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It’s very common for dogs to sleep or spend their days in a crate. It’s important to choose the correct material, size, and color so that your dog is willing to go into it and stay there quietly. And it can be very difficult if your dog isn’t as fond of it as you want him to be. Here are a few tips on what to do if your dog barks or cries in his crate.
A History of Dog Crates
Dog owners tend to be divided over the use of a dog crate. Many believe in the benefits of using one while there are those that think it’s a cruel way to treat their dog and often refer to them as a jail. Using a crate is an American practice that is not very popular in other parts of the world.
The idea of the crate came with a theory that a dog is a den dweller that was never based on compelling evidence but on observational studies that were poorly structured. Basically, an ad started using this theory and manufacturers jumped on it to help increase sales.
Despite the theory not being true, it still taught owners something important about their pets. While dogs and their wolf ancestors are not naturally den dwellers, today’s domesticated dog will seek out a den for certain circumstances like whelping.
Introducing the Crate to Your Dog
When you introduce a crate to your dog properly, it can become a safe and familiar spot for your dog that makes him comfortable and secure. Even the best dog crate will be useless if a dog is not trained properly. Crates also shouldn’t be used to correct a behavioral issue or to punish your dog. It’s important that you use the crate correctly and not as an easy way to avoid training your dog correctly.
Typically, when you crate train a puppy properly, he should associate it with the place where they can relax or sleep without being bothered. This clean environment can also be used when you are training your dogs and creating a structured routine. Just remember that it’s important that your dog doesn’t spend more time in his crate than is necessary, and that it is super important that it is introduced properly to your dog.
If you hear your dog crying or whining in his crate, you need to make sure that you haven’t done anything wrong and that the crate itself is the right type and size so that your pet will be comfortable. If you have trained your dog properly and he has otherwise enjoyed being in the crate, then there are a few other reasons he may be whining about. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may be whining in the crate.
Five Reasons Your Dog Is Whining In His Crate
The Crate Isn’t the Right Fit
First, you need to make sure the crate is the best fit for your pet. It could be too small, so your dog doesn’t have the space to stand up easily and not bump his head against the top of the crate or even space to be able to turn around. Always make sure that you have measured your dog correctly.
Choosing a crate that is too big isn’t a good thing either. If you think about it, the whole reason for the crate is to give your dog its own special corner. If your dog has too much space, he will treat it like he would a normal room in the house, which means he could choose a spot to go to the bathroom in the corner of the crate.
The correct crate type is also important. You’ll have several to choose from including wooden, metal, plastic, and soft-sided crates. All have advantages and disadvantages, so you need to consider which won’t necessarily work for your dog. Sometimes crates made out of materials can have an odd smell to them while wooden ones can seem like you are putting them in the cupboard.
He Misses You
Particularly at first, your dog may view the crate as being detached from you. You can tell if this is the issue if he stops crying as you get close to him or if you play with him without opening it. Just remember that if you have introduced the crate properly and have trained your dog to stay in it then he shouldn’t view the crate as a detachment. Your dog should already feel comfortable and understand that you will be leaving the area of the crate when he’s put in it. If you feel he hasn’t grasped this concept, they may need to do some retraining.
Your Pup Is Bored
If you have a lively and energetic dog that likes to race and jump around the house, he might not be ready to be in a confined area. He may also still have a lot of energy to get out. If you notice that your dog has destructive behavior, vigorously turns in circles, is chewing on the bars of the crate, and whines and barks excessively, then he may simply be bored. He may need a few indestructible dog toys to settle him, or you may need to exercise and play with your dog more.
Your Dog May Need To Go Outside
Needing to go potty can also be a reason a dog will whine. This is particularly true of puppies that aren’t able to hold their bladder as long. Always consider the age of the dog you are crating, and if you are crating a puppy, consider how frequently he will need to be taken outside for potty breaks.
When you use a dog crate to potty train your dog, you will need to create a schedule. Remember that you won’t know right away how long your puppy is able to hold it, so it can take a little time to determine the right schedule. When your puppy begins to whine, you should take him out to go potty, but don’t let him whine in the crate with a full bladder or he will develop bad feelings towards his crate.
Another reason your dog is whining inside the crate could be separation anxiety . This means that your dog just can’t handle being anxious when you’re gone from the house or even from the room. Basically, any time they don’t hear or see you around makes them upset.
