Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?
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    Senior Member Shiningsummer's Avatar
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    Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    I'm just wondering if there are dogs that don't like being crated. I have read a lot about crating and dogs, but it all seems to indicate that dogs should love having a crate. My dog definitely does not. At first, I wasn't sure if it was SA, but I think it may be the crate. This is the best conclusion that I can reach. Ok, here is some background on the situation:

    When I first adopted Molly, she was 4 months old. After the first 2 months, she didn't spend much time in the crate anymore because she seemed to hate it and just wasn't adapting to it at all. She would drool, whine, and paw at the door for hours. At first, I figured it was normal puppy behavior and she would eventually get used to it if I ignored her. I did all the things you're supposed to do: feed her meals in the crate, only give her special treats and toys in the crate and take them away when she came out, and ignore her if she cried while in the crate. It didn't make any difference, she still hated being in it. When she came out of the crate, she would be soaked with drool. I felt horrible. So one day when she was about 6 months old, I left her at home out of the crate by herself for about 1/2 hr to see how she reacted. When I came home, she had chewed the frames on my bedroom door and the back door and she had pooped in like 3 different places. She greeted me frantically when I came home. I tried it again about a month later, and the exact same thing happened, except this time she also shredded some paper and got one of my favorite leather purses and pooped inside it. I actually thought it was hilarious when I saw that because it was almost like she had done that to get me back for leaving her. I know that's not true, but it was funny. Due to this behavior and her behavior in the crate, I thought she had some mild to moderate SA. So if I need to be gone for 2 or 3 hours, I have always left her in her crate, but I really avoid putting her in it if I can. If I plan on being gone longer than that, I take her to daycare.

    So fast forward to now. Molly is 15 months old and still hates the crate with a passion. So I decided to leave her out of it and see how she does when I leave. I left her kong stuffed with goodies, some chew toys, and also a treat dispensing toy for good measure. I didn't know what I would encounter when I came home, so I was pretty nervous when I came back about 45 minutes later. Imagine my surprise when I came in and the house was still intact! She was fine, no drooling, no accidents, no chewing the door frames, and the couch was uneaten! Her kong was cleaned out and it was obvious she was chewing on her toy, but that was it. I have since done this 2 more times, and the last time was for about 2 hours. No problems yet.

    Also, because of what I thought was SA, I have done some training with her focused on that. I leave for different lengths of time, then come back. When I come home, I ignore her for about 20 minutes afterwards even though she is jumping all over me for most of that time. I have also left her in the crate when we're home so she doesn't just associate the crate with us leaving. She is still very much a velcro dog when I'm home.

    So here is my question: Was it just a case of puppy can't be trusted to be alone at home out of the crate? Maybe she just needed to grow out of it and is now mature enough to be alone free from the crate. But if that's the case, she still displays the same frantic behavior while in her crate, even if it's only for a few minutes. Are there dogs who just don't like being crated no matter what kind of crate training you did?

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    Senior Member zimandtakandgrrandmimi's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    My dog to date has ripped apart 7 crates.

    and no, its not separation anxiety...most of the crates she has ripped apart have had OTHER dogs in them...and not her.

    she also hurt herself really badly. I told the dogsitter not to put her in a crate but she didnt listen.

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    Senior Member Shiningsummer's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Wow, at least Molly hasn't been able to rip one apart yet. I was also worried about her hurting herself, so that's why I would prefer to leave her out of a crate entirely if I can. Darkmoon scared the crap out of me with her story about her first dog. Does Bolo ever stay at home by herself out of the crate? How does she do?

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    Senior Member zimandtakandgrrandmimi's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shiningsummer View Post
    Wow, at least Molly hasn't been able to rip one apart yet. I was also worried about her hurting herself, so that's why I would prefer to leave her out of a crate entirely if I can. Darkmoon scared the crap out of me with her story about her first dog. Does Bolo ever stay at home by herself out of the crate? How does she do?
    Every day. and she's just fine.

    i should say that ive never liked crates and never really felt the need for them. Bolo was crate trained before i had her and she hated it then too. I was like a perfect fit because with my permanent dogs..i dont crate them. ever. I do crate train fosters though.

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    Senior Member Spicy1_VV's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    She could hate it. Some dogs don't like confinement. They can also have other issues which leads to the behavior in the crate.

    I have dogs and their ancestors/relatives which don't like to be in an outdoor kennel. These dogs are very good at escaping too if you don't know what you're doing. It's amazing with the gate off a kennel they are content to lay right outside it. That makes them happy.

    As for crates I never had an issue with the crate itself but its possible.
    I had a dog with SA that went crazy at first but got over it. There were a few chew marks on the side but nothing serious.
    A clostrophobic (sp?) dog so a crate wasn't an option.
    A dog that doesn't so much hate the crate as much as other dogs so thar has lead to the destruction of several crates.
    Another its about freedom and the crate is simply had to be escaped from so they could have that.
    Overall I've had great success with crate training and using crates regulary without an issue. On a show weekend my dogs may spend long periods in a crate and be fine.

    Poop in the purse, that is a funny thought.

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    Senior Member zimandtakandgrrandmimi's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    here's the thing with crates...like them or not..they are what they are..

    there is no law that commands you to use one. the really intensely Pro Crating people tend to be a little overzealous in their advocacy of crating. yeah it can be useful and in some cases..maybe necessary. but it's not required to be a good dog owner.

    so if your dog doesnt like the crate and does fine without, then ditch it. it's as simple as that

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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Willow didn't like crates. She was claustrophobic, I guess. My grandpa's Lab was, too; he wouldn't go into a doghouse or any enclosed space. My current dogs are fine with crates, Panny really likes them in fact. I had to put hers away because the cats thought it looked like a nice litterbox , but before that she slept in it every chance she got.

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    Senior Member Jacksons Mom's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by zimandtakandgrrandmimi View Post
    here's the thing with crates...like them or not..they are what they are..

    there is no law that commands you to use one. the really intensely Pro Crating people tend to be a little overzealous in their advocacy of crating. yeah it can be useful and in some cases..maybe necessary. but it's not required to be a good dog owner.

    so if your dog doesnt like the crate and does fine without, then ditch it. it's as simple as that
    Totally agree. It was simply never needed for Jackson. Never was he destructive, and he hated the crate. Didn't see a use for it.

    I dogsit a 10 month old Rottie however who will destroy a household with the humans being gone for less than an hour.

    Brit & Jackson



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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Are there dogs who just don't like being crated no matter what kind of crate training you did?
    I believe there is. Absolutely.

    I have an old dog here that hates crates or confinement. I've lived with her 15 years that way.

    I actually do train my dogs to crate, but gradually and with age, so they eventually have the knowledge of a crate in case it is needed. I obviously do not use the crate as a house training tool as I have lived with dogs too many years and potty trained them easily without. I find house training much easier than crate training.

    Of the many dogs I have had, three absolutely did not like confinement - the whole 'dogs love denning' idea is one I have a lot of contention with as I can't see the comparison to a closed door crate and an open den, where an animal understands it has an escape. I have had a couple that DID like to den, but most just put up with it.

    I have had only the one that I couldn't eventually get accustomed to confinement (my old girl). She won't even walk into a small room if she cannot see a second door out.

    I will add that I have a slight bit of anxiety when I cannot see an escape in any room I am in, and like to keep my doors open - always. This probably plays into the reason I find alternatives for my dogs that show a good amount of resistance to crate training.

    SOB
    Last edited by spanielorbust; 12-17-2010 at 09:05 PM.

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    Senior Member CoverTune's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    What do you all do when you have a dog who hates being crated, or confined, but also can't be trusted alone in the house?


    "The pet-food industry tends to dismiss the evidence of tens of thousands of healthy dogs on raw diets as ‘anecdotal’, but I’d rather be another anecdote with a healthy dog than another clinical statistic sat in a waiting room."

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    Senior Member ThoseWordsAtBest's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoverTune View Post
    What do you all do when you have a dog who hates being crated, or confined, but also can't be trusted alone in the house?
    This was essentially Smalls. Intensely kennel aggressive and about the time she ripped off a few nails and a paw pad I decided to stop crating or shutting her in a room. She was destructive, so the house was puppy proofed to the teeth. Basically my house was bare bones. I put away the DVD rack, books from the book shelf, closed every single door, child locked all cabinets, plastic plug protectors in the sockets, etc. I was fortunate enough to get home to get her outside when she needed, and basically had to deal with it if she went in the house.

    I think if I had the foresight back then, I would have tried an huge x-pen.

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    Senior Member zimandtakandgrrandmimi's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Quote Originally Posted by CoverTune View Post
    What do you all do when you have a dog who hates being crated, or confined, but also can't be trusted alone in the house?
    dont trust them alone in the house.

    i hire a sitter if i havent set up the dog room yet. I always have a dog room in my house.

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    Senior Member Laurelin's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Summer has SA so it didn't really matter if she was home alone in a room or in a crate, she'd go ballistic. But I've found she does fine and loves the crate if her sister can go with her. I know, I know.... a lot of people would be very against putting two dogs in one crate unsupervised, but it works for us. It's either that or have Summer go through panic attacks every day and hurt herself trying to escape.

    Really you just do what works for you and your dogs. There is no one right or wrong way to do something.
    Mia CGC - (5 year old papillon)
    Summer TG2 TBAD - (10 year old papillon)

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    Senior Member CoverTune's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Dang, not an option, lol.


    "The pet-food industry tends to dismiss the evidence of tens of thousands of healthy dogs on raw diets as ‘anecdotal’, but I’d rather be another anecdote with a healthy dog than another clinical statistic sat in a waiting room."

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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Well maybe she's just not used unto it. May training your dog to love it would be just as good. Like for example when you travel and your dog finds comfort in it. Well, most dogs if grown to be out from crates would usually be used to it. In fact for some they just train their dogs like put it like for minutes for now and as days go by and intermitent times, longer minutes or hours would be added. This way, their dogs will be used to it.

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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    My lab/pit mix hates her crate. She will go into it when told to without an issue and doesn't try to break out anymore, but she just doesn't appear to like it. She doesn't "hang out in her own special place" like some peoples dogs will. Doen't treat it like a den. She only goes in when told and is now doing fine when just penned in the kitchen instead of her crate all day when i'm at work. She is just not a fan. I feel like i should put her in there on occation so she is ok at places where she has to be crated, but otherwise, she would rather be out and about with us or sleeping a pillow somewhere in the middle of the family chaos.

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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    I cant get rex into a crate even throwing chicken in wont get him to step foot into the crate. he gets confined to the kitchen when we leave or else all my sons toys will be chewed to tiny pieces. the doberman goes willingly into his crate but barks his fool head off.

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    Senior Member upendi'smommy's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Cara despite my best efforts stresses in the crate terribly, think drooling, screaming, shaking, etc. As of right now she just gets crated very very minimally, I'm lucky enough to be home all the time right now and so I just watch her ALL OF THE TIME. I'll take her out on the long line just before bed and she tires herself out enough that she sleeps through the night.

    That said right now I only have a plastic crate, but I'm going to get a wire one and see if that makes any difference in how she feels about it.


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    Senior Member LazyGRanch713's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    My dogs are fine being crated. They all started out as puppies in one, and they never really had issues with it. I had one cat who couldn't be confined in any way, shape, or form. He'd freak. He was also weird about being in an enclosed room, and would scream and hurt himself.

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    Senior Member Nargle's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone here have dogs that HATE being in a crate?

    Basil can't be crated. I'm not sure if it's his Separation Anxiety, general hate for the crate, or both. He's chipped several of his teeth causing trips to the vet and chewed up the inside of his crate. If I put him in there and close the door, he goes crazy. I tried for over a year to train him to accept the crate. I gave him tons of treats inside the crate, kongs, fed him pieces of dehydrated liver through the bars for an hour some days. I would sit right next to the crate and then the next day move a foot away, then the next day move another foot away, and so on and so forth so that eventually I could leave the room without him screaming and pounding at the crate door with his paws. He did calm down after a while, and wouldn't panic so much when I was home with him, but there was still a constant low whine as if he was just barely tolerating it. If I left home, though, he would still completely panic (because of his SA). After having to repair the damage caused by him chomping at his crate door, I decided to just ditch the crate. To my surprise, it actually improved his SA. He would still panic, but not the same type of out-of-control panic where he hurts himself and breaks his teeth. Outside of the crate he has the freedom to pace around or just sit by the front door and bark.

    I think the crate added to his anxiety, but I also think his SA is what caused his dislike for the crate in the first place. Because of all the hours he's spent in the crate, panicking because he was alone, I think it burned a pretty deep bad association with the crate in his mind. No matter how many peanut butter Kongs or bully sticks I put into the crate, the association with negativity is still too strong, I believe. I do not think his negativity towards the crate was caused by claustrophobia, though. He actually likes sleeping in "dens" and finding small spaces to curl up in. In fact, we have this soft-sided carrier, much to small to use for long term confinement, only meant for temporary transportation, but Basil LOVES that thing, lol! But only when the door is open, keep in mind. We tried leaving him in there alone with the door closed (because he liked it so much better than his crate) and we came home to find the door half ripped off, lol! I think SOB makes a good point about dens not having a door that closes. Though there are many dogs that can be trained to accept this, just as dogs can be trained to accept being restricted by a leash or being restrained for things like shots and nail trimmings. But I can understand why some dogs may not appreciate being in a "den" with no escape route. Here's Basil in his carrier, by the way!




    Also, I feel as though I'm very fortunate to have a dog with few destructive tendencies. Basil is not a chewer, doesn't get into things and doesn't tend to eat things that may harm him, like chunks of furniture. However, there are dogs who I believe are safest when crated for their protection, because they can/will eat chunks off of walls, chew on electrical chords, jump through windows, etc. I think if someone needs to crate their dog for their dog's safety, then that's their business. I may be lucky to have a dog that doesn't destroy my home, but that's definitely not the case for everybody!

    I think in the future, I will crate train every dog I own, because it's best to be prepared. If any future dog needs to be boarded in a kennel or at the vet's, crated for transportation, etc. etc., I want my dog(s) to be able to handle it without any trouble. Unfortunately Basil already had a problem with the crate right from the beginning, but I'd like to avoid that with any future dogs I have. But will I use crates for long term confinement while my future dog(s) are left home alone? I'm not sure. I think it depends on the dog. If I have a destructive puppy that gets into everything, and I don't have a suitable dog-proof room (like if the puppy eats walls) then probably. But if I have a dog/puppy that is non-destructive like Basil, they'll probably get to stay out in the house.
    Last edited by Nargle; 12-20-2010 at 11:29 AM.


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