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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I have a 9 week old puppy, Brodie, and we are having a very hard time with the crate. He has been petrified of it since I brought him home. He will not go in willingly and whines, cries and screams during the day. He is okay at night once he is inside, but it is really bad during the day.

I work half the day from home and half the day in the office. I have been having him nap in the crate when I’m home in the mornings so he doesn’t associate the crate with me leaving. I also have the crate in the same room that I’m working in so he can see me. He cries and screams the entire time. When I say scream, he sounds like what I imagine a dying goat sounds like, it’s bad.

I have a camera so I can check on him when I’m at the office and he usually cries and screams for 45 minutes to upwards of an hour before finally laying down (or passing out from exhaustion) and is awake and doing the same thing after 10 or 15 minutes.

I haven’t used the crate for punishment and I keep a few special toys in there for him, but he won’t acknowledge that they are in there. I’ve tried giving him a stuffed kong and he won’t touch it (he is not food motivated at all, so no surprise with the kong). I also have a crate pad and a blanket. The crate is covered but has mesh on the side and on the top so he can still see out. I also take him outside to use the bathroom and tire him out before putting him in the crate.

I have tried playing crate games, but he won’t even walk within 10 feet of the crate. He isn’t food motivated yet, so grabbing his attention with a treat doesn’t work. I’ve tried putting his favorite toys in there, but nope. They are in the forbidden radius.

I also don’t give into the crying and I only acknowledge him once he has settled down for 10 seconds. I really don’t know what do to, but the way he looks at me when I put him in is so sad. I’m hoping it’s just because he is little and misses having his warm brothers and sisters to snuggle up with, but I’m worried he won’t grow out of it.
 

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Kate
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Let's say you work typical hours 8-5, have pup out of the crate in the evening when you are home... and put pup back in crate around 9PM for bedtime?

That means of a 24 hour day, your pup is in a cage for 20-21 hours?

I'd be screaming too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let's say you work typical hours 8-5, have pup out of the crate in the evening when you are home... and put pup back in crate around 9PM for bedtime?

That means of a 24 hour day, your pup is in a cage for 20-21 hours?

I'd be screaming too.
I get up with him at 6am and he is in the crate from 10am-11:30am. He is out from 11:30am-1:00pm. He is back in the crate from 1:00pm-4:00pm. He is out from 4:00pm-9:30pm, unless I have to run an errand than maybe an additional hour in the evening.

He definitely is not “caged” for 21 hours a day. 11.5 max.

I guess I didn’t not explain the timeline very well, my bad.
 

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I'm attaching two articles you may or may not find helpful:

BUT...

Although the crate is a great tool for most dogs, there ARE some for whom crating will never work. Although I am a fan of using a crate for house breaking purposes, millions of dogs were successfully housebroken via "paper training" before the advent of crates (including the Golden I had as a kid, and my first dog, whom I got before pet sitters were a thing). Maybe your puppy would be happier gated into a small bathroom, or in an ex-pen with papers or potty pads or a litter box. If he's in the same room with you, you can also try tethering him (to you or to something solid in the room - ONLY appropriate if you are right there!). It may slow the housebreaking process, but it's better than a panicked puppy who is terrified of his crate...
 

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Kate
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I get up with him at 6am and he is in the crate from 10am-11:30am. He is out from 11:30am-1:00pm. He is back in the crate from 1:00pm-4:00pm. He is out from 4:00pm-9:30pm, unless I have to run an errand than maybe an additional hour in the evening.

He definitely is not “caged” for 21 hours a day. 11.5 max.

I guess I didn’t not explain the timeline very well, my bad.
That sounds a bit better than what I was imagining from your first post. :)
 

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This may be a complete nonissue, but crate pad + blanket + crate cover sounds like too much warmth to me. Maybe try removing the pad and blanket? I realize this doesn’t address the fear aspect, but if he’s cooler it may help him settle down and sleep better. (My golden can’t settle if she’s too hot, so that’s where my mind always goes!) In the early days, I would wait and put my girl in her crate when she was already falling asleep, which seemed to help. Best of luck!
 

