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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, some background: Quin came crate-trained from his breeder. Even on those first few nights at home, he didn't whine in his crate. He has never had an issue with his crate - he always seemed to like it. He'd go in there during the day if he wanted to escape Zoe. When he was littler, if we were cuddling before bed, he was always happy to jump down and get into his crate to go to sleep. We have always left him in the crate (in our living room / dining room area) with a bully stick and a cuddly toy and NPR on the radio when we leave the house. If we're to be gone longer than around 4 hours he goes to daycare. A few times a week he gets left in his crate during the day for 3-4 hours. He sleeps in his crate in our room. It is a plastic crate - we just move it around (including into the car) to wherever we need it.

But! Now, quite suddenly, he's decided the crate is not for him. He started whining and even barking at night. I had some success with putting tasty treats in there throughout the day, smearing peanut putter on the inside wall, throwing treats in that he can't get to until we carry the crate upstairs and he goes to bed. And, for a couple nights I brought my clicker and some treats up with us and whenever he settled down I would click / treat. But, in the meantime, during the day, he's figured out how to escape! I can't really figure out how he does it. But we'll come home and he'll be out. He isn't destructive - I think he gets out and then just goes and lies down a few feet away from the crate under the dining room table and goes to sleep. Part of our downstairs is gated so even if he was in the mood to chew, his scope of impact would be limited. Even though he hasn't wrecked anything while out when home alone, I am not comfortable with the concept. He's only 5 months old! I don't think we're ready to let him have that much freedom yet. So anyway, it seems that now since he knows how to escape during the day, he has zero tolerance for being crated at night. Last night I caved (I know I know …) and let him out - he was being just insane in there and I couldn't stand it. I took him out to potty then when we went back upstairs I didn't make him go back in - I just left the crate door open. I closed our bedroom door but left open the French doors to our sun porch. He seemed nervous to have the freedom to roam - he wandered around for a while - on the bed, off the bed, out to the porch, back into the bed room, etc. etc. etc. Then, when I turned out the light … he went into the crate and went to sleep! (I don't think he stayed in all night, though.)

So, what I am thinking of doing is getting a wire crate so that I can more securely lock it and just reinforce that he goes in there during the day when we're out and at night. I was planning on continuing to try to make it as inviting as possible with the treats in there, etc. - right back to crate-training 101 (which I never had to do!).

Any other suggestions / ideas? Is this just rebellious teen behavior - or might something else be going on? (It has crossed my mind that he's own grown the crate. But I've read on here about doods that prefer to squeeze themselves into what we would think of as too-small crates. Still, I can get a wire crate that is bigger than the plastic one he is in now.)

Your feedback will be much appreciated!

(Sorry for such a long post!)

Lisa
 

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Lisa, I understand your frustration. I will tell you it did not last forever. Sorry this is another long one. I posted on Apri 13th about Lani escaping her crate. She has a wire crate and we use a carabiner clip to lock the cage, we clip the first bar on the opening and on the door.

We went through a period when Lani, now 6 months old, would not go into her crate willingly. We had never had a problem then one day I tried to put her in for the night and she turned and ran away. I ended up having to chase her down. This lasted for a couple of nights, I changed her night time treat to cheese and she went willingly. Then she started barking when we put her in for the night and this lasted a couple of weeks. My husband went out of town on weekend and I let her bark till she fell asleep. After that she would settle down fairly quickly. A couple of weeks later I went out of town she started barking again and my husband went down to her crate and sat there until she fell asleep, so much for my sleepless weekend of work! I was able to get her back on schedule pretty quick.

It is hard to let a puppy bark and whine since we know that all concerned will sleep if we just give in. We are going through this with our new 3 month old doodle. Good luck I hope this gives you some hope. Let us know how things are going.
 
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Hi Lisa,
Not sure I can be much help (Bella is only 14 weeks), but I just bought another crate after getting tired of lugging the metal crate up and down every day and night. I got a great pop up tent like one from Target:
http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/re ... B0009NWVCS Bella definitely prefers the wire crate. She can see out in all directions including the top and settles much better in it. It is also escape proof (I think :lol: ) She throws herself at the fabric mesh door of the 'tent' crate when I put her in at night. She always settled right down in the wire crate at night. I may give it a few more nights, then go back to lugging :lol: I made the mistake of covering the metal crate with towels when we first got her. She HATED it. So I think she just wants to be able to see what is going on around her, even in the dark! Good luck!
 

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I was going to mention something similar to Linda's thoughts on wire crates...perhaps your dog is more engaged in what is happening outside and the plastic crates are very closed in. Perhaps a wire crate would be more acceptable for your dog, at least during the daytime when things are going on...maybe put the crate near a window so that she can see out...just a thought.
Good luck!
 

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Something else you might want to try is to tether Quin to your bed or side table with his bed or blanket right beside your bed. We did that with Sage from the very beginning and night time has always been really peaceful. We still use her wire crate when we go out etc., so it doesn't seem to impact the crate training issue either. You never know, it might be worth a try :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Last night was better - not perfect, but ok. I got a wire crate. Last evening was treat-palooza at our house - treats dropping into that crate every few minutes. I was really trying to make the crate seem like the best place in the world. Quin was in heaven. He seemed fine going in and sitting in the crate with the door open. When I closed him in at bedtime he was ok. I would click / treat whenever I walked by if he was calm & lying down. When I turned off the light he did whine and bark for a bit; but I totally ignored him. He went to sleep. He woke up and whined / barked a bit a while later but he finally went to sleep for good. Slept until about 7 when my husband got up. It is so funny how much it reminds me of when my daughter learned to sleep through the night when she was an infant. We did let her cry some. And it was hard. BUT she slept through the night at 12 weeks and has been an awesome sleeper since. So, I am going to be firm with Quinnie and just ignore the cries for a couple nights (assuming we're in a pattern like Lani was) and hopefully we'll be over this soon! I'd really rather have him in the crate at this point - I am not sure about the teathering. But we'll see.

I do plan on securing the crate closed with carabiners when we leave him during the day - thanks Lisa! (He goes to daycare on Thursdays - so so far we've only dealt with the night-time issue.)

Thanks all!
 

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Glad I was able to help. They are just like babies. I have tosay now that Lani is giving us a break at night and going in her crate quietly and laying down right away, Toby on the other hand is more vocal and does not want to be in the crate. I'm hoping that he will pick up on Lani going to bed quietly and follow suit SOON! :lol: Hope you have another better night. Let us know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: last night Quin went into his crate without a peep! Of course, it helped that we had just come home from backpacking! We were at Barclay Lake in the North Cascades for two days. He got to run around in the woods and splash in the lake. We had a two mile hike back to the car. I let him lie on the bed with me while I read last night after we got home. Then at lights out time, I threw some treats into his crate; he followed them in, ate them, then went right to sleep. Tuckered out dood! So, I think we are back to normal. :D
 

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Way to go Quin! :D I'm glad things are back to normal! Our little guy is going into his crate with very little resistance at night and settling down almost immediately. And Lani, I'm so proud of her showing Toby how to go in his crate at night and settle down right away! :lol: She has been a good role model at night, the rest of the day she waffles between good role model and 6 mo. old puppy! :lol: Can't ask any more of her!
 
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