How to Train Your Dog to Stop Barking in His Crate

Medium
1-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

You are so pleased that the dog enjoys being in his crate. However, recently he's started barking for attention while crated. It doesn't make sense. He has an empty bladder and full stomach, and has a super-comfy bed, so what could he want? 

He barks so much you feel duty bound to check he's OK. But every time you go back in the room, there he is, sitting up wagging his tail looking happy to see you. Indeed, you began to suspect he was barking for attention so in a 'good cop, bad cop'' routine, you start shouting at him to be quiet. This doesn't seem to work either as he still barks...louder and longer than ever before. 

Unfortunately, what you failed to realize is you've accidentally rewarded the dog's bad behavior with attention. Popping back in to check on him and shouting are wonderful rewards, to a dog's way of thinking. So if you can't shout, just how do you break this bad habit? 

Here's how....

Defining Tasks

In an ideal world, in the first instance, the dog wouldn't start barking in the crate at all. This is achieved through correctly crate training the puppy or adult dog, so that he's happy in the crate and doesn't feel the need to bark. But when the dog does get into the habit, you have two choices, indeed you can use both techniques at the same time. 

The first is to retrain the dog so that he discovers barking isn't rewarded. While the second is teaching the 'quiet' command. Both strategies require you to apply the rules consistently, because lapses send out mixed messages and can encourage the dog to lapse back into bad habits. 

Also, don't expect the problem to be sorted overnight. The more established the dog's barking habit while in the crate, the longer it's going to take to correct it. With this in mind, it's worth having a chat with the neighbors to forewarn them that the noise might temporarily get worse but will eventually stop. When they understand what you're trying to achieve, they are likely to be more tolerant. 

Getting Started

You need only the most basic of equipment for this task, because most of the skill is in the timing and applying the rules consistently. 

To get started you'll need:

  •  A crate
  • Treats
  • A collar and leash
  • A will of iron
  • Heaps of patience and determination
  • Oh, and ear plugs might be beneficial. 

The Reward Quietness Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Understand the idea
It's easy to accidentally reward a dog for barking, by giving him attention. This method seeks to turn the tables by rewarding the dog for being quiet, rather than making a noise. The dog then makes an effort not to bark, in order to win your praise.
Step
2
Ignore the barking
The first step is to stop accidentally rewarding him for barking in the crate. When the dog barks, completely ignore him. Make as if you can't see or hear him, and if this is too difficult to do then leave the room. By removing your attention when he's barking, you remove a huge source of reward.
Step
3
Expect the barking to get worse
When you start ignoring a behavior, the dog will try even harder to get your attention. He assumes he isn't barking loud or long enough to get your attention and will dial up the volume. In behavioral terms this is known as "extinction activity" and is a necessary stage the dog goes through before he stops a certain behavior. Don't lose hope or give in. The reward comes with perseverance.
Step
4
Reward the quiet times
Only re-enter the room when the dog is quiet. Return and praise the dog, hence rewarding him with attention when he is quiet. In addition, if the dog happens to be resting quietly, then make a point of telling him he's a good boy. It's easy to overlook doing this when, in fact, it's important to tell the dog when he's doing something correctly (even when this is the absence of something like barking.)
Step
5
Create quiet times to reward
Consider giving the dog his meals in the crate, perhaps using a puzzle feeder. He will have to be quiet while eating, which gives you an opportunity to praise him. Likewise, when the dog is quiet give him a favorite chew, which will occupy him for a long time, and again praise him while he chews (Never leave a dog unattended with a chew for fear of choking.)
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The 'Quiet' Command Method

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Step
1
Understand the idea
By putting an action, such as barking, on cue you can command the dog to bark. Likewise, when you've done this you can teach the opposite command of 'quiet'. This may sound counter-intuitive but it works, and training the dog to obey 'quiet' is a controlled way of stopping him from barking.
Step
2
Teach the 'bark' command
When the dog barks in his crate, praise him (Crazy, I know!). Say "bark" and give him a treat. Repeat this so that the dog anticipates getting a treat when you say "bark". You can even test this out by saying "bark" when he's quiet, and rewarding the woof.
Step
3
Take advantage of the treat
Of course, when the dog is chewing the treat he can't bark. As he eats, say "quiet" and immediately give him another reward.
Step
4
Practice in other places
You don't necessarily have to do this training with him in the crate. Indeed, practice with him in different places. Some people also find to help to hold the dog's mouth shut when saying "quiet" to help give the dog the idea.
Step
5
Play around with timing
As the dog starts to link the word "quiet" to a treat, he starts to anticipate what happens when he hears the word. Now you are ready to start saying "quiet" ahead of offering the treat, and only rewarding him when he does indeed fall silent.
Step
6
Practice 'bark' and 'quiet'
At times when the dog wouldn't normally bark, practice these commands. Once he is barking on cue and falling silent on request, you are ready to start employing the command in a real-life situation, such as barking in the crate.
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The What NOT to Do Method

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0 Votes
Step
1
Don't accidentally reward barking
Your dog is barking in the crate and you shout at him. Bad move! To the dog, it sounds like you want to join in but are making a poor fist of barking. This makes him super-excited as he gives a 100% authentic demonstration of what barking can achieve.
Step
2
Don't use shock collars
A remote deterrent such as a shock collar has no place in retraining a dog not to bark. There is a real risk the dog links being in the crate to getting a painful shock, which will make him both reluctant and fearful about going in the crate. This turns his 'den' into a prison cell, which is something no one wants.
Step
3
Don't worry if the barking gets worse before it gets better
Imagine you get in an elevator and press the button for the 10th floor. Nothing happens. You press the button again. Nothing. You press it repeatedly...still nothing. When you ignore the dog barking, expect the noise to get worse before it gets better. This is his way of testing that he really can't get your attention, no matter how hard he tries. Accept this increase in noise as a necessary part of retraining him. It will pass, once he works out it doesn't work any more.
Step
4
Don't ignore genuine need or distress
Put the barking in context. If the dog has been confined to the crate for hours and very likely needs a comfort break, then don't ignore this. Ideally, let him out of the crate when he is quiet, but if this isn't possible, slip a collar and lead on him, and otherwise ignore the dog as you take him outside to toilet. Don't interact with the dog until he has done his business, at which point you can fuss him.
Step
5
Don't make things harder than they need to be
Have a think about what makes the dog bark in the first place. When he's in the crate and can see people in the street, this may well cause him to bark. Applying some etched-glass effect sticky back plastic to the lower part of the window and obscuring this view, may be all that's needed to give you the edge. Think around the problems and finds solutions.
Recommend training method?

