Crate Training Ivy the Doberman Puppy

14 Dec

I had done my homework on Doberman’s before getting Ivy, and had read that some of them really don’t like being crated (left alone/isolated) . That is an understatement. Even at 5 months old, Ivy does not like to be crated if she isn’t tired. I have had many other breeds of dogs that I have crate trained, and all them settled down pretty quickly even after being in crate for just a little while. Not Ivy! Here is a video of her on her first evening of being in a crate. I wish I would have captured her dramatic “throw myself backwards and almost die” move.

Even though we live right in the city of Atlanta, thankfully we have a large yard and no neighbors close by because the screaming like in the video went on for about 4 weeks!! On the positive side, she did sleep through the night up until 6am or so from Day 1, so was very happy about that.

Here is what I did to try and help Ivy and myself through the joy of crate training!

IMG_412210. Earplugs. Seriously. I always tried to put Ivy in her crate when I felt we she could succeed at remaining calm and quiet until I decided she could come out. (She never got to come out of her crate if she was having a meltdown) Sometime she carried on for quiet a while. The earplugs helped 🙂

9.  Crate in the middle of the action. Ivy has 2 crates, one in the bedroom and one right in the middle of the living room.  Having her right in the middle of the house in the living room/kitchen at least helped to make her feel like she was still part of the family even though she was in a crate 🙂

8.  Do not use a Thundershirt. I normally love using a Thundershirt to help calm down a dog, but not in this case. Ivy was truly upset about being crated and would carry on screaming for hours, really working herself up. I tried a Thundershirt to help her stay calm, but within 10 minutes she was panting and would have quickly overheated.

7. Pheromones. An Adaptil diffuser seemed to help take the edge off somewhat and help her get to settled faster, but only if she was already someone tired out.

6. Crate Games! Crates CAN be fun.

5. Calm Atmosphere – When I was trying to settle Ivy down I made sure some classical music was on, a lavender candle was burning, and the rest of the dogs were settled and not trying to stir things up. I also tried to stay neutral, very calming letting Ivy out when that time came.

4. Routine – Even though the exact times weren’t exactly on a schedule, I tried to do the same things in the same order each day so getting crated wasn’t such a shock to her 🙂 An example of the morning to be get up, potty break, back in the crate to eat, an hour of playtime outside, then back in the crate for a nap, in the same order each day.

3. Things to do IN the crate. Having a multitude of things for Ivy to entertain herself with in the crate is extremely important. Kongs, yak milk bones, bully stix, raw meaty bones etc. She learned that GOOD things could happen inside the crate too (not just outside of it)

2. Patience – Come up with your plan and routine, be well armed with supplies , and put your earplugs in if needed 🙂

1.  A tired puppy – mentally and physically.  Hands down the most important thing to having a puppy happily go into a crate, settle and sleep.

Resting in her crate!

Resting in her crate!


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