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Ok first off, no puppy comes home LIKING the crate. From what I'm reading you're expecting him to act like an adult dog.
I echo what someone else said...HE'S HOT. Take out any blankets or bedding. Remove the cover. Get a small fan and point it right at the crate.
Puppies this young don't have the mental fortitude to concentrate on a kong or other similar food-filled toy. He will when he's older.

Sooo...when it's time for him to go in the crate, don't try to lure him into it or otherwise train him to go into it on command. He probably weighs 15 lbs. Pick him up and put him in it and shut the door.
You're timeline sounds great. If he is making that much of a fuss while you're in the room, try one of the following, when he's hollaring and you're right there:
1 - The good old penny can. Put 5 pennies in a empty soda can, tape it shut, and throw the can at the crate as he's yelling, while you say "NO! QUIET!"
2 - The good old magazine. If he hollars, walk up, say "NO! QUIET!" and hit the crate with a magazine.
3 - The good old car. For some reason puppies will sleep like angels in a crate in a car. As long as the weather is cool, have at it.
4 - The good old spanking. You wanna hollar and get me to come let you out? You are not going to like it when I let you out. Hollaring for me to come over = open the door, grab you by the scruff, pull you out, give you a shake while saying "NO! QUIET!" and unceremoniously shoving you back in the crate.
**any softies who think I'm mean, just save it already

If he can be quiet and settle in his crate at night while everyone sleeps, he can do it during the day too. Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This may be a complete nonissue, but crate pad + blanket + crate cover sounds like too much warmth to me. Maybe try removing the pad and blanket? I realize this doesn’t address the fear aspect, but if he’s cooler it may help him settle down and sleep better. (My golden can’t settle if she’s too hot, so that’s where my mind always goes!) In the early days, I would wait and put my girl in her crate when she was already falling asleep, which seemed to help. Best of luck!
I will definitely try it. I guess I was thinking more like he was a baby and trying to make sure he was warm enough. Thanks!
 

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**any softies who think I'm mean, just save it already
Sorry, you don’t get to tell me that I’m not entitled to a different opinion. I violently disagree with your suggestions and I think these techniques are a good way to frighten the puppy, destroy his trust in his owner, and to confirm his belief that his crate is not a safe or pleasant place to be. This is a BABY, away from his momma and everything he’s ever known for barely a week. He’s lonely, scared, confused, and trying to figure out the rules of his new world. I doubt very much that at this age he’s being some sort of brat who wants his own way. He is saying as clearly as he can that he’s unhappy, and he’s looking toward his owner to “save” him. From the OP’s description, this behavior goes well beyond a puppy’s normal “but I don’t want to go to bed” protest and more towards true fear and anxiety, and I think the kind thing to do is back up, take a breath, and deal with the root of the issue. There is plenty of time later to teach an older, more mature, more settled puppy to love, or at least tolerate his crate.


 

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A couple of things.

Is the crate small enough for him. If a larger crate with a divider, maybe try covering the divider with fabric to make it feel smaller for the pup. Also experiment with covering the crate with a towel and see if that helps or makes things worse.

How do you feed him? You mention hes not particularly food motivated, but I would hand feed him a good part of his meal, so you can work some training into it...ie, get him to follow your hand, get him to let you touch his ears and feet, etc. Then try hand feeding him in the crate once he gets the idea that food comes from your hand. Work up to feeding him from his dish in the crate.
 

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He has been petrified of it since I brought him home.
Going cold turkey with the crate, and expecting pup to understand the new thing and it's purpose, as you do, is insane.

It's clear that you didn't do the crate training properly and gave him negative experience with it. Else-ways, he wouldn't "hate/fear" it.

From another topic, comes this guide of mine that i shared based on my own experience with our pup (pics in my sig):

Crate training goes like so:
  • Introduce the dog to the cage as his new home. The dog should start training with the cage early, let him rest and sleep in the cage. It teaches him that it is comfortable and safe to be in his new "room".
  • Encourage the dog to go to its own cage. If necessary, place the dog treat in a cage. It is normal for him to be a little timid at first and try to move away. The dog must be treated with understanding and must not be forced. Don't close the door. Let him move in or out the way he wants.
  • When he is no longer afraid of the cage, keep his hand in front of the exit and let him be in the cage for a while. Gradually increase the cage time. Don't forget to praise him!
  • If the dog also feels comfortable with this exercise (probably after a few days of short training sessions), you can try to close the cage door. Now the door is closed and again we must not forget to praise the dog! Soon the dog will feel comfortable in his new home even when the cage door is closed.
  • You can now gradually move away from the dog and the cage, while constantly praising him for his good behavior. Soon the dog sits calmly in the cage and agrees to sleep with his door closed in his new home.