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Violet
Bernese Mountain Dog
9 Weeks
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Question
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Violet
Bernese Mountain Dog
9 Weeks

Hello! My husband and I are having some trouble crate training our Bernese Mountain Dog. When we put her in the crate, by luring her in with treats, she cries and howls when we shut the door. We only put her in the crate after she has used the bathroom and is fully fed. We ignore the crying, and it does eventually stop, but she does not willing go into the crate. We praise her when she goes in and have started feeding her meals in the crate. We do not open the crate unless she is quiet. How do we get the constant barking to stop and have her feel comfortable?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madeleine, There are a couple of things that you can add to what you are already doing. The first is to purchase hollow chew-toys, like the original Kong toys that look like snowmen, then place some of your dog's food into a bowl and add water and let the water soak into it until it gets soft. When the food is soft, loosely stuff it into the Kong and place the Kong into a Ziplock bag in the freezer to freeze. You can add peanut butter or chicken or other flavoring to the kibble mush to make it more interested also. I would keep several of these in the freezer at a time and feed her her meals out of these in the crate. Doing this will give her something to look forward to and keep her from becoming bored. Plus a dog cannot bark easily while chewing on something, so it automatically rewards her for being quiet. It's important to always give her something to do while in the crate, even a normal chew-toy is better than nothing. If you use peanut butter, check the ingredients and make sure that it does NOT contain Xylitol. Some companies have been using it in low sugar products like peanut butter, and it is extremely toxic to dogs. I would also randomly scatter treats inside and in front of her crate for her to find on her own. That way she will want to visit the crate and go inside herself to look for more. Do this often when she is not looking so that it becomes a fun surprise. When she is inside of her crate and quiet, then you can also drop treats into the crate to reward her for being quiet. You can also reward her with a treat or the food stuffed Kong right after she goes into the crate, to help her to want to go inside herself, in addition to praising her. The crate can be scary and boring at first. When you make it positive enough, most dog learn that they can sleep and chew on toys while inside and they become less anxious. It can take a month for them to settle down though, so don't be discouraged if it takes her a bit at first. Not letting her out until she is quiet is a good practice, keep that up. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

I trained mine to like her crate by luring her in with a treat, making her sit in her kennel for a few seconds with the door open (me sitting infront of it) then letting her come out and praising her with treats. Rinse and repeat, then slowly shut the door, wait a few then let her out and treat again. After a bit mine willingly went into her kennel and would sit there and allow me to shut the door and walk away. :)

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Cash
Labrador Retriever
3 Months
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Cash
Labrador Retriever
3 Months

My boyfriend and I have run into a problem crate training out puppy Cash. He spends most of his time at work with my boyfriend and only uses the crate at night. The first week was rough, there was a lot of whining and very little sleep, but we ignored him. For two weeks he did good. He would go right in lay down, sometimes let out a couple whines but would go to sleep. The last two nights seems like we have taken 20 steps back. He will no longer just go in a sleep. He sits there and barks louder and louder, to the point that it’s so hard to ignore. What would be the best method to take some steps forward again?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Hannah, Continue to remain consistent with Cash with what you are already doing, but there are a couple of additional things that you can do to help him to like the crate more. The first is to fill a hollow chew toy, such as a Kong, with food and to give it to him in the crate for an hour as part of his dinner. The best way to stuff the Kong is to place Cash's dinner in a bowl with water. Let the food soak up all the water so that it is soft, then loosely stuff the Kong with the wet food. When the Kong is stuffed then place the Kong into a Ziplock bag, and then place the entire thing into the freezer to freeze. If Cash needs extra incentive, then you can mix a little peanut butter or cheese into the food mush also. It is best to have two or more of these and stuff them all at the same time so that you can just grab one whenever you need it. Since he spends most of his time at your husband's work, you can give him the Kong in his crate for an hour in the evening, right after he gets home around dinner time, so that he will have some free time again before bed and before his last potty break outside. You can also do it on the weekends when your husband is home. When your dog is quiet while in the crate chewing on his stuffed toy, then also randomly walk over to the crate and drop kibble inside for him to eat, to reward him for the quiet behavior. On the weekends and during the evening before bed, you can also place treats in front of and inside of the crate with the door open when your puppy is not looking. That way Cash will begin to go into the crate on his own, in search of treats. When you put him into the crate at night be sure to reward him with a treat when he goes inside and also give him a safe, normal chew toy to occupy himself with. The chew toy will help him to wind down before he goes to sleep and again when he wakes at night. Also make sure that he is being given enough opportunities to go to the bathroom and has an empty bladder before bed. It is possible that at three months he will occasionally need to go potty during the middle of the night. If you believe he is ever whining because of that, then take him outside on a leash to go, but when you do it do not talk to him or play with him or get him excited. Make the trip very boring and immediately bring him back in after he goes and put him back in his crate. Keep things boring and business like so that he does not think asking to go potty at night is a way to get you to play with him. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Goofy
Yorkipoo
1 Year
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Goofy
Yorkipoo
1 Year

Hi! We have recently trained my family dog to be in his cage at night. It was completely fine, he would sleep in his cage for the past couple of months. Suddenly he has been barking like crazy in his cage at night. We always make sure he is fed and does not need to pee. Nothing about our routine has changed, he just suddenly started barking.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jennifer, To help with the barking try improving his desire to be in the crate during the day. To do this, practice leaving the door open to the crate and when he is not looking sprinkling treats in front of the crate and inside for him to find. This way he will begin to go into the crate on his own. Also practice feeding him his dinner in a stuffed Kong or similar chew toy inside the crate. The best way to stuff the Kong is to place his dinner in a bowl with water ahead of time. Let the food soak up all the water so that it is soft, then loosely stuff the Kong with the wet food. When the Kong is stuffed then place the Kong into a Ziplock bag, and then place the entire thing into the freezer to freeze. If Goofy needs extra incentive, then you can mix a little peanut butter or cheese into the food mush also. Avoid any Peanut Butter that contains Xylitol though. As Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and added to some sweet human foods. It is best to have two or more Kong type toys and stuff them all at the same time so that you can just grab one out of the freezer whenever you need it. When he is quietly eating his stuffed Kong, then walk over to him and tell him "Quiet" while you drop treats such as more kibble into his crate. This is to teach him the word "Quiet" and to teach him that being quiet and calm earns him rewards, so that he will begin to form a habit of being quiet. Make sure that when he barks that you do not let him out until he is quiet. If you believe that he needs to go to the bathroom when he is barking, then distract him so that he becomes quiet, then when he is quiet take him outside to go potty on the leash. Make the entire trip very boring and calmly bring him right back inside after he goes potty and place him back into his crate, so that he does not think asking to go potty means that he gets to play or get attention. Make sure that he has received enough exercise during the day as well. Lastly, place something inside of his crate to occupy him at night. He might be barking out of boredom. Something like a chew toy or other safe toy to give him something to do when he wakes it important. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Dixie
Yorkie
10 Months
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Question
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Dixie
Yorkie
10 Months

