New boxer parents need guidance

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Auby

Boxer Pal
My boyfriend and I have had our 11 wk old Boxer pup Auby for a little over a week now. We attempted to have her sleep in her crate at night but opted to having her sleep on a doggy bed (which she loves) on the floor next to our bed. I'm concerned that by having her sleep outside of the crate at night, the experience of being in the crate only when we are out of the house will be more traumatizing. Does anybody know what's best for Auby?

My second concern is about her bathroom schedule. My boyfriend and I close the door to our bedroom when she is in there with us for the night. She will sleep through the night (7 hours) without fussing, whining, waking us up, or scratching at the door. However we've noticed that after sleeping through the night she doesn't eat as much of her breakfast as she did when we would wake her to go outside a couple times during the night. Does her being able to hold it necessarily mean that she can/should or are we causing upset to her stomach and digestive system when she goes so long without emptying?

Thanks in advance!
 

Jinnytee

Super Boxer
I'm concerned that by having her sleep outside of the crate at night, the experience of being in the crate only when we are out of the house will be more traumatizing.

She will sleep through the night (7 hours) without fussing, whining, waking us up, or scratching at the door. However we've noticed that after sleeping through the night she doesn't eat as much of her breakfast as she did when we would wake her to go outside a couple times during the night. Does her being able to hold it necessarily mean that she can/should or are we causing upset to her stomach and digestive system when she goes so long without emptying?

Thanks in advance!

I do the opposite to you. My girl, now 21 weeks, no longer goes in her crate during the day, as there is always someone home during the day. She was only really crated during the day when when she was very young, mostly to get her used to it and to be happy about being crated. However she does still go in the crate to sleep most nights, with the occassional treat when she is allowed to stay and snuggle in our bed :)). I have found that she isnt at all phased by being in the crate sometimes, and other times out of it. She is comfortable with either, and in no way sees her crate as a "bad" place. So I would say with your girl, as long as she is happy about being in her crate, then you don't need to worry about whether she sleeps in it or not ... she will know that that's the routine in your household and adapt accordingly. ( I am only really keeping up the night crating as I want to retain her comfort about being confined for when she is at the vet, or ever kennelled )

If she is distressed about being in her crate, then that's another matter, and you get some excellent advice from the folks here, on making her crate a happy experience for her.

By 11 weeks my girl had stated sleeping through the night about 7 hours also, although she couldnt wait to get outside fast enough at 5.30am ! I think your pup is doing really well to be housetrained overnight without a crate. My girl will now hold on from 10pm until about 7am. Oh for the days of long lies-in !

I also noticed that my girl started leaving back her breakfast and other meals also ... My thread about it is on the feeding forum. As others advised me, pups go through stages of wanting more or less food, in line with their growth spurts ... and Luna's disinterst in finishing her food didnt last long before her appetite picked right back up again. I doubt its anything to do your pup's toilet habits and sleeping through the night ... as long as she is urinating and having normal bowel movements, then I am sure she is fine.

Does she go to the bathroom as soon as she wakes up, before you feed her ? ..... or does she seem uncomfortable while eating, and then immediately rush to poop afterwards ? My girl poops when she first gets up, before breakfast .... but if yours doesn't, then maybe have a play session to stimulate her bowels, and give her time to need to go to the bathroom, before she is offered breakfast.

Jinny
 
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TwoDogs

Boxer Insane
If she is distressed about being in her crate, then that's another matter, and you get some excellent advice from the folks here, on making her crate a happy experience for her.

I prefer to assume that the puppy WILL get distressed if crated and so lean toward some preventive work building a great association of being in the crate at any time. The worse that can come of it is that I've expended a little energy unnecessarily. However, if I was to do no preventive work up front and just wait until the pup starts to show distress about being crated then the damage is already done. It is MUCH harder to change an existing negative association than it is to build the association you want in the first place.

I recommend feeding a portion of the pups daily food in the crate. Give durable, long-term chewies (bully sticks, stuffed Kongs, etc.) in the crate while you go about some regular task like folding clothes or reading the paper. Leave the crate open and occasionally just pop a good treat in it for the pup to happen upon. All are easy ways to teach a pup that the crate is an okay place to hang out whether the owner leaves or not.
 
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