Saturdays with Scamp: Crying in the Crate

Scamp maltipoo puppy

Thank you guys so much for all your help last week! You had some great advice for me on the bell ringing problem. In fact, it was so good, I’m going to go ahead and ask for your advice again. 🙂

Here’s the issue: Scamp cries in his crate every single time I leave him in it. He’s fine at night, because we stay in the same room as him, but when I put him in there and leave for work, he is a wreck. He cries, whines, tries to get out, etc. And he pees in his crate almost every single day. I thought he would grow out of it, but so far it hasn’t gotten better.

What can I do? He does this every time I leave him alone. We left the video camera on one day when we went to church, and when we got home, we realized it had taken him 18 minutes to settle down and go to sleep. 18 minutes! Does anyone have any input? Is there any way to make my puppy stop crying and peeing in his crate?  I feel so bad leaving him in there every day!

To end this post on a happier note, here is a picture of Scamp seriously inspecting something…I’m not sure what.

Scamp maltipoo puppy



This is a sponsored post. Nutro provided me with products and promotional items and is compensating me for my time. As always, all opinions are my own.

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  1. Our last dog cried every single time we left him in the crate… for 4 years. Seriously. He never got over it. Maybe try spraying a blanket with your perfume or something so that he feels like he's close to you?

    He's seriously cute! He looks like he's ready to cause trouble in that first picture.

  2. Hello, can you share what worked with the bell? Our dog did that since he was a puppy, and eventually we just took the bell away! Curious to see what worked for you. Thanks!

  3. A dog will not foul his “nest” unless it's too large. Put a box or something in there that allows him just enough room to stand up and turn around. Leave a radio on outside of his crate. Be patient. Poor little guy. Unfortunately he knows he's going to be left alone for a long period of time. Can you afford a dog walker to come in once a day? (In addition to the other stuff above.) I can't tell what's happening with this. I keep clicking on “post comment” and nothing seems to be happening.

  4. Our Shih Tzu is 2 now, and he is our first dog and was a real challenge to train at times! I don't claim to know everything, but I certainly had to learn a lot about dog training, so I'll share with you what worked for us. The dog trainer in our puppy class taught us how to “crate train,” and it worked like magic with some patience and love. Pick a time when you're watching tv, reading, using the computer, etc. You need to be willing to sit for a while. Put the crate right next to you (we turned it so our dog could only see us out of the side window), then put Scamp in it and praise him. Immediately give him a small piece of string cheese or other small dog training treat (cheese worked well for us because it was a special treat!) by tossing it in the side window & praising him with a “good boy!” Then try to wait even a few seconds to see if he's quiet. If he is, toss in another treat & say “good boy!” If he whines, tap loudly on the top of the crate and say “no!” firmly. When he's quiet again, toss in another treat with praise. That should be the only interaction you have with him – otherwise ignore him & do your own thing. You don't want him to think he's getting a reaction from you other than praise & a treat when he's quiet, or a loud tap on top of the crate when he whines. Gradually increase the amount of time between treats (even 30 seconds at a time if that's what it takes). You might need to practice daily for a while, & remember that part of it will be consistency on your part & giving him time to adjust. Our dog got the hang of it pretty quickly – he loves cheese! Eventually he would go in the crate without the treats, just praise. Once Scamp can sit in there quietly, have him practice spending time in his crate when you're home with him. Then he will realize that it doesn't automatically mean you're leaving him every time he goes in there. As for the peeing, the dog trainer suggested we keep his crate as small as possible (some crates comes with a divider to make the space smaller – did yours?). He should have just enough room to stand, sit, and turn around until he proves to be reliable at keeping the crate clean. Dogs don't want to soil their crates & will usually only do it when they can soil one spot and move over to sit in another. I suspect Scamp is nervous and peeing because he's stressed – typical with small dogs. The crate training will help this. Also, our dog's command is “kennel up” and we trained him to do that by working with him with treats. Good luck, I know this is a challenge & frustrating at times but it's well worth your time to get him trained well now. Now when we're in a hurry to get out the door, a simple “kennel up” is all it takes to get our dog in the crate quietly! Love your blog – I share your love of baking!

  5. I have used one of my old t-shirts as a bed cover in my dog's crate before. It has to be one that you have worn recently & don't want anymore. That way it has your scent on it. You can also try putting a light blanket over the crate. That way it keeps Scamp in a darker environment & helps him to calm down. I still use this with my German Shepherd.

