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Help- bedtime problems

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Meg Llewelyn, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. Meg Llewelyn

    Meg Llewelyn PetForums Newbie

    Apr 29, 2019
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    Hi- could really use some advice. Got our beautiful 13 week old pup on Friday and having huge issues with separation and being in crate at night. He was crated at the breeders and went down fine first night but now having awful trouble. Last night he was throwing himself around the crate so much he tipped it and we had to tape the decision not to leave him in there for his own safety. Have tried with crate in our bedroom (even worse) and also with him being in the kitchen with the baby gate separating him from us in the living room but he was throwing himself at the gate trying to get over it again was dangerous. This went on for 4 hours and We ended up having to have him in our bedroom (tried to keep him on a bed on the floor but up woke up with him in bed which we would never do normally but he was so distressed and going to hurt himself we didn’t know what to do.) gong to work on crate training today but dreading this eve- how do we tackle bed time and where’s best for him to sleep? Thanks so much
  2. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
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    You may find he has become so stressed in the crate that he never accepts it. And from your description I suspect it will take much more than a day to make him feel ok about it, if he ever does. I think at this stage I would ditch the crate, have his bed in your room and if you don't want him in your bed, calmly remove him back to his in the night.

    During the day though you might try working on teaching him to be more independent. Get him used to you walking out of the room then immediately back in again, preferably when he is occupied with something like a Kong. Try to make no fuss, you don't want to prepare him into thinking "oh no this means they are going out" - the aim is for him to barely register you coming and going - ideally for him to have a 'oh, you're back, I didn't notice you leave' reaction. Crucially, return BEFORE he gets anxious. Very, very gradually build up time. This will be hard work but put the work in now and it will pay off later. If he gets distressed though you have gone too fast, and created anxiety and that is not what you want. Stair gates are also useful to allow him to see you pottering about in another room, but without being glued to your feet.

    You can also reward independent behaviour - praise when your dog is not actively engaged with you, which is actually quite hard to remember to do because we sort of don't notice when it happens!

    There are other things you can do like picking up keys and putting on outdoor clothes then not actually going out, to desensitise him to the triggers that signal you leaving.

    An Adaptil diffuser releases calming hormones in the house and might also help.
    niamh123 and lullabydream like this.
  3. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

    Jan 5, 2013
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    I’d forget the crate altogether for now and just concentrate on getting him settled and happy in his new home tbh.

    He’s just left mum, siblings and everything he knows so being alone is simply too much for him to cope with imo.

    I’d have him sleep with me and give him lots of cuddles and comfort so he settles and only then start to very gradually teach him to be happy alone, starting with a few seconds and building on positive experiences.

    He will naturally become more confident and independent as he grows and fits into his new life/home.

    As he starts with general training you can slowly change his sleeping place/habits without him stressing out as before.
    #3 Lurcherlad, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2019
  4. DanWalkersmum

    DanWalkersmum watching the world go by

    Mar 21, 2019
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    Agree totally! He must be feeling so stressed with a new home and needs to feel secure so when you have sorted that (it takes time) then you can work on the crate etc. I admit we gave up and had our boy in bed with us so we could all sleep, I wanted him to feel safe and now he chooses to sleep on the floor by the bed - no problem for me as long as he is happy and calm. I think personally you can take things a bit slower and you will have a happier more contented dog and owner - but then again I am a novice :Sorry;)
    Lurcherlad likes this.
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