With our pup, we did essentially the same, where:
1st, we set up the crate and pen in living room, doors open, so he can get comfortable of new things in our home.
On 2nd day, we moved the crate to the final resting place, doors open, so he can get used to with crate in another room. He freely went in and out. Oh, we also put a blanket on top of it, covering top and 2 sides. Leaving door side and front side open, so he can see us while in there, while having the burrow feel.
On 3rd day, i started to use treats to get him into there. Treat to get in and once in, i praised him.
On 4th day, i stand in front of the door, blocking access out. At the end of the day, i was able to close the cage door while he was in it. No wailing. But i didn't lock him in for the night.
On 5th day, for daytime nap, i lured him in the crate with treats and locked him in for the daytime nap.
From 6th day and onwards, i can lure him into the crate with treats (we haven't gone to puppy training and we don't have command to get him into the crate) but once i close the door, he stays there comfortably and ca be in there for several hours. Also, he isn't wailing when we leave room and he doesn't see us (we've also done some alone training with him).

I have crate for sleeping/treats and pen for playing/calming down. Though, he has fallen into sleep in the pen as well.
Time has passed since i wrote that and now, our doggo is 1y 2mo old. We still put treats into his crate (e.g after returning from outside) and most nights, he also sleeps in there, quietly, without ever making a sound. We also have a command to get into the crate, but he is in his teens and is stubborn sometimes to follow commands. :LOL: Though, our doggo prefers to sleep "loose", all around our home and we don't mind it. (Since he won't destroy anything.)

--

Proper crate training takes time. A week or so. Going cold turkey, as you did, has the expected result from a pup, that you can clearly hear/see.

At this point, it would be very hard, if not impossible, to turn things around and get the result you want. Since when doggo fears something, they won't become trusting "it" anytime soon. It may take months, years, if ever.

Oh, what ties into crate training, is alone training. That too takes time, and you can't cut corners with it neither.
 

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Unpopular opinion time. My puppy too never took to the crate. Cried, screamed was just miserable and I am far from a dog expert but spanking, pulling scruff to force a little baby puppy into a cage he hates just wasn’t happening. So I got an ex pen, put the crate in it, feed him in the crate but never force him in. Sometimes he will sleep in the crate voluntarily but mostly just sleeps in his ex pen. He likes to switch positions and move around a lot which he can do in the ex pen while still being safely contained. He does not have accidents in his pen. He’s potty trained now at 5 months but since he was really little he only ever had one accident in his pen when he had diarrhea and tried to warn us and we didn’t take him out in time and he just couldn’t hold it.
His ex pen is light foldable wire so we take it when we go to stay over someone’s home or on vacation and he happily sleeps in it no matter where we are
 

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Unpopular opinion time. My puppy too never took to the crate. Cried, screamed was just miserable and I am far from a dog expert but spanking, pulling scruff to force a little baby puppy into a cage he hates just wasn’t happening. So I got an ex pen, put the crate in it, feed him in the crate but never force him in. Sometimes he will sleep in the crate voluntarily but mostly just sleeps in his ex pen. He likes to switch positions and move around a lot which he can do in the ex pen while still being safely contained. He does not have accidents in his pen. He’s potty trained now at 5 months but since he was really little he only ever had one accident in his pen when he had diarrhea and tried to warn us and we didn’t take him out in time and he just couldn’t hold it.
His ex pen is light foldable wire so we take it when we go to stay over someone’s home or on vacation and he happily sleeps in it no matter where we are
Thank you for being so kind! I’m picking up an ex pen from a friend tomorrow to try out. I’m a little nervous about accidents given that he is still so little, but I’d rather take an accident than having a stressed and anxious puppy. Did you put anything down on the floor in the pen for your pup in the pen?
 

