Even a small dog like a Dachshund would have his own den out in the wild. A place for him to raise his family, get away from predators, get out of the weather, and to feel safe enough with to sleep in. Dachshunds tend to have separation anxiety and training them to see the crate as their den is a very good way to help curb this problem.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to keep everything about the training sessions positive. You should never use his crate as a form of punishment or he might come to view his crate in a negative way, making it all but impossible to train him successfully. Keep the pace slow and steady, but consistent if you want your pup to get used and then enjoy his new "den."
You have a somewhat challenging task ahead of you. Your pup wants to spend as much time as he can with you, on your lap, on the couch next to you, even sleeping on the bed with you (if you let him). While in the wild his desire for a den might take precedence, in your home the desire to be with you is going to make crate training him that much harder.
Rather than think about this type of training as teaching your pup to stay in his crate, there is a better option. Why not make the whole exercise one in which you are training him to see his crate as his new den rather than the wire cage that keeps him from you? By approaching the training from this position, you will find it goes more smoothly and successfully.
Your Dachshund needs a crate that is big enough for him to move around in comfortably. Be sure you don’t buy one that is too big, or he may decide to use one end as his den and the other as his bathroom. Yet at the same time, you don't want one that is too small, or he won't be comfortable in it and will stay out.
To set up your pup's crate and turn it into a den, you need a nice soft piece of carpet that is easy to clean, a doggie bed, a hanging water bottle, and a few chew toys and soft toys for your pup to play with. You may also want to keep a blanket handy to cover the crate and give your pup a nice quiet place to get away from it all and nap.
We started putting Archie in a crate on day 1. He has never liked it, even after following the process of doing it gradually with treats, etc. He barks the entire time he's in it when we have to leave for 1-2 hours. He has slept for about 4 hours during the night but notoriously wakes up around 2 and we take him out to potty. what are we doing wrong? we are beginning to think he'll never improve. Is it separation anxiety? Should we start all over with the basic steps of crate training. Help. My husband and I haven't had a decent's night sleep since September.
Hello Ginger, At this point, I suggest correcting the barking in the crate during the day to break the cycle of barking when he does not need to go potty. Once that cycle is broken, he is more likely to go right back to sleep during night time wakings, and if he goes right back to sleep his bladder will not "Wake up" and cause him to need a potty trip during the night. While you are working on the day time crate training and barking, when you do take him potty during the night, take him on a leash, keep the trip extremely boring, give him five minutes to do his business, then bring him right back inside and put him back into the crate (do not reward him with treats or play during the night). Check out the article that I have linked below and use the "Quiet" method to teach him the "Quiet" command. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark During the day while you are home, crate him for about one hour in another room, where he cannot see or hear you. When he barks, go to him and tell him "Quiet" one time. If he gets quiet, then return to him in five minutes and drop a treat into the crate without letting him out, then leave again. If he starts barking again or does not stop barking at all, use a Pet Convincer - which is a small canister of pressurized air, and spray a puff of air at his side through the crate (this is easiest if you use a wire crate). After you spray him, leave. If he stays quiet for five minutes, return to him and drop a treat into the crate without letting him out. If he starts to bark again, return and spray him with the air again. Repeat the treats while he is quiet and the spray of air when he barks during the entire hour. When the hour is up, while he is being quiet, slowly open the door of his crate. If he tries to rush out, close the door again quickly. Repeat opening the door and closing it again if he tries to go out without being given permission until you can open the door the entire way and he will stay inside. When he is waiting inside, tell him "Okay" and encourage him to come out - this is to set the tone for being calmer in the crate, paying better attention to you, learning better self-control, and asking permission first. When Archie can handle being in the crate for one hour and remain quiet, increase the time gradually, until he can stay in the crate for three hours and stay quiet. To keep him from becoming bored, feed him his meal kibble in the crate in hollow chew toys such as Kongs. You can soak the food in water first, stuff the Kong loosely, then freeze it if he needs an extra challenge. When he can handle three hours in the crate quietly during the day, when he wakes up at night, if it has been less than eight hours since he last went potty, when he barks tell him "Quiet" and if he continues to bark, correct him with the Pet Convincer. If it has been at least eight hours, take him potty on a leash, keep the trip boring, and put him back into his crate right after. If he barks when you put him back into his crate, correct him with the Pet Convincer - since you know that he does not have to go potty anymore and the barking is in protest. Before bed, to ensure that the wake ups are due to him truly needing to go potty, be sure to remove all food and water two hours before bed time. When you take him potty before bed, go with him and make sure that he actually goes potty completely. When you take him outside before bed, take him right before you put him into the crate (not thirty-minutes or an hour before because his bladder will not shut down and allow him to hold it for longer until he is actually asleep). Also, make sure that the area where he sleeps is quiet and dark enough for him to go to sleep when you put him in the crate; otherwise if he is awake, he will not be able to hold his bladder for as long. If he tends to need to go potty frequently during the day and struggles to hold it then for longer than four hours, have him evaluated by your vet to see if there is any form or urinary or fecal incontinence or an incomplete emptying of his bladder when he goes. There are other more intensive separation anxiety protocols and training you can do in addition to the above training, but his issue might simply be habitual barking due to boredom and a learned bad habit of barking in the crate and night waking - these are not that uncommon. If the above training is in-effective, please feel free to check back for further advice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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How often do I work with her on crate training?
Every hour ?
Hello Dana, If you are at home during the day, then I suggest every other hour. You can practice more or less frequently and in the long run achieve the same results, but that amount of time between training sessions will help him learn faster at the beginning. Many people are gone during the day so they simply need to practice it whenever they are home with the puppy. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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Hello, my dog Biscuit will bark for hours in his crate, if I am not sitting right next to it. I've only had him for a few days- but am wondering if there's a way to remedy his barking early on or make him more comfortable. His crate has toys, a blanket, an old tshirt and a light and music is on. Thank you for your help.
Hello Brittany, First, barking for while crate training the first two weeks is completely normal. He needs to be given time to learn to self-sooth and learn to self-entertain. Don't let him out while barking unless he needs to go potty, wait until he is quiet for 1-2 seconds so his freedom is associated with being quiet and you are not encouraging more barking. Second, check out the article linked below. You can practice all of the methods but pay special attention to the Surprise method. Do this method whenever you can. If you don't have time to ease him into crate training most puppies will still adjust in two weeks (many only take three days), but doing the surprise method whenever you can should speed things up. In that method it talks about giving a food-stuffed Kong, I highly suggest doing that to give him something to do while in the crate - you can even feed all of his meals that way and as treats at this age to keep him entertained. Surprise method: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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