Posted : 1/9/2007 2:18:23 PM
It sounds to me like he was testing you and you gave in. Now he has learned that he can get his way by barking/whining in the middle of the night.
I'm not chastising you; I also have 2 crate trained dogs and I know there have been times when one of them begs at 2 am to get out in the middle of the night, and I too have gotten up to see what was causing my "angel" to behave this way! LOL
Anyway, it could have back-fired on me too - I've been lucky. I "think" I can tell by the tone of my dogs' bark or whine when he REALLY needs to go or if they're just testing - and they test me often at 15 mos old!
But NOW - just like any other unwanted behavior, you will have to ignore it before it will extinguish. So yes, you will have to let him wail all night if that's what he does now - and it may go on for some time or even get worse before better since now he has learned that if he is persistent enough, IT WILL WORK - "Mom will eventually let me out if I carry on enough!!"
said it best with her analogy over in the "HUGGING"
post under Problems/ and Habits:
"Imagine if someone gave you a fiver every time you clapped. Any time you wanted some cash, you'd clap. Now imagine it stopped all of a sudden.... You wouldn't twig straight away that this was no longer a viable strategy and you'd try again, thinking, "What the hey, it worked before????" You'd clap and clap and clap and clap, harder and louder and more often and wonder why you weren't getting anywhere, thinking "Give me the money dammit! Argh! Just give me the money!" And then, eventually, you'd give up.
Now imagine the clapping is her hugging and the money is your attention. See what's happening? Usually, when the behaviour seems most frantic, it's about to expire. Unfortunately, that's the point most people buckle and decide it's not working and give in. This teaches the dog, "Pheweee! It still works. I just got to try harder and be really persistent, but it will work eventually." So if someone has tried this tactic before, she will be extremely persistent and it will take longer for the tactic to work and for her to give up. If you give in now, you will reinforce her persistence."