How to Crate Train a German Shepherd Puppy at Night

Medium
1-3 Months
General

Introduction

Crate training your German Shepherd at night will give you peace of mind while you sleep. Your Shepherd puppy will eventually realize his crate is a safe, comfortable, and secure place for him to sleep. He will start to see his crate as his personal bedroom space, and when he's ready to turn in for the night, he will likely go into his crate all on his own. For you, crate training your German Shepherd puppy for night time sleep will mean you can rest peacefully knowing he's not going potty inside the house, chewing on your couch, or digging up your carpet. Puppies can cause all kinds of mischief when left to their own devices. Crate training your German Shepherd puppy gives him a detailed plan of when it's time to go to bed and where he needs to be to do so.

Defining Tasks

To crate train your German Shepherd puppy for night time sleep, you're going to need to set up an appropriate size crate in an area where you are comfortable with him sleeping. When he's a very young puppy, he may want to be close to you in your bedroom or at least nearby. If you have trouble sleeping with a whining puppy, you may consider putting him in a spot away from your bedroom. 

This training will be repetitive and rewarding. The most difficult part of crate training your German Shepherd puppy is remembering that he's going to need to go potty overnight because he's still little. By the time he's ready to sleep through the night, your training should be just about complete, and he will be heading to the crate all on his own when he's ready to go to bed.

Getting Started

Ensure the crate you choose for your German Shepherd puppy is just the right size for the dog to stand up and turn around once he's an adult. You can start with a smaller crate as a puppy and increase in size if you have additional crates available. Be sure to set up the crate with lots of soft, comfortable bedding and some chew toys to keep him entertained when he's awake inside the crate. Your German Shepherd puppy will also need lots of tasty treats as he gets to know his new crate and to reward him for making good choices in the crate.

The Safe Place Method

Most Recommended
4 Votes
Step
1
Pick a crate
Choose a crate the right size for your German Shepherd. You can choose a crate now for his adult size and install a partition to size it appropriately for your puppy or get a small crate now and a new crate as he grows older and larger. The crate should not be too large but just right for your German Shepherd to stand up and turn around inside. Do not give your puppy German Shepherd too much room, as he may use some of the extra space to go potty.
Step
2
Bedding
Add comfortable, soft bedding to the crate to make it a comfortable place for your German Shepherd to be at night.
Step
3
Toys
You may want to add one or two chew toys for your puppy to chew on while he’s waiting to fall asleep or when he wakes up to entertain himself until you let him out of the crate to go potty.
Step
4
Placement
Place the crate in a room where you are both happy with your German Shepherd sleeping at night. He might like to be near you or he may want a cool, quiet place to sleep at night. Remember while he is house training, he will need to go outside every few hours to go potty.
Step
5
Sleepy time
When your pup is sleepy, even during the day, place him in the crate. Before sleep, be sure to take him outside to go potty.
Step
6
Treat
Once your German Shepherd puppy is inside his crate, give him a treat and let him settle down. Sit outside the crate for a moment, blocking the door so he cannot get out. Do not close the door just yet.
Step
7
Settle and sleep
Once your German Shepherd begins to settle down and sleep, close the door and step away. For these first few times in the crate, try to stay close by so you are around when your puppy wakes.
Step
8
Waking
Once your German Shepherd wakes, he will probably cry. Take him out of the crate and outside to go potty as quickly as you can.
Step
9
Repeat and practice
You will need to put your German Shepherd puppy in his crate each time he is sleepy so he can get used to sleeping in the crate. Start putting him in the crate for night time sleep as well the same night you introduce the crate.
Step
10
Rewards
Give your puppy rewards for staying in the crate and for getting in the crate. Once he wakes, you might want to hold off on treating him until he goes potty to avoid becoming distracted and risking an indoor accident.
Recommend training method?

