoom break, played with 5 minutes, then he went into his crate on his own to chew a bone, gave him a treat to go with it and shut the door, whined and quickly quieted after a tssstt and a finger pointing, woke up at midnight. Bathoom break, played 5 min and again he went to his crate to chew a bone, gave a treat, crated, whined, tsssted, woke up again at 1:30. Bathroom break, played 5, went to his crate to chew, gave a treat, closed the door, quieted after a tssst and woke at 3:30. Bathroom break, played 5, crated as he chewed a bone, whined, tsssted, and he stayed quiet and slept as my husband went to work at 4, woke at 5. Bathroom break, no play-encouraged bone chewing, shut the door, tsssted and he woke at 7 with my alarm.
It does get better. It may not be one night like mine but it will get to where you dont have to play as long. So let me post about a walk and why it is SOOO important.
Happy Homesteading!! 😀