sir barksalot

Although Bear took almost instantly to walking on a leash and harness and even mastered stairs like a pro, he's not so hip to the notion of staying quiet in his crate. Although we've tried our best to build positive associations with his crate (special crate-only toys! Don't make a fuss about putting him in crate! Take him potty beforehand!), he still has a total meltdown when put in there to give us big kids some time to work (or blog). He shrieks, he yammers, and he shakes the bars of the crate like he's a little Hulk. We're hoping to not get kicked out of the apartment and will be talking to the neighbors soon. (One of them has a dog and will hopefully sympathize with us for a few days while we get him comfortable!)

However, we did find something that cut out his 1:30-3:30 AM freakout and allowed us to sleep until 7:15. I read several anecdotes online about leaving a clothing item with the owner's scent in the crate to comfort the puppy and decided to give it a go. I went a step further and recorded a calm, everyday conversation with Mike in Garageband. I placed my laptop out of sight near the crate and looped the mp3 of us talking throughout the night. Combined with Mike's smelly sock and the advice of the Dog Whisperer, Bear behaved himself and let us get a decent amount of sleep. We're continuing to crate him throughout the day and are hoping he'll get used to our schedule!