The Nighttime Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Dinner and play
Be sure to give your German Shepherd dinner and playtime before bed. You might want to feed your puppy at least three hours before he is to go to bed in the crate for the night. Play with your German Shepherd to exert any excess energy he has. He’s a puppy, so he has quite a bit of energy.
Step
2
Potty first
Take your German Shepherd puppy outside to go potty. Give him a treat once he’s done going potty. If he still has a bit of energy to get out, play with him a bit. He should be tired once you put him in the crate.
Step
3
Crate
Get your German Shepherd’s crate ready with soft bedding and a toy rope or other quiet chew toy.
Step
4
Place in crate
Place your German Shepherd puppy inside the crate and give him a treat. Close the door.
Step
5
Whining
Ignore your puppy as he whines. And he will whine. But know he is okay. He is safe. And he will settle down.
Step
6
Potty
The only time you don’t want to ignore your Shepherd puppy’s whining is if he needs to go potty. If you took him out before bedtime, he shouldn’t have to go again right away. If it’s been a few hours, he probably needs to go. This will change as your puppy gets a bit older, but until he’s about eight or nine months old, expect at least one visit to the potty during your sleeping hours.
Step
7
Sleep
Your German Shepherd puppy will eventually go to sleep. He will sleep soundly, and over time, he will see his crate as his personal sleeping space. Giving him this space to sleep at night will increase his sense of security and build trust with you.
Recommend training method?

The Good Night Command Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Introduce crate
Set up your German Shepherd’s crate and introduce it to your puppy. It should have soft, warm bedding and a toy or two for your pup to chew on while falling asleep.
Step
2
Command
Tell your puppy it is time to go to bed. You can give him a command such as 'go night-night' or 'it's time to go good night.' Be sure you say the same words each night as you put your German Shepherd inside his crate.
Step
3
Place in crate
Put your puppy inside his crate. You may need to pat on his bedding and encourage him to walk in, sniff, circle around, and lie down.
Step
4
Treat
Once your pup is inside his crate, give him a treat for obeying, listening and going to bed.
Step
5
Repeat command
Use the command again to tell your German Shepherd puppy good night. This will just condition him to recognize the words and the action of going to bed.
Step
6
Ignore
Your puppy is likely to whine, especially for the first few nights he's in his crate alone. Ignore him. If he has gone potty and he is sleepy, he will go to sleep. He may need to go potty in the middle of the night, however, so be sure to take him out if he wakes after a few hours in the crate.
Step
7
Upon waking
When your German Shepherd wakes up, he's going to need to go potty right away. Be sure to take him out of his crate and take him outside to go potty. Use this opportunity of going potty to give him a treat to reward for sleeping in the crate as well as for going potty outside.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 02/13/2018, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Trey
German Shepherd
11 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Trey
German Shepherd
11 Weeks

We have had this puppy since 7 weeks old and he is still crying all night in his crate. Also he poops in his crate every time we leave the house. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jackie, Work on teaching Trey how to calm himself down and self-entertain. Place him into the crate while you are at home during the day, or early evening if you are gone to work normally, to practice calmness while you can give him feedback. The night before you do this place your puppy's dog food into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the food turns into mush, then add a little bit of peanut butter or treat paste to it, and very loosely stuff a hollow Kong chew toy with it. When it is stuffed, then place the Kong into a bag and put it into the freezer. You can also stuff several Kongs ahead of time to save on time later on, and then just grab one from the freezer as needed. When you place your puppy into the crate while you are at home or gone off, then place a Kong inside with him for him to chew on. Whenever he becomes quiet for at least two seconds, then walk over to him, drop several soft, small treats inside the crate, and then walk away. Start by crating him for ten minutes, and then when he is being quiet for at least a couple of seconds, go over to him, slowly open the crate door, and if he rushes out close it again. Repeat opening and closing the door when he tries to exit, until you can leave the door open and stand a couple of feet away and he will stay inside. When he will do that, then tel him "Okay" in an upbeat tone of voice and encourage him to come out. Make sure that the crate that you are using is just big enough for him to turn around, stand up comfortably, and lay down, but not so big that he can poop or pee in one end and then stand in the opposite end in order to avoid it. If the crate is too large, then he will loose his desire to hold it in there. Also make sure that you have been using a cleaner that contains enzymes to clean up any previous accidents in the crate, and if you have not, then go get one and clean the crate with it to eliminate the smell enough for him not to be able to smell it still. Only the enzymes will break down the smell enough for your puppy not to be able to smell it still and be encouraged to go there again. Also puppies can only hold their bladders for the number of hours that they are in months plus one. So at 11 weeks of age, the maximum amount of time that your puppy can hold his bladder for its three and a half hours during the day. Any longer than that and he will be forced to eliminate in the crate and overtime will loose his natural tendency to hold it in the crate. Make sure that he is pooping outside before you leave him too, especially if he is being fed during the hour prior to being crated because even if he just eliminated outside he will need to poop again within thirty minutes of eating. Many puppies get distracted outside after they pee and do not finish using the bathroom if you do not insist that they go and remind them what to do. Make sure that you do not let him out of the crate while he is still barking. Wait until he stops, even if he only stops for a couple of seconds. When he stops, then calmly praise him and let him out, practicing the door manners that I mentioned above. He is still young, so barking at his age is not unusual for some puppies with certain personalities. Doing the above and giving him more time should help, but if it gets any worse then hire a professional trainer or behaviorist in your area who has experience and success dealing with separation anxiety. He generally needs his confidence build, to be taught self-control, how to self- entertain, and how to calm himself, and it is easier to start working on those things during the day when you are not half awake and frustrated, and then to transfer that training to the night time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Trey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Zeus
Shepherd
3 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Zeus
Shepherd
3 Months

