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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

Wally will be 11 weeks on Tuesday!!

I’m wondering if there is advice against having him sleep in his pen in the living room as opposed to in his crate? He’s been sleeping well in the pen for two weeks now. He hasn’t had any accidents in his pen and is sleeping through the night without needing to go out.

The first couple nights he hated his crate (full size wire crate that I sectioned off) so I bought a small plastic crate that he loved and slept well in but now he’s too big for the plastic one. Wondering if I should reintroduce the wire crate? Or don’t mess up a good thing haha!
Thanks for any guidance!!
Here’s Wally :)
Dog Dog breed Carnivore Companion dog Fawn

Dog Carnivore Dog breed Fawn Companion dog
 

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he hated his crate
It seems that you didn't do the crate training right and gave him negative experience with it. Else-ways, he wouldn't "hate" it.

From another topic, comes this guide of mine that i shared based on my own experience with out 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.
So, look for that if you plan to re-introduce the crate as his "burrow/ safe place". ;)

I’m wondering if there is advice against having him sleep in his pen in the living room as opposed to in his crate? He’s been sleeping well in the pen for two weeks now. He hasn’t had any accidents in his pen and is sleeping through the night without needing to go out.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 😄

But i do see the reason/need to place him into the crate for night-time sleeps. :unsure:

Our pen is also in the living room and crate is in home office (since we can't fit crate in our bedroom). Also, i sometimes pull all-nighters and it would be nice if our pup would also sleep in his crate at night (near me in home office). But our pup prefers to sleep "loose" in our home, since we didn't have pen and crate from day 1. We bought both at day 7 or so.
During night, we have bedroom door open and sometimes he is sleeping in bedroom, sometimes in home office and sometimes in the room between the two. We have hardwood flooring btw, with some carpets at some spots, for better grip for our pup. Our pup can last the night without issues and he lets us know clearly, when he wants to go potty.

GRs prefer cold floor as their sleeping place. Since in the crate, there is little room to move around and once the underside gets too hot (they have double-coat), they'll move places. In a crate, there isn't much (if any) room to move around. In the pen, there's more.
Oh, GRs also like to be near their humans. At seeing/hearing/smelling distance. So, locking him into the pen for the night, in living room, may make him feel lonely at night.
 

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First of all, Wally is adorable and so is his name!

Regarding crate training, my Archie came home from the breeder pretty comfortable with the crate, so we didn’t have big issues. As a wee one, (he’s now 7-months old) he also took a couple enforced naps everyday in his crate away from the hustle and bustle of the going’s on around the house. He wouldn’t have gotten that sound, restorative sleep a puppy needs by sleeping on the floor of the kitchen, living room, etc. I notice whenever Archie is snoozing around the house, even seemingly deeply, that it’s kind of like he has 1-eye open and is ready for action at any given minute. Also for our lifestyle the crate is a must, as we travel a lot. Until we can get back to traveling the world, we’ve been road tripping to visit family and friends here in the US. Because everywhere we go, his crate goes to, it is really wonderful to have a familiar, secure place for him to be. I would be super uncomfortable with him roaming someone else’s house, or even in a closed door bedroom, or a hotel or Airbnb. Hope that gives you another perspective! Enjoy Wally!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok
First of all, Wally is adorable and so is his name!

Regarding crate training, my Archie came home from the breeder pretty comfortable with the crate, so we didn’t have big issues. As a wee one, (he’s now 7-months old) he also took a couple enforced naps everyday in his crate away from the hustle and bustle of the going’s on around the house. He wouldn’t have gotten that sound, restorative sleep a puppy needs by sleeping on the floor of the kitchen, living room, etc. I notice whenever Archie is snoozing around the house, even seemingly deeply, that it’s kind of like he has 1-eye open and is ready for action at any given minute. Also for our lifestyle the crate is a must, as we travel a lot. Until we can get back to traveling the world, we’ve been road tripping to visit family and friends here in the US. Because everywhere we go, his crate goes to, it is really wonderful to have a familiar, secure place for him to be. I would be super uncomfortable with him roaming someone else’s house, or even in a closed door bedroom, or a hotel or Airbnb. Hope that gives you another perspective! Enjoy Wally!!
Thank you! I will give the crate another go and hopefully now that it’s been some time we can work on positive associations with it :)
 

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Nice looking pup! I am a big fan of having all my Golden's crate trained. We run in Field events and travel with our dogs often. Taking a folding crate with us allows our pups to settle right into our motel rooms, regardless where we are. They lay down in their crate as soon as we put it up in our room. Works out great with no barking and no risk of mess on the floor.

