- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


What if my dog is afraid of her crate.

July 29th, 2008, 08:45 AM
:pawprint:Well I crate trained both my puppies, the little one loves it and has no problem with it. Unfortunately the big Pit/Lab I have who is almost 2 years old now hates it. We had to use it when she was a baby because she destroyed many of my belongings including a part of my couch. She freaked out for the first week then seemed fine. She would never eat a treat in it though no matter how good it was. We even had her to the point that if we left the house she would automatically go in. About a month and a half ago she banged her paw on the ledge of her wire kennel and jammed it in the crate door as well. Now no matter how much I coax her, give her favorite things, even put her favorite blanky in there that she drags all over the house. No way can I get her to stay in there. If I lock the door even with her kong stuffed with goodies in there she just sits there and shakes and pants like crazy. I even tried sitting with her and patting her with the door open and she was still terrified. She use to sleep in it on her own accord at night now she would sooner sleep on the bare floor. I don't want to keep it if I can never get her in it but, when we travel she is very anxious and chews other peoples stuff. She is frightened very easily, we are not sure why, we got her when she was 4 months old from the family of her mother so she has only ever known the 2 homes. I was even thinking of trading it for plastic if I thought that would help but, again not to sure what to do. any ideas. I feel bad for her and thankfully I don't need it at home anymore as she is comfortable and doesn't freak out when I leave her home. :pray::ca:

July 29th, 2008, 08:57 AM
one thing you should never ever do is pet a dog who is scared or nervous.

you are only reinforcing that state of mind. the best thing to do is to simply make it clear to the dog that you want her to be in the crate, and then use your body to block her from running away from it.

once she is inside, you have to stay there until she is calmed down, and only then can you let her out.

an excited/anxious/nervous dog cannot and will not accept a treat or food of any kind. it simply doesnt happen.

it may take 10-15 minutes before her mind relaxes from being in the crate, so be prepared to play the waiting game. a dogs brain can only stay anxious for so long, then she will go through the motions and her mind will relax.

i cannot stress enough that dogs are not like humans, and petting them does not create calming, it only reinforces whatever is happening at the time.

once you have gotten to the point where entering the crate is no long causing her stress, you should progress to closing the door, and again waiting until she is relaxed to open it back up. then you can build up the time.

unfortunately it sounds like there has been some "reverse" training so it may take a bit to undo.

but please please please do not pet an anxious/fearful dog, it does only harm.

July 29th, 2008, 09:03 AM
Kigndano is absolutely right,no petting.... Put puppy in the crate sit down so she can't get out. You can read a book, listen to music, humm if you want. Don't really speak to her unless she tries to leave the crate.

She may just be associating the crate with it bit her and hurt her, she has to relearn it's her safe place. It will take some time, but as kigndano said it sounds like a little re-treaining is needed.

July 29th, 2008, 09:41 AM

i gave some good advice!

good advice count : 1

July 29th, 2008, 11:27 AM
Actually she hasn't gotten to the point where she will go in at all. Since she hurt herself she won't even look at it. When she was in a state where she would go in I actually waited more than 20 minutes and she still didn't calm down. As a matter of fact it got progressively worse the longer I left her there. I know the patting thing is a bad idea now and that's my fault because I hate to see her panicked like that and it did seem to calm her down at the time. It's hard too because I only need the crate for traveling now as she is fine at home so training her for it hasn't really been high on the priority list. I'm just asking for ideas to see whether it's worth training her again or not, whether I should switch to plastic and start over or whether I should just can the whole thing. I know if I decide to get her used to it again then I will have to start over I just don't know. I'm wondering if plastic might make it better in the long run. She was really easy to train the first time and that lasted for a year. these are very good ideas and sensible I just wonder if I should switch kennels before I try again or not. I like the wire for it's convenience but, I find plastic less like a jail for some reason. It just seems more homey.

July 29th, 2008, 11:33 AM
Do you happen to know anyone who has a plastic crate you might try her in. It would be a huge drag if you went to the expense of buying one, just to find out the same issue is there.

July 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM
possibly, I have a few friends that have crates that might lend me one. That is true it would be a drag.

July 29th, 2008, 11:41 AM
depending on where you are in new brunswick is there a pet store around that would let you bring her in and see how she is with the crate.

July 29th, 2008, 11:50 AM
Maybe, My husband and I are blind so it's difficult for us to travel and especially when we have to bring the dog but, I could ask around and see. There is none within walking distance for sure so limited options here. good idea though, I have one store that wanted to meet her anyway so maybe I can start there.

July 29th, 2008, 12:04 PM
I just tried again after giving up for over a week and lo and behold the little turkey went right in and I was able to shut the door and leave the room. she didn't even hyperventilate this time. She just laid down and waited for me to let her out. strange or what. I don't get it at all, but for the first time in almost 2 months she seemed fine in it. who would have thought. Still debating over wire or plastic though. I'm still in shock I think. :laughing::shrug::confused:

July 29th, 2008, 12:08 PM
yay puppy that's the way to make mommy's day. Glad things seem to be turning around. Give her big cuddles and a treat for the pleasant surprise.

July 29th, 2008, 12:35 PM
pitgrrl, the dog went into the crate on her own, all is well....

July 29th, 2008, 12:50 PM
Seems I just have to keep putting her in every so often to get her use to it again now. That's not so bad after all. We might keep the wire one and just cover it instead of switching. If she is going to get use to it again there is no point in upsetting things all over again. It's a relief to be sure. thanks everyone and hope this thread might help others with similar problems as well.