He’s new and we just got our shepherd and we constantly give attention and take outside regularly but he comes inside and poops now we have resorted to kennel and letting out thru day yes we reward and treat him never abuse or strike kennel is the worst for him and us. I could understand but he’s never potties in kennel and stays for hours let him outside then bring him in and don’t kennel bam poops in the foyer

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Dennis, Check out the article that I have linked below. Follow the exact steps for the "Crate Training" method in that article. That method should address whatever his specific issue is. Do not skip any steps or it will be less likely to be effective. Expect him to cry in his crate for the first couple of weeks. Unfortunately it is common. Follow the method, including the steps to get him used to being in a crate and he should adjust. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Zeus's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Apallo
German Shepard husky
11 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Apallo
German Shepard husky
11 Months

We just got him from my son who could not spend time or train right. Well he spent most of his time in his creat . He would destroy his crate. I knew he was board. Any way we have him now and he hates his crate. I don’t blame him. We are trying to train him that it’s ok . We have other dogs that luv their eat there food and sleep in them. How can I help Apollo not hate his lol we are baby steps with him at this point on training very smart dog but stubborn as u know they can be lol

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Audrey, Check out the article that I have linked below to help him like his crate. I suggest using all three methods, but focus on the "Surprise" method the most. Be sure to include the food stuffed Kongs suggested as well. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate If he continues to be destructive in the crate, and especially if he is injuring himself during the process he may have separation anxiety. If so you can do a more intensive separation anxiety protocol involving the crate. That protocol is much more intensive so I typically recommend following the methods from the article that I have linked below first, to see if that will work alone. If he is still destroying the crate, then start by simply working on building his independence, generally build his confidence by adding a lot of structure and predictability into his routine. Things such as making him work for rewards like meals, walks, and pets. Working on "Stay" and "Place," commands while you move away or leave the room, and teaching him to remain inside a crate when the door is open too. Change the routine before you leave so that he does not anticipate alone time and build up his anxiety before you leave - which is harder for him to deescalate from. Be sure to give him something to do in the crate during the day (such as a food stuffed Kong to chew on), and ignoring his crying at night until he eventually learns to go back to sleep. This is the general, more gradual protocol for separation anxiety. It is gentle but can take a very long time. Another protocol involves teaching the dog to cope with their own anxiety by making their current anxious go-to behaviors unpleasant, giving them an opportunity to stop those behaviors long enough to learn something new, then rewarding the correct, calmer behavior instead. This protocol can feel harsh because it involves careful correction, but it tends to work much quicker for many dogs. If you go this route, I suggest hiring a trainer who is very experienced using both positive reinforcement and fair correction; who is extremely knowledgeable in e-collar training, and can follow the protocol listed below, to help you implement the training. Building his independence and structure in his life will still be an important part of this protocol. First, check out this video from SolidK9Training on treating crate anxiety. It will give a brief over-view of treating separation anxiety in a firmer way. This trainer can be a bit abrupt with his teaching style with people but is very experienced working with highly aggressive, anxious, and reactive dogs. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Make sure you are implementing what he teaches there in other areas of Apallo's life too. Second, purchase a remote electronic collar, e-collar, with a wide range of levels. I recommend purchasing E-Collar Technologies Mini Educator for this. If you are not comfortable with an e-collar then you can use a vibration collar (the Mini Educator is also a vibration collar) or unscented air remote controlled air spray collar. DO NOT use a citronella collar, buy the additional unscented air canister if the collar comes with the citronella and make sure that you use the unscented air. (Citronella collars are actually very harsh). Because of your dog's strong reaction, it is unlikely that the vibration or spray collars will work though, so you may end up spending more money by not purchasing an e-collar at first. The Mini Educator has very low levels of stimulation, that can be tailored specifically to your dog. It also has vibration and beep tones that you can try using first, without having to buy additional tools. Next, set up a camera to spy on him. If you have two smart devices, like tablets or smartphones, you can Skype or Facetime them to one another with Lucky's end on mute, so that you can see and hear him but he will not hear you. Video baby monitors, video security monitors with portable ways to view the video, GoPros with the phone Live App, or any other camera that will record and transmit the video to something portable that you can watch outside live will work. Next, put the e-collar on him while he is outside of the crate, standing, and