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Crate training blues..

Discussion in 'Dogs - small breeds (toy) specific' started by mamacooke, Apr 5, 2004.

  1. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member

    I took some advice and put my 10 week old Shih Tzu in the bathroom with toys, water, etc. instead of the crate. He can't stand it! I wonder if I just spoil him with my attention too much when I'm home ( I don't use the crate if I'm at home unless I'm taking a shower and can't watch him). I've learned that it doesn't matter where I confine him.. If I leave his sight or confine him while I'm in the same room for one minute he gets soooo upset! Is this normal? I constantly have a broken heart and a guilty conscience.

    Every book I read tells me to train him on my schedule and not to let him train me. It's absolutely impossible that I give him free access to my entire apartment (besides, I've heard that's a bad idea anyway). I can't make him happy unless I'm holding him or he is free to follow me everywhere.

    I don't want to cause him any anxiety. Am I overreacting? Will he get use to it soon? Am I giving him too much attention when I'm at home after work to the point that he feels deprived when he can't be around me? Help me!!
  2. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    Hi mamacooke~

    :-# Let's see if I can shed some light on your situation:

    Nope, I don't believe your time and attention to him at home is "spoiling" him. (Unless of course you are at his beck and call every second that you are home...then, maybe. :wink: )

    Sounds like he is suffering from separation anxiety, and many puppies suffer from it to a certain degree. So, yes it is pretty common. (I didn't have to deal with it much only because I have 2, and they would entertain each other while I wasn't there to do it for them! :lol: )The key is not to reinforce the whining by attending to him (going back to him, comforting him with your words, etc.) every time he gets upset. If you do that then you are inadvertently reinforcing him to whine every time you leave his sight, and it WILL get worse if you do that. It sounds cruel, yet isn't, just COMPLETELY ignore his whining/barking/crying/etc. Yes, it most definitely is heartbreaking to hear, but be strong and don't give in...you'll be happy you did!

    One more suggestion, do you give him chews/bones and/or Kongs? Various chews and Kongs are also great in keeping them occupied! :idea:

    Also, if you don't want to confine him to one room while you are home, and it is feasible, you can leash him to you. I couldn't do that since I had 2, and they were much happier in the kitchen together playing anyway, but that is an idea if you want to try it.

    ABSOLUTELY!!! Free access to your entire apartment would be a mistake that you don't want to make. For his safety and for housebreaking purposes, it is best to do as you currently are.

    I'm not going to lie and try and sugar coat it, so yes, he is experiencing some anxiety, but it IS ok. If you give in all the time, and attend to his every whimper, the anxiety he will experience later as a result will be FAR worse!

    He is still very young, and in a completely new "world"...he doesn't have the company of his litter mates anymore, his surroundings have drastically changed, he is now living with complete strangers, so things are tough on him (and you obviously :wink: ) now. But, give it some time, be persistent in not giving in, and things will get better!

    Like I said earlier, no you are not as long you aren't giving in to his every whine. Spending a lot of time with him while you are home is a WONDERFUL thing, and I encourage you to continue doing it. I spend as much time (which is a significant amount of time) as possible with my two pups when I am home! Your pup just feels lonely when you aren't there, and that is perfectly understandable and normal.

    Hope that was of some assistance to you!

    Best of luck, and just remember, this stage doesn't last long!!! :mrgreen:
  3. mamacooke

    mamacooke New Member


    You're my hero! That's exactly what I needed! I do ignore the whining in the morning while I'm getting ready. I'm trying my best to keep him from training me. It's tough though...

    Good news: I just went home for lunch and as I left (with him in the crate) he didn't cry nearly as much. I actually didn't hear anything as I left the building. Oh, I'm so glad! The bad news is the mess I have when I come home. But, that's ok. At least I know he's getting use to it.

    Thank you sooo much!
  4. MyBabyShihPoo

    MyBabyShihPoo New Member

    Well I am glad that helped! :D Sometimes a little bit of encouragement here and there is all we need to keep us sane...especially during the puppy stage! LOL :wink:

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