cannot confine puppy
I have an 8 week old chi/doxie mix, she cried for the first couple days when crated at night, but has now started sleeping well in her crate.
The other problem is she refuses to be confined behind ANY kind of gate, no matter how big a space we provide or what toys we give, she obsessively barks and jumps up at the gate. She ignores toys,food etc and just concentrates on the gate and getting out... and will not be left alone. She wants the run of the house.
I know this is not good as sometimes I need to confine her when something is going on(company,chores) to prevent her being stepped on etc...also when we just need a break from puppy. please help! She needs to have a "playspace" as my house can be chaotic at times and she needs to be safe, this is nothing where she is placed for hours but she won't stand even a minute!!!!!
She's absolutely adorable, and is obviously a very determined little girl!
You've made a great start by ignoring her whining and getting her to accept her crate. A lot of people struggle with that.
But I'm afraid you're going to need to do the same thing, if you want her to accept being confined to a playspace. You're absolutely correct in wanting to get her adjusted to that concept, it's very important for her safety and your peace of mind. Also, getting a puppy used to being separated from you (even if only by a few feet!) prevents the 'velcro puppy' syndrome which sometimes leads to separation anxiety later on.
The only thing you can do is make sure she's in a safe place, has some interesting toys and the gate is REALLY SECURE.... then you're just going to have to harden your hearts (maybe buy some earplugs) and let her get on with it.
Yes, she'll bark, whine, howl, jump, scratch and so on. She may keep it up for hours, especially if she's found this to successfully release her from her 'prison' before. DO NOT get let her out of her playspace while she's crying. If you need to take her for a potty break, or just want to end the session, wait until she's been quiet or gets distracted by a toy, even for a minute or so, before you release her.
If you're patient and stick it out for just a couple of days I'm sure you'll find she'll start to accept it, just as she did the crate. Just remember, you're not being cruel, you're doing this for her own good. Just the way you don't allow children to play in the street - you're trying to protect her. That's your job.
There's one other option you could try, being that she's a small breed puppy. You could try purchasing a baby's play pen or one of the specially designed dog X-pens (usually made from wire panels or molded plastic ones). You could confine her to one of these in the room you're in. She'd probably still not like it, and there's the possibility that being closer to you may make her more agitated, but then again she may feel more 'included' even though she'd be safely contained. It might be worth a try.
You may also want to check out my Dog Separation Anxiety pages for tips and information that may help you to make her feel less stressed when you separate her from you. I'm not suggesting that she has this issue, just that some of the tips may be helpful.
Best of luck!