Tips For A Dog Who Is Afraid Of His Crate
20 February, 2012

Many dog owners like to use a crate or cage for their puppies and/or dogs.  However, as most dog owners know, a dog does not necessarily take to his crate and is sometimes even afraid of it.  Your dog needs to acclimate to his new home so that he or she will feel comfortable and safe when you have to leave the house.

The most important aspect to avoid in crating is to make your dog feel as though he is being placed in his crate as punishment. This will only lead to increased stress for your dog and more resistance in using his crate. 

Below are some tips to help alleviate your dog’s fear of the cage.


TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Do not attempt to get your dog in his cage when you are in a rush. Work with him when you have some free time.  Leave the door open, but place treats inside his cage. Only feed him treats this way. If he wants a treat, he knows where to look and will treat the cage as a positive place.

I will use my crate!

OPEN DOOR POLICY

You do not want your dog to feel as though he will be locked in his cage the moment he steps inside. This will only make him avoid going into the cage. Maintain an open-door policy for your dog while you are at home. Leave his cage door open and make the cage floor as comfortable as possible. Place his favorite treats and toys inside. If he wants to play or enjoy a snack, he will have to step inside.

REINFORCE GOOD CAGE ETIQUETTE

If you decide it is time for your dog to go in his cage and he goes in but whines and cries, you should leave the room. Do not yell at him and don’t ever hit the sides of the cage. By leaving the room, your dog will know that whining is not going to get him what he wants.   You can then return to the room when he or she has calmed down. Remain in the room for a little while and if he remains calm, let him out. This reinforces the notion that good cage etiquette leads to being let out to play.

THE LESS TIME IN THE CAGE, THE BETTER

Your dog is a social animal and wants to be out playing with you. Minimize the time you make your dog spend in his cage. He should be able to remain in his cage when necessary, but a dog caged up all day is going to develop anxiety regardless of how well-behaved he is.

I hope these tips help and your dog becomes acclimated to his cage in no time! Build a pet profile today!

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