So I have a yorkie and she is super quiet in her crate when I am in the room as soon as I leave she freaks out I have done the quiet command that is why when I am in there she is quiet. She will not listen to anyone but me. She is very attached to me. I am also having problems with her not wanting to lay down when I tell her down I feel like she is trying to be alpha all of a sudden.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello April, It sounds like Dixie needs to learn how to be alone, be more independent from you, and probably respect and trust you more. There are several things you can do to help that overall. I would recommend utilizing at least two of the methods from this Wag! article to work on the respect. The article addresses listening problems but those same methods are also useful for addressing respect issues, without being overly confrontational and physical. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-doberman-to-listen-to-you I would also recommend working on some independence with her. I would recommend specifically practicing commands that require her to stay away from you, such as a distance "Down" "Stay", distance "Sit" "Stay", "Out", "Place" or "Bed", and teach her not to rush the crate door when you open it, but it stay inside until you have told her "OK". After you have taught her to not to leave the crate until given permission, even when the door is open, and have taught her the "Place" command, then I would work on enforcing her staying in those locations while you get things done in the next room, or sit on the couch ten or twenty feet away. To enforce this, attach a long leash to her, hold the end of the leash, and anytime she gets up firmly and quietly lead her back to the Place or crate and block her way until she stops trying to get off the "Place". This will help her learn to be more respectful of you and to be more independent and thus less anxious in the crate. When you first introduce the new rules and consistency she may appear even more anxious for a couple of weeks while she is learning how to handle the new rules, but this is normal and should help her to develop self-control and better copping skills. Also, do not let her out of the crate and do not return to the room until she is quiet for at least two seconds. When you put her in the crate give her a Kong or other hollow chew toy, stuffed with food to give her something to do other than bark in the crate, and to make the crate more pleasant. The Kong will have the added bonus of automatically rewarding her while she is quiet because she will not be able to bark well while chewing on the Kong. To deal with her resisting the Down command check out this Wag! article. Specifically read "The Leash Pressure Method". https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-to-lay-down Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Violet
Bernese Mountain Dog
13 Weeks
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Question
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Violet
Bernese Mountain Dog
13 Weeks

Hello! I have a question regarding crate/potty training. Violet was doing very well with holding herself for a couple of weeks. She is typically able to hold it overnight, and that has been pretty consistent for the last two weeks. However, we have been noticing that she tends to pee in her crate during the day when we are not home. This has been more frequent lately, and I am wondering why since she was doing so well without any accidents! I don't know if she is upset she is in the crate? Or is scared? We feed her meals in the crate and reward/praise her when she willingly enters the crate by herself. She does go in and take naps without us asking. We do leave newspaper down in the crate, as well as a blanket and toys for her. We also leave the TV on so there is background noise. Do you have any suggestions or tips to help stop the accidents in the crate? It is always pee and never poop. Thanks so much!!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Madeleine, It sounds like your issue might be crate size and having absorbent material in the crate. Most dogs will naturally try to hold their bladders in a confined space if they cannot eliminate and then escape from it. If her crate is too large and there is absorbent material inside, then she does not have any incentive to hold her bladder. Start by removing the absorbent paper and bed from the crate, and then make the crate smaller if needed. The crate should be just large enough for her to stand up, turn around, and lay down. Any extra space will allow her to pee in one end and stand in the other end, away from it. You can either purchase a crate divider, if your crate did not already come with one and many do, so check, or you can purchase a smaller crate. To keep her from laying on the hard crate tray look up PrimoPads online, and purchase that or something similar. PrimoPads are nonabsorbent, easy to clean, and more durable, but still provide a firm foam pad to make her crate more comfortable. When she is completely potty trained, with zero accidents for at least two months and no longer chewing so much you can go back to a normal, plush bed if you wish. Continue to give her chew toys in the crate, and to feed her in the crate when the door is open, like you have been doing. During the day puppies are only able to hold their bladders for the number of hours that they are in months, plus one. She is about three months old, so that means that under ideal circumstances, the absolute maximum amount of time that she can hold her bladder during the day is four month, and it is often less than that realistically. At night their bladders are less active so puppies can hold it for much longer. Whenever she is awake, her bladder will be too. Which is why puppies have to go to the bathroom very soon after they wake up in the morning. If you are gone during the day for longer than three or four hours, then you will need to provide a way for her to go potty. The ideal solution is to hire or recruit someone to come by your house and to let her outside and watch her go potty, to ensure she goes, every three and a half hours. If that's not an option, then I would suggest purchasing a exercise pen, also known as X-pen. Place her smaller crate inside the X-pen with the door open and the primopad type bed inside the crate. Place a litter box in the opposite side of the exercise pen, with litter in it, and train her to use the litter box when in the exercise pen. Instructions for teaching her can be found here: https://wagwalking.com/training/litter-box-train-a-chihuahua-puppy The reason that I suggest using a litter box instead of pee pads or paper is two fold. First, because Violet is a Bernese Mountain Dog I would assume that your end goal is for her to learn to go to the bathroom outside. The litter in a litter box will more closely look resemble the gravel outside, but the pee pads and paper resemble items found inside. If you do not wish for her to continue to pee inside when she is full grown, then you do not want her to be able to find anything in your home that looks like a toilet, such as napkins, books, paper, paper towels, area rugs, floor mats, and so forth. The second reason is similar to the first. Many dogs will continue to have accidents on area rugs in the house when trained using pee pads, especially when there are no longer pee pads in your home. The rug looks like a substitute for a pee pad to many. If you do not wish to use a litter box, then you can also build a grass toilet area using a plastic of wooden box that will not leak and a piece of grass sod. If you are not already doing this, I would suggest making one or two of her toys be a food stuffed frozen Kong. You can place her dry dog food into a bowl and cover it with water. Let it sit out until the water absorbs and the food becomes soft, then loosely stuff the food into the Kong. Place the Kong into a Ziplock bag and place the bag into the freezer to freeze. When you get ready to leave, simply grab the Kong from the freezer and give it to her in her crate. It does not sound like fear is the problem however. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Maya
Labrador Retriever
8 Months
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Question
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Maya
Labrador Retriever
8 Months