If your dog is visibly anxious when you are not around, you can assume it’s because of separation anxiety. One way to prove it is to let your pup out of the crate and begin to leave your house. If your dog has an exaggerated reaction that can include loud and excessive barking along with scratching and whining, he is probably suffering separation anxiety.
What Should You Do When A Dog Is Crying In The Crate
Replace His Crate
If you think your dog is uncomfortable in his crate, try replacing it. With so many types of crates on the market, you may want to try to find a crate that will fit your dog better like a soft-sided, plastic, or metal crate. If you have a puppy that is still growing, it can be a little tricky to find the right size. You may want to consider an adjustable crate that allows you to limit the amount of area that your puppy has with the use of a crate divider.
Make His Crate More Comfortable
If you have a dog that is crying in his crate, it might be due to anxiety and your dog missing you. Try to crate your dog for shorter periods of time and then prolonging each time gradually to make it less stressful for your pup.
Place a toy in the crate with him, which should help him with the adjustment process. If you have a dog that is particularly anxious, you can try special toys developed for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. Try throwing in a blanket or some clothes that smell like you to help ease your dog’s anxiety. You can also choose a dog blanket or fluffy mat to make your dog’s crate comfortable and cozy.
Exercise Him More
A dog can also whine in his crate, seem unsettled, agitated, and destructive if he is bored or too energetic. If you notice your dog chewing on the crate, you should play and exercise him more before he is crated.
It’s easy to create a habit of long walks right before your dog is crated or even to play a game of fetch at the end of the walk. While it may not seem necessary, it’s important that your dog views being in his crate as a peaceful time.
Take Him to the Veterinarian
Your dog could also be whining in his crate because of a psychological issue such as separation anxiety or even a health problem. If you think any of these reasons are causing your dog to whine in his crate, you should stop putting him in his crate and take him to the veterinarian.
In the event that the vet does find a medical problem, it may be necessary to stop using the crate. But, if your dog requires constant monitoring, you may want to hire a dog walker or a family member when you are at work.
Stop Putting Your Dog In His Crate
If you have chosen the right size and type of crate, did crate training correctly, and he has no health or psychological issues, but your dog still won’t stop whining, you may want to stop using his crate completely.
For some dogs, a crate isn’t a natural thing, and your dog may never be comfortable in it no matter what you do. Since a dog is not a den dweller, it shouldn’t be forced onto him. If your dog does need to be confined while you are at work, trying using a playpen or pet gate, which will give him more space and freedom to play. In this way, your dog won’t feel so restricted.
How do I get my dog to stop whining in his crate?
There are several things you can do when you have a dog whining in the crate. First, make sure he doesn’t need to go potty and that he is in the right sized and type crate that allows him to feel comfortable. You may also want to give him some interactive toys as well as a comfy blanket. It’s important that you don’t reinforce his whining behavior, so it may be necessary to ignore his whining.
If he continues to whine, you may want to move the crate to an area that is less isolated. You will also want to make sure he gets a lot of exercise and playtime so he is tired out when he is in his crate and not bored and destructive. If none of these tips work, consider taking him to the vet to see if he has a medical or psychological issue that requires treatment.
Should I ignore dog whining in a crate?
It is perfectly fine to ignore your dog when he is whining in his crate at night. Ensure that he does not need to go to the bathroom and that the crate is the right size and type. When a dog whines in his crate, he is often just trying to get your attention. You don’t want to reinforce his whining by giving him any attention so ignoring him is often the best response to teach him to be calm and quiet when he is in his crate.
Why does my dog whine in his crate?
It’s normal for a puppy to whine in his crate when they are new to the space. But an adult dog that has been properly trained and is in the correct type and size crate should feel comfortable in his crate. If your dog is whining, you may need to consider if he needs to go outside to go potty, is bored, is suffering from separation anxiety, or has a medical issue. Otherwise, you may need to retrain him to be in his crate when you are gone or at work.
Why is my dog whining all of a sudden?
If you have a dog that has started to whine out of nowhere when he is in his crate but has been otherwise happy and content in it, there might be a medical reason for the change in behavior. With any sudden changes in your dog, it’s important to take him to the vet to ensure that he is healthy before doing anything else.