Your dog hates his crate and rejects it, or all of a sudden doesn’t feel comfortable being in it!
You are probably doing something wrong with your crate training; which is all about making the crate great.
In this article, we’ll see some of the most common reasons why dogs hate their crates; and what to do if you find yourself in such a situation.
One thing you need to do is to prepare the right tools to make the crate great again.
So what do you need to prepare for the crate training?
Since your dog hates his crate I am assuming you already have a crate. Although if it’s not the right crate it could be the main reason your dog hates it. If you do have some doubts about the perfect crate for your dog check out this article; where I give specific details about the size and type of crate you need.
You will need 3 things to make sure your dog falls in love with his crate.
- Training treats
What do I do if my dog hates his crate?
First don’t panic! a dog that hates his crate is a very common situation among dog owners.
What it simply means is that your dog does not like to be in that crate; either because he has had some bad experiences in there or simply he has a better alternative.
What you need to do is to find out why your dog hates the crate. Check out the crate and make sure it’s the right size.
The crate needs to be in a good position in the house so the dog is not too exposed nor left alone.
If everything about the crate is ok you need to restart your crate training which is basically making the crate great.
The dog needs to feel safe in his crate and consider it as a den, so if you notice that your dog has another place in the house where he dens up you need to take action.
This might feel cruel but you need to associate that place with a bad experience so that your dog loses interest in it. A loud sound in there usually does the trick.
Now that you made sure your dog’s crate has nothing wrong you already made him hate the older spot you can move on to the next step.
How do I get my dog to like his crate again?
This is the part where you need the toy the training treats and the playpen.
The playpen will use a larger area that you will be reducing along the way as your dog gets comfortable in his crate again.
Install a playpen and put the crate in it so your dog has enough space but still close to his crate that will remain open.
Your best option is a playpen that connects to a crate so it can feel natural.
I personally recommend this playpen(check the current price on Amazon)and this is the crate(click here to check the current price on Amazon) that attaches to it.
You want to lure your dog in the playpen using toys and training treats as they are the best tools to get a dog to like a place.
Nonetheless, you need to be careful how much and which toys and treats you use.
I strongly suggest you check out this article about training treats and how to phase out on them and also this article about dog toys and the best ones to use.
The idea is to simply get your dog to associate great memories with his crate. So you want to play with him, praise and reward while he is in there.
Use the treats to lure him in and get him to stay using the toys, once he is comfortable enough gradually reduce the playpen area until he is fine in his crate.
Why does my dog suddenly hate his crate?
If a dog suddenly hates his crate then something wrong must’ve happened in there.
Dogs consider their crate as a safe place if the crate training is done correctly. So if your puppy hates his crate all of a sudden then he no longer feels safe in there.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure there is nothing wrong with the crate and the area around it. A loud sound or another animal around it could be the cause and sometimes just punishing the dog in there will make him hate it.
As I always say never use the crate for a time out. the crate is a happy safe place and if you do you’ll need a lot of time to rebuild trust.
Dogs are sensitive animals and they associate experiences with things they like and dislike based on how good the experience was.
If you have no idea why your dog suddenly hates his crate; and you already checked the crate the area and you can’t recall any special incident that might’ve caused it; Then you just need to make a few changes and start over.
Try to change the bed you usually put in the crate if you use one. clean up the crate and change it’s location even a little if you don’t have much space.
Then by using the training treats and toys, you can make sure he feels safe in it again.
A dog that has already been crate trained usually takes a couple of days to feel good in it again.
How do I keep my dog calm in the crate?
When you first start crate training it is just a matter of time and effort so that your dog gets used to the crate. You basically make new great experiences by feeding him in the crate and by using toys and treats.
You can check out this article about the crate training basics to make sure you are on the right track.
However, if your dog is already crate trained and then suddenly hates his crate it is a bit more challenging to keep him calm. This is simply due to the fact that he knows what a crate is and he doesn’t want it anymore.
This is not a big deal, after all, dogs do love attention and do feel happy when we are.
You simply show your dog that in the crate he will get much more attention, praise, and food.
This is when the dog playpen comes in really handy; it helps you manage your dog area and at the same time help him to get used to the crate again.
The setup in the image above is perfect you can see that the dog has plenty of space; at the same time, you have control over where he goes, and he has access to his crate anytime he wants. You can also notice a luring toy is in there attached to the crate to motivate him to get in it.
Do dogs like being in crates?
This is a question one would ask when making a decision to crate train his puppy or not; nonetheless, it still is relevant in this situation.
You really trying to make your dog like a place he hates for some reason. So do dogs like being in crates?
The answer is that they have nothing against crates by nature nor do they love it. It is us who teach them to like or dislike something by associating it with bad or good memories.
Just like Pavlov did with a bell in his behavior experience he simply associated the sound of the bell to a happy moment which is food and dogs would salivate by the sound of the bell.
So you just have to make an effort to make the crate a nice and safe place for your dog and he’ll naturally like to be in it.
How can I make my dog more comfortable in his crate?
The first and most important thing is to avoid reprimanding and punishing your dog in his crate no matter what.
The crate should be a safe place even from you as a pet parent.
Use toys and treats to your advantage and make the crate a comfortable place for your dog.
Serve meals in the crate and use that time to help him get used to the crate.
Make sure to go gradually as you rebuild the relationship with the crate.
You don’t need to speed things up every dog has his own personality and will take the time he needs.
Make sure it’s the right size crate and the location is ok.
Finally, get yourself a playpen especially one that attaches to the crate to make things easier for you and your dog.
These are the best in the market: