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Puppy suddenly doesn't like crate

December 20th, 2005, 09:59 AM
My 6 month old golden is suddenly not wanting to go into her crate at night. This has been going on for about 4 weeks. The crate is in our bedroom and as soon as she sees it...she sits down and will NOT budge! We've started using treats to "lure" her in but she'd often rather not have the treat. We finally get her in there and, once she's there, she's quiet and falls asleep instantly. SHe was never the type to bark or whine in the crate and she still doesn't so we don't know what's changed. Should we try to just let her sleep on the floor or a blanket? She chewed the one bed she had so we aren't quite ready to invest in another one until she's a bit older. I don't quite trust her to go wandering around during the night just yet (especially with a Christmas tree up...and cat food and litter around the corner) but I also don't want to close the door to the bedroom as that would prevent our cat from coming in and out. The cat is already ticked at us for getting the dog and I don't want him to not come in our room. I'd appreciate any suggestions! And, no she's not in a crate all day. She has a section of the family room blocked off for her so she has room to walk around.

December 20th, 2005, 10:16 AM
Is she possibly getting too big for the crate. I would continue with your regular routine. Has anyone timed her out in her crate.

December 20th, 2005, 10:21 AM
I seem to remember our pup going through that phase briefly too... it was just a phase and he quickly snapped out of it. We did insist he go into his crate though - so I'd say, don't give in.

I don't think she suddenly doesn't like it, I think she's suddenly testing you.

Lucky Rescue
December 20th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Could you leash her to your bed and put down a bit of carpet for her to sleep on? She'll soon learn to sleep quietly there, and when she's older she can choose her own sleeping spot.

December 20th, 2005, 12:49 PM
Don't worry its just a bit of rebellion. Stay consistent and clear and she will get over it. She is just challenging you to see if you will back off and let her have her own way.

December 20th, 2005, 02:27 PM
Thanks everyone! That does make sense. She does like to lie "froggy style" with her back legs spread out so it's possible that she can't do that...but it's the biggest crate you can get. Lucky Rescue...we were going to try doing that but didn't think she was ready for that transition yet. WE'll try that in the future though so thanks for the tip! StaceyB...what do you mean by "timing her out of the crate"? Do you mean how long can she hold it without peeing?

December 20th, 2005, 02:53 PM
What I meant was, has there been a time where she was not behaving and was placed in the crate like you would time out a child on a chair.
I really don't like the thought of a puppy being loose ina bedroom while you are sleeping just in case she began to chew something and choked on it. The same could happen if they are tied. They could also get twisted up.

December 20th, 2005, 07:18 PM
Thanks for clarifying StaceyB. Nope...that's never happened. We have 2 crates. One's in the basement in her little area for during the day (so she can walk around as well as lie in her crate if she chooses.) We have used that one for "discipline" but not the one in the bedroom. She only sleeps there. So it might just be like a two year old that doesn't want to go to bed! ;)

December 20th, 2005, 07:23 PM
She will test you just as a child does to see what they can get away with. As long as she doesn't succeed everything will be ok. As soon as she gets away with it one time you are in trouble.

December 21st, 2005, 08:01 AM
How would you suggest "weaning" her off of the crate then? (since you don't recommend tethering her using the leash). What age do most people let their dogs sleep out of the crate? I suppose that depends on each pup, doesn't it? She'll stay quiet in her crate from about 10:30-7:30 or 8:00 and has done so for a long time but I am not sure she'd do the same outside of it. We are at the point where we want to start giving her more freedom but don't quite know how to go about it. We do have her enrolled in obedience class starting early January so I am excited to get back and learn some more stuff!

December 21st, 2005, 08:06 AM
How old is she now? You will want to wait until she is out of adolescence before you begin to give her freedom. Start with more freedom during the day before you go to night time freedom. If she is still chewing things that are not hers she isn't ready yet. Start to give her this freedom when you are home so you can still supervise.

December 21st, 2005, 08:10 AM
You probably give her freedom in one room. When she is ready expand her space to two rooms then three and so on. Same goes for at night. Place her crate in a safe room with the door open at night. I would do this step for awhile before you move on. If she goes through the night without trying to get into things and doesn't have accidents then expand to two rooms and so on.

December 22nd, 2005, 08:30 AM
Good ideas StaceyB...thanks very much! She's 6 months old now. Her chewing is much better but she'll still occasionally gnaw on "contraband". She's out with us (when we are home) from when I get home from work until I go to bed (5:30-10;30). She's allowed to wander around the basement which is our family room where we spend the majority of the time at home. She seems to be learning how to be around us without having to be the center of attention all the time. When we can't watch her then we put her back in her "room".

