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First Time Puppy Owner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Fellow Golden Owners,

I'm a long-time Golden lover and owner having grown up with several, but first time Golden puppy owner as of last week. I did my research, got my materials and supplies together and prepared the house, and my little guy seems to have gotten settled in and is already proving to be a wonderful, intelligent and obedient companion to me, despite how young he is. He's already getting the hang of house-training and coming when he's called and he's only 8 weeks old. I am however having a couple issues:

I decided to go with crate training, and it's clearly effective. That said, Bentley (which I didn't realize was such a popular name until I came to this site) has a love-hate relationship with his crate. If he's tired, he'll go right in and sleep at night with no problem, but if he isn't it's almost impossible to get him settled, even if I play with him and try to wear him out. If he gets panicked he starts yelping and pawing the walls, which gets him more riled up and harder to coax into sleeping, which turns into a vicious cycle of me trying to wear him out, make sure his bladder's empty, etc, but to no avail. I know you shouldn't do this, but the only solution at that point that's become effective is putting him to bed with me (where he is currently passed out next to me), in which case he'll usually conk right out. Any suggestions on how I can make him feel more at home in his crate/get him to sleep on my schedule, not his?

Part B of my crate issue stems from the fact that I do have to leave him in it during the day for awhile, usually no more than a couple hours, when I go to work. I have roommates, and they've been great about letting him out to relieve himself when they get home and all that, and I do my best to make sure he has a regular eating schedule and has had some play time as well as relieved himself before I put him in there, but he seems to get panicked if he's in it for awhile. Today I came home to a crate and puppy covered in feces (which he had already produced in the yard a mere two hours prior) and a frantically yelping poor little guy. Again, I just want him to feel at home in his crate and avoid the textbook destructive separation anxiety at ALL COSTS, and I'm not sure if I'm headed down that path, so if y'all have any suggestions, I could really use some real-world experience based help!


Thanks!
-Austin in Austin
 

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How big is the crate? I bought a really huge one but have divided it off so it's just big enough for indie to get up and turn round. That way they r less likey to toilet in there. Also I put a cover or blanket over the crate I think it makes them feel more safe.
Give him stuffed kings etc and only give him them when he's in crate, this means he will associate good things with the crate & it will also keep him occupied. As for the sleeping, I personally just ignored her if she moaned & I knew she didn't need to go out to potty. Indie took to her crate very well but I think u need to not pander to them. Maybe Try putting him in for 5 mins at a time whilst ur about n he can see u n build it up? If he's tired at night and falling asleep next to u he will fall asleep in his crate


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Kristy
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Welcome to the forum! Bentley is so precious, thanks for sharing a photo :) We will need more pix! Sounds like you're all set, just need to tweak a few things maybe.

I don't know what your evening schedule is like, but the more playtime and the less uninterrupted napping, the better. If he gets a two hour nap while you go out to dinner with friends, he's going to need serious playtime to be ready to go to bed for the night.

Consistency is pretty important with puppies, just like human children. If he's figuring out that you'll let him snuggle in bed with you, he's not going to want to sleep alone in his crate. It will make it so much easier for friends to puppysit for you when you are busy or go out of town for the weekend if you have him reliably crate trained. Don't cave in. Hide treats in there so when he goes in its a little fiesta for him. Try looking for you tube videos on crate training fun. There is actually a video I believe called "Crate games" that is highly recommended on this forum to help make it positive for him.

Also, you sound like a pretty patient person, but definitely remember that Bentley is still a tiny baby. Only had his eyes open for just over a month, he's learning everything. If you haven't had a chance to start researching a place to take him for puppy kindergarten it is something I can't recommend highly enough. Goldens are so smart and want to please their people, he will be the star of his class if you will go and do your homework for a few minutes every day. It is so much fun to have a Golden who is well trained.

Keep us posted and take a look around this site, their is SO much good information here, I've learned so much on this forum. My puppy is 9 weeks old so I am right there with you on the potty training etc. When you have 12 posts here you can send me a PM and we can commiserate, it's nice to have other puppy people to chit chat with.
Kristy
 

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First Time Puppy Owner
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!

