At first i was sweet talking him and giving him really tasty treats for going in his crate, then i would give him his favorite toy and hell lay in there playing with it no problem. He even slept in it last night(his crate is in my room facing my bed).
Now here's the problem,
I had to be out of the house for about an hour and a half, this morning. I put him in his crate after breakfast and a good walk with him that wore him out a little and took him in his crate. He had fell asleep, while i was out of the room getting my stuff ready to go when i hear him crying and barking really loud. i didnt go back to him, dont want him to think whinning/barking = attention. instead i just left. when i got back he was still barking and whinning, not as much, so i caught on to when he would be quiet and i walked in while he was quiet and i didnt greet him to happily, it was just a smile and hey hegan and let him out, he was really excited and jumpy.
my question is, should i just be leaving him in there while im out no matter how much he whines/barks??
or what should i do?
*Forgot to add that i stuffed that back of the crate with pillows giving him just the space he needs, and i put in one of my t-shirts and plenty of his favorite toys.
**p.s.- A worker at petsmart told me to just leave him in there all night and while i cant supervise, no matter how much he cries or barks, hell eventually stop, and actually feel safe in it. My concern is that i dont want little Hegan to interpret the crate as a bad experience.
** I forgot to add, i have read a bunch of articles on tips and stuff they all helped getting him in and feeling comfy, now i just need how to work out the staying alone part, i hope i make myself clear.
Well it sounds like you are doing everything right,. In my experience, Shelby did much better if her space was small in the crate, infact for about the 1st month after we got her we used one of those smaller portable crates, her space was perfect, never heard a peep out of her and no accidents, then we moved her to one of the larger crates that have the adjustable door for space. We also kept a blanket over the top and sides, she did great. She is 9 months old now and when she see's me putting on my shoes in the morning (the last thing i do before leaving for work) she goes to the kitchen, sits by the treat jar and waits, and as soon i get her treat she goes straight to her crate and waits for me.
You are doing the right thing by putting him in the crate and then ignoring the complaints he makes. The only way he will get accustomed to being in there is if it becomes part of the normal routine. Make a routine for him (dogs LOVE routine).
As far as what is in the crate - I would advise removing just about everything you have in there. Pillows are a very bad idea as he will - sooner or later - shred them up. When he does that you could potentially have a blockage happen if he ingests the foam or whatever is stuffing them. Take it out. Take out any kind of blanket or pad if you see him starting to shred things. Dogs and Labs in particular - are just fine with sleeping on a cool bare surface. Mine prefers the tile floor on many days.
There should not be any toys in there that are not entirely indestructable. So - nylabones are OK. Kongs are OK - not much else is acceptable for him to be chewing on while he is not supervised.
Lastly - some dogs prefer their crate to be cavelike. I covered my boys crate when he was little especially when he was small and complaining. Quieter, darker and he cannot see anyone else in the area. Helps some puppies to settle quicker.