My fiancee and I just brought home Otis, an 8 week-old Chocolate Lab Puppy, three days ago (Saturday).
After being at home for a few hours, he got tired, and we put him in his crate. He fell asleep and didn't whine, until a bit later when he had to go out.
Our first two nights have been really good. He hasn't whined too much, and I've gotten up at around 2am, when he's gone #1 and #2 both nights. He's then been pretty easy to put back down, and has slept until around 6 both mornings.
I've been ecstatic about the nights!
During the days we had a few accidents the first few days, but today only 1 so far. I've been very proactive, and he knows his spot outside pretty well.
My problems are pretty simple, I feel. Otis usually falls asleep, or is about to, and I put him in his crate, and he is fine. When he wakes up he whines a bit, but I also know to take him outside right away, and he's fine.
He seems to take to the crate pretty well when he is sleepy or about to take a nap.
However, I've tried to get him to be introduced to the crate when he's awake, he doesn't seem to take too well-I think I made the mistake both yesterday and today of moving too fast- he threw a big fit when I tried, and I tried not responding, but his howls and barks were horribly loud, and i caved.
I work from home full time, but didn't really have any chance to work too much today, and I'm really strung out, and I don't want to give Otis a stressful transition, but I also don't want to feel like I can never leave him. I realize it's only been 3 days, but I'm freaking out! Any help would be appreciated!!!
He has to learn the crate can be a day time deal too, not just for sleeping. I have a 5 month old black lab and the crate training went well for us. Of course they howl the first few times, but he WILL get use to it! Now our pup sleeps and goes in there like a champ. The trick for us was making it a safe place rather then a shut-in. I left the door open all the time while were here and he can go in and out as he pleases to get his toys, maybe a treat his missed, whatever. And when I put him in for bed, or for the workday, I give him a treat. Hes at the point now that he hears the treat and runs into his crate happily.
Try practicing that with him a few times. Put a treat in there, leave the door open, and let him go in and out quickly. Keep a toy in there so he'll have to get it. Things like that. Promise he'll adjust, give it time!
Thanks for the advice. I'm giving it a go right now, and it's horrible! He's been non-stop crying and whining for about 30 minutes, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down! I took him on a long walk, and he went to the bathroom right before. Is this normal? How long should I let him go on for? When he stops, should it be for an extended period (i.e. 1 minute) before I let him out?
How often do you repeat this? A few times throughout the day? How long does it take on average for him to adjust? A few days?
Tough it out! It will pay off! He will learn- I have a 9 mo. lab that was horrible to crate train. But we didn't give in and now he goes in his crate without a problem. When we were getting him accustomed to it I tried for multiple 2 hour periods throughout the day. Long walk or play time, bathroom and then crate. Put him in a different room if you need to so that you don't have to listen to him. He has to learn that he comes out when you want him out not because he is whining and carrying on. Good Luck!