Author Topic: Those first few nights with our puppy  (Read 516 times)

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Offline BalsallBaggy

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Those first few nights with our puppy
« on: July 27, 2020, 10:11:11 AM »
Hi all,

First time poster here, had a search and couldn't really find an answer to my question.

We are getting our male pup in three weeks (first dog for my family after years of me saying no!), the family are so excited whilst I'm preparing for the arrival of our 4th child....

So my question relates to those first few nights in the house. I have 9 days off work and a mattress at the ready to sleep downstairs (don't really want him upstairs).
I can see the benefits of a crate so will be getting one, but read conflicting stories about the crating process. I read that it's a gradual process and the dog has to see it as its safe space, any forcing/rushing it will destroy his trust in it. I then read that I will need to be by the crate for those first few nights to provide reassurance to him whilst he's adjusting.

So unless I get extremely lucky,  I cannot imagine me having him in his crate on his first night, but then worry I am setting myself up for a harder task when the time comes.

Any tips greatly appreciated!

Offline Poi

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 12:51:31 PM »
My pup had a fantastic first night in her crate with a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel, a ticking clock above it and a t-shirt smelling of her mum and the other pups in there with her. We introduced her to the crate without any pressure during the day with treats and put her in there for bed at night after she'd fallen asleep next to us and she slept all night  :D

Our latest one did not do that.

All the extras (clock, t-shirt, hot water bottle) didn't bother him and didn't even last the first night. We tried him downstairs as we did with our first once he was asleep but it lasted minutes and he was having none of it. Then we switched to the method of having him in the crate in our bedroom and slowly moving him further away as the days progressed and this has worked well. We still haven't got him downstairs yet but he's in another room upstairs now (we live in a cottage with a rather loud door separating the upstairs downstairs which is the big hurdle to get past, I'm sure in a normal house he'd be down by now).

With both, crying in the crate has had no long term effect on them sleeping in the crate at night in the future. Doing the usual crate training, feeding one of the meals in the crate etc seems to keep them happy enough with it. I'd say start as you mean to go on (from a dog owner not trainer).

Offline BalsallBaggy

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 01:25:59 PM »
Thanks Poi, guess that proves that there isn't one golden method that works for all, a bit like kids!

Offline IonaD

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 07:02:10 PM »
We followed a process similar to Poi.

We live in an apartment so downstairs wasn’t an option. She started in the crate in our bedroom, first night she cried and a little on the second then she started sleeping through. We slowly moved the crate out into the hallway. Step by step she got further away till she was out of the bedroom.

We crated her when we left her alone till she was used to that then removed the crate.

She now goes to sleep in her bed which is where the crate used to be, but manages to get herself onto the bed in the middle of the night. To be honest I’m fine with it...she knows if I tell her to ‘go to bed’ she will.

Good luck with it!!x

Offline BalsallBaggy

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 09:52:02 PM »
Thanks Iona, I think I'll need it!

Offline bmthmark

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 12:36:08 PM »
I crate trained my boy (now 3.5 years old). I had lots of issues when he was a puppy and I believe most of them were my fault. I came on this forum and they helped me loads  :D

Maybe you can learn from my mistakes.
I got a big crate for him and on the first few nights he just cried constantly. He was downstairs and I was upstairs. I did keep going down to him but the crying just wouldn't stop.

So what I did was reduced the size of his crate so it was all snug and I put in the crate a blanket that has his mum/dad scent on (he still has this now - very smelly  :005:). I also stayed downstairs with him for a while.
I also had to make his crate feel like the best area in the world and when he went in I would praise him.
I also taught my kids that the crate is his area, we do not disturb him or go in his crate.
It took a while but he soon trusted the crate and he began to sleep through the night.

I'm not 100% sure what was the 'fix' but I am fairly confident that my boy cried because he just didn't know where I was and he felt I was leaving him.
Every night when I go to bed I always let him know that I am upstairs by making some sort of noise. He seems to settle well after that.

Also as he got bigger, I increased the size of his crate.

Good luck

Offline BalsallBaggy

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 01:01:24 PM »

So what I did was reduced the size of his crate

Thanks for all of that. Out of interest,  did you just buy a smaller crate or somehow divide the one you had and if so with what? I'm buying a 30 inch rate as recommended by the size guides but I know initially it will be big for him.

Cheers

Offline IonaD

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2020, 01:51:54 PM »
We got Bella a 24” crate to start, as she got bigger and we would leave her alone in the crate we moved up to a 36” crate so she had more room to stretch out...it was waaaaaay too big for her though!

Hope that helps.

Iona

Offline Finvarra

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2020, 03:51:42 PM »
As above, we crated Dylan in the bedroom, he was fine, snug area at the back of the crate which we I creased gradually. Also I set the alarm for three in the morning, took him out in the garden for a wee, straight back in the crate. No fussing him. Gradually increased the time til later every few nights, so never had an accident in the crate. They don't like wetting their beds. Being a summer pup it wasn't too onerous. Enjoy your new boy!

Lesley
Remembering All the dogs of my life, especially Milo

Offline bmthmark

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2020, 08:51:43 AM »
We got Bella a 24” crate to start, as she got bigger and we would leave her alone in the crate we moved up to a 36” crate so she had more room to stretch out...it was waaaaaay too big for her though!

Hope that helps.

Iona

That's what I did as well, i think it was exactly the same sizes. The 24" didn't last long though  :005: they grow so quickly

Offline seasideblue

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 12:47:18 PM »
My puppy was already used to a crate at the breeder's when I got her - luckily! She slept in the kitchen, tucked in a corner. I covered the crate with a big towel, so it felt more snug and cave-like. She had soft toes to cuddle up to and a piece of vet bed, which smelt of her mum and siblings. I also left the radio on at night on the advice of the breeder and when I went out during the day. She started in a small crate then went into a bigger one. The door was open during the day, but shut at night. She seemed very happy in there and stayed in a crate until she was well over one, when she let me know that she was going to sleep in her bed one night and not in the crate! I packed the crate away the next day. Good luck! I hope the crate works as they are a really safe place to leave them in.

Offline BalsallBaggy

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Re: Those first few nights with our puppy
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2020, 11:43:55 AM »
Thanks Seasideblue, hoping I can replicate your experience!