Advice for dogs!

I’m not getting a dog soon but my BFF just got a puppy and is looking for the dog equivalent of a baby sleep book for dogs. She wants to crate train but they had a few problems the first couple of nights and now the puppy doesn’t want to go back in the crate. Is there a recommended blog or book? I know there’s lots of excellent dog people on here. It’s been a decade since she last had a puppy and they didn’t crate train, so she’s looking for up to date advice and lots of troubleshooting help.

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When our daughter got her pup (Willow) we went through a very steep learning curve - especially because she is part Jack Russell.

Willow sleeps in a crate at night. We didn’t use a specific book or blog that I can recommend (or remember) but I did use dr google a lot!

We used positive reinforcement, putting treats (luckily she is very food motivated) and toys inside the crate, and built up from very short periods of time and starting with the leaving the door open. Crate training only at times when she was calm and happy, so its a positive experience.

Actually Ive just checked and I think the RSPCA victoria website page is pretty good, although we only use the crate overnight.

Sounds like your friend has raised a puppy before and not a newbie like we were, so not sure if this is helpful but we found a great puppy/dog training school locally and found that very useful in many aspects of dog training. Our training school has a FB page with some useful resources: on FB search for Boroondara Dog Training.

All the best to your friend. When Willow was a young puppy having her sleep in a crate overnight was reassuring - knowing she was safe and not going to cause chaos.

ETA: When she first started sleeping overnight in the crate, if she didn’t settle and started grumbling or making a noise we’d go to her and make soothing noises till she calmed down. If the noises sounded like she needed to go outside to do her business we’d take her outside on a lead and let her do whatever then put her back in her crate.

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I’ve never crated a dog, preferring to cosleep with my puppies. :slight_smile:

That said, being nearby is very reassuring to them especially when they’re young. If the crate’s not in the bedroom with the people, it might not be a bad idea to do that to begin with. Remember a new puppy has always slept in a big pile with the rest of her pack.


Yep, I should have said we didn’t start crate training until Willow was 4-5 months old when our daughter moved back home with her, and the crate is in our bedroom and set up with a bed inside and a cover. She quite often decides its bed-time before we do and takes herself off to bed in her crate.

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My dog had terrible crate anxiety when I got him. Shrieking for hours :confused: I started with placing really yummy treats at the opening, then slowly (like days later for each step) moving them into the crate. Once he was comfortable going all the way in without panicking, I started feeding him inside with the door open. Around that point he started going in on his own for naps. He’s a dog that responded really well to clicker training and it definitely sped up the kennel acclimation.

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Thanks folks, this is helping! The puppy has had a bit of crate training already (with mum and sibs), but she got a bit worried and then pooped in it last night so while they’re keen on giving her treats and heaps of reassurance to rebuild confidence/ trust/ pleasant crate associations, she is worried about a treat upsetting the puppy’s tummy and causing more in-crate-poops. Any suggestions for a treat that’s really gentle on a small puppy’s tummy? (She’s a Boston terrier, 8 weeks old). Sounds like a more gentle introduction to being in the crate by herself might help?


At that age and for dogs that are food motivated, simply using pieces of her kibble should work for treats :slight_smile:

8 weeks developmentally can be pretty hard for a puppy to be alone. I agree that building up to being solo in a closed crate isn’t going to hurt :slight_smile:

1 Like has an amazon side bar and FAQs that I highly recommend. Also, Zach George on youtube is a wonderful resource.