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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK folks, so here's my first question of many. Bailey has slept with us for two nights now. First night in a plastic crate that I guess was cozy and dark for him. Between 11pm and about 7am, he only had to pee once, but he would sleep for a bit and then cry and whine. We would take him out, comfort him and he would fall asleep straight away, so we put him back in and he would sleep fine for an hour, then start all over again. We contemplated what to do last night and thought he might not of had enough room to move around so we used Charlie's first big crate. Metal, open, can see everything. I taped a training mat to the plastic floor, at the back of the crate, then put his bed by the crate door. I let him roam around the bedroom for 30 minutes or so while I read and he fell asleep on the carpet next to my side. Put him in crate while he was snoring. At some point he got up and went potty on the training pad, but every hour he would whine. One of us would sit next to the crate and stroke him through the bars - we refused to open the door and hug him. He would settle down after about ten minutes, then fifty minutes later, he would be awake again. He only peed once during the night, so I'm sure it's a lonely thing he's going through. At some point last night I threatened him with going into a smaller crate downstairs - he seemed to understand as he curled up and turned his back on me and went to sleep!

What I don't understand is, during the day and evening yesterday, he would be awake playing for about 1 1/2 hours, then he would fall asleep on the rug, on Charlie's bed, or in his downstairs crate which I took the door off from, and he would sleep for two hours and not care if anyone was in the room with him, or if it was silent. How can he do this during the day but not at night? We have left our bathroom light on and the door ajar so he can see at night.

We will continue to crate him. He doesn't hate it as he goes in during the day (although the door is open), and he won't have free roam of the bedroom until he can hold his pee. I just don't understand how he can sleep by himself for two hours during the day, but not at night. Right now he asleep on the family room rug - tv is off - Charlie is in here with me - but Bailey doesn't mind that.
 

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They know, don't ask me how, but they know when they are alone and when they aren't. Their inner clock tells them when it's bedtime for everyone, and he is without his mommy and litter mates, and it will take a few days for him to get used to it.
What I would do it put his crate right by the bed, so that you can reach with your hand and let him know you're there. Don't take him out of the crate when he whines (unless you can tell he needs to go potty). He will get used to sleeping for more than an hour in no time.
You can try putting a hot bottle (or those pillows you microwave) under a blanket in his crate so that he will be warm and cozy. Some say a ticking clock helps to....
 

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I've got a 4 month old dozing in his crate at the moment, so I'm very very familiar with crating and bedtime woes! The deal with crates is this: it's meant to be a tool that helps you control and train the pup. I don't mean control in a negative way, I mean it in the way that you need to be present when certain behaviours arise in order to train a pup, and since we can't watch then 24 hours a day, we need to hold them in a safe place sometimes where they can't get into trouble.
Crates for dogs that are not housetrained yet are meant to only be large enough for the dog to stand up and turn around in. Any larger and they can happily soil one corner and sleep in another. Since housetraining involves the dog learning that they cannot soil family territory, preventing crate soiling is essential. It's natural for us to want to give puppies nice, big crates but it works against them. I would ditch the big crate for Bailey and get the small crate back into the action. Make it nice and comfortable inside, always have a variety of chewtoys waiting inside. Ditch the training pads. The longer you use them, the more difficult housetraining becomes. The pup needs to learn that bathroom business happens outside, asap. Dogs need us to be clear with house rules for them to learn what they are. When the lines become blurred and it seems okay to sometimes pee in the house and sometimes pee in the crate, you can't expect a dog to logically figure out the rule on its own.
As for crying in the crate, it's a tough situation to deal with. You're on the right track in not reinforcing it with full-out snuggles and verbal soothing. Nighttime routines will save you. Puppies get terrified at night when it's dark and they're alone and all their warm littermates are gone and even their new human friends seemingly disappear. This is where the small crate will save the day, because you can make that into a safe little den. Before bedtime, get that puppy exhausted. During the last play session, prepare the crate for bed. Putting a hot water bottle in there (SAFELY!) under the blankets or somehow warming up the inside makes a huge difference. I used one of those Magic Bags - full of barley, I think. Next, toss in a filthy dirty shirt of yours which just plain stinks of YOU. I wore the same shirt during our last play sessions while I ran around with Ziggy so that the smells would be fresh. The warmth, combined with your scent, helps with the loneliness.
Once pup is tired and empty, pop him in the luxurious and warm crate. On my breeder's advice, I keep a towel draped over the crate to further increase the safe den feeling. But at first, I left the towel off the door so the pup could still see me. I sat close by in plain view with my back to the crate. This is presence without reinforcement of whiny behaviour. I'd usually talk softly or sing to coax my pup to sleep. If he was quiet, I'd turn around slowly and praise him. If he barked or whined, I sat tight and waiting for a few seconds of silence to get some praise in. Usually, after 15 minutes max, Ziggy would be out cold. I'd cover the rest of the crate with the towel and leave him for the night. If he cried at night, I'd do the routine over again - uncover the door and sit with my back to him to let him know that I was there, etc. He settled down almost immediately and I had a pup sleeping through the night at 8 weeks.
Every puppy is different. Mine is a bit of a psychopath and needed LOTS of patience and loving firmness. But it pays off quick, because that little sucker treats his crate like his own personal luxury condo now!
Good luck!
 

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Sounds like you got some good advice already. I wouldnt use that toilet-pad, gives him the wrong message. A pup needs to go out to pee several times a night. The moment he wakes up, no fuss, just out in the garden (do you have one?)and then straight back to bed.Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am going to ditch the bigger crate. I know all about the comfort of a smaller one, but he didn't seem to like it much on day one. I will take him out into the garden during the night - even though it's freezing. The training mat though, I have one by the back door and he has been going there to do his business. As soon as he pees, I give him a treat, then take him and the mat outside where he sniffs some more, does a little more pee, and if I'm lucky, he'll poop too. I want to give the mat a week or so, so Bailey gets his bearings in the house, then I'll move it completely, and hopefully when I see him go to the door, I can move quickly enough to let him outside. That's my plan at least. There are no other training mats dotted around the house.

This morning was the first time he was alone. I put Charlie's bed, Bailey's small crate and some water in a hallway and went to the gym for one hour. I sneaked back in and they were both fast asleep - I was very proud.

Right now, both dogs are in here with me asleep together - I'm so tempted to just let them sleep together at night but if I wake up to pee and poop in my carpeted bedroom, I would be most annoyed.
 

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During Bodie's first few days home he cried and whined too when put in his pen (in our living room) or his crate in the bedroom. By ignoring him when he started crying he eventually quit within 2-3 days. Granted it was hard to not go attend to him, but we knew in the long run that was what was needed.
 
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