December 23rd, 2005, 08:08 AM
With me I never crated.

When Yukon and Tron were pups(12 weeks old),I let them have the freedom of the house where ever I was.They followed me in every room I went into.I kept a close eye on them.Or my daughter did.If they got into anything they shouldn't(it was rare that they did)they were corrected them right away.

To see how they would do on their own(about 5 months old) I left for about 5 mins.I came back in.If everything was in one piece(LOL) I praised them.Then I left for a bit longer.And then even longer.Lets just say by 6 months they had free run of the house and sleeping on my bed.And we are talking about 2 GSD'S..LOL..I also did this with my first GSD.....:)

I would try and let her wonder a bit more in the house.What I mean is if you need to go upstairs from the basement,let her go with you.This way you can correct her if she starts chewing on anything.

January 13th, 2006, 08:35 AM
Well, we've been sticking to our guns and still putting our pup into her crate at night. Last night was terrible. She went in rather easily and I thought, "The light at the end of the tunnel!". ONce she was in there though...she was panting and sounded so anxious. It went on for much of the night which hasn't happened before. I was actually worried that something might be wrong medically. I took her outside at 3am which I have NEVER had to do thinking maybe she had to pee or something. She was fine! When I got back to the room, it was the same thing all over again. She seems to get really stressed before going in she's afraid of going in there. I have a sheet over the crate which was supposed to make it "cozier" for her...think it's as simple as she doesn't like the dark? The crate is the biggest we can get but she does like to lie sprawled out so is it just that she's grown out of the crate? I still don't think she's at the point where she can have the run of the house so...opinons? Is she still "testing" us and do I stick with it? Do I put a baby gate in our doorway and let her sleep out of the crate?

January 13th, 2006, 08:47 AM
When sizing crates it does need to be a little more than, stand up, turn around and lay down. When they lay down they should be able to lay on their side with their legs stretched out. Basically like taking a standing dog and turning them over onto their side. If your pup likes to lay this way and has grown to the point where it is no longer possible may be the problem. It is also better for their growth that they are able to lay this way. If they are forced to curl up all the time then it is not very good and may not be comfortable.
Some dogs go through this so I would continue to stick with it but also start to do other things with the crate like feed, treat or play(getting a favourite chew toy). Does your pup spend any other time in the crate besides bed time. Did your puppy spend more time in the crate in the past, freedom change. I would think back to when this started and think of any changes at all that took place around that time.

January 13th, 2006, 09:00 AM
If you can't seem to get a good night's sleep, you may want to TRY letting her sleep outside the crate. I recommend shutting the door, or using a baby gate so she doesn't have run of the house while you're sleeping though, and puppy-proofing your bedroom. We started to let our pup sleep with us around 7-8mths - when we were sure he was housebroken, and could hold it through the night. I kept his crate in the bedroom though, so it's always available for him - ironically, he slept with us for a few nights and then opted for the crate. Now he sleeps in his crate with the door open.

Is the sheet over the crate a new thing? if so, she may not like it.

January 13th, 2006, 10:04 AM
She is able to lie on her side with no problem. She likes to lie "froggy style" with her back legs out behind her and that she wouldn't be able to do. I have a favorite toy in there but perhaps I'll try another. The problem is that her favorite thing is to chew on rawhide and I am not going to leave that in there with her all night. Perhaps I could let her chew on it a bit in there and then take it away. She is in her pen (where there is another crate and she can go in there if she wants) when we aren't home. But this one she's only in to sleep. She did spend more time in there in the past and we've been letting her roam around more as she is getting better at not chewing everything in sight. But not to the point where I would feel she's ready to be unsupervised. It really feels like she's just upset that "play time" is over. She usually quiets down no problem once she's in there. It was just last night that I thought she was having a panic attack!S he's back to her normal self this morning.
I don't want her to sleep on the bed with us but I don't mind if eventually she's in our room on the floor or on a bed. She can definitely hold it throughout the night. She's done that since the day we brought her home at 8 weeks. It's more if she decides to get up and wander around during the night. I am a light sleeper so I'd never sleep!
The sheet has been there since the first night so that's not new. Our bedroom is like a "loft" so her crate looks out over the living room. I put the sheet there so that she didn't look out of her crate into empty space!

January 13th, 2006, 10:17 AM
If she has been good except last night then I wouldn't worry and continue as usual. It could have been anything, maybe she wasn't feeling well.