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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Puppy has arrived! We are on day 3. All‘s going well overall, but I have a few questions. He is 10 weeks old. Have only had one pee accident so far which was my fault because I missed his cue. Will post a pic soon when I’m not so tired lol.

1) Puppy barks when left alone in expen. Do we just let him “cry it out” or will that teach him to bark excessively? He usually settles down after a few minutes, but once in a while he doesn’t so not sure of the best approach. We haven’t left a Kong or anything in the expen yet.

2) Should we “call” his expen anything like “let’s go rest“ or “let’s go to your playpen” before we close him in it? We haven’t so far.

3) Crating on my nightstand at night is working fairly well. He wakes at 3am for a pee, but then has a hard time resettling in his crate. I do not talk to him when I take him out in the middle of the night, all business. (I am not taking him outside but to a pee pad in my bathroom.) So when I put him back in his crate after a pee and he cries/barks, do I just let him cry it out next to me? (sometimes I put fingers through door to try to comfort him but almost seems to make it worse.)
 

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Metrowest, MA
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Puppy has arrived! We are on day 3. All‘s going well overall, but I have a few questions. He is 10 weeks old. Have only had one pee accident so far which was my fault because I missed his cue. Will post a pic soon when I’m not so tired lol.

1) Puppy barks when left alone in expen. Do we just let him “cry it out” or will that teach him to bark excessively? He usually settles down after a few minutes, but once in a while he doesn’t so not sure of the best approach. We haven’t left a Kong or anything in the expen yet.
Some of this you have to play by ear, and it is REALLY hard to give advice based on a few words on a forum. Typical puppy schedule at this age are about one hour of awake time followed by about 3 hours of sleep. (even if they don't KNOW they need sleep) So my preference is to make sure I am with them, DOING things with them for that hour. Then they SHOULD be ready to "settle and sleep when you put them in their pen. If they can't, they may do better in the closer confinement of a rate, covered, so they can't see you. Maybe not, but it's worth a try. HOWEVER< you also don't want to send a new puppy into a state of panic. So you can't ALWAYS let them "cry it out". You really have to "play it by ear". Have you watched the Puppy Culture, (Madcap University) "With Open Arms and a Level Head: How to Bring a Puppy Into Your Life" class? If not, I HIGHLY recommend it. It is still free, but it won't be for much longer. It will really, REALLY help you with this stage!!!

2) Should we “call” his expen anything like “let’s go rest“ or “let’s go to your playpen” before we close him in it? We haven’t so far.
You certainly can! We tend to say, "In your house". But there is no magic in it... You don't have to, either!

3) Crating on my nightstand at night is working fairly well. He wakes at 3am for a pee, but then has a hard time resettling in his crate. I do not talk to him when I take him out in the middle of the night, all business. (I am not taking him outside but to a pee pad in my bathroom.) So when I put him back in his crate after a pee and he cries/barks, do I just let him cry it out next to me? (sometimes I put fingers through door to try to comfort him but almost seems to make it worse.)
Again, play with it. If fingers help him settle, do it. If it makes him cry more, don't! Otherwise, it sounds like you are handling it correctly. It's early days.
 

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They can get NO response from barking. That includes no eye contact, no smiling, and certainly no baby talk. They need to know that you are there, but you need to feel that the puppy is not when its barking. The Instant they are quiet you can interact. The Instant they start barking, you Ignore.

The Ignore is one of the most important training tools. It has to be complete. You can't even feel anxiety, or they will understand that its working.

I often will walk by an expen when one is barking so they know I'm there, but they get NO interaction. I'll walk past the pen back into another part of the house for a while, and then come back out and do it going the other way.

The instant they are quiet, they can get some praise, and loving. Barking gets nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tom. This is helpful. I’ve been doing the ignoring (even though my heart is beating fast on the inside), but I didn’t know about the walk by. I will try walking in and out of the room when he is barking to get something else while ignoring.
 

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I did with Ursa exactly what Tom describes here and it didn't take too many days for her to stop barking.

I want Ursa to know I'm there and that she can communicate with me -- so long as she does it in a way that is not loud, demanding, or aggressive. So in her early days, when she started crying in the ex-pen, I was always eager to give her attention as soon as she stopped barking.

I’ve been doing the ignoring (even though my heart is beating fast on the inside),
It can be hard to see them crying, but you are giving your baby the skills to make him independent and emotionally strong. :)
Congratulations and wishing you happy happy moments 💖
 
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