If you have been doing any research at all regarding crate training your Weimaraner puppy, you can't help but have noticed they have a reputation for separation anxiety. When you look at the fact Weimaraners were bred to be companion and hunting dogs and more specifically, to working closely with their human partners during the hunt.
It is important you understand that dogs are pack animals by nature. It is highly unusual for a dog in the wild to experience much in the way of isolation. In fact, being isolated in the wild leaves a dog open to attack, injury, and death. While this might not happen in your home (at least we hope not!), training your pup to spend time in his crate can be thought of in terms of simply just a part of joining your pack.
You took your annual two weeks' vacation and brought home your Weimaraner puppy. Then you spent the next two weeks getting to know him, fussing over him 24/7. But all good things must come to an end. Time to go back to work. Suddenly, your pup is stuck in an empty void for eight or more hours a day! And then you wonder why he suffers from separation anxiety and is destroying your home one piece of furniture at a time.
Your job is to train your pup to spend the time you are at work in a crate where he is safely out of harm's way. Once your pup has learned to stay in his crate, your house will breathe a sigh of relief. The essence of training your pup to spend time in his crate is to help him understand that it is his "den" or "safe place" and one that is all his own. Once he figures this out, you are just as likely to find him napping or simply hanging out there.
It all starts with buying the right size crate for your pup. Since Weimaraners grow to be relatively large dogs, you should start with a smaller crate and work your way up to the one your pup will use when he has reached full adult size. A crate needs to provide room to stand up, turn around, and stretch out. Having a little room to move around is also good, but not too big, your pup may see it as big enough he can pee in one corner.
Be sure to make his crate as comfy as possible; carpet the floor, put a nice big bed in it, a few new toys, even a blanket. The more enticing you make it, the more likely your pup is to adapt to it in a shorter period of time. As always, have plenty of treats on hand, along with an ample supply of patience and time.
I've made a huge mistake :( I didn't crate train my dog from the moment I got him home. Reason was, I had a puppy nanny! Now she tells me that there has been other dogs at her property... I can't let Stanley go there now, his not had second lot of immunisation injections. My neighbour is home during the day and is coming over three times a day to play with Stanley, Sue told me about the wonders of crate training. I'm scared I don't have enough time to train him as I have to go back Monday.
Please help me with advise.
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Hello Claire, It's never too late to crate train a puppy. There will probably be more crying involved but you can jump into it immediately. Every weekend and whenever you are home, practice the steps from the methods from the article that I have linked below, especially the "Surprise" method. This will help him get used to it faster if you are proactive when you are home, even if you have to jump right in when you are away. https://wagwalking.com/training/like-a-crate Sunday early evening or afternoon fill a large bowl with your puppies full breakfast amount and cover the food completely with water, let it sit out for a few hours until the food gets mushy. Mix a tablespoon or two of peanut butter, soft cheese, or liver paste into the food mush. Very loosely stuff several large classic hollow Kong toys with the mush, and then freeze them overnight. When you put Stanley in the crate the next morning, put one or two of the Kongs in the crate with him and also sprinkle several small treats or pieces of dog food inside of the crate. He will likely cry for a while the first few days that he is in there, but he should learn that he is safe in there and to enjoy the stuffed Kong and treats within a couple of weeks. Make sure the Kong is not stuffed tightly and you can also smear some more peanut butter on the opening to encourage him to eat it. When your sitter comes by, every time that she puts him back into the crate, have her give him another Kong and sprinkle more treats. She can leave the previous Kongs if they are not completely empty yet. At the end of the day, help him get any remaining food out of the Kong if he hasn't done it himself. This method involves more crying than easing into crate training but typically within two weeks a puppy will still adapt to the crate and also learn to relax if you sprinkle treats inside and leave stuffed Kongs for them to work on whenever you put them inside. Stanley is not too old to learn this. He should adapt. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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