My dog is usually really good at going into his crate, but lately he will not go in. I really need help because he is not old enough to stay out of his crate by himself yet. Please help!
By Sammy from Buffalo, NY
The crate has to be a place he wants to be, not a place he is forced to go. Place a special treat in his crate before you urge him to go in. My sister uses a little piece of braunschweiger, which dogs love. They also sell a rubber toy, you put peanut butter in it and dogs work a long time trying to get all of the peanut butter out. You can place one of those in there just before you put him in the crate. Don't forget to include a favorite toy, and change toys often.
I am thinking it is probably a plastic crate. I would get a wire crate. If it is already a wire crate something might have happened to scare him in the crate.
Try a calming spray from drfostersmith, and see if it helps. Also, throw high value treats in there, get a kong and stuff it with something great, not just cheap treats but somethinhg that might cost a little more because there is real meat in it.
If you would like to contact me I can offer my advice, from having a few doggies that would not get in the crate at first. There are a lot of leerburg.com articles and podcasts regarding this technique. Looks as if some training is in order, like play clicker training, look for these articles on leerburg.com that deal with this, and watch this free podcast from that site also and see if it inspires you:
The crate is now probably too small for him, you did not say what kind of dog and how much he weighs, nor did you state the size of the crate. I am a professional dog person, the larger the crate the better, leave the door open when you are there, put in lots of nice comfy blankets, especially the micro, soft and fluffy ones. Do not put in any pet beds that are stuffed as they will always chew them up! Each time he goes in at your request give him a treat he favors, such as a piece of hot dog, keep these cut up in the refrigerator. Tell him what a good boy he is each time he goes in for the treat, eventually he will like his crate as long as it is large, comfortable and he is happy in it. Good luck, Barbara Arnold
Make sure the crate and bedding is clean. He might have had an accident in it and it may smell.
I agree with what everyone has said; the crate needs to be a place where good things happen. We have several dogs and they all eat their meals in the crate so as not to compete with each other. They think the crate is great.
You've gotten good suggestions that can help. A well-placed, clean crate that is big enough for your dog to comfortably stand up and move about is essential. However, it is also important to realize that a growing puppy is much like a growing child. At some point in their development they learn that an action on their part will get a reaction from you. Just as you would have to let a child "cry it out" once or twice to learn how to self-soothe, you may have to do the same for your pup. If you let him out when he complains, he learns quickly that complaining gets a reward. Be patient. It's probably just a phase if you've made sure his crate is a positive atmosphere. Do not let him become distressed and panicked, but don't give in to him for whining.
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