Puppy Problems: Excessive Barking in Crate

Discussion in 'Puppies' started by beccabuckle, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. beccabuckle New Member

    Good morning/afternoon/evening Everyone!

    My boyfriend and I are having some barking issues with our puppy- and yes I know puppies do that :dogtongue2: - but it's becoming really frustating especially for Daniel, who has never had a puppy before.

    I know that we crate her a lot Monday through Friday, and that we need to come up with a "more strict" day to day routine. Such as adding a nice walk, coming up with a proper play and nap time, etc.

    Our main problem right now is that in the evenings we eat dinner fairly late... Like around 9pm and sometimes later... I blame our recent college graduations and new work schedules. In the evenings she is out of her crate and playing/napping from around 5pm to 11pm, and I think the napping is creating the bigger issue. She still wakes up between 6am and 7am to go the bathroom. Our "issue" is that once she's brought back in she starts barking and whining in her crate; we've tried covering the crate and ignoring her, but she's very persistant and we give in when she's quiet to let her out taking turns who goes and plays. We are trying to fix the evening so she stops napping around 9pm; however, we aren't sure if she will go back to sleep in the morning. She had an amazing week last week with sleeping until 7:30 or 8am.

    Along with the barking in the morning she's becoming more nippy and outspoken. She will talk back to us and nothing we've done stops it. Sometimes it's cute and other times it's terrible. I can't even tell who's dominate anymore... Us or her.

    Over all I know that we aren't doing a great job- yet! This week we are trying to figure out a better schedule for her, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips? I realize that this post is very sketchy and maybe a little confusing- sorry about that.

    It's getting earlier and earlier when she gets up and barks!

    Today it was 5:45am, yesterday 6:15am, the day before 6:30am. We don't know what to do! One of isn't getting enough sleep and that's leading to anger issues. I don't know what to do... Who knows what time she'll be up tomorrow. I changed her schedule and added a walk and a no naps after 9pm rule, but it feels like things have gotten worse. We still take her outside when she first barks then when we bring her in and put her in her crate she thinks it's playtime or maybe she's lonely, I don't know. Anyone have any thoughts?

  2. bellapup Well-Known Member

    I just recently got my puppy to conquer her crate whimpering and yelping at night, so I know how extremely frustrating it is. :dogwacko:

    I'm no expert, but I can tell you what I went through.

    From what I've read, puppies shouldn't be left in a crate for more than 4 hours. My puppy Bella did the noisemaking in her crate for almost 2 weeks when she finally realized no one was giving in and she was just going to have to sleep there and she would be played with in the morning. I don't feed her after 5pm, and I don't water her after her last pee (usually around 9pm) and she consistently goes into her crate at 10pm.

    Playing with Bella near bedtime seemed to get her energy level too high so she just gets cuddly petting time near 10pm. If you can't sleep through the whimpering (by the third or fourth night I was so exhausted from the noise I just fell asleep completely through it), get some ear plugs, and just remember if you stay on schedule, she'll quiet down and get used to it.

    Bella now sleeps through the night and for the last week she has not messed in her crate. She whimpers near the morning still but I think it's more because her little bladder needs to be emptied and she's making it known.

    The most important thing is that both you and your boyfriend stay consistent and don't give in. I hope that helps, and good luck! :dogsmile:
  3. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    What methods did you use during her crate-training process? Did you simply teach her to enter it, or did you gradually increase the time she spent there, etc?
    Tell her to enter the crate, and reward her when she does, leaving the door open. Do this several times, then start pushing the door to and immediately opening it to reward her--in the crate. Repeat as many times as necessary, then start leaving the door closed for a few seconds at a time. Gradually increase the time the door is closed, then start ducking around a corner for a few seconds. Again, increase the time you are out of sight. You probably won't be able to go through all of this with complete, perfect success in one night. It will take a while.
    Make sure that you take her out before she goes into the crate for the night. Try to keep a consistent schedule of feeding and letting her outside to use the restroom. If she's vocal because she's bored, put a few toys in the crate. If she's vocal because she's lonely, you can put an old t-shirt of yours and perhaps a stuffed toy(if she won't destroy it) in the crate. Try to allow her to stay out of the crate anytime you are home, with the exception of bedtime. You might try a good massage before crating her for bedtime. Never use the crate as a place of punishment. The crate should be a happy place for her to be, a place where she can relax. If you use the crate as a place of punishment, then she will never feel comfortable in it.
    Hope this helps you. :dogsmile: How old is she, and how long have you had her?
  4. beccabuckle New Member

    We encouraged her to go into her crate. And she'll go in there at night with no complaints at night. I think she might be lonely in the mornings but we've both put old t-shirts in with her and her favorite toys, but she will still cry in the morning. And when we leave she's wonderful going into her crate until she hears us leave- thankfully the guy who lives above us understands and can't actually hear her.

    When we first got her she would fall asleep on our laps or around us and we would set her in her crate. She would wake up, look at us and rollover. We've been debating on whether or not to move her out of the bedroom, but I want to wait until she's a bit older. She'll be four months old Sunday. ^___^ She lost her first two teeth the other day! We found one- it's so tiny I don't know how we managed to find it! We've had her for 8 weeks now. She does really well.