  6. I'm pretty sure Scamp still has a puppy bladder. You do have the crate small, I noticed it when it was here.
    Scamp still also has baby brain. You know how some babies want held all the time?…that's Scamp. I'm afraid I didn't help that either.
    While dogs are very pack minded I do think he will grow out of the whining stage. You're doing a great job with him. He's very friendly and wants to please. It just takes time.

  7. Most crates come with a wire divider piece to make the area smaller. Try using that so he is more confined. The crate might be too big for him. Also, use a piece of your clothing or take his blanket and rub your hands all over it for a few minutes so it has your scent on it. When we got our dog we put a blanket over the crate and left the front exposed. It was like a little cave. He doesn't use it anymore, but before we took it away he still wanted to sleep in it and we just didn't shut the door.

  8. Anonymous (there seem to be two of them) gave great advice. If you lived anywhere near Washingon, DC, I'd babysit Scamp along with our elderly King Chas Spaniel, Scooper any time.

  9. Try a smaller crate for a while that doesn't allow him so much room to move around. Dogs will not go potty where they have to live. If the space is barely big enough for him he won't have room to potty & not be in it. He also will not have enough room to run around so he will probably lay down & sleep.

  10. My sister got a bichon frise puppy, Annie, around the same time that you got Scamp. She's five months old now and has been a little nightmare at times. The bichon breed is one that has to be around people at all times and will bark and whine until someone is with her. Luckily there's usually someone at home with her but when we all have to be out we usually leave her in our entry, block the stairs off with a baby gate and close the French doors to our living room. We always leave her with her water bowl but only leave food if we're going for a long time, give her a toy or two and her crate with the door off. This gives her enough space to not be stressed that we're leaving her and gives her room to play. You do have to watch for accidents though when you get back. If we're only leaving for a short period of time we'll leave her in the crate. She might fuss for a while but she's pretty good in it now.
    When we started to crate train her, she hated being it in, but she's never had an accident (thankfully). We'll crate her every now and again while at home just to give ourselves a break from her, my mom does it when she's the only one home and needs to do other things. Annie also gets crated during mealtime and of course at night.
    I find that crating while everyone is around helps to let them know that they're not getting crated as a punishment or being crated because you're leaving. When you crate them for the day while you're at work you can create separation anxiety because they know that you're going to leave when you put them in the crate.
    Recently she's been getting really good at just going into her crate on her own to take naps (which is where she is right now). Every time we crate her, we use the command “Crate” or “Go Crate”, so that she'll eventually learn to go when we want her there.

  11. have you tried stuffing a “kong” w/ a few of his favorite treats and a bit of peanut butter/cream cheese spread around the rim? that will keep him distracted when you are leaving and then give him something to “work on” for a bit. plus the licking/chewing will help reduce his anxiety. might be worth a try …

  12. There is really no need for me to comment again, but I'm remembering how I used to travel up and down I-95 from NYC to DC about 35- 40 times a year, starting when Scooper was a baby. I would put him in his crate in the back seat and he would cry and cry for 15 minutes and then go to sleep. the trip took just over 4 hours, so about 2 hours in I would take a pit stop for the two of us. Then it was back in the crate for him and more crying. This went on for a couple of months. Then one day we were heading north on I-95 in a blizzard. The crate crying was at its worst, especially because we were on the road for 6 hours. After the second rest stop I simply took him onto my lap while I drove and he's never left there since. He's now 13 and guess what? He still acts like a one-year old, but is perfectly fastidious about alerting us to when he needs to go outside. He sleeps through the night and we can only hope that, at his age, we can have a bit more time with him at his most adorable.

  13. I had a dog who I had to keep in a blockaded area of our house because he was so reckless around my very young siblings and he always barked and made noise when he was in it for years! His persistence was truly amazing!

  14. I'm sure I am not alone in wanting to year about any successful results with Scamp. When you have time, of course.

  15. Not sure if someone suggested this already or if you have been doing this, but taking it a step further than dogs not wanting to mess where they sleep, try feeding him in his crate. Although every dog I have crate trained has messed in their crates, after giving them the smaller space, as I have already seen suggested, feeding them in their crates and with our newest dog, only having bedding in the crate at night, have helped to eventually stop them from going in their crates. Also make sure you are clean the crate well enough that the smell is being removed. If you aren't already, try using a vinegar water mix to clean the crate tray.

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