Age for crate training

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Rob_103's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-18

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I just got my first Doberman for Valentine’s Day. His name is Bruce and is 6 weeks and 5 days old. I know you should wait until they are 8 weeks old but I have him now. He was weaned off the mother at 5 weeks and has been eating solid food just fine. That was a little background.

I wanted to know what an acceptable age to crate train him is. I read that I shouldn't keep him in for more than 1 hour while he is young but it didn't specify what age to start. I have him going outside to poop and pee every time he wakes up and right after eating he is starting to understand to use the pee pads and when he is out to poop. I tried putting him in the crate but he cries a lot I'm not sure if it’s because he is still too young or just trying to get my attention. Please let me know if it’s ok to start now and what would be a good way to approach it. Thank.

Last note my wife is staying at home with my son and him so he will never be alone. I understand a puppy as demanding needs, like a newborn baby.

-Rob

Wolfgirl_121's picture
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crate training can be started the night you bring him home... just leave him in there overnight in your room (that way he can still hear/smell you) and take him outside FIRST thing when you wake up. NEVER use the crate as punishment. After about 10 minutes of crying, he will settle down and sleep. This way, as he gets older, you will be able to put him in the crate when you go out, and he will just sleep, cuz thats his "bed".

HarleyBear's picture
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To be honest, we got Harley at 5 weeks.  Long story, he is a rescue of sorts and I did NOT pull him from his mother that young.  Anyway, he was an infant.  So small and too young and cold to be away from his mother and siblings (8 weeks is the legal age in California, no matter what the "breeder" thinks).  

Anyway,  I stayed with him on the floor till he was about 8 weeks and then I started enforcing the crate.  Puppies that young can get hypothermia pretty easily and he really was a baby.  Wolfgirl is right, they can start at any age.  Put him in there when you are at home during the day, not just when you are leaving or night time.  Start working small increments of time.  It is also helpful to provide them with a frozen baby kong with peanut butter.  That normally settles them. Don't give in to him crying to get out.  

Rob_103's picture
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Thank you for the help. I have another question, you said throughout the night put him in his kennel. I tried doing that and he cries pretty hard. Last night I put him in the crate and had the door open all night I had a pee pad outside the door and I had the area blocked off with boxes. He would come out of the create throughout the night and pee on the pad then would go back in and sleep. My concern is if I'm allowing him to learn bad habits by doing this.

-Thanks Rob

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I posted on the other thread with this title :((

HarleyBear's picture
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Personally, I don't like pee pads because I rather not teach that peeing inside is ever acceptable.  But it works for some people.  

Are you feeding on a schedule?  If you are, you should be picking up on the time he has to go, it should work like clockwork.  We always pottied right before bed.  When he was really little, then we would do one potty break in the middle of the night.  Then again first thing in the morning. 

KevinK's picture
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I would start right away, personally.  If you haven't, I would also start researching how to socialize dogs that left this early, because they tend to need alot of extra soclalization.  I would also look at ways to help stop separation anxiety in case you have that issue.

 

I also don't like pee pads, I would prefer to suck it up for a few weeks, wake up at night and take the dog out.  Sucks, but it's not teaching the dog it's ok to pee in the house.

Kar-jinx's picture
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Long ago when I had a pup that cried in the crate, we put an old wind up clock just outside or on top of the crate to soothe her, and then we wrapped a hot water bottle in a towel with warm tap water for her to cuddle up to.  It seemed to work well in getting her to sleep.  I don't remember when we stopped doing that or if we gradually took those items away. Our vet recommended this ticking to simulate the mom or sibling's heart beat, and the warmth of the hot water bottle for puppy and mommy body heat.  We also used hot water bottles to transport puppies to the vet in cold weather inside a clean recycle box.  It kept them warm and was easy to carry.  Be careful not to get the water too hot.

I agree with the other posters above, don't let the puppy pee in the house.  If the pup learns it's okay sometimes, then you only have yourself to blame when the dog pees in the house when it's older.  I think it's too confusing for a dog.  Also when the dog is full grown, he or she will have a hard time hitting those small pee pads.  They only have puppy size as far as I've seen.