We have several problems.

Main Problem: Howling/crying bloody murder

What happens:

  • Howls, barks angrily, jumping up at the door of crate/barrier
  • Sometimes bites/gnaws on barrier/crate

Compounds other problems:

  • Tantrum "exercise" causes him to poop in the crate, makes a huge mess
    • Cannot clean crate until he stops tantrum either or it reinforces tantrum
  • He does this for 20mins to an hour or more, sound is awful obviously
  • Cannot keep him to regular feeding/exercise schedule because cannot give him attention during his tantrums

Occurs when:

  • The moment I close door to crate or playpen
  • The moment he cannot get to me readily
  • The moment he realizes I'm home from work

Attempts to change this:

  • Stood right in front of him or in the room so he could see me (didn't work)
    • Often he ramps it up into full bloody murder mode (tantrum)
  • Covered crate with blanket, partially and wholly like "cave" (didn't work)
  • Added ticking clock "heartbeat" (didn't work)
  • Added ipod with classical music (didn't work)
  • Added high-value treats to inside of crate (partially works)
    • He will gnaw rawhide for a while after his tantrum
      • Compounds new problem: bitey when I try to keep the treats in the crate
      • He wants to take them out, dart in and out to get treats
  • Exercised him with multiple walks per day (unsure if working)
    • He seems to still have energy to tantrum/howl
  • Tried clapping (only temporarily works)
    • Only works temporarily to surprise him from his tantrum, a split second later he starts up again
  • Only giving him attention/showing him my presence when he's quiet/calmed (unsure if working)
    • Due to all of the above (and below), I'm not sure this makes a difference
    • He howls even longer if he sees me in the room, worse if I'm looking at him
    • He howls if he sees me leaving
    • He howls if I ignore him/do not give him physical contact

Second Problem: Biting

What happens:

  • Bites hands, wrists, clothes, my shoes as I'm wearing them

Compounds other problems:

  • Unsure how to handle him for cleaning/travel
  • Unsure how to play with him (healthy tug games) if he keeps this up

Occurs when:

  • When I try to force treats to stay in crate, not be taken out
  • When he gets too excited as we play tug
  • When I am not paying attention to him

Attempts to change this:

  • "Yelped" in pain, stood and ignored him for 10-30 seconds, before playing/paying attention to him again (didn't work)
    • Yes, he gets startled, but he just distracts himself with other stuff or jumps and nips at my shoes/legs/jeans
  • Growling/shouting a "NO!" (never works)
    • He is unafraid of any sort of reprimand, no matter how loud or low my voice is pitched
  • "Flick on nose" move right after he does this(doesn't work)
    • Compounds problem: he just bites even more, he thinks I'm playing

Limitations: Time

  • I read the entire AKC "ideal" schedule for puppy feeding/exercise/playtimes
  • Unrealistic - I have a full time job
  • Currently I take him out/play/exercise him when I can in mornings, lunch breaks, after work, and evenings before bed

I have lost so much sleep taking care of him. And I want to do this right, but all the information I've found is just contradicting each other. Help!

Edit: I've re-organized this so it's easier to read.

  • 1
    Welcome to Pets Stack Exchange! :) Are there any questions that you've looked through that are similar to yours? I know we have a lot of questions about dogs and crate training. – Henders May 3 '18 at 14:22
  • I have, thank you! I added everything on this post because I think they kind of stem from the crate training though. Most of the guides I've found only talk about one situation at a time. He gets angry/tantrum-like and bitey when I crate him, and especially when I try to keep treats inside the crate to encourage him to think of it as a happy place. There also isn't a lot of talk about how to deal with potty training when he's having a tantrum in the crate (I can't reward him by giving him attention/taking him out; but he can't stay in there forever!). He howls/cries for hours at a time. – Jay May 3 '18 at 16:02

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