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I have a 7 week old Husky Puppy, and he is very sweet. Potty training is going well, and we are very happy with him. Our only issue is that he absolutely hates his crate when he is awake.

I introduced him to the crate with treats, as well as feed him in there to get acclimated with it. If he isn't tired, he cries constantly. I know that you aren't supposed to coddle them at night, but I cannot sleep thru this. I've started to lay down next to him at night until he falls back asleep. This helps, but sleeping on the floor is not ideal. I live in an apartment, so there is not a good location to put the crate where I can sleep if he cries at night.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • Could you put it on a table? – paparazzo Jul 5 '16 at 18:57
  • The crate? The issue is there is not a location where I can put the crate where I can sleep while he cries until falling asleep. – user26133 Jul 5 '16 at 18:59
  • You don't have room for a crated sized table next to your bed? – paparazzo Jul 5 '16 at 19:03
  • I can put the crate in the room, but he cries to get out. I dont mind if its to go the bathroom, but I do not trust him yet to roam the apt at night. I've tried putting the crate in the bedroom, but that doesn't stop him from crying. – user26133 Jul 5 '16 at 19:05
  • So if you lay down next him all is OK. If you have the crate at bed level that is not the same as lay down next to him? – paparazzo Jul 5 '16 at 19:34
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Not sure if you have tried this already .... But I've been through this too and it's not fun. So I hope this might help.

Not an expert or anything on this but with my puppy, (German shepherd) one thing that helped her settle to crate training was leaving her in there for short periods of time. I would put her in, leave the room and come in and treat her when she was quiet. I'd then leave again and repeat before letting her out. I would do this at random points during the day for some time.

Sometimes the time I was away would only be 30 seconds but I would make sure to ONLY come in when she was quiet. I would ignore whining totally. I did this for some time over a few days until at night she stopped whining.

Good luck and stick at it. I'm sure it will improve with time if nothing else.

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I think the puppy needs to go to it's crate on it's own and not by being forced to go there. The only solution is to make it feel like the crate is it's own house. Leave it's food plate and water plate next to it, have a nice blanket or pillow inside it and maybe leave a toy inside.

This will make the dog want to go there when sleepy (what's best than sleepin on the blanket that has your smell and having your water and food nearby?).

2

Huskies are one of the whinniest dogs we see (German shepherds are a close second). You absolutely cannot give him attention when he cries, this rewards the behavior. They are energetic dogs that need a lot of exercise, to help with him having a better sleep go for a run before bedtime.

Tucker him out so that he wants to sleep, can even try using the DAP spray/wipes/diffuser to help calm him.

2

Ah I remember these days... ;)

Here are a few things that helped me a lot (in addition to J Hutchison's suggestions):

  • If possible, place the crate next to your bed. If this isn't possible, bring your mattress to the crate. It's not forever, just one or two weeks.
  • Before putting the dog inside, go outside a bit. Even five minutes will help and tire the puppy just a bit.
  • Once back inside, put the puppy into the crate and spend some time next to the crate or close (I used to watch one or two episodes of some TV show about 1m away).
  • Then take another short trip outside.
  • Go back in, puppy back in crate, and try to sleep next or close to the crate.
  • If the puppy starts crying, say something, maybe touch the crate and let it sniff your hand, just don't open the door. (Unless it's a bathroom emergency of course.)

While this sounds tedious, in our case (8-9 weeks old male) the crying stopped almost immediately. He was perfectly fine sitting in there since he saw me outside and knew there's someone.

About one or two weeks later he didn't even mind not seeing me (corner of the bed between me and the crate). If he started to whine a bit, I'd say one or two words and he'd be happy again. At this stage we essentially skipped the "in crate while watching TV" step and he was allowed to sleep next to me in bed, while I watch something.

Another one or two weeks later, I suddenly decided to even skip the last crating. We went outside, I just said "come get in, you're allowed in bed" - he couldn't have understood it as a whole, but he clearly got the idea somehow, so from that day on I no longer needed the crate, he'd just sleep next to me or behind my pillow. (Of course this requires the accessible area to be puppy-safe.)

Few weeks later that was no longer an issue either and he started to sleep on his own at his own picked place atop the staircase (none of us escapes without passing him).

While this sounds tedious (it really can be), it's totally worth the trouble, because you'll save yourself lots of time and trouble later, if you know your dog trusts you and won't ruin your inventory just because he's alone for a few minutes (or outside a crate during the night).


Also, just wanting to mention that, just to be sure:

Never forget dogs are pack animals and especially Huskies have a very strong pack mentality. (Our two boys would literally add pretty much any stranger or other dog to it.) You and your family are part of the pack, maybe even some neighbours. The puppy doesn't want to be alone (natural instinct to be safe etc.), so it will cry for you. While it's perfectly fine to teach the puppy that you won't just come whenever it cries, you should never completely ignore that either.

Also note that "puppy is overactive and doesn't want to stay in crate or sleep" might be an indicator for the puppy indeed not being tired enough. :)

Oh, and one more thing, since we also adopted a young dog (our second… pack mentality and stuff), who was crated most of the day and had growth problems: Not judging you or anything, but please make sure your crate is big enough for your dog to be comfortable. Ideally you could just get a crate that's big enough for an adult husky right away (safes you from buying another later on e.g. for vet visits or in case of any medical problems). It should be around 100-120cm long and 60 cm wide and high, ideally made from durable metal (don't even try to crate a Husky in cloth or plastic).

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