My new Malinois puppy will not stop barking/whining and crying in the crate, she chews on the bars and throws a tantrum. I've had her for 2 days and 2 nights, do you have any suggestions?
I just brought home an 8 week old F Belgian Malinois. I have 2 other dogs ... a 3.5 year old F Rottweiler and a 5.5 year old M Boston Terrier, and so I’m pretty familiar with how to raise a pup.
But it seems that the Malinois pup is a bit more challenging when it comes to the crate. I’ve had her for 2 days and 2 nights. She goes in voluntarily and comfortably in and out of the crate, when the door is left open, but once it closes, she goes on a high pitch barking/whining/crying tantrum. At the same time she begins chewing at the metal door to get it open. I’m not sure she sleeps, as she’s been barking for 90% of the night for 2 consecutive nights. She does the same during the day if she goes in the crate.
When out of the crate, she’s chilled and usually sleeps on the tile on the kitchen floor or on her mat; but once she’s in the crate, she goes crazy barking.
I haven’t opened the door during her tantrum, as it will only be reinforcing her behaviour. I only open the door when she’s calm or sleeping. Oh and I also leave on classic music for her at night, but she barks through it.
My way of dealing with this issue so far is I’ve been ignoring her completely. I’ve also attempted to clap my hand, or bang hard on the table (without making eye contact with her) to startle her in the middle of her barking. It didn’t work.
I make sure she has pooped and peed before going in the crate, waking up 3 times per night. When I place her in the crate, I reward her with food and allow for her to walk in voluntarily before closing the door. There is always a toy in there ready for her.
Today during the day, I decided to place the crate directly in front of the sofa where I was sitting and watching tv, and placed my Rottweiler on a down/stay beside her, so she’s surrounded with a familiar environment ... didn’t change a thing. She was still going crazy. I’ve been sitting here for over an hour.
Some puppies are very challenging during crate training. You need to be patient (I know it's difficult). My current adult Malinois Rush was AWFUL in the crate as a puppy...for weeks. I had to put the crate in another room, cover it with a blanket and leave the room. Any type of visual stimulus or feedback from me (even clapping or anything) was enough to keep him yelling. We went to a puppy agility seminar and he was banned to the hallway of the building because he wouldn’t be quiet in the crate (he was about 10 weeks old at the time). I remember it well because it was so frustrating.
The great thing about Malinois is that they can work forever and be very persistent in getting what they want. This is also the horrible thing about Malinois. :) They are very persistent.
I'd continue with the ignoring and just wait it out. I feel your pain.
I'd also recommend using a crate more often or at least an ex pen, for her naps. The more she can spend time in there and be calm, the better.