Leo vs The Crate
More like The Crate and us versus Leo. I wouldn’t say the first night went completely smooth, but Leo only cried 4 times throughout the night, and he didn’t eliminate in the crate, so I’d call that a success. We put the crate in our bedroom at the foot of the bed and played a Soothing Dog Sounds playlist from Spotify all night. We filled the crate with a snuggle buddy, puppy blanket, chew toy, and squeaky toy.
To be honest, though, I think our saving grace was the snuggle buddy my boss (thank you!!!) suggested we get for him. It’s a little stuffed dog with a battery-powered heart that beats for 8 hours. You can also put a heat pack into it that lasts 12 hours. It’s supposed to remind him of his mom. To this day we use the snuggle buddy, and Leo loves it! He likes to lie on top of it when it’s bedtime.
The next day, in efforts to continue crate training, we fed him his breakfast in the crate, which he didn’t seem to mind. He was probably just happy to get some food. Later in the day, we tried putting him in the crate again (with plenty of treats and “good boys”) after a potty break, and that did not go well. At all. Leo was 100% unhappy, and our sweet, quiet puppy went into full-on whining, crying, and howling mode. Eventually, he quieted down and passed out.
Now, a week later, it’s pretty hit or miss with the crate. Sometimes he’ll happily go in and stay quiet, and other times he’ll whine for a bit. The other night, he actually went in the crate by himself and settled in for a nap! It took all of our restraint to not to jump for joy so as to not rile him up again.
It’s all about the little victories in our home now. We’re hopeful Leo continues to see his crate as a safe haven he can go to whenever he wants.