Is your dog whining in crate all of a sudden?

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Having the problem of your dog whining in  a crate (especially all of a sudden) often is a frustrating problem. You’re probably going to have to try multiple solutions. Some of these might take a few weeks to attempt (especially the training) It will be exhausting but for sure it will be worth it in the end. 

Some people might ask: why crate your dog? Quite simply: many people can’t supervise their dog 100% of the time and this solution keeps them safe and prevents them from destroying your home. All dogs need to be familiar with a crate because they’ll eventually need to be put in one for travel or medical purposes.

It is perfectly normal for a dog to bark or cry in the crate. If they are unfamiliar with it, they will be quite unhappy that their movement and space is so restricted. 

Crate training for young puppies can take a month or longer. Most under the age of 6 months can’t be left in there for more a few hours. They won’t have the bladder control t o be kept there for very long and when left alone they will cry instinctively.

Some dog owners like to keep a new dog’s first few nights in crate because they can’t be trusted. This makes sense, as you don’t really know how aggressive or destructive a dog is until you can observe his behavior over a long time period.

The crying or whining can be an issue if you live in an apartment or you sleep very lightly. The last thing one needs when you have the stress of a new dog is angry neighbors or insomnia.

So why does a dog “act out” when they’re in a crate? Understanding this is quite important if you want to address the problem.

  • One possibility is if they’re bored. If they’re barking steadily that means that do not like the lack of stimulation. 
  • Another is that they’re lonely. Your dog simply misses you.
  • Sometimes they’re scared. Being confined can sometimes be terrifying
  • There’s an immediate need to get out. Sometimes they’re sick, they need to urinate. Usually in the crate they’re quiet, but this time they’re loud.

All of these are perfectly normal for healthy dogs. With some proper training, they can be eliminated.

One thing that will be an issue though is if your dog has separation anxiety. They simply panic when left alone. You might need long term management, training and sometimes medication to help with the condition. They bite the cage and try to escape. If they have this condition, you will need an extra durable dog crate. Definitely speak to a veterinarian.

If your dog is whining or barking while in the cage, you might be tempted to scold him. This is the wrong action for multiple reasons. 

  1. Ironically, your punishment will give a bored dog attention. It will be entertaining to him and serves as a negative reward for their behavior.
  2. Your dog might be anxious. If he is crying because he is terrified, yelling at him won’t help. You are your dog’s defender and doing actions like this breaks the trust bond between you two. 

There are quite a few solutions that can be attempted, we will detail them below. It is important to be consistent with your methods, or your hound will just get confused.

First, trying leaving treats in the crate. Even something small and tasty that they can chew can alleviate a lot of the anxiety or boredom that they experience.

Likewise, try putting their favorite toy in the crate.

Make it comfortable. Put a comfy mat in it so your dog has something nice to sit on.

Place the crate in a common area where they’ll be people. Such as the living room or in a bedroom. This way they don’t get lonely.

Make the sure their dog crate is the correct size. They should be able to turn around and stand up straight without any strain. It should appear comfortable.

You can start to desensitize them to the stress of being a crate. A lot of people feed their pup on the kitchen floor, but start to feed dinner in the crate. This way a positive association is built between your dog and the crate.

Some breeds have a ton of energy. If your dog is one of them, he’s going to find it difficult to spend time confined in a small space. This is definitely true of teenage dogs (6 to 18 months years old.) It’ll be very helpful if you exercise him before placing him in a crate. So before you put him away for the night, take him for a walk or play frisbee.

Remember, your dog might push boundaries as a way of testing you. So they might whine louder than you’ve ever heard them before. Stand firm.

Some people make the mistake of banging on the crate or yelling. This is a big mistake as it destroys the trust you have with your dog. Do your best to avoid this.

You’ll want to make sure the commotion simply isn’t your dog telling you he needs to go to the bathroom. You can train your dog to signal this if this is the case.

Don’t use your crate ever as punishment. Bad behavior should be dealt with in different ways. If the crate is associated with punishment, putting your dog in a crate is only going to create stress.

Dogs are natural den animals. The theory is that the crate becomes your dogs “den”. There is a possibility that the crate will be seen as comfortable and safe shelter, and that your pup will enter it voluntarily.

Crating, if you can, should be done gradually. It can take months, it depends on the dog. Do your best to associate it with pleasantness. If you train him properly, eventually they will enter on command by saying something like “crate”.

So there you have it – dogs whining all of a sudden is a real issue. There are multiple solutions. Try a few and see what works best.

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