Hi, we are new parents of a 10 week old yellow male. We're crate training, and while he sometimes needs a gentle nudge to get in the crate, for the most part, Charlie sleeps pretty well during the day and early evening. I've moved from sleeping in the same room, to having the crate in a kitchen alcove and all that seems to have gone ok. Prior to daylight savings, Charlie was getting up around 6 but now after the change, its closer to 430-445 which is too early!! As far as night time potty stuff, we feed and water around 530, play/walk/eliminat for 1 1/2 or so, and then he's pretty sleepy. Around 1030-11 i will go downstairs to his crate(he'll be awake but not have made any noise) and take him outside to pee/poo then back in the crate with no noise(maybe a gentle nudge to go in), same again around 2-230. But at 430, he's all noise, energy, and hunger.
Given his age, my game plan is to take him back out to poo/pee and then back to the crate, and try and tough out the crying/barking until 630 or so.
Sorry for the lengthy post but I'd welcome any advice and or criticism.
Is there a reason you don't wan't him in your room at night? Why did you work towards having him in a different room? When I teach crate training, I always have the crate in the living area so when we are watching tv or in the kitchen, I have the crate out and open so the pup can go in and out. I also feed meals inside the crate as a puppy and put toys and bedding in the crate. It just reinforces that it is a safe place for the pup. It's their space. I always praise with excitement when they go in on their own. Never ever ever ever ever put the dog in a crate for a time out or any type of punishment. You will only ruin it for the dog. When I want to put the dog in his crate I always stand at the door and say lets go to bed or go to bed. Some type of command that tells the dog to go into his crate.
If the crying doesn't stop, put a blanket over the crate. I always suggest keeping a pup in your room. Not alone in a room. Its stressful on a pup to be separated from their mother and then you as well. If you have other dogs that is a different story. It's a lot less stressful if the dog can see or smell you close by. I always put a blanket over the crate if they are crying a lot. It can be calming for a dog. It emulates a den - labs are den animals which is why crate training is usually easy if not used as punishment ever. When the pup is crying in the night, never ever open the crate and pet them or give them any kind of affection - that will just reinforce the behavior as good...which it isn't. You can say "its bedtieme" or "quiet" to reinforce proper behavior. My dog sleeps on the bed with us and even throughout the night or especially in the morning he is wide awake...but he knows just because he is awake doesn't mean we have to wake up. He knows his place in the pack, and he knows that he needs to wait before I get up to take him out and give him breakfast.
Thanks for the feedback Xracer, for the 1st week or so, we did have Charlie in our bedroom, then one night, he fell asleep in his crate in the kitchen and we've been keeping him there. Since my post, things have improved quite a bit. He's getting up around 430, to go to the bathroom and then back to his crate where he might complain for 2-3 mins and then he's back to sleep until630 645
Is he up at 2:30 or do you wake him up? I ignored the 'take them out every 2-3 hours rule' when I first got mine. I didn't want that habit to stick and mine has slept without a mess just fine since we got him. The only time mine has ever gone out in the middle of the night was when I gave him too much water late in the night! Oops...but he knows if I don't make a noise (straight out and in) and it's back in the crate then that means more quiet time. Sometimes when I wanted to sleep in, I put him back in his crate after breakfast. He was fine snoozing a little longer as long as he saw that was what I was doing. Now he knows that if I say it's not morning...it's not morning!
I'm wondering (if this is true) if you are waking him up to go out in the middle of the night and that kind of shakes him awake, making him less sleepy and ready for the day to begin. Just a thought
Hi Hunters Mom, I was waking him up to go out, but over the past 10 days, I've been waiting for feedback from him. #1 he's whining less overall in the crate, and now I wait for him to make a decent fuss before taking him out(my rule of thumb is that if he's been sleeping 4.5-5 hours and there's a decent fuss, I take him out.) Otherwise, we ignonred him for a few early AM's and now he seems to have gotten the message that we'll come get you if you need to go to the bathroom, otherwise, play/food/fun doesn't happend until after 630AM(famous last words....)
We had the same problem. Here's what we did. We waited 15 minutes before going down for a week because you don't want your dog to train you to come when they are crying, then we waited 15 minutes and when he stopped crying, we didn't go down and waited an additional 15 for a week, and kept doing this until he got back to his regular time. Now my dog sits calmly in his crate until I come down and let him out!