relaxed. To learn how to put the collar on him, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLxB6gYsliI Turn it to it's lowest level and push the stimulation button twice. See if he responds to the collar at all. Look for subtle signs such as turning his head, moving his ears, biting his fur, moving away from where he was, or changing his expression. If he does not respond at all, then go up one level on the collar and when he is standing and relaxed, push the stimulation button again twice. Look for a reaction again. Repeat going up one level at a time and then testing his reaction at that level until he indicates a little bit that he can feel the collar. Here is a video showing how to do this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl3V8vYobM Once you have found the right stimulation level for him and have it correctly fitted on him, have him wear the collar around with it turned off or not being stimulated for several hours. Next, set up your camera to spy on him while he is in the crate. Put him into the crate while he is wearing the collar and leave the room. Spy on him from the other room or outside. Leave however you normally would. As soon as you hear him barking or see him start to try to escape or destroy the crate from the camera, push the stimulation button once. Every time he barks or tries to get out of the crate, stimulate him again. If he does not decrease his barking or escape attempts at least a little bit after being stimulated seven times in a row, then increase the stimulation level by one level. He may not feel the stimulation while excited so might need it just slightly higher. Do not go higher than three more levels on the mini-educator or one level on another collar with less levels right now though because he has not learned what he is supposed to be doing yet. The level you end up using on him on the mini educator collar will probably within the first fifty levels of the one-hundred to one-hundred-and-twenty-five levels, depending on the model you purchase. If it is not, then have a professional evaluate whether you have the correct "working level" for him. If he continues to ignore the collar, then go up one more stimulation level and if that does not work, make sure that the collar is turned on, fitted correctly, and working. After five minutes to ten minutes, as soon as your dog stays quiet and is not trying to escape for five seconds straight, go back inside to the dog. Do not speak to him or pay attention to him for ten minutes while you walk around inside. When he is being calm, then you can let him out of the crate. When you let him out, do it the way Jeff does it in this video below. Opening and closing the door until your dog is not rushing out. You want him to be calm when he comes out of the crate and to stay calm when you get home. That is why you need to ignore him when you get home right away. Also, keep your good byes extremely boring and calm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5GqzeLzysk Continue to put a food stuffed Kong into the crate with him. Once he is less anxious he will likely enjoy it and that will help him to enjoy the crate more. If he does have separation anxiety, then he will probably need his anxious state of mind interrupted first by doing the e-collar training above so that he is open to learning other ways to behave. Once his anxiety is interrupted, he will be more likely to enjoy the food stuffed Kong in the crate to relieve his boredom, instead of being destructive. Practice all of this during the day at first. Once he has learned that e-collar corrections are for barking and escape attempts and is able to calm himself back down during the day, then you can transition the training to night time when he tries to bark then - if you are certain that he does not need to pee at that time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Apallo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Max
german sherpard
6 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Max
german sherpard
6 Weeks

Should I keep him in at night or outside all night in his cage I just got him but his been outside Every day all day before I bought him

Add a comment to Max's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Athos
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Athos
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

Hi my sherperd will yelp when he’s in the crate even after we done play or have in the front porch in the morning for a while when he goes back in the crate he starts to yelps.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hi there! This is likely due to his age and it will subside with a little more time. Usually by 4 months, they become much more secure with their surroundings. But in the mean time, I will give you some tips about crate training. Some of it, you may know already, and some of it may sound remedial. But the key with crate training at a young age, is patience. First off, the crate should be large enough that your pup can stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You don’t want one that’s too big, however, because the cozy size helps create a safe feeling for your dog as they are natural den animals. Also remember that until a dog is around 4 months of age, they can only hold their bladders for 1 hour per month old. So expect roughly 2 hours right now. That is after the last potty break, and no new intake of water. Also, dogs usually have to eliminate their bowels about 20 minutes after eating solid food. Those tips will help you figure out a schedule to begin the crate training. Below are some tips to get started: Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they doesn't associate crating with being left alone. All of these tips can be modified to fit your dynamic. Please let me know if you have additional questions. Thanks for writing in!