Thanks for y'alls input! I will definitely try implementing some of these techniques in the coming few days!

And I will definitely post some more pictures soon! Bentley is already growing like a weed, and at this point he probably thinks my head is a small black box from me holding the camera so much! I don't want to miss a thing!

I already love this forum, I've learned a lot just by browsing the pages and it's really encouraging to see so many people who love their dogs so much! Can't wait to share more with you!


Thanks again!
-Austin
 

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jamesc09
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Is the crate the plastic or wire? Charlie is 15 weeks and he still does not like the wire crate. He is fine in the plastic one. I don't know why. Maybe he feels more secure? Not sure, but that's the way it is. He doesn't love his crate the way some dogs do, but he gets special treats in there and goes pretty willingly. He whines a little until my husband and I are settled into bed and then he settles in for the night. That said, maybe just trying a different crate is worth a try. Like has already been said, you will learn tons on this forum. It has been a lifesaver to me already. By the way, your puppy is just precious.
 

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"Crate Fiesta" ... I'm totally stealing that phrase...

Austin, welcome! It's interesting that he soiled his crate. Have his poops been firm? The only time my pup soiled her crate was when she was sick ( I felt like a horrible mom when I got home, they're so pitiful!). That may just be my experience though.

Have you been using an enzymatic cleaner like Natures Miracle to clean his crate out after he has an accident? Dogs will tend to go where they know someone has gone before. Also, if the crate is large, have you blocked off a bit of it so he feels cozy?

Consistency is hard, but it's key too. I made the mistake of letting Sunshine go out multiple times at night for a couple if nights (thought she was sick), it took me a week to get her to settle through the night again.

Good luck!




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the party's crashing us
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Hi! OK a few tips...
As far as the defecating in the crate, either the crate is too large or you have bedding/a towel/stuffed toys in the crate (take them out).
Yelping when you come home and save them from the crate is normal -- he hears you coming in and wakes up, and starts yelling for your prompt attention! It's normal. It doesn't mean he freaked out the whole time you were gone. I like to wait for a moment of silence before coming in and rescuing in them, and it's also not too young to teach them to not bust out of the crate, they have to wait until you say "OK" (or at this age, at least pause for thought). Most effective way to teach this is slamming the door shut if they try to push their way out.
As far as nighttime -- puppies tend to get really ramped up and their screaming/thrashing in the crate in protest sorta snowballs. Don't let it scare you. It's normal and will go away. First off, put the crate right next to your bed. I try patience but if the puppy keeps it up for more than 10 minutes or starts increasing in volume, time to do something. First I will try whacking the crate with a book or magazine. Startling the puppy into silence actually can work. "No - quiet."
If puppy continues I will open the door, grab them by the scruff firmly, "NO, NO, NO - QUIET", abruptly put them back in the crate, and go back to bed.
I would say putting the crate right next to the bed and taking out any bedding/towels/stuffed toys will go a long way.
My current puppy is almost 10 weeks old and has been the best puppy ever as far as crate manners. Relatively quiet, goes to sleep right away and actually slept through the night last night. It's my payback from Slater, my now 4 yr old golden, who screamed and crapped in his crate as a baby! LOL Fear not, Slater is a perfect gentleman now in the house or crate, and doesn't have separation anxiety :)

Best of luck!!!
 
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First Time Puppy Owner
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for your advice and words of encouragement! As I type, I can just faintly hear the sound of Bentley quietly panting in his crate next to my bed, fast asleep! :)
 

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Kristy
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.... It's my payback from Slater, my now 4 yr old golden, who screamed and crapped in his crate as a baby! LOL Fear not, Slater is a perfect gentleman now in the house or crate, and doesn't have separation anxiety :)

Best of luck!!!

I've met Anney's dog Slater, he is an amazing guy (click on the link and watch this) - he is my puppy's half brother so I love to brag on him :) Anney's dogs can do anything....


View attachment IMG_0935.MOV.zip
 

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