Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

21 - 25 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Hi All,

My bf and I (40s aged couple) just got a beautiful Golden who we named Reggie. He is 11 weeks and we've had him for 3 days. He is a very loving, gentle, non-bitey puppy who responds pretty well to our "training voices" so far, which I'm grateful for. We are trying to crate train and I've done tons of research and have had lots of friends tell me what worked for them...but we are really struggling. Reggie absolutely screams and barks and whines and whimpers when in the crate away from us. For the first 2 nights, I slept on the floor beside his crate (which is attached to a play pen for long-term confinement which officially starts tomorrow (i've had 3 days at home with him but have to go back to work). Last night my bf and I decided to let him try to cry himself calm and not go in there or respond no matter what (unless for a pee break). We put him to bed at 10pm with a kong with peanut butter and some soothing music playing beside the crate. He barked and screamed (it sounds like he's being murdered) for 20mins and then slept for 30 and then back to screaming, then a bit of sleeping etc. ...on and on for the whole night. We didn't cave until 3am. I went to take him out for a pee (he didn't go, so i'm guessing he can hold it for the full night...). When I brought him back in, the screaming started again and my bf couldn't stand it anymore and went and got him and brought him to our bed. I wasn't ok with this. I feel like that's asking for trouble and recurring screaming tonight and onward. So I brought him back to his room, put him in the playpen (not the crate) and slept beside him again. he calmed in about 5 minutes and was quiet for the next 2 hours (but of course i didn't sleep a wink).

I'm really worried that if we don't figure this out fast, he's going to have serious separation anxiety as an adult, which I know is sooo difficult to handle. I have heard that bringing a crate into the bedroom works for a lot of young puppies, but I worry that he's still looking to us for comfort. But, we have to do something that works for all three of us and our situation.

Any thoughts on this? (i've heard all the "make the crate a fun place to be" type of advice...and you can only do so much to make it fun in a matter of a day or two when you have to put him in it that night).

Thanks for any help,
Lynn
Hi Lynn,
I also recently got a puppy and had a similar problem. Having the crate in our room a couple days really helped. He still cried and barked but only for about 20 minutes and wouldn’t really wake up until about 5 or 6am. He’s almost 5 months now and he sleeps in his own room well. We put some treats in his bed and say good night with no problem. All puppies are different but I would try putting him in the room with you guys, then moving it away with time. Best of luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Hi Lynn,
I also recently got a puppy and had a similar problem. Having the crate in our room a couple days really helped. He still cried and barked but only for about 20 minutes and wouldn’t really wake up until about 5 or 6am. He’s almost 5 months now and he sleeps in his own room well. We put some treats in his bed and say good night with no problem. All puppies are different but I would try putting him in the room with you guys, then moving it away with time. Best of luck!

Thank you! we have been doing this for 2 nights and it's a whooooole different world. he loves his bedtime crate beside our bed and there is absolutely no crying or whimpering or barking. He loves it. Now to move onto the next issue!! lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
FWIW... My first dog (25 years ago, before pet sitters or daycare were a thing), spent most of her early weeks/months while I was at work baby gated into the kitchen. I put down newspapers, she had a nice bed, water, and a window she could look out of. We gave her some safe toys and left the TV on so it sounded like someone was home. Our cat wandered in and out of her space. Some days (not every day), my roommate came home early or my landlord would stop by and let her out to play for a bit. Every night when I got home I'd take her over to my neighbor's (it was a duplex) and SHE got to play with my puppy while I spent the next half hour picking up the soiled and shredded papers and washing the kitchen floor. Once I was finally done, I'd spend the rest of the night playing with and training and exercising my puppy.

The good news is, she grew into a great dog with no significant issues tied to spending her early days alone in my kitchen. Surprisingly, she house trained easier and faster than the crate-trained pups that followed (don't ask me how!). She was the most balanced and well adjusted dog I have since raised (I'm now on dog 5). The bad news... She did get bored enough to lick/chew holes in my drywall, and I missed out on enjoying a lot of quality time with her in her youngest days because SO much of it was spend cleaning up the mess in the kitchen.

That said..I DEFINITELY do NOT recommend asking a baby puppy to spend all day alone, regardless of whether he is in a crate or in a baby gated room. Although my experience was a success, I think I was **** lucky not to end up with extensive damage or a puppy/dog with a behavioral issue. If you have NO other options, PLEASE do not ask him to sit in a small crate all day... at least in a baby-gated room (like a bathroom) he can move around and play... you're just going to have a mess. Puppies are physically incapable of "holding it" more than a few hours, so if you put him in a crate he will HAVE to soil the crate, which completely negates the use of a crate as a housebreaking tool. Spending that much time in a crate can also cause orthopedic problems as he grows.

Some options to consider:
  • Keep trying the crate-attached-to-an-expen set up, at least while he's young. This has been the most successful set up for me, especially for slightly older puppies. Buy a super tall ex-pen and put his crate up against a wall and away from the edges of the pen, or put some sort of barrier up to prevent him from crawling on top of the crate to get over the pen. Try it out when you're home so make sure he can't get out of it.
  • See if you have a retired neighbor or maybe a responsible teen who might enjoy either taking your pup for part of the day or stopping by to take him out for some play and potty time a couple of times a day.
  • See if you and your boyfriend can stagger your work schedules for a few months to reduce the amount of time the pup is home alone.
  • For reference, a professional pet sitters in our area charge about $16-$20 for a half-hour visit. It may be worth the investment to make this happen, especially while your puppy is young.
  • Doggie Daycare in our area runs about $25 a day (which is a good deal compared to the half-hour pet sitter). Note however that few day cares are set up to take puppies... so this may be a better option a few months down the road, even if it's only one or two days a week.
Bottom line... you've made a commitment to giving this puppy the best life you can. Given that your original plan did not work out, you may HAVE to spend money you don't really feel you can afford to ensure this new little life, your new best friend, gets the best start in life. Believe me... better to invest now than to spend that money on vet visits or trainers for behavioral issues down the line...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
259 Posts
I am not completely convinced that we can make this work or are in the right situation to make this work for him. I'm hopeful that it will all be ok but I do believe sometimes people don't know if something will work until they try. I'm really not sure what to do.
Based on your comments your last comment may be the right one for you. I think you understand the options available and some of the difficulties associated with each option. I wish you and your pup the very best.
 
21 - 25 of 25 Posts
Top