We use a wire crate for our dogs and lightly cover them with a towel, so they have the feeling of a 'den'! We found early on that dogs will pee and pooh in a pen, as they don't associate the pen to a place to hold it, like the crate....you can actually 'un-rain' a young housebroken dog by leaving them overnight or for long periods in a pen....at least that has been our experience.
 

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I think having a dog that is crate trained can be really important, besides for having a place to put your mouthy puppy where you know it won't chew on anything while you're gone! Some other reasons:
  • If your dog ever has to stay at the vet even just for the day, especially if he has surgery, it is likely he will be in a crate. Some places have small runs/areas larger than crates for large dogs that stay overnight BUT every dog that wakes up from surgery will probably be recovering in the treatment room where the techs are so they can be watched, and this will probably be in a crate. Dogs who are not crate trained have an added level of stress when waking up.
  • It is really nice to be able to send your dog to daycare or a trainer's house, where they are likely going to be crated sometimes, and know that they are comfortable at night and there isn't another level of stress!
  • If you chose to crate your dog in the car (highly recommended--it saved my dog's life!) they are already used to the crate and you don't need to work on as many things at once.
  • If you are traveling, it is much easier to bring a foldable travel crate. My dog has a hard time settling in hotel rooms but as soon as he goes in the crate, he's asleep.
  • If you plan on doing any sport with your dog it is easier to keep them in a crate when they are not working. I didn't think I would do any sports but my golden ended up loving dock diving. I could have put him in the car or kept him on leash but he was way too excited to calm down in between jumps. Putting him in a crate let him know it was relax time and it was much easier!
  • If you ever have to fly, they will have to be crated, because unless they are a service dog, large dogs are not allowed to fly in cabin anymore. One less thing your dog will have to stress about if they are already crate trained!
  • If your dog needs surgery and has to ever be on "crate rest" it is much easier and better for their physical health if they are crate trained.
I highly recommend just sticking to crate training. I did the same thing you did and got scared of "ruining" their feelings about the wire crate, so I put him in a pen during the day. I then had to re-do crate training and it took way longer than if I had just done it at the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think having a dog that is crate trained can be really important, besides for having a place to put your mouthy puppy where you know it won't chew on anything while you're gone! Some other reasons:
  • If your dog ever has to stay at the vet even just for the day, especially if he has surgery, it is likely he will be in a crate. Some places have small runs/areas larger than crates for large dogs that stay overnight BUT every dog that wakes up from surgery will probably be recovering in the treatment room where the techs are so they can be watched, and this will probably be in a crate. Dogs who are not crate trained have an added level of stress when waking up.
  • It is really nice to be able to send your dog to daycare or a trainer's house, where they are likely going to be crated sometimes, and know that they are comfortable at night and there isn't another level of stress!
  • If you chose to crate your dog in the car (highly recommended--it saved my dog's life!) they are already used to the crate and you don't need to work on as many things at once.
  • If you are traveling, it is much easier to bring a foldable travel crate. My dog has a hard time settling in hotel rooms but as soon as he goes in the crate, he's asleep.
  • If you plan on doing any sport with your dog it is easier to keep them in a crate when they are not working. I didn't think I would do any sports but my golden ended up loving dock diving. I could have put him in the car or kept him on leash but he was way too excited to calm down in between jumps. Putting him in a crate let him know it was relax time and it was much easier!
  • If you ever have to fly, they will have to be crated, because unless they are a service dog, large dogs are not allowed to fly in cabin anymore. One less thing your dog will have to stress about if they are already crate trained!
  • If your dog needs surgery and has to ever be on "crate rest" it is much easier and better for their physical health if they are crate trained.
I highly recommend just sticking to crate training. I did the same thing you did and got scared of "ruining" their feelings about the wire crate, so I put him in a pen during the day. I then had to re-do crate training and it took way longer than if I had just done it at the beginning.
Thanks for your thorough response! I will definitely get on the crate training ASAP now. :)
 
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