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Old 12-18-2006, 08:10 AM   #1
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Default Barking and howling at night

Hello,

We brought home our approx. 4-month-old Patterdale Terrier about a week ago. He was very quiet and timid to start with, but each day he has come out of his shell a little more and he is a lovely-natured, fun, intelligent pup.

The problem we have is that he doesn't like going in his crate. He has taken over the laundry room next to the kitchen, where we have his crate, food and toys. When I leave him during the day, he is shut in the room with the crate open and I have never heard him bark or howl when i leave or return. However, at night we shut him in the crate and he barks and howls immediately. This goes on for at least half an hour and then he is quiet all night.

It's not the noise that bother me so much as worrying that he is unhappy. Last night we tried leaving the crate open but he still barked and whined. Could it be that he doesn't like the dark?

I've started giving him all meals and treats inside the crate with the door open so he'll associate it with nice things.

Should we persist with the crate and he'll get used to it or should we try something else?

Any advice would be gratefully received!

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Old 12-18-2006, 08:28 AM   #2
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Seperation anxiety. Try leaving a radio on softly or a ticking clock beside his crate. This should comfort him and let him know he is not alone.

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Old 12-18-2006, 10:25 AM   #3
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Yes, Doberman's is right!
At four months he is like a small child. He is unhappy about being alone, possibly scared and definitely lonely.
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Old 12-18-2006, 11:27 AM   #4
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Gosh - that was great to get replies so quickly! Thank you.

I leave the radio on when I'm out during the day, so I'll try it at night too. Do you think I should persist with shutting him in the crate so he can distinguish night from day? I would like him to sleep in it as it will make it easier when we start taking him to my in-laws for the weekend. If I leave the door open until he's a bit older so he doesn't panic and feel shut in, will it be easier to train him to sleep in it with the door shut when he's a bit older?

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Old 12-18-2006, 12:03 PM   #5
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My bitch sleeps in same room as me, as don'e since I tried to to get her to sleep in another room the first 2 days of having her...and yes I know all the books say let them get on with it(howling ,crying,barking)but it wasn't a big deal to me where she slept "as long as she did sleep"
But what I'am leading up to is that for the first few Month's even though I was in the room she hated the light to go staight off so I us to switch main light off and put a sidelamp on for a few minute's and she was ok with that would settle and light would go off
I have read some where that some Dogs have a fear of the dark and if I remember correctly it was about a police dog who had gone through alot of it's Training and was doing great until they asked him to go in to a darkened room and the Dog couldn't handle it
Bit long winded just to say some Dogs don't like the dark
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Old 12-18-2006, 03:44 PM   #6
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Right, I've moved a radio into the room and I'll put a nightlight on too AND leave the crate door open.

I'll let you know tomorrow how we got on...

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Old 12-18-2006, 04:09 PM   #7
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OOops I may have replied TOO quickly. It sounds like your hunch may be correct, namely the crate training is not going too well. If he associates the crate with something bad (=alone in the dark) then yes, he is going to be vocal about trying to get you to let him out. I am not an expert on crate training so perhaps those who know more can give you a better answer. Definitely put good stuff in there and don't make it a prison or place to punish. It should be a safe place where if he wants some peace and quiet he can get it. Any chance you can put the crate in your bedroom? That will make it more pleasant for him and might make it easier for him to get used to.
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Old 12-18-2006, 08:12 PM   #8
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be careful not to respond to the barking and howling - he will learn very quickly that barking and howling will get your attention. Maybe he has already learned that he gets attention by doing this ??

Just a thought.
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Old 12-19-2006, 04:13 AM   #9
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Well, I left a low light and a radio on and we went to bed as usual. There was absolutely no difference in the pattern of barking and whining and when we came down this morning, we found that he had pooed all over the place, which he has never done before! I think maybe the light and sound made him think we were around to let him out when he wanted to go.

I think I'm with ArticWonder on this one. We don't ever go to him when he barks and whines as I know this would be just like going to a baby everytime they start crying. We all have to do things we don't like and just have to get used to it. My daughter would much rather sleep in our bed than hers but there's no way that's ever gonna happen, so why should the dog be treated any differently?

I think he's just a bit miffed that he's been turfed off the lovely cosy cushions on the couch back to his den, but we have made his den nice and he has his toys and a nice bone to chew on. It'll certainly be a lot cosier than his previous sleeping arrangements (he was born and kennelled outside before he came to us).

I have decided to make a clear distinction between day and night so as not to confuse him. Tonight he will be back in darkness and quiet and he'll just have to get used to it.

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Old 12-19-2006, 08:12 AM   #10
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Well good luck. One thing-dogs have much better night vision than we do, so what seems dark to us may not be that dark to them.
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