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Thank you for being so kind! I’m picking up an ex pen from a friend tomorrow to try out. I’m a little nervous about accidents given that he is still so little, but I’d rather take an accident than having a stressed and anxious puppy. Did you put anything down on the floor in the pen for your pup in the pen?
To avoid accidents when we first got him we literally took him out about every hour during the day and I think about every 2 through the night. I also had an app to track his pee and poop to get a better idea of how often he would go. Eventually we started taking him out every 2-3 hours and he would sleep through the night pretty early on. We never encouraged pee pads as I didn’t want to confuse him. Peeing and pooping is for outside only, but we’re lucky we live in a house with a yard but no fence, so taking him out on a leash isn’t too hard. The only thing I put in the ex pen besides the crate is these leftover heavy vinyl tiles from a bathroom renovation and that’s mostly because I noticed he doesn’t like sleeping on the hot carpet and prefers the areas with the vinyl tile. This breed gets hot and overheated easily! He also has some stuffies that he uses as pillows :) we feed him in the crate so he doesn’t have bad associations with it because I know that it is important being comfortable with a crate so I wouldn’t eliminate it completely. Since your puppy is already comfortable in the crate at night that is a major plus.
 

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Hi everyone!

I have a 9 week old puppy, Brodie, and we are having a very hard time with the crate. He has been petrified of it since I brought him home. He will not go in willingly and whines, cries and screams during the day. He is okay at night once he is inside, but it is really bad during the day.

I work half the day from home and half the day in the office. I have been having him nap in the crate when I’m home in the mornings so he doesn’t associate the crate with me leaving. I also have the crate in the same room that I’m working in so he can see me. He cries and screams the entire time. When I say scream, he sounds like what I imagine a dying goat sounds like, it’s bad.

I have a camera so I can check on him when I’m at the office and he usually cries and screams for 45 minutes to upwards of an hour before finally laying down (or passing out from exhaustion) and is awake and doing the same thing after 10 or 15 minutes.

I haven’t used the crate for punishment and I keep a few special toys in there for him, but he won’t acknowledge that they are in there. I’ve tried giving him a stuffed kong and he won’t touch it (he is not food motivated at all, so no surprise with the kong). I also have a crate pad and a blanket. The crate is covered but has mesh on the side and on the top so he can still see out. I also take him outside to use the bathroom and tire him out before putting him in the crate.

I have tried playing crate games, but he won’t even walk within 10 feet of the crate. He isn’t food motivated yet, so grabbing his attention with a treat doesn’t work. I’ve tried putting his favorite toys in there, but nope. They are in the forbidden radius.

I also don’t give into the crying and I only acknowledge him once he has settled down for 10 seconds. I really don’t know what do to, but the way he looks at me when I put him in is so sad. I’m hoping it’s just because he is little and misses having his warm brothers and sisters to snuggle up with, but I’m worried he won’t grow out of it.
My puppy did this just start teaching him its ok. By throwing a rewarding treat in there then when goes in reward him. Also i wish we would have gotten a snuggle puppy for her she missed her brother's and sister. My girl did it for 3 months the vet said there was nothing we could do but work with her. Also sitting down on the floor with him well his kennel door is open and he is inside might help.
 

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Hi everyone!

I have a 9 week old puppy, Brodie, and we are having a very hard time with the crate. He has been petrified of it since I brought him home. He will not go in willingly and whines, cries and screams during the day. He is okay at night once he is inside, but it is really bad during the day.

I work half the day from home and half the day in the office. I have been having him nap in the crate when I’m home in the mornings so he doesn’t associate the crate with me leaving. I also have the crate in the same room that I’m working in so he can see me. He cries and screams the entire time. When I say scream, he sounds like what I imagine a dying goat sounds like, it’s bad.

I have a camera so I can check on him when I’m at the office and he usually cries and screams for 45 minutes to upwards of an hour before finally laying down (or passing out from exhaustion) and is awake and doing the same thing after 10 or 15 minutes.

I haven’t used the crate for punishment and I keep a few special toys in there for him, but he won’t acknowledge that they are in there. I’ve tried giving him a stuffed kong and he won’t touch it (he is not food motivated at all, so no surprise with the kong). I also have a crate pad and a blanket. The crate is covered but has mesh on the side and on the top so he can still see out. I also take him outside to use the bathroom and tire him out before putting him in the crate.

