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10 weeks
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Ultimate Puppy Program

Ultimate Puppy Program

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Comments (13)

  1. Gloria Oh

    Hi Steffi,
    We leave him in his play pen after playing/training and we are doing what you are saying in the video but he can see us the whole time as we live in a one bedder apartment. When he can see us, he literally have no interest in anything else but us. He just sits there watching us and whining. We leave his favourite toy and treats in the pen with him yet he has no interest in that. Toys don’t seem to really gain his interest :(. We are at wits end about leaving him in his pen without his whining when we are home.

    1. Steffi Trott

      How long will he whine for? If you give him a Kong with eg some spray cheese, even non-frozen but just room temperature, will he not eat that when he can see you? Does he eventually settle, or how does he take his naps?

  2. Morgan Mendel

    Hi Steffi – I can get our pup Milo (13 weeks) to stay in his pen with a chew toy / kong but as soon as he is finished he will start to cry or bark. And our main concern is at night. If he stays in the bed with us he is OK the whole night from 11pm – 8am, but in the crate he will fall asleep and then wake up between 2-4 hours later and cry and bark. We have been going down in the middle of the night to let him out for a bathroom break but it feels unnecessary if he can stay in our bed all night without this. Should we simply ignore the cries all night? Or is there a better method to teach him where to sleep?

  3. Zinni

    Hello, my puppy is 15 weeks old, we currently only give him access to the kitchen/dining room area; his crate is also in that space as this is where we spend most of our time as we both work from home. He is on a schedule alternating from approx. 1.5 up (training/playing ) & about 1 hour sleep in his crate with a cover. When he goes in his crate to relax or when asked, he is ok, he does not bark or cry but if I leave the area for a very short time (1 min-5 min) he whines, barks, cries even if my husband stays with him. What can I do?

    1. Steffi Trott

      First of all: Your setup and schedule sounds perfect! Well done 🙂

      I would start by leaving the kitchen and dining room area for even shorter times at first. So if he starts crying when you leave for 1 minute, leave for 10 seconds first, then come back, then leave for 20 seconds, come back, leave for 5 seconds, come back, leave for 30 seconds …
      Ideally you want to find that “sweet spot” at which your puppy is aware that you left but not yet crying and whining (because then it can be difficult to calm down enough to stop again). In the beginning it might be a very short time frame. But over time you can increase it. How is he e.g. when you put away laundry where you are going back and forth over and over?

      1. Zinni

        Thank you for your response, I will try your suggestion. On a side note, he even cries/whines/barks when he sees me going to the other section (living room) for which he cannot access because there is a gate but can still see me.

        1. Steffi Trott

          I would work on leaving and appearing over and over, just go to the other section for a very short time and return, especially when he is already tired such as after a walk and won’t “care so much”. The more you can make leaving and returning just a repetitive, normal aspect of daily life, the easier it will be for him to see you leave and trust that you will return 🙂

  4. Barb

    We are really struggling with our 8 month old Zuchon. We try to leave her in her crate twice a day for a max of 2-4 hours each. She settles down when put in but after we leave, she starts barking and does not stop. We have a cover over the top. We play music or the tv. She has a toy, Yak chew, or Kong in her crate. She will not use the Kong or chew sticks until we return and open the crate door. Then, she drags them out and plays with them. Afternoons seem better than mornings. I walk her, play with her, and try to do a short training session before crating her. We have played the crate games. Help, please!

    1. Steffi Trott

      So twice a day for up to 4 hours is too long in my opinion – that would be a total of 8 hours on some days (unless I understood incorrectly). That is a long time for a puppy to be still and probably bored in a crate, and that could contribute to her aversion.
      When you say that she is crying after you leave, can you describe this more? Do you leave the room or the house or …? How does she know you are gone (if you have the cover over the top)?
      When you say she does not stop barking, does she bark for up to the 4 hours straight?

      1. Barb

        Clarification— We do not leave her for 4 hours twice a day. Usually 1 to 2 hours at a time. We try to leave the house once a day so she can can get used to staying alone for times when we have to be gone—errands, doctor appointments, sporting events, etc. The longest we have ever left Maggie is 3 hours per day. I would like to eventually get her up to 4 hours per day in case we have to be away for that long for work, business, etc. We get her settled with a treat before we leave. I watch her on a camera and once she starts barking, she doesn’t settle back down. If possible, we return home at that point. She does not play with toys, chew sticks, Kong’s, etc. in her crate. In the late afternoon, she seems to rest more in the crate and not be as anxious. Today, she was quiet in her crate for 2 hours while we were home. Sometimes she can handle it when we leave and other times not. It is so hard for her to settle down and nap. She always wants to be alert. She does not nap much during day at all—whether in or out of crate. Do you have any suggestions or tips to help with this issue?

        1. Steffi Trott

          Oh, ok that is helpful to know!
          We always want to start at a point at which the dog is already successful. You say “In the late afternoon, she seems to rest more in the crate and not be as anxious.” That’s exactly where I would begin.
          Can you put her into the crate during this late afternoon, and then pretend to be in and out as I show in the video? Leave the room for 30 seconds, come back, 2 minutes, come back, 5 minutes, come back … eventually 20 or 30 minutes? So we can gradually transition her from what she can do right now to what we want her to learn.

  5. Barb

    I am going to back up and try that as much as possible. There are times we have to leave her in the mornings. I had to leave her an hour this morning. I left her with her heartbeat puppy on and she still got agitated. Maggie just does not relax and sleep much during the day.

    1. Steffi Trott

      Yes, she should be definitely taking naps … I am sure you saw the lesson on daily schedule and the awake and sleep times. What does she do after a period of activity? Just keep on running around? Did you try some of the enrichment games? Do you find that one thing makes her more tired than another (eg recall practice more tiring than leash training, enrichment games more tiring than tricks…)?

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