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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Cody is doing very well. Crate training is still not done, but we’re making slow and steady progress. We have been feeding him in the crate and giving him some time in the crate during the day. He doesn’t like having the door closed, but we hope he will get more comfortable with it over time.

He loves going for a walk! We’re working on walking without pulling. He also wants to hold his leash, so he is learning to “leave it” if he wants to walk. He is getting 2-3 walks a day while we are on break.

I am also getting some bonding time as we explore off-leash in the fields nearby (on a 10’ lead so I can catch him if needed). He sticks pretty close, but he also has some independence and desire to explore. I think it will be a benefit once he gets to field training.

Of course, the snow melt means mud, so he is on bath #3. The hair dryer doesn’t bother him at all. We had a breakthrough with bath time this week. I was giving Bella a foot bath in a couple inches of warm water. Evidently, Cody though if it was good for her, it was good for him, too. So, in he went with her!


The little man is brave, too! We have been introducing him to different noises and machines since he got home. Banging pans, a cap gun, and other loud noises don’t bother him at all. I have had the lawnmower out in the backyard so he could get accustomed to it. That progressed to pushing it around the yard without it running. Today, I started it for the first time and pushed it across the yard. He isn’t bothered by it at all. He barely gave it a notice.

I’m doing my best to call him Cody, but with his bear likeness and growly, talkative nature, I can’t help but call him my little Kodiak.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
We have finally had a breakthrough in the crate training. Just when we were about to give up, we convinced ourselves of the imperative of being crate trained. We just kept changing approach until we found what worked for him. We tried the basics of introduction with treats, praise, and short sessions. We kept adding to our repertoire.

Feeding in the crate really seemed to make him more comfortable in it.

Crate time during the day seemed to have speeded up his training.

While this will be controversial, we had to go to a larger crate. We have 4 plastic crates for the stages of golden growth, plus one adult-sized wire kennel. Moving to this wire kennel made the biggest difference. He is a restless sleeper and he changes positions often. He also likes to stretch out. This difference in his reaction to this crate was night and day compared to the plastic crates.




And one more, because I love this little guy! Bonding is definitely a two way process, and I am now very attached.
 

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We have finally had a breakthrough in the crate training. Just when we were about to give up, we convinced ourselves of the imperative of being crate trained. We just kept changing approach until we found what worked for him. We tried the basics of introduction with treats, praise, and short sessions. We kept adding to our repertoire.

Feeding in the crate really seemed to make him more comfortable in it.

Crate time during the day seemed to have speeded up his training.

While this will be controversial, we had to go to a larger crate. We have 4 plastic crates for the stages of golden growth, plus one adult-sized wire kennel. Moving to this wire kennel made the biggest difference. He is a restless sleeper and he changes positions often. He also likes to stretch out. This difference in his reaction to this crate was night and day compared to the plastic crates.




And one more, because I love this little guy! Bonding is definitely a two way process, and I am now very attached.
I'd love to hear more about your breakthrough! We're in the thick of it now with our 9 week old. It's ups and downs with crate training. I've been conflicted about his water intake so close to bed time. He seems to be a stress drinker, and loves to drink his water... and if I don't let him have enough water, he ends up panting in his crate and whines just for water. I know that he just wants water because when I open the crate door, he doesn't even want to come out sometimes and just drinks water... which makes me continuously need to wake up in the middle of the night to take him out. And the whole thing is just encouraging him to whine more at bed time.

Did you also find that putting a bed in his crate made the crate more comfortable to him?
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I'd love to hear more about your breakthrough! We're in the thick of it now with our 9 week old. It's ups and downs with crate training. I've been conflicted about his water intake so close to bed time. He seems to be a stress drinker, and loves to drink his water... and if I don't let him have enough water, he ends up panting in his crate and whines just for water. I know that he just wants water because when I open the crate door, he doesn't even want to come out sometimes and just drinks water... which makes me continuously need to wake up in the middle of the night to take him out. And the whole thing is just encouraging him to whine more at bed time.

Did you also find that putting a bed in his crate made the crate more comfortable to him?
I noticed the same about panting with Cody for the first week, or so. I slept on the floor with him for the first couple of days while he adjusted to the crate. I’m not sure if that helped, but every time he would wake up he would start panting and get himself worked up. As soon as he was free, he would make a beeline for his water dish.

In my opinion, I think he was a tiny pup and he couldn’t store (or hold) much water in him. It takes them time for their little bodies to be able to hold it. It felt inhumane to deny him water when he was clearly thirsty, especially because the air is so dry in Colorado. So, we let him drink when he clearly wanted it. Getting up multiple times per night should be over with by the first month at home. At least, it was for us.

By about 9 weeks, we were exhausted and decided to set alarms and take turns taking him out every 3 hours. He was able to hold his water that long, and he would drink water as soon as we let him. Honestly, at this point he was still crying and not getting much sleep at night because of it. Now, he doesn’t usually drink water on his potty break overnight. When he comes in, he makes a beeline for the couch. I sit with him for 10 minutes until he is asleep again, and then put him in the crate.

We kept trying different things that I described earlier, and finally at 11.5 weeks, we moved to an adult sized kennel. As you can see, Cody likes to stretch out. He is a restless sleeper and moves or rolls over often. I don’t know if it was the size or just not being in a plastic “box” that helped him, but it did clearly help.

That crate also had the pad that you mentioned. That probably contributed to his comfort because it smelled like Bella. She used it until she was about a year old. Our breakthrough was just a combination of things that finally worked for him. We did like you are doing now and checked to see what other people had tried and found what worked for Cody.

To answer your question about the crate pad, we aren’t using it now because it came apart in the washing machine. Cody picked something up on a walk and ended up with a bacterial infection. The poor guy had explosive diarrhea that started in the middle of the night and that was the beginning of the end for the crate pad. The crate has a plastic floor and we put acrylic throw blankets in the crate for him. It would be much easier to clean now if he had an accident (he hasn’t had one other than that night).

He gathers the blankets up into a bed and sleeps on them. Other times he sleeps on the plastic floor. Even though we only heat to 68 degrees, I think he gets too warm in his thick fur coat. I think the blankets overall are a better solution than the crate pad.

We also cannot crate him upstairs in the bedroom. When he knows he has an audience, he will serenade us the whole night. He has the lungs of an opera star! He gets crated by the patio door and we check in on him every 4 hours now. We don’t hear him cry or whimper that way. It means that potty training won’t be as quick with him, because we aren’t there to hear him cry to go out. Instead, we just schedule his potty breaks so that he has to hold it but gets to go out before he loses it.

I just try to remember that we are in it for the long game, and I’ll sacrifice quick wins for long term success. We will just be increasing his time between breaks so that he learns to hold it, as his body is able. We believe he can go 5 hours now at 13.5 weeks, and we will be changing the schedule this weekend.
 

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By about 9 weeks, we were exhausted and decided to set alarms and take turns taking him out every 3 hours. He was able to hold his water that long, and he would drink water as soon as we let him. Honestly, at this point he was still crying and not getting much sleep at night because of it. Now, he doesn’t usually drink water on his potty break overnight. When he comes in, he makes a beeline for the couch. I sit with him for 10 minutes until he is asleep again, and then put him in the crate.
I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one with a water junkie. Though we're trying to phase it out little by little, limiting his access to his bowl as he goes out for his middle of the night potty breaks. We also have two alarms for night time right now as well, and we're super happy to hear that his water habit isn't going to carry on for forever. Looking forward to hearing more about Cody's progress. Please keep us posted!
 
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