Crate training your dog has many benefits. Dogs are den animals by nature and can feel more comfortable in a crate, rather than being left to roam a big, open house. But, what happens when you have a dog that barks and whines?
Dogs bark as a way of communicating. However, some dogs may bark excessively. This barking and crying can become even worse once they’re in their crate. It can be especially true for puppies and nervous dogs that aren’t used to a crate yet.
Along with barking, some dogs will try to claw or bite at the crate in an attempt to get out. This isn’t unusual with new crate trainees, but in some cases, it could harm the dog (they could break their teeth, etc.).
Stopping the behavior of whining and barking isn’t as difficult as it might seem. With a few calming techniques and the familiarity of routine, almost any dog can become comfortable in their crate. It’s best to start this crate training when your dog is a puppy so that they can get used to it through their adult life. But, if you’re new to crate training with an older dog, they can learn to love it just as much.
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Training Your Dog Not to Bark in His Crate
Dogs, and especially puppies, may whine and bark out of habit alone. This is usually relatively easy to break with a little extra training. However, some dogs will whine for other reasons. It’s important to make sure your dog’s needs are being met before they go into a crate, and during their time in one.
This article will focus on the benefits of crate training, and why you should consider it for a dog at any age. We will also offer several tips on how to get your dog to stop barking while they’re in their crate. Again, a crate can offer a safe and protective environment for these den-loving animals. So, teaching them to be calm within those confines can be beneficial for everyone.
What Are the Benefits of Crate Training?
The benefits of teaching your dog to feel comfortable in a crate will reach both you and your dog. There are advantages for both parties. Keep that in mind as you train them, and the entire experience is likely to go much smoother.
If your dog sees the benefits as much as you do, they are less likely to be anxious about it and can learn to love their crated environment. So, what are the advantages?
- You can have peace of mind, knowing nothing in your home will be destroyed or damaged while you’re gone. Some dogs struggle with separation anxiety, while others are destructive because they are bored. A crate helps to prevent any possible destruction of furniture, carpet, etc.
- Your dog can use the crate as their den – a safe space to go when they are nervous, stressed, or tired. If you have a busy household, this is especially important and can help them to feel less anxious.
- Crates are an excellent way to house train your dog quickly and prevent accidents. Dogs don’t like to ‘go’ in their dens. While this doesn’t mean you can leave them alone in their crate for hours, it’s less likely that he will have as many accidents in the crate as he would walking around the house freely.
- A crate-trained dog can more easily be included in things like family trips and flight travel. Once they are comfortable with the crate, you can take them with you almost anywhere.
- You can confine your dog safely during times of confusion or over-excitement (family get-togethers, parties, etc.).
- The dog doesn’t have to feel isolated like they might if they were put into a spare bedroom or in the basement.
Keep in mind that dogs are also social animals. They can feel safe in their crate while remaining a part of your daily activity, or even special occasions when more people might be around. Overall, a crate can bring less stress and anxiety for both you, and your four-legged friend.
What Not to Do When Crate Training
If you’re new to crate training your dog or puppy, there are a few common mistakes you should avoid (see also ‘Puppy Crate Training: The Best Schedule For New Puppies‘). One of the biggest mistakes people make is feeling sorry for their dog, and letting them out of their crate when they start whining.
It can tug at the heartstrings to hear your puppy crying in their crate, so it’s tempting to take them out and try to soothe them. Unfortunately, when you do this, you’re reinforcing the behavior you’re trying to stop. If you decide to soothe your dog when they bark and make noise, they learn that they can get attention from you this way. If you let your pup out of its crate when it starts whining, he will associate whining with getting what he wants.
These behaviors can carry over into other aspects of the dog’s life. For example, it may start barking when it wants to be fed, or when it wants your attention at other times. You could be taking a small problem, and turning it into a bigger one.
Crate training can be frustrating at times, and can even make us feel bad for our dog if they start whining. But, if their needs are being met, it’s important to stay strong and not ‘give in’ to their demands. They will eventually realize that whining and barking won’t get them out of their crate any sooner.
Related article: Impact Dog Crate Review
How to Get Your Dog to Stop Barking in Crate?
If your puppy or dog does bark or whine excessively in their crate, there are a few tried and true tips you can put to good use. If you have made sure that your dog has everything it needs (doesn’t have to go to the bathroom, gets plenty of exercise, etc.), and they are still barking, try some of the following suggestions:
- As hard as it might be, do your best to ignore the noises your dog is making. Giving them a “stop” or “quit” command can be helpful if they respond well to commands. It can also let them know they won’t get what they want through excessive whining or noise-making.
- Make sure the crate is a space your puppy/dog will enjoy. It shouldn’t be a place you send them to get them out of the way. It should be a safe space for them, so make it as inviting as possible. The crate must be comfortable with blankets or a bed, some of your dog’s favorite crew toys, etc. If your dog struggles with separation anxiety, leave a t-shirt that smells like you in the crate with it while you’re gone to help calm their nerves. You could even try a white noise machine.
- Place the crate strategically. Your pup will undoubtedly feel calmer if they can see and hear everyone, so don’t put the crate in a corner or somewhere ‘hidden.’ If your dog gets anxious at night, you may want to consider putting the crate in your bedroom with you.
- Be sure to give your dog a lot of praise when they are in their crate being quiet. This is the right kind of behavior to acknowledge. They will then associate being quiet with being good, and they will always want to keep earning your praise.
- Never use the crate as some punishment. If your dog tends to bark even when they are outside the crate, don’t force them into it thinking that will get them to stop. It will likely do just the opposite, and they will see the crate as something to be scared of, not an inviting home that lets them feel safe and protected.
- If your dog naps during the day while you are home, try carefully moving them into their crate. You can try this with the crate door open and closed, to determine what makes your dog most comfortable. If they feel as though they can sleep comfortably in the crate with you there, they are more likely to feel calm inside it when you’re not around.
Making Sure That Your Dog Comfortable in His/Her Crate
If your dog is barking or whining in their crate, they may be anxious. So, it’s essential to create an environment that feels safe, warm, and inviting. Dogs who understand that their crate can be a safe place usually love going there, even when you’re home. That’s why you may wish to consider getting them a soft-sided dog crate, such as the Petnation port crate e2 pet home.
If you’re trying to introduce a puppy to crate training, the most important tip you can keep in mind is patience. Puppies have more of a tendency to whine, especially at night. Understand that they are still adjusting to life away from their mother, and new surroundings. Give him his favorite toy to keep him occupied until he falls asleep. Consistency is essential, especially with puppies. After a while, they should be able to calm themselves down without your help.
Crate training has multiple benefits for both you, and your dog. When done correctly, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that your dog and your belongings are both safe. Your dog will feel as though they have a protected space to call their own. It can take a bit of time and patience to get your dog to stop barking while crate training. But, with the tips listed in this article, you now know what you should and shouldn’t do to calm them down.