She willingly goes in her crate. She barks all night in the crate.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Germain, Have you recently started to crate train her or has this issue been going on for a while? If this is recent, then ignore the barking, and do not let her out of the crate until she is quiet any time that you use the crate. That way she will learn that barking does not equal freedom. If the problem is recent then time and consistency alone might solve your problem, as long as you are patient and do not give in to her barking. Whether the barking is recent or not, only let her out of her crate when she is being quiet. If she is fully potty trained then you can give her a frozen stuffed Kong while she is quiet, when you place her inside of the crate at night. The barking is likely attention seeking or boredom barking. To prepare the Kong, place her dog food into a bowl and cover the food with just enough water to cover the top of the food. Let the food and water sit in the bowl until all of the water absorbs into the food and makes the food mushy. Loosely stuff the food into the Kong toy, and place the stuffed Kong into a Zip-Lock bag. Place the bag with the stuffed Kong inside into the freezer to freeze. It is easiest to buy multiple Kongs and stuff them all at the same time, then you can just grab one out of the freezer when you need it at night. Only give her a Kong at night if she is completely potty trained, otherwise eating the food might make her need to go to the bathroom and cause an accident. By eight months many dogs will be alright with the food, since it is time released being frozen, but you will have to try it to see if it equals a late night potty break or not. By giving her the Kong you are automatically rewarding her for being quiet, since she cannot bark and chew very well at the same time. It will also give her something to do when she wakes up at night bored. Furthermore, it will make the experience of being inside of the crate more pleasant so that she is more likely to enjoy the crate and relax. It is very important to make sure that she is receiving enough mental and physical exercise during the day. If she is crated all day without periods of exercise and mental stimulation, then that can very easily lead to problems sleeping at night and feeling restless and bored. Both of which lead to barking. It is just as important to stimulate her mentally as it is to stimulate her physically, so do not neglect that one. An easy way to do this is to spend thirty minutes every day teaching her new tricks or commands. The best ones are the ones that are new, challenging, or require a lot of focus. These will wear her out the most. To both mentally and physically stimulate her you can also take her on a walk and make her perform commands throughout the entire walk. For example, have her Heel attentively while you move, Sit when you stop, do a Down Stay at a stop sign, Watch you with eye contact randomly, and anything else that you wish to teach her. Also work on teaching her a "Quiet" command, so that you can communicate to her what she should be doing instead of barking. For how to train "Quiet" read this Wag! article: https://wagwalking.com/training/be-quiet https://wagwalking.com/training/bark-softly-1 Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Maya
Labrador Retriever
8 Months
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Maya
Labrador Retriever
8 Months

Maya is completely housebroken. She’s great and only barks around the house when the doorbell rings. I’m a stay at home mom so Maya is loose only when I step out of the house and go somewhere dogs aren’t welcome. The issue we are having with her is the barking in the crate. Her crate is downstairs in the room next to kitchen under the master bedroom(so I hear her bark all night). We puther in the crate around 8pm and then she starts barking non stop till around 3am that my boyfriend gets up to let her out because he goes to work at that time. The issue is that as soon as she hears the baby gate slide at the top of the stairs she stops barking(assuming she knows someone’s coming downstairs). I haven’t been able to catch her barking when I’m close by to show her the “quiet” word because she never barks in the crate when we are around her. She goes in her crate at her leaisure. Her crate door is open and she at times goes in herself to chew a toy or lay down. We recently bought her a 48” crate because we though maybe she was barking cause she felt cramped in her other crate, but those crate size didn’t seem to faze her.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Germaine, I would recommend giving her a stuffed Kong at night to prevent boredom, then crating her some when you are home during the day to see if she will bark when you ignore her for long enough. If she does, then work on teaching "Quiet" and showing her that she can only get free when she is being quiet. Crating her with a nice toy, such a as Kong, during the day should also help her to learn more independence and appropriate ways to self-entertain, which it sounds like might be part of the problem. If she will not bark when left in the crate during the day, then teach "Quiet" using "The Knock Method" or "The Video Method", and simply remove the final step of teaching your dog to bark softly from this article: https://wagwalking.com/training/bark-softly-1 More independence ma also help. You can also teach her more independence by working on distance commands such as "Down Stay" at a distance, and by teaching her a "Place" command, and having her stay in her place some during the day, rather than following you around the house. You can also make your interactions with her more calm, and having her work for affection by doing things like sitting before you pet her. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Louie
Bichon chihuahua fox terrier
14 Weeks
0 found helpful
Question
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Louie
Bichon chihuahua fox terrier
14 Weeks

Louie has a crate that he is happy to go in any time of the day or evening but as soon as we cover it over,turn the lights off and put him in our laundry room to go to sleep he barks for around 2 hrs non stop. We initially tried just leaving him in the laundry with the door closed and his cage open but he also barked. We don’t go into him or speak to him, we just ignore him but after 2 weeks I’m getting stuck what to do next to stop the barking.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Denise, Purchase a baby gate and install it at the entrance of the laundry room, so that you can leave the door open. Crate him in that room during the day without covering the crate, but do turn off the light in that room. If he starts barking immediately, then as soon as he becomes quiet return to the laundry room and drop treats into his crate, and then leave again. Repeat this whenever he becomes quiet. If he does not bark, then every ten minutes that he stays quiet return to the laundry room also and drop treats into his crate while he is quiet, then leave again. Repeat this often during the day, until he can be crated in the laundry room, with the light turned off for up to two hours without barking. During the day and at night you can also try giving him a Kong or other hollow, durable chew toy, stuffed with dog food when you first place him inside the crate. This should give him something to focus on other than barking, will reward him for being quiet, and should decrease the anxiety. The goal is to get him used to being in that specific room in the dark while crated, and to reward him for being quiet in there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rico
Spanish Water Dog
8 Weeks
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Rico
Spanish Water Dog
8 Weeks

My puppy is quiet in his crate at night until he has to use the bathroom then he whines. But during the day he barks the entire time I’m at work. I come home every three hours to let him out and he is barking when I leave and barking when I come home. I have tried chew toys in his crate and wearing him out before I put him in there. But he continues to bark and whine.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Colton, Rico probably needs more time to learn. Eight weeks is a very young age for a puppy to be home alone all day. It is wonderful that you come home to take him potty every three hours but he is probably lonely and bored, and is barking for attention. What type of chew toys have you tried? What I would suggest is to give him something to do during the day. There are a couple of ways that you can do that. The first way is to purchase hollow chew toys, if you have not already done so, and then to place part of Rico's dog food for the day into a bowl with water, let the food and water sit out for about three hours, until the food has absorbed the water and the pieces have grown about three sizes, then mix a little bit of liver paste or peanut butter in with the food mush, and drop globs of food into the hollow chew toy, and freeze the entire thing. Do not stuff the food too tightly though or your young puppy will not be able to get it out, and do not fill the toy completely to the brim, leave just a little space so that the food can move around inside the toy when it thaws. Give him one of these Kongs when you leave and you place him into the crate. Because it is frozen and smells like peanut butter or liver it should keep him occupied for longer that just a plain chew toy. If you are using a Kong for this, although your pup might be using the puppy sized Kongs in general, choose the Kong that is one size larger than the puppy ones for this, so that the food fits better. Let your puppy eat his meals out of the toys, so that he is entertained. Also, if you are able to, when you come home to let him out, if you have ten or fifteen minutes, then in addition to taking him potty, spend just a few minutes teaching him something new. A little bit of training, where he is focusing on something learning something challenging or new, will wear him out faster than even exercise can. Third, if he will not have an accident, then place his crate into an exercise pen and place a food dispensing training device in the exercise pen with him. The device will reward him with his own dog food, such as his breakfast kibble added to it, every time that he is quiet and calm, and will in essence train him to be quiet for you. There are a couple of these devices on the market right now. One is called "PetTutor", the other "AutoTrainer". That approach will only work if he does not eliminate in the exercise pen though. He is still very young so you may want to remember those devices for later, when he is a bit older. Last, if you happen to have a friend that will keep him for you during the day on certain days, you could have that friend crate him for part of the day at her house and work on teaching him to be quiet in the crate during the day. To teach that, have her give him a food stuffed Kong in the crate, like I mentioned before, and also go over to his crate every few minutes that he has been quiet, and drop treats into the crate without letting him out. Doing this will encourage him to be quiet, and overtime she can increase the amount of time that passes between treat drops, until he can go long periods of time in the crate without crying. When she is not crating him, she can give him the attention that he needs by playing with him, training him, or exercising him, but it is still extremely important that if someone else keeps him he or she practice crating him during the day, so that he will learn to be quiet in the crate. View it just like any other skill that he has to learn in training. He needs someone to teach him and time to practice it, without making it so hard at first that he cannot succeed. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Sadie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
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Sadie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

