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My boyfriend and I will be bringing home our first golden puppy in 4 weeks (she will be 8 weeks old at the time). We know we want to crate train since we live in an apartment (it is rather large). I've read several articles telling me to not give food or water in the crate, as it is an invitation to potty in there. I've also read to do feed them in the crate, as it associates good things with the crate and makes them feel more at home where they are getting their food. I've read to keep the crate in a central location where a lot of the family is spent, like the family/living room. I've read to move it into the bedroom at night to help calm the puppy. Would moving the crate to another location at night confuse her when I give the "crate" command? I'm also worrying a little bit about the amount of time she'll be in her crate while we are at work (I leave at 8:15am, my bf gets home at 5), but we exercise regularly and go for lots of walks, play frisbee, etc. I'm sure we are not the only family to get a puppy and also work full-time jobs where there is no one home for 8 hours at a time, so any tips from someone with this experience would be great as well!
 

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Hello!!! This is what we did with our then 9-week old munchkin....

We got a large crate and put it in the dining room, closest to the back door (for easy potty access). We fed Bear in the crate and anytime he went in he got toys and a snack, lots of praise, etc. while crated at night or during the day - we did not leave water in the crate. He was crated for 3-5 hours at a time (and that was a stretch for his tiny bladder). If you will be leaving him for 8 hours, can you get someone to let him out for 10-15 minutes halfway through the day? Idk where you live, but dog walkers are reasonably priced around here (you can even ask a neighbor).

At night, we covered his crate with an opaque blanket (the crate was still in the dining room) and my DH let him out at 2 am for a potty break for the first 2-3 months.


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Kristy
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I feed puppy in crate, start with the door open, then as she gets used to it you could shut it. That keeps her in one place and then when she's finished you can take her straight outside to do her business. As Brave mentioned, a dog walker is the best thing in the world in this situation. It will make you feel a lot better as well :) I have always had my puppies sleep in my room in their crate. I have two crates for convenience. Crates last forever, consider it an investment. I also am a huge fan of the ex pen. You can find them on Amazon - 36" high should be around $60 and if you have prime it's free ship.

Have you had a chance to start researching a good place for puppy class? The best places have classes fill up fast, so it's never too soon to start checking it out. Have fun :) Can't wait to see photos of your baby :)
 

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I've always fed puppies in or in front of the crate. Some puppies need a smaller crate in order to activate the housebreaking instinct, so if the crate is divided too small for puppies+bowls, then I might put the bowls in front.

I don't think eating confusing the housebreaking instinct, but you need to let puppies out within about 15 minutes after they eat, since eating can trigger the need to eliminate.

Moving the crate doesn't seem to confuse the command, but remember that your puppy won't know it as a command when you're doing the beginning of crate training. At the beginning, you're luring or placing her in the crate, not asking her to go in with a voice command. Once she gets the hang of it, you an add the command.
 

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We didn't feed in the crate.

Instead, we threw a toy or a tiny treat in the crate and if he went in on his own, we gave another treat. We did this over and and over and clicking and treating, while slowly eliminating the treats and increasing the length of time in the crate. We eventually gave this command a name - bedtime

It didn't matter where we put the crate. As long we said "bedtime" he would go to his crate and stay...even if it was in a different room.

He's almost 2yrs old now, and doesn't have a crate. If we do say "bedtime" he'll go in a corner under our computer desk...or any small space that has a "roof".


That being said...I don't see why feeding in the crate would be a bad idea. I think throwing a peanut butter kong in the crate is better tho :D
 

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Alyssa
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Your schedule is the exactly the same as my dad’s when we got our puppies. For both of them, they wouldn’t be fed in the crate but in the kitchen instead. For crate training we would use clicker training with treats to get them used to going in when they were little. They would also get toys in there. They wouldn’t be locked in until it was time for bed. Eventually, like others have said, going into the crate got a name (Ally’s room) and with work they would go in and lay down on command. It was quite easy actually! The crate was in the office which was off of the living room (they could still hear and kind of see us) and that has worked absolutely fine. My dad has also never put the crate in his bedroom for them to sleep, but I've heard too that it helps a lot if the puppy won't settle. I'm sure if you moved the crate back and forth while your puppy is small if you have to, it won't be a big deal. As it gets older you'll probably end up keeping the crate in one spot.

My dad worked 8 hours and I would be in school, so when they were really little he would come home on his lunch breaks and let them out. I’d try that if it’s possible for you and if you don’t want to have someone else do it. Eventually he stopped doing that and they are able to hold it until he gets home now.

EDIT: "I've also read to do feed them in the crate, as it associates good things with the crate and makes them feel more at home where they are getting their food."
Also, I don't think you necessarily need to feed them in their crate to get them to have good feelings about it. Treating them for going in, giving them toys to keep them busy and using praise will create these feelings as well. I think it's just up to preference.
 
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