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  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default 4 Months of unsuccessful crate training

    So we've had our Bear Bear (my 4 year old does everything in 2's) for 4 months now. And in 4 months he STILL cries all night long (he's 6 months old now). He barks and cries. We've ignored the behavior other than a few "no's" here & there or let him stay outside at night (I swear he's worse than a cat) in order for us to sleep some. I've slept on the couch with one hand in his wire crate (that was the worst night actually). He's been 1 foot away from me in his crate in our room. He gets more than enough exercise. We have 3 kids and 2 other dogs to play with... and he plays.... all.day.long.

    We tried having him in our entryway with it gated... he ate the wall.

    He doesn't get his lobotomy (neutered) until next month.

    We did the clock, we did the blanket, we did toys NOTHING has slowed him down. It's 1:21 am and I think the neighbors 300 yards away can hear him from inside our house. Help!

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Let me say up front please forgive me with the questions but because every dog is different and every situation is different, there is just no one single magical solution to every issue. Thus often it is necessary to ask questions so that suggestions could be made that are more suited to the situation.

    When does this puppy sleep? If he's screaming all night, then he's gotta sleep some time? Do you crate him during the day or just at night? Where do the other dogs sleep when the puppy is crated? Where does the puppy prefer to sleep if he wasn't crated? I know you said he gets adequate exercise, does that mean he is exhausted from playing everyday? I ask because it is usually easier to work with a dog that is mellowed out from having drained his energy.

    I am a huge supporter of crate training. But I know some dogs are very difficult to crate train. I found and fostered a puppy a year ago. She was about 10 weeks old when I found her. We had her for nearly a month and we made very little progress in crate training her during that period. My own female was a difficult case too. I gave up on crating her at night after trying for 2 weeks. Bijou was 8 weeks old when we got her and from day one she screamed and screamed when crated at night. However, she was also crated during the day when we went to work. In the morning when we crated her she would scream for several minutes then settle down. When we came home, we would find her calm and rested. So her issue wasn't about being crated; it was about being crated while everyone else was home. For nights, we kept her in our room with us with the bedroom door closed. I am a light sleeper so I would wake up right away if she woke up during the night and moved around on the hardwood floor.

    There was another member recently that was having a lot of trouble crate training her puppy. She found out her puppy's problem was being crated upstairs away from the family. She relocated his crate downstairs in an area of the house where there is a lot more traffic. The puppy was fine being crated with the family moving around him.

  3. #3
    Puppy (New Member)

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    He runs all day with our other dog outside (I work from home so he's not unattended). They catch a few naps throughout the day. We only crate at night. He prefers to be outside so we leave him in the yard when we leave (It's fenced). My other puppy is crated in a separate crate at night. They're in the same room. Her crate is a plastic whereas his is wire. She's crate trained and loves her crate. No issues.

    He prefers to sleep outside (and we let him in the name of exhaustion). But then he does his job & barks all night.

    Bear CANNOT be trusted unsupervised inside. He climbs on our daughter's bed (or the couch or chair) and poops (he's otherwise house broken).

    His crate has been moved several times. Last night we put him in his crate in the living room (which is in the middle of the house with bedrooms at either end) and turned on a fan (he pants all night so we've always given him a fan). He barked and barked for about an hour. Then the hubs went & fussed at him. He finally quit and we actually slept. First time ever. Of course that was AFTER I posted this. Here's hoping that this continues. I'm not holding my breath though.

  4. #4
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    For all we know, he might just like his crate in the living room, so I'll keep my fingers crossed for you...

    These suggestions are shots in the dark and may (most likely) be entirely and totally useless, but here goes...

    Is it possible to try crating him during the day? Like when you know they've played their usual session and it's time that they usually go down for a nap, put him in his crate and give him a kong or a big knuckle bone? I can understand though you might not be able to do this because you can't have him barking while you are working.

    Do you have a dog park nearby? If so, can one of you take him to the dog park early evening and let him run straight out for an hour or more? If you can get him to be quiet one night out of exhaustion, maybe you can make headway...

    Possible to enroll him in evening obedience classes to drain his mental energy?

    Put your other dog and him in a x-pen together? I say this because that puppy we fostered would scream nonstop (she was little but man she had a huge set of lungs) in the crate but if we let her hang out one of our dogs, she was perfectly fine. She just didn't want to be alone in her crate.

    Rescue Remedy? Those pheromone sprays? Thundershirt? The Thundershirt helped with crate training for Sebastian's Mom's Chester.

  5. #5
    Young Dawg (Member) apollo's Avatar

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    I don't know if we just got lucky with apollo but after trying everything else we decided to try giving him all his meals in his crate and after about 2 days he had no problem going in the crate and just going to sleep.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Christi's Avatar

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    I failed miserably with crate training. Apollo is closed in my bedroom with me and night and has been since i first got him.

  7. #7
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Well Bear went to sleep around midnight and decided at 2:30 he wanted to be up and out... so he barked for about a half hour til I let him out. Then I fell back asleep and he stayed out all night. I will try again tonight.

  8. #8
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Rebbetzin's Avatar

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    I can sure understand frustration with crate training! We never had a problem until this GP pup!!!

    We recently put Grecian Marble in the bottom of Cherokee's crate so it will be cooler for him. He kept removing the nice
    padded dog bed that was in there. Here is a post from another website my husband wrote on our ordeal with crate
    training this pup. The technique may sound drastic, but it worked!