My dog will go to her crate when I give the command “crate” but we have tried getting her used to being alone in it and it has not worked yet. She will go in but is sooooo loud no matter what every time she is left. It is to the point where my neighbors in my apartment complex are wanting to complain on me. I take her to day care most of the time, but that is expensive and it’s hard to find a sitter literally every day. Please help!

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Sadie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year
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Sadie
Labrador Retriever
1 Year

My dog will go to her crate when I give the command “crate” but we have tried getting her used to being alone in it and it has not worked yet. She will go in but is sooooo loud no matter what every time she is left. It is to the point where my neighbors in my apartment complex are wanting to complain on me. I take her to day care most of the time, but that is expensive and it’s hard to find a sitter literally every day. Please help!

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Emily, Sadie is probably working herself up in the crate due to anxiety and boredom. Barking is a self-rewarding behavior and once a dog begins, it can be hard for some dogs to stop. Sadie needs something to interrupt her barking, something besides barking to occupy her time, and rewards for being quiet. There are a couple of options you can try for this. How positive or how corrective the method is will depend on what she responds to. First provide her with something to do other than barking. You can purchase a hollow chew toy, such as a Kong, and fill it with moistened dog food, that has been soaked in water until it turns to mush and then mixed with soft cheese or peanut butter, and frozen. If she will be alright with a bit more freedom then you can contain her in a small, dog proofed room, such as a bathroom, or a sturdy exercise pen, with her crate inside, and then purchase a treat dispensing device that will periodically reward her for quietness and place that inside the room or pen. Pet Tutor is one such devise and Auto Trainer is another one. Whenever you are at home, practice crating her for an hour or two, and whenever she is quiet go over to the crate and drop treats into the crate. Do not let her out until she is quiet. If she only barks in the crate when you are gone and the treat dispenser or stuffed Kong do not work, then you can set up a camera, use a high quality electronic remote collar with it's controller and interrupt her barks with stems and vibration. Then when she is quiet return to her and reward her with treats and freedom from the crate. I would recommend only using this method under the supervision of an experienced trainer, who is knowledgeable in the proper use of electronic collars, and uses positive reinforcement as much as possible in the training, even though there will be a need for correction too. The correction should serve as a way to interrupt her escalating mental state, so that you can then have enough opportunities to reward the correct, quiet behavior. If you go this route then be sure to purchase only a high quality electronic remote collar, such as Garmen, E-collar Technologies, Dogtra, or Sportdog brands. Less expensive, poorer quality collars can be dangerous. A good collar should have at least fifty different stem levels, so that you can use the lowest possible setting that your dog responds to. A qualified trainer can also help you to find what is called your dog's working level, the lowest level that your dog will properly respond to. This level should only be mildly uncomfortable for almost all of the training, and never dangerously high or scary. These are just a couple of the reasons why I recommend only using an electronic collar under the supervision of an experienced expert. Electronic collars are very effective and less harsh than many tools when used properly but they can be damaging if misused. One of the benefits of a remote collar over the more popular bark collars, is that you can control the level of stem and ensure that you are teaching your dog what he needs to know, and rewarding him for the correct behavior at the same time. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Truffles
LLhasa Apso
9 Years
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Truffles
LLhasa Apso
9 Years

Hi my dog is 9 years old she has been sleeping in her crate since she was a puppy never had a problem only when it thunders. I di take her out and she will sleep in my room she does ok. About a month ago she started barking at night. I don’t understand why. How can I stop her from barking?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Vicky, Has Truffles been peeing more during the day? If so she might be barking because she needs to go potty. As dogs age their bladder capacities typically decrease and they have to be taken outside more frequently again. She also might have a urinary tract infection if she has been peeing more during the day also. If either of those things seem to be the cause, then I would recommend visiting your vet, and if the issue is incontinence because of age, you will need to either take her out during the night or create an indoor toilet area using a litter box, a pee pad, or a dog toilet made of out a litter box and a piece of grass sod. You can then place her crate with the door open and the toilet area inside an exercise pen at night. Many people find that they have more success teaching their pup to use a litter box than a pee pad because pee pads resemble rugs and floor mats, and some dogs confuse the household items with the pee pad, others are fine however. If she can still hold her bladder for long periods during the day without needing to go outside and without having an accident then the problem is probably fear related, since she has been sleeping in the crate for so long without an issue before. She might have been in the crate when something scary happened and now associates the crate with the fearful experience. If this seems to be the problem, then you can help her to like the crate again by hiding treats in the crate for her to randomly find during the day, giving her a Kong or other hollow chew-toy, stuffed with dog safe food such as kibble mixed with peanut butter or a bit of cheese, while she is in the crate, and drop treats into the crate when she is inside and being quiet, and play with her near the crate by tossing a ball into the crate and letting her retrieve it out of it. She also might be experiencing fear or paranoia because of a medical issue. If her hearing or vision is impaired or she is declining mentally due to an illness related to age, then that can cause new behaviors like barking to begin. You will need to get her evaluated by your vet if you believe that to be the cause. Pay attention to her daytime behavior and watch for any signs of deteriorating mental health, hearing issues, or vision issues. If the issues are medical, then you can try making the crate a fun and pleasant place again by doing what I described above with the treats and toys, but you might also need to address the underlying medical issue however your vet recommends in order to see results. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Rudy
Irish Doodle
1 Year
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Rudy
Irish Doodle
1 Year

