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So we brought our baby girl, Hobie, home Friday night, and it's now Monday. She's been wonderful with the potty, eating, playing. Everything is going better than I expected, except the crate.

We have a large metal crate with the divider, which I have adjusted to allow for her to turn around & lay down. Lots of fluffy blankets, a nice plush toy that you can warm up in the microwave, and even a hot water bottle wrapped in her puppy blanket and blankets over the top of the crate to help give her that "den" feeling that I'm looking for.

She has gotten to the point where she'll sleep in the crate at night if I'm there on the floor with her and the door is open. Fabulous for now, I'll take it.

However, any other time she realizes she's in there, it's bloody murder. I've been letting her fall asleep in my lap, then gently laying her in there, and she goes right back to sleep. But as soon as she wakes up, she flips. I've let her go as long as an hour before going to let her out. Screaming, howling, whining. It sounds like she's hurt and it's breaking my heart.

I'm concerned because I have to leave the house for about 4 hours tomorrow and I'm afraid she's going to give herself a heart attack before I get back.

Please tell me this is normal and she will get used to it. I'm doing everything I can (that I know of) to make it a "safe space" and not a punishment. I praise her to death when she walks in, I've been feeding her in there (though she makes sure she keeps two feet out) and praise her when she is quiet (in between screams).

Any thoughts or suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Oh Princess, how I feel for you, those awful screams can tear your heart out. The only comfort I can give you is that EVENTUALLY she will accept her crate. I know that some people have moved the crate around in the house with them, in the bedroom at night and the den while watching tv, have you tried keeping her in the crate while sitting near? or completely covering the crate when you are out of the room, think birdcage.

I have seen the "blackout" option lots of times at dog shows, it give more of a den experience when the pup cannot see you.

Best of luck with your pup.
 

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Thank you, Dixie. I've cried twice today and will probably cry again tomorrow when I have to leave her. :'(

I've been keeping the crate in the family room, as I saw that it was recommended to keep it in a common area where the family tends to hang out. That's where I've been sleeping on the floor next to her, with the door open. Like I said, she's wonderful then.

While I was upstairs in the office on a conference call today, I had her in the crate downstairs with the blankets over it. When I went down an hour later, she had pulled all the coverings into the crate. So I think that the "birdcage" might be a good idea for her at night but not when we leave her. I'm afraid she's going to hang herself. Yikes.

My father-in-law is going to come over in the morning to help shorten the time that we were going to have to leave her. Hopefully that will help. I know she can survive an hour, maybe tomorrow we can try for 1 or 2.
 

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I am currently going through similar crate like experiences...Jenson loves to fall asleep in the bed of his older brother, then I move him to the crate. I clicker train, so I wake him up through the sleep and click and treat, and also when he wakes himself. However he does see the crate as an enemy. I follow a similar routine warm clothing, a toy from his nest, a really smelly blanket that we had his mother sleep on but he will not settle down in the crate by his own accord. Once in the crate, I cover it immediately, talking to him all the way and he eventually settles. With my 2 year old cocker I had a great crate experience...
 

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Princess,
I went through the exact same thing, right down to pulling the crate cover inside and destroying it.
Sounds like you are doing everything right as far as praise and making it a safe place.
My guy also kept is rear feet outside when feeding.
The best move that I made with his crate was putting it inside of the bedroom.
This didn't stop all of the crying and howling, but it really helped him calm down at night.
To this day he isn't in love with his crate, but he is only in there during day for about 7 hours with a break in the middle. He no longer sleeps in the crate, and believe it or not he sleeps downstairs on the couch all alone. He is now 11.5 months, and has been sleeping outside of crate for 5 months.
when we leave the house, he will go into his crate all by himself. He gets a special treat and he DOES whine for a bit, but he will go inside all on his own.
What you are going through wont last forever. Just keep leaving her for short periods of time. She will accept it eventually.
 

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Princess,
You are doing everything right as John mentioned. I know it's hard but it has to be done.
The crate is the best place for them when nobody is around to look after them, they cannot get into trouble this way.
Try bringing the crate to your bedroom and letting her fall asleep in your room, she will sense you are there and hopefully that will be good enough. Talk her to sleep when she starts to whine. Make sure the crate is covered too.

Oh and something we still do to this day (Kian's almost 9 months). When we are away from him and he is in his crate, we turn on the radio and let him listen to music. It's something the breeder did with his litter and we just continued it.

Good luck, it will only get better trust me. We felt the same way the first 4 nights... the screams these little pups let out is heart wrenching.
 

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Hi,

just my experience, fortunately she took to crate at night pretty much from the off, (very lucky), but during the day was another story.

Peanut would bark from the moment the door closed to the moment we came back in. This comtinued for all the time we left her in there until about 3 weeks ago, (she is 5 months now) when she seemed to accept the crate as a waiting spot for us and she just sleeps in there now when we are away.

I do however try to make sure she has had a walk and been to the toilet too so she is tired and not going to need a wee or poo. Also try a meaty bone from the butchers in there with her, they can't resist this and soon concentrate on the bone for a long while. Make sure it's a proper bone not a treat from a packet !!

The down side of this is the bloodied blankets, but washing them regular is a small price to pay I feel for contentment.


As I said just my experiences for you, let us know what you try etc,

Graham
 

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Well, we've turned a small corner it seems. She will now fall asleep in my lap (during the day) and I'll move her in there after awhile. She might stir or squeak for a minute but generally doesn't argue now when she realizes she's locked in. Right now she's been in there almost an hour without a peep.

I think the challenge now will be leaving the house. Right now I can "rescue" her at any time. Tomorrow I have a guitar lesson and will be gone for 2 hours. This will be a good test.

Thank you all for the words of encouragement, I'm so happy that Hobie seems "normal" and I seem to be doing the right things. :-\

And we absolutely love her to pieces. I give her kisses all over constantly. We gave her a lavender baby shampoo bath last night and she LOVED it.

I will keep you posted!

Mel
 
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