Add a comment to Athos's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Nala
Shepsky
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Nala
Shepsky
4 Months

Nala took to her crate to sleep in at night from the minute we brought her home at 9 weeks. The crate is in our bedroom, so she’s never been left alone at night. She went from waking a couple times a night to go potty, to progressing to sleeping through the night within weeks. She’s now 4 months old, had her last shots and we’ve started walking her at least once a day now. It’s turned very hot here in CA, so we’re walking in the morning, not late in the afternoon. We have a large backyard, so we’re playing with her a lot in the afternoon as well. The last few nights it’s been really hard to get her to settle in her crate for the night. We always make sure she’s not fed after 7 or 8, and that she’s gone both pee & poop before bed. We ignore the whining when we initially put her in her crate for the night, and she eventually settles down and goes to sleep. But the last few nights she whines to go out 3 or 4 times. At least one of those times she really does need to pee. But the other times she just wants to go out and play, or lay on the kitchen tile where it’s cooler. Our bedroom is cool at night, but we’re thinking maybe she’s hot in her crate. Any suggestions as to making her more comfortable in there? We have extra tiles from our kitchen we could put in her crate while the weather is hot. But we don’t think it would be a good idea for the long term on her hips & body.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is some information on crate training. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

Add a comment to Nala's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Scout
German Shepherd
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Scout
German Shepherd
8 Weeks

Just want the best way to teach Scout sit stay heal come bedtime and daytime crate. I have one in the bedroom and the other in my office where I work during the day

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ronnie, Down-Stay: https://www.thelabradorsite.com/train-your-labrador-to-lie-down-and-stay/ Heel- Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Come - Reel in method, or one of the other methods at first and Reel In once pup gets better and is ready to practice around more distractions: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Sit - Treat Luring method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-sit Surprise method for crate introducing: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate At night you will need to take potty right before bed, remove all food and water 2 hours before bed, ignore any crying (practicing the surprise method during the day should help pup adjust in less nights, but up to two weeks of some crying at night when you first close the crate door is normal. Ignore it until pup tires out and falls asleep. When pup wakes up after it has been at least 2 hours since they last went potty, take pup potty then, but keep pup on the leash, keep the trip super boring, don't give food then, and return pup to the crate right after, ignoring any crying in the crate again. Repeat this when pup wakes up at night to go potty. Pup will likely wake up a lot the first 3-5 days, but if you keep the trips boring and calm and ignore the crying when pup just wants attention, pup should start to wake less at night. It is still normal for a pup to wake 1-2 times in 10 hours at this age though due to a small bladder, but the goal is to teach pup how to calm themselves and go to sleep more quickly and not wake for attention, so the wake-ups are less, and so that pup will start sleeping through the night sooner as their bladder capacity increases. Keep the crate where you can hear pup wake to go potty at night, or use an audio baby monitor to listen out for pup. You may want to go to bed 1-2 hours early and read quietly with a small light the first 3 nights when the crying is likely to last the longest, to avoid loosing as much sleep since the crying is generally the worst those first three nights. Don't give food at night. Only during daytime practice. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Scout's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
CoCo
German Shepherd
8 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
CoCo
German Shepherd
8 Weeks