My dog is about a yr old and was doing great with his crate until about 2 months ago... he had a surgery for a bowel obstruction caused by eating a piece of rubber. During this time he was sick/recovering we allowed him to sleep in our bedroom to keep and eye on him/ make sure he wasn’t sick or bothering his incision. I then had a baby and because was up for feedings allowed him in our room ( yes bad idea). Now the baby is sleeping through the night and we tried to return him to sleeping in his crate at night in the kitchen but he barks and whines all night. He wants to sleep in our bed. How do we retrain him... it’s hard to ignore because he’s been waking the baby and throwing her schedule off as well.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Megan, Congratulations on the baby! To get Rudy used to the crate again and to wake the baby up as little as possible while doing the training, start by crate training him during the day time. When the baby is awake, between naps, place Rudy into his crate in the room where you would like for him to sleep at night. Give him a chew toy such as a stuffed Kong or something else that is safe and he enjoys. When he barks ignore him. As soon as he becomes quiet, very calmly go over to his crate and drop a few treats inside, and then leave again. If he remains quiet then go to his crate again every ten to fifteen minutes and drop treats into it again. As he improves you can space the treats out to every thirty minutes. Repeat all of this for one hour every day until he no longer barks in the crate during the day. Only let him out of the crate at the end of the hour when he is being quiet. When he no longer barks during the day while in the crate for the hour, then gradually work him up to four hours staying in the crate every other day. When he can do that, then put him into the crate at night, up to an hour before you put the baby to bed in case he barks, and if he barks ignore his barking. This hour will hopefully give him enough time to get his protesting out and then be quiet since you have already reinforced during the day that barking will not get him out of the crate. When he is quiet and the baby is in bed then let him out again about an hour before you plan to go to bed to have a bit of relax time and go potty one last time, but do not do pay attention to him or do anything fun with him during that time. You do not want him to look forward to getting out of the crate in the evening. If he barked when you first put him in, then leave him out of the crate for the rest of that night but ignore him and do not snuggle with him or give him affection or space on the bed or anything special. The first night that you place him into the crate and he does not bark earlier in the evening, then return him to the crate after the potty break and relax time, to sleep there for the rest of the night. When he will go back into the crate quietly for the rest of the night, then you can simply begin to crate him at bedtime again. If he regresses at any point, then go back to daytime and evening crate training sessions again until he is quiet again. Any refreshers he needs in the future should be easier though since he already knows the rules and simply needs reminding. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Oswald
Dachshund
9 Weeks
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Oswald
Dachshund
9 Weeks

When we put our dog in the crate he barks and whines a lot. The only way to get it to stop is to sit by his crate until he goes to sleep. This process repeats every time he has to go into his crate whether it's at night or during the day.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lauren, To help Oswald learn to like his crate and learn to be quiet while he is inside, purchase a Kong chew toy or other safe, hollow chew toy, and stuff the chew toy with food and place the Kong into the crate with your pup when you first put him inside. To stuff the chew toy you can either place your pup's own food, mixed with small treats, into it, and then cover the opening part of the way with a larger treat, so that only a couple of pieces of food can come out at a time. You can also place your puppy's hard food into a bowl and cover it with water and let it sit out until the food turns into mush. When the food is mushy then you can mix a bit of peanut butter or soft cheese into it and loosely stuff the Kong with the mixture, and then freeze the Kong, so that the reward will last longer. To save time, you can purchase multiple Kongs or other hollow chew toys and stuff several at a time, and then simply give your pup one from your freezer whenever you need to crate him. Make sure that you DO NOT use Peanut Butter with Xylitol because Xyliol is extremely TOXIC to dogs. Giving your pup a Kong stuffed with food with automatically reward him for being quiet because he cannot effectively bark and get the food out of the Kong at the same time, it will also help any boredom, and it will decrease anxiety because the Kong is rewarding and will help him to look forward to the crate. When Oswald is out of the crate, then leave the door to the crate open and sprinkle treats inside for him to find. Do this very often, so that he will begin to go into the crate on his own in hopes of finding treats. When you place him into the crate, every time that he gets quiet for even a second, go over to him and drop a couple of treats into the crate and then leave again. At first you are only looking for a second of quiet behavior, so that you can teach him to be quiet by rewarding him when he is quiet for even a second. As he improves, then wait until he remains quiet for a bit longer and longer before you reward him. Reward frequently at first though, and go slowly. When he does cry, ignore the barking until he becomes quiet. Do not let him out when he is barking and do not pay attention to him. You want him to learn to settle down and chew his Kong, and to be quiet in order to receive treats and be let out. Nine weeks is also very young. Be patient with Oswald. If you do all of the above, then the barking should gradually get better, but it should also improve with age. Crate training typically takes about two weeks begin to see a bit of improvement. It will take much longer than that to see complete improvement though, so be patient. Crate training now can prevent a life of problem behaviors such as peeing in the house, destructive chewing, separation anxiety when used correctly, and barking if she is given something else to do like chew on a Kong. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Blanket
Italian Greyhound
1 Year
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Blanket
Italian Greyhound
1 Year

