My Dog HATES His Cage

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!


Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 6:42pm PST 
In my house, we all have different work schedules, so someone is usually home with the dogs, but there are some days when they need to be left, most of the time only for a few hours at a time. From the time I rescued Chance, I've known that he hates his cage (this was something his foster mom had told me about prior to adoption). It seems as if I have tried everything. I've left the radio and/or television on for him. I've put his cage facing our other dogs cage so he can see he isn't all alone. I've sat with him right by the cage, and he is completely fine until I shut the door, and then he starts to panic and whine and try to dig his way out. I've tried putting him in there with his Kong also, but that doesn't seem to calm him at all either. I can't tell if it's separation anxiety, since he is a new member to the family, or if he's claustrophobic, or a mix of the two things. My vet said I could try giving him Benadryl, but that doesn't seem to help him either, by the time we get home, he is still drenched in his own drool, and foaming at the mouth. If anyone has any suggestions on any methods they have used to help put an end to this stressful behavior, please let me know. Thanks for your time and responses. smile

The Snuggler
Barked: Wed Jul 10, '13 7:28pm PST 

Try this!!!!

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 3:42am PST 
Maybe he is claustrophobic. Could you use an X pen or maybe shut him in a small room (bathroom, Laundry room...) instead of a crate?


You can't catch- me!
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 4:00am PST 
Koorazh has always hated crates and other confined spaces. Built him a beautiful dog house. He wouldn't put a paw in it, even when the best treats were inside. That is not going to change.

When he was a teething puppy, he would get confined to the kitchen with a baby gate while I was at work. When he was seven months old and older, he got the run of the house. That worked out for all concerned and he never did any damage.
Jewel, PCD

8.6lbs of fury- in a bow!
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 7:54am PST 
When I first brought Jewel home from the SPCA the plan was to crate train her, the crate was already beside my bed. She walked around the corner of my bed and saw it, sank to her belly scared just at the sight of it.

Fast forward a couple years I've gotten her a wire crate bigger than what she needs and she goes in on command, I can close the door and walk out around the corner for a few seconds and return or I can walk a few feet away as long as she can see me and that's all the progress we've made.

It's not something I work heavily on because it's not something that was super important to me. It is something I have to work on now because I got a second dog and when we go to competition I can't spend the whole time between our turn in the ring holding her, she'll have to crate while I take Jem in the ring.

Anyways, try a large wire crate as it feels less confining and don't have high expectations. Examine why you're crating this dog, is it because that's what you've always done? It is OKAY to have different rules for different dogs, this dog might be better off babygated or even loose in the house.

If you decide to work on the crate you can feed his meals in the crate, only let him have high value chews when he's in the crate etc. Get him going in there and having a good time when you're home otherwise the crate become the place he goes when you leave, which is horrible right?!

I also made Jewel's crate command a trick, we'd run through sit, down etc and then I'd point at it and yell, "Go crate!!!" she'd be all pumped up from the training and the treats she'd run right in without thinking, I'd cheer and throw treats into the crate so she'd have to stand it in to eat them.

Edited by author Fri Jul 12, '13 7:58am PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Jul 12, '13 9:54am PST 
Jewel nailed it.

Different rules for different dogs is ok. I have three with very different rules.
And some dogs just do not like crates. It took me months to crate train Shadow, because we had to move in seconds not minutes or hours. She was only 3 weeks old the first time she freaked in her crate. We made it a game as well. I would throw a treat in and she would go after it. I put her toys in there and fed her in there, with the door open of course. I would take the crate outside and we would play the in and out game, just like Jewel said. I would get her amped up a bit and then say 'Kennel'. She darted in and got a treat. Then we had a partylaugh out loudOnce she had that I would send her in and have her stay for a few seconds, door open.
When she was comfortable for 1 minute, I would close the door, give a treat, open the door. I gradually increased the time the door stayed closed. The whole time she had 24/7 access to her crate with the door open and she ate all meals and treats in there. Eventually she started going in there to nap and to hide.
Today she is fine with her crate and likes to sleep in it.
If you are going to switch to a wire crate, do not ever leave your dog in it with his collar on, and do not leave him unattended until you know how he will react. The risk of serious injury is far higher in a wire crate.

Barked: Wed Jul 17, '13 2:28pm PST 
Thank you all for your responses!! I have read and appreciate all of the advice.