I have tried playing crate games, but he won’t even walk within 10 feet of the crate. He isn’t food motivated yet, so grabbing his attention with a treat doesn’t work. I’ve tried putting his favorite toys in there, but nope. They are in the forbidden radius.

I also don’t give into the crying and I only acknowledge him once he has settled down for 10 seconds. I really don’t know what do to, but the way he looks at me when I put him in is so sad. I’m hoping it’s just because he is little and misses having his warm brothers and sisters to snuggle up with, but I’m worried he won’t grow out of it.
A few things.

1. I do not think he is too old to be crate trained or to turn this around. It will take persistence on your part and willingness to stay firm and not give in to his protests and attempts to get out.

2. Take the bedding and cover off of the crate. Puppies radiate heat, and if he's hot he's going to have a hard time settling and being comfortable.

3. You need to move the crate out of your office into a bedroom or something away from where you're working. We also work from home and with our Covid puppy (she's 2 now) we were living in a 2 bedroom apartment and working from home. Her crate was in our bedroom. We did not want to tease her with having the crate in an open space where she could see us and our other dog. Definitely seems like a way to delay crate training IMO. Of course puppy wants to come out -- they see you and likely get your attention which creates a rewarding behavior. Carrying on = eventually they take me out of crate.

We'd get up with her by 7am, out to potty and a nice long off leash walk, come home and hang out for an hour while we had coffee, got ready for work and played a bit. She'd go back into the crate (after a potty trip), in our bedroom, lights off, white noise playing loudly, door shut with a snuggle puppy in there and usually a kong, she'd stay in there for 3-4 hours until lunch. Then we'd take her out again, potty, play for an hour, another little walk, have lunch etc then back in the crate for 3 more hours until the work day was over. Then she'd hang with us until bed time. Same routine at bedtime except we'd be in the bedroom obviously.

4. You're probably already doing this but never take puppy out of crate while they're throwing a fit. This will reinforce the behavior and it'll be hard to break. They will carry on and it does sound absolutely awful -- but don't give in. The white noise helps drown it out and I think helps them settle down faster because they can't hear you talking and maybe don't have the same FOMO they have if they see you and can't be let out.

5. I am a firm believer dogs need to be crate trained. I don't care if they don't love their crate, they NEED to be crate trained. If they go to the vet, need to travel in a crate, need to be crated for safety etc...it's a must. My dogs don't love their crates, but they're properly crate trained so when they need to be crated they happily go in, get a little treat and chill.

Things you can do to have the crate be associated with good things are feed your dog in the crate (I think you're already doing this), tossing a little handful of kibble in the crate every time you put them in. Fill enrichment kongs, topples, lick mats with Greek yogurt, wet canned food or pumpkin pure and FREEZE them. Gives them something to do in the crate, is a high value reward, will tire them out when they're done. We still give my dogs frozen kongs if we are crating them for any period of time longer than an hour or so.

Hang in there. You can do it. He is still a baby and learning but he's had a tough go with the crate and you need to fix it now if you want your dog to be crate trained properly. Let us know what you try and how it goes!
 

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A few things.

1. I do not think he is too old to be crate trained or to turn this around. It will take persistence on your part and willingness to stay firm and not give in to his protests and attempts to get out.

2. Take the bedding and cover off of the crate. Puppies radiate heat, and if he's hot he's going to have a hard time settling and being comfortable.

3. You need to move the crate out of your office into a bedroom or something away from where you're working. We also work from home and with our Covid puppy (she's 2 now) we were living in a 2 bedroom apartment and working from home. Her crate was in our bedroom. We did not want to tease her with having the crate in an open space where she could see us and our other dog. Definitely seems like a way to delay crate training IMO. Of course puppy wants to come out -- they see you and likely get your attention which creates a rewarding behavior. Carrying on = eventually they take me out of crate.

