This is the week where I went, “I have only two weeks to get them sleeping in a crate at night!” and started crate training in earnest.
It was very hard with 6 puppies to do the kind of concentrated effort I normally do. When I have 2-3 puppies, it’s easy to get them into their crates with food, lock the door, and then soon after open the door again. With six, by the time I’ve fed the last one, the first one is crying to get out. Not what I aim for.
So, instead, I decided to test all the puppies with 5 minutes in a crate (on the 19th of December) to determine who would need the ‘most work’ and who was going to be easy. This was just because I had a big litter and, unfortunately, had to prioritise to get things done!
Big, fat, lazy puppy Man was most mild in his crate. Alfalfa was okay, Daisy was okay, Kelinni was okay but needed reassurance, with Jakkalberry and Boomer both being the ‘worst’ with loud crying and ignoring reassurance, with Boomer trying to dig out of the crate. This helped me gauge which puppies I needed to work on.
Obviously, I concentrated on those ‘bad puppies’ first, but some went through amazing changes. Jakkalberry was 100% improved in the next training session, and I’d rank him up the top with Man! Boomer took a lot more time and he was getting crated at every meal to help him learn.
On the 23rd of December, I tried having the two ‘good ones’ (Man and Jakkalberry) in my bedroom at night, but Man was surprisingly whingey and annoying, and they ended going out into the puppy pen after a few hours.
On the 24th of December, I tried a different tactic, and crated the puppies two per crate for half the night. No fuss from them whatso ever.
On the 25th of December, I crated four puppies in two crates, and then separated the last two puppies: Gilbert and Kelinni. Gilbert was good. Kelinni cried and howled, but when I brought her crate next to the bed, she slept quietly.
Aside from this crate training, the puppies were also wormed this week. They were vaccinated and microchipped and given a clean bill of health at the vet (yay!). I neglected to write down all their puppy socialisation experiences this week but, according to my calendar, I had 5 new people visit my house alone! My parents have also just moved house so they threw a housewarming party, and the puppies met about 17 new people (though the part was of about 25 people, they knew the rest).
That brings their socialisation tallies to
- Alfalfa had met 113 or more people.
- Man had met approximately 108 people.
- Jakkalberry had met approximately 103 people.
- Kelinni had met approximately 128 people.
- Daisy had met approximately 93 people.
- Boomer had met 133 or more people.
Next week is the week when they need to be fully ready to sleep by themselves and leave for their new homes. Tune in then!