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Sudden strange aversion to crate?!

4440 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  doxiemommy
First I would like to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone here for being so wonderful and welcoming. I am not the most active poster but I am on the site everyday and have learned so much from all of you.

We adopted Tucker from his Foster mom new years day and have been loving having him. He has been WONDERFUL with our daughter who will be 3 in April. We are still working on some things like loose leash walking-he's a MAJOR puller and super strong, and he comes from a home with a big fenced in yard where he wasn't really leash trained. Also, instead of giving kisses he does this thing where he "nibbles" you and sometimes will pinch the skin.....I'm getting off topic..

So recently he has been having a REALLY strong aversion to his crate. He is full grown at an estimated 2 years old and approx. 55lbs. He has a X-Large Great Dane sized crate with a super plush and comfy bed that gets washed regularly. It came with him when we adopted him and he had no problems with it at all until recently. I stay at home during the day with my daughter and the only time he gets crated is during her nap time (approx 2 hours), because she is a VERY light sleeper and we were having problems with him waking her up- and at night from around midnight until 6 or 7 am.

About a week ago he suddenly just WOULDNT go in there...we tried his stuffed kong, favorite toy....ect. Eventually we just had to put him in there and once he was in there he was completely fine..no whining or anything he just curled up and went to sleep. That's been the pattern for a week now except it's getting worse and he's getting more stubborn. He even looked at me today for the first time with a look I had never seen and I was almost a little scared to scoot him in there.

What in the world could be up?!?
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Did something happen to him in the crate? Even something really minor could freak out a dog. Did something change in the room around the crate? Did you move furniture or is a new piece of electronics causing buzzing or something?

Unfortunately, forcing him in the crate is going to make this worse, because he'll have whatever reason he is afraid and then you forcing him on top of that making him afraid.
Nothing that I know of has happened or changed, the only possible thing I can think of is one time he went to step in it (he used to go into it on his own just to lie down at random points throughout the day) and the bottom part of it slipped or adjusted or something and it made a noise of the plastic rubbing against the metal and it he did jump a little...but he still went in. We haven't moved any furniture or gotten anything new for the room.

If something did happen and he got spooked, how can I get him to love it again? I can't leave him out at night...I suppose during her naptime I could since he would be supervised...but he isn't quite trustworthy enough yet to be left alone at night to wander. He has a history of trash diving (not with me) and he is a big time chewer- rugs, shoes, paper products, ect.
Have you checked out "crate games"? You can google it. I haven't, as we don't have an issue with crates, but lots of people speak highly of it.

Also, you could start feeding him in his crate, his normal feedings. Just make the crate his new feeding area.

Dogs are funny, if things scare them, we can't really explain their fears away. All you can do is hope to condition them to feel safe and secure in it again.
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