LA Good Questions: Help! Screaming Puppy in Crate

LA Good Questions: Help! Screaming Puppy in Crate

Grace Shu
Mar 11, 2008

AT readers, I need your help. Big time. My new pup, Nan, weighs less than a loaf of bread (and about the same size, too), and she is a SCREAMER. Frankly, I'm really quite impressed with her vocal capacity--it's like doggy wail in THX. I feel like I've done pretty much everything by the book when it comes to crate training: she gets lured into her crate with a treat after a good rough n' tumble with my older dog, Herbie; then she lays down, dozes off, and I quietly slink away to do stuff (like write blog entries). About twenty seconds later, she lets out an ear-piercing shriek. I don't let her out when she's screaming, but she has the endurance of an Olympic runner and can go on for about an hour.

[ Herbie and Nan, tipped. Outside of her crate, of course. ]

Both Herbie and Nan have the hard plastic crates, and they only go in their crates when I leave the house, or for a nap. Nan's crate is fully decked out with a blanket, an old t-shirt of mine (for scent), a small ticking clock, and two or three toys. (She had a hot water bottle in there as well, but she chewed a hole through it at 2 am). Herbie was crate trained in 3 days, and I'm beginning to think that he was an unusually stellar puppy with that kind of track record.

Please help me, AT doggy owners! Is this just a matter of tolerating it until she gets the hang of crate training, or is there something I'm missing? Should I call Cesar Milan? (Hell, if I had his number, I would have called him already, ha).

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