    I know that we keep her crated far too long, but we've been changing things and now she gets a nice walk in the evening. She goes potty right before bed and right before work too. It's just the morning wake ups that really bother us.
  5. beccabuckle New Member

    She does well enough it's just in the mornings where our problems are. Ignoring her isn't an option because she barks and it's a fairly high pitched bark. We're worried it will wake the neighbors. We do ignore her when she's just whining and when she barks two times we put the towel down as if to say now you get to see nothing, but nothing's working. This morning when she was quite I tried to give her a treat but after thirty minutes it was gone she started barking again.
  6. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Hmm. Other than what I've already suggested, never let her out when she's vocal. You could try crating her randomly(for a very short period of time), wandering off through the house and then returning, letting her out(if she's quiet), and praising her. Doing this several times over a period of time should help her understand that she only gets to be with you out of the crate if she's quiet. If she whines/barks, completely ignore her. No towel, no "quiet" commands, nothing. Don't do it at the normal times that she is crated(nighttime, when you're at work, etc). Do it in the middle of the day or sometime that she isn't used to being crated, and don't leave her in for long. Just a matter of a minute or so at first. You can increase it eventually. If you do it at a normal time she knows that after a period of time she can protest and get let out.
    Hope that makes sense. Feel like I'm leaving something out. :dogblink:
  7. beccabuckle New Member

    That sounds like a good idea. I think today we will try that. Do you think moving her out of the bedroom will upset her? I'm hoping that once she stops the barking and whining in the morning that we will be able to move her- but I'm worried that it might upset her being away from us. I've heard doxies are a loving breed, but are very vocal when lonely.
  8. squeezy New Member

    IMHO i would say it is an exercise issue. From the sound of your problem, you are not too big of a morning person, but hey! You wanted the dog :-P anyway, when you wake up(should be around 7/6:30, not too late so that your dog is forced to hold it for hours. Pick a time, and stick to it) let the dog go to the bathroom, then, before feeding give it a nice 15 min walk. let the dog sniff, but not get in front of you or too far behind you. This will help your dominance issue along with giving the dog more respect for you and your boyfriend. after the walk feed the dog.

    I recomend HAND FEEDING the dog for the first 10-12 days. This too lets the dog know you are the pack leader and you control if and when it eats. Make the dog sit before giving it to him/her. If your pup doesnt know sit, simply take the food. Let the dog smell it. Bring it slowly up then snout then behind the head and the dog should automatically move to the sit possition. Reward the dog with a light praise and the food.

    So with all of that being said, there are a few more things I would like to add. Don't scream at the dog TOO much. (SAYING BE QUIET! SHUT UP!) while in the crate is giving the dog attention and promoting the barking. Second. Take two more 15 min walks throughout the day. (one before you feed it dinner, and the last before you go to bed). Not right before, because the dog needs a little time to relax and get to sleep, but about 15-20 mins before you are getting ready and completely leaving the dog. No playing or rowdying up the dog within that time.

    If you follow what I say I am absolutely sure that your dog will calm down in its crate. Also make him enjoy his crate, suprise hime with treats put some of his favorite toys and a blanket in there, make it comfortable.
  9. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    The dog is newly crate-trained; vocalization is to be expected. That's not an exercise issue. Barking/whining in the crate can be a variety of things---improper or incomplete crate training, separation anxiety, boredom(your exercise issue), etc. But this is a puppy, new to crate training. Most puppies will go through a period of crying in the crate. They have been taken away from their mother and littermates and are expected to tolerate solitary confinement at night. They are expected to cry, whether they are exercised or not.

    You should never scream at your dog.

    Moving her out of the bedroom is going to disrupt her comfort level, but eventually it may be necessary. If you do not mind her being kept in the bedroom, then you really don't have to move her. If you want to move her, then you may, but expect a bit more vocalization initially. Do not coddle her when she "cries" for your company. Ignore her entirely. Continue with what has already been suggested(if she has been doing well with it). If you do move her, put an old t-shirt of yours in the crate with her so she has some means of comfort that has your scent. Do not expect too much from her. Take your time and allow her to improve at her own pace. =)
  10. lizzyrd Experienced Member

    I would imagine some dogs take longer to get used to being crated and being alone for periods of time. I had the same pushy-ness issues with both my cats and my dog wanting out or to be fed or to get a treat or to play whenever they chose. Just remember that if you continually give in to her demands, she will continue to become more demanding. You need to let her whine a bit so she doesn't think that whining will get her what she wants. If you think she can make it til 6:30, and thats a good time for you, don't let her get you up at 5:45. Make her wait until 6:30. If you think she is unhappy that you didn't give in at 5:45, completely ignore her until 6:30 then give her LOTS of attention and praise. Then she wont feel like she won't get what she needs (attention or going out) but just that she has to wait longer.

    Another idea might be to get her a pet playpen in your bedroom where she gets access to toys and things that she doesn't get access to in her crate. Then after potty in the morning, she goes into the playpen and is expected to entertain herself until you get up and let her out.

    Don't be discouraged! It takes awhile and you're doing fine. :doghappy:

    PS. Mine took 4 mos to completely stop barking in the daytime while I was gone.
  11. snooks Experienced Member

    see the post in the puppies forum titled excessive barking & urinating in crate. rather than retype my replies. :) i have hand/typing issues. there were other good posts there too. my posts based on a wonderful Karen Pryor clicker trainer i love. also help from the site http://www.clickertraining.com/node/237 on barking.

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