My husband and I recently adopted Gertie, a chocolate lab puppy. I primarily work from home as a writer and on the two days I teach, my husband has his days off. Gertie is lucky to always have someone home!
While this is an ideal situation with training a new puppy, I'm concerned about crate training. We plan on (and have been) crate training her at night, but I'm not sure how to handle it during the day while we're home. Should I crate her during naps or will that ruin her nightly routine? She does whimper a bit at night, but if I talk to her while she's in the crate (for about a minute) she calms down and goes to sleep.
Because of this, I'm not sure if we should keep her crate in the den (where it is now) or upstairs in our bedroom. We haven't slept upstairs since we got her due to the fact that our room is on the second floor (she's still very young... 8 weeks)** and she still has to go out every 2 hours at night. And if we have the crate in our room, she wont have a den while we're downstairs during the day. Right now, she likes to nap on the doggie bed we have for our pug... they like to sleep together.
We've had her a week and already she knows to go to the door if she needs to go out!
Any suggestions or tips would be great!
**We actually have 2 lab pups (one is going to a family on Friday). Because they have different poopy schedules, we are constantly up to take one of them out, hence sleeping downstairs! Once our foster pup, Little Bit, goes home, things will get a bit better as far as sleep schedules.
first off - unless she has a health issue she should be able to hold it longer than two hours at night. You should only need to take up once at night to take her out. (again - unless there is a health issue). she should be able to hold it 3-4 hours.
I like crating in my bedroom. So it means two crates or moving crates so that at night they are in my bedroom near me, and during the day they are crated in the main living area. Others do not want the dog in their bedroom so leave the crate in the living area (or other).
Make sure the pup gets used to some time alone. Make a point to leave the house for short periods NOW, or you will end up with a puppy that cannot be alone. Not saying you have to leave for hours on end, but make a point to run an errand (all humans) for 30 minutes, then increase to an hour. Even if you don't "have to"
I would practice crating the pup daily for an hour or when you are showering to be safe. put her in there when she is tired for a short period and let her out before she cries. feed her in the crate. throw high valu treats in there.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
I'm not going to claim to be an expert but I have had labs for 13 years and crate trained them all. We started out keeping them in the bedroom with us every night because they are social animals and want to be near people. I would crate them a few hours during the day for naps or rest periods. The crate was their den and I never used it as punishment. They got treats and pats when they went "to bed" so much so that when they were a little older, they would go in their by themselves to sleep. Mo spends the night in his crate and a few hours on the weekend as some downtime. We usually started letting them have the roam of the house when they were a year or two old. Mo also still does some howling when he knows someone is home and he doesn't want to be crated but if we ignore him, he usually falls asleep for a while. Good luck
Thanks for the replies. Right now, Gertie likes to go in her crate (door open) to nap (she's in there now!) and she has a few toys in there so she knows that's her place. As for not being able to hold it for more than 2 hours, she can, but with the other puppy, she tends to wake up when the other one does...
And yes, my husband and I have gone on short trips to the store for about 30min-hour so she can get used to us not always being around and I certainly crate her when I'm home alone and need to shower, etc. Fortunately we haven't had issues with that arrangement.
I am really hoping our friend can pick up their pup soon, so we can focus on Gertie. Trying to train each pup separately hasn't given us much time for anything else!!