How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Laura Henderson Your Own Question
Laura Henderson
Laura Henderson,
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 153
Experience:  Veterinarian at Robb Veterinary Clinic
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Laura Henderson is online now

I hope you can help us! We have a new puppy who has been

This answer was rated:

Hi I hope you can help us! We have a new puppy who has been with us for a week. She is a Sheltie. She is generally well behaved but at night she cries and barks all night long. She also poops in her crate and walks through it at night. She also does this if we leave the house. We've been trying to crate train her during the day. We keep her in her crate on and off during the day and she never goes to the toilet unless we leave her alone for a little while. We have made the crate nice and small to fit her size. We've tried leaving on a little white noise in the background at night. We've tried walking her in the middle of the night. We've tried reducing her food intake during the day. It's becoming dire for us because neither of us has had more than a few hours of sleep a night for a week. We don't want to reward her barking and we (ideally) don't want her sleeping with us. We try to give her plenty of exercise during the day. She is pretty good at potty training, she has started learning to go outside, or if she does inside, she does it on newspaper. But the nighttime behaviour only seems to be getting worse. Thank you!!
JA: I'll do all I can to help. This sounds like it might be serious. I'll let the Veterinarian know what's going on ASAP. Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the puppy?
Customer: Only that she's 4 months old.

Good morning, I am Laura, one of the UK vets.

How old is she and what's her name?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Laura. Thanks for getting back to me. Her name is ***** ***** she’s 4 months old.

LOVE the name!

Having an unsettled puppy can be exhausting.

I think Cricket is getting distressed. It's a big step, moving from a litter and mum to being by themselves and a lot of them do get upset.

To get her used to the crate it has to be somewhere good - you may be doing this already. The door needs to be open most of the time, and feed tasty treats in there so she learns it is a good place. Also if she goes in there no-one can disturb her, it is her own safe space.

If the pup doesn't get stressed when the crate door is closed she can be put in it overnight. Take her out to toilet last thing a night, then put a tasty chewy treat that will take her a while to eat in the crate, then close the door and go to bed without making a fuss or saying anything.

If you have a blanket from the breeder with the scent of mum on, it should be in the wee ones bed. Also a worn piece of clothing from yourselves will make her feel not so alone.

If she is not happy in the crate, it may be better to set the crate up in a play pen (either a child's one or using pen panels you can get online) - so she can sleep in the crate but come out into the play pen to go to the toilet, but not run amok over the house.

If she is really upset you can move the crate to your bedroom intially, then once she is comfortable with it you can gradually move it out and down the corridor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Laura. Thank you this is really helpful. Some of the things you've mentioned we've done, others we'll happily give a try! She's actually very good at being in her crate if we're nearby (same room or in the kitchen where she can see us through the bars) and she quickly settles and often sleeps. We also feed her her meals in the crate with the door open and give her chewy treats in there as well. So I think she's not afraid of her crate, which is a good step. She's actually having a nap in it right now with the door closed. To me it seems that she just gets quite upset with us being gone. We were hoping to avoid having her sleep with us, because we don't want that to become the norm for her, but I think we'll try that for a couple nights and see if it helps. Or perhaps start with the play-pen idea, to at least prevent her from pooping inside the crate at night. I think our main concern is just to ease this separation anxiety that she seems to have still, which we thought might have gone away after the first few nights, especially since she is otherwise very happy and comfortable around us and in the house. We got a cuddly toy online also that has a 'heartbeat', don't know if you recommend those but we might see if that helps too. I think my primary fear is traumatising her/making the anxiety worse, but balanced with not wanting to condition her to need us around all the time or think that barking and whining will get her what she wants. Anyway, thanks again! We'll try your ideas! Hopefully we'll have a decent night sleep very soon :)

Perfect, sounds like you are doing everything right. The heartbeat toy sounds like a great idea, you could even wear it during the day to make it smell like you then give it to her at night.

I've had more than a few people have to resort to moving the crate to the bedroom, but once they are happy enough they have been able to gradually sneak the crate out of the room and away downstairs eventually.

Best of luck with Cricket!


Laura Henderson and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you!! :)