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Puppy hates being locked in his crate

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by nb1997, Feb 6, 2018.


  1. nb1997

    nb1997 PetForums Newbie

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    We just got an 8 week old pup - a husky/collie cross. He has no issue with his crate during the day/when it’s unlocked, that’s where his food and water is and he even plays with toys in there out of his own free will.

    The issue begins when we lock the door, either to go out or to go to bed. He barks, yelps and howls and won’t let up. He stops eventually after a while to sleep but I’ve woken up in the middle of the night at 3am and he’s still yelling.

    He has no problem with the crate in itself, it’s being locked in it that’s the problem. I’ve tried locking him in and sitting beside it to see if it’s separation anxiety but that doesn’t help either, it’s definitely the fact he’s locked in.

    The crate is definitely large enough (I bought it in XL so he fits in it when he’s fully grown), I’ve put a towel in with the scent of his mum/siblings, and I’ve covered it over with a blanket to make it like a den. We let him out for toilet breaks 2x during the night and make sure he relieves himself just before we put him to bed. He doesn’t throw himself around the crate, just sits and barks/howls.

    Does anyone have any advice? He’s driving me crazy. I’m doing everything right by him but I can’t be with him 24/7, I need to sleep/shower etc.

    The crate is located in our kitchen as we live in a relatively small house and there is no space at all for his crate upstairs.
     
  2. danielled

    danielled PetForums VIP

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    To be fair if I were him and you just locked the crate door while I was in I would be upset too. You can't just lock them up and expect them to go oh crate is a nice place to be. You have to crate train them and teach them the crate is a nice place to be. Stuffed kongs can help as well as feeding them in the crate.
     
  3. nb1997

    nb1997 PetForums Newbie

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    As I mentioned above, we have been feeding him in the crate, playing with him and giving him treats in the crate. He enjoys being in it during the day on his own, the issue only arises when the door is closed. We are trying our best, constructive advice appreciated.
     
    VictoriaDuh likes this.
  4. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

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    Do you think you could have him in the crate up on your room, seeing as he settles well in it when the door isn't locked, he would be likely to sleep ok in your room. I wouldn't need to be a permenantly arrangement, as he grow in confidence and realises that you will be around, you should be able to move the crate out of the bedroom gradually until it's back in the kitchen.
    Failing that he accept a puppy play pen around his crate so that he is safely contained and can come and go in and out of his crate without getting into a panic over it being closed. You will need to introduce him gradually to the play pen and see if he will accept being in there
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  5. danielled

    danielled PetForums VIP

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    So he isn't used to the door being closed and locked. You need to gradually get him used to the door being closed and locked.
     
    Lurcherlad likes this.
  6. CuddleMonster

    CuddleMonster PetForums VIP

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    As he is happy to be in the crate with the door open, start off by shutting and immediately opening the door and giving him a treat, repeat until he is ok with this, then start leaving the door closed for a moment. Gradually increase the time the door is closed before he gets his treat and build from there.

    Meanwhile is there any secure place or pen where you can leave him until he is used to his crate?
     
  7. tabelmabel

    tabelmabel PetForums VIP

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    Maybe try popping a few stuffed kongs in - put some primula or peanut butter on the top and throw them towards the back of the crate. When he is nicely settled and busy with the kongs, try closing the door. Do not go away. Just close it and hopefully he won't even notice. Then open it as soon as he finishes the kongs
    He might build up an association then between the door being closed and the kongs.
    I do think you would be better to get a smaller crate and have him in your room at night. Have you sectioned the crate off so he just has enough room to stand and turn? He might well feel more secure in a smaller snug crate at night.
     
    danielled, Lurcherlad and lorilu like this.
  8. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Try the suggestions above to gradually get him used to being locked in and to avoid him getting stressed and howling/crying as this will simply make him more stressed and anxious.

    I suspect he associates being shut in with being left alone downstairs at night and if he were in your room he will be more likely to settle and you can reassure him with your voice.
     
  9. nb1997

    nb1997 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the suggestions - there’s literally no way I could fit any size of crate or pen in my bedroom, or anywhere upstairs in my house for that matter, without physically removing my bed from the room. Will keep trying to get him used to it gradually.
     
  10. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Try sleeping next to him downstairs for a few days.
     
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  11. Burrowzig

    Burrowzig PetForums VIP

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    Or leave the crate door open with a puppy pen around it to confine him.
    There's no way I'd leave a 8 week old puppy alone at night though. Kite, as a small puppy, slept tucked against the left side of my neck on my bed; if she woke and wriggled, I'd take her out for a pee. She still sleeps on my left.
     
    danielled likes this.
  12. danielled

    danielled PetForums VIP

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    Yes or that too. I remember when we first got Buddy's crate he was locked in for about 10 minutes well he just slept so emailed the groomer and found out she had started getting them used to the crate and Buddy loved it. He just settled right away.
     
  13. spamvicious

    spamvicious PetForums Senior

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    When I bought my puppy home at 8 weeks old, she walked straight into the crate and went to sleep. I thought "that was easy" and put her in for the night. She didn't cry but she must have been terrified (I didn't know about crate training when I got her) so now she doesn't use the crate at all, she's 11 months and we don't leave her alone. Instead I got a baby gate and I have been gradually increasing the time she's left so eventually I can leave her again without her being stressed. Please listen to all the advice as you don't want to be dealing with the repercussions down the line like I am.
     
    Lurcherlad and CuddleMonster like this.
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