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Thread: Intro and Crate Training Question - Long

  1. #1

    Smile Intro and Crate Training Question - Long

    Hi there, my name is Cathy. Thanks for a great, informative forum.

    I have a couple of 9 week old rottie x pups (litter mates, rescue girls). I've had them for about a week now and finding crate training is not going as well as expected. It is really important to get the crate training happening, for house-training, because the dogs are going to be inside/outside dogs and because we will need to resume our ordinary going in and out in a couple of weeks. I have built a sturdy puppy enclosure with a large kennel in it, so the dogs can stay outside when we are out, but I have to do this slowly as they tend to cry and howl when we are not around and they are really loud for little girls. I don't want to trigger angry neighbours, although over the years we have lived here, the other neighbours' dogs have been way noisier. I'd just hate to be one of those awful, feral doggy neighbours, lol.

    We also have a three month old standard poodle pup, who is already crate trained and I crate trained our toy poodle with no real hassles (she is five now, btw).

    Basically, the two pups have a shared crate, with enough room to lay out, but theoretically small enough that they don't mess. In my experience, the two poodles only mess if they have an upset tummy and make every effort to let me know they need to go to the toilet first. The five year old doesn't need crating anymore and the poodle pup has 90% of the idea of house - training in the month we have owned him.

    Soooo...... why after a week, are the rottie pups still crying at night and pooping at least twice through the night?? Aghh!!! I have found putting their crate in the garage where it is dark and quiet reduces their crying - I know not to go to them when crying, but have woken to very pooey pups, bedding and crate about four times now. It's hard not to go and check them and let them out to the loo when I know they are probably going to mess in the crate. They seem to be okay with the crate - during the day, they are open and inside and all three pups use them voluntarily as beds (so does the cat, lol).

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated - I know it sounds a bit insane to have three pups, but other than the night time stuff, things are good. Had dogs all my life and I am very disciplined with it all.

    Oh, and the pups are under vet care - they were checked last week and due for their next check tomorrow.I'll ask him what he thinks too. Diet has stayed the same as well, so can't think of anything from that side. Previous to us, they lived outside with their three other litter mates with access to a kennel.

    They were abandoned in bushland and have had a rough start but are happy, well-adjusted pups now, that get on well with my other dogs and my kids.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I didn't expect my puppy to last the whole night until she was about 12 weeks. You may be rushing things. I'd be making sure I got something before I let them in to bed at night, and I'd be doing this around 10:30pm and wait as long as it takes for 1 & 2. I would not feed after 6:30pm but if they're not lasting all night, you might need to make that earlier. And I used to set the alarm for about 3am - because that's when my puppy would be ready to go again - and out we'd go and no coming back in until she was done. She was a puppy over summer so it was a lot nicer weather for this.

    And she slept in a box next to my bed with a lead that ran under me and attached to the bed so if she decided she needed to get up, she would wake me up anyway, and then we'd do our pee-poop routine.

    Rotties are big sooks so you're going to have to desensitise them to being apart from you.

    One method for desensitise - you get your coat and keys go out the door, you come back in, put everything back - repeat ten times. then gradually build up the time you go out for. Take the car out round the corner, walk back. Forget stuff, a lot. Ignore - no eye contact or talking to the dogs before you go out or for five minutes after you return or if you come back for something you've "forgotten".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Would the pups feel more comfortable in your bedroom in the crate?

    I like to put newspaper down at the front of the crate and if I hear their feet on it and a reasonable amount of time has passed I can take them out to toilet.

    Or another suggestion is would they be better in individual crates. As it may just be one pup that cannot hold on. Push crates together and cover with a blanket.

    Feed them earlier and crate them later. While I find big breed pups much easier to toilet train than small pups you have to remember that they also eat a fair amount and may need a longer period of time before bed.

    If they have a safe secure place outside with a kennel etc I'd probably put them out in that of a night but assume you have reasons to do otherwise.

    Take them to the toilet before bed. Is what they are eating agreeing with them.

    These are the things that come to mind straight away other than riding it out and cleaning things up in the morning.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010


    Hi and welcome Cathy!

  5. #5

    Default thanks

    Hi again and thanks so much to the quick replies - I am coming up to another night and really grateful for the input.

    First - I am glad that you have said to take them out to the loo during the night - I had read on a few places that you had to let puppies cry it out and that they could hold on, but what you guys have said makes absolute sense and I did initially take them out once at night and they seemed to settle okay afterwards - I have no problem freezing my tootsies off if they need to go.

    I am also quite okay with them being in a crate near my bed if need be, it's just that they were crying a lot and I thought being near me was making them worse - it seems like it was more likely to be a toilet issue, so I will try them in my room tonight again. They had been putting themselves in their crate next to the older puppy in the living room about 8.30pm, because he does, but this might be too early for them. They can stay up/go to the loo at my bedtime, around 10.30pm. I get up about 7-7.30am to let them all out to the loo again.

    Also, will definately feed them earlier in the evening and make sure they stay outside long enough to empty!

    They are still getting used to being outside during the day - they are now playing and roaming around with the older poodle pup, but when it occurs to them to come back to the door, they are pretty insistent with whining, so today I put a baby gate across the back door so they could still see, smell and hear us, but used a water spray and said 'no' if they whined. This seemed to work well - not that I got that much done, while trying to time the spray exactly, lol. When they were quiet for a while, I let them in for a sleep.

    As for food - they were being fed Hills Science Diet puppy biscuits and I continued that, adding a small amount of beef mince. I have been introducing another dry food at miniscule amounts, as SD is so expensive and they are big eaters and while they did get runny for a few days, they seem okay now. I gave them probiotic powder for a couple of days to help their tummies as well. I can't say I am thrilled with the other biscuit mix (it's Purina Bonnie and doesn't agree with the poodle puppy at all, so he is not getting any) - I am very open to ideas on a decent quality, affordable dry food. My two adult dogs get Beneful, which is medium range, but it agrees with them, plus the raw beef or chicken mince. They all get raw meaty bones too. I haven't given the rottie pups any scraps or treats, etc.

    Well, thanks again for your prompt replies and welcome. I will also try the going out and coming in again desensitisation exercise. I didn't know rotties were big sooks until now - but they are very keen on being with us and the other dogs, come to think of it. Eventually, I am aiming for the dogs - except my grumpy toy poodle - to be outside during the day if we are out and in and out when we are home, then sleep inside at night. We have a big, concrete floored shed which I can put the dogs' beds in and they have plenty of room in the yard - I can even move the puppy yard to adjoin the shed so the dogs can be away when we have visitors who aren't doggy. I just don't want to push things with whining puppies with the neighbours, so I want to get this right. Also, I am recently seperated from my husband and the kids and I are in the family home - he is not a pet person and I want to keep everything ship-shape so there is no reason for conflict.

    Will let you know how we go tonight with bed-times, lol.

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Now that you've said what times they were going to bed then yes it is far too long for young pups to hold on, even with adults you would be pushing it.

    So I think leaving their crate in the living room next to the older pup is a good idea but get them up to toilet before you go to bed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Hawkesbury, NSW


    I'll leave the crate-training tips to those who have more experience than I do, however with regards to the neighbours my suggestion is to approach them (hopefully you get on okay with them), let them know about the pups and what you are doing. Ask them to bear with you as you are trying to stop them whining etc, and when you go back to work would they mind if you popped over every now and then to get some feedback on whether the pups are noisy. Also tell them to let you know immediately if there is a problem, as then you can work to remedy the problem.

    You will be amazed at just how much slack the neighbours will give you if you approach them first - and if there IS a problem make sure you gush your thanks to them! They will think of you as a considerate neighbour, something that seems to be a rarity these days.

    In My Home Dog Minding

  8. #8


    thanks guys, this is useful for me too. I will have to go through all this very soon myself.

  9. #9


    I just wanted to say hang in there with the crying, my Rottie took almost 2 weeks to stop crying when I would put her in her pen at night.

  10. #10

    Default puppy crate training update

    Hey there,

    thanks so much for the advice about night crying and crate training for puppies.

    Things are going much better now that I am taking the puppies out to the toilet during the night. No more pooey crate and I have moved the crate into my bedroom.

    I have to confess that I have had them both into bed for cuddles after freezing out in the yard at 1am during their toilet time! Thank goodness we have tiles, as the two younger pups can seem to hold on outside for a whole forty five minutes after eating, then poo the moment they come back inside! Funnily enough, the older pup is perfect with pooing outside and still wees inside if he gets the chance! We are progressing though, at least they all see the older dogs doing the right thing outside........

    The puppies had their first vaccination last night and they are doing well.

    Can't say I'm getting the best sleep right now, but as I type this with eyes hanging out and coffee at hand, I am surrounded by sleeping dogs and a cat. The great dane x bull mastiff on the lounge next to me is snoring - again, lol.

    Thanks again for the advice,


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