How do I get my puppy to go potty? She just lays down outside whenever we go.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! Here is information on potty training, as well as crate training just in case you decide to use a crate to help with potty training. Potty training: Know Your Pup. As you spend time with your puppy, learn your puppy’s love language. Just as some people prefer gifts, touch, or time spent together, puppies can be the same way. Some puppies love praise or pets, while others prefer treats. As you get to know your puppy, consider what reward your puppy loves the most. Create a Daily Schedule. It is best to have a routine for your puppy. A schedule helps them understand when to eat, play, and “go to the bathroom.” Your puppy should go out frequently and the routine should be the same every time. When? Start the day by taking your puppy outside, and repeating based on age and ability. They should also go out after napping, chewing, playing, and within 10 to 15 minutes of eating. Although some puppies can sleep for seven hours, it is important to set an alarm and take your pup out during the night. When you do, don’t make a fuss about it. Quietly take them outside with minimal stimulation and light. Praise them if they go to the bathroom and gently return them to their bed or crate. You don’t want them to get stimulated and ready to play in the middle of the night! As you get to know your puppy, you will become aware of their individual habits. Click here to learn more about house training schedules for puppies. Where? Take your puppy to a specific area to urinate or defecate. Be consistent. You can create an area by using urine-soaked paper or bowel movements to help create an aroma to stimulate your puppy. How? Take your puppy out on a leash so they can focus on the desired activity. This will help prevent them from wandering off to play. Once your puppy is in the selected area, use your verbal cue, such as “Hurry Up,” “Poopies,” “Go tinkle,” or any phrase your puppy responds to. What? Know the signs that your puppy has to go to the bathroom. Every animal may have a different “I gotta go” gesture, which often include restlessness, sniffing around, circling, scratching at the door, barking, and, eventually, squatting. At the first sign that your pup has to go, calmly and quickly take them outside to their bathroom spot. Deal with Accidents. Accidents are a normal part of house training a puppy. What to Do If you see your puppy in the process of urinating or defecating inappropriately, calmly and quickly interrupt them in the act. Tell them to stop (either by a jarring sound or command), and immediately take them to an appropriate location for elimination. After your puppy goes to the bathroom, lavishly praise them and offer a treat. Thoroughly clean up accidents, so your puppy is not attracted to this area again. Create a consistent feeding and watering schedule. Depending on the age of your puppy, they will eat three to four times a day. A consistent feeding routine can create a regular bathroom schedule. Take away water about 2 hours before bedtime. Learn more about ideal dog schedules here. What NOT to Do Don’t punish your puppy when they have an accident. At that point, it is too late. When a puppy has an accident in the house and they walk away, within seconds they have already forgotten about what they did. Taking them to the scene of the crime and yelling and/or rubbing their nose in it does not help and, in fact, can harm your puppy! Supervise. The best thing you can do is to prevent accidents and the best way to do this is to supervise your puppy at all times. You can tether your puppy to your waist with a five or six-foot leash and carefully observe them for signs that they need to go to the bathroom. If you can’t supervise, then crate or confine your puppy. The more accidents your puppy has in the house, the more confusing it will be for them and this can delay house training. Reward, Reward, Reward. It is important to give your puppy a reward for their good behavior. This can be for commands such as sitting and coming to you, or for appropriately eliminating outside. In a puppy, a reward can be a couple kibbles of puppy food or a treat, such as a small piece of meat. The treat should be exciting for them and only available as a result of good behavior. Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training: The crate should always be associated with something pleasant and training should take place in a series of small steps. Don't go too fast. Step 1: Introduce your dog to the crate Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at their leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them: Bring them over to the crate and talk to them in a happy tone of voice. Make sure the crate door is open and secured so that it won't hit your dog and frighten them. Encourage your dog to enter the crate by dropping some small food treats nearby, then just inside the door, and finally, all the way inside the crate. If they refuse to go all the way in at first, that's OK; don't force them to enter. Continue tossing treats into the crate until your dog will walk calmly all the way into the crate to get the food. If they aren’t interested in treats, try tossing a favorite toy in the crate. This step may take a few minutes or as long as several days. Step 2: Feed your dog meals in the crate After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding them their regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate. If your dog is readily entering the crate when you begin Step 2, place the food dish all the way at the back of the crate. If they remain reluctant to enter, put the dish only as far inside as they will readily go without becoming fearful or anxious. Each time you feed them, place the dish a little further back in the crate. Once your dog is standing comfortably in the crate to eat their meal, you can close the door while they’re eating. The first time you do this, open the door as soon as they finish their meal. With each successive feeding, leave the door closed a few minutes longer, until they’re staying in the crate for 10 minutes or so after eating. If they begin to whine to be let out, you may have increased the length of time too quickly. Next time, try leaving them in the crate for a shorter time period. If they do whine or cry in the crate, don’t let them out until they stop. Otherwise, they'll learn that the way to get out of the crate is to whine, so they'll keep doing it. Step 3: Practice with longer crating periods After your dog is eating their regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine them there for short time periods while you're home. Call them over to the crate and give them a treat. Give them a command to enter, such as "crate." Encourage them by pointing to the inside of the crate with a treat in your hand. After your dog enters the crate, praise them, give them the treat and close the door. Sit quietly near the crate for five to 10 minutes and then go into another room for a few minutes. Return, sit quietly again for a short time and then let them out. Repeat this process several times a day, gradually increasing the length of time you leave them in the crate and the length of time you're out of sight. Once your dog will stay quietly in the crate for about 30 minutes with you mostly out of sight, you can begin leaving them crated when you're gone for short time periods and/or letting them sleep there at night. This may take several days or weeks. Step 4, Part A: Crate your dog when you leave After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving them crated for short periods when you leave the house. Put them in the crate using your regular command and a treat. You might also want to leave them with a few safe toys in the crate. Vary the moment during your "getting ready to leave" routine that you put your dog in the crate. Although they shouldn't be crated for a long time before you leave, you can crate them anywhere from five to 20 minutes prior to leaving. Don't make your departures emotional and prolonged—they should be matter-of-fact. Praise your dog briefly, give them a treat for entering the crate and then leave quietly. When you return home, don't reward your dog for excited behavior by responding to them in an enthusiastic way. Keep arrivals low-key to avoid increasing their anxiety over when you will return. Continue to crate your dog for short periods from time to time when you're home so they don't associate crating with being left alone. Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when they whine to be let outside. Older dogs should also initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation. Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with the crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Potential problems Whining: If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether they’re whining to be let out of the crate, or whether they need to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from their crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, they'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at them or pounding on the crate will only make things worse. If the whining continues after you've ignored them for several minutes, use the phrase they associate with going outside to eliminate. If they respond and become excited, take them outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore them until they stop whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what they want. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again. Separation anxiety: Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but they may get injured in an attempt to escape. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counterconditioning and desensitization procedures.