    It was not the marble that did it. It was turning this place into Guantanamo Bay that did it. Cherokee "refused" to be crate trained. He knew exactly what we wanted. He just refused to do it. I don't think I've had such a strong-willed beast before. I tried all kinds of force and dissuasive, persuasive and incentivizing techniques, all to no avail. Cherokee had never experienced true, all-out sleep in his crate. He would literally sit there for hours and hours on end, through the night, refusing to sleep, all the while making noise and digging and all sorts of non-fun activities. Then, he would sleep as much as he could through the day. Great Pyrenees are nocturnal as it is. I just knew that if he could ever experience full-out sleep (belly-up kind), he would change his mind about his crate. After all, sleep is the best way to do crate time. The most we could get was fitful, vigilant nods off.

    We had been listening to others on the matter, letting them govern what we did. After several months of no sleep, I had had enough. I laid down the law and set up a plan. We set out to use tried and true behavioral modification techniques from Guantanamo. No. I did not water-board him, but he was on his way out if this did not work. We simply could not be chained to the house and him, and we could not leave such a big, curious and active puppy loose. The destruction potential was off the charts.

    We started by exercising the ****ens out of him (walks, play, run, train, etc.). The key is that we would not let him sleep...period. Dogs like to sleep almost 20 hours per day, especially puppies. We would let him get heavy-eyed, then we would make him get up and move around. By the time bed-time for people came, Cherokee was so toasted that he could not keep his head above water. We would not let him sleep, however. Finally, he became unresponsive to us, so I got out various clanging noise makers and banged them, and that made him jump up and freak a bit. All day long it was, "NO SLEEP Cherokee! NO SLEEP!"

    Finally, when we were ready for bed, I took Cherokee's face in my hands and looked him in the eyes and said, "You know...you can sleep any time you want to. But, you can only sleep in your bed." We then got him up and gave him a little steer and push toward his bed and he padded off...right into his crate, where he did an immediate face plant. Within minutes he was all stretched out and luxuriating in some serious nods. We closed him in and he could not have cared less. Victory!

    The next stage was getting him to prefer, or at least choose for himself, to sleep in his crate with the door open. He did that the very next day. I was toasted from the Guantanamo activities of the previous day, so I went in and laid down across the foot of the bed. Cherokee's crate occupies the entire space across the foot of the bed (it is the biggest they make, because that is what Sparticus needed). Cherokee padded in and went into his crate and dropped off to sleep. When I got up, about 4 hours later, Cherokee got up with me. It has been a complete 180 flip, and has stayed that way ever since. The rule now is that, if he is in his crate of his own volition, the door does not get closed on him and no one is allowed to bother him at all. That is his personal sanctuary. If we have to go somewhere so he has to be locked in, he is called out and he has to go out to make sure his bowels and bladder are empty. Then he goes back into his crate and the door is closed. That way he does not feel that he could get locked in any time he goes in on his own.

    I have also instituted strict bed times for Cherokee and Heidi (I'm mean): sleep from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am. dogs are very religious and like to do things the same way, at the same time, every day. His trips and walks are also on a schedule, of Heidi's design. Now, Cherokee actually tends to go into his bed, on his own, at 10:00 pm. +/- 10 minutes. When he is really toasted and wants serious Zs, he now trots off and spreads out in his crate. It is wondrous.

    Now for the Grecian marble...Cherokee is wired and built for colder climes, so 78 in the house where he lives is borderline panting temperature. He really did not like Sparticus' fluffy bedding in the crate, so we took it out and the plastic pan that remained was more acceptable to him, albeit noisy in response to claws and plopping around. Since he was learning to like his crate, I wanted it to be more like the areas in the house where he preferrs to lay: hard cool floor areas of tile on concrete, like in the kitchen and near the back door and in my restoration lab. I went to Home Depot and bought enough Grecian white marble tiles to line the bottom of his crate, and that quieted things down a lot, as well as gave him nice cool areas for him to spread his belly out on. That he likes a lot.

    This was a long story, but it was longer for us to live out. Guantanamo Bay techniques for behavioral modification worked in one day. Yes, I was almost getting ready to subject him to Barry Manilow 24/7, but that was too heinous even for me.

  9. #9
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Pyr_In_Manhattan's Avatar

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    We skipped crate training entirely and focused on puppy proofing the apartment. However, we did find that she absolutely needed to be locked in the room at night. She also likes having a big space under the bed so she can stuff herself into it like a den. I also agree that they must be TIRED by the time bedtime comes.

  10. #10
    Puppy (New Member)

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    We got our male Pyr at 8 weeks. During crate training at night he has continually howled, cried to the point of pooping and peeing (bowels and bladder empty before going into crate). He's 5 months now and the crying, digging, barking and pooping in the crate has left us sleep deprived for 3 months. Last night we gave up and left him leashed up outside on the porch in the backyard. No crying, no barking, no fuss. We want to get him crate trained because we don't want to leave him outside all the time but that's where we are headed. He was born the end of November and his mother was an outside dog. She had a chicken coop for a shelter and not much warmth so I'm wondering if this predisposition is set in stone. He is extremely strong willed. We are checking into getting an electric fence so we can unleash him on our property. We have some acreage and a small farm, I'm hoping he has the run of it one day.

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