I'm a little concerned.
We got a 8 week old female lab yesterday, and have started to crate train it. For the most part, the lab is in the crate all day, except for a few times when we let her out to do her buisness, eat & drink, play with, do some more buisness, and back to crate. Right then, I'm concerned. I've heard that labs are social dogs, much more than a Shiztu which we have that is very calm. Also, the lab has been barking and whining a whole lot.
Are we doing something wrong? Is this normal? How long does it usually take?
Your puppy is adjusting to the move away from her mom and littermates, and to a new family and new routine.* Scout did the same, whined and barked.* We didn't have her in the crate all day because someone was home, but she still went through a period of adjustment and cried some.
Just wondering if your pup will be crated all day because you're working, or is this for crate training?
Scout was crated at night, and then a few times through the day when I couldn't keep an eye on her.* Making dinner, showering, times like that.* Other than that, she was with me or my kids.* So we could get to know her and she could get to know us.*
At night the crate was beside my bed so I could stick my fingers in and speak to her when she whimpered.* To calm her.* And also so I could tell when she needed out to go to the bathroom.* Those first few sleep deprived weeks seemed to go on forever, but looking back they weren't so bad.* It wasn't long before she was sleeping through the night.
Yes, labs are very social.* Scout is my second lab - she's just like our first one.* She is more comfortable spending time alone (2+ years old) if I go out and leave her home, crated.* But when we're home, she is usually with one of us.* Most of the time it's me.* She has one spot in the hallway upstairs - she'll sometimes go and lay there.* She can hear people come in downstairs, watch out the front door, see me move around the top floor.* If I go downstairs, she follows.* Always wants to be with her people.
Good luck with the crate training, and enjoy your new puppy!* I'm sure you'll get lots of good tips from other people on this forum.
Labs are very social, and Scout's comments are good. I'm not sure from your post if she is crated while you are there (not counting night). You might try leashing her to you if you're concerned that she'll have an accident. There are many posts about crate training, you can search for them... one thing that has been repeated in that pup can't hold it long, and shouldn't be crated more hours than her age in months + 1, so at 8 weeks, for only three hours.
My pup is 5 months old, and is bell trained, which you might find works. Put a bell by the door where you take her out, and ring it each time. Within hours or days, she'll catch on and will let you know when she needs to go. 8 weeks isn't too young to learn this!
She's pretty much crated all day and all night, but just for training. We take her out for about 30 minutes about every 6 hours, which means once in the morning, once for lunch, and once for supper. During that time she eats and drinks while we play with her outside and have her do her buisness.
After training there will be some mornings when no one will be home, and as a pup, she will have to be crated until someone gets home to make sure she doesn't chew something or do something.
I think having your puppy in a crate all day and night is too much this young. She's only out for 30 minutes every 6 hours; that's too long for her to stay in the crate, I think.
Well, now it's more of 3 hours. It's really neat, because just as someone said the 3 hours, I told my mom that, who agreed because that's how often Abby would need to go.
It's not for 30 minutes everytime, but we play with her and let her eat and drink every 3 hours, unfortunatly that includes night time.
EDIT: How long should we let her out for each period? We need to crate train her, and we can't have her out of the crate unattended, so how long should we interact with her and let her play?
Here are general guidelines for crate training (not set in stone, but general, 'cause dogs are different, and situations are different):
As someone said, an 8 wk. old puppy can hold it in the crate for about 3 hours. But, at this age, they need to be taken out for potty a lot...every 15 min., 30 min., short periods of time like that. After waking up, after eating, after playing...just take her out frequently, and she'll start to get the idea that the bathroom is outside. She'll have accidents for awhile, and may have some in the crate when she's confined (when you're busy or away)...please just clean her and the crate up, and don't scold her for accidents in the crate.
Here's what I did with mine at 8 weeks....had the crate waiting, with door open. Brought him home the 1st day, lured him in with a treat; he went in and out himself, was very comfortable with the crate. He laid down in it to sleep. We closed the door, and opened it when he awoke, took him out to potty. We kept the crate in the kitchen the first week, with the door open (when we were home), so he could go in and out if he wanted. We stayed in the kitchen to play with him but didn't confine him to the crate except when we were at work (I work part-time, so he was confined 3 hrs in the am, and 3 in the pm). The rest of the time, he had freedom in the kitchen. We watched him closely, and took him out every 15-30 min. to try to potty. (We got ours in winter, so didn't go outside to play just then).
Yes, she'll have to be confined for up to 3 hrs. at this age, when you're at work or wherever, but if possible, when you're home, I'd suggest not confining her to the crate all the time. Can you confine her to a kitchen or other room where you can watch her as well as play with her? Or have her outside playing. Others may tell you they did confine theirs to the crate all the time 'til housebroken...I just didn't do that.
We were pretty lucky, as ours took right to the crate and trained easily. But we didn't confine him to the crate when we were home, since he was confined when we were at work....I didn't want to keep him in the crate when we were home with him.
As to how much time you should spend interacting and playing....as much time as you can. That's how your puppy will bond with you, and start to learn things quickly, plus have so much fun.
And if she whines for a few nights, have the crate by your bed and put your hand by the crate...that may help calm her.
I may not have explained all this right so it's clearly understood.
when we first brought sammi home we let her out when ever we were around and just made sure to take her outside every half hour to hour. 3 hours for a pup to hold it seem's like along time (except at night). Sammi was only in her crate as one of the other poster stated, when we had to leave for short period's of time, or we were unable to keep an eye on her like taking a shower etc. She is now 22 wk's has been completely potty trained since about 11 or 12 wk's. Just seem's like to long for a puppy to be isolated from the family. As they grow, and it doesn't take long, they can be expected to hold it longer. Good luck, remember this is only a very short stage, so it wont' be long before your all sleeping through the night. - Sammi's mom
I am not sure why when people are around you are still crating her. When no one is home is the ideal time to crate her....and at night. Otherwise when family members are home, you all should be interacting with her and training basic obedience.
Dani, Rider & Rookie
SHR Watson's Safari Rider, JH, WC, CL1-R, RA, CGC, TDI
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I hope you'll bring your puppy out of the crate during the day.* She needs to bond with you all, and right now she's lonely for her mother and littermates.* Everything is new and unfamiliar, and labs like to be with people.* They don't like to be alone.* She needs to adjust to the move to your home first.
And you'll be up and down through the night for several weeks with this puppy.* She's a baby.
Crate training is great and you can start now, but don't expect her to stay in there most of the day.* My feeling is she will feel isolated and lonely, and she'll cry - a lot.
Scout is very comfortable in her crate - at 2 years old she sleeps every night in her crate and stays there when I go out during the day.* But when we got her at 8 weeks she was with us most of the day, not in her crate.*