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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Was this experience helpful?