Dog Afraid of Crate

My dog goes to the bathroom on the rug while we are out. When we are home, he lets me know he needs to go out by going to the door. I only leave him alone for three hours at a time and make sure he eliminates before I leave. He's five months old so he should be able to "hold it" for that long.


People suggested I crate him because confining him to a small space will help since dogs don't want to go in the same place they eat or sleep. However, he is deathly afraid of the crate. He foams at the mouth and shakes intensely. I've tried conditioning him to like the crate for weeks but to no avail. He'll eat his food in there, but as soon as I close the door he freaks out. He was in a plastic crate but it was so hard to clean and every time I came home it was soiled and he was covered in poop.

I bought him a metal crate that has a divider for training and a removable tray for easy cleaning, but he figured out how to undo the metal clamps and get out of it!
How can I confine him without putting him in the crate? I live in an apartment so the only small room is the bathroom, but the last few times I left him in there he pooped and smeared it all over EVERYTHING. He managed to reach all my toiletries which even I have a hard time reaching, and got into all the soap and shampoo and smeared all that with poop too!

Has anyone had experience using a baby pen or something where you can restrict the dog to a small area, but they wont' necessarily get anxious from being confined? I have been struggling with this problem for two months and I need help!


dog lying in crate
April 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

First of all, there is nothing wrong with using crates for your pets. Some animals actually look to their crates as home. I had a similar problem with my Pit bull Puppy and I just had to slowly retrain her to be more accustom to the crate. Putting her in it while I was home for just like 5 minutes with her favorite toy and giving her, her favorite treat when she goes in. The urinating in the cage will stop over time, but I would say to keep working at it. Also some dogs think once they go in that crate they know you are leaving. So putting them in it while you are home will comfort them more.

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful

Our dog, a lab/border collie mix, raised havoc when we were gone. Usually someone is at home but occasionally we have to be gone. I saw on television that some dogs like to listen to slow, lower toned classical music, so I thought maybe stimulation was playing a part with her behavior when we were gone. I didn't have any CD's that were appropriate and you can't tell in advance what the selections were going to be on the classical channel so leaving music on was out.

I decided to go the opposite direction. (And we sometimes had a visiting chihuahua to watch too.).

When we go out, we leave everything OFF. No television, no lights, no fans. All chewables put up including remotes..and yes there were accidents too.

Nice blankie for them or just her to rest on. Blinds closed. In short we made the house ready for a nap.

If we had a chew we left it. Food and water as usual after we realized this worked, but while testing it, left water, but no solid food. Quiet, shadowy, comfortable environment. They/she went to sleep until we came home. Two to 6 hours. No accidents, nothing mauled like table legs or door frames as before. No scratching on doors. Perfect behavior almost everytime. Sometimes if we were gone a while and it was two dogs we'd find a bit of torn newspaper, as my son is careless about picking up his newspaper. So I suggest leaving nothing within reach or uncovered that might get chewed. I have covered things with cloth or blankets if I had doubts during the first few trials.

I always tell her/them go night-night as we go out the door. It's worked well, and there are no accidents anymore.

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful

I do NOT recommend using a crate. Personally I find this very cruel. We don't do this to babies do we? I don't understand why people even use crates unless they are traveling in an airplane (I don't even recommend this either).

Animals trapped in crates get very hyper when they are let out. An old friend of mine's parents used to keep the dog in the crate for hours everyday, the dog was so hyperactive when he got out. Please find another solution, some of the solutions on this post are good. Please don't lock up the dog! :)

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December 29, 20080 found this helpful

I had the same issue with my dogs, if your dog doesn't like cages then don't force him/her into one. This can actually make them aggressive to you! What you need to do is teach him/her to use a dog door to go potty outside. If you can't do that because of your apartment problem, then you can either ask someone to come by and walk your dog (a person the dog is comfortable with like a friend or family member) or you can do something like put puppy training pads down.

Another thing that you can do is take him/her to your vet, he/she might have a bladder problem "holding it in". Your vet can recommended somethings you can do to help. I do agree that he should be "potty trained" by now, but one thing that you can do if nothing else works is get ready like your going to leave and stand outside for a little bit (outside your building) and after a little while go in and praise your dog for not peeing. After a while you can extend the time outside and repeat the praising.

Make sure to pick up there food and water dishes. This probably sounds mean but it can help if the dog doesn't drink more water while your gone. Be sure to take him/her out before you leave, this can also help.

Best of luck, Lauren

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