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Hi Everyone, I’m new to the forum and have recently picked up our now 9 week old boy Brinkley. He’s our first puppy and is certainly keeping us on our toes!

His toilet training is going really well and he’s picking up basic commands but we are having issues with crate training. We are massively inexperienced so went with what we were advised from friends who have dogs and put him in his crate at night and shut the door with the idea of letting him bark it out, but that seems a mistake! he went mad! We left it half an hour but he seemed very distressed so took him back out, only when he had stopped barking. We have two children who need their sleep so don’t think it’s an option to just leave him to settle himself after barking for hours on end!

The dog trainer who will be taking the puppy classes we will attend has said to do the opposite and let him settle in the house first before trying to get him to sleep in the crate straight away so we’ve been doing training exercises to get him to enjoy going into the crate, which seem to work. The problem is Brinkley will happily sleep on the sofa or the larger dog bed we bought that isn’t in the crate but once he’s sleeping in the crate literally wakes every hour at best. Either myself or my wife are currently sleeping on the sofa next to the crate in the living room but really need some advice on how to make some progress with this. Are we being too soft with him? Are we making it more difficult by letting him sleep on the sofa in the day and having another dog bed in my study that he can use when I work?

I work from home so Brinkley will only be in the crate at bedtime and the odd occasion we go out the house without him.

Any advise would be hugely appreciated!

Please tell me it gets easier!
 

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9 weeks old is too young to let them "bark it out".
Their whole world just got turned upside down and they are struggling to make sense of the new environment they're in.
Some handle it better than others, but all handle it in their own way. As for your friends comments, take them with a grain of salt.
I always crate train, because my dogs will travel in crates to hunting areas, so it isn't an option for me to not crate train. The way I do it is by setting up a sleeping pad for me next to the crate for the first week or so. Each time I put the puppy in the crate I cover the front door with a towel so that they cannot see out the front.I lie down next to it when they are in, and will just softly murmur to them, or lightly tap on the crate door, when they stir, or begin to make sounds of anxiety, or distress. I want them to mentally understand that they are not alone. Someone is there. Yep, I don't get a good nights sleep for a few days. It just is what it is.
If you're only putting the puppy in the crate at night, I would advise you to reconsider. Every time the puppy needs to sleep, it's into the crate. Day or night. Be sure to let them go to the bathroom just prior to putting them in the crate, and as soon as they come out of the crate, take them out to go to the bathroom.
They need to understand that the crate isn't permanent. They will be let out.
If you have a nine week old puppy that will sleep all on it's own, with you there, and background distraction going on around it,that's pretty amazing. Most times the little buggers just won't go to sleep if anyone is still there. Capitalize on that! Finn, my 4 -1/2 month old is just now starting to nap, if were present.
 

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Well we’ve taken your advice on only letting him sleep in the crate and today he’s had all his naps in there without any real fuss. He still doesn’t like the gate being shut be we are working at that and feel like we are getting somewhere. If he noticed that we’ve left the room he’ll sometimes get a bit upset but other times will just roll over and go back to sleep. He still only seems to sleep for about 1 1/2 hours at a time before waking though! Guess this is normal when they’re so young.

Thanks again for the advice!
 

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Sometimes they go down hard for sleep, but a lot of times it's just an hour or two here and there, and then hopefully through the night. They need a good 14+ hours sleep a day, which is another reason to crate train, as it is a less stimulating environment and hopefully they just sleep uninterrupted. They should also come to the conclusion that the crate is "their space", and feel more secure in time.
Good luck with it and take your time. I promise you that in a few months you'll be glad you did. ;)
 

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He still doesn’t like the gate being shut be we are working at that and feel like we are getting somewhere.
Welllll in defense of the crate, it could be that the doggo doesn’t like being shut in regardless. 😄

My boy doesn’t have any specific hatred of the crate but he doesn’t like being shut in. But I sometimes close the living room door (he lives the living room. If contains his favorite furniture) when a delivery person comes over. Boyo doesn’t like that either.

My general sense is, he likes to be where we (and the guests!) are.
 
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