We have had Blanket for nearly a year and he has been crated at night the whole time. He has had difficulty sleeping through the night and has often cried during this time. He struggles to sleep past 4.40am and cries/howls for attention. He does this solely out of wanting attention. Unfortunately we live in a block of flats and have been concerned about disturbing the neighbours and getting complaints. My partner has been getting up with him and staying up which I know is causing the problem to escalate. We have tried going cold turkey with going to him whilst he is crying. We have done this for the past 5 days but we are unsure if we are progressing. The neighbours upstairs have already complained and have no understanding of the situation. Are we doing the right thing and how long does this behaviour take to show improvement? Are there any tips or advice you could give that would help. The issue is mainly concentrated in the early mornings which we have tried to assist with by putting him to bed later but to no success. He takes himself to his bed at 10 every night if we don't! Please help as we are at our wits end.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Anna, Ideally you would simply ignore the barking and after about a month or two, hopefully less time, he would learn through consistency that barking is pointless and he should go back to sleep. Because of your situation with the neighbors and because this has been going on for a year, I recommend a form of correction at this point. To do this, first, make sure that he is receiving enough stimulation during the day both mentally and physically. Also ensuring that he is seeing sunlight for at least fifteen minutes during the day might help. A great way to accomplish all of that is to teach him to "Heel" and take him on a couple of fifteen-forty-five minute walks each day where he has to perform obedience exercises during the walk. That might look like having him walk right beside you and pay attention to you, then having him sit or lay down whenever you stop, and having him stay for a a couple of minutes every once in a while throughout the walk. It is very important that the walk be focused and structured so that he is having to pay a lot of attention to you, which will stimulate him mentally and wear him out more. This is also great for his obedience and manners training. You can also provide him with stuffed chew-toys, such as Kongs stuffed with dog food, during the day during quiet times, to stimulate him and to make sure that he is not sleeping too much during the day out of boredom. Once those things are taken care of and you know he is actually tired during the morning, then when he wakes up and barks, you can try ignoring it for a couple more days or you can move onto correction. If he still barks while you ignore him even after ensuring that he is getting enough stimulation during the day, then purchase an air spray collar or a high quality electric remote training collar with both stem and vibration options. If you try the air spray collar then make sure that it does not contain a scent such as citronella, but is simply air. Allow the collar to spray him whenever he barks to interrupt the behavior. When he becomes quiet and stays quiet for fifteen minutes, then quietly go over to him and drop a treat inside the crate, then leave again. Do this until it is time to let him out of the crate at a reasonable hour. Do not let him out when he is barking! If he is very sensitive, then the air collar might be all that you will need. If not, then you will need to move onto an electric remote collar with both a stimulation and a vibration setting. You can either try the air collar first or simply go straight to the remote collar. To use an electric collar properly, you will need to first teach him the "Quiet" command. To teach this, check out this Wag! article: https://wagwalking.com/training/stop-nuisance-barking While you are in the process of teaching him the "Quiet" command, place the collar on him while you are at home every day while the collar is turned off. This is to simply get him used to wearing it in preparation for training with it. Once you have taught him the "Quiet" command, then place the collar on him, high on his neck, right behind his ears, and tight enough for both metal pieces to make contact with his neck. It is important that the collar be fitted correctly, or the corrections might be inconsistent and less fair to him. Set the collar to the lowest setting while it is on him and carefully watch him while he is just hanging out and relaxed. Press the stimulation button once, and if you see him respond at all by scratching at it, tilting his head, making noise, looking around, moving his ears around, or indicating in any other way that he felt a little bit of something, then go no higher. You are looking for a very subtle response most of the time, so that you can use the collar on the lowest possible setting that he will respond to. If he does not respond noticeably to that level, then increase the stimulation level by one level, and then press the button while on the new level. Test each level two times, watching him carefully between each test, before moving onto the next level. Repeat this by going up one level at a time and then testing that level, until he indicates that he can feel a level. When he can feel a level, then that level is his "Working Level" and will be the setting that you will use to address the barking. Make sure that whatever collar you buy has at least sixty levels so that you can use the lowest level that he will respond to. Good brands to look for are: Dogtra, Garmin, E-Collar Technologies, and Sport Dog. Do not buy a cheap collar from China. These can be very dangerous and are what you hear horror stories about. A good collar should be uncomfortable and annoying at the proper level but not very painful. After you have found what level he responds to, then put him in situations where he will bark just a bit, and then when he barks tell him "Quiet". If he becomes quiet, then reward him with a treat. If he does not, then tell him "Aha" or "No", and press the stimulation button once to correct him with the collar. If he stops barking, then do not press the button again, if he continues barking, then repeat your "Aha" or "No" and press the button again right when he barks. Repeat this up to three times, and if he still is not responding, then go up one level on the collar. You can go up to two levels total on the collar, but if he still is not responding after that, make sure that the collar is on, working, and fitted correctly and making contact with his skin. Also expect this to take practice before he connects it so do not be too quick to increase the level. He may not understand just yet what he is being corrected for so it would be unfair to increase the level yet. Practice this until he connects the collar with his disobedience to your "Quiet" command. When he connects his disobedience to the collar by responding to your command better, then place the collar on him while he is in the crate at night. When he barks in the morning, calmly tell him "Quiet" one time and if he barks still, then press the button on the remote to stimulate the collar and correct him. Repeat this whenever he barks. If you believe that he really does need to use the bathroom because he is awake, then when he wakes up, take him to go potty on a leash without saying anything to him, and keep the trip as boring as possible. When he goes, then bring him back inside and put him straight back into the crate. Tell him "Quiet", and then correct any barking with the collar. While you are correcting him with the collar, go into the other room, so that he is not receiving any attention from you. Also do not repeat your "Quiet" command unless it has been thirty minutes and he is still barking. Even with the potty breaks, he should learn that waking up in the morning for attention is just not worth it and should eventually sleep through those early morning times if he is not being fed or given attention and is being corrected for barking. If that does not work within a month or less, then something else might be going on, and you will need to get in person professional help with his training, so that someone in person can assess his environment and his responses. Expect this training two take two weeks, once he clearly understands the meaning of the "Quiet" command. You might see results right away or it might take repetition, depending on his personality and your timing. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Buddy
Lab mix
5 Months
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Buddy
Lab mix
5 Months

We put our pup in crate before work ...he's fed ,walked ,given his favorite treat before I close door he has a comfy blanket in there ,water on door ,he barks the whole time from 6 am u till my daughter gets up and lets him outside to potty again and returns him before she leaves for school...she lets him out of crate at 2 ,I get home at 4 ...after hellos he immediately goes back into crate to retrieve the treats I gave him at 6 am ...he destroyed the metal crate we first used ...he tore my room to pieces so we got a heavy plastic one ...I have tried everything

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Alicia, I would recommend you look into Jeff Gellman from Solid K-9 Training's Separation Anxiety protocol. He has several great videos on Youtube and can be hired for phone consultations and Skype sessions. His protocol is very comprehensive and involves more than I can help you with without being there in person, but he essentially works on structure, respect, addressing the root anxiety, and teaching alternative behaviors and emotions regarding the crate. Before you go that route I would also recommend that you try giving Buddy a Kong chew toy stuffed with food and frozen, so that he has something to do while he is in the crate. I would also recommend practicing crate training while you are at home, and as soon as he becomes quiet for even a second, go over to him and toss treats into the crate for him. When he is quiet, then you can let him out, but do not let him out while he is barking. If all of that fails, then look into Jeff Gellman's separation anxiety protocol and work on adding structure there to help Buddy's insecurities and ingrained habit of barking. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Malcolm
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
2 Years
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Malcolm
Pembroke Welsh Corgi
2 Years

My 1 and 1/2 year old Corgi has been completely crate trained for well over a year. Recently, however he has started barking, whining, and scratching at the walls when he is in his crate at night. We have made sure his bladder is empty and he has comfortable bedding inside his crate. We have not been able to find a solution.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Lydia, I would suggest moving his crate to another room at least temporarily to see if that solves the issue. You might also try adding a sound machine to the area. If either of those solutions work, then he is probably hearing something at night, such as another dog or coyote outside howling, a high pitched electrical noise, a siren, or something else that he finds disruptive or frightening. Something else to consider is whether or not he had a traumatic experience while in the crate recently. If there was a frightening noise or his crate fell with him in it, or something else happened in the area that he associates with the crate, then that could also create an issue. If that is the case, then you can try desensitizing him to the crate by leaving the door open and regularly placing treats inside the crate for him to find on his own, and by stuffing a Kong with dog food and treats and giving it to him whenever you place him into the crate. Work on getting him used to being in the crate during the daytime also. Gradually working up to an hour during the day as he improves, and when you place him inside, give him a food stuffed Kong to chew on, and go over to him periodically while he is acting calm and drop treats into the crate for him, and then leave again. Practice this until he will remain calm in the crate for one hour. Do not let him out of the crate until he is quiet and calm for at least one second. If he is needing to pee more often, then usual during the daytime, then get him checked out for a urinary tract infection. That can cause him to feel like he needs to pee even though he just went, but he will need to go more frequently during the daytime too if that is the issue. Finally, it is also possible that he has simply learned that pitching a fit will earn him freedom. If he was let out of the crate while barking or whining at any point around the time when this started, then he might be repeating those behaviors simply because he wants out of the crate and figured out that pitching a fit will get him out. If that is the case, then ignore the bad behavior and do not let him out until he is being calm and quiet. You can also practice crating him during the daytime and going over to the crate and dropping treats inside when he becomes calm or remains calm for a few minutes in a row. It is typically easier to work on crate training during the daytime first, so that nighttime training is easier when you are tired. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ollie
Mini golden retriever
7 Months
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Ollie
Mini golden retriever
7 Months

