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Sigh...Crate training is not getting better.

Discussion in 'Doberman Puppies' started by MelonJ, Aug 16, 2019.

  1. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    Hey all, so we’re 2 weeks in to doberpup ownership and things have been going so well (after the initial ear freakouts) except in ONE area. Although I am definitely not new to crate training, it seems like we’re failing at this part big time! Ive had three (shepherd mixes and a dobie-lab x) pups in my life and have never NOT been able to quell the initial whining in the crate. Ive tried positive association (he’s less food motivated and more human interaction motivated aka more velcro than any dog I’ve owned), ignoring him and avoiding eye contact until he’s silent, verbally interrupting the behavior (ah-ah! Or SHHH!), simple praising when quiet, marking and correcting the behavior when egregious (growl barking or screaming) by tapping the crate or taking his metal food bowl and tapping that loudly on the crate (similar to vocal interruption), but none of these tools in my arsenal seem to be working. He’s essentially demand barking every time we walk by, and its getting worse. He’s now found his barking and howling voice. And he will go on and on until he’s tired out and falls asleep then wakes up and continues. He definitely does not have to pee or poop either. I’d love to play with him more but sometimes the incessant scream barking goes on for so long it takes up play time. Ans I am a huge proponent of NILIF when it comes to puppy/dog training/ownership. Im kinda at a loss bc its almost as if we WERE doing everything wrong and giving him all the attention and letting him out when he does this behavior.

    He does NOT do this when we leave the room, nor when we leave the house, which indicates to me that its not separation anxiety, just extreme demands for attention. And he obviously doesn’t hate his crate bc he has no problem going in there and plopping down for a nap when he wants to, as evidenced below. This guy is throwing me for a loop bc he is so well behaved out of the crate, but when put in there bc I cant keep my eyes on him and/or need to go about my business (Im a SAHM who homeschools), he’s a complete booger monster. It’s getting very difficult to keep my cool. :pullhair: Send haaaaallllp! :weird:


    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  2. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member


    So he'll be closed in the crate whilst you guys go about your daily stuff in the same room/area? Have you tried putting the crate out-of-site if you need some alone time?

    Our crates are upstairs in our bedroom so on the rare instance when one or both of the dogs need to go in them while we're still at home (sometimes Rubie needs breaks from parties, when we need to take work phone calls, etc.), we're out of sight even though they can obviously still hear us.

    Perhaps he just doesn't like being able to see you going about your business without him being involved? Maybe a quieter, less trafficked spot where you can close a door? We've even put on 'white noise' sounds for the dogs to kinda muffle what they might be missing :rofl:
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    You must have the patience of a saint if “booger monster” is the worst thing you call him :spit: Your description of the barking is giving me flashbacks :screamcat:

    The best way to tame that psycho puppy is to drain his demon brain before you crate him!

    Something I learned about the white noise, they eventually hear through it. Try soft spa music instead. You need something with varying sounds. Think they hear well now? Just wait till the posts are out:facepalm:
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    @LifeofRubie That was my next idea, but unfortunately, theres really no “out of site” in this tiny house we’re in. And Im constantly in and out of our two bedrooms, kitchen, dining/livingroom and laundry room. My only other option is to see what happens if we were to cover the crate so he couldn't see us, only hear us. But I’d really rather try to find a way to condition him to seeing us without freaking out. I just cant think of any other ways. :(
  5. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    Oh I’ve got other words for him, I’m just used to being in the presence of toddlers LOL!

    And its difficult to drain the brain when its first thing in the morning and youre trying to keep the kids asleep. :( Thankfully we’ve had a white noise machine running for them, but the new howling and barking is piercing as we try to prep for the day.
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  6. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Do you have a feeder/treat ball? I use a soft one that is very quiet. He’s kibble fed right? Give him all his meals out of this. It will help keep him busy and quiet.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    He’s raw fed. Wont touch kibble. He adores chicken hearts, but he will forsake them and let them sit in the crate to start his barking.
    • Wow x 1
  8. My2Girls

    My2Girls Notable member

    How about closing off a safe area? We were able to close off both entrances to our kitchen and she was fine in there with us walking around. We actually used a crate at one of the entrances and then when we went out it was the crate she was put in. we also had a 2nd crate for sleeping in the bedroom.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    I’ll have to figure out how to make that feasible in my home, although Im not quite sure it’ll fix the problem bc I think the biggest issue with him is that he wants to be able to follow me everywhere I go. Thankfully, he’s too afraid to go down the mini hallway to the bedrooms and bathroom, and he’s not allowed in the kitchen bc its so small, he’d be an obstruction. But even if we could section off a part of the home, Im worried he’d still continue his barking and howling bc he can’t tag along. But I’ll see what we can manage! I tried something similar with a tie-back of sorts in the livingroom that gave him a lot more space to move and see me freely and also have a bed and toys to play with, but he kept pulling so hard every time I’d go beyond his reach that he’d start gagging or just start barking and howling again.

    Guys, I’ve never ever been an anxious person, but can I just vent for a moment? Holy cow my anxiety has been through the roof with this new pup and each new problem. Its making me feel so many emotions: frustration, confusion, regret, guilt... I know it’s just a crate issue, now that the ear issues have pretty much passed, but ever since we started off on the wrong foot coming home, I find myself constantly pessimistic about finding the right stride. And I feel like all I’m doing is complaining about the new puppy I’ve waiting 15 years for. I’m so sorry guys. And it’s only been 2 weeks!:facepalm:
    I’ve actually lost 7 lbs bc I havent had much of an appetite when this anxiety hits me. I’m doing everything I can to push through, enjoy the good moments with pup, and make it out the other side without screwing him up. :sorry:
  10. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Stick with it! I know it’s hard, a lot of us have been there and we feel your pain and frustrations but getting him safely in a crate and relaxed is way too valuable to give up on. Be strong, persevere and this struggle will soon pass.
    Vent as much as you want. We are always here for support and guidance.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1
  11. MelonJ

    MelonJ Notable member

    Thank you so much! Im crying almost daily these days bc this feels so isolating. And I’m constantly worried that he wont be the best representation of the breed I can help him be. And my rational self wants to punch me in the face and say “get it together!” I want to prevent separation anxiety so bad that I’m making myself anxious about it!
    Don’t mind me:
    • Empathetic Empathetic x 1
  12. Ddski5

    Ddski5 Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    Keep doing what you are doing. He’s still a pup.

    He sounds like a tough, stubborn asshat that wants moms attention all the time and at his beck and call.

    I would measure it out and only allow when you choose. Be careful not to give in when he is acting out because you are only reinforcing his demands.

    I would make sure mine was silent for at least 5mins before I let him out and praise him when this happens.

    Easier said than done yes....but you make the call not him.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Appreciation Appreciation x 1

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