I can already tell this is going to be a long post, so I apologize in advance! I just brought home my 8 week old goldendoodle, and we are having a VERY difficult time crate training. I did all the reading prior to taking him home of how it should be done- made it very comfortable, covered it with a blanket,  had the crate in my room, when we took him home I put a blanket that smelled like his litter mates in his crate, etc.  but oh boy....

He cries non stop. I do not cave and do not let him out. I kept the crate in my room for 2 nights and tried everything- putting my hand by his crate, giving my no noise, tapping the crate. He cried relentlessly. I ended up sleeping on the floor and it was the only thing that made him stop. The next night I tried sleeping on the edge of my bed but he was NOT a fan. He cried for hours, all night long. If he stopped for 20 minutes, he would be back up for 45 more crying. I ended up moving the crate back downstairs because having it in my room wasn’t helping and he was unsoothable. (And I was letting him out for scheduled potty breaks throughout the night- waiting when quiet for even a second to let him out for his potty break and immediately putting him back). While he needed his potty breaks, this also spurred hours more of crying. 

Moving him to the family room seemed at first to help because we put toys in there, I tried to make it appealing by giving him treats when he goes in, near or to get a toy out. I’ll put a bully stick in and he’ll chew it in his crate with the door open. We’ve even left him during the day in his crate and he doesn’t cry (we have a camera to keep an eye on him). I think because he knows we aren’t home: But home night time- he cries all night. As I write this he has been crying for about 3 hours. It is his 5th night home and I truly thought we would be making some progress,  and I don’t know why he has not calmed down at night at all. We play with him before bed to try and wear him out, but come bed tome he gets so worked up. He’s doing so well with potty training, but he’s actually gotten so upset he’s pooped In  his cage two nights, I think because he’s just so darn mad and is so stressed.

Has anyone had similar experiences to this? Does it get better? I feel so helpless and don’t know what else to do. I know I have to stick to my guns and be firm to make this work, but it is so exhausting. I am trying everything I can think of, but it seems like this is just not normal. Any other suggestions or shared experiences (especially confirmation that I’m not crazy and that he WILL get better) is much appreciated. 

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  • So.... is he crated during the day while you are work and at night for sleep? Trying to figure out the crating hours to help. Our pup cried while crated at night for the first week or so and with routine potty breaks during the night it was a long week for sure! 

    • No right now he is not crated during the day. I am a teacher on spring break so he is out 99% of the day with me. I have tried running errands twice (about an hour each time- today and yesterday) and he was totally fine and was quiet and sleeping every time I check on him via our doggy cam. Those are the only times he’s been created during the day. 

  • 8 weeks old is very young, and it will get better. I think the thing to keep in mind is that this is likely the first time he's ever been alone. He had mom and littermate 24/7 for the first 8 weeks of his life and now he's in a new place with new sounds and he's all by himself. We might cry too. 

    I know people tough out those first few nights and then things get better, but I'm not going to lie. I could never do that. I can't stand to hear them cry. I take them to bed with me. I know it's not technically the right thing to do. And I think crate training is very important. But I intend to sleep with them anyway, so we just get off to a young start. I use a waterproof mattress pad and know that I might have to do a lot of laundry, but I haven't had a lot of problems with accidents overnight. More problems with chewing on the sheets! I sleep with them either right beside me or on leash so I can feel if they get up. If they move we go out to potty. It may not be the way you want to handle it, but that's what has worked for me. 

    Regardless, it will get better. And I think it's normal. I think people have also had good luck with a snuggle puppy in the crate. It's a stuffed animal that has a heart beat. Hopefully he will get used to it soon and everyone will get some sleep!

  • It will get better, both my goldendoodles were older when I brought them home, 1 was 16 weeks & the other one was 10 months. Crate training went well/easy  with  both of them & it sounds like you are doing all  the right things, my younger doodle would also get worked up when bed time came after playing with him to get tired but he eventually got with the routine.

    I remember hearing form some dog owners about a stuffed animal that has a real feel pulsating heartbeat movement, it's called the Smart Pet Love Snuggle Puppy Behavaorial Aid dog toy, Chewy on line sell it & Amazon, around $35-$39. I agree with Stacy that he is very young & first time away from littermates etc...so I think this Snuggle puppy toy may help.

    Good luck & hang in there, it will get better!

  • Sorry to hear.  Don't have too much to offer as Cannoli always did fine in the crate overnight.  Two things he likes is to sleep on a pillow in the crate (we had a puppy pillow pet which my son didn't use anymore and Cannoli loves sleeping on it in his crate.

    You may also want to try putting a little water in the crate if he is crying for so long.  I know it might mean more potty breaks but when Cannoli would cry and howl during the daytime in his crate when we were out (also had a camera on him) he would immediately drink a ton of water as soon as we got home.  I think something about endless crying makes them thirsty. 

    We attach this to his crate and just fill it with a little water if I think he needs it:


    Good luck!

    BTW, one other thing which I'm sure  you're already doing is to make sure he is exhausted before you put him in for the night.  Maybe wait for him to fall asleep on the bedroom floor and then 10 minutes later put him in so perhaps he falls right back asleep.  Then you lay down near him (maybe on your bed with your head close to his crate) so when he wakes up he see you are right there and doesn't get scared.

    Robot Check
  • Besides trying that Snuggle Puppy mentioned earlier, what about playing a recording of the sounds of dogs' heartbeats while he is crated? Here's an example of what I'm suggesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwiY0du1kdk You'd have to get a very long recording or play it on a continuous loop. 

  • Our doodle probably was crate trained by our breeder.  He came to us at about 12-14 weeks and did just fine in the crate.  Our two Springer Spaniels did not do well in a crate - not in the day and not at night, so it wasn't selective. We put them in our bed with us and that was the end of our sleep problems.  I really liked that our doodle  was crate trained though. It made it safer for him when we had to leave him and helped with potty training too.  I'd try the Snuggle Puppy. I'd crate him several times each day while you are still home. Crate him for his naps.  https://www.chewy.com/smart-pet-love-snuggle-puppy/dp/135566?utm_so...

  • You aren't alone! It has been 5 years now, but I'll never forget those first several nights after we got Winnie. I was so exhausted from the constant crying. I remember laying on the floor next to her kennel, dangling my fingers into the crate and sleepily singing "Jesus Loves Me" until she finally fell asleep. Then she would wake up when I went back to bed and the whole cycle would start again. It's funny when I think about it now, but it sure wasn't then! Lol

    An Adaptil collar was a lifesaver for us! Recommended by our Vet, it emits a pheromone that mimics the odor (odorless to humans) of a nursing mother. The very first night she wore it, she slept for 6 hours straight- without even a potty break. It was a total game-changer! I think we had her wear it for a full month or so. I think that it helped- she slept really good during the night and never got upset when we left the house. 

    • I ordered the collar. Last night he still woke up and cried but I’m hoping in time it will help soothe him more and more.  We will see! Thanks for the tip! 

  • It will get better :-)
    Our first doodle we got at 11 months, she was a rescue.  She was SOOOOOO LOUD and sounded like she was being tortured and you could hear her down the street if you left her behind to walk the other dog.  But she learned to be okay with the crate and eventually didn't need it when left in the house.  

    When I got my first pup he also cried and cried  if he could see us and was crated.  At that time I had a roommate and to show you my very linear thinking, she asked me if I could make him stop.  My very unintended rude response was "NO, sorry."  I was intent on not letting him out when he whined and cried so he didn't learn that that is what gets the crate door open.  But my poor roommate!  

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