When do you cover the dog crate and when do you allow the dog to see what’s going on around him? Should it always be covered when he is home alone (we also have cats), or only when there is activity going on in the same room? Do we let one aid open she he can see outside the window?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, I would recommend keeping the side closest to the window covered at all times so that she does not learn to bark at things that she can see outside the window. I would almost always leave the other side, that faces the rest of the room, uncovered though. Having the crate covered when there is activity that she can hear going on in the same room can bother her even more than having the crate uncovered because she will know something is there but will simply not be able to see it which is frustrating for her and can make her feel insecure. When there is a lot of activity going on in a room, then I would either keep her in the room while she is awake and alert and give her food stuffed Kong for her to chew while she watches everything going on, or when it is time for her to settle down and relax or if the activity is too stimulating, then remove her crate from the room entirely and crate her in a different area of the house where it is quiet. When the room is completely quiet and calm, then you can cover all but one side of the crate if you prefer to make it darker for her. That way she can see out so does not feel like something can sneak up on her but the crate is darker which might make it easier for her to sleep while it is calm. If the cats are agitation her, then crate her in a room where they cannot get to her during the day. If the crate is covered, then she will still be able to smell them and know that they are there. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Ollie
Mini golden retriever
7 Months
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Question
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Ollie
Mini golden retriever
7 Months

Everything was going great with training and walking. One night, while we were out for a walk, neighborhood kids set off fireworks. Now Ollie refuses to go outside, especially at night. During the day, I take him out, he does his business and then pulls me back inside the house right away. At night it’s near impossible. We actually have to go through the garage, put him on the car, drive down the street and then he will go outside, but only for a moment and then he runs back to the car. I’ve heard you should not carry a dog outside if they are scared. How can we help him get over his new fear of outside at night?

Thank you,

Thank you.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Michelle, At this point Ollie might need a bit of tough love to show him that the fireworks are not the norm. Work on teaching him a Place command on something portable such as a towel. Teach him to stay on that towel no matter what while he is in a location where he feels same. When he understands the concept of staying on the towel and has been rewarded for doing so, then take the towel to a comfortable location outside. At first go somewhere that is not in sight of where the fireworks happened but somewhere where he is still uncomfortable. Have him do a "Place" command on the towel and do not let him off even if he shakes a bit, whines, and tries to bolt off. When he stays on the place, then praise him in an upbeat tone of voice and reward him if he will take a reward from you. Make the reward something great like chicken. Have him stay there for fifteen to twenty minutes the first time while he works through his fear and sees that nothing scary will happen to him. Try to remain upbeat yourself and sound confident. Do not baby him or act sorry for him. The idea is to instill confidence in him and show him that the outside world is normally boring and safe and to let him face his fear and see that nothing bad will happen to him. When he calms down a bit after ten or fifteen minutes, then quietly tell him "Okay" and let him get off of the towel. Wait until he relaxes a bit, even if that takes longer. While he is doing this, sit or stand nearby him and do something relaxing and boring yourself, like reading. Practice the "Place" command outside every day. As he improves, then increase the amount of time, until he is in "Place" for one hour. When he is relaxed enough to enjoy a toy, then give him a food stuffed Kong to chew on while he is on the towel. Once he is doing better with the "Place" command and willing to play, then go to the location that he is afraid of with several people and play Tug of War, Come and chasing games, Fetch, and anything else that is very fun for him and gets his mind off of where he is. Do this regularly to help him relax the rest of the way while outside. Even though the "Place" command may sound a bit harsh because you are making him face his fears and he will look pitiful at first, he needs to be forced to remain in that environment while things are calm, pleasant, and relaxing so that he can see that scary things do not normally happen outside. Once he sees that things are actually boring, then he will be able to be calm enough to learn. When he is calm enough to learn, then you can reward him with food and fun and generally make the experience of being outside extremely pleasant for him to help him overcome his belief that the outside world is scary, and to convince him that being outside is actually fun. When you work on the "Place" command outside be sure that he cannot slip out of his collar or harness because he will probably try to escape at first. Use both the leash and your body language to block him from getting off of the "Place". When he stops trying to get off, stays on the "Place", and calms down at all, reward him if he will take a treat or toy from you. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Timmy
Shih Tzu
14 Weeks
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Timmy
Shih Tzu
14 Weeks

Whenever I walk away fron his crate he always whines and barks, but he's fine when I sit next to his crate. What should I do?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainier
53 Dog owners recommended

Hello Crispy, Timmy needs to learn how to handle separation from you and to self-sooth and entertain. He won't learn those things if you are with him every time. Purchase a hollow chew toy such as a Kong. Place his dog food into a bowl and cover the food with water. Let it sit out until the food turns into mush, then mix a little Peanut Butter or soft cheese into it. Grab the Kong or toy and very loosely stuff the Kong with the mush. Don't pack it down though. Place the Kong into a zip-lock bag and into the freezer to freeze overnight. You can also purchase multiple Kongs and stuff several at a time so that you can simply grab one from the freezer when you need one. When you place Timmy into the crate, then place a Kong inside with him and sprinkle pieces of food or treats around in the crate for him to pick up. After you do that, leave. It is normal for him to protest when you first begin to Crate Train. He doesn't know how to entertain himself or sooth himself yet and he needs the opportunity to learn. When you give him the opportunity by placing him into the crate, make it easier for him by giving him a food stuffed chew toy to focus on and help him feel better about the situation. Practice Crate Training while you are at home with him so that you can reward him for calming down. To reward him, wait until he calms down and becomes quiet for at least two seconds. When he is quiet, then go over to the crate and calmly drop several treats inside, then leave again. Do this several times, whenever he gets quiet or stays quiet for at least five minutes. After several times, while he is being quiet, go over to the crate, start to open the door, and if he tries to rush out, close it again. Practice this until you can open the door, leave it open, and he will say inside. When he is waiting inside and not rushing out, then tell him "Okay!" or "Free" in an inviting tone of voice and allow him to come out. You want to make time in the crate relaxing and fun and getting out of the crate more structured. Expect it to take him at least a couple of weeks doing this before he will simply relax and not bark while in the crate. If he eats the food in the Kong's well and you are placing him into the crate around meal times, then you can measure out his food for the day or that meal and let him eat it in the stuffed Kong to avoid too many calories and to make the stuffed toy even more exciting. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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