Add a comment to CoCo's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Dallas
German Shepherd
2 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Dallas
German Shepherd
2 Months

Crate sleeping. He is crying and howling for hours. Help

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
830 Dog owners recommended

Hello Kerin, At 8 weeks of age I am guessing that you recently brought pup home? If that's the case, then know that what you are experiencing is completely normal. Pup is getting used to sleeping alone and that's an adjustment. Usually the first five days are the worst. It typically takes about two weeks for most pups to adjust completely; however, you can help that adjustment be as smooth as possible by doing the following. 1. When pup cries but doesn't have to go potty (like after you return them to the crate when they just went potty outside) be consistent about ignoring the crying until they go back to sleep. The more consistent you are the quicker the overall process tends to take even if it's hard to do for the first couple weeks. Some pups are very persistent and do cry for hours on and off the first three nights especially. You are not alone in this but almost all improve soon if you can stay consistent early on. 2. When pup does truly need to go potty (when it's been at least 2 hours since pup last peed), take pup to go potty outside on a leash to keep pup focused and things calmer. Don't give treats, food, play, or much attention during these trips - boring and sleepy is the goal, then right back to bed after. This helps pup learn to only wake when they truly need to go potty and be able to put themselves back to sleep - helping them start sleeping longer stretches sooner and not ask to go out unless they actually need to potty. Pup will generally need 1-2 potty trips at night even after trained for a couple months though due to a small bladder. 3. Wait until pup asks to go potty by crying in the crate at night before you take them - opposed to setting an alarm clock, unless pup is having accidents in the crate and not asking to go out. This gives pup the chance to learn to start falling back to sleep when they wake in light sleep if they don't really need to go potty, instead of being woken up all the way when they could have held it a bit longer. 4. Practice the Surprise method from the article I have linked below to help pup get used to crate time during the day too - so that there is less crying at night due to pup adjusting to being alone more quickly during the day. Surprise method - only give treats during daytime practice, not at night though: https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

Add a comment to Dallas's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Question
Bailey
German Shepherd
12 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Bailey
German Shepherd
12 Weeks

I don’t have a challenge. I was getting up during the middle of the night at least to let her go out to potty and then putting her back in her crate for the rest of the night. She started just sitting in the grass and not going potty, so I decided to test her all night, for the last week she goes to bed at 9ish and I don’t hear a sound from her all night until I let her out at 5:15am. If she is doing fine should I worry it’s too long for her to be in her crate that long for her all night sleeping? She seems just fine!

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! It sounds like you are doing everything right! Usually by around 4 months of age, dogs can go an entire 8 hours at night without needing a potty break. You must have an early bloomer!

Add a comment to Bailey's experience

Was this experience helpful?

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd