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Dog freaked out when left in crate

November 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
Ozzy is 5 months old and he is crated at night and when we leave. He likes his crate, he goes in there to sleep sometimes and he stays in it while we clean the floors.

He isn't left alone a lot, but a few hours in the afternoon maybe 3 days a week. Each time, he gets a Kong with peanut butter and some toys. We leave the TV on. Plus he always gets a long walk beforehand to tire him out.

He is always fine, usually he just sleeps until I get home. He is more attached to me than my fiance, so he is always more reluctant for me to leave him. We have recorded him most times we leave, and he barks for a few minutes and then stops. This happens every 30 - 45 minutes or so.

Well last week, I had to go out for dinner with a friend and Ozzy got left alone in his crate. He isn't usually left alone in the evening. But he had 2 big walks that day, I fed him dinner & took him out well beforehand, gave him a treat and some toys and left him. The TV was left on too.

Well immediately he started barking and I figured he'd do it for a few minutes then stop - as usual. So I left. Well I ended up getting a call because Ozzy barked, howled, cried, and whined almost non-stop for the 2 hours I was gone. We live in a condo, 3rd floor and people on the 5th floor could hear him. They thought perhaps he was injured or trapped because of the high-pitched noises he was making. I even had a neighbor sit outside my door making noise because that seemed to calm him! It was crazy!

I listened to the recording and Ozzy was in a state of panic the whole time. It was horrible! I felt so bad for him. After I got home, he drank lots of water and then just slept!

So now we don't trust to leave him alone because that could happen again. We've had to go right back to the beginning and leave the room for a minute, then 2 minutes, leave the condo for a minute, then 2 minutes, etc. It isn't good for us to always be with him, because in another month he will be alone all day while we both work. But we also can't leave him alone to do that to him or to our neighbors.

Any advice?

November 3rd, 2008, 12:33 PM
there is another post here too that has the similiar problems

November 3rd, 2008, 12:38 PM
I feel for you. When we first got our (now year old Puggle Pebbles) at 5 mo, she HATED the crate. Absolutely hated it. She freaked out, I mean shook the kennel like it was a prison! It scared us!

She cried and cried and cried. But you never take them out even if they're crying and seem upset. I mean take them out to pee at certain times. But I have read that how many months old a dog is, that is how long you should let them be alone. IE: if they're 5 mo old, only 5 hrs at a time.

What helped for us was putting a hot water bottle in a towel in her kennel. She just curled up to it like it was a person and falls asleep.

We also put on classical music for the dogs. It soothes them.

That of course with the other things like toys, treats, the kong, and walks later.


November 3rd, 2008, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the replies so far.

I think what happened with Ozzy goes a little beyond the normal crating troubles. He doesn't mind his crate at all, and has been left alone it in before. This time, even though he had a walk, toys, a treat, and the TV on and there was just no settling him. The fact that he was high-pitched barking and wouldn't stop tells me that he was very anxious, even though he hasn't been that anxious on the other occassions that he'd been left alone.

Plus he started immediately after I left and continued until I got back, so I think it's separation anxiety or something like that. It just gets linked to the crate because he's left in it when we aren't home.

The hot water bottle is an interesting idea and I could give it a try. Thanks!