11 Week Old Boxer Puppy won't stop crying in crate
We bought our puppy at 7 weeks old and we have been trying to crate train him. We have a wire crate with the divider in it. We originally had him in the crate at night on the first floor (living room) and we are up on the 2nd floor bedroom.
We tried everything from an old t-shirt, toys, a stuffed animal with a heart beat, ticking clock, radio, covering the crate to make it more like a den. He just won't stop crying or barking. I would get up in the middle of the night to bring him outside like 3 or 4 times to pee.
Well as of last week we now tried moving him to our bedroom and we put him in the fiberglass travel crate. We put some toys in there. He is a little more quiet but still cries for about 10 minutes before he goes to bed and than wakes up like every hour and cries and barks. Needless to say my husband is now wearing earplugs to bed!
My husband & I both work. I leave at 8am and put him in the crate in the living room. We have had our mother come at noon to let him out & play with him, and my husband comes home at 3. We have even left it open when we are home & put treats in there, which he will get and we will feed him in there.
On occasion he will lay in there by himself but as soon as you close the door he goes crazy!! He now is getting use to our schedule and knows when I have to leave and runs from me so I don't put him in there. He is 11 weeks now and I don't know what else to do! Please tell me it gets better!
Well, the good news is 'yes, it does get better' (yay!), but the bad news is that some pups are much more stubborn and persistent than others and it may still be a while before your little guy totally accepts being in his crate.
You've done absolutely everything right, so it's mostly a matter of time. Of course when you can't sleep at night, and go to work exhausted, it can seem like a very long tunnel with a very dim light at the end :o(
I do have a couple of suggestions/questions though. Firstly, I wonder if he's getting enough exercise. Boxers are very energetic, playful dogs and need a considerable amount of exercise to stay mentally and physically healthy. As he's spending so much time in his crate, part of his hyped-up, anxious behavior could be due to pent-up energy.
I'd recommend several vigorous play sessions and at least 2 decent length walks every day. If you haven't already started him in Puppy Classes I'd strongly suggest that you do that now. You'll both benefit from them in terms of your bonding and communication, it will give him valuable socialization
experience and will also tire him out. Practicing the obedience commands etc. at home every day will also help with this. You can find out more about choosing an obedience class on my Dog Obedience Schools page.
Secondly, have you considered a 'doggy day care' or something similar, maybe for a day or two every week, so that he doesn't have to spend all day every day in his crate. Having someone let him out at lunchtime, and your husband coming home at 3 are both good, but for an energetic pup, a bit of extra socialization and stimulation would be very beneficial.
Apart from that, it's really just time and patience. Three weeks isn't that long, it just seems that way! He'll get there. Best of luck with him.