We'd get up with her by 7am, out to potty and a nice long off leash walk, come home and hang out for an hour while we had coffee, got ready for work and played a bit. She'd go back into the crate (after a potty trip), in our bedroom, lights off, white noise playing loudly, door shut with a snuggle puppy in there and usually a kong, she'd stay in there for 3-4 hours until lunch. Then we'd take her out again, potty, play for an hour, another little walk, have lunch etc then back in the crate for 3 more hours until the work day was over. Then she'd hang with us until bed time. Same routine at bedtime except we'd be in the bedroom obviously.

4. You're probably already doing this but never take puppy out of crate while they're throwing a fit. This will reinforce the behavior and it'll be hard to break. They will carry on and it does sound absolutely awful -- but don't give in. The white noise helps drown it out and I think helps them settle down faster because they can't hear you talking and maybe don't have the same FOMO they have if they see you and can't be let out.

5. I am a firm believer dogs need to be crate trained. I don't care if they don't love their crate, they NEED to be crate trained. If they go to the vet, need to travel in a crate, need to be crated for safety etc...it's a must. My dogs don't love their crates, but they're properly crate trained so when they need to be crated they happily go in, get a little treat and chill.

Things you can do to have the crate be associated with good things are feed your dog in the crate (I think you're already doing this), tossing a little handful of kibble in the crate every time you put them in. Fill enrichment kongs, topples, lick mats with Greek yogurt, wet canned food or pumpkin pure and FREEZE them. Gives them something to do in the crate, is a high value reward, will tire them out when they're done. We still give my dogs frozen kongs if we are crating them for any period of time longer than an hour or so.

Hang in there. You can do it. He is still a baby and learning but he's had a tough go with the crate and you need to fix it now if you want your dog to be crate trained properly. Let us know what you try and how it goes!
We did alot of this with our golden. But we took her out of her crate when she was pawing at it and barking a lot and it took 2 times longer for her to be ok with her crate. I agree it definitely isnt to late to crate train and it is a must.
 

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Ok first off, no puppy comes home LIKING the crate. From what I'm reading you're expecting him to act like an adult dog.
I echo what someone else said...HE'S HOT. Take out any blankets or bedding. Remove the cover. Get a small fan and point it right at the crate.
Puppies this young don't have the mental fortitude to concentrate on a kong or other similar food-filled toy. He will when he's older.

Sooo...when it's time for him to go in the crate, don't try to lure him into it or otherwise train him to go into it on command. He probably weighs 15 lbs. Pick him up and put him in it and shut the door.
You're timeline sounds great. If he is making that much of a fuss while you're in the room, try one of the following, when he's hollaring and you're right there:
1 - The good old penny can. Put 5 pennies in a empty soda can, tape it shut, and throw the can at the crate as he's yelling, while you say "NO! QUIET!"
2 - The good old magazine. If he hollars, walk up, say "NO! QUIET!" and hit the crate with a magazine.
3 - The good old car. For some reason puppies will sleep like angels in a crate in a car. As long as the weather is cool, have at it.
4 - The good old spanking. You wanna hollar and get me to come let you out? You are not going to like it when I let you out. Hollaring for me to come over = open the door, grab you by the scruff, pull you out, give you a shake while saying "NO! QUIET!" and unceremoniously shoving you back in the crate.
**any softies who think I'm mean, just save it already

If he can be quiet and settle in his crate at night while everyone sleeps, he can do it during the day too. Best of luck.
I am definitely not a softie, just ask my 3 adult sons, but that is extremely harsh advice to be dispensing . All your aggressive posturing and throwing your weight around towards a baby, who you admit might weigh all of 15 pounds, is definitely not going to do anything to foster positivity towards the crate. To me it sounds like a very lazy and heartless way of making a brand new puppy conform through intimidation.
 

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This puppy is not scared of the crate. It’s throwing a tantrum like a toddler. Dislike and fear are not the same thing. Tantrums in the crate are NOT ok and should be corrected. BUT crate training isn’t all sunshine and butterflies either. You should absolutely be positively reinforcing good behavior regarding the crate. And correcting bad behavior.

I did not allow my dogs to be tantrum turkeys in the crate as puppies, but they go to their crates on command and with enthusiasm as adults. They do not exit without permission. They sleep in their crates willingly with the doors left open.

I think everyone needs to take a deep breath and remember that this is just a conversation on the internet amongst strangers. You can choose what to do with the information and how you react to it.
 
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