If he has had you at home for 5mths and had constant access, then crating him for 3 hours straight off may be too much at first in one go.I have an almost 7 month old Alaskan Malamute. He has been good as gold from the day we brought him home. We crate train him at night and during the day he has only the kitchen to himself, with access to his crate.
Everynight we encourage him into his crate with positve reinforcement using treats. He happily goes in and has been silent all the way through the night up until around 2 weeks ago. He has started wimpering for around 15 minutes after we have put him into his crate and gone upto bed.
I have been off all day for the past 5 months due to leaving university (I was hoping to go back but failed my exams) and now I'm seeking work. So in order to help with when I eventually start work I have been keeping Kodiak in the kitchen for around 3 hours a day while I do my housework/apply for jobs/go shopping etc.
Also over the past 2 days he has begun howling in these 3 hours periods, or when I go upstairs to do laundry etc. Not for the full 3 hours but for around 10 minutes at a time.
I feel that his whimpering when he goes to bed in his crate has been enduced by me around 2 weeks ago. He had a stomache bug and wimpered in his crate to be let out. I went down four times in a night. The first time he had a poop, and the second time he did nothing, and nothing the third or fourth. But I had caved into his wimpering, but hey he was ill and didn't want him soiling his crate.
I researched the breed for around 3 years before myself and my fiance decided to get Kodiak. We know how they can be testing, very inteligent, and dominant. We have plans on getting a female next year (No breeding is going to happen!!) I would hate for Kodie to feel lonely now, which is what it seems to be with such mournful howls and pittiful wimpering? Please could I have some advice?
We will not be ever letting him in our bedroom to sleep. He doesn't sleep on the sofa. We have very strong house rules and he isn't even allowed upstairs (with the help of a baby gate).
It may well be better to start with shorter periods and build them into the routine first. Best time to start the training is after exercise, when they have gotten rid of excess energy, be tired and more content to settle. By weaning him off, starting for shorter periods and then gradually building up the time, likely you will find that he learns to cope better as he goes along that way.
The night time whining that started could be because you have broken the routine when he was ill, and so now wont settle, or part of it could be too that he now has to spend 3 hours a day alone which if he is not used to it is a long time from nothing. He might have even started to get stressed at being left because of the contrast from access to 3 hours is too much of a jump, so it may be better to try the shorter times suggested at first and then build them up so he adjusts and copes better. Often Dog control gates which are taller and more robust then Baby gates to confine them often gets accepted better then solid doors closed on them as they dont feel so isolated too.