Hi, I just got an adorable new puppy. He's just beautiful and has a very sweet disposition.
I am trying to crate-train him and a friend of mine who is experienced with dogs recommended letting him sleep in another room inside the crate. The poor thing cries for a looong time though and it's just pitiful to hear.
Am I going to create some kind of emotional issue like making him feel abandoned by doing this? Or do I just need to tough it out so he'll understand his sleeping arrangement and get used to the routine in the house?
When he's out, I spend a LOT of time with him and do not lock him away during the day for more than 3 hours 3x/week (before & after which I play with him a lot). He doesn't seem needy or insecure during these times, it's mostly at night.
Am I doing the wrong thing? What do you recommend for a healthy, happy well-trained dog?
Ana
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I am no means a dog expert..but my three dogs sleep with my husband and I, under the covers. Everyone one of them, the very day they came to live with us, is immersed with the whole "family sleeps together" thing. Of course, with a pup, be sure to get up at least once during the night for potty breaks...at first our last pup needed two potty trips. I find with my dogs that they really look forward to spending the night with us. Depending on size of the dog, bed, etc.

and your preferences, you adjust things so that they are comfortable for everyone. Some people eventually have the dogs sleep on the floor by the bed...all kinds of ways you could have the dogs close to you at night. I could not imagine being a little tyke puppy and then being made to sleep by myself...a whole night is a loong time. At night, when I get in bed, there is nothing sweeter than a happy dog snuggling. We all are so busy, that it's hard to spend the right kind of quality time,at least the night time is the constant in our household.

Perry
Hi, I just got an adorable new puppy. He's just beautiful and has a very sweet disposition. Am I going ... need to tough it out so he'll understand his sleeping arrangement and get used to the routine in the house?

Can't you crate him in the bedroom?

Emily Carroll
Fluttervale Labradors: www.fluttervale.com
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The pup should sleep in the bedroom with you. Whether that's on the bed or a pillow on the floor or in his crate should be your preference, not his. As your dog grows in security, he may choose where he likes to sleep within reason. One of my dogs always liked the bathroom floor where the tiles were cooler than the carpet. Another preferred being as close to us as possible and slept on our clothes on the floor next to the bed.

My current dog sleeps in the bedroom because I insist on it, but she'd rather be on the living room couch. She barks at every little thing in the living room. In the bedroom she sleeps through the night and only wakes when it's something I would want her to bark at. This one has never chosen the crate but crawls under the bed.

Lia
Hi, I just got an adorable new puppy. He's just beautiful and has a very sweet disposition. I am trying ... need to tough it out so he'll understand his sleeping arrangement and get used to the routine in the house?

I started my pup in a large cardboard box wedged between my side of the bed & the wall & if she was upset at night,I would flop my arm in. If she barked I had a few toys in there to refocus her to and if she did 'the higher pitched bark' I knew she needed to be taken outside. She grew out of the box by the time she was10 weeks old but in that time she learnt to amuse herself rather than wake us, that bedtime meant bedtime and I learnt how to distinguish between 'wanna play' barks and 'I need the loo' barks.

When she was 10 weeks old we put the crate at the end of our bed, covered. So she went upstairs with us to her cage every night and went to sleep happily. She was happy cos she ws close enough but she was safer in her cage & I eventually got to remember what sleep felt like!

At 16 weeks we decided that the cage was too big for our room so we times it for training night so we knew she would be tired anyway & moved her cage downstairs. Because it had always been covered she was not used to seeing us, but by that time she was used to being in her cage.

She's now 9 months and still sleeps in her cage downstairs and will take herself straight off to it at the end of the evening.

I am in the UK & I believe homes tend to be a little more spacey in the US so having her sleep full time in our room was a bit of a problem. Its really up to you but I would advise that you gently break her in to sleeping in her cage rather than pushing it.
Diana
I am trying to crate-train him and a friend of mine who is experienced with dogs recommended letting him sleep in another room inside the crate. The poor thing cries for a looong time though and it's just pitiful to hear.

I'm an advocate of crate training. That said, I don't think that a puppy really needs to be crated at night, though situations may vary. After all, although asleep, you're there to supervise - I'm a very light sleeper, though. With a new dog, I close the bedroom door and let the dog sleep whereever he chooses in the bedroom. It doesn't take long before the bedroom door stays open and the dog has the run of the house at night.

Crate training is all about gradually increasing your dog's zone of comfort. Being low stimulus, night time is the right time to gradually acclimate your dog to your house.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
Thanks for all your advice everyone - I do eventually want the puppy to sleep with us but only once he's housebroken... but I don't want to be mean or cruel. I love the little guy so much and I just want to do the right thing.
I've been hearing so many conflicting things and I'm so confused. I heard that if you approach them in the crate to get them or put your hands in there, you're rewarding them crying... other people say this comforts them.. I think it's me that needs to be trained, truthfully!

The bedroom is very small and it would be hard to crate him in there. I could figure something out though, even if temporarily. For some of you experienced dog owners, how long did it take before your dogs were quiet at night and you could sleep a good amount through? About how many hours pass before they need to go out? If I do this temporarily, will it be harder down the road for him to sleep in another room?

Ana
I've been hearing so many conflicting things and I'm so confused. I heard that if you approach them in the ... you're rewarding them crying... other people say this comforts them.. I think it's me that needs to be trained, truthfully!

This is my take: hands to the crate for sniffing for comfort at anytime is OK. Praise, treats, and play only happen at a time when he's quiet and relaxed.
The bedroom is very small and it would be hard to crate him in there.

My bedroom is smaller, I bet. Anyway, I've already explained how you could use the whole bedroom as a crate.
I could figure something out though, even if temporarily. For some of you experienced dog owners, how long did it ... out? If I do this temporarily, will it be harder down the road for him to sleep in another room?

Rescue Friday came here at 7 months and has never needed crating in my home (though he's fine in one at agility trials). Rocky is the only puppy I've had in recent memory - he was in a night time crate next to my bed for 2 or 3 nights before I realised that letting him loose in my bedroom was better for us.

All of my dogs had complete house freedom before they were 6 months old. We've had the odd mishap, though nothing that I can remember explicitly (other than that one book!).

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
I've been hearing so many conflicting things and I'm so confused. I heard that if you approach them in the ... you're rewarding them crying. Other people say this comforts them. I think it's me that needs to be trained, truthfully!

You have to make a judgment call. If you think the pup is crying out of manipulation, that he could be sleeping through the night but is having more fun getting you to get up and play, then you don't want to give even your hand. That would be rewarding bad behavior. But if your pup is crying out of genuine lonliness because we're talking about a baby dog who is away from mother and littermates for the first time, then a comforting hand is the least you can do. I'd err on the side of the latter.
Take heart. Puppies are more resilient than you think. You can make mistakes, but they forgive you and bounce back. I made every mistake you can make with my puppy. It took me a year to housetrain her. And know what? I still ended up with a great dog.
Lia
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