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Hi everyone,

We have crate trained our 4 month old puppy since day one (8 weeks) and we thought it was going great. When we put her in there, she usually lies down and goes to sleep. If she's not sleepy she often puts up a fuss for a couple of minutes before settling down with a toy. We put her in when we eat, when she's falling asleep, for bedtime and when we leave the house. However, my concern is, she never goes in on her own. She's never happy to go in there, except at nighttime for sleeping. I figure she has associated the crate with us leaving or ignoring her.... Is this something to worry about? Is it too late to make her love it and go in on her own? When she has a choice where to nap she usually picks a blanket on the floor instead. Any suggestions?
 

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Hi everyone,

We have crate trained our 4 month old puppy since day one (8 weeks) and we thought it was going great. When we put her in there, she usually lies down and goes to sleep. If she's not sleepy she often puts up a fuss for a couple of minutes before settling down with a toy. We put her in when we eat, when she's falling asleep, for bedtime and when we leave the house. However, my concern is, she never goes in on her own. She's never happy to go in there, except at nighttime for sleeping. I figure she has associated the crate with us leaving or ignoring her.... Is this something to worry about? Is it too late to make her love it and go in on her own? When she has a choice where to nap she usually picks a blanket on the floor instead. Any suggestions?
IME, this is a very individual thing and not a concern as long as she responds well when she is instructed to go in.

Some dogs accept their crates as their sole resting spots and go there on their own. Others will go in on their own occasionally but also have other "places". And still others only go in when told to.

I don't think it matters all that much.

But if you want to 'improve the experience' for her, you can try feeding her in her crate (with the door open) and putting some favorite toys in there (also with the door open. However, don't be surprised if she removes the toys and/or also tries to pick up the food and brings it outside the crate. Don't force the issue.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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I'm with Poly. If the crate is tolerated, and he uses it when you ask, you are way ahead of a lot of people!

We only used the crate for our puppies when they were very young. Then, we graduated to pens, then to the kitchen blocked off with a baby gate, then the whole house (bedrooms being the exception). We do also use crates for travel, I should add. The crates used to be in the living room, and they could go in when they wanted to, but, we found they prefer for their down time to be in our laps or on the couch....
:)
 

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I wouldn't be too concerned. My dog doesn't love her crate but she doesn't fight to go in it...she just knows that is part of her routine. During the day, she will only go in there to get her toys and come out. she loves the floor and